← Go back Eight Steps to Buying Your First Home
Published on Saturday, August 13, 2016 by

Familypacking_240Your family is growing, and you’ve decided to trade up and finally gain a foothold in the Lower Mainland’s rising housing market. Purchasing a property is one of the biggest buying decisions that you’ll make, and there’s much to consider: What kind of neighbourhood do you want your kids to grow up in? What are the nearby schools like?  How much time will it take to commute to work?

It can all be a bit overwhelming. Add that to the several steps involved with buying your first home, and you may feel intimidated. While it’s true that there are many details to buying a home, the process doesn’t have to be difficult if you know what to expect.

Knowledge and preparation (especially in Vancouver’s competitive real estate market) are the keys to a smooth home-buying process. Being well-prepared  reduces your stress and allows you to actually enjoy your home hunt!

Here is an overview of the main steps to buying your first home:

Step 1: Get your Mortgage Pre-Approval
It is crucial to know what you can afford before you start shopping for your new home. Knowing how much you can afford makes your search more efficient because you won’t waste time looking at homes that are out of your range.

Secondly, in today’s fast-paced market where many properties are selling within days of listing, your mortgage pre-approval puts you in a better position to make an offer.

Thirdly, when you talk to your lender about your mortgage pre-approval, you will learn about your lender’s requirements before you can make an offer.

Step 2: Make a Wish List of your Must-Haves and Deal-Breakers
What location do you like? How big do you want your home to be (i.e., number of bedrooms or square feet). What kinds of restrictions matter to you (i.e., do you have a pet that you will want to bring with you?). The list is just a starting point that can change as you begin looking at homes.

Step 3: Shop Around
This is the fun part! The goal here is to look at properties, neighbourhoods and go to as many open houses in the area you want to live in.

Step 4: Make an Offer / Include Subject Causes
Your real estate agent will help you determine a fair market value of the property you are interested in buying. Recent comparable sales in the same or a similar neighbourhood will give you an idea of market value so you can make an informed offer. In today’s market, don’t be surprised if you have to pay more than the asking price.

Purchasing a home can involve specific subjects that set out a specific condition which must be fulfilled before the sale can go through, such as “subject to financing” or “subject to inspection”.

Step 5: Do Your Due Diligence
Once your offer is accepted, your realtor will guide you through this step. Doing your due diligence includes having a satisfactory professional building inspection, reviewing strata documents and getting final approval from your mortgage lender.

Step 6: Remove Subjects
When you’re satisfied with all the work, you’ve done in Step 5, you can proceed with your purchase and remove subjects. With subject removal, you will need to submit your initial deposit, which is usually a bank draft of about 5% of the purchase price (up to $500,000), held in trust by your realtor’s brokerage.

Step 7: Complete the Sales
Once you’ve submitted your subject removal, you can choose a lawyer or notary to perform the conveyance. Your lawyer or notary will disburse funds to pay the seller as well as the register title in your name. He/she will also make adjustments to ensure that you and the seller each pay your prorated share of any costs like property tax and maintenance fees.

Step 8: Moving In
Home Sweet Home! Your realtor helps you to obtain the keys to your new home, and now it’s time to move in! Welcome to your new home and happy unpacking.

Emma was born and raised in Vancouver and is the mom to two children. As a realtor, her knowledge of the Lower Mainland provides a huge benefit to her clients. With over 20 years’ experience in marketing, sales and entrepreneurship, she is passionate about helping families with their next move. www.teamberg.ca

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