CHOOSING AN AGENT:
So, you have decided to buy a home. The first thing you will want to do is find a real estate professional. An agent will educate you on current market conditions, discuss exactly what you are looking for and help you zero right in on it, saving you a ton of time. Your agent will also co-ordinate with other professionals throughout the process, negotiate on your behalf and be by your side through any challenges along the way. Commit to one real estate agent and honour the terms of the agreement. Your agent is working hard for you even when they're not with you. Be respectful of the relationship.
Next you will want to meet with a mortgage broker to determine your affordability. A mortgage broker will factor in all other expenses in your life and pre-approve you for a mortgage that you can comfortably afford. Now if you see something you like you are armed and able to pull the trigger. Making an offer without pre-approval is like having a knife in a gun fight. You'll have to put in an offer conditional on financing when all others will have taken care of that already.
Under Calculators in the Nav bar above, there is an affordability calculator to help you determine what you can afford to spend on a home.
MAKE A WISH LIST:
Make yourself a wish list of everything you are looking for in a home. Communicate it all to your agent. Your agent will do everything possible to fill as many of those needs and desires as possible and may have some ideas that you hadn't thought of. The more your agent can get in your head and can visualize exactly what you're looking for the better your search will be.
GET A HOME INSPECTION:
These days, sellers often have a Home Inspection done in advance of listing their property to prevent every single potential buyer from sending their own inspector over. If this has been done, make sure it was from a reputable company. If it hasn't been done, get your own inspector and have your own done. Let's not discover expensive surprises after taking ownership. Having a pre-inspection done also allows potential buyers to make an offer without having to make it conditional on a home inspection done.
LEARN ABOUT THE NEIGHBOURHOODS YOU LIKE:
Educate yourself about the neighbourhoods you are interested in. Are the homes in the area well looked after. Read up on the school district if you have children. What is the proximity to your employment? Don't under estimate the insanity of Toronto traffic. Is there convenient access to public transportation, shopping and recreation? Walk the streets at night to see if you feel safe. If there are shops and restaurants, ask any employees that leave the area late at night if they ever have any issues. Even stop by the local police station and ask if they have any light to shed. They will have no reason to candy coat the situation in any way.