Looking for a new home?
Jay Mayo will provide provide a home buyer a detailed overview of the process of buying a home. Whether you a first time home buyer or have moved several times Jay’s program is customized for your needs. Throughout the entire process, he will support you each step of the way, from start to finish and will be with you even after you’ve moved in.
Top 4 Mistakes Buyers Make
Not Knowing What You Can Afford
As we’ve all learned from the subprime mortgage mess, what the bank says you can afford and what you know you can afford or are comfortable with paying are not necessarily the same. If you don’t already have a budget, make a list of all your monthly expenses (excluding rent), including vehicle costs, student loan payments, credit card payments, groceries, health insurance, retirement savings and so on. Don’t forget major expenses that only occur once a year, like any insurance premiums you pay annually or annual vacations. Subtract this total from your take-home pay and you’ll know how much you can spend on your new home each month.
If you end up looking at homes that are outside your price range, you’ll end up lusting after something you can’t afford, which can put you in the dangerous position of trying to stretch beyond your means financially or cause you to feel unsatisfied with what you actually can afford. You may even learn that you can’t afford the type or size of home that you desire and that you need to work on reducing your monthly expenses and/or increasing your income before you even start looking.
Being Too Picky
Go ahead and put everything you can think of on your new home wish list, but don’t be so inflexible that you end up continuing to rent for significantly longer than you really want to. First-time homebuyers often have to compromise on something because their funds are limited. You may have to live on a busy street, accept outdated decor, make some repairs to the home, or forgo that extra bedroom. Of course, you can always choose to continue renting until you can afford everything on your list – you’ll just have to decide how important it is for you to become a homeowner now rather than in a couple of years.
Even if you can’t afford to replace the hideous wallpaper in the bathroom now, it might be worth it to live with the ugliness for a while in exchange for getting into a house you can afford. If the home otherwise meets your needs in terms of the big things that are difficult to change, such as location and size, don’t let physical imperfections turn you away. Besides, doing home upgrades yourself, even when you have to hire a contractor, is often cheaper than paying the increased home value to a seller who has already done the work for you.
Not Choosing to Hire an Agent or Using the Seller’s Agent
Once you’re seriously shopping for a home, don’t walk into an open house without having an agent (or at least being prepared to throw out a name of someone you’re supposedly working with). Agents are held to the ethical rule that they must act in both the seller and the buyer parties’ best interests, but you can see how that might not work in your best interest if you start dealing with a seller’s agent before contacting one of your own.
It is important to be fully aware of all the costs involved in buying a home, preferably before you go house hunting! Knowing in advance what these additional “costs” are, over and above the down payment that you might have, will help you plan for a smooth closing and avoid any unpleasant surprises. You should allow at least 1.5% of the purchase price for closing costs although we recommend approximately 2% to be on the safe side.
Below is a comprehensive list of closings costs that you might incur, but remember that they are estimates only and should be used as a guideline as of course they may vary depending on your own specific purchase.
A lawyer will charge a fee for their professional services involved in drafting the title deed, preparing the mortgage, and conducting the various searches. The disbursements, on the other hand, are out-of-pocket expenses incurred, such as registrations, searches, supplies, etc., plus G.S.T. The actual fee that the lawyer will charge will depend entirely upon the deal between you and your lawyer. Be sure to ascertain exactly what this will amount to in a worst-case situation. A typical purchase transaction for a $200,000 property with one mortgage will range between $800 to $1,200 including disbursements plus other adjustments. We recommend you call one or two lawyers and obtain a quote directly from them including both their fee and estimates of disbursements before choosing which one you’d like to use.
You should budget for insurance on your new home. Insurance costs can include default mortgage insurance, homeowners insurance, mortgage life insurance and title insurance. See http://genworth.ca/en/index.aspx page for more about mortgage insurance in Ontario Canada.
At the time of a sale, the lawyer for the buyer must confirm that local taxes have been paid up to date. If they are, a Tax Certificate is issued, from which any adjustments can be made – usually requiring the buyer to compensate the seller for any prepaid taxes. If they are not up to date, the municipality requires that the seller pay them off from the proceeds of the sale. Therefore, remember that if the previous owner has prepaid property taxes or other utilities for the year, they will be credited the prepaid portion on closing. If they paid all their taxes by April, expect a large adjustment cost on closing! Again, your lawyer will confirm all this for you.
A report commissioned by a property owner or purchaser, usually to verify the condition of a property prior to the “firming up” of a Real Estate transaction. The scope and detail may vary, but most reports indicate the specific problem and the cost to repair. Depending on the size and location of the property, a home inspection is around $300.
Let The Search Begin!