Buying a home is usually the largest investment of any family. The prices can be high, sometimes higher than than the home and property is truly worth. We spoke with from Richard from strawhomes.com, who are first time buying experts, gave us some invaluable advice.
Richard told us that when considering the purchase of any one home, the following are steps that should be followed before you sign for the mortgage.
1. Consider whether you should be buying a house at all.
There is an attitude that a Canadian family should by all means own their own home. Home ownership means stability and pride. However, make sure you can afford the mortgage with your current salary.
2. Research the Neighbourhood.
When you find you are interested in a particular home, it’s time to play detective. Walk through the neighbourhood, visiting pubs, parks, school yards and homes at different times of day. Check that homes are well-maintained, that cars are kept up and there aren’t any derelicts lining the streets.
3. Check Out the Area with the Neighbours.
Many neighbours can give you valuable information on the particular home or the neighbourhood. Check with those who are not next door, but some distance away. They are likely to be more honest about the area and won’t be either friends or enemies with the sellers. You will also have the advantage of meeting the people you will be living with.
4. What Is the Potential for Resale?
It is possible you wish to live in your new home until you die and then leave the property to children. If this is not the case, then you must take measure of the resale value of the property. You may need to put some work in on the house.
If the home has been on the market for quite a while, you had better figure out why, because it will affect your ability to sell the home in the future.
5. Bump Up Your Credit Scores.
Make very sure that your credit scores are as error-free and up to the demands of your preferred lender. Little mistakes that are easily overlooked can take your out of the running. Check the free websites that can give you the current credit rating.
6. Arrange with Your Lender a Mortgage in Principle.
You probably won’t be able to arrange a mortgage unless you have a particular property in place. Instead, lenders offer what is called a “mortgage in principle (MIP).” This is very helpful in that it lets you know how much the lender is willing to allow you to borrow, as long as you find a suitable property within a specified time. However, the MIP is not a guarantee.
7. What Is the Actual Cost of Buying the Home?
Owning a home costs more than just the monthly mortgage payment. Remember fees can add up to thousands of pounds. From the Mortgage Arrangement Fee to the cost of removal and new furnishings, the cost of the home will likely be thousands more than the “sticker price.”
8. Typical Home Buying Timeline.
The time it takes to find your new home and arrange for its purchase will likely be longer than you think. It will take you time to find a property you want. It will be wise to narrow your search to two or three neighbourhoods, but don’t be too certain you must be located in only one particular place.
Once you have found your desired home, put in an offer. This lets the seller know how much you are willing to pay, plus any other conditions. Once your final offer has been accepted, you will need to arrange for a survey of the property and your solicitor should research any legal issues.
At the time of the exchange of your money for the deeds and keys, it will take just a few weeks until the sale is complete. Then, congratulations — you will be a real homeowner!