Buying a property
You may be a young adult or a young couple wanting to start your life in a home of your own. You may be a new Canadian wanting to start your life in a home of your own in Mississauga. You may be a novice investor who is thinking to buy real estate to create wealth. Or you may even be a renter, now ready to become an owner! This is really one of the most wonderful and exciting times in your life. Congratulations! But the question still remains: would you rather have your first real estate experience easy, or challenging?
Finding your ideal home does not happen overnight. It is a process in itself, one that takes time. However, it does not have to be a difficult task, if you so choose it to be. As a buyer whether first time or otherwise, you have two choices: one where you try to do everything yourself and the other where you choose to work with a REALTOR®. It is entirely up to you to make it a simple process or an overwhelming one.
Your road map to success can be quite simple. And it starts with you. We all have our own core strengths, and are probably masters at what we do professionally. There is often a tendency to think that we can be good at something that we do not have much experience in. Hey, no harm at trying, but we all need to be realistic and open to accepting the fact that for everything there is a professional out there who can help. Real Estate is no exception.
REALTORS® can help you in more ways than one in your home search. Let’s assume you’d rather look for a home yourself. Sure you can have access to a number of listings on TREB MLS®; you may even have a neighbourhood and budget in mind. Is it really that simple? In few cases, yes, but in most cases, it is not, and here’s why:
Knowing your desired neighbourhood takes much more than just knowing the name of the streets. As a first time buyer real estate user, depending on the particular stage in life and the age of members in your family, you need to consider things such as access to transportation and highways, schools, shopping, hospitals and recreational activities. Even within a neighbourhood, the demographic and visual profile of streets can be drastically different from each other. If you visit a neighbourhood, and don’t like what you see, you are left at the cross roads, not knowing what to do next. But a REALTOR® can show you options, based on your budget. Same holds true for investors too. Investors need to buy properties in good neighbourhoods that attract quality tenants. A place that is easy to rent. Again close to transit, shopping and all other amenities that rings true for users also goes for tenants who would live and enjoy investors’ properties.
Experienced REALTORS® know their neighbourhood like the back of their hands and can be great asset to make your home buying process easy and enjoyable.
Type of property
You may know what you want, but you may want to know what else might fit in your budget. Advice from friends and relatives does not suffice. A freehold property (detached home, semi-detached home, freehold townhouse) may be desirable for many because it means independent living. On the other hand, some may prefer condominium living. Even in this category, you have a choice between high-rise apartment building and townhouses. To further add to the mix, you have a choice between new, resale and pre-construction properties.
Choosing the right property to live and or invest has a lot to do with your affordability. Budget plays an important role for both first time buyers and investors. For users (people buying property to live in), you don’t want to end up living as house rich and cash poor and for investors you don’t want to end up accumulating negative cash flow (with an exception of some high income earners who don’t mind this for tax advantages).
Here is where a REALTOR® can help you choose the right type of property. They can also help you make an informed decision by breaking down your monthly real estate expenses, including: mortgage, property taxes, condo fees (for condos), rental income (for investors), maintenance expenses, utility costs etc. Assist you with mortgage approval; put you in touch with the right home buying team like home inspectors, home improvement contractors, real estate lawyers, accountants, financial advisors etc.
What are REALTOR® costs?
REALTORS® bring buyers great value, for free, well in most cases! Home buyers do not pay any commission in a real estate transaction in most cases. The seller usually pays real estate commission to the buyer’s brokerage through his/her listing brokerage or sometimes directly to the buyer's brokerage.
Did you know that there many government incentives and rebates for first time buyers in Ontario? These include:
- RRSP Home buyers plan
- Ontario Land transfer tax rebate for first time buyers
- GST/HST rebate for new home buyers
- First time buyer tax credit
Buyer Agency explained
The Ontario Real Estate Association has developed a standard buyer agency agreement that brokers can use with clients. Any licensed real estate salesperson in Canada can legally act as a buyer's salesperson/broker. A buyer's salesperson performs services for you that a seller's salesperson cannot, such as showing you reasons why not to buy a particular property.
A good buyer salesperson will include contingencies in the contract that protect you, rather than the seller. Bear in mind that the seller's salesperson (salesperson whose name is on the lawn sign) always works for the best interest of his/her seller. Brokerages have to disclose all relevant information that they find as property defects to sellers. But brokerages must tell buyers only about material defects that render the property dangerous or unfit for habitation, not necessarily all defects in a property. That's where a buyer agency comes in handy, being free to talk about anything that can affect the buyer's interests.
Looking to Buy?
Does all of this information overwhelm you? Relax, don’t worry! Whether you want to buy now or in the near future, I invite you to attend a first-time buyer educational session in my Mississauga office.
Give me a call to book your spot in a session at 905 339 5111.