Deciding to take the plunge and buy a property is major change but when you do here is the real estate survival guide for buyers.
1. What can I afford?
- Calculate your monthly income and debt.
- Speak to your mortgage broker today for the best rates and don’t be shy to shop around
- Figure out your down payment.
2. Determine what you want and need in a home.
- Choose a location (central, south, west, rural, suburban)
- Select a type (single family, townhouse, condo)
- Pick a comfortable and affordable price range.
- Choose a size that works.
- Speak your style.
3. Research your target neighbourhoods.
- Look online for information on crime rate, traffic, zoning and lifestyle choices like schools or amenities.
- Determine your commute. Travel plays a big role in your everyday life.
4. Work with a buyer’s agent who knows the neighborhood.
- Get referrals. Your friends and colleagues are the most reliable.
- Consider working with an exclusive buyer’s agent as they will have your best interest in mind.
- Interview at least three agents.
- Look for experience and good chemistry.
5. Search for homes
- Browse listings online. Get a feel for the market
- Ask your agent to set up tours of homes that fit your criteria.
- Check local listings.
- Pick up flyers and attend open houses.
6. Research each home you want to buy.
- Ask your agent for comparable properties to estimate the property’s fair market value.
- Ask the seller’s reason for selling.
- Review all property disclosures.
- Find out about easements,liens, or other restrictions.
7. Make an offer with the intention to negotiate.
- Determine the purchase price.
- Include contingencies, such as inspections.
- Spell out any special requests you want included in the sale.
- Determine an earnest money amount.
- Define a closing date.
8. Finalize the deal.
- Get a professional home inspection.
- Consider getting specific inspections for structural engineering, roof and termites.
- Use the appraisal and inspection reports to re-negotiate if necessary.
- Insure your home.
- Do a walk-through inspection prior to closing
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