What You Need to Know and Do When Buying a Home

Whether you are a first-time home buyer or have bought and sold multiple homes you can always benefit from extra tips and advice. This house buying tips page has been compiled to help anyone who is in the process of, or is thinking of buying a home.


1. Mortgage Pre-Approval

Before you start scouring the internet or driving around neighborhoods looking for your next home you need to know exactly what you can afford to buy. Don’t just assume you know what you can afford based on past experience. Be sure to talk to your bank or a mortgage broker for a current and up-to-date mortgage approval so you know your price range. This will help you to narrow down the number of homes you look at and, being pre-approved will speed up the buying process once you have found the home you want.

2. Work With a Buyer’s Agent

All homebuyers can make use of an excellent service, for free. Buyer’s agents work with homebuyers at no cost to the buyer because the agent is paid out of the commission on the sale of real estate. Working with a buyer’s agent is so beneficial as they help at every stage of the process. From showing you homes and highlighting good or bad things about a property, to writing up your offer, negotiating, and closing the deal.

3. Know What You Want in a Home

Prior to starting the search for that ideal home, you need to know exactly what you want. This may sound obvious but when there are hundreds of homes to choose from you really need to be able to narrow down your choices. Square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, location, and outside space are just a few of the considerations, but take a look at our House Hunting page for more tips and ideas. House Hunting – How to Find Your Perfect Home

4. Look Past the Current Owner’s Possessions

When you start to look at homes some will be vacant and others will be occupied. There can be challenges with both. When a home is empty it’s difficult to picture how furniture can be arranged, but equally if the current homeowner has many possessions it can be difficult to see past those. Try not to get tied up on appearances – whether it’s cosmetic things like the color of the walls, or the current homeowners furniture, you need to try to look past these things and picture yourself living there.

5. Factor in the Cost of Buying a Home

You may already have mortgage pre-approval so you know your budget, but have you considered the other costs involved in buying a home? A home inspection is highly recommended (see below) and this costs money; add in mortgage arrangement fees, legal fees, land transfer taxes, property taxes and the cost of moving, and you’ve added several thousand dollars to the bill before you’ve even moved in.

6. Get a Home Inspection

Once you’ve found the home of your dreams don’t get carried away by appearances. A home may look great to you but a home inspection is essential for you to know whether the home is structurally sound or needs any major repairs. Things like the electrical, plumbing, heating, cooling, and the roof will be checked during a home inspection, and the inspector will write up a report and give you estimates as to the cost of repairs. You can then re-negotiate with the seller for them to have the repairs carried out, or you may prefer to walk away if there are just too many issues.