What Makes a House a Home?
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Buying a Comox Valley Home
Buying a Comox Valley home is not like buying something like a car. Why? Because different laws apply to real property and these laws change and get updated on a regular basis. For example, when you buy a Comox Valley home you are taking a chance that the listing is correct and that it provides you with all the information you need about the home and property. Unfortunately this is all too often not the case. Do you know that if you buy a home with an illegal suite you risk having the local municipality order you to remove it at your own expense?
Brett has helped many buyers from first time to very experienced buy homes in the Comox Valley. He has expert knowledge of the area and is an award winning Realtor. Contact him to be your guide and Realtor to buy your next Comox Valley home.
What Home Buyers Need to Know
As a Comox Valley home buyer are you aware of things such as:
- The BC government programs that may be applicable to your Comox Valley home purchase.
- The home buyer information information available from the Canada Mortage and Housing Corporation.
- The mortgage loan insurance from CMHC, Canada Guaranty, and from the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada that you could use as a real estate buyer.
- The Property Transfer Tax that applies when you purchase or acquire an interest in a real property in British Columbia
- The tax implications associated with a non-resident purchase of Comox Valley real estate.
Sometimes people start looking at homes and inside homes before they deal with their own personal financing. This is not a good thing. It is important to know how much money you can afford to spend on a home before you start looking for a home. Think of it this way. You just found the home that meets all of you real estate needs and some of your more important wants. You then decide to put an offer in on it. In doing so, you find out that you do not qualify for the amount of money that you need to buy the home. When this happens you are dealt adversity and disappointment. Why not avoid this by taking the following steps:
- If you have a Comox Valley home to sell, place it on the real estate market to sell before you start looking to buy your next home.
- Get financially pre-qualified (and perhaps also pre-approved) using a Comox Valley mortgage broker. If you are not sure what the difference is between the two, contact Brett and ask him to guide you through this process.
- Begin casually looking online for your next Comox Valley home to get a sense of what is available and in what price range.
- After you home sells (meaning when you have an accepted unconditional offer) contact Brett and let him know.
As a buyer, are you aware of the difference between a mortgage broker and a mortgage officer with the bank that you currently deal with?
The RE/MAX Fit to Buy Program is a compilation of tips for Comox Valley home buyers. Watch the RE/MAX Fit to Buy Video and see if you are prepared to buy.
6 Common Mistakes made by Comox Valley Home Buyers
Comox Valley Home Buyers Mistake #1. Not Getting Pre-Qualified for a Mortgage
Before looking for your next home take the time to get pre-qualified by the bank or mortgage broker you choose. This home purchaser info can save you hours of searching for homes in the wrong price range or worse, purchasing a home and then finding out you don’t qualify for financing. Pre-qualifying gives you peace of mind, helps narrow your search criteria and most importantly, gives your RE/MAX agent a negotiating edge by being able to alleviate the sellers concern over financing. The latter is especially important should a competing offer surface.
Comox Valley Home Buyers Mistake #2. Not Shopping For Mortgage Terms
Rates are negotiable! Banks will sharpen their pencils or take out their mortgage calculators to get your business especially if you have a good credit rating and bring other business to them e.g. RRSP’s, general account, savings etc. Posted rates should viewed as a starting point. You need to know what the best rate is and this is usually done by get competitive quotes. Also, ask whether the bank will cover appraisal fees, and about buy-out fees, penalties, payment options, portability etc. The time spent can save you thousands of dollars over the life of the mortgage.
Comox Valley Home Buyers Mistake #3. Not Getting Professional Inspections
Future homeowners need to know this. Nobody wants to purchase a home only to find out later there are defects, latent or otherwise. Ensure you obtain inspections where needed e.g. home inspection, structural engineer, insect, radon etc. If the inspection identifies deficiencies you may be able to negotiate the purchase price to cover required repairs or make your satisfaction of the inspection subject to the homeowner remedying the problem. Your RE/MAX agent can advise you on inspections you should consider.
Comox Valley Home Buyers Mistake #4. Not Using A Professional Real Estate Agent.
Your RE/MAX agent can help you make a purchase with the least amount of problems. He or she can ensure the price you pay is market value. They can offer expert advice on what to look for, conditions to include, negotiation strategy etc. After all, they work for you.
Comox Valley Home Buyers Mistake #5. Buying First Before Selling
If price is important you should always sell your present Comox Valley home before buying another. It has the advantage in letting you know exactly how much money you will have available for your next purchase. Selling your home first allows you to place fewer conditions on your purchase which makes your offer more attractive to a seller. They often will demand more money to take a “subject to” offer which takes their home off the market. The other advantage is if you find a terrific house, chances are others will also find it attractive and you stand to lose it if you can’t make an unconditional offer.
Comox Valley Home Buyers Mistake #6. Not Knowing The Full Cost Of Home Buying
Know all the costs associated with your purchase. Consider the following costs: legal fees, transfer tax, property taxes, new home landscaping, fencing, appliances, window coverings, etc.
There are, of course, many other considerations that are unique to each buying situation, home, and property. Comox Valley home buyers I am ready to help you throughout the buying process. Contact me to discuss these issues further so that we can get started on finding you the home or property in the Comox Valley that best meets your needs.
Basic Home Buying Steps
As a home buyer, having a Buying a Home Checklist is often a good idea. Have you ever thought of how many steps there actually may be in the home buying process? Following is a checklist that outlines the main ones.
Establish your real estate needs in a home. This is a step that many home buyers miss or simply do not think of. Before doing anything else sit down and think about your needs and wants. Your needs should be those things that are must haves in a new house. Your wants are those things that would be nice to have but are not essential. With this information create a list under each heading and use this as a reference when you start looking for your next dream home.
Start browsing internet listings to get a sense of the local market and area. It is very difficult to determine the layout of an online real estate listing. No matter how good the photos are, how nice a virtual tour may appear or how well shot the video tour is, all too often it is challenging at best to get a feel for what the property has to offer just by what you see online. Nevertheless, you can get a general sense of what is available in the area, what type of home styles and features are available and where they are located.
Choose a general location. Most local real estate market areas cover a wide area. By knowing what you want before you start to get serious about looking you can save yourself a lot of time. Are you looking for a rural property? Are you content on living in a urban area with neighbours close by? After you decide on the rural – urban choice move on to specific neighbourhoods. The Comox Valley offers rural, urban, and many choices of local neighbourhoods and subdivisions. The more you can narrow things down early one the more you can concentrate on those areas that interest you.
Choose an agent. A real estate agent can provide you with tremendous help and value. By choosing an experienced realtor who knows the area you gain access to invaluable advice and information that you can use to make decisions along the way. As a home buyer, you do not pay the agent. The real estate agent gets paid from the commission that is charged to the home seller. Why would you not want such expertise to add to your home-buying repertoire?
Get your financial preparation underway. If you have not already done so it is important to get financially pre-qualified and then pre-approved. Knowing the difference between these two important steps and understanding the difference between going to a mortgage broker and a mortgage professional who works for a specific financial institution is a must. You can save yourself time and money when the time comes for you to purchase a home.
Choose a Lender
Not all lenders offer the same deals or rates. Check out your options and ask to see what you will eventually be asked to sign for a mortgage on your new house. Read it carefully and ask questions to ensure you know what exactly is being offered to you and what will be expected of you. Finding out about a clause that restricts your rights as a home purchaser when you have committed to an offer is not the time to be surprised.
Sell your current home. Many home buyers seem to think that it is better to find a new residence before disposing of your old one. This is generally not the best option. In some market conditions sellers will not accept offers subject to the sale of your home. In some market conditions where homes are selling quickly they may not be available for very long. It would be a great disappointment to look for your dream home for months, find it, and then not be able to buy it when the time comes because you have a home for sale.
Obtain a financial pre-approval. When your are given a pre-approval for your mortgage the financial institution will give you a letter outlining what you are qualified to borrow and what the terms and conditions are. This is only an intermediate step that will give you the financial confidence you need to start looking at homes in a specific price range knowing that the bank or other financial institution is prepared to loan you the money you need for the purchase provided that the home qualifies.
Start viewing homes. Now that you are ready to buy it is time to start looking at homes in the local market area. Take your wants and needs checklist with you. Your Realtor will advise you on a list price ceiling to use as a guide based on local and current market conditions.
Choose a location. If you have not already done so start focusing on preferred areas or neighbourhoods.
Narrow down your choices. The home viewing process is often a process of elimination. After the first viewing of a house you should be able to strike it off your list or leave it on as a possible fit for you and your family. Once you narrow down your choices go back for a second viewing of your shortlist of a handful of the homes that seem to come closest to what you need and want. Take notes on what you might like to have included in an offer if the homes seems to work for you. But do not take photos without the sellers permission. Privacy laws exist for a reason and you do not want to run afoul of them.
Choose a home. After choosing a home discuss your choice with your realtor and talk about things like price and possession dates as well as inclusions and exclusions.
Make an offer.
Next steps. There are a number of steps that follow any offer.
Contact Brett to Guide You Through All of the Steps
When you are ready to choose a Realtor to help you buy your next Comox Valley home contact Brett to be your guide and source of advice.