Shell Buseys New Home Buyer HintsJune 5th 2015
There are many factors you need to address when choosing when, where and what to buy for your first home. Are you interested in a condominium, town home or row housing, or a single family dwelling? What area(s) are you considering purchasing the home in? Are the areas you are looking at based on lifestyle items such as privacy or being close to amenities, or are you purchasing in an area because of its proximity to where you work. If you are considering living in an urban area you will probably notice the housing prices are higher relative to rural areas. You need to ask yourself what is more of a priority to you, living in the city, or having a bit more space and privacy, and also more disposable income because the condominium or home often will cost less in rural areas as opposed to city centres.
It is wise to make an appointment with your bank, credit union, or mortgage broker prior to looking at homes to get a mortgage preapproval. This will give you an idea of what your price range is when looking at purchasing a home. Even though you may be pre-approved for a mortgage, you still need to make sure the monthly payments will fit within your budget. Have you sat down to put together a monthly budget so you know what you realistically can afford for mortgage, property tax, and utility or strata payments? Your lifestyle will change now that you have mortgage payments to make. It is important to note that just because you are pre-approved for a specific mortgage amount, the property you decide to purchase will still have to go through the mortgage approval process.
When selecting which realtor to represent you, make sure they are familiar with the area that you have chosen to search for a new home. Also, don’t be afraid to ask your potential realtor for customer references, it’s always a good idea to chat with a few of their past customers to get their feedback. Your realtor will play an important role on your behalf, not just finding properties for you to look at, but they will be the person who communicates between yourself and the property seller. Your realtor will be responsible for negotiating the terms of your purchase, covering items such as your purchase price, closing date, strata minute examination and other specific terms of the purchase.
Often when people are purchasing a brand new home, they do not have the home inspected. I strongly suggest having your home inspected by a certified and licensed home inspector. If you are purchasing an older detached home with lots of trees on the property I would urge you to have the perimeter drainage system inspected by camera as a condition of the purchase offer. Issues with perimeter drainage can be costly to repair, a camera inspection of the system will help you avoid you unknowingly purchasing a home with drainage issues.
If you are purchasing a new home, you need to ensure that it is covered by the New Home Warranty Program. The Homeowner’s Protection Office (HPO) is the regulating body in British Columbia for the New Home Warranty Program. If you are purchasing a home that is less than 10 years old, you should have your realtor see if that home is still covered under the new home warranty program.
When purchasing your first home, be patient, do your homework, follow my advice above and make the purchasing process just that easy!