Deciding to buy a home is a monumental step in anyone’s life. After all, purchasing property often represents one of the largest financial transactions a person will make in their lifetime. So how can you prepare for this major event?
Doing your homework, knowing your options, and getting the right help can go a long way in making the home-buying process as smooth as possible. We’ve outlined a few key steps to get you started.
Get Comfortable With The B-Word
Budgets. No one likes to think about them but when you’re buying a house, you need to have one. This is when you sit down and honestly assess your finances. Income, debt, monthly obligations… everything needs to be accounted for.
Once you’ve got an idea of where you stand, you’ll be better prepared to figure out how much house you can comfortably afford.
Connect With A Pro
Finding the right real estate agent is no easy feat. This is the person who’s going to help you find your dream home so be sure to choose wisely. Ask for recommendations and take the time to interview a few agents until you find someone that you feel comfortable with.
Be honest with your agent. Tell them what you’re looking for, how much you can afford to spend, and what your deal makers (or breakers) are. The more they know, they more they can help.
Figure Out The Financials
Tempting as it may be, starting the house-hunting process before dealing with a mortgage can be a one-way street to disappointment. Before you start browsing the listings, reach out to a mortgage broker for help. They’ll be able to explain your options, talk about what best suits your needs, and walk you through the application process.
There are lots of mortgage options out there, each with its own perks and drawbacks. Getting an expert’s guidance can help ensure you find the one that’s right for you.
Prepare For The Hunt
Now comes the fun part! Whether you’ve been envisioning your dream house since childhood or are relatively new to the idea, you need to know what you’re looking for. It can help to make a list that outlines things you want, things you need, and things that you absolutely want to avoid in a home.
Consider your current needs but also think about the future. Are kids a factor? If so, you might want to think about schools. Do you have pets? A fenced in-yard or nearby parks could be important. Consider your tolerance for busy streets, the proximity to neighbours, and nearby shops and amenities.
While it’s unlikely that you’ll find a place that checks off every box on your list, at least you’ll know where to start looking.
Team Up With A Lawyer
Lawyers often get relegated to the last step in the home-buying process. However, getting one on board sooner rather than later can help you avoid stress and complications from the get-go. A seasoned real estate lawyer will help you identify potential problems, look over offers, and make sure that everything checks out before you commit.
When it comes to real estate transactions, short cuts rarely pay off. The right lawyer will take the time to walk you through every step of the process and make sure that you’re confident and comfortable before any decisions are made.