Purchase of a house is one of the biggest decisions many will ever face in life, which makes preparation essential.
This guide will walk you through all the steps necessary for purchasing your dream home, from setting your budget to getting pre-approved for a mortgage and everything in between. It’s your ultimate resource in making this purchase successfully!
- Get pre-approved for a mortgage
Undergoing pre-approval for a mortgage should be one of your initial steps when buying a house. It helps determine what home can fit within your budget while showing real estate agents that you’re serious.
Pre-approval can be achieved either online or by visiting a bank branch and filling out an application. A lender will then provide you with a three-page loan estimate within three business days.
Loan estimates provide information such as interest rate, term length and type, estimated closing costs as well as maximum loan amounts based on your personal finances.
- Find a real estate agent
When it comes to homebuying, real estate agents can be invaluable resources. Their understanding of local markets and ability to locate homes that match your criteria will save time.
A good real estate agent will explain all relevant terminology, laws and paperwork. They should also be responsive to calls or emails as well as offer honest assessments about any property being offered for sale.
Finding a real estate agent through word of mouth is often the best approach. Ask friends and family members if they know of any trustworthy real estate agents.
- Start looking for a home
Beginning a home search requires many steps, and each must be evaluated carefully. Begin your home search by determining your non-negotiables and finding an agent you trust who will guide you through this journey.
Consider also your family size and any future plans involving children when making this decision. For instance, if you plan to become a caregiver for an older child it is essential that the home has enough bedrooms.
As well, it’s wise to thoroughly assess the neighborhood you intend to reside. Make note of its zoning laws and whether homes in that area have increased in value over time.
- Make an offer on a home
Once you find a home you love, the next step should be making an offer on it – and the best way to do this is with help from an experienced real estate agent.
Your offer should also reflect how much money you are willing to pay, as well as any contingencies which might make your offer more enticing – for example, asking for a closing date convenient to both parties involved.
Your offer must be fair and reasonable, so always consult with your agent prior to making any decisions. They know the market conditions in your area and how best to make your offer stand out against competition.
- Checking the condition of the house if you are buying it with furnishings
You should check the condition of the house. When you are buying a house, you should check that the doors, furniture, electricity, water, and heating are all in good condition. Replacement window options and any other furnishings that are included in the sale should also be considered. Canada Greener Grant can help you with the costs of replacing any windows. Canada Greener Homes Grant can help cover the costs of energy efficiency upgrades or replacing your windows and doors. Any problem with water and electricity can be solved by a professional.
- Close on the home
Closing on a home marks the final stage in becoming a homeowner, and involves transferring funds from escrow, paying mortgage and title fees, and updating the deed to include your name.
As part of your home buying journey, you will likely work with your real estate agent and lender to set a closing date – this date should be listed in your purchase agreement contract and should occur several weeks or months after your offer has been accepted formally.
At closing, your attorney or title company will review all paperwork to make sure all parties involved have fulfilled their responsibilities. A walk-through should also take place so as to check on its condition and any required repairs have been addressed.