A Complete Guide to Buying a Home
Canadians aren’t too keen on renting. They like the freedom that comes with owning your home, which is probably why over half a million homes are sold across the country each year!
Well, if you’re looking to buy a house, whether it’s your first or your third, there’s a lot you need to know. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be too complicated. Here’s your essential home buying guide for Mississauga real estate!
Buying Mississauga Real Estate: Start Early
When you’re looking for real estate, start as early as possible and watch the prices. If you can stay in your current residence for a while, start shopping online long before you think it’s time and do your research.
Now, if you just got a job and you need to move by next month, this isn’t exactly an option. However, give yourself as much time as possible. See if you can stay with a friend, at a hotel, a short-term apartment, or wherever you can to bide your time.
Look at the prices on the houses but don’t forget to check out the previous prices on the lists. If you see a home that’s within your price range, but it’s $100,000 above what it was a year ago, you may want to hold out or get it while you can. Check out the real estate market news in your area to see the trends and the predictions, as well.
For example, if you’re buying a home in the GTA, read something like The Toronto Star and search for real estate news on their website to get an idea of the market and predictions for where it’s going. That brings us to our next point.
You want to make sure you’re buying at the right time. That means the right time for your current financial situation and the market, which goes up and down. If you’re ten years into a mortgage on a house already, you’re probably fine. However, if you’re buying your first home, consider whether or not you have enough for a downpayment and a steady enough income for the mortgage.
We already discussed looking into the market, so to determine if it’s the right time for you, consider just how much house you can afford and whether that fits your needs.
If you have three children, you may want to hold out until you can afford enough bedrooms and still have enough for an emergency fund in your savings after the downpayment. If the house is just for you and your partner, you may have more wiggle room depending on your goals.
Ask where you see yourself in 5 or 10 years. Do you plan to move to another region? Do you want to have children? Is a big yard important to you? Will you want to leave the city? These are essential things to know
If you plan to change your living situation soon, don’t buy a house to sell in a few years. Remember, even a 3% interest rate on a $300,000 home will leave you wasting $9,000 and even more on sales taxes. Only buy if you plan to be there for more than five years.
Shop For A Real Estate Agent
If you buy a car from a dealership rather than a person, you have to sign some paperwork, and they get the job done for you. The same logic applies to buying a home. If you find the right real estate agency, you’ll be given the best advice while being walked through the entire process from start to finish.
Now, be sure you’re finding the right agent. That’s almost as important as finding the right house. They’ll get you the best deal, let you know about significant concerns you wouldn’t otherwise know about, and make the whole process as smooth as possible.
Be sure to read their reviews, ask about their credentials, check their references, and you can even contact them to ask about their business history. If you do your diligence, you’ll find the right agent.
Shop For A Loan or Mortgage
When you’re buying a home in the Greater Toronto Area or Mississauga, you shop for a home; you shop for an agent, so why wouldn’t you shop around for a loan or mortgage? If your house costs $500,000, the seemingly slight difference between a 2.49% and a 2.99% interest rate is $2,500. If you were buying a watch in one store and it was $2,600, but you knew the same watch was only $100 at the store down the street, would you pay the extra $2,500? It’s just a one-time purchase. You may use a mortgage calculator which is available at our website for your information purposes only.
Well, $2,500 is the same amount no matter what you’re buying. If you spend an extra 5 hours shopping around for the best rate, you just got paid $500 an hour to do that. Don’t neglect this part.
Do your best to get pre-approved before you even look at a house. The mortgage pre-approval process will give you the best idea of your buying power and enable you to make an immediate offer when you go to buy.
Get The House Inspected
Your realtor will discuss this with you, and it’s okay to do this after making an offer. However, consider the costs of everything. Look around before you express interest and see what’s going to cost you the most. If you find a house that looks great, you buy it, and you find mould, this could easily cost you an extra $10,000 later on.
Even looking at appliances could be a good start and something you can do yourself. An old water heater or an old refrigerator could be a near-immediate purchase after purchasing. Anything you find could either be a deterrent or negotiating power when you make an offer.
Some things that come in an inspection could be easy to fix and may even fall on the seller to fix it. However, a leaky roof or significant structural damage could cost a small fortune. Some big fixes aren’t worth it.
Once the house is inspected, crunch the numbers and see if it’s worth the price. Once you drop that downpayment, you may have depleted your savings, so make sure you factor in all other possible expenses into your buying power.
Make An Offer
Once you find the house that meets your needs, fits your budget, and makes you happy, you can make an offer. Look at the list price, mention any of your concerns about the house, consult with your realtor, and aim a little low. You want to get the best deal possible, so don’t worry about starting on the lower end.
If you happen to be buying at the right time in the market, you’ll have a lot more leverage as a buyer. However, in a seller’s market, it can be tough to get a good deal. Either way, take the damages into account, make an offer that’s around 80% to 90% of what you’re willing to pay and work your way up if you need to.
Get Legal Assistance
Having the right real estate team is essential to getting a good deal, but having the right legal team is the best way to make sure that deal works out. People get ripped off in housing sales all the time and wind up paying the costs for the rest of their lives. Before looking for a realtor, look for an experienced real estate lawyer to ensure you don’t make any costly mistakes.
Real estate agents are great, but they can’t provide legal advice, so this gap needs to be filled.
Minhas Lawyers can also help you in reviewing and finalizing the agreement of purchase and sale. Legal advice is always better at an early stage. We can work with your realtor to protect your legal rights. The right legal team will know what to do if you find a defect in a home after the purchase, what to do if issues weren’t disclosed, and how to rectify a situation that causes risk or harm to your purchase.
Shopping, buying, and moving into a home come with enough stress as it is, so get the help you need, stay up to date with our latest real estate news, and give us a call to see how we can help!
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Minhas Lawyers LLP is a multi-practice law firm based in Mississauga. We advise and represent clients across various segments and practice areas.
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