Your first home purchase will likely be one of your biggest life decisions, so you want to do it well. You’re not just buying a property, after all, you’re purchasing your future home. With so much resting on a single decision, it’s understandable to feel a bit overwhelmed.
As a real estate agent located out of Markham, Ontario, Najmi Muhammad understands the stress that comes with your first home purchase. Here, he guides first time buyers through the ins and outs of the otherwise overwhelming process.
Get Pre-Qualified for a Mortgage
Before you outline a price, and start shopping around, you’ll need to consult your bank regarding your mortgage. This will determine how much money your bank is able to loan you and ultimately help you decide how much to spend.
In order to pre-qualify for a mortgage, your bank will consider your income, your credit history, any outstanding debts you currently have unpaid, and how much of a down payment you plan on making.
Determine a Price Range
After pre-qualifying for a mortgage, you’ll be able to determine what price range is reasonable for your budget. At this point, it’s time to consider what you’re looking for in a home.
To help with the process, Najmi Muhammad recommends compiling a list of desired features and traits. For example, ask yourself how many bedrooms you need and what your location requirements are. Other attributes like a large yard or a two-car garage may also be included. Ultimately, this list along with your determined budget will help you narrow your search and find a property that suits your needs. It is important to break this list down into wants and needs and understand what options you are willing to compromise on and what options you must have.
Find a Realtor
Your first home is one of the biggest, most intimidating purchases you will likely ever need to make, so you’re going to want the help of a professional. Once you’ve been pre-qualified for your mortgage, you’ll want to enlist the help of a trusted realtor like Najmi Muhammad to help you in your house hunt. Down the line, you’ll also need the services of a lender and a lawyer in order to complete the purchase process.
Find a Home
With the help of your realtor and while considering your price range and desired features, begin the house hunt. This is arguably the most enjoyable part of the purchasing process. You’re given the liberty to shop around: attend open houses, drive through neighborhoods, and scroll websites for homes that appeal to you. When searching, look for a home that satisfies both your needs and wants, and never hesitate to listen to your gut.
Make an Offer
When you’ve found the right home it’s likely you’ll know immediately. Unfortunately, you can’t just buy it outright, you’ll need to make an offer. The biding process can feel a bit tedious and drawn out, but your realtor will help you with the logistics.
First, you’ll be required to draft an Agreement of Purchase and Sale (APS). This legally binding document details the offered price as well as what you expect in return. When you’ve completed the APS, your realtor will help you submit your offer.
Depending on whether the seller accepts it, rejects it or presents back a counteroffer, you’ll enter a process of negotiations. Compromise is sometimes necessary, but if everything goes smoothly then your offer will be accepted, and you’ll move forward with the purchasing process.
Pay the Deposit and Closing
After meeting all the conditions which were agreed to in the Agreement of Purchase and Sale, it’s time to make the deposit. According to Najmi Muhammad, this is at least 5% of the agreed price, but it is based upon the price of the house as well as the amount you are willing to pay. Once those two steps have been taken, the deal is secured; you just need to wait for your closing date.
At the closing, you’ll need a lawyer and your lender. Together, they’ll make sure all legal and financial requirements are in good standing. With their help, you’ll leave the closing with your new keys in hand.