Buying a home can be an easy and straight forward experience — the secret is being prepared and doing your research before making a purchase. It’s likely you’ve heard your fair share of home-buying horror stories — from being pressured into paying above budget in a bidding war, skipping an inspection and later discovering problematic issues, to settling for a house that just isn’t the right fit — all of which can leave you with a pit in your stomach.  

Here are 5 key points to help you avoid these problems and make the buying process go as smoothly as possible:

1.Have a pre-determined budget and stick to it: When searching for a home, it’s best to immediately exclude all properties outside your price range. First, Let me arrange for you to meet with a qualified Mortgage Broker to discuss your financing options to determine what you can and cannot afford. It’s also important to be honest with yourself. How much do you spend on gas, groceries, clothing and eating out each month? How often do you like to travel? What kind of extracurricular activities do your kids take part in? When you create an honest budget you’ll be able to determine how much you can comfortably afford to put towards your mortgage, after a down payment. There’s nothing worse than committing to an unaffordable payment plan.

2.Is this the right neighborhood?: You may find a great home but it’s not in the neighborhood you imagined living in. The neighborhood you live in greatly affects how you feel about your home. Would you feel safe letting the kids play outside? Are there amenities and stores nearby? Do the neighbors seem friendly and active in the community? Determine what you’re looking for in a neighborhood. If the home you’re considering isn’t located in a neighborhood you’d be happy living in, you may want to continue your search.  

3.Don’t judge a home by its photo: If you’re browsing online and see a home in your price range but it doesn’t look quite like your ‘dream’ home — or if there are no pictures posted at all — it may still be worth a look, Let me arrange a viewing. If the home is in good condition and it ends up being somewhere you can see yourself living, then you may have found a hidden treasure. You might also be able to get a great deal as a result of other buyers skipping over the property because of the lack of photos

4.Don’t let emotions get the best of you: You’re going to be spending a lot of time in your new home, so it’s natural that if you find a place you can really see yourself living and growing in, you’ll want to scoop it up no matter the cost. We will need to get a home inspection to ensure the home is in good condition, I can help arrange this. If the property requires a number of expensive repairs you must, again, be honest with your budget. If you simply can’t afford it, be responsible and walk away.

5.Contact me to help you!: As an experienced Real Estate Broker, I can help you throughout the complete home-buying process —  taking away all unnessary stress and being there beside you as you enjoy finding your new dream home…I have the best contacts!...      and I’ve done this for so many clients before.

6 Reasons your Agent wants you pre-Approved before showing you homes

        6 reasons your Agent wants you Pre-Approved

                    before showing you Homes                                                

                                       By Lighter Side Staff  |  S.D. Shank  |  

Ever had an agent deny to show you a home because you weren’t pre-approved for a mortgage? It’s not because they’re mean, or they don’t value your business… it’s actually because they’re looking out for your best interests. Let’s face it, shopping for a home before getting pre-approved for a mortgage is like walking into a grocery store without a wallet. You may have the desire to buy, but you lack the ability. Let’s cover some basics......                                                                                                                               

What is a mortgage pre-approval?                                                                                

In a nutshell, a mortgage pre-approval is written assurance from a lender or broker that you’re able to borrow money to purchase a home up to a certain amount. It’s based on the income, employment and asset documentation you supply at the time of application, in conjunction with your credit history.                                                                      

Here are 5 reasons to get pre-approved:  

1. It carries more weight than a “pre-qualification”.    A pre-approval differs from a pre-qualification. With the former, the lender has actually checked your credit and verified your documentation to approve a specific loan amount (usually for a particular time period such as 30, 60 or 90 days). A pre-qualification can be useful as an estimate of how much you can afford to spend on your home, but it’s a less accurate indicator of your ability to purchase. A pre-approval always carries more weight.     2. You’ll know how much house you can afford.   Getting pre-approved before you begin house hunting allows you to know how much house you can realistically afford. Knowing this narrows down the options and makes the selection process more efficient. Not to mention, it protects you from the unpleasant surprise of realizing the home you fell in love with doesn’t fit your budget.    3. It adds clout to your offer.  In many markets, homes attract more than one offer. If the sellers are weighing one offer against another, they may lean towards the one accompanied by a pre-approval letter. That’s because pre-approvals instill confidence that the buyer is financially capable of purchasing their home.      4. It could increase your negotiating power.   In addition to strengthening your offer when compared to buyers who haven’t taken this step, getting pre-approved may give you the upper-hand when negotiating the price. If the homeowner is eager to sell, they may be more willing to accept a lower offer from someone they’ve been assured is financially capable of purchasing their home.   5. It saves time.  Obtaining a mortgage is a lengthy process. Getting pre-approved ahead of time shortens the time between contract to close — this way you’re ready to proceed with finalizing the mortgage once you’ve found the home you want to purchase.                                                       

6. Without it, most agents won’t work with you.        

Makes sense, too. Right? Think about it: when you hire an agent, he/she will invest countless hours showing you homes over the course of your house hunt. If you were in their shoes, wouldn’t you want assurance that your hard work would lead to a favorable outcome for both you and your client?

If you are thinking of selling your home and re-purchasing or purchasing a home for the first time, get in touch with me today (www.geoffgraham.ca) to help you through the process.  You’ll be glad you did!