What You Need to Know About The Home Buying Process
You’ve made the decision – it is time to buy a home. Maybe you are a first- time buyer looking for an affordable option that fits your lifestyle. Or maybe your family is expanding and you need some more room. Or, maybe the nest is now empty and it’s time to downsize.
Whatever stage of life you are in, no matter if it’s your first home or your fifth, there’s a process to buying a home.
So where do you start?
Building a Budget
Managing Your Mortgage
You have options, so investigate them. If you’re planning on the standard 5% for your down payment, remember to take mortgage insurance into account. You’ll want to get pre-approved for your mortgage before you start the actual house-hunting part.
Check Out Communities
It’s time to determine what area of the city you want to live in, or if you want to head out to a more suburban neighbourhood on the outskirts of town. What’s important to you and your family? Good schools? A recreation centre? Easy access to major highways? Be sure to determine what’s most important to you ahead of time.
Now to the fun part!
House Hunting (Part 1)
Now it’s time to find out exactly what type of home you want. Create a needs versus wants checklist and finalize your new home plan. At least, on paper.
House Hunting (Part 2)
It’s time to head out and start looking for a new home! If you’re thinking of purchasing a new move-in ready home, or planning on building from scratch, start touring show homes and talk with builder representatives to get a clear idea on what they can offer you.
A note here: if you’re thinking of building new, you’re going to want to choose your builder before you head onto the next step.
Once you’ve found the home of your dreams, it’s time to get into the not- quite-as-fun part; the paperwork. Let the professionals work their magic
in this area. Have your lawyer review all the documents before you sign anything, but be sure to ask if working with your builder’s lawyer is an option – this can lead to some huge savings!
The rest of the process varies, depending on what type of home you’ve decided on: a new home build or a resale home. We’re going to focus on the new home build steps.
Nice and New
Once you’ve signed on the dotted line, your new home moves into the construction phases. The details here vary, depending on if you are doing a from-the-ground-up build or a quick possession, but your builder will be with you every step of the way.
Working the Walkthroughs
Throughout the building process, you’ll have various walkthroughs scheduled. Make the most of these by taking careful notes, listening to your builder representative and asking questions. You should leave each walkthrough with a renewed sense of excitement about your new home!
As it gets close to your possession date, you and the builder will have a ‘final’ walkthrough of your home to make note of anything that needs to be finished before you move in or items that will be done after your possession date, i.e. pouring a walkway is a seasonal item and can’t be done during the winter. Get it all in writing and make sure there is no confusion between you and the builder.
It’s moving day! You get the keys to your beautiful, brand-new home! All that’s left to do is celebrate this exciting milestone in your life.
Originally published Mar 4, 2019, updated Feb 19, 2021