The home buying process

The home buying process

For many people the home buying process can be complicated and, at times, frustrating. Many don’t know where to begin. Others get overwhelmed with the amount of information available. If you are in this situation – or are planning to purchase your first home in the near future -, do not panic. We are here to help you. This blog post will take you through the basic steps in this process.

Start doing your research. As soon as you have an opportunity, look for web sites with real estate listings and start reading information on mortgage loans. (Check our blog posts for this). Make a note of particular homes you are interested in and see how long they stay in the market. Get a sense of the housing trends in the areas you are interested in. Check out those areas. Walk and drive by a few times.

Do the math. You need to determine what kind of house you can afford. Rule of dumb: if you have a 20% down payment for the house you want to purchase, do not look at homes that cost more than three to five times your annual household income. Do not forget to account for any additional debts you may have.

Get a pre-approval. Before you even contact the realtor, get in touch with a mortgage broker to get a pre-approved mortgage. The mortgage pre-approval will tell you how much of a mortgage you qualify for, ensuring you are looking at homes you can afford.

Find the realtor. You should always work with a licensed Real Estate professional to get the best advice and service when purchasing a home. A realtor is an important partner when you are buying a home. They can provide you with helpful information on homes and neighbourhoods that isn’t easily accessible to the public. Their knowledge of the home buying process, negotiating skills, and familiarity with the area you want to live in can be extremely valuable. If you need a referral, The Costa Group only works with the best, and we would be happy to introduce them to you.

Make an offer. Begin touring homes in the price range you can afford.  Take notes on each house you see to avoid confusion. It can be really hard, not to say impossible, to remember everything about them. Make sure you check little details of each house, such as the plumbing and the electrical system, see if the house is conveniently located near places of interest to you: schools, shopping centres, restaurants, parks, and public transportation. Take all the time you need to find the right home for you.  Then work with the realtor to negotiate a fair offer based on the value of comparable homes in the same neighbourhood.

Get a home inspection. Typically, purchase offers are contingent on a home inspection of the property to check for signs of structural damage or things that may need fixing. Your real estate agent usually will help you arrange to have this inspection conducted within a few days of your offer being accepted by the seller. This contingency protects you by giving you a chance to renegotiate your offer or withdraw it without penalty if the inspection reveals significant material damage. Both you and the seller will receive a report on the home inspector’s findings. You can then decide if you want to ask the seller to fix anything on the property before closing the sale. Before the sale closes, you will have a walk-through of the house, which gives you the chance to confirm that any agreed-upon repairs have been made.

Get the mortgage approval. Read about the different types of mortgages available in order to find out which one best suits you. At The Costa Group we will take you through the different scenarios to help you decide what type of mortgage you should choose. (In this blog you will find posts about different types of mortgages). We will then work with the lender, insurer, and appraiser to get your financing approved. You may be required to present further documentation, such as income verification and down payment verification.

Close the sale. At closing, you will sign all of the paperwork required to complete the purchase, including your loan documents.  It typically takes a couple of days for your loan to be funded after the paperwork is returned to the lender.  Your lawyer will call you in to sign documents, usually about two weeks prior to the completion date. The completion date is the day that the money is given to the sellers and the property is transferred to your name. You are almost ready to move in. The day you receive your keys is the day you can move into your new home.

If you would like to know more about the home buying process, just contact The Costa Group! We will be very happy to assist you.