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.

Buyer’s checklist:

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.

To see available listings for properties on sale, click here:

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