The decision to buy a home is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make in your lifetime, so you want to make sure you take all the right steps. One of the best ways to prepare is to simply gather more information on the home buying process.
When you know more about the process, you’ll know what to expect, which allows you to make smart decisions and solid strategies. With the right approach and mindset, it’s easier to find an ideal home.
Here are a few things to consider when searching for a home:
Be aware of the costs of homeownership
Many first-time home buyers aren’t aware of all the costs that come with homeownership. There are of course, the upfront costs, which include down payment, closing costs, and applicable taxes. In addition to these, you’ll need to factor in ongoing costs such as mortgage payments, insurance, property taxes, utility fees, and repair and maintenance bills.
Setting a budget
Before starting a search, you need to figure out an ideal budget. The mortgage payment is typically the most significant expense, but there are other costs to take into consideration.
You can use the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s online home buying calculator, which can help you with your household budget, calculate monthly payments, and set a maximum home price for you.
Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is a good move for home buyers. It lets you know important factors such as how much you’ll be able to afford, your interest rate, and what monthly mortgage payments you can expect. This can help you zero-in on an ideal home type, size, or neighbourhood.
Be aware however that getting pre-approved does not automatically guarantee mortgage approval. A home you plan to buy will still need to go through evaluation by the lender to determine if the price and conditions are acceptable.
Finding the perfect home
Once you’ve figured out your finances and mortgage options, it’s time to start your search. You can start by creating a list containing all of your requirements and preferences. Figure out an ideal home size for you and your family, look for a right location, and identify any special features you’d like to have.
Remember to take a look at your current lifestyle, and see how a new home can improve it. The home you decide to purchase will have a significant impact on your lifestyle and finances, so it’s best to take your time so you can be sure to make the best possible decision for you and your family.
Making an offer
Finally found a home worth buying? It’s now time for you to five an offer to purchase to the seller, or an “agreement of purchase and sale.” This is a legal contract, so you’ll need the help of your real estate agent or and/or lawyer.
Closing day is when a buyer is officially granted legal possession of a new home. This typically takes place in your lawyer’s or notary’s office. Along with the final signing, these are the other events that take place during closing day:
- Your lender hands the mortgage money to your lawyer or notary
- You give your down payment, closing costs, and other required costs to your lawyer or notary
- Your lawyer or notary gives payment to the seller, registers your home under your name, and hands you the deed and the keys to your new home