Things You Should Know Before Buying Your Next Home

1. Preparation

The biggest question when buying a home is, “Are you ready?”

For many people, it’s just a matter of knowing they are. For others, it’s more complicated. Not much else compares with owning your own home, so you’ll want to be sure you’re ready for the responsibilities that go along with home ownership. From the maintenance and upkeep to the financial side of things, you’ll need to be sure owning a home fits your lifestyle. 

2. Finances

The next question is, “How much house can you afford?” The answer is important because it’s very easy to get into a house that’s more than your budget can handle. 

Lenders use two principles when deciding how much you can afford. (GDSR/GDS) – your housing cost should not exceed 32 percent of your gross income, and (TDSR/TDS) – your monthly debt, including housing costs, should not exceed 40 percent of your gross monthly income. 

3. Looking At Homes For Sale

You can look for homes for sale yourself or you can find a realtor to help you find the home of your dreams. You can find a realtor by: driving through neighborhoods you’d like to live in and jotting down the names and numbers of realtors listed on for sale signs, attending open houses, getting referrals from friends and family and contacting realtors through social media.

4. Making An Offer

Once you’ve found the perfect home for you, you’ll need to make an offer on it. Your realtor can help you do just that. Here are a few of the things you’ll find in your offer: the purchase price, the deposit, inclusions with the house (chattels and fixtures), irrevocability of your offer or length of time the seller has to consider your offer, completion date and clauses and conditions.

Once you’ve signed your offer, your agent will submit it to the seller. The seller will either accept it, reject it, or counter it. 

5. Closing The Deal

Buying a home involves a great deal of paperwork, much of which is hard to understand for the average person. This is where it’s a good idea to hire a lawyer to help decipher the legalese. 

There are a lot of real estate attorneys out there but ask friends and family first if they have any recommendations. You can also ask your realtor if she can provide any. 

There’s a lot to transferring ownership of property, so a lawyer will be most beneficial in making sure the process goes as smoothly as possible. Expect a good two weeks or more to complete the title transfer.