The first step you should take when buying your first home, is meeting with a mortgage lender or broker to look at your financing options and confirm that you are financially able and ready to buy a home. You will review mortgage terms and interest rates and the lender will outline what you must do to ensure that you get approval for a mortgage.
It’s good practice to get pre-approved for a mortgage before you start looking for property. A pre-approved mortgage details what you can afford, what your interest rate will be, and what your monthly mortgage payments will be. Getting pre-approved can help refine your search to a certain home type, size, or neighbourhood.
After you are pre-approved, have found a real estate agent and have visited a number of beautiful Squamish homes, you will (hopefully) decide to make an offer on one. At this point you will have chosen a mortgage, found a home, and rounded up a home-buying team. Now it’s time to make an offer and close the deal! Your agent should be able to help with this process.
Making an offer
Your offer should include:
- Your legal name, the name of the seller and the address of the property
- The purchase price (the amount you’re offering to pay)
- The amount of your deposit
- Any extra items you want included in the purchase such as window coverings or appliances
- The closing date, which is the date you want to take possession of the home (usually 30 to 60 days after the agreement is signed for existing homes and longer for newly constructed homes)
- A request for a current land survey of the property
- The date the offer expires
- Any other conditions that must be met, such as a satisfactory home inspection or lender approval of your financing The contract will only become final once all the conditions have been met. You should expect to negotiate. While the process can be stressful, it’s all about making the best deal for you and the seller.
An accepted offer
Once your offer is accepted, visit your lender or broker to finalize the details of your mortgage. Be sure to go over any conditions that were part of the offer. Your lender will advise you on exactly what you will need to bring to the meeting, but the following will likely be included in their list:
- A home inspection report
- The most recent property tax assessment
- Estimates for recent or planned renovations and improvements
- Heating and utility costs
- The signed offer to purchase
Closing day is an exciting time! It’s when you finally get to take legal possession of your new home. The final signing generally happens at your lawyer or notary’s office along with the following events.
- Your lender gives the mortgage money to your lawyer or notary
- You give your down payment (minus the deposit) to your lawyer or notary, along with the closing costs (typically 1.5% to 4% of the purchase price) to cover legal fees, land transfer taxes and other costs.
- Your lawyer or notary pays the seller, registers the home in your name and gives you the deed and keys to your new home
For more information on the buying process, get in touch with one of our agents.