People get excited over the notion of home-ownership and immediately hop onto Realtor.ca and start searching, dreaming, bookmarking their favourites – really having no concept of where to go from there to complete the process – or even how to get started for that matter!
First thing’s first – get pre-approved for a mortgage. Even if you don’t plan to buy within the year, this is hands down the top advice you should take! You need a starting point. You wouldn’t go buy a car without knowing how much money you have to spend on it, right?
Once you know what you can currently afford, you can start checking out what is available in that price range. This is so important to know so that you can tweak your search criteria, explore different neighbourhoods, decide on a condo apartment or the potential of a townhouse. And if nothing fits your needs within your allotted budget, you need to step back and look at your finances.
This all sounds daunting, doesn’t it? Well, that is why professionals are here to help! Talk to your bank – they all have specialists on hand who can look at your income, savings and assets and not just tell you what you can afford, but also what you can do to grow, save and make the most of your money so that you can work toward that dream home.
Alternatively, you can speak to an independent Mortgage Broker. A good one will be super knowledgeable in all the same areas that your banker would be, but the big difference is that they have access to price shop on your behalf from a variety of lenders. Your bank can only advise you on products that they provide, with no comparable variations. Best part about all of this is that whichever route you choose, nothing is coming out of your pocket! Bank mortgage specialists get paid by the bank, and Mortgage Brokers are paid by whichever lender you choose to use through them. So, there is nothing to lose and everything to gain by having your finances in order before even stepping foot into a potential home.
Have you already called your bank? Good! Now let’s continue with the benefits of using a great realtor…
In this digital day and age, buyers have so many tools at their fingertips and are far more informed than their counterparts of even just 10 years ago. But this is also an era of quick-moving, competitive home selling, so doing your own searches on Realtor.ca may leave you frustrated when your ideal condo sells in a bully offer before you even have the chance to hit up the open house.
That is where your Real Estate agent is an invaluable asset. They have access to listings literally the moment they are posted to MLS (Realtor.ca doesn’t get them until about 24 hours later) and can book an appointment to get you in to see it that very same day. Also of benefit, your realtor will set you up on a prospect search so that you’ll get emails daily with all the newest listings hitting the market. Call me to talk about your options – I can recommend great financial specialists to help you get the ball rolling on your new home search!
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