Buying A Home: The Basics

Whether you are a first-time home buyer or experienced in the real estate market, there are many things to consider when buying a new home:

As your realtor, my priority is to help you prepare your home for sale so that you receive the best possible price for your property. Using my unique 15-step plan, I will develop customized marketing strategies for your home, as well as leverage the connections of the Sage Real Estate  brand, to ensure we sell your home for the best price and as quickly as possible. By combining this service advantage with my strong reputation and proven sales track record, I am confident we will attract the best offers for your home. Thinking of selling your home? Below are some important things to consider…

 

Whether you are a first-time home buyer or experienced in the real estate market, there are many things to consider when buying a new home; it’s far more than just bricks and mortar. Let me help you assess the factors that are most important to you in your home search. My unique Buyer Action Plan features over 18-steps to help ensure you find your perfect property, at the right price and within a reasonable amount of time.
THE FIRST STEPS YOU CAN TAKE TO START THE HOME BUYING PROCESS

1. SELECT AN AGENT:

Buying a home is one of the most important financial transactions you will make in your lifetime, so getting an expert to help you with the process will save you time, money and aggravation. As your agent, it is my job to communicate with you on a regular basis, assist you in finding the right home for your needs, and get you the best value possible. You can be confident that you have a professional committed to taking care of your best interests.

2. SIGN A BUYER REPRESENTATION AGREEMENT:

Enjoy some peace of mind knowing that your best interests will be protected by signing a Buyer Representation Agreement. This document clearly defines how your agent will work for you and how they will protect you during the home buying process. As a buyer, there are no costs to you, so using an agent to assist in your search offers peace of mind. As a professional real estate agent, I leverage my expertise and negotiation skills to help my clients find the right house and support their search from beginning to end.

3. FIND A NEIGHBOURHOOD:

Understanding where you want to live and evaluating neighbourhoods is a critical part of the home buying process. For those interested in the GTA, the following will provide you with some insight into some of the city’s most popular neighbourhoods.

4. FINANCING:

It is essential to determine what you can afford before starting the home buying process. Contact your bank or a mortgage broker to obtain a mortgage [tippy title=”pre-approval” height=”150″ width=”550″]Involves completing your mortgage applications and credit check in advance of your home buying search. When a bank or lender provides you with pre-approval and/or rate hold, it means that they have agreed (based on the information provided) to provide you with a mortgage in the pre-approved amount. This process enables you to know how much home you can afford, know what your payments will be and most importantly, be ready to make an offer as soon as you find the right home.[/tippy] and to secure an interest rate. Doing this in advance will help in the long-run when you are ready to make an offer. It is critical to use a credible, licensed Mortgage Broker for your mortgage transactions. Please contact me for some reputable brokers.

 

WHY WORK WITH JEN?

I am passionate about helping my clients find their perfect home and am committed to simplifying their real estate experience. I am a full-service agent who will guide you through each phase of the home buying process. My unique Buyer Action Plan features over 18-steps to help ensure you find your perfect property, at the right price and within a reasonable amount of time.

 

 

MARKET CONDITIONS

The real estate market is always changing and understanding current market conditions and how they can affect your position as a buyer are essential. Let me share what’s actually happening in the market place vs. what the media might be saying. By staying up to date on the ever changing conditions I’m able to help you make the most informed decision. And making an informed decision means it will be a confident decision. Contact me to chat some more about this.

 

 

FIND MY DREAM HOME

There is nothing more satisfying than helping my clients find that perfect property. I have an amazing ability to know when the house is right for my client from the moment we walk in the door. Contact me today and let me help you find your dream home!

 

 

LAND-TRANSFER TAX CALCULATOR

All home buyers in Ontario are required to pay a land transfer tax when they purchase a property (condo or home). The amount you have to pay depends on the price of your property as well as if you are a first time home buyer or not. This link offers a quick reference, however the real estate lawyer will provide the final number to you.

 

 

MORTGAGE INFORMATION

 

A mortgage is a loan, generally used to buy a property. How much you pay depends on how much you borrow (the principal), the loan’s interest rate, and how long you take to pay it back (the amortization period).

 

Do not be afraid to negotiate interest rates and mortgage terms with different lenders. They are offering you a product and talking to more than one lender helps you make an informed decision.

 

WHAT TYPE OF MORTGAGE IS BEST FOR YOU?

 

• Fixed rate mortgages: Your interest rate is locked in for a specified period called a term. Your payments stay the same for the mortgage’s term so you will not pay more if interest rates increase over time.

 

• Variable rate mortgages: Rate of interest you pay may change if rates go up or down.

 

• Conventional mortgages: Require a down payment of more than 20% of the property’s value. You are not required to get mortgage default insurance with a conventional mortgage.

 

• Closed mortgages: The mortgage cannot be paid off early without paying a prepayment charge.

 

• Open mortgages: A mortgage that can be paid off at any time during the term, without having to pay a charge. The interest rate for an open mortgage may be higher than for a closed mortgage with the same term.

 

WHAT MORTGAGE FEATURES ARE BEST FOR YOU?

 

• Portable mortgages: If you sell your existing home, you can transfer your mortgage to your new home while keeping your existing interest rate. You may be able to avoid prepayment charges by porting your mortgage.

 

• Prepayment privileges: You can make lump sum prepayments or increase your monthly payments without having to pay a charge. This can help you pay off your mortgage quicker and save on interest charges.

 

HOW OFTEN CAN YOU MAKE YOUR PURCHASES?

 

• By switching from monthly payments to accelerated weekly or biweekly payments, you can pay off your mortgage faster. Explore your options for mortgage payments and see how much interest you could save by using FCAC’s Mortgage Calculator Tool at: www.fcac-acfc.gc.ca.

 

WHAT TYPES OF MORTGAGE CHARGES MIGHT YOU HAVE TO PAY?

 

You may have to pay charges if you prepay large portions of your mortgage early or if you break your mortgage due to unforeseen life changes, such as marital breakdown, death of a spouse or relocating for a job. It is your right to know how lenders calculate prepayment charges. Read your mortgage contract carefully and make sure you understand how charges will be calculated before you sign.

 

HOW MUCH DO YOU NEED FOR YOUR DOWN PAYMENT?

 

A down payment is the portion of the property’s price not financed by the mortgage. You will need a down payment of at least 5% of the purchase price of the home. For example, to buy a home for $200,000, you will need at least $10,000 as your down payment. If your down payment is less than 20%, you will need mortgage default insurance.

 

MORTGAGE DEFAULT INSURANCE

 

When you buy a home with less than a 20% down payment, the mortgage needs to be insured against default. This type of insurance protects the mortgage lender in case you are not able to make your mortgage payments. It does not protect you.

 

ARE YOU PLANNING TO PURCHASE A PROPERTY WITH LESS THAN A 20% DOWN PAYMENT?

 

If yes, you require mortgage default insurance, which generally adds 0.5% to 3% to the cost of the mortgage depending on the total amount borrowed. Mortgage default insurance enables you to purchase a home with a minimum down payment of 5% (10% for multi-unit dwellings) with interest rates comparable to those of a conventional mortgage. Major providers of mortgage default insurance include Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), Genworth Financial Canada, and Canada Guaranty Mortgage Insurance Company.

 

Source: Homebuyers’ Road Map by the Canadian Real Estate Association.