There are many market predictions, however if you want to buy your first home then there is no wrong time. The motivation to buy is not determined by local market conditions or by location or by city. Industry opinions and investor speculation can not predict when a particular individual will be ready to buy their first home. For the great majority of folks, the most compelling reasons to buy a home are based on individual circumstances, personal needs and lifestyle.
• Family needs and desires for children/parents/in-laws/couples
• Convenience to home, work, school and social activities
• Sense of achievement or fulfillment
• Freedom and independence
Even though the market is chnaging like never before, both up and down but people still need and want to buy homes. The desire to buy a home is deeply rooted in the fabric of our consciousness. The value of homeownership gives far more satisfaction than anything else.
Today, there are many different Govt first time home buyer programs with flexible terms to fit all buyers. There are city and province down-payment assistance programs to assist in buying a first time home. For future buyers with average or below average credit, there are debt reduction and counseling programs to help gain a fresh start.
How do you make the quantum leap to become a homeowner? First, determine that you want to buy a home or a condo. Get your finances and credit score in order. Determine your financial situation and check your credit to determine where you fall as a borrower of loan. A general rule of thumb is, the bank treat a credit score above 650 as decent. Look at all of your available assets like cash in bank, RRSP, Gold or stocks etc for your down payment and examine all of the finance options available to you. If you have some credit issues, take the time to make timely payments to your creditors to present the best financial picture or put all your payments on auto debit mode to avoid any mishaps. Make sure that you have a good track record of stability in your employment history. Postpone any major purchases. Your actual home purchase may still be 6-12 months down the road, but you can still prepare for it now by following all the above steps.
Get pre-approved for your mortgage. Once you’ve cleared the financial hurdle, talk to your lender or broker to find out how much you can afford to borrow along with the expected out-of-pocket costs you will need to incur upon closing of your home. This will include the required down payment along with funds for closing costs (Lawyer fee, land transfer tax (exempted for first time buyer etc...). If you are buying in a typical seller’s market, you may want to search for homes below your approved price range, so that you can have the most room for negotiation in a bidding situation.
Find a credible licensed real estate agent. Look for an agent that has experience working with first time buyers and can work with you based on your needs and your schedule. Check references of previous clients both on google and agents personal website. You may not know exactly what you want in terms of a new home or condo, and your agent should work with you to determine your needs and help you find a property that meets your immediate and future needs and expectations. Check with family and friends for good agent referrals. Ask them how satisfied they were with his/her services and if they would use him or her again for their real estate needs.
Become an informed and practical buyer. Once you determine where you would like to live, determine what factors are most important for you and your family. Calculate your new commute time and research school information for your children, like school ranking etc. Make sure to evaluate the surrounding factors that are most important to you, along with factors that are least important and the walk score.
Find a home that works for you. Envision yourself along with your family living in the home or a condo. What are the key points of consideration for your home or condo? E.g If you spend a lot of time in the kitchen, then you want to make sure that the kitchen can accommodate your habits like open concept, option to grill and watch T.V etc... If you will be working from home, make sure that your home office setup will work for you and your family. Make sure that all of your telecommunications and electrical needs can be met with the existing setup or factor in this expense in your budget.
Make the offer. Once you have located a property that meets your needs, make an offer based on the listing price, along with comparables information and curent market condictions (buyers market or sellers market). Your agent can work with you to determine the lowest price, along with any contingencies for the sale.
It is always recommended to get a home inspection, so that you can know what the potential pitfalls and future maintenance needs may be. For the money that you spend in getting aninspection done its worth it ! In a seller’s market, you may find yourself bidding with several other buyers for the same home. Work with your agent to determine what is customary in the neighborhood where you are putting an offer. This is when negotiation skills really come in handy and work with an agent who has proven track record or delivering good results in extreme market conditions - ask for proof!
Once your offer has been accepted, you will enter a conditional period, where all of the title research will be handled (for condo's), mortgage requirements are dealt with and home inspection is done. Prior to removing all conditions review your home inspection report with the home inspector along with your agent as it is important for your agent to know the main issues in the property as agent can use these as his/her checklist for negotiations.
Congratulations! It's time to move. Ask your agent for any trust worthy moving company referral Make sure to connect your new utilities along with mail forwarding with Canada post. The purchase of a home can be a lifelong achievement, but one that is truly a worthy accomplishment. For any questions related to the purchase of your home please call Witty Singh (647) 274 7572.