Buying a home is a big investment – both financially and emotionally. Make sure you’re properly prepared by considering the following things prior to submitting a purchase offer.
Your Credit Rating
If you aren’t aware of your credit rating, now is the perfect time to do a little investigating. Making sure your finances are in order is probably the most important step you’ll need to take prior to purchasing a home. Your credit report will play an important role in the mortgage approval process, plus it will also help determine many of your mortgage terms, including the all important interest rate.
There are numerous laws and options associated with mortgages. While you don’t need to know all the ins and outs of the mortgage process (there are lawyers for that!) it is important that you understand the different options available to you. From fixed rates to variable arrangements, there are lots of things to consider when deciding on a lender. A professional mortgage broker can help you narrow down your options, but ultimately it’s up to you to determine which lender is best for your needs.
Being pre-approved for a mortgage can be a huge advantage to any home buyer. Not only does a mortgage pre-approval allow you to better understand and set your budget, it also gives you an advantage when putting in an offer on a property. Sellers have a tendency to favour offers accompanied by proof that a buyer has a mortgage pre-approval from their bank or lender. This shows there is one less obstacle in the transaction process, and could give you the edge to successfully purchasing the home or property you want.
Needs, Wants, and Real Estate Agents
Before you even start looking for homes, sit down and create a well-defined list of needs and wants. Clearly knowing what you need in a home, what you want, and what you get within your budget, will help you and your realtor find an ideal property. Speaking of realtors; before hiring a real estate agent, take the time to understand the particular duties, loyalties, and roles a real estate agent should, and will play in the home buying process
How to Find Your Home
Today, the most obvious tool available in the home search adventure is the internet. There are dozens of quality home search websites in North America that will put photos, amenities, and prices at your fingertips. Just because the Internet is convenient, doesn’t mean you should neglect “old fashioned” methods like driving to visit neighbourhoods, flipping through newspaper ads and classifieds, or grabbing a local real estate magazine.
Time to Make an Offer
One of the most stressful moments for any home buyer is putting in an offer. You’ve got a mortgage pre-approval, you’ve found a home you love; now it’s time to put your money on the table, and sign the papers. As a standard feature to any offer, it’s important to include a home inspection. This protects you against any hidden issues with the structure and construction of a home. Similarly, when it comes to navigating what can often be a long and confusing contract, be sure to have the paperwork checked over by your real estate agent and a lawyer.
Buying a home can be a long and stress-filled event, but if you follow these tips, and do your research before buying a home, you’ll be well prepared, and find a property that meets your unique needs and wants.
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Chantielle Kennedy writer for FamilyLending.ca