So you have decided it is time to buy a house. Whether you are looking at a condo or detached home, a property with a New York or Toronto zip code, there are some things you need to do as soon as you decide the time to get into the real estate market has come.
The very first thing you need to do is start saving up for a down payment. This may seem strange, as at the moment you buy you don't yet know what the price of your home will be. However, as you look through real estate and begin to talk with lenders, you will soon be glad you started to save money right away. The average price of a home today is quite steep, and even if you are a middle of the road buyer, you'll needs thousands of dollars saved up to qualify for the purchase. It's good to start putting aside as much money as possible as soon as possible, so you're ready with the down payment when you find the right home.
Next, start looking for houses. You'll want the help of a professional, and that professional should specialize in the area you want to live. In larger cities such as Toronto, that means agents who have experience in certain areas. Any agent can show you suitable properties in that area, while a Cabbagetown agent will be more familiar with homes there.
When looking for an agent, also make sure to specify that they are representing you, as a buyer. Remember that the real estate market is driven in large part by commission. The salary of an Arlington agent is paid by those selling Arlington TX houses, so those are the people they are representing. In order to gain full disclosure on all aspects, your agent should be representing only you, not the seller.
Once you find a buyer's agent, ask about possible lenders. Most agents can point you in the direction of their preferred company, whether you are looking at Halton Hills real estate or at homes here in Toronto. However, don't just choose the first company you are sent to. Remember to shop around for mortgage rates; the less interest you pay, the more you save on your home in the long run.
Finally, get pre-approved for your loan. In places like Yorkville, good houses at reasonable prices don't last long. Having pre-approval means you are ready with the money as soon as you find a suitable home.
Now that you have all the preliminary steps out of the way, it's time to go house hunting. Good luck in your search!