The Stages of Purchase
Your Dream Home Awaits
Good local schools, great municipal services, convenient public transportation - these are a small number of factors many consider when choosing where to live and which home to buy. I can help you better understand what your needs are. No matter what your budget is, I have the perfect home for you. As a certified Real Estate Agent, I will be with you every step of the way, from helping you narrow your search to guiding you through the negotiation process. Everyone deserves to own the own home. Interested in finding out more? Contact me to see how we can get started today.
Home Purchase Expenses to consider
Before Writing an Offer
There are many costs that homebuyers incur, especially upon purchasing your first home. Some of the expenses related to buying a home are one-time costs, while others are continuing costs.
Your largest outlay is the down payment. As a first time buyer, this would likely represent only 5 – 10% of the purchase price. Be prepared to pay for additional costs, such as:
Legal Fees & Disbursements
GST and PST (if applicable)
Property Transfer Tax
Property taxes and adjustments (reimbursed to the vendor)
Interest on interim financing, if any
Strata or Condominium Fees
Estoppel certificate fee
Home Inspection Fee
Water quality and quantity certificate
Mortgage broker’s fee (if applicable)
Mortgage Loan Insurance Premium (if less than 20% down)
Mortgage Loan Insurance Application Fee (if less than 20% down)
Renovations and repairs
Furniture, paint, carpeting, window coverings, etc.
Service and Utility Hook-up Fees
Mortgage Application Fee
Deed and/or Mortgage Registration Fee
Additionally, once you have purchased your home, you will incur regular expenses on a monthly, quarterly or yearly basis. Some of these costs include:
Water and/or Sewer Payments
Electricity and Gas Services
Cable, Telephone and Internet Services
Strata or Condo Fees
Finding Your Perfect Home
Looking for a home can be an intimidating task filled with many questions. What home do I buy and where? Who do I go to for help? And how do I know if I am making a good purchase? There’s no one “right way” to go about finding a home. But that is where I come in, I am here for you to make the process a little easier and remove some of the anxiety associated with making what is, for most people, their largest single purchase in life.
The first thing to do is determine how much you can afford. I suggest enlisting a mortgage broker to assist you with determining the maximum amount you would qualify for. If you don’t know any mortgage brokers, I’d be happy to refer you to one from my network of professional contacts.
What type of home do you want or need? This would include the size, number of bedrooms, location and special features such as a garage, fireplace, fence, dishwasher, hot tub etc. As a REALTOR®, I can show you homes in your desired neighbourhood that are in your price range and have the features you’re looking for.
You’ll also want to consider such things as proximity to schools, community centres and play and sports facilities, public transportation, hospitals, libraries and shopping areas and your workplace. These factors are important to you and your family.
With so many homes to choose from, how do you know if what you’re going to buy is good value and will be attractive to potential buyers in the years ahead, should you decide to move?
It’s very important to inspect the structure and grounds of the home you’re thinking of buying and look around the neighbourhood to be sure it’s an area where you want to live.
When you find a home you like, inspect it yourself carefully for such things as structural defects, signs of water damage, lack of water pressure, faulty plumbing or inadequate wiring. You will want to get an inspection done by a professional home inspector before you buy. A professional may uncover problems that you wouldn’t notice.
I will get a copy of the land survey to check the boundaries of the property to make sure they are clear of encumbrances and walk around the property yourself to make sure there are no surprises.
You’ll also want to tour the neighbourhood and see the house at different times of the day or on weekends to check traffic patterns and noise levels that could affect your decision to buy.
Some careful planning can help to ensure that you get a good-quality house that will meet the needs of you and your family in an area you like for a price you can afford without any nasty surprises after you take possession.
How to Make an Offer
As your Realtor® I am working for you.
When you have found a home you are interested in buying, as your Realtor® I will walk you through the process of drafting an offer to purchase. I will communicate the offer to the seller or the seller’s real estate agent for you. Some properties are in demand and you will not be the only interested party making an offer. As your agent I will assist you in generating an offer that is reasonable and protects your interests using specified terms and conditions.
An offer can be drafted with or without conditions; an offer without conditions is known as a firm offer and one with conditions is known as a conditional offer. A conditional offer represents the party with the placement of certain conditions on the purchase. Some of these conditions could be “subject to financing approval”, “subject to the strata council allowing pets”, “subject to the buyer’s house selling”, “subject to an approved home inspection”, among many others.
The seller may accept your initial offer, reject your offer or present a counter-offer. The counter-offer may differ from your original offer in respect to price, conditions, the closing date or any other items. Offers can be countered back and forth between the parties until one of you accepts or rejects, ending the negotiations.
There are many components of an offer that you should be aware of and understand. As your Realtor® I will answer your questions and explain the entire process to you so that you are comfortable with the steps involved.
Purchasing a home involves a lot of paperwork, most of which are contractual documents that will legally bind you to the numerous terms and conditions. For this reason it is important to have a good lawyer or notary public acting for you. Someone to protect your rights and interests.
Finding a Lawyer/Notary Public
If you don’t have a lawyer or notary public, you can look for a referral from friends, family or business acquaintances. Look for someone with real estate experience and discuss their fee scales. I can also help you locate a reliable professional, whom you feel comfortable working with.
Legal Fees and Disbursements
The difference between legal fees and disbursements is analogous to the parts and labour you pay when fixing your car. I can help you locate a reliable professional, whom you feel comfortable working with.
Lawyer’s/Notary Public’s Function
You will need a lawyer or notary public to process your purchase and ensure the terms are met:
the correct property is purchased
transfered title to your name
ensureed title is free and clear of prior owners encumbrances
your mortgage is registered properly on title
The legal process varies from province to province within Canada. Specifically, you will need to consult with your chosen legal professional and he/she will explain the process and the steps that need to be completed before you get the keys to your new home.
Your lawyer/notary public will prepare a “Statement of Adjustments” outlining all the financial aspects of your sale.
An inspector will determine if any repairs are necessary. If possible, plan to go along with the inspector during his inspection. You could pick up some valuable information that will help you in the future with the maintenance of your house.
A good inspector will check the house from the basement to the roof, including the heating and cooling systems, plumbing, walls, ceilings, insulation, electrical wiring, foundation, ventilation, doors and windows, and septic and sewer systems.
If you don’t know any home inspectors, I’d be happy to refer you to one from my network of professional contacts.