10 Easy Steps to Purchase Your First Home

  1. Make a list of things you expect to have in your home or things that you need. Then make a list of things that you’re willing to compromise on.

  2. Book an appointment at your bank or mortgage broker and find out what kind of a financial positon you’re in.They will want to do a credit bureau check on you to find out what your debt load is.There are specific guidelines that must be followed in order to get you approved. They will ask for proof of employment, tax information and proof of down payment. You have the right to be pre-approved by the lender (in writing). This will guaranty the lowest interest rate and will give you a time line to work with.

  3. After you have been pre-approved focus on the different types of mortgages that are available. It’s very important to know what your time lines are and when you think you may want to upgrade or downsize. Situations like job postings, transfers and promotions can impact you greatly.

  4. Discuss closing costs with your lender, lawyer and realtor. First time buyers get a huge break on Land Transfer Tax and there are lenders out there that will pick up the cost of the Appraisal or give you Cash Back of Closing. There are also situations where the Seller may offer a “Decorating Bonus”.

  5. Find a realtor that you can trust. Don’t hire the first sales rep that you come across. Trust your friends or family to recommend a trustworthy person to represent you. Find your own rep that has your best interests at heart.

  6. Have your sales rep go through all the forms that you’ll be signing as well as the Offer to Purchase.Know what you are signing and why you’re signing it.Go through all the expected clauses and time frames. Understand absolutely everything about the process before you start your search.

  7. Remember there are Privacy Laws to follow and that you’re entitled to a copy of everything that you sign.

  8. Search for a Home Inspector and Real Estate Lawyer before you start. Ask them what their fees are and what they will be doing for you. (This will also be explained by your sales rep as well.)

  9. If you’re purchasing a condo, know all there is to know about the Status Certificate and Financial reports. Have your lawyer order a copy of the documents and have them go over every detail on your behalf. There are times when the financial status of the condo corporation is not healthy and you don’t want to find out about a Special Assessment after you’ve taken possession. The cost is usually $100.00 and it gives your lawyer an opportunity to advise you. Make sure that there is a provision in the Offer to Purchase that allows 10 days for your lawyer to be satisfied with their findings. If not, you have an opportunity to re-think your options

  10. Make sure there’s a provision in the Offer to Purchase to complete a final “walk through” before closing date. This gives you an opportunity to double check the condition of the property. If there is damage to the property or it’s been vandalized the lawyers can sort it out beforehand.