TIPS ON BUYING A NEW HOME
Understand the total cost of buying
Your real estate agent and your lender can advise you on the costs of securing a mortgage, land transfer taxes and so on. Ask your lawyer to give you a detailed breakdown of closing costs. Call movers for estimates. Determine if you need to buy new appliances, window coverings or furnishings.
Location, Layout, Presentation, Amenities and Upgrades/Updates all combine to determine value for a property. Unless you are building your dream home on your dream lot on an unlimited budget you will probably find you need to make some compromises!
Understanding your priorities will help you determine which trade offs you can live with to achieve the best fit for your lifestyle. Some things are DEAL BREAKERS - your real estate agent can help you identify those areas so that you can target your best possible property options while eliminating properties that are not going to meet your needs, goals and long term plans. Your objective is to find the home that provides the best overall value within your budget.
What Professionals Should You Call On?
Because purchasing a home is probably the biggest investment you will ever make, you'll definitely want a team of professionals working with you throughout the process.
No one will play a more important role in helping you find a home than your Realtor®. Your Realtor's® job is to:
- Help you find the ideal home.
- Write an Offer of Purchase.
- Negotiate on your behalf to help you get the best possible deal.
- Provide you with important information about the community, arrange and coordinate the home inspection and essentially save you time, trouble and money.
When the time comes to select a real estate agent, don't be afraid to ask questions — especially about any possible service charges. Vendors normally pay a commission to the agent but some agents charge buyers a fee for their services.
If you haven't already gone through the mortgage pre-qualification process, you will need to find a good lender to assist you during the purchasing process and for as long as you have your mortgage.
Remember that many different institutions lend money for mortgages, such as banks, trust companies, credit unions, caisses populaires, pension funds, insurance companies and finance companies. It's a good idea to shop around and speak with more than one lender because terms and options will vary.
Some people find it helpful to use a mortgage broker. Mortgage brokers don't work for any specific lending institution. Their role is to find the lender with the terms and rates that will best suit the buyer.
To find a lender or mortgage broker, you can:
- Get a referral from your real estate agent, family members, friends or other professionals.
- Contact the Canadian Institute of Mortgage Brokers and Lenders http://www.cimbl.ca
START YOUR PRE-APPROVAL PROCESS EARLY!
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The Modern Mortgage Company
Real Mortgage Associates
You need a lawyer to protect your legal interests such as ensuring the property you are thinking of buying does not have any building or statutory liens or charges or work or clean-up orders associated with it. He or she will review all contracts before you sign them, especially the Offer (or Agreement) to Purchase. Having a lawyer/notary involved in the process will give you peace of mind and ensure that things go as smoothly as possible. Law associations can refer lawyers/notaries who specialize in real estate law.
Lawyer/notary's fees range widely and depend on the complexity of the transaction. Shop around for rates and, when choosing your lawyer/notary.
Remember that a lawyer/notary:
- Should be a licensed full-time lawyer/notary.
- Should be local and understand real estate laws, regulations and restrictions.
- Should have realistic and acceptable fees.
- Can explain things in plain language.
519 472 6310
153-759 Hyde Park Road,
London, ON N6H 3S2
You should consider having any home you are thinking of buying inspected by a knowledgeable and professional inspector.
The home inspector's role is to inform you on the property's condition. He will tell you if something is not functioning properly, needs to be changed or is unsafe. You will also be informed of repairs that need to be done and he/she may even be able to tell you where there may have been problems in the past.
Every inspection should include an evaluation of at least the following:
- Doors and windows
- Roof and exterior walls
- Plumbing and electrical systems
- Heating and air conditioning systems
- Ceilings, walls and floors
- Septic tanks, wells or sewer lines
- Any other buildings such as a detached garage
- The lot, including drainage away from buildings, slopes and natural vegetation
- Overall opinion of structural integrity of the buildings
- Common areas (in the case of a condominium/strata or co-operative)
There is presently no uniform certification and no requirement for home inspectors to take any courses or to have passed any tests. Anyone can say that they are a home inspector. However, a good home and property inspector generally belongs to a provincial or industry association such as the Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors at http://www.cahi.ca Home inspector fees are generally $350 and more, depending on the size and condition of the home.
David Kelly RHI
Valley Home Inspection Inc.
London - St. Thomas
519-319-7589 Email Dave
Troy Simmers-Vanhevel RHI
Pillar to Post Home Inspectors
London - St. Thomas,
519-472-1112 Email Troy Troy's Website
An insurance broker can help you with your insurance needs, including property insurance and mortgage life insurance. Lenders insist on property insurance because your property is their security for your loan. Property insurance covers the replacement cost of your home, so premiums may vary depending on its value.
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Your lender may also suggest that you buy mortgage life insurance. Mortgage life insurance provides coverage for your family should you die before your mortgage is paid off. This type of insurance is often available through your lender, who then simply adds the premium to your regular mortgage payments. However, you may want to compare rates between both an insurance broker and your lender.
Be careful not to confuse property or life insurance with mortgage loan insurance, which may be required for high-ratio mortgages.