Get a Pre-Approval
There are several reasons to get a mortgage pre-approval. First of all, it will ensure you are not looking at homes outside of your budget. There is nothing worse than viewing homes you cannot afford because by the time you see homes that actually fit your budget, you’ll be bitterly disappointed. Remember, your first or second home will likely not have all of the features of your dream home. However, by getting on the property ladder you’ll be a step closer to it. Each time you upgrade in the market you’ll be able to capitalize on the equity you’ve been building by paying down your mortgage.
Secondly, it greatly improves your negotiating power. With a pre-approval in place, a seller will know you are serious and organized. This often means you’ll be able to negotiate a better price. It also improves your position when attempting to purchase a hot property that might be subject to multiple bids. Knowing you are organized and able to meet financing conditions quickly will potentially make your offer more attractive than your competition.
Lastly and perhaps most important, a pre-approval and a conversation with a skilled mortgage specialist will ensure you do not exceed your means. Limit your budget so your budget doesn’t limit your lifestyle.
Include of all your decision makers
This is especially important for first time home buyers. Often, parents or relatives will want to be there for you to help you make your decision and give you advice when buying or selling a home. This is fantastic!
However, it is important to keep in mind that by the time you have chosen a house, you will know more about the market than most of your support network who may not have bought a house for years. If your advisors only see the house you have already chosen, they will likely question the decision based on nothing more than wanting the very best for you. Yet, their point of view at that time might not be the most realistic. If you know there will be people helping you make a decision, include them in the whole process so they get the same overview of the market that you do. At the very least, show them your top three choices. They need to see the homes you’ve seen so that when you do decide on the one for you, they’ll understand why.
Always get a home inspection
It doesn’t matter if you are buying a home that is 30 years old or a brand new one. Investing in a home inspection can pay for itself many times over. Even if the inspector doesn’t find anything wrong with the home, you’ll have peace of mind that you are purchasing a well-maintained property without any major deficiencies. Home inspectors can uncover major problems and it also offers you the opportunity to renegotiate the price based on deficiencies that arise.
Once you have found your home, stop looking
This happens all of the time and can often be referred to as “buyer’s remorse”. You find the perfect home and decide to write an offer which gets accepted. Then the very next day, a more perfect home hits the market. The grass is not always greener. The home you chose will have fit your criteria and would have offered good value in comparison to everything else you looked at. Homes are listed all of the time and if you continually wait for the next best deal, you’ll never make a decision to purchase or you’ll regret it when you do. Focus on your criteria and find a home that meets your needs. Then stop looking, knowing that you have already made the best decision based on what was available.
We help home buyers navigate all the challenges of buying a home in the HRM. If you are interested in learning more about the real estate market and the home buying process, let us know and we’ll send you our Home Buying Toolkit.
Buying a home doesn’t need to be stressful, with us you’ll enjoy getting on the property ladder. You’ll know you are making an intelligent investment that will be financially rewarding in the years to come.
Chris Perkins, Real Estate Consultant
(902) 210 1223