Frequently Asked Buyer Questions
How will you tell me about the newest homes available?
The Multiple Listing Service website provides up-to-date information for every home on the market. We constantly check the New on Market list as well as call and drive by your preferred neighbourhood so we are the first to see great deals for our clients. We will get you this information right away the way that is most convenient for you, by phone and/or e-mail.
Will you inform me of homes from all real estate companies or only Valley Realty?
We will keep you informed of all homes that wish to be sold, whether they are expired listing, for sale by owners or exclusively listed homes. We want to help you find your dream home, which means we need to stay on top of every home that's available in the market.
Can you help me find new construction homes?
Yes, we can work with most builders and get you the information you need to make a decision. On your first visit with the builder, we will accompany you. By using our services with a new construction home purchase, you will receive the services we offer, as well as those provided by the builder, at no additional cost.
How does for sale by owner (FSBO) work?
Homeowners trying to sell their home without agent representation are usually doing so in the hopes of saving the commission. If you see a FSBO and want the advantages of our services, let us contact the owner for you and make an appointment. Most times the homeowner will work with an agent, even though their home is not listed, since the agent is introducing a potential buyer to their property.
Once my offer is accepted, what should I do?
Celebrate and focus on moving into your new home! You will want to schedule your move, pack items, and notify businesses of your address change. We will provide you with a moving checklist to help you remember all the details.
Why should I buy, instead of rent?
You'll love the feeling of having something that's all yours - a home where your own personal style will tell the world who you are. A thriving vegetable garden in the backyard, a tiled entryway, a yellow kitchen...when you own, you can do it all your way! But there's more to owning a home than personal satisfaction. You can possibly deduct the some of the cost of your mortgage loan interest from your income taxes. Interest will compose nearly all of your monthly payment , for over half the number of years you'll be paying your mortgage. This adds up to hefty savings at the end of each year. And you're also allowed to deduct the property taxes you pay as a homeowner. If you rent, you write your monthly check and it's gone forever. Another financial plus in owning a home is the possibility its value will go up through the years, gaining you equity in your investment of Home Ownership.
I'm a single parent. How would I go about buying a home?
Although you won't have the benefit of two incomes on which to qualify for a loan, there's no reason that you can't become a homeowner. Become familiar with the process, pick a good real estate agent, and think about getting pre-qualified for a Loan.
Should I use a Realtor®? How do I find one?
Using a Realtor® is a very good idea. All the details involved in home buying, particularly the financial ones, can be mind-boggling. A good real estate professional can guide you through the entire process and make the experience much easier. A real estate broker will be well-acquainted with all the important things you'll want to know about a neighbourhood you may be considering...the quality of schools, the number of children in the area, the safety of the neighbourhood, traffic volume, and more.
He or she will help you figure the price range you can afford and search the classified ads and multiple listing services for homes you'll want to see. With immediate access to homes as soon as they're put on the market, your Realtor can save you hours of wasted driving-around time. When it's time to make an offer on a home, your Realtor can point out ways to structure your deal to save you money. He or she will explain the advantages and disadvantages of different types of mortgages, guide you through the paperwork, and be there to hold your hand and answer last-minute questions when you sign the final papers at closing. And you don't have to pay the realtor anything! The payment comes from the home seller - not from the buyer.
How much money will I have to come up with to buy a home?
Well, that depends on a number of factors, including the cost of the house and the type of mortgage you get. In general, you need to come up with enough money to cover three costs: earnest money - the deposit you make on the home when you submit your offer, to prove to the seller that you are serious about wanting to buy the house; the down payment, a percentage of the cost of the home that you must pay upon Completion; and closing costs, the costs associated with processing the paperwork to buy a house.
When you make an offer on a home, your real estate agent will provide you with a Copy of the Title, Property Disclosure statement, offer advice in your financing options, and assist in allowing access for your new home's inspection.
If the offer is accepted, your deposit cheque will be kept in a Trust Account and then applied to the down payment or closing costs on Completion. If your offer is not accepted, no deposit will be taken. The amount of your deposit varies.Your deposit generally will range from $2,000-$40,000. Under certain circumstances a larger deposit will help get your offer accepted.
The more money you can put into your down payment, the lower your mortgage payments will be. Some types of loans only require 10-20% of the purchase price. That's why many first-time homebuyers turn to CMHC for help. CMHC loans may require less down - but will have larger financing fees.
Closing costs - These costs cover various fees your lender charges and other processing expenses. When you apply for your loan, your lender will give you an estimate of the closing costs, so you won't be caught by surprise. Closing costs can vary. If you are a first time home buyer you will avoid your Provincial Property Purchase tax if your purchase is under $450,000. For subsequent home purchases buyer's will have a property purchase tax which is 1% on the first $200,000 and 2% of the balance. Legal fees range from $850 to $1,300.
How do I know if I can get a loan?
Use our simple mortgage calculator to see how much mortgage you could pay - that's a good start. If the amount you can afford is significantly less than the cost of homes that interest you, then you might want to wait awhile longer. Don't get discouraged if you are not approved for the amount you'd like. There are many Mortgage brokers that can recomend tips to increase your loan amount.They will also help you evaluate your loan potential. A mortgage broker will know what kinds of mortgages the lenders are offering and can help you choose a lender with a program that might be right for you. Another good idea is to get pre-qualified for a loan. That means you go to a lender and apply for a mortgage before you actually start looking for a home. Then you'll know exactly how much you can afford to spend, and it will speed the process once you do find the home of your dreams. By being pre-approved you will have a much higher negotiating ability.
How do I find a lender?
You can finance a home with a loan from a bank, a savings and loan, a credit union, a private mortgage company. Shopping for a loan is like shopping for any other large purchase: you can save money if you take some time to look around for the best prices. Different lenders can offer quite different interest rates and loan fees; and as you know, a lower interest rate can make a big difference in how much home you can afford. Talk with several lenders before you decide. Your real estate broker will be familiar with lenders in the area and what they're offering.
In addition to the mortgage payment, what other costs do I need to consider?
Well, of course you'll have your monthly utilities. If your utilities have been covered in your rent, this may be new for you. Your Realtor® will be able to help you get information from the seller on how much utilities normally cost. In addition, you might have homeowner association or condo association dues. You'll definitely have property taxes, and you also may have city or community taxes. You'll have property Insurance cost. Again, your Realtor will be able to help you anticipate these costs.
What do I need to take with me when I apply for a mortgage?
Good question! If you have everything with you when you visit your lender, you'll save a good deal of time. You should have:
1) social insurance numbers for both your and your spouse, if both of you are applying for the loan;
2) copies of your chequing and savings account statements for the past 6 months
3) evidence of any other assets like bonds or stocks
4) a recent pay cheque stub detailing your earnings
5) a list of all credit card accounts and the approximate monthly amounts owed on each
6) a list of account numbers and balances due on outstanding loans, such as car loans
7) copies of your last 2 years' income tax statements
8) the name and address of someone who can verify your employment. Depending on your lender, you may be asked for other information.
When I find the home I want, how much should I offer?
Again, your real estate broker can help you here. But there are several things you should consider:
1) is the asking price in line with prices of similar homes in the area?
2) Is the home in good condition or will you have to spend a substantial amount of money making it the way you want it? You will want to get a professional home inspection to learn what expenses you may have after moving into your new home. Your real estate broker can help you arrange one.
3) How long has the home been on the market? If it's been for sale for awhile, the seller may be more eager to accept a lower offer.
4)Make sure you really can afford whatever offer you make.
5) How much do you really want the home? The closer you are to the asking price, the more likely your offer will be accepted. In some cases, you may even want to offer more than the asking price, if you know you are competing with others for the house.
What if my offer is rejected?
They often are! But don't let that stop you. Now you begin negotiating. We will help you. You may have to offer more money. Often, negotiations on a price go back and forth several times before a deal is made. Just remember - don't get so caught up in negotiations that you lose sight of what you really want and can afford!
So what will happen at closing?
Basically, you'll sit at a table with your lawyer or Notary he or she will give you a detailed explanation of each paper, you may want to take the time to read each document to make sure you know exactly what you're signing. After all, this is a large amount of money you're committing to pay for a lot of years! Don't hesitate to ask questions.