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Purchase Process Checklist

 1.      What are your Preferences, Needs, and Wants?

There are many kinds of homes ranging from detached, semi-detached, townhouse, condominium and apartment to name a few. Many considerations such as price range, lot size, age, architecture, unique features and amenities should be considered during a home purchase process. How many bedrooms and bathrooms would you prefer? How do you feel about an open concept? Would you like a non-obstructing view? How big of a yard, balcony or patio would prefer?

There are many architectural styles of detached houses, including Victorian era, West Coast style and narrow lot style. West coast style includes inspiration from coast climates and often includes vaulted ceilings, exposed wood, large glass areas and an open concept. Victorian style makes use of slim and tall windows as well as large amounts of trim. An interesting style that is popular in Vancouver, British Columbia, is the narrow lot style. The narrow lot style aims to utilize a lot size to its full potential and hence often contains a two-storey narrow structure.

2.      Decide on an Area

A very valuable consideration when purchasing is the geographical position or location of the property. Real property is fixed in location and can therefore be affected by outside influences from other neighbouring properties. Outside influences can be both positive in nature such as a park; or negative such as in an industrial area. When choosing a location, it is paramount to consider your needs for proximity to public transportation, schools, shops, place of employment, restaurants, and recreation. Additionally, take into consideration the availability of nearby street parking options.

3.      Contact and Connect with a Realtor

Purchasing a home is a large financial decision and finding a qualified and experienced Realtor can streamline the process. A qualified real estate agent can provide negotiation expertise, valuable knowledge, convenience, support, find hidden deals and resolve difficult paperwork and contracts.

An exceptional Realtor will also possess extensive neighbourhood insights.

4.      Define your Budget and get Pre-approved

It is valuable to be educated on what you can afford prior to the onset of house hunting. A primary step is to calculate the amount of down payment based on your income and other financial obligations. Discuss with a mortgage broker and multiple lending institutions in order to receive further advice and get pre-approved. A pre-approval can save time and increase efficiency once looking for homes. An additional factor to consider is closing costs and renovation costs. Be prepared to place a sum of money aside in case unforeseen renovation expenses occur. If minor renovations are discovered during a home viewing process, you can request to have them included in the contract of purchase and sale as clauses.

 5.      Get to know your Local Real Estate Market and go to View Homes

Markets can range from a seller’s, buyers' or a balanced market. In terms of a buyer’s market, housing supply exceeds consumer demand giving purchasers an advantage. In a seller’s market, the opposite occurs. A balanced market can benefit both a buyer and a seller. When purchasing a home, it is crucial to be able to identify an active buyer’s market. A helpful tool can be the sales-to-active listings ratio. A ratio less than 12% indicates a decline in prices and a buyer’s market. Once the home viewing process begins, it is important to be able to distinguish between fixtures and chattels. Items that are fixtures are part of the land and belong to the buyer upon completion. Meanwhile, chattels remain as personal property of the seller. For example, a ceiling fan can be considered a fixture. Meanwhile, moveable furniture can be labelled as chattel.

6.      Choose a Home and Make an Offer

Once you choose a home you love, it is time to make an offer. Contracts of purchase and sale can contain subjects such as “subject to” financing, inspection, or title searches. Hence, subjects can be an important advantage for the buyer. Non-fulfillment of such major terms can result in the contract of purchase and sale becoming voidable (one party can cancel the contract). It is also crucial to ensure subject clauses are listed clearly to prevent uncertainty.


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