Friday, 12 June 2015

First Home - First Steps

Where Do I Start? 

 Thinking about buying your first home, but not quite sure where to start? Here's a simple how-to guide for first-timers.

Purchasing your first home should be an enjoyable, exciting part of your life; and while I’m sure everyone has their own opinion on the best way to go about this, here are the steps I suggest for my clients to make it as easy and efficient as possible.


The Advice

See a professional. These three words sum up the best place to start. Whether this is your first home or your fifteenth, it is always good to start with a consultation with your local Kamloops mortgage broker. We are here to offer the advice you need and to help you answer these key questions.

  1. Is now the right time to buy property?
  2. How much can I afford?
  3. What do the current mortgage rates/terms look like?
  4. How does this fit into my overall financial plan?
My job is to review not just the purchase you are thinking of making, but how that decision affects your short-term and long-term financial health and wealth. A professional review of your financial position is critical to making an informed decision that will benefit you for years to come. Your first appointment might also include a Pre-Approval or pre-qualification for a mortgage; this allows you to look for your property with confidence and lets you narrow your search to a particular price range.

The Search

See a professional(Again!). This is when you get to spend time with your favourite Realtor and make sure they get to know you. Still looking for a Realtor to tour you around? I would suggest as a great place to start in the Kamloops area. Once you've decided who to work with, you can get together to discuss things such as:

    What type of property are you searching for? (Urban/Suburban? Out of town? Big/Small?)
    Why did you choose this type/size of property?(New family? Downsizing? Rental income?)
    What price range are you searching in?(Check out these Calculators)
    Long-term goals for this purchase?(I.e. Investment Property? Forever home?, Etc.)

After a lot of learning, deliberation, and decision making you should have a clear picture of what you are searching for and how to find it at a price that suits your lifestyle and your goals. Now get out there and view as many homes as you need in order to find the one that is right for you!

The Action

So you’ve found the perfect place, congratulations! Now what?

Make an Offer

Now you work with your Realtor to create an offer/contract that includes your purchase price as well
as all the important terms of the sale. This usually involves some negotiation between your Realtor and the sellers to come a price and terms that everyone agrees to and accepts. Once you have an accepted offer in hand(so we have plenty of time to arrange everything), you should contact your mortgage broker again and make sure to choose a lawyer/notary who can help you through the final steps.

Subject Removal

Your offer will probably also include some subjects(or conditions) that must be fulfilled by a certain date(usually about 2 weeks+ after accepting the offer). These may range from arranging financing(good thing you’ve already seen your mortgage advisor!), to completing a home inspection, arranging property insurance, or anything else that needs to be arranged to ensure you are completely happy with your purchase and your accepted offer. Once the subject removal date arrives, you have one last chance to meet with your Realtor and discuss the details before your purchase agreement becomes legally binding(Read: last chance before you're committed to buying this house!)


If everything is going smoothly and you have agreed to remove subjects, your mortgage broker will forward all the necessary documents to your lawyer/notary who will make sure the money changes hands correctly and that the title to the house is registered in your name on your chosen completion date. Your lawyer will also be responsible for ensuring that all outstanding debts are settled and divided as necessary between you and the sellers, including things like property taxes, utilities, etc. These costs can sometimes come as a surprise to new homeowners so make sure you take the time to ask questions and understand all the documentation you receive. I'm always happy to review these things with you, just ask!


Once all this is done, you get to sit back and enjoy your status as a proud home owner,
congratulations again! Good advice and a good relationship with reliable, trustworthy professionals should make the whole process simple, hassle-free, and enjoyable. That way you can get to the hard part, moving in!

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