“We’re ready to buy a new home!” Easy words to say, but not so easy to do. Purchasing a house is a multi-step process and each step must be finished completely before moving on to the next. Garry Real Estate has created our Home Buyers checklist which is filled with explanations, tools and tips to make your home buying experience smooth and easy.
Whether you need to accommodate your growing family, or are investing for your future, now is the best time to start exploring the housing market. The best place to start on this exciting new venture is with us, call us today, to find your new property.
Before you start shopping for your property, it is a good idea to make some preparations. While every home buying experience is unique, there are some universal steps you can take to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible. An ounce of preparation can save the day.
Build Your Green File
A green file is a folder containing copies of all your important financial documents. Keep the originals in a secure, fire proof place. You will need these documents to get pre-approved financing for your new home. A typical green file should contain:
Recent Pay Stubs
Tax Returns For The Last Two Years
Copies of Any Leases From Investment Properties
Stock, Bonds, and Mutual Accounts Information
Check Your Credit Rating
Your credit score will help deterimine what size loan you are eligible for and what the terms will be. We recommend you check your credit rating with an experienced lender so that you can determine how much you can afford to spend on a home. The lender will typically research your credit ratings from the three credit reporting agencies Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. We will be happy to recommend an experienced, knowledgeable lender in the residential, construction, commercial and investment real estate field. BE CAUTIOUS WITH YOUR FINANCES.
First rule of buying is knowing how much house you can afford. Once you know that, it helps us narrow down the list of opportunities that are available in your price range. Below you will find an excellent tool to quickly calculate just how much you can afford to spend. Fill in the fields below and you’ll find the ballpark amount in a just few moments. Please always remember that your lender will have a much better picture of your overall financial condition, so they will be able to provide a much more accurate number. This is just a quick tool to get all of us pointing in the correct direction. In addition each home will have a different tax bill and many communities require residents to pay annual or monthly HOA “home owners association” dues. Both of these factors will greatly impact the total loan amount that you will be approved for.
Now that you have spoken to a lender and those those preparations are out of the way, it’s time to find the right property for YOU.
To make the process of getting to know your potential new neighborhood easier, we have created the next few tabs to allow you quick access to important information about Schools, Local Businesses and Demographics for the area.
Register with Garry Real Estate and you will be able to save your searches and share the list of properties you want to visit with your agent. This will expedite the process of scheduling your showings.
A home inspection is not required, but highly recommended. This will no doubt be the largest purchase you make. Spending a couple of hundred dollars to have a qualified person thoroughly inspect your future home may prevent thousands of dollars of unexpected repairs later on. Contact a licensed home inspector of your choice (if you are working with a “buyers agent”, then he/she may recommended one). The home inspector will set an appointment that is convenient for you. The inspection must take place during your inspection period, usually 10 days from acceptance of your offer.
If you are obtaining a loan, you will be required by your lender to purchase a certain amount of insurance for the property. The value of the insurance will depend on the lending institution and the final purchase price of the property. You may be able to save hundreds of dollars a year on homeowners insurance by shopping around for insurance on your own. Increasing your deductible by just a few hundred dollars can make a big difference in your monthly premium. Ask your insurance agent about any discounts. You may be able get a lower premium if your home has some safety features such as dead-bolt locks, smoke detectors, a full alarm system, storm shutters or fire-retardant roofing materials, depending on the insurance company. Any persons over 55 years of age or long term customers may also be offered different discounts. Insure your actual house and not the land it’s on. In case of a disaster, the land will still be there. If you do not subtract the value of the land when you decide how much homeowner’s insurance to buy, you will usually be asked pay more than you should.
The final inspection usually takes place a day before, or the actual day of closing. You will visit the property one final time to verify that everything is in working order, that everything is the same as the last time you viewed the property, that there are no extra items left behind by the previous owner, and that everything included in your purchase is still there.
Bring the following items to the closing:
Picture I.D. (drivers license, passport, etc.) The closing attorney will need to make a copy of it for the registry of deeds.
Personal checkbook. In case you have to pay for any incidental charges such as heating oil, bottled gas, taxes, etc. that have already been paid by the seller.
Certified Check in the amount given to you by your lender.
We are there to help you should an unforeseen issue pop up, even at this stage. In case something at the property breaks or some other minor detail rises up there is no need to worry. These things happen, so we know how to handle them efficiently and in a stress free manner.
The closing agent will furnish all parties involved with a settlement statement. The settlement statement summarizes and details all the financial transactions enacted in the process. You and the seller(s) will sign the statement together with the closing agent, certifying its accuracy. If you are actually obtaining financing, you will have to sign all pertinent documentation required by the lending institution as well. If you are unable to attend the scheduled closing, arrangements can be made depending on the circumstances and the notice you give us. If you are bringing the funds to the transaction, you can choose to either have the funds wired electronically into the aforementioned escrow account, or bring a certified bank check to the closing in the amount specified on the settlement statement. The seller will usually arrange to have all property keys and any other important information and items for you at the closing so that you may receive them at this time.