November 26, 2020

The Official Guide to House Hunting You Didn’t Know You Needed

There’s more to house-hunting than just going to a few open houses, although getting to know the market in advance is not a bad idea. Before you become a serious “House Hunter,” there are some important things to consider. Whether this is your first house or you have just sold an existing home and now need to find your next home, this will be a helpful guide to ensure you’re ready. The following tips will make house hunting a smooth process. Well…as smooth as possible.

Team Building: Finding Your Real Estate Help

Now’s the time to start assembling your real estate team. These are the professionals whose expert knowledge will help focus your house hunt, seal the deal, and get you the keys to your first home.

It’s important to find the right REALTOR® for you. After all, this is a huge decision and having a real estate agent on your team will be a big help. The right REALTOR® will get to know both you personally and professionally, so they fully understand not only your financial goals, but also your plans and how you intend to live in the home.

Mortgage Specialist works for a lending institution, while an Independent Mortgage Broker is unaffiliated with any one lender. In either case, as a key member of your team, they will walk you through your different mortgage options. Ultimately, it is your mortgage broker or specialist who will determine how much home you can afford. They will provide you with a pre-approval that you can take to your REALTOR® to start your house hunting off with realistic expectations.

Real Estate Lawyers will review the purchase agreement, help negotiate modifications, prepare closing documents, do crucial research on the property and liens, and fact-check legal descriptions of the building and lot. They will also collect, hold, and disburse fees associated with buying a property. Therefore, they are a crucial part of your Team.

Lastly, a good Home Inspector can save you money and stress by identifying problems in a property before you buy. These issues may have you revising your offer or rescinding it altogether.

Before the Hunt Begins

Finding the right home for your budget can be a process. Your REALTOR® will utilize their understanding of your specific situation to help you search for homes that best fit your lifestyle. They’ll save you time by filtering through listings that do not meet your desired criteria.

Some key items to discuss with your Real Estate Agent before you begin hunting:

Size & Space – consider spatial needs now and in three to five years’ time
Lifestyle – consider indoor and outdoor maintenance and upkeep
Community – consider school catchment areas, proximity to amenities etc.
Transportation – consider parking, proximity to public transit, walk-ability, bike-friendliness and travel time to your work
Recreation – consider distance to trails, parks, and rec centres

Start Hunting

Ready to kick off your house hunt? Let your team know since you need to be ready to pounce when the right house comes up. Your REALTOR® will provide information about the markets you’re interested in and help you compare homes and neighbourhoods. They can also provide access to exclusive listing information, preview properties to ensure you’re only shown homes that meet your needs and budget, and make appointments to walk you through homes that interest you.

Buy a Home

Once you’ve found the right home it’s time to let your team take over.

Your REALTOR® moves from Counselor / Analyst / Shopping Assistant to the Negotiator / Administrator, ensuring your transaction goes as smoothly as possible. They will bring together all information, using their expertise, to compile a market analysis report to assist you in deciding on a competitive purchase price. They will negotiate on your behalf to get you the best possible deal.

Your Home Inspector will then provide you with a Home Inspection Report. The report will assist you and your real estate agent in deciding if the home is sound and the purchase price is appropriate.

Your Mortgage Specialist / Broker will prepare your loan documents.

Your Real Estate Lawyer will now begin the legal process, facilitating the transaction.

Whew! That’s a lot to throw at you. But if you follow this guide to house hunting, you will have a great start on your journey to finding your dream home. You’ll find the house you’ve always dreamed of and avoid a purchase you’ll regret. And soon it will be possession day and you can move in!