Considering Buying a Home?
Isn’t it exciting to finally make buying a home a reality? I have helped hundreds of people in Chilliwack, Abbotsford, and the surrounding areas buy properties since 2002.
Finding the ideal home is not always easy, and getting a mortgage loan can become complex and tiring. I can help make the process of purchasing a home easier, more enjoyable, less time-consuming, and less expensive than if you undertook this challenge on your own. I can help you prepare, locate, and assess properties for sale that match your specifications, and help you through all the details attending the actual purchase.
Once you have a good idea about your finances, you’ll need to think clearly about the home you’d like to buy. Try to buy a home that meets most of your needs for the next 5 to 10 years, or find a home that can grow and change with your needs.
When touring homes, take notes, note, notes. You may tour more than one home in a day and it is impossible to remember the good, the bad and the ugly of each. Write down any questions. Pay attention to details such as square footage, average utility bills, and annual taxes. Note any new improvements such as siding, roofing, heating and plumbing. Check for water damage in each room. Check basements and crawl spaces for water damage, large cracks and mold. Find out what is offered with the home (i.e., window coverings or appliances).
I have the best possible resources and communication systems available today to help you locate the homes on the market that match your specifications. You can even search my listings here at my website.
What Professionals Should You Call On?
Even if this isn’t your first home buying experience, you’ll want to get help from a team of professionals. Experienced and knowledgeable professionals can provide you with reliable information and answers to your questions. These are the people who can help you:
- Realtor, Mike Bestebroer
- Lender or mortgage broker
- Lawyer or notary
- Insurance broker
- Home inspector
- Land surveyor
As your realtor, my job is to:
- Help you find the ideal home
- Write an Offer of Purchase
- Negotiate to help you get the best possible deal
- Give you important information about the community
- Help you arrange a home inspection
The Lender or Mortgage Broker
Many different institutions lend money for mortgages – banks, trust companies, credit unions, pension funds, insurance companies, and finance companies. Different institutions offer different terms and options – so shop around!
Mortgage brokers don’t work for any specific lending institution. Their role is to find the lender with the terms and rates that are best for the buyer.
Having a lawyer/notary involved in the process will help ensure that things go as smoothly as possible.
Remember that a lawyer/notary should:
- Be a licensed full-time lawyer/notary
- Live/work in the area
- Understand real estate laws, regulations and restrictions
- Have realistic and acceptable fees
- Be able and willing to explain things in language you can easily understand
- Be experienced with condominiums, if that’s what you are buying
The Insurance Broker
An insurance broker can help you with your property insurance and mortgage life insurance.
Lenders insist on property insurance because your property is their security for your loan. Property insurance covers the replacement cost of your home, so the size of your premium depends on the value of the property.
Your lender may also suggest that you buy mortgage life insurance. Mortgage life insurance gives coverage for your family if you die before your mortgage is paid off. Your lender may offer this type of insurance. In this case, the lender adds the premium to your regular mortgage payments. However, you may want to compare rates offered by an insurance broker and by your lender.
Don’t confuse property insurance, or mortgage life insurance, with mortgage loan insurance.
The Home Inspector
Whether you are buying a resale home, or a new home, consider having it inspected by a knowledgeable and professional home inspector.
The home inspector’s role is to inform you about the property’s condition observed at the time of the inspection. The home inspector will tell you if something is not working properly, needs to be changed, or is unsafe. He or she will also tell you if repairs are needed, and maybe even identify where there were problems in the past.
A home inspection is a visual inspection. It should include a visual assessment of at least the following:
- Doors and windows
- Roof and exterior walls (except winter)
- Plumbing and electrical systems (where visible)
- Heating and air conditioning systems
- Ceilings, walls and floors
- Insulation (where visible)
- The lot, including drainage away from buildings, slopes and natural vegetation
- Overall opinion of structural integrity of the buildings
- Common areas (in the case of a condominium/strata or co-operative)
It’s important to hire a knowledgeable, experienced and competent home inspector.
Before you make an offer, an independent appraisal can tell you what the property is worth. This will help ensure that you are not paying too much. In order to complete a mortgage loan, your lender may ask for a recognized appraisal.
The Land Surveyor
If the seller does not have a Survey or Certificate of Location, you will probably need to get one for your mortgage application. If the Survey in the seller’s possession is older than five years, it needs to be updated.
Remember that you must have permission from the property owner before hiring a surveyor to go onto the property.
Information courtesy of CMHC.