Buying a home is often the biggest investment one makes in a lifetime and thus, can be a very intimidating ordeal to go through. It is important that you get a REALTOR® that can ease your fears and make the transaction go as smoothly as possible. I have listed here a few things that can be done ahead of time in order to feel more prepared for this process as well as some things to do while in the process of shopping for your new home in order to be assured that you are not missing anything.
1. Determine Your Needs
Sit down and write out all the things that you would like in a house. This can narrow the search considerably.
For example: A young family may want to consider:
- proximity to school.
- proximity to work.
- access to transportation route to and from school.
- number of bedrooms.
- how long they plan on staying in this home.
- when the kids grow up, where will all their “stuff” go.
- low-maintenance yard.
Whereas a family whose children are ready to move
out of the house may want to consider:
- room for parking
- proximity to university/college
- do they want to downsize or increase in size to make
room for the potential grand children.
- nice landscaping or potential for this.
2. Get a Pre-Approved Loan
This in another very good tip to do before you even start your search. Determining how much a lender will lend you is key to finding the perfect match and will narrow the search down for you. Remember that a pre-approved loan for x amount of dollars does not mean that you have to go that high, but rather that you have the option of going that high. You should find a monthly mortgage payment that you would be comfortable paying and then see how much of a mortgage that would allow you, and whether or not you qualify for that amount. For a list of local lenders, go to my Community Information page. Once you have found a lender you wish to work with, you will have a rate guarantee for up to 90 days or more. The lender should give you a written statement that outlines your interest rate and length of the lock-in. This does not bind you in any way to taking a mortgage out, but rather gives you the confidence to start looking for a home, knowing where you stand and what your payments would be should you find the house that fits your needs.
3. Use a REALTOR® that you are comfortable with.
It is important to have someone to whom you can ask all your questions and feel confident that he knows the market well and will guide you, painlessly, through the process. You will want someone with experience, a proven track record, and a desire to fulfill your needs as a potential home buyer, but not someone who will pressure you into the wrong home.
4. Take a Camera
Sometimes when you look at a few homes it is hard to remember which one had which features. This is where a camera can come in very handy. Whether used as a reminder to yourself, or to show your friends and family, a camera can be a useful tool.
5.Keep up to Date
6. Keep in Touch
Remain in close contact with your REALTOR®.
7. Get it in Writing
Once you have found a home that you would like to make an offer on, make sure that what you have agreed upon is in writing. Verbal contracts are nice, but very hard to go back on. If the seller says he’ll leave the fridge and stove, get it written down!
8. Get a Home Inspection
is a very under-stated, yet very important part of the transaction. A home inspection can let you know of any problems or defects in the house that the REALTOR® has not been made aware of, and you can then use this information in your negotiations.
9. Be prepared to move in
It is always a good idea to let the companies you deal with know of your move. You can let them know the date of possession, and they will have everything hooked up and ready to go for you. Below are a few of the common companies that people deal with, as well as their phone numbers to help make this process a little easier for you.
BC Hydro 888-769-3766
Shaw Cable 604-485-7765
Fortis BC 1-888-224-2710
Columbia Fuels 604-483-4328
Sunshine Coast Fuels 604-414-5850
Also, don’t forget about house insurance! For a list of insurance brokers in the Powell River area, check out the Links page of my website.