Buyer’s Guide

Mortgage Pre-Approval

Want to save time and make the process easier and stress-free? When you’re looking to buy a house or condo, the most important item on your checklist is financing approval. It’s important to know how much you will qualify for as discussed with and approved by a lending institution. This will include a combination of financial factors some of which include how much of a down-payment you will have, your current debt ratio and what you can afford in mortgage payments over a negotiated period of time. Once this is secured, we can start the process of finding the home that fits your criteria.

If you need help securing your mortgage pre-approval or with financial planning for a home purchase, contact us and we will be happy to get you in contact with a professional.

Wish List and Needs Analysis

Once your preapproval is complete, it’s time to find out what your dream home! Looking to save time and money? No problem! Instead of sending you homes that don’t fit your specific criteria, we will ask you questions of what you’re looking for and ensure every home that is sent to you is custom to YOUR needs and wants. We see many homes and have a great understanding of available inventory. Rest assured, you’re working with a local expert. Our mission is to make sure you find a home we would personally live in. If we find it’s an unsuitable neighbourhood or community, we will be the first to let you know. Streamlining and systematizing the process saves you time and money making your search easier!

  • Let us know what your needs and wants include, for example:
  • We will show you what homes are available in your price range
  • Type of home (single family detached freehold (no maintenance fees), semi-detached, townhouse, condo etc.)
  • Basic requirements (number of bedroom/bathrooms, finished/unfinished basement, size, updated or a fixer-upper, new build or mature neighbourhood, for example).
  • Desired location (are you a downtown person or like the suburbs?)
  • Must haves (added home features that you’d like to have)

Closing Costs (What to expect)

Aside from the purchase price, you’ll want to account for the closing costs that you can expect when purchasing. You will have the following fixed costs when buying:

  • Land Transfer Tax – which is calculated based on the amount of your purchase price. All homes have a provincial land transfer tax. You can use this Calculator to determine what to expect.
  • Lawyer’s Fees – all Buyers must retain a lawyer to handle the closing arrangement for the purchase as well as the transfer of the funds from your lender.
  • Mortgage Insurance – If your down-payment is less than 20% it’s what’s called a high-ratio mortgage. It requires an insurance premium from one of the following of CMHC or Genworth Financial) and you will be required to pay the applicable taxes on the insurance premium on closing. While the insurance premium can be added to the mortgage amount, the tax must be paid at closing. For more information and to get connected with a mortgage professional click here (take to form field page)
  • Home Inspection – Depending on various factors and market conditions, you may or may not decide to have a home inspection on a property before making an offer to purchase. Our role is to give you the right guidance. Typically, home inspection conditional period is 7 days. A certified inspector is fully trained to understand the basic components of a home and its structure. In addition, they can uncover hidden issues or concerns in a home. It also serves as education for the homeowner on homeownership maintenance items as well as urgent and non-urgent fixes. It’s important to understand a home inspection is to uncover issues that greatly affect the safety of the home, not merely a laundry list of small fixes that are recognized to the human eye. The cost can range be roughly $300-$500 depending on the size of the home. The cost is a small price to pay, however, for peace of mind.
  • Miscellaneous Costs – This can vary based on your available resources. Here you could account for your moving expenses, cleaning service, and trades such as painters or potential renovation costs (if you choose to do some work). These are not fixed costs. However, it’s important to understand and budget accordingly.
  • Ask us about the first time buyer program rebate by clicking here (contact form link)
  • For these costs, it’s fair to account for roughly 1.5% of the purchase price upon closing.

The Offer Process

We’ve been approved, gone through the needs analysis and have now found the perfect home. What’s next? It’s time to make an offer.

During this important step, We’ll provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision on the offer price. For instance, we will do a full market analysis before you write an offer. We’ll negotiate on your behalf in order to get you the best possible price with conditions to protect your interests.

Depending on the type of property and where you’re purchasing, your offer may or may not include conditions.

What is a conditional offer? This is common where there is little competition for available properties or specific price range, higher housing inventory or when a property has been on the market longer than the average. Conditions can include “subject to a home inspection” or “subject to you obtaining financing approval”. The home isn’t sold firm until the conditions are met.

What is a firm offer? This is an offer with no conditions. These offers are not subject or contingent on home inspection or financing. For instance, in a heated market where there are more buyers than homes available, a firm (unconditional) offer can be common in multiple offer scenarios. This offer is more appealing to a seller as it’s essentially a guarantee of purchase. The two common factors determine the strength of any offer: conditions and price.

You’ll want to ensure that you have the deposit amount ready and accessible as it’s required within 24 hours of an accepted agreement. The deposit amount will vary based on the purchase price, and it’s applied to the balance of your down-payment. For more information on the process, schedule a consultation today!

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