House Hunting Tips
With spring comes the desire for some to get out and work in the garden ….. planning a new flower bed, checking out the local garden centers, locating the perfect flowers or bushes, preparing the bed and planting their finds ….. For others, spring is the time they get the urge to go shopping for their dream home.
Just as the gardener plans and prepares so should the spring time homebuyer. There may be more homes for sale in the spring but it also brings out the largest numbers of buyers looking to find the home and garden of their dreams.
It is a very competitive market out there this year so hunting for that perfect house will likely be challenging. Preparation is going to be a key factor in ensuring your success.
You’ve probably already spent some time on the internet looking at some of the housing options that are available and now you are ready to go out and buy that dream home
….. Just remember house hunting in the spring market with out the help of a Realtor® is like starting to hunt for Easter Eggs the day after Easter
Tip #1 Get Your Finances In Order
Make sure you know how much you can afford – – get pre qualified ….. talk to your bank or local mortgage broker (they are not limited to one lender and can often get you better terms and conditions than your bank will offer you) – – make sure you have the down payment easily available – – know what your closing costs and moving costs are likely to be – – if you have a home to sell talk to your lender about bridge financing options.
Tip #2 Make A List Of Your Wants And Needs
The Ferris Property Group suggests you “Make a list of wants/needs to help you identify what you MUST have and what you’d LIKE to have but could live without. Share this list with your Realtor® so he/she only shows you houses that include your wants. If you know you MUST have 4 bedrooms, there’s no reason to look at 2 bedroom bungalows. If you know you want a condo, there’s no reason to view single family homes. Narrowing in on what you really want will save time and energy. You won’t waste time viewing houses that don’t fit your needs.”
Tip #3 Know Where You Want To Go
Emotions can run pretty high when you are house hunting but don’t let them rule when it comes time to buy. You can always alter the home but you can’t change the location. Take a bit of time to scout out the neighbourhoods you would consider living in; determine how long it will take to drive to work during rush hour, check out the local shops and service you might need, do a walk around in the evening or right after school, talk to people who already live in the neighbourhood. Know which neighbourhoods you’d like to live in and keep your home search focused on these
Tip #4 Don’t Expect Perfection
Focus on the right quality. Not buying a home because you didn’t like the blue paint in the master bedroom or the carpet does not go with your furniture might mean you missed out on the home that was perfect for you. Focus on the features, focus on what it offers that can not be easily changed not on things that are changeable. Viewing properties should never be a frustrating ordeal. It’s my job to help make the process easy and productive for you, so you can find the home you want.
TIP #5: Pick a Realtor®
Finding the perfect house takes time and effort. A Realtor® has tools to help you with your home search that are not available to the general public. A good Realtor® will listen to your needs, wants and desires and take that information to find options for you within your price range. They will also be able to provide recommendations for other professionals you may need such as mortgage lenders, home inspectors and lawyers. In addition to negotiating on your behalf your Realtor® will ensure that all the necessary paperwork is completed within the right time constraints.
TIP #6: Understand Why Your Offer May Be Rejected
In a hot market such as the one we are in today there are often many buyers looking at and offering on the same homes. It goes with out saying that only one offer can be accepted and if you want it to be yours you need to understand why your offer may be rejected. There are few bargains in a hot spring market so offering thousands less than the asking price is usually out of the question. If your offer is conditional on financing the seller is going to want to know that you are pre-qualified and may even ask for proof of same. Most sellers don’t want to accept an offer that is conditional on you selling your existing home so prior to looking at homes, arrange interim financing that is not dependent on the sale of your home. While we highly recommend you get a home inspection some sellers won’t accept an offer with any conditions…. but we can usually still get the inspection done.
Who to let know that You Are Moving
Making The Offer
A Sample Ontario Real Estate Forms