Buy It

The Boos Team takes home buying seriously and this page is dedicated to you, as you go along the journey of purchasing a new, or another home. Hopefully the information below will answer some questions you may have, and we are always a phone call away if you need anything.

Are You Ready to Buy a Home?

First – do you have the financial resources? You should have five percent of the purchase price of a home for the down payment, but ideally even more. Are there other priorities in your life e.g. buying a vehicle, starting a family, opening a new business, which require your savings? If not, buying a home should be on your radar.

Second – do you expect to stay in your new home for some time? Moving can be expensive and you will want to build some equity before having to relocate. Your job and home life should be stable.

What Can You Afford?

If you haven't already gone through the mortgage pre-qualification process, you will need to meet with a lender or mortgage broker. They will establish how much of a mortgage you will qualify for. Mortgage rates vary considerably and it is paramount that you shop around for the best rate, terms and options.

Our Mortgage Calculator will help you determine what monthly mortgage payment and the maximum mortgage you can manage. Note: if you are buying a condo, the amount of your monthly assessment has a direct impact on how much you can afford to spend on your mortgage.

First time homebuyers may want to take advantage of the federal government’s Home Buyers’ Plan. Under this plan, you may use up to $25,000 of your RRSP towards the purchase of a home. The money is tax-free as long as you pay it back in the next 15 years. Ask your BOOS REAL ESTATE TEAM for details.

Before Writing an Offer

There are many costs that homebuyers incur, especially upon purchasing your first home. Some of the expenses related to buying a home are one-time costs, while others are continuing costs.

Your largest outlay is the down payment. As a first time buyer, this would likely represent only 5 - 10% of the purchase price. Be prepared to pay for additional costs, such as:

Home Purchase Expenses

  • Legal Fees & Disbursements
  • GST and PST (if applicable)
  • Land Transfer Tax
  • Property taxes and adjustments (reimbursed to the vendor)
  • Interest on interim financing, if any
  • Utility Payments
  • Strata or Condominium Fees
  • Survey Fee
  • Home Inspection Fee
  • Water quality and quantity certificate
  • Appraisal Fee
  • Mortgage broker's fee (if applicable)
  • Mortgage Loan Insurance Premium (if less than 20% down)
  • Mortgage Loan Insurance Application Fee (if less than 20% down)
  • Moving Expenses
  • Renovations and repairs
  • Furniture, paint, carpeting, window coverings, etc.
  • Service and Utility Hook-up Fees
  • Property/Condominium Insurance
  • Mortgage Application Fee
  • Deed and/or Mortgage Registration Fee

Additionally, once you have purchased your home, you will incur regular expenses on a monthly, quarterly or yearly basis. Some of these costs include:

Mortgage Payment
Water and/or Sewer Payments
Electricity and Gas Services
Cable, Telephone and Internet Services
Property Taxes
Strata or Condo Fees
Repair/Maintenance Expenses
Homeowner's Insurance

How to Make an Offer

When you have found a home you are interested in buying, your BOOS REAL ESTATE TEAM will walk you through the process of drafting an offer to purchase. Karen and Anthony will communicate the offer to the seller or the seller's real estate agent for you. Some properties are in demand and you will not be the only interested party making an offer. The Boos team will assist you in generating an offer that is reasonable and protects your interests using specified terms and conditions.

An offer can be drafted with or without conditions; an offer without conditions is known as a firm offer and one with conditions is known as a conditional offer. A conditional offer represents the party with the placement of certain conditions on the purchase. Some of these conditions could be "subject to financing approval", "subject to the strata council bylaws and rules", "subject to the buyer's house selling", "subject to an approved home inspection", among many others.

The seller may accept your initial offer, reject your offer or present a counter-offer. The counter-offer may differ from your original offer in respect to price, conditions, the closing date or any other items. Offers can be countered back and forth between the parties until one of you accepts or rejects, ending the negotiations.

There are many components of an offer that you should be aware of and understand. Your BOOS REAL ESTATE TEAM will answer your questions and explain the entire process to you so that you are comfortable with the steps involved.

Terms

An offer includes certain "terms", which specify the total price offered and how the financing will be arranged, such as if you will arrange your own with a financial institution or mortgage broker or if you wish to take over the seller's mortgage (assumability).

Inclusions and Exclusions

These are specifications within the offer that detail the items to be included or excluded from the purchase of the property. Typical inclusions are appliances, window coverings, fixtures and decorative pieces.

Deposit

A deposit is provided from the buyer as a token of the buyer's assurance and intention to buy the property involved. The deposit is applied against the purchase price of the home once the sale has closed. Karen and Anthony can assist you in proposing a certain and appropriate amount for the deposit.

Conditions

Items that are usually put in place to protect a party's interests upon selling or buying the property and refer to things that must occur or be in place before the sale closes.

Closing Date

This is usually the date that the legal ownership of the property transfers from the seller to the buyer and, unless otherwise noted, when the funds for the purchase are concluded.

Possession Date

When the buyer takes possession as specified in contract of purchase sale.

Purchase Price

This is the amount that the buyer is offering to pay for the property. The price is usually dependent on market conditions and may differ from the seller's current asking price.

Legal Needs

Purchasing a home involves a lot of paperwork, most of which are contractual documents that will legally bind you to the numerous terms and conditions. For this reason it is important to have a good lawyer or notary public acting for you. Someone to protect your rights and interests.

Finding a Lawyer/Notary Public

If you don't have a lawyer or notary public, you can look for a referral from friends, family or business acquaintances. Look for someone with real estate experience and discuss their fee scales. Your BOOS REAL ESTATE TEAM will provide a list of reliable professionals, whom you feel comfortable working with.

Lawyer's/Notary Public's Function

You will need a lawyer or notary public to process your purchase and ensure the terms are met:

  • The correct property is purchased
  • Transferred title to your name
  • Ensured title is free and clear of prior owners encumbrances
  • Your mortgage is registered properly on title

The legal process varies from province to province within Canada. Specifically, you will need to consult with your chosen legal professional and he/she will explain the process and the steps that need to be completed before you get the keys to your new home.

Your lawyer/notary public will prepare a "Statement of Adjustments" outlining all the financial aspects of your sale.

Home Inspection

A home inspection is an objective visual examination of a home's structure and systems.

Why get a home inspection?

There are a number of reasons why THE BOOS REAL ESTATE TEAM recommends a home inspection including:

  • To ensure you are not surprised by major defects
  • So you can be advised about the various elements of the home including - heating and cooling systems, structure, electrical and plumbing
  • To learn about how the mechanical systems work and need to be maintained
  • Most homeowners are not experts in the numerous components of house construction
  • A third party can be objective as there is no emotional attachment

Who should you hire?

Home inspectors are often referred by family or friends. Karen and Anthony can also provide you with a list of inspectors. Look for one that is trained and certified by a national organization such as Canadian Association of Home Inspectors (CAHI) or National Institute of Building Inspectors (NIBI) and who has errors and omissions insurance. Do not hire someone who will do any suggested work due to the conflict of interest.

When should you call?

Order the inspection after your offer has been accepted. The contact will stipulate the length of time you have to complete the inspection.

What is involved?

The home inspection will determine the structural and mechanical soundness of the home. Your home inspector can identify existing and potential problem areas, suggest possible solutions and provide estimates for the cost of the work required. You will receive a report outlining the inspection findings. You should accompany the home inspector during the inspection or arrange to meet them at the home so they can walk you through the report. If as a result of the inspection, you have further concerns, have a specialist in that area conduct a more extensive examination.

What does it cost?

Costs vary depending on a number of factors including:

Size and location of the home, features, age, and services required. Karen and Anthony can assist you in obtaining a quote from a potential inspector before you enlist his/her services.

Mortgage Information

Mortgage lending is a highly competitive field. Information on mortgage rates, which can change daily, is available in local newspapers, through mortgage brokers, from individual lenders and of course through conventional financial institutions. When you are shopping for a loan, it is important that you choose the right one that makes you feel comfortable, answers all your questions and gets back to you in a timely manner. You will also need to study the various fees lenders charge and many mortgages today are almost custom-tailored to individual needs with many options available.

As your Boos Real Estate Team for a list of lenders to check with prior to beginning any serious house hunting so you will know exactly what you can afford.

10 Mistakes Home Buyers Make

Buying a home is a very emotional process, and allowing those emotions to get the best of you can cause you to make any number of mistakes. Since buying a home has many far-reaching implications, from where you will live to how hard it will be to make ends meet, it's important to keep your emotions in check and make the most rational decision possible. There are eight common emotional mistakes that people make when buying a home. Avoiding these pitfalls will help you find the best home-sweet-home.

Searching for a house is a pressure filled task filled with quick decisions which could affect your financial future. Here are 10 common mistakes made by house-hunters.

Before looking for your next home take the time to get pre-qualified by the bank or mortgage broker you choose. This can save you hours of searching for homes in the wrong price range or worse, purchasing a home and then finding out you don’t qualify for financing. Pre-qualifying gives you peace of mind, helps narrow your search criteria and most importantly, gives your Boos Real Estate Team a negotiating edge by being able to alleviate the sellers concern over financing. The latter is especially important should a competing offer surface.
Karen and Anthony can help you make a purchase with the least amount of problems. We will ensure the price you pay is market value and will offer expert advice on what to look for, conditions to include, negotiation strategy etc. After all, we work for you.
Know all the costs associated with your purchase. Consider the following costs: legal fees, transfer tax, property taxes, new home landscaping, fencing, appliances, window coverings.
It’s a tough balancing act to make sure you make a careful decision yet don't take too long to make it. Losing out on a property that you were almost ready to make an offer on because someone beat you to it can be heartbreaking. It can also have economic consequences. If you don't pull the trigger quickly, someone else might, and you'll have to keep looking. Don't underestimate how time-consuming and routine-disrupting house shopping can be.
If price is important you should always sell your present home before buying another. It has the advantage in letting you know exactly how much money you will have available for your next purchase. Selling your home first allows you to place fewer conditions on your purchase which makes your offer more attractive to a seller. They often will demand more money to take a “subject to” offer which takes their home off the market. The other advantage is if you find a terrific house, chances are others will also find it attractive and you stand to lose it if you can’t make an unconditional offer.
Nobody wants to purchase a home only to find out later there are defects, latent or otherwise. Ensure you obtain inspections where needed. If the inspection identifies deficiencies you may be able to negotiate the purchase price to cover required repairs or make your satisfaction of the inspection subject to the homeowner remedying the problem. Karen and Anthony can provide a list of inspectors you should consider.
Once you've fallen in love with a particular home, it's hard to go back. To avoid the temptation to get in over your head financially, or the disappointment of feeling like you're settling for less than you deserve, it's best to only look at homes in your price range. Start your search at the low end of your price range - if what you find there satisfies you, there's no need to go higher. Remember, when you buy another $10,000 worth of house, you're not just paying an extra $10,000 - you're paying an extra $10,000 plus interest, which might come out to double that amount or more over the life of your loan. You may be better off putting that money toward another purpose.
Any of the three reasons we just discussed, you might be tempted to ignore major problems with the house that will be difficult, expensive or impossible to change. Carefully consider your options before you make a commitment, and consider waiting until something better comes along. New houses come on the market every day.
Don’t buy a fixer-upper that's more than you can handle in terms of time, money or ability. For example, if you think you can do the work yourself then realize you can't once you get started, any repairs or upgrades you were planning to make will probably cost twice as much once you factor in the labor - and that may not be in your budget. Not to mention the costs involved to fix anything you may have started and the fees to replace the materials you wasted. Honestly evaluate your abilities, your budget and how soon you need to move before purchasing a property that isn't move-in ready.
When you've been looking for a while and you're not seeing anything you like - or worse, you're getting outbid on the houses you do want - it's easy to start thinking that what you really want simply won't happen. If you move into a house you'll end up hating, the transaction costs to get rid of it will be costly. You'll have to pay an agent's commission (up to 5-6% of the sale price) and you'll have to pay closing costs for the mortgage on your new house. You'll also deal with the hassle and expense of moving yet again. If you decide not to move and instead try to make the best of what you have, remember that alterations and renovations are expensive, time-consuming and stressful. The best advice is to wait if you have the luxury of time, or to correct your vision for your future to what you actually need, not want.

Conclusion

Even knowing all of these things, it's still hard to act on them. You may still find yourself making decisions based on emotions during the home-buying process. Slow down, overcome your emotions and, ultimately, make a home-purchase decision that's good for both your feelings and your finances.

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