The hunt is only half the battle when it comes to purchasing property. Taking care of crucial details beforehand will make all the difference when you do find your dream home. Before you jump into the real estate game, we'd highly recommend walking yourself through these 8 simple steps:
1. Talk to a mortgage broker
Don’t start looking at million dollar mansions if your budget doesn’t align. Get in touch with a financial advisor, and if possible, pre-qualify for a mortgage beforehand. You’ll position yourself ahead of the competition once you enter the market. If you find a property you'd like to move forward on, but don’t have the funds lined up, another buyer may beat you to the punch.
2. Anticipate your closing costs
Before you’re handed the keys, a few closing requirements have to be met. Inspection fees, legal fees, and property transfer tax are often forgotten about, until they’re standing in the way of you closing the deal.
3. There are programs that want to save you money! See where you fit in,
Grants and tax credits are available to make this transaction easier on you, so don’t let any pass you by! There are resources specifically geared towards saving you money, and they’re easier to take advantage of than you think.
4. Don’t forget about your property taxes
Regulations will vary depending on where you live, but in Vancouver, the city issues tax notices twice a year. Property taxes remain payable whether you’ve received a tax notice or not. Be sure you’re educated on the easiest way to find and pay your property tax.
5. Review a blank contract of purchase and sale
Buying a home can feel very exciting, but at its core, this is serious business. Contracts exist to protect everyone involved in the transaction, so take a moment to learn how it works prior to having to sign. Ask questions, and understand your obligations.
6. How quick do you need the deal done? Establish a timeline
Negotiations, home inspections and loan approvals won’t all happen overnight. After you make an offer on a property, taking possession likely won’t happen for typically at least 45 days, but can be as long as 4 months.
7. Ask for a comparative market analysis
If you’ve got a home you plan to sell, you probably want to know what it’s worth! By going to sold property records, realtors can identify recently sold properties similar to yours, in the same geographical area. By comparing these properties, and adjusting for feature differences, you’ll have a solid estimate of what you stand to gain when you sell.
8. And most importantly, what exactly do you want?
There are going to be questions you ask yourself along the way, but why not ask yourself most of them now? Going through a comprehensive list of common (and not so common) buyer’s questions can really help narrow down your search. Your time is valuable, so don’t waste it going to view properties that aren't right for you.
For a complete buyer’s questionnaire, and more information on everything listed, reach out today for our complimentary full guide to first time buying.