Steps to Owning a Home
The Buying Decision
Without question, buying a home may be the most important investment you will ever make. It may be your single greatest asset, the cornerstone upon which you can build your personal wealth.
The process can be a lot of work, but it can also be very exciting. Looking for the right home, in the right location, and at the best price is not always easy, but I’ll be right there to guide you through the entire process.
When you are buying a home, it is important that you get help and advice from a trusted real estate professional. As your Realtor, I will guide you through the entire buying process, this includes answering questions regarding all the aspects of the buying process. I will also help keep you focused on your goals, and I will try to keep you from making emotionally driven decisions. I will also assist you in locating a good Mortgage Broker, Lawyer, and any other professional that might be required to assist in this process.
The Cost of Owning a Home
One of the most important things to consider when buying a home is what will it cost to carry the home, and how much can you realistically afford.
You can start by drawing a budget specific to your needs. No two families live the same way and no two people budget the same way either. Two families with identical incomes will not necessarily spend the same amount of money or choose the same accommodations. Priorities as well as individual needs differ.
An average family should not spend more than 32 to 36% of their gross income on housing. This amount should cover the mortgage payments, property taxes as well as heating costs. If you have other loans such as car loans, student loans, credit card payments, etc., all of these expenses combined with your mortgage payments, property taxes and heating costs should not be greater than 38 to 42% of your gross income.
Once you have calculated the maximum amount you are comfortable spending each month, you are then ready to meet with your lender to get pre-qualified for a mortgage. Regardless of what your calculations indicated, you will not be able to buy a home for more than what the lender has preapproved you for. It is also important to stay within the monthly budget that you have set for yourself, regardless of how much more your lender said you can afford.
Finding your Dream Home
Now that you have a financial plan, I will help you determine the type of home you need. Choosing the right house is more than finding the one with enough space to suit your needs, you also have to ensure that facilities and services are conveniently located for all members of the household.
Once we have located the right home for you, I will go over all the costs associated with the purchase as well as the monthly expenses. I will prepare the Agreement of Purchase and Sale, ensuring that it reflects your intentions.
Negotiating the Deal
It is very likely that the seller will not accept your initial offer, this should not discourage you. I will help you assess any counter offer from the Seller, and help you decide whether to accept the counter offer, submit another offer, or reject the counter offer altogether and move onto another home. Emotions can often get in the way of making good decisions, I will assist you through this process to ensure you make the best decision possible.
Once an agreement has been reached, I will forward a copy of the accepted Agreement to your Lawyer, who will take the transaction to closing.
My role is not over yet, I will remain in contact with you as well as the mortgage lender, your lawyer and any other professional required for the successful completion of your home purchase.
Financing & Home Inspection
During the conditional period, you will be working with your mortgage lender to obtain the required financing. I will also be involved in this step by gathering all the necessary property information the lender requires, co-ordinate any appointment by your lender’s appraiser, etc. I will also co-ordinate the home inspection. Although I am happy to refer Lawyers, Mortgage Brokers, Insurance Agents, etc., under no circumstances will I refer a home inspector. I suggest you speak to family and friends and ask if they can refer the inspector they may have previously used.
Close the Deal
Your lawyer will take the Agreement of Purchase and Sale and start his/her duties. You will meet with your lawyer a few days before the closing date to sign all the closing documents.
The most exciting step in the home buying process- moving day! A little bit of planning here will help ease the pressure of moving, I can help you to plan this so that there are no surprises.