1. Visualize Your Ideal Home
One thing a lot of people neglect to do when they start looking for a home is to set some expectations for this important investment. Too many people rely on Google searches and open house tours, hoping to stumble across something ‘good enough’. Avoid settling for ‘good enough’ and make your home search more efficient, by creating a vision of what’s right for you.
First, make a comprehensive list of features that you would find in your dream home. Next, categorize them into “must-haves” and “nice-to-haves” so you can evaluate each property appropriately.
Important things to consider when creating your list include:
- Commute time
- Number of floors
- Architectural style
- Number of bedrooms
- Number of bathrooms
- Lot size
- Amenities (ie. pools, hot tubs, and fireplaces)
- Garage access
- Master bedroom size
- Kitchen appliances
- Smart technology
Once you have created your list and prioritized each point on that list, you have a standard by which to measure every property you come into contact with. It’s alright to dream big and compromise later.
2. Mortgage Pre-Approval
One of the most important things when taking steps toward buying a home, is understanding your finances. Once you have pre-approval on a mortgage, you’ll know where to focus your efforts.
Mortgages are available from several types of lenders in Canada, such as:
- credit unions
- mortgage companies
- trust companies
- loan companies
Keep in mind, different lenders will often have different interest rates and conditions for similar products. The traditional method of going to your bank is becoming less common. It’s still recommended that you speak with your bank but they generally follow a strict mold that may not work for your situation. More and more people have chosen a skilled mortgage broker over their bank. A good mortgage broker works with multiple banks and lenders and can source the mortgage that best suits your needs. There’s no harm in speaking to both. Contact us today for some brokers that we trust and work with.
3. Savings for Closing Costs
You never want to run your best race only to be tripped up at the finish line. Sadly, some people underestimate the closing costs that wait for them at the end of the buying process. Aside from your down payment, you will also need closing costs in many cases to buy your home. There is a long list of possible charges to look for, depending on the property.
Some standard costs include:
- Land Transfer Tax
- Legal Fees
- Title Insurance
- Provincial Sales Tax
- Property Insurance
Make sure to have money set aside not just for your down payment, but also for closing costs. Thankfully, for those buying their first home, the First Time Home Buyer’s rebate can save you almost half of these expenses. For a more detailed breakdown of closing costs Click Here or feel free to contact a Listatto Agent.
Now that you have an idea of what your lending options are, along with the different closing costs required, it’s time to create a budget. Finding out what you’re comfortable paying each month will help you design a road map toward your ideal purchase, taking the guesswork out of the equation.
Online mortgage calculators can help you determine your approximate monthly mortgage payment. If you’re purchasing a condo in Toronto, don’t forget to factor in property taxes and maintenance fees. Once you have that, make sure you can still afford your utilities and additional expenses.
Remember, you need to know how your future home will align with your lifestyle. Having a great real estate agent can be a huge advantage when creating a budget. Try to work with an agent that is willing to help you outline your budget. After all, their job is to help you find the right house or condo prices for your needs.
Step 5: A well rounded and committed agent
When you buy a house in Toronto, you want to make sure you’re getting the absolute best for your investment. Whether you are a first-time buyer, or someone trying to make your next investment a more strategic one, working side-by-side with an expert can make all the difference. Navigating through a transaction and understanding the market place is crucial when purchasing your home. As we’ve said before, a well-rounded and committed real estate agent can help you with your budget, give you an idea of the state of the market, and prepare you for the expenses and processes to come.
Additionally, an agent who understands both resale and pre-construction projects is a good resource to have. Depending on what your goals are, they may be able to offer alternatives you didn’t consider, and get you to that dream home faster.
Always remember, the key to long-term success when looking to buy a home is to have a clear vision, a plan of action, and the right resources to get you to your goal. Each aspect of your investment should be working for you from the beginning. That is why at Listatto we believe in equipping our clients with the tools and knowledge to feel confident in their future home. Contact a Listatto agent today.