Guide for First Time Buyers

Choosing to buy a home is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make in your life. It is also one of the most expensive purchases you will ever make.

 
It will require a lot of time, energy and research, which is why it is always wise to hire a  REALTOR® to make it a stress free and fun experience. Not to mention it is:


FREE to use a Buyers Agent


Whether looking at resale homes on the MLS, or visiting show homes if you are thinking of a new build. As a REALTOR®, we get paid by the builders and the sellers. 


So why not have a professional on your side? Along with hiring a professional, here are the other things you will need to get ready and in place for the process.



First things first, DOWN PAYMENT. This amount is minimum 5% of the total purchase price of any home you’re planning to buy. However. there are places like condos, that have some restrictions that makes the lenders require 20% down. These can be age restricted buildings, those with no in suite laundry, or some that are in law suits against the original developer for deficiencies. So make sure you know what kind of property it is that you are looking to purchase first. 

Second, you’ll need to meet with a mortgage broker to determine if you can be approved for a mortgage. 

Traditional Banks – If you already have a great rapport with your current bank, this is a good option. Usually you will be able to get pretty good terms on your mortgage.

Mortgage Brokers – They have the most options. They can use most of the major banks, plus many other lenders. They will be your best bet to truly finding the best option for your particular situation.

If you go to your bank or branch, the mortgage advisers there can only sell you the products they have to offer, so it is best to show around for the best rate and program. However, not everyone has the time or the know how to do this. That is when I recommend going with a Licensed Mortgage Specialist. One who can go to any lender and get you the best rates and options. They can then  provide you with the best 3 options to go over and consider. Saves you time and energy and again.........they a are FREE. They get paid from the lender when your mortgage closes. 


Thirdly, now you’ve established a price range, it’s time to decide what type of home will best suit your lifestyle. Think about what is important to you. First should always be LOCATION. Things like access to schools, public transportation, shopping, recreational facilities, commute to and from work, etc. Next should be STYLE of home. Number of bedrooms, bathrooms, parking, etc. Then you can get picky with things like upgrades and decor. I always recommend creating a list. A NEEDS v/s WANTS list.

Now its time to hire a REALTOR® Someone you feel completely comfortable with. Someone that will help you meet your needs, budget and then some wants. Using my property search on this site and consulting with your REALTOR®, you will be able to find homes in your desired area. They’ll update you frequently regarding new listings and schedule  appointments with sellers for you to view. 

Making an offer!!! Your REALTOR® can help you place an offer that the seller will either accept, counter, or reject. Hopefully both parties come to an agreed upon purchase price and the property goes what we call "PENDING". This is normally for 7-10 business days for you to get your financing in place and to conduct a home inspections or review of condo documents of the property. Once this time has been used and all conditions are waived, it will be time to sign mortgage documents and then visit the lawyer to sign the closing documentation. 

Once you have chosen a lawyer, they will be sent the  required paperwork prior to you meeting with them. This will be done by your mortgage specialist and your realtors brokerage to ensure they get everything they need. Meetings with the lawyer  are usually a week or 2 before you take possession. They will instruct you on what to bring. This can range from your insurance information, the balance of your down payment, payment of fees, payment of any adjustments or taxes, etc. Most lawyers do not take debit or credit as payment for their services…so a cheque is best. Find out your fee and ask them the best way to pay them so you are prepared.



Here are a few numbers/ website links of service providers and TIPS on how to prepare for your move.

1. The contract shows possession for 12:00 noon on the BIG DAY! This is usually not the case. It all depends on when the lawyers transfer the funds and when I get the call saying I have “key release”. Then I have to go and pick up the keys to your new home from the sellers real estate brokerage. So normally I am able to meet you at the new home and hand over your keys around 2:00pm. You DO NOT have to take your keys as soon as released. I can always meet you after work or a day or two later depending on your schedule. All it means is the home is officially yours…you can move in whenever is convenient for you. With this being said its important that you do not have utilities,  cable guys or your moving van waiting outside at noon, as they will be waiting until I arrive with key release. It is best to book those for the next day.

2. When it comes to utilities you will need to arrange to have them hooked up for possession day. If purchasing a single family / duplex home where you pay for your own heat and electricity and water/sewer and garbage here are some contacts:

• EPCOR   http://www.epcor.com/Pages/home.aspx 780-310-4300        ELECTRICITY, Water, sewer, garbage! 
• ATCO GAS           http://www.atcogas.com                  780-424-5222               GAS for heat
• SHAW CABLE           http://www.shaw.ca/bundles   1-888-472-2222              Cable, Internet, Home Phone
• TELUS           http://www.telus.com/en/ab/deals     1-888-811-2323              Cable, Internet, Home Phone
• JUST ENERGY         http://www.justenergy.com      1-877-618-9432              GAS AND ELECTRICITY

KEY RELEASE! It's now that great day when congratulations are in order! Possession day! Becoming a new homeowner is one of the most liberating things you’ll ever experience. There are many benefits to home ownership — pride of ownership, the ability to make home improvements, building equity, appreciation — the list goes on.