It’s hard to believe it’s almost the New Year! With 2017 coming to a close, undoubtedly you’ve started coming up with resolutions for 2018. If one is to buy a new home in the South Okanagan, this post is for you! Below you’ll find a list of eight things to do before you purchase your new house.
1) Decide What You Want
This is the fun part! I recommend making a list of “must-have” and “would-be-nice” things you hope to have in the home. That way, if you can’t find one with everything you want, you’ll at least know exactly what it has to have. Questions to consider include:
- What kind of house do you want?
- What neighbourhood?
- When do you want to move in?
- Are you going to be expanding your family?
2) Get Your Finances Figured Out
Once you know what you want, it’s time to consider what you can actually afford. Have you saved up for a down payment? What can you handle as a monthly budget? Will you have enough for the closing costs and taxes? Can you afford all the hidden costs of home ownership? There’s a lot of questions here and it’s important to buy something that isn’t outside of your means.
3) Find a Real Estate Agent
I hear that Dan Jones guy is pretty great.
4) Find Your New Home
Alright, back to the fun stuff. Now it’s time to go out and start looking at houses. Since you made that handy-dandy list in step #1, you and your real estate agent (me!) can start sorting out potential homes. Usually you’ll want to look at several before making a decision but who knows? You might get lucky on the first try.
5) Talk to a Mortgage Broker
Truthfully, you could have done this as part of step #2. Talking to a mortgage broker isn’t as intimidating as it seems. They’re there to help you get the home you want but that’ll all depend on your credit rating. It’s worth talking to a few to see who can offer you the best rate.
6) Make an Offer
Here’s where it gets interesting. When you’ve found the home you want, you’ve got a few options:
- Accept the listed price
- Reject the price and don’t make an offer
- Suggest different terms and make a counter offer
How effective option number three is depends on the real estate market in your area. If it’s slow, you might be able to make an offer lower than the listed price and save some money. But if you’re in a hot market, prepare to potentially offer MORE than what the seller is asking for. What you offer will also be determined by the condition of the house. Usually you’ll have a home inspector come in to look things over. If they find potential problems (old furnace, damaged roof, etc.), you might be able to decrease the amount you offer. Again, as your realtor, I can help you figure out this step.
7) Get Insurance
This is easy. You need it. Check out a few different places for the best rate.
8) Close the Deal
Prepare to sign a LOT of papers. This is the step where all the I’s get dotted and the T’s get crossed. Once everything’s all signed up, you’ll get the keys. Then it’s time to start moving in!
There’s one last step… have fun! Sure, there’s a lot of responsibility that goes along with home ownership but it’s an incredible experience. If you want some help buying a home and are looking for a realtor in Penticton, get in touch with me. I can walk you through the process and get you into something you’ll love!