Summer is peak season for home-buying (and selling). Buying a property is the biggest financial decision one will ever make.
Before embarking on this exciting but somewhat stressful adventure, here are 5 things to consider:
- Use both a mortgage broker and a realtor. Unless you are a realtor yourself or work for a bank, it will probably be difficult to get the best mortgage or ensure all the required paperwork is filled-in correctly and on time. These two services are at no cost to the buyer.
- Get pre-approved for a mortgage. It will help you narrow down your search and present you as a serious buyer. Don’t waste your time –and your real-estate agent’s- by visiting properties you can’t afford.
- Plan for closing and moving costs. When finalizing an offer, you will most likely have to reimburse the seller for your share of the property tax and other municipal taxes. You will also have to pay for legal and administrative fees, land transfer tax, home inspection, land survey…etc. These costs can be significant. You also may not have relatives or friends who can help you move into your new home. Budget for the moving company as well.
- Think beyond the mortgage payments. You need to figure out how much it costs to live in your prospective home. Inquire about the property tax and utilities; obtain a quote for insurance. If you buy a condo, ask for the amount of strata fees and what is included in them. Also check what kind of significant repairs have been done. Crunch numbers and see if they fit with your income and current finances.
- Have a home inspection done. A qualified, reputable home inspector can save you thousands of dollars and massive headaches. They will check for items you probably didn’t think about.