Home ownership is the Great Canadian Dream. When is it right for you? Your dream can become a nightmare if you take on more than you are financially or mentally able to handle.
In some ways, home ownership allows you more freedom than renting does (pets, children, renovations), but in other ways, home ownership imposes new restrictions and burdens (mortgage, taxes, maintenance). You must carefully evaluate both your finances and your expectations before taking this life-changing step.
Ask Yourself These Questions:
Am I Ready to Own a Home?
If you have rented in the past, you know that regular property maintenance is the owner's responsibility. When you are a home owner, this will become your responsibility. Are you ready and able to set aside sufficient funds to cover those inevitable repairs? Are you willing to devote time to regular maintenance?
Can I Afford my “Dream Home?”
Many first-time buyers are disappointed to discover that their income and savings will not allow them to have everything on their wish list. Your new home will quickly become a burden if a large mortgage leaves little for everyday living. A more modest wish list now will allow you to buy your “dream home” later.
What Is my Debt-to-Income Ratio?
What you want to borrow, and what a lender will allow you to borrow may not be the same. Your overall debt, including mortgage, should be a maximum of 40% of your income. Your housing debt should be no more than 32% of your income. Depending on your location, this 32% might buy a beautiful house on acreage, or a tiny apartment in a large urban area.
What Kind of Property Do I Want?
Are you ready to clean gutters, mow lawns, and paint trim? If so, perhaps a single-family home in a manicured neighbourhood is right for you. Then again, maybe you would rather pay a monthly fee and let others do those chores for you. Strata living may be the way to go. Think carefully about these issues in order to determine the right home for you.
Let Us Help
Take advantage of what a good real estate agent has to offer. We will find out what you want and help you determine how much you can afford. Let our team match you with a property that will suit your needs, enhance your life, and eventually increase your wealth.
Take notes when viewing homes. Use a check list of “wants” and “needs,” and ignore distractions like clutter or furniture style. Discuss your list later with your agent. We can help keep you on track, and you can help clarify your needs for us.
Retain a good real estate lawyer or notary. We can recommend several who might suit your needs and who will ensure that your property transfer is done correctly.
Make your offer. Your realtor will work with you to ensure correct language and accurate paperwork. He will present your offer in a convincing and professional manner. Expect to receive a counter-offer, or even a rejection. Your realtor can guide you through these steps. You will likely be asked to provide a deposit cheque as proof
that your offer is serious.
Proceed with inspections. A quality home inspector can check for asbestos, lead paint and mold. He or she will look for evidence of vermin, leaks, and electrical problems. Not all home problems can be determined by an inspector, but many can be. The inspection will cost several hundred dollars, but in the long run, it can potentially save you tens of thousands of dollars.
Ask for a final walk-through before closing day. Your realtor will make the appointment for you, and will accompany you to make sure that all agreed-upon issues have been dealt with to your satisfaction.
We provide a complete service package. We free you from the complex process of paperwork and negotiation so that you can focus on the important task of finding your best home.