Find a Realtor You Trust
See Blog re who to trust. Discuss your short & long term goals. i.e. want to buy within the next 3 months? Will this plan to be your forever home? or starter home? What neighbourhood or school district might you want to buy into? What are these homes selling for currently? Compare schools with the Fraser Report, Check out convenience with the Walking Score. Look at places of worship, Parks & Recreation sign ups, local gyms, pools, skating rinks, curling; all to get the big picture what you want to live near. Ask for a copy of the latest Market Watch Report, to compare neighbourhood price increases. Check out the Canadian Mortgage & Housing Corporation, a useful government resource. Call or search 311 Toronto online if you are new to the city, or want to understand, for instance, who to contact re zoning questions.
Before you start going to open houses, know what you can afford. Unless you are paying all cash, as your Realtor, I will provide you with recommendations for a Mortgage Broker to suit your specific needs in obtaining a loan.
Provide the Paperwork your Mortgage Broker requires, and make sure your credit history is accurate.
Take note that a buyer does not want to buy to the maximum of what they are approved for. You will need cushion for maintenance, day care costs, new curtains, and other costs not factored in.
Budget & Prep for purchase
Together, with your financial advisor & your chosen Realtor, you will want to explore how your income, expenses, & debts Determine how much you can afford. You may find value in a budgeting app like Mint.
Calculate what total monthly payments you are able to make (mortgage payments, maintenance fees, heat, hydro, taxes etc), be sure to factor in all your expenses when deciding what you can afford. Of course, you also need to be sure you have enough saved for the down payment.
Check out these blog posts to learn more about financially preparing for your first home purchase and saving for your down payment.
- Important sit down to connect with your Realtor about who you are, how you like to communicate, and to learn how your Realtor can work best with you.
- Take time to learn how you can be prepared and thus quickly responsive when together you find the property you want to offer on. Don't wait until you find the dream home, as it may be bought by someone else before your offer can be ready; connect with your Realtor so all the paperwork will be in place first.
- Bring your needs vs wants list, and your questions.
- CMHC is a trusted online resource to compliment your conversations with your Realtor, with many questions to focus your search. i.e. buy a lot and build new (new home added HST cost vs maintenance on resale home)
- What is your deadline to be in your new place? Have you decided on a local area you prefer? school district?
- Specific items to fit i.e. baby grand piano? or nanny suite needed? 2 garage parking spots? condo locker a must? condo pet restrictions?
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Work with your Realtor to find the Perfect Neighborhood
- Location. Location. Location.
- As your Realtor, I can help you find the neighborhood that fits your budget and lifestyle, and discuss the many variables i.e., Toronto District School Board, Toronto Catholic District School Board , private school options, compare schools with sources like the Fraser Report, walking score, places of worship, parks & program sign ups, exercise.
- I can also provide you insight into which up and coming neighborhoods will provide you the greatest return on your investment over time.
- If you are new to Toronto, phoning 311 or searching 311 Toronto online can be your best friend to answering questions about the city.
Look at Homes & Make an Offer
Make a check list of homes seen. Rate them for comparison. A checklist will make sure you don't miss important items on your wants /needs list. Marie preps the paperwork in advance. You Read it over, so an offer can happen quickly when the right place presents itself. If presenting your offer in person is not possible, I sometimes ask my clients to put together a 1 page "intro to the family /couple /etc." to forward with the offer. Trust the negotiating to Marie.
Congrats ... you have a signed offer ... but you are not quite done.
Sold conditional on home inspection & financing?
- Confirm booking with moving, vehicle rental, any helpers or babysitters you have arranged.
- A few days before closing, the Lawyer will call you in to sign the final papers.
- You will do the last home visit, to see that it looks on closing as it did when sold to you, that all is in working order, and that debris has been removed from the home.
- When you get the call (usually later in the day), you can pick up the key as arranged.
- Go immediately to the property and check all appliances for working condition on closing day.