10 Steps to Buying
1 – NEEDS ANALYSIS: How do you see your Dream Home?
Congratulations! You’ve decided to buy a new home! Now, in order to create a clear picture of what you want, it’s useful to make a written analysis of your needs. This is a three-step, process.
- Why are you looking for a new home? Ultimately, what do you expect your new property to provide? What is your desired location? Are there other locations you would consider?
- What is your time frame for buying your home? Determine a rough schedule that can be refined later.
- What would you like your new home to look like and what features should it have? Create two lists: the first is your dream home and the second is a home that focuses on only your primarily needs. This will help you differentiate what you “want” vs. what you “need.”
After completing your lists share them with your Real Estate Agent. Your Agent is a trained professional who can help focus your wants and needs and decide how best to achieve them.
2 – MORTGAGE INFORMATION: Determining What You Can Afford
When you’ve established what features you want in your new home, you’ll need to calculate how much you can afford. Although you can do much of the basic research using the WEB, just visit our Mortgage Center via our home page, eventually you’ll want to contact a mortgage company or mortgage broker. A mortgage company will:
- Help you determine how much you can afford
- Have up to date mortgage rates
- Arrange CMHC financial insurance
- Explain closing costs, down payment options, etc.
- Explain the difference between being pre-qualified and pre-approve
- Help you pre-qualified or pre-approve for a mortgage
- Explain the difference between a mortgage and a loan
3 – Home Search: Finding Your Dream
You know the neighborhood and the type of home in which you want to live. It ’s time to find it. If you are not familiar with Ottawa you will want to start your search by finding neighborhoods that meet your criteria and then narrowing your search to particular homes.
There are steps you can take to narrow your search, including:
- Contacting a local Real Estate Agent who is up to date on available properties that meet your criteria and who will arrange for you to visit homes.
- Contacting local Neighbourhood Associations or District School Boards.
- Touring neighbourhoods that meet your criteria can be helpful.
4 – NEIGHBORHOOD INFORMATION: Location, location, location.
The community in which your new home is located can be as important as the home itself. You’re not just purchasing a house. You’re investing in a neighbourhood and associated resources such as recreational parks and commercial resources. Next, create a written list of what you expect in your neighborhood.
Consider these steps:
- Develop a list of your ideal neighbourhood. You may want to make two lists, as you did for your home, one list that describes a neighbourhood that possesses both your wants and needs and another that outlines a community that primarily meets your needs.
- You’ll want to consider various criteria such as schools, entertainment, libraries, shopping, commuting time, noise and privacy, population density, taxes etc.
- Share the list with your Real Estate Agent. We can help you focus and prioritize your wants and needs and connect you with the right communities.
5 – MAKING AN OFFER: You’ve Found It!
You’ve toured various properties and found the house you want! It’s time to make an offer. Your offer is based on numerous criteria including:
- What you are willing to pay and what the seller is willing to accept.
- Recent sales of homes in the community similar in size, quality.
- Conveniences and special needs the home and neighbourhood provide.
In writing an offer, it is best to retain an expert Real Estate Agent. When you choose Team Elder Real Home Sales. We will:
- Answer any questions or concerns you have regarding the property. Explain legal procedures, terms and the contract process etc.
- Save you time and money by ensuring that your contract meets legal requirements according to local and provincial guidelines.
- Wisely advise you on how to create an offer that will have the best chance of acceptance.
- Protect your financial position by including needed contingencies.
- Present the offer to the seller or the seller’s agent
The CONTRACT, though not limited to this list, should include the following:
- A legal description of the property
- The parties involved
- The offering price
- A deposit
- The down payment
- An expiry time for the offer
- Financing arrangements
- Inspection rights and possible repair allowances
- The method of conveying the title and who will handle the closing
- A list of fixtures and chattels such as appliances or furnishings that will stay with the home
- The settlement or closing date
- A declaration of agency representation
6 – NEGOTIATING TO BUY: Satisfaction through Compromise
Successful negotiating is based on the premise that in the end both the buyer and seller will be satisfied. Once your offer has been made there may be areas open to negotiation. At this point your experienced Real Estate Agent can protect your interests ensuring that you get the best terms and price. Some areas that may be open to negotiation include:
- Closing costs
- Necessary repairs resulting from the house inspection
- Financing arrangements with institutions or through the seller
- Adequate time for your solicitor’s search
- Appliances, fixtures, and other concerns to be properly documented in the contract
- Closing date
7 – VENDOR COORDINATION: It’s more than Just You and Your Real Estate Agent.
After your offer has been accepted you may choose to have a home inspection. This means various inspections and procedures will be performed to protect your future investment. Your Real Estate Agent will coordinate and supervise these efforts, saving you time and money. Some of these procedures include:
- A formal appraisal or survey of the property
- A home inspection
- A foundation inspection
- A well or septic inspection
- Obtaining property insurance equal to the full replacement value of your property
8 – PRE-CLOSING PREPARATION: Closing in on the Closing
For the most buyers nerves can become frayed as the closing date approaches. At this time an experienced Real Estate Agent can help you with a quick and easy closing by:
- Coordinating the necessary documentation with the solicitors
- Communicating with the mortgage company
- Staying in touch with related parties
- Assuring that you are ready for the closing by confirming the proper form of payment made out to the correct party
9 – CLOSING: You’ve Arrived !
Closing is the legal transfer of Real Estate from one person to another. During a closing, which is held at the lawyer’s office, numerous legal documents are signed and the collection and disbursement of funds occurs. Your Agent will be available to handle any questions or resolve any issues that may arise. After closing, the property is yours! In order to insure a smooth closing you should:
- Have your Real Estate Agent available to handle any last minute details. Have the necessary funds in the proper form of payment
- Have all necessary documentation
- Remember, this is not a time for negotiation, all negotiations should have been completed already and the results recorded in writing
10 – POST-CLOSING: You’re now a home owner! And Thought You Were Finished!
Now the house is yours and with closing comes a list of companies you need to contact. Before closing, your Agent will anticipate the need to communicate with numerous groups, including the:
- Ottawa Hydro
- Telephone company
- Cable company – Rogers or Bell
- City of Ottawa – Water/ Sewer
- Gas and or oil companies
- Security companies