Buyer’s Guide

Congratulations! Choosing to buy a home is one of the biggest investment decisions you’ll make in your life. It’s an exciting and complex process, which requires a lot of planning, but having LeRoy Warden & Associates help you will make the process run smoothly. To help get you get ready and prepared, here is a general overview of what to expect.

Get Your Finances In Order And Get Pre-Approved

The first thing you’ll need to do is put money aside for a down payment. This amount of money is a minimum of 5% of the purchase price of the home you’re planning to buy. Second, you’ll need to meet with a mortgage broker to determine what you can afford.  Have your mortgage broker give you a written pre-approval, so that you know what price range you’ll be able to comfortably afford and any conditions you may need to fulfill.

Tips and suggestions:

  • If you need help finding a mortgage broker, LeRoy Warden & Associates can provide you with recommendations. 
  • The down payment is the difference between the property’s purchase price and the amount financed through a mortgage. Usually the difference is paid in certified cheque or bank draft.
  • The down payment by law cannot be less than 5% of the purchase price. For down payments under 20%, your mortgage broker will require you to purchase mortgage default insurance, which is available through the Crown Corporation CMHC or private insurers Genworth and Canada Guaranty.
  • Do you need help saving for your down payment? Try a tax-free savings account or a low-risk investment like a GIC.
  • The mortgage term is the set amount of time a lender will loan you their money for your mortgage at a specific interest rate. They can last anywhere from 6 months and up, however, 5-year terms are the most popular.
  • Your overall debt should not be more than 40% of your income, and your housing debt should not be more than 32%. The two ratios used by banks are Gross Debt Servicing (GDS) and Total Debt Servicing (TDS).  GDS is the percentage of your gross income that is required to cover the housing costs.
  • To help evaluate your financial situation use the calculators at: https://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/co/buho/buho_005.cfm

Visualize Your Dream Home

Once you’ve been pre-approved and figured out your ideal price range, it’s time to decide what type of home will best suit your lifestyle now and possibly the lifestyle you plan on having a few years from now. Think about things like access to schools, recreational facilities, and what the neighbourhood is like. Ask yourself WHY you are planning to buy and think about your needs and wants. Create a shopping list of features you are willing to compromise on and the ones you aren’t.

Tips and suggestions:

Meet With Us

It’s important to partner with LeRoy Warden & Associates. We can help you find your dream home, one that will meet both your needs and your budget. We’ll set you up with appointments to view houses, as well as, guide you step by step through the complicated process of buying a home.

Tips and suggestions:

Searching For Properties

Using the property search on this site and consulting with us, you’ll be able to find homes in your desired area and within your price range. We’ll frequently send you updates and information on the newest property listings and then schedule home viewing appointments which we’ll visit together.  We can visit as many houses as it takes to find the property that best suits you.

Tips and suggestions:

  • Remember to keep your feelings in check. Wallpaper can be removed, walls can be painted, bathrooms can be updated, and kitchen cupboards can be changed. The things you should be most concerned about are location, location, location. Also, the size and layout of the home, condition of the roof, plumbing, furnace, windows, hot water tank etc. Together, we can go over the pros and cons of each home that you view and check to see how it matches with your Needs Vs Wants list.
  • Click here to see the homes currently for sale.

Negotiation

Now that you found a home that you love and you are ready to make an offer, what’s next? How much should you offer? How much is too low to offer, so we don’t insult the seller? What should be your final accepted price? There are 10 questions to ask before making an offer to help you understand the circumstances of the property, the seller and the market (Contact our buyer specialists)

Your offer will include:

  1. the amount you’re offering to pay (the purchase price)
  2. the amount of your deposit and how you will pay it ( cheque, bank draft etc)
  3. any items you want included in the purchase (ex. window coverings, appliances)
  4. the date you want to take possession (“closing day”)
  5. the names of the purchaser(s)
  6. the date & signatures of the purchaser(s)
  7. any other conditions that must be met before the contract is finalized (ex. a satisfactory home inspection, satisfactory financing, satisfactory review of condo docs)

Due diligence

We’ll help you write an offer that the seller will either accept, counter, or reject.  The end result of the negotiations will be an accepted offer.  Now you’ll want to plan for and conduct a home inspection, arrange your financing for that specific property and deal with any major repairs found during inspection (the cost of which you can also negotiate with the seller). If buying a condo, reviewing the condo documents would be an additional step.

Tips and suggestions:

  • If you need help in finding a lawyer, we can help make some recommendations.
  • If you need help finding a home inspector, we can help make some recommendations

Closing Day (Possession day)

What happens on closing day? With help from your lawyer, you legally take possession of your new home. The final signings usually take place at the lawyer’s office a week to two weeks before closing day. At that time your lawyer would usually ask you to bring in the “cash to close”. Cash to close consist of the balance of your downpayment, legal fees, disbursements, estimated property tax adjustment etc. On closing day, your lender gives your lawyer the mortgage money. He/she uses the mortgage money and the cash to close to pay the seller’s lawyer and confirms that the registration of the home is in your name. The seller’s lawyer confirms receipt of the preceding items and authorizes the release of the keys to your new home.

Moving Day

It’s here!!! The day that you’ve been dreaming about!  It’s finally moving day and this can be the most exciting part if you’ve planned ahead. Be sure to plan early for moving trucks and/or moving companies that will help you in your day. Congratulations!! Move in and start enjoying your new life!!!

Tips and suggestions:

  • Get written confirmation from the company you use of all your costs and details of your move for your records. Typically, weekends and holidays are busy times, so be sure to book far in advance to ensure you get a moving truck for your moving day.  Ensure to re-confirm your moving truck a few days before moving day.
  • Ask friends and family to help out with moving day.
  • Earn some extra cash by having a moving sale, and it will help get rid of items you don’t need or want to bring into your new home.
  • If you have children and you are moving to a new school district, start arranging the school transferring process.
  • LeRoy Warden & Associates will provide you with moving boxes that you will require for your move.
  • At your local postal office, fill out a change of address form with your new address.
  • Inform companies about your new address: banks, service providers, credit card companies, doctors etc.

Becoming a new homeowner is one of the most liberating things you’ll ever experience. There are many benefits to home ownership — pride of ownership, the ability to make home improvements, building equity, and appreciation.  Let’s take the journey together.

Contact us to start making your dream a reality!

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