Fred Hussey





Buying a home is a complex process. Having a qualified Realtor and team of professionals to guide you along the way is the best way to minimize stress and achieve the optimum outcome. I have the team of people ready to support you. Ask me about my detailed home buying workbook that provides a detailed guide to purchasing freehold and condominium residential properties.







1. Consider your requirements before beginning your search

Budget

Consider how much you have to spend, and just as importantly, consider how much you want to spend. I work closely with a qualified mortgage broker who can meet with you at your convenience to ensure you get off to a sound start. Meeting with your preferred lender in advance to ensure you have a complete understanding of your financial disposition is critical.

Location

Where you live has an impact on your lifestyle and it’s also one of the most significant factors on the value of your home. Choice of location is sometimes limited by the price you can afford but it is still important to consider factors such as traffic, commute to work, schools, hospitals, proximity to family, shopping and entertainment. As a first step, drive around the areas you are interested in to see if they are worthy of further investigation.

Type of Home

What type of property would you like to live in? A single-family detached home is desirable to many because it typically provides more living space and land. Alternatively, a condominium may be a more appropriate choice, since condos offer low-maintenance living. It is important to determine what type of home best suits your budget and desired lifestyle.

Features

What are your “nice to haves” and your “deal breakers” – the things that must be part of your new home? Is it important for you to have an ensuite bathroom, an attached garage or a private backyard? Would you like a balcony, a short commute, or a move-in ready property? Once you decide which features you would like, then it’s time to prioritize the list. By adding your deal breakers to my searches, I can ensure you spend time efficiently, looking at properties most likely to be of interest.

2. Searching for a home

As a licensed real estate agent I use a variety of tools to identify properties that meet your requirements. One such tool is the Multiple Listing Service®. MLS can be searched for listings that best match your requirements such as location and budget. By setting up queries that alert me the minute a property hits the market, we can ensure you are made aware of the most recent listings quickly. Additionally, I am often made aware of properties that will be coming to the market by clients and other agents well in advance of the formal listing. You may enjoy researching homes on your own on Realtor.ca or utilize my iPhone app that allows you to see all listed properties in a neighbourhood right on your phone while you drive through it! If you see a home for sale, just open the app and the listing details will be available to you. Ask me about my app for IPhones.

3. Viewing properties

Once you decide to visit a property, keep your requirements in mind, i.e. does it have all the features you want? Does the location work for your lifestyle? Also keep some of the technical considerations in mind, such as: wiring, power outlets, heating, foundation and roof maintenance, windows, plumbing etc. Home inspections can provide an assessment of the technical aspects of a property and it is a good idea to have a professional inspection performed.

4. Making an offer

When you find a property that you would like to buy, we will put together an offer. A number of documents will require your signature. Ask me about Plain Language agreements that provide you with the layman’s version of these contracts for easier understanding.

The offer will include the price you are willing to pay, the time the offer expires, a closing date for the purchase of the home and conditions for the purchase. Some commonly included conditions are:

• Financing, this allows you to firm up your mortgage based on the actual property. Remember, a pre-approval is not a guarantee of getting a mortgage.

• Home inspection by a qualified home inspector

• Inclusion and exclusion of any appliances and other items - basically, what stays and what goes

• If it is a condominium, a review of the Status Certificate by your lawyer which helps us ensure you are agreeing to be part of a responsible and well run condo corporation and identifies the rules and regulations that are unique to that condominium.

• The right to visit the property again before closing.

• The Seller confirming that the property has never been used for illegal activity.

In this heated marketplace, it is often difficult to include all conditions that protect your interests. Ask me about my strategies for minimizing the Sellers’ advantages in this marketplace.

You will also need to be prepared to provide a deposit of upwards of 5% of the purchase price within 24 hours of the offer being accepted. This requirement should also be discussed in your financial review with your lender.

5. Acceptance of an offer

Once an offer is accepted, I will forward a copy of the agreement to your selected lawyer and lender. If you need assistance identifying these people, I have terrific professionals that I can highly recommend. If your offer is conditional on a home inspection, I will make immediate arrangements for that to take place as typically we will have three to five days to complete this task. Once all conditions are met, then the offer becomes binding on both sides. If either party then does not honour the agreement, they can be sued and/or the deposit lost.

In the subsequent period between the offer being accepted and the closing date, I will work with your entire team to coordinate a successful closing. Your lawyer will handle all contractual matters including reviewing the title to ensure it is clear, arranging for payment of land transfer taxes and if applicable, ensuring you receive the available land transfer and first time home buyer tax credits. Your lender will arrange for all finances to be made available which will likely require an appraisal of the property and some final confirmations of your current financial status including income confirmation. During this period, it is important to not borrow any money as it could change your ability to qualify for the mortgage.

Before the property can formally be handed over from the seller to the buyer, a few more things must be done. You will have to show proof of insurance to the institution that provided your mortgage. On or before closing day, the lawyers from both sides will arrange to transfer the property title from the seller to the buyer. The mortgage will be transferred to your lawyer's trust account, and then to the seller. Once this is complete and the keys are in your hands, then the home is yours!

The Seller has until 6:00pm on the day of closing to vacate the property.

6. Closing costs

Purchasing a home comes with a range of expenses that will be due on or before closing, such as:

• Legal fees

• Appraisal fee

• Provincial Land Transfer Tax

• Municipal Land Transfer Tax in Toronto

• Home Inspection fee (optional)

• House insurance

• Reimbursement to seller for the unused portion of any prepaid property taxes or utility bills



Purchasing a home is an exciting time in your life. Let me facilitate a smooth process for you so that you can have time to enjoy the moment.