8 Steps To Buying a Home
Step 1: Decide to Buy
The decision to purchase your first home is one of the biggest and best decisions you could ever make. After all, a home is the largest (and most emotional) investment most people will ever make. So, how do you know if it's the right time for you to buy your first home?
There is never a wrong time to buy the right home. The key is finding a right buy and taking the time to carefully evaluate your finances.
A home purchase is an important step in the path to long-term wealth. Purchasing your own home is a great investment that provides specific financial advantages, including equity build-up and value appreciation potential. It's also an automatic savings plan that you cannot get from renting!
Here's the most important rule for keeping your stress to a minimum: you don't have to know everything. Your Keller Williams agent is ready to help you through every step of the process.
Step 2: Hire Your Agent
When you're looking for a real estate professional to help you, know that above all else, good agents put their clients first. This is your dream, and your agent is your advocate to help you make your dream come true.
A great real estate agent will:
1. Educate you about the current conditions of the market.
2. Analyse what you want and what you need in your next home.
3. Guide you to homes that fit your criteria and budget.
4. Co-ordinate the work of other needed professionals throughout the process.
5. Negotiate with the seller on your behalf.
6. Check and double-check paperwork and deadlines.
7. Inform and discuss with you, and suggest solutions to solve any problems that may arise.
Step 3: Secure Financing
To make the financing process as painless as possible ask your agent to introduce you to the preferred financing consultant not only to assist you with the bond application process but also give you guidance on the bond amount you will qualify for. What will the consultant do for you?
Do a pre-qualification to determine the loan amount you qualify for.
Issue you with a pre-qualification certificate valid for 90 days.
Apply on your behalf for a bond when you found your dream home.
Negotiate on your behalf with the banks for a better interest rate.
Keep you informed and updated of the application process up to final approval.
Step 4: Find Your Home
So you are pre-approved and ready to begin your search. But how or where do you begin? There are a lot of homes out there and diving in without a guide can become overwhelming and confusing. A great agent will help you more accurately pinpoint homes that fit your criteria. The right home will meet all your important needs, and as many of your additional wants as possible.
Some questions you might ask yourself include:
What amenities are crucial for you and your family?
How much space do I need and why?
Which is more critical: location or size?
Would I be interested in a fixer-upper?
How important is home value appreciation?
Is neighbourhood stability a priority?
Is accessibility to main routes a priority?
What features are not negotiable in your new property?
You'll learn as you look at homes, your priorities will probably adjust along the way.
Step 5: Make an Offer
Once you've found a home you love, the next step is making a compelling offer. It's important to remember that a home is an investment and your agent will give you information on the properties in the neighbourhood to help you ensure you take an informed decision. Look to your agent to explain and guide you through the offer process.
The three basic components of your offer to purchase are price, terms, deposit, transfer and bond costs.
Price is the amount you are willing and able to pay.
Terms cover the suspensive or special conditions as well as the financial and timing factors that will be included in the offer.
Deposit, transfer and bond costs are those costs over and above the bond amount which you qualify for.
Step 6: Perform Due Diligence
Your agent must issue you with a seller declaration form with respect to possible defects known to the seller. This way you'll know what you are getting into before you sign closing papers.
Your main concern is the possibility of structural damage. This can come from water damage, shifting ground, or poor construction when the house was built.
Very often the damage or problem appear to be big, but can be fixed or rectified with very little effort and not a huge budget.
Step 7: Close
Once you've made your offer, you're in the "home" stretch! But, in order to ensure that you don't put your closing date, or your mortgage at risk, you have a few pre-closing responsibilities that you'll need to be mindful of.
Staying in control of your credit and finances. Do not make any large purchases during this time. The financial institution will re-evaluate your financial situation and this will affect the amount you were pre-approved for. It's best to talk to your financial consultant first.
Keeping in touch with your agent and financial consultant, returning all phone calls and completing paperwork promptly.
Communicating with your agent at least once or twice a week and verifying with your financial consultant that all mortgage funding steps are completed.
Step 8: Protect Your Investment
Congratulations, and welcome home! The home-buying process is complete, but just like any big process, there's a maintenance plan! It's now your responsibility, and in your best financial interest, to protect your investment for years to come. Performing routine maintenance on your home's systems is always more affordable than having to fix big problems later. Be sure to watch for signs of leaks, damage, and wear.
And remember, just because the sale is complete, your relationship with your agent doesn't need to end! After closing, your agent can still help you - providing information on the real estate market, finding contractors and repair services, and even tracking your home's current market value.