Frequently Asked Questions
Most frequent questions and answers
The process for buying a home can be long or it can be very short and fast! It depends on the transaction. In a long transaction, the process usually involves an initial viewing by the buyer, could involve more viewings after, then a negotiating process between clients and their realtors to agree upon several things in the agreement of purchase and sale, then if there are conditions in the agreement, those can either be fulfilled or not. The conditions that may be included in the agreement are listed in another FAQ. If fulfilled, then the paperwork goes to the lawyer and they deal with transferring money on closing day and then you move in!
The whole process can be as quick as a day or as long as possible. It depends on what the buyer and seller agree upon for the closing (possession) date.
There are several things to look for in a home. First, you need to look for what you would like in a home for the present and possibly the future. If you are planning on starting a family, you may require more than one bedroom! I always advise you choose what you will be happy with and a house that you could see yourself living in for a while.
Second, when walking through a home it is important to look at the little details as that can lead to the discovery of problems with the home that may not immediately catch your attention. For example, a house where the baseboard is ripped off in one room of the basement could indicate that the current owner has water or moisture issues, something that looks innocent but could lead to big problems down the road. If you have any serious concerns about a property, it is always best to have a home inspector look at the home before you purchase it!
Always offer what you feel comfortable with paying for the home and what you can afford! At the end of the day, you have to be comfortable with your new home and be able to put your head on the pillow and sleep at night! I sometimes think when purchasing a new home for myself “I wonder if I will get it if I offer 3K more, I would hate to lose out on a home by 3K that I really like!” This statement is tough because it is true. However, there is no way to know what the other people maybe offering for the home until the purchase price is posted. So always offer what you are comfortable with because there will always be another home to look at and bid on!
There are conditions for everything! When in doubt, put a condition in the offer that you may not be comfortable with looking at on your own. Some conditions include septic inspection, home inspection, financing, sale of current property, insurance, surveys, well inspection, fireplace inspection, etc.
Some closing costs include land transfer tax, lawyer fees, realtor commission (selling), various municipal fees, insurance, moving costs, possible renovation costs, etc.
This question can be best answered by your bank or mortgage advisor. There are available programs that allow first time home buyers to put 5% down and if not a first time home buyer, usually 20% is required to purchase a home. However, this can change for newly built homes and investment properties.
For investment properties, banks usually look to have at least 20% down and smay even require higher amounts of up to 35% down! This percentage can always go up and down, depending on how risky the bank sees the investment!
Interest rates will affect your “purchasing power” which is how much you can afford. Generally, the higher the interest rate, the higher the payment and the less expensive home you can buy.
However, there are different types of mortgages available for purchase that include variable and fixed mortgages. A variable mortgage rate changes depending on how the interest rate is changed (changing the amount of your mortgage payment) and a fixed mortgage does not change as the percentage is locked in at the beginning of the mortgage term.
For more information on fixed and variable mortgages, it is best to talk to your mortgage specialist or bank!
There are several ways to invest in Real Estate! One way to invest is to buy a rental property. These vary from single family homes, duplexes, triplexes, and all the way up to multi unit high rises! Their main source of income is rental income and can also include laundry and parking income.
Another way to invest is to purchase land or a commercial facility. These can be more expensive but have different benefits. There are more rights for a landlord when dealing with a commercial rental space than a residential one and are generally rented by the square foot.