Buyers Resources

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Real Estate Glossary

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Nanaimo MLS ® Market Statistics


Home Buyers Road Map

Steps to buying a home

Hire a real estate professional

The first step is to select a professional to help you find your dream home and fine-tune your financial expectations. Working with a buyer agent is worth consideration since he or she is legally responsible for representing the buyer's interest in a real estate transaction. Before making a decision, however, have a REALTOR explain the pros and cons of using a buyer agent versus a sales or dual agent. I can guide you through every step to buying a home.

Shop for mortgage rates and terms

A difference of even half a percentage point can make a huge difference in how much you pay over the life of a loan. For example, the difference in the monthly payment on a $100,000 mortgage at 8 percent vs. 7.5 percent is about $35 per month. Over 30 years, that's $12,600.

Pre-qualify for a loan

Your third step should be to get pre qualified, which determines how much you can afford. It allows you to move swiftly when you find the right home, especially when there are other interested buyers. It also indicates to the seller that you are serious and really can afford to buy the property.

Determining your housing requirements

Think about the features you want in a home: 3 bedrooms or 4? 1 bath or 2? Garage or no garage? Having an idea of your minimum requirements will help you focus your search. It will help me narrow the number of houses you have to look at.

You should have two lists made

Nice to have - This is items found in your dream home i.e.: marble counters, swimming pool, ocean view.

Need to have - These are items that must be present in order for you to purchase the house at any price. i.e.: 3 bedroom, a large kitchen, yard for the dog, close to schools, move in ready. You should also have given some thought to you floor and ceiling price. What is the least amount and greatest amount you can afford to spend.

Let me know what your needs are and I can email you daily updates of new listings. This update will allow you to see what homes sold, how long they were on the market and for what price.

How many homes should I look at, with Doug, before I make an offer?

There is no set number of houses that you should look at before deciding to make an offer. But looking at too many at once can just lead to confusion. Providing Doug, up front, with as many details about the home you want to buy as possible, helps him focus on getting you the right place. Well priced good homes sell quickly, focusing on what you want helps you find what you want before another buyer makes an offer on your dream home.

Feel free to do a drive by of homes and areas that interest you.

Where can I get information about local schools?

Local schools are listed here . Doug can get you exact distances of schools from any home you wish to make an offer on.

How can I find out what homes are selling for in the area?

Doug can find out for you what recent homes in the area have sold for that are similar to what you are looking for.

Who Pays the Commission?

Normally, the ‘seller’ has signed a listing agreement with the real estate sales person specifying a certain fee to be paid for selling their home. As the Buyers agent I am paid half of the commission collected. Make an offer, negotiate with vendor.

Visit properties

Now you're ready to visit houses. Ask Doug your RE/MAX Associate to arrange showings, and keep track of the properties you've seen.

Know the features that help or hurt resale

In some areas, a swimming pool actually detracts from a home's value and makes it harder to sell. In neighborhoods with two-car, attached garages, a single-car or detached garage may impact the home sale and future value. Doug can point out features that hurt, and those that help, resale value.

Rate the houses you tour

After touring each home, write down what you liked and didn't like. Develop a rating system that will help narrow the field down. For example, pick the house you like best on day one and compare all other houses to it. When you find a better one, use the new favorite as the standard.

Make an offer

You have found the home that suits your needs yet you need to be as calm and objective as possible. It is hard not to get emotional about a home that you really like, but you need to remain calm and remember that it is just one of many available to you.

Be prepared for counter offers. Don't let the pressure get to you. Remain patient, and remember that this is as difficult for them as it is you. Vendors are often under even more pressure because they already made an offer on another property or they have firm move dates due to a new job etc. You may need to be flexible on price, closing date, appliances and repairs. You should spend enough time to thoroughly examine what it is you want to buy just as you would when buying a car. Be aware however that unlike a car you may be bidding against other Buyers. Being organized and prepared to move quickly can really pay off when the big decision comes.

Once your offer is accepted, be prepared to seal the deal with a deposit. A deposit is a method of showing good faith. A percentage of the home's sale price that indicates you're serious about the purchase.

Part of the negotiating process is clearly defining what is to be included in the sale. Don't assume that items such as appliances, patio furniture refrigerators are included. Doing so usually causes some unpleasant surprises on moving day. If there is any question, be specific!

Arrange for a home inspection

After your offer is accepted, set up a home inspection. It's common to find problems, including leaky roofs, cracked walls, insect infestations and foundation problems. Doug can help find a reputable inspector, and will negotiate to get you the most for your money once the inspector's report is final. If you negotiate repairs as part of the purchase, ask for a ";walk through" before finalizing the paperwork. Ask your real estate expert about home protection plans, which may save you money in the near future.

Close

Before your closing date, make sure you've made all necessary deposits and completed the paperwork - including mortgage, title, homeowners insurance and any other paperwork required by local or provincial governments.

Prepare for life in your new home

Before rolling out the welcome mat, consider some moving basics: arranging for an alarm company, turning on electricity, water and gas, cleaning or replacing the carpet, and notifying your local post office of your new address. The best time for renovations is often before you move in.

Have a questions? Need to Buy or Sell? Give me a call.

I post both my cell and office number so my clients can reach me anytime. I am always happy to discuss your real estate needs.

Office 250-751-1223

Cell 250-619-6012

Fax 250-751-1300

Office 1-5140 Metral Dr. Nanaimo