Buying Your First Home!
The wedding is over! The big day has come and gone and your expecting your first child!
You both make good salaries and the apartment seems very small to you now. You have saved up a little money for a possible down payment. But the question is what can you afford?
Where to begin? The first place to begin is to speak to your bank or a mortgage broker. They will probably ask you to provide T4s, or a salary letter confirming your income. They will also ask you about what debts you may have. Do you owe anything to the government? They will also do a credit check on you to see if you are paying your bills on time! Once this is done they will say based on what you have provided you can afford to buy a home up to X amount of dollars. This is called a pre approval. Everyone should be pre approved before they begin their search for a home!
Once you know approximately the amount that you can afford the next step is for you to decide what area and what type of home you should look for.
Most people begin their search on the internet. There are numerous sites that you can investigate but the best site seems to be realtor.ca which is basically the mls system (multiple listing service) that real estate agents use. This is a public site that mirrors the agent’s site. You can research, see virtual tours of homes for sale in the comfort of your home. There is a wealth of information available to the public.
You may start your search also by visiting open houses on a Saturday or Sunday. This is a tedious process because you may not know the price of homes that you are visiting. They may be very nice homes but are not in your price range.
The best way to find a home is to work with a real estate agent. Interview several real estate agents that either were referred to you by family or friends or someone you may have met at an open house that you have visited previously.
It is very important to feel comfortable with the agent that you are considering. You can ask for references and phones numbers and ask to speak to previous clients. If you feel confident with that person you can then hire them to find you a home. This is called a Buyers Representation Agreement (BRA). The great thing is you usually pay nothing for this service. This service is usually paid by the seller but this may change in the near future.
You got your real estate agent and your ready to begin your search in earnest. The real estate agent will set you up to receive automatic e mail notifications to alert you when a property comes up that meet your requirements. The agent may also send out a notification inquiring if anyone in a specific area is thinking about selling. They are available to show you homes at times that are convenient to you. They are available by phone, e mail, in person to answer any questions that you may have. A real estate agent who promptly returns e mails and phone calls is already a step above everyone else!
Steve Gerlock has been selling residential real estate for the past 30 years. On average he has sold one home per week for the past 30 years! He works with his wife Sheila and his full time associate Leslie Tokayer. Steve can be reached directly at 416.399.2734 He returns his phone calls and e mails promptly!
Remember Steve Gerlock 'A HouseSold Name'