Finding the Right Home
Once you have calculated what your sustainable price range is for a new home, and have secured the pre-approval for a mortgage to suit, it is now time to start the homebuying adventure. There are a wide variety of sources that can assist you in the search for the perfect home.
The Internet - Simply by clicking on individual realtors' websites or www.mls.ca, you will be able to quickly and efficiently zero in on the properties which are in your geographical area and price range. One of the great advantages to internet searching for properties is that you will be able to see a number of properties in just minutes, with full specifications and vivid color photographs of the interior and exterior of the home. Although you should never "fall in love" with a residential property just from photographs, the internet search can certainly save a lot of time and effort in eliminating a number of unsuitable property from your "to visit" list.
Real Estate Magazines & Newspapers - Every area has at least one real estate magazine which features a selection of homes from area realtors. Although not all the listings will be in any given publication (unlike the MLS internet site), you may find some exclusive properties which a realtor is marketing directly without placing them on the MLS system. Newspapers usually run large weekly real estate sections featuring numerous ads from realtors dealing with properties of special interest.
Drive-By - You know the general area that you would prefer to live in, so driving around and marking down the phone numbers on For Sale signs is a great way to find your dream home. The advantage to driving by over seeing photos on the internet or in an ad is that you are able to more accurately gauge how the home is placed in the neighbourhood as compared to others, as well as be able to truly see the front of the property from all angles.
Word Of Mouth - Informing your friends, colleagues, and relatives that you are in the market for a home is a great way to find out about properties that might not be on the market yet, or are more difficult to find. Many real estate transactions are completed by people who previously know each other, and in many cases the conditions are more advantageous than those that would have been extended to a stranger.
Of course just finding the property is not the end of the considerations which must be undertaken prior to placing an offer. Take time to review the entire condition of the property with an eye towards future maintenance and repair expenses. Many residential properties in Canada have an Energy Rating tag usually on the electrical panel. The higher the rating up to 100, the more the home is energy efficient, and that is a critical consideration these days.
Existing financing or the possibility of creative financing can make a huge difference in the process of purchasing the property. Some mortgages are assumable and their terms could be more favourable than those available on a new loan. The seller may even be amenable to extending vendor financing in the form of a take-back mortgage, which in many cases is a buyer's best financing option.