Purchasing a home is one of the biggest financial decisions you will make in your life. It’s important to be prepared and know what to expect. Here are five things you need to do in order to successfully buy your next home, whether it's your first home or your forever home:
1. Determine your budget - It's important to know how much you can afford before you even begin house hunting. This will help keep you focused and save you time when looking at homes in your price range. If you require a mortgage you'll need to get pre-approved first in order to determine what your potential budget actually is. Getting pre-approved will also give you an idea of how much you can borrow and what your monthly payments might be. You'll also want to think about what you can afford in terms of a monthly mortgage and all other household costs (i.e. strata fee, property tax, insurance, maintenance, etc.). Just because you're preapproval is high, doesn't necessarily mean you want your month-to-month mortgage to be. For a lot of people, it's prudent to think about what you can comfortably afford in terms of a monthly mortgage, and this will often lead to a smaller budget than what your preapproval looks like. Alternatively, if you're buying in cash, you'll want to assess how much money you have and how much you feel comfortable spending.
2. Create a wish list - What amenities are important to you in a home? A big backyard, an extra bedroom, or a home office? Having a list of must-haves and deal breakers will help you narrow down your search. It will also give you a sense of whether or not your budget aligns with your needs or if you need to consider other options (i.e. adjusting your budget or your requirements). If you rank your requirements, this can give you a sense of what's most important to you, and it's possible that your ranking may change as you start to look at different properties and get a feel for what each home could be like.
3. Start your search - Once you have your budget and wish list set, it's time to start looking at potential homes. Use online resources like real estate listings and home buying guides to find the perfect home. If you have an agent they can set up a custom listing search for you which will speed up the process. Then when you see a property that looks like it fits your needs ask your agent to book a showing and go check it out.
4. Work with a real estate agent - Buying a home can be a complex process, so it's important to work with a trustworthy and dedicated agent. They can set you up on a listing search, keep an eye out for properties that fit your needs and advise you on how to approach each opportunity. The advice and expertise your realtor can provide is probably the most important aspect of the value they provide. They can help you ask the right questions, cover all of your bases for inspecting your property, advise you on what properties to consider and which ones to avoid, and help you write an offer and negotiate on your behalf. Plus, if you are buying a home, in most cases the seller pays the commission for both sides of the transaction (listing and buying agent). So, having the advice and guidance of a skilled real estate agent is typically free for buyers.
5. Close on your home - Once you've found the perfect home and your offer has been accepted, it's time to close on the deal. This process can take some time, so be patient. Your real estate agent will be with you every step of the way to ensure everything goes smoothly. A good agent will keep you informed on each step and what to do next, from removing conditions, to making a deposit, to coordinating lawyers, to taking possession.
Congratulations, you're now a homeowner! Buying a home is an exciting and rewarding experience. By following these five steps, you can help ensure that your next home purchase will be successful and stress-free. Good luck!
I am a Victoria based local realtor with eXp Realty. My commitment to honesty, integrity, loyalty and hard work have been important pillars for me because they drive a high standard of excellent service for my clients. Helping you realize your dream is my goal!
I service Vancouver Island, but my focus is on: Victoria, Sooke, Saanich, Malahat, Shawnigan Lake, Cobble Hill, Duncan, and the rest of the Cowichan Valley.