Advice for Buyers

10 Tips on How to Go About Purchasing a Property 

Will you shortly be on the hunt for a new property? This process can be as stressful as it is exciting! To help you make sure it all goes smoothly, follow these tips.

Apply for a Preapproved Mortgage

Before you start building castles in the air scrolling real estate listing websites, it’s best to manage your expectations. What price range can you afford for your new house, based on your financial situation? This is not up to you to decide unless you are able to pay for the property entirely out of your own pocket (without financing).

You should instead visit your financial institution so that an advisor can review your finances and complete a preapproved mortgage application. This document will state how much you can borrow.

Then, only search properties that are listed at this amount (or below)! 

Save Up a Sufficiently Large Down Payment to Avoid Fees

Ideally, your down payment should correspond to 20% of the property’s value. This way you can avoid having to take on mortgage insurance. This isn’t mandatory, however. Many buyers choose to make a lower down payment and pay the cost of the insurance premium. 

Make a Realistic Budget

Your mortgage payments are just one of the expenses you must plan for. There are many others! Preparing a budget is the wisest course of action to ensure you have the financial means of acquiring a property. Don’t forget anything:

  • Municipal and school taxes
  • Home insurance
  • Condo fees, as applicable
  • Natural gas and electricity bills

Remember to include the non-recurring costs that come with buying a property because they can significantly impact a budget:

  • Inspection fees
  • Notary fees
  • Welcome tax

Determine Your Essential Needs

What are your must-haves? Do you need a garage? To be close to all services? To have three bedrooms on the same floor? To have a fully finished basement?

It is important that you decide which features are non-negotiable for you.

Determine Your Nonessential Needs

As you compile a list of your top requirements, you will quickly discover that many of your “needs” are in fact “wants.” So, if your desired property has them, that’s great; if not, don’t get hung up about it!

The important thing is to never lose sight of what is indispensable for you when visiting houses. And don’t be swayed into impulsively buying a property that doesn’t truly meet your expectations. 

Select a Neighbourhood

Every house comes with a neighbourhood! And the latter can substantially influence how much you enjoy living in your new residence. Its characteristics should not be treated lightly. Walk around the neighbourhoods you are interested in and take note of the atmosphere, sounds, nearby areas, etc. 

Partner With a Broker Who Knows the Area Well

Relying on a real estate broker is the surest way of guaranteeing you will find both the right location and the right house. We recommend that you choose one that knows your targeted area like the back of their hand. They will then be able to point out each neighbourhood’s and property’s pros and cons to guide you through the decision-making process.

Thoroughly Read the Declarations by the Seller

This document, essential to any real estate transaction, must be carefully read from beginning to end. It contains the property’s history: renovations, water damage, structural issues, etc.

This history will help you get a clearer picture of the property to make an informed purchase.

Have the Property Inspected Before Buying

The Declarations by the seller is important, but does not replace the inspection. You should not underestimate its value! For example:

  • The inspector can identify what work needs to be completed. You can then negotiate to have everything finished before you buy.
  • You can likewise renegotiate the price depending on the number of uncovered issues.
  • If a problem comes to light after the transaction, having opted for an inspection will make your claim more credible.

Negotiate a Fair Price

Because real estate prices can vary, there can be several thousands of dollars at stake depending on the outcome of the transaction. Arriving at a final price that seems fair to you is done by exchanging offers and counteroffers. All along this negotiation process, your broker is in your corner.

Good luck with your search!

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