1. Determine your Budget
Contact a Mortgage Broker
The first step in purchasing a home is to contact a mortgage broker. Your mortgage broker helps determine what your budget will look like, an essential first step in determining the price range of homes to look at. In this initial meet, the mortgage professional will ask for your financial details, including:
- The amount of savings you have.
- The amount of money you have in investments.
- Any other loans or debts you might have.
With these figures, your broker will be able to give an estimation of a realistic budget. You will then receive a pre-qualification of your mortgage, a necessary document in order to understand how much you can afford to start house hunting, and to hire a realtor.
2. Create a Wish List
Decide on your preferences
You have set your budget, and now it’s time to set some standards for what you’re looking for. Think about the lifestyle you live, whether you have kids, pets, or are planning to have them in the future. Think about a desired location, number of bath and bedrooms, as well as home features such as a garage, or fenced backyard. This list will help you prioritize the features and amenities you require, and give your realtor guidelines for what you’re looking for.
3. Start House Hunting
Hire a Realtor
Once you’ve pre-qualified for a mortgage, you will have an estimation of how much you can afford. With this knowledge under your belt, it’s time to find a realtor. A real estate agent will be able to help you determine what type of homes you can afford along with potential locations, and other important features.
When house hunting, create a checklist to determine any malfunctions so you don’t miss anything. This checklist should include:
- Testing the plumbing, i.e. toilets, water pressure, etc.
- Testing the electrical i.e. making sure the outlets work, flicking on and off the lights etc.
Furthermore, it’s important to inspect the surroundings, such as:
- Make sure the other homes on the block are well maintained.
- The amount of street traffic.
- Is there any street parking?
4. Make an Offer
- Make sure the home in a desired location i.e. close to schools, public transportation, shopping centres, etc.
So, you’ve found the right home
Once you’ve decided on a home, contact your mortgage broker to ensure the home is affordable, and realistic. Working with your real estate agent, you will determine a fair offer based on other homes in the neighbourhood, and the condition of the home in question. Once a price is agreed upon, your realtor will then draw up an Offer to Purchase. This legal document includes:
- Any conditions (including a home inspection).
This document is presented to the seller who will decide whether or not to accept the offer. Further price negotiations may continue back and forth between yourself and the seller.
5. Get the Mortgage Ready for Approval
Gather financial documents
You’ve already pre-qualified for a mortgage, so the next step is to be approved. Along with the signed Offer to Purchase, your mortgage broker will require certain financial information such as:
- Verification of your down payment.
- Proof of income i.e. pay stubs, T4 slips, income tax returns, etc.
- Other sources of income i.e. rental properties, pension, part-time work etc.
- Consent to run a credit history report.
- Other documents may be required.
Those who are self-employed may have different requirements, learn more about self-employed mortgages.
6. Get Mortgage Approval & Satisfy Conditions
Let’s get moving!
In order to finalize your offer, you must work to remove the conditions. The most important condition is the financing of your purchase. Your mortgage provider will complete your mortgage application which may require additional information. Your mortgage provider will also obtain an appraisal to determine that the actual value of the home is enough to back your loan.
Once the mortgage is financed, a home inspection will be conducted by a third party to ensure the home is in good standing. If the home inspection reveals any significant material damage, you can renegotiate the purchase price, or retract the offer without penalty. If you are purchasing a condo, the documents will be reviewed at this time to ensure the condominium corporation is in good financial standing and has a healthy reserve fund for any future repairs or improvements.
7. Accepting / Signing Mortgage Approval
Decide on your Loan Agreement
Once you are approved for your mortgage, a meeting between you and your broker will be conducted where you will choose the loan agreement. After revising this loan agreement, and determining the best option, you will sign it and be approved for your mortgage.
8. Finalize Offer
Once the loan has been agreed upon, the offer accepted and conditions satisfied, the offer will be finalized. It’s time to proceed with the purchase by signing waivers and firming up the offer.
9. Sign with a Lawyer
Completing the Paperwork
A few days before the close of sale, you will meet with your lawyer to review the paperwork and ensure the title transfer is ready. After reviewing and signing the documents, you will get copies that show you as the rightful owner of the home. In this step, you will also provide your lawyer with the proper insurance documents that protect your home against damages. At this time, you will pay legal fees and any additional costs that are due upon closing such as condo fees.
10. Take possession of your home
Getting the Keys
The hard part is over, and it’s time to pick up the keys to your new home. At this time, the lawyers of both parties will exchange documents, and cheques to finalize the purchase. Finally, you will receive the deed to your home and you’re ready to move in. Congratulations!
Now that you know how to purchase a home, the process isn’t as scary as it seemed at first, right? By following these steps, and heeding the advice of the experts you surround yourself with, the mortgage process and everything that goes into actually buying a home will run smoothly.
Tim’s many years of experience means that not only is he an expert in the mortgage field, he also knows how to purchase a home like the back of this hand. Being a homeowner himself, Tim has an emphasis on helping his clients understand the mortgage process, and ensure they get the best mortgage option for their situation, along with understand every step in buying a home.