Buying a house can be an overwhelming and complex process, right from the moment you start looking until the second you can finally kick up your feet and start decorating.
But, while getting a mortgage and a house can be an information overload, the best part is, you don’t have to navigate it alone. To make the process a little bit easier, these are a few key people you’ll need along the way to support your house-buying plans.
First off, it’s helpful to find yourself a real estate agent or realtor. While you don’t always need one to purchase a home, realtors can be an integral part of the process and take on a number of the stressful, tedious, and complicated pieces in the home buying puzzle.
An experienced real estate agent will:
Qualified and reputable home inspectors are key players in making sure you know what you’re getting into before you close the deal. In general, home inspections are usually included as a contingency in a conditional offer.
While home inspections can sometimes be waived in a competitive market, and while they’re not required by law in Canada, having a home inspection contingency in place ensures you’re better protected against sudden, expensive repairs and upgrades. Inspections will help you understand whether the property you’re looking at really is a dream come true or a costly mistake.
Qualified home inspectors will look thoroughly at your potential house’s interior and exterior–from the foundation to the faucets–and provide you with a report of identified issues and risks.
A home inspector’s findings won’t just paint you a clear picture of what you’re actually getting, but they’ll also help you or your real estate agent negotiate a fair deal.
Better safe than sorry is especially the case when it comes to your house. In fact, in most cases you can’t close until you lock down some form of home insurance. Like its name suggests, home insurance protects your home and personal belongings from damage or loss due to unexpected events, like fires or smoke, theft, or even injuries to others that happen on your property. It’s important to note, though, that the specifics of what’s covered in your home insurance will depend on the specific policy.
As part of your home buying journey, you’ll want to find a home insurance provider to secure your closing date.
Professional, licensed appraisers are third-party experts–just like home inspectors–who have no stake in the transaction of your home. Instead, a qualified home appraiser helps determine your house’s value from an unbiased lens.
When buying a house, a mortgage lender may require an appraisal on a home you intend to purchase as a condition of the sale. For lenders, the appraisal helps ensure a home is worth what is being paid. This ensures that you won’t be overborrowing if the sale price and the house’s actual value don’t align. In cases when an appraisal comes in lower than the price being sought by sellers, the lender will likely only give a loan on the appraised value.
Sometimes a lender will cover this cost for a home appraisal, while in other cases, the buyer will have to cover the cost. However, while getting an appraisal has an additional cost, when you lock your mortgage with Pine you can have that cost reimbursed.
When it comes to closing on a house–or even selling one, as well–a lawyer is legally required in Canada for the process.
A real estate lawyer takes care of all the legal aspects involved in selling and purchasing a property. They’ll review all the documents involved in a transaction like contracts, offers, and Agreement of Purchases or Agreement of Sales. The lawyer will also manage the Land Transfer process and register the transfer of a property to the relevant provincial land registry office.
Real estate lawyers also protect your legal interests. A lawyer will ensure a property doesn’t have any claims against it, that the property titles are all valid, that the property taxes are up to date, and that the transaction has met all legal and financial requirements.
They’ll also draft up all the mortgage documents and calculate all closing costs to ensure the property is successfully closed and that you can get your keys.
And, of course, when you decide to purchase a home, you’ll want to consult a mortgage advisor to help you figure out what you can afford. Whether it’s through a bank or an independent lender, you can get all your questions answered about how much you’ll need for a down payment, if you’ll need mortgage insurance if you’re unable to offer up 20% down payment, and what calculations would look like for a variable or fixed-rate mortgage.
Mortgage providers often help you figure out the best mortgage for you, testing out the various options and finding one that’s within budget, all while helping you calculate exactly how much you’ll owe.
And did you know you get that all started right at your fingertips? If you’ve got questions and need help figuring out what to do, apply now with Pine and we’ll have one of our mortgage advisors get in touch to help.