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First Time Home Buyer: The home Buying Process

Don’t be deceived into thinking that the home buying process is quick. It can often take a long time and usually involves many people as well as a lot of money. That’s why it’s a good idea to know what you’re getting into before you begin.

Step One: Set your Budget and Investigate Mortgage Options. This begins well before the rest of the steps start. Plan out how much money you can put aside for your down payment, how much money you want to save, and what are the minimum and maximum home prices you’re looking at. After you’ve save your down payment, it’s time to look at mortgaging options. If you don’t have a full 20% down, you’ll need mortgage default insurance. It’s a good idea to be pre-approved before house hunting.

Step Two: Choose a Real Estate Agent and a Lawyer. Your realtor is your consultant, advisor, negotiator, and local expert. Our last blog lays down some guidelines for choosing a good real estate agent. If you choose to hire a lawyer, pick one who specializes in real estate. They’ll help by check for outstanding taxes and liens on the home you’re interested in. They can also help by going over your offer to purchase.

Step Three: Go House Hunting and Make an Offer. It’s time for the fun part! Before you go look at homes, take some time to decide exactly what you want and need from your home, property, and neighbourhood. Remember, you’re not just buying the house but a place in a specific community with its own quirks and culture. Are you going to need an office? How about a room for future kids? It’s important to keep the future in mind. You may also want to make a checklist to fill out at each property. That way, when you’re trying to compare them later, you have all the important information right in front of you. Once you’ve picked a house, your agent will make an offer on your behalf. This document will include your offering price, any conditions, the suggested deposit, and a closing date. The owner of the property may in return, accept, reject, or counter the offer.

Step Four: Get a Home Inspection Done then Finalize the Deal. It’s a good idea to make a home inspection one of your conditions. While not legally mandatory, a home inspection is often a really good idea. An inspector will make sure your home doesn’t have any obvious or expensive problems before you’re obligated to buy it. If issues are found, you can then re-evaluate the situation, negotiate repairs, or withdraw your offer. When you’ve found the perfect home, had your offer accepted, and the inspection finished, it’s time to finalize the deal. Your lawyer will finalize the details with you.

Step Five: Make Your Moving Preparations and Take Possession. Once all the paperwork is done, it’s time for the hard labour. You’ll need to pack up everything and get ready to move. Make sure to give your landlord notice if you rent, and you may need to have the utilities at your new property set up. Having the post office forward any mail to your new address is also a good idea. All the work will be worth it though! On closing day, you take legal possession of your home. Your lawyer will find all the paperwork so that the home is legally in your name, payments will be finalized, and you will finally receive the deed and keys to your new home.

It’s a long process, but few things in life are as exciting as stepping through the front door of your first home. If you’re ready to start the long process of buying a home, you’ll need an experienced Calgary real estate agent to guide you through each step. Call me today at (403) 660-5319.