3: Pre-qualified, pre-approved
You should determine how much you can spend on a home even before you start your search. Getting pre-qualified for a mortgage is a great way to do that. All you have to do to get pre-qualified is provide your financial information to your lender. Some things they will look for is your income and the savings and any investments that you might have. After reviewing this information, your lender will then tell you how much they will be able to lend you, which will also give you the price range of properties you can afford.
4: Real estate agent
When you are buying (or selling) a property, real estate agents are crucial, providing you with useful information on houses and neighbourhoods that are otherwise inaccessible to the public. Not only do real estate agents offer expertise on properties, they also have top-tier negotiating skills and knowledge of different areas. Perhaps the major perk is that real estate agents make commission on home sales and purchases, meaning it does not necessarily have to cost you anything.
5: Shop, offer
When you have found a property in your price range, it is time to start touring. Keep a checklist. If you are shopping seriously, and see a lot of homes, you may need it. Some of the things you will want to look for include:
- Test the plumbing by turning on the shower to gauge the water pressure and how long the hot water takes.
- Switch the lights off and on to test the electrical system.
- Test the windows and doors to ensure they open and close properly.
In terms of the neighbourhood, you may also want to note the following:
- What conditions are the other homes on the block in?
- Is the street traffic heavy?
- What is the parking situation like for you and your visitors?
- Is it located near shops and amenities you will use regularly?
6: Home inspection
This is a step that will dictate the final sale. During home inspections, signs of any structural damage that may require repairs, for instance, are scrutinized. Within a couple days of your offer being accepted by the seller, your real estate agent will help set up the inspection. This is an important step because it protects you, providing an opportunity to renegotiate your offer or withdraw it without suffering any penalties, in the event of significant damage.