AD{TS3444335} AD{TS3513499} AD{TS3314506} AD{TS3511897} ? PAGE 6 Thursday, October 23, 2014 ? THE EXPOSITOR

Don?t forget these suggestions

Three key things to do

Before you buy your first home, there are all kinds of things you should do first, and not all of those ideas are obvious. That?s what we found out in a random mini survey to determine the ?Top Three? things prospective first time home buyers should do before purchasing their home. Our mini survey ? in a much less scientific process than the OREA survey preceding ours ? was conducted on the heels of the Ontario Real Estate Association asking Ontario Realtors about their impressions of first time home buyers? financial preparedness. OREA took its process a step further, asking realtors to provide advice for the would-be buyers. The Expositor survey involved more than a couple dozen local realtors (with well over half responding) to provide their own top three ideas. The most mentioned item, outlined here in early September, was getting your mortgage amount pre-approved. In fact, 100 per cent of our respondents, had it as the first or second suggestion among their three ideas. Choosing a realtor was close behind, while researching and looking at homes was a distant third. Those second and third positions were examined on these pages last week. But, as might be expected, there were many other ideas presented as one of the three ideas from each of the local realtors. Here?s what they had to say: Kim Etherington, from Paris Realty Inc., says before you hire your realtor, it is a good idea to talk to family and friends to get tips from their previous experiences. Serryn Stephenson, a sales representative from Coldwell Banker Homefront Realty, was one of a few who said you need to set a budget and stick to it. ?It?s hard not to let emotions take over during the home buying process,? she explains. ?Stick to your budget! Consider your future plans ? such as planning to have children (daycare costs, maybe reduced work hours for mom or dad after maternity leave), do you enjoy travelling, have a busy social life, renovations on your home, car purchase, saving for RRSPs ? and have funds for the unexpected events in your life. Your pre-approval amount is what the bank is willing to lend you, and may not necessarily be an amount you can comfortably afford to pay, after taking into consideration your lifestyle needs. When a bank provides an approval, they are based on CMHC guidelines, not the costs associated with your lifestyle.? Sarah Tolhurst, a sales representative with Royal LePage Hurley Real Estate, says, ?Go under the amount your mortgage agent gave you. Life is hard enough without being house poor, and you?ll want a cushion for those ?surprise? events? car repairs, broken appliances, kids! Buying your first home is a huge investment and you should not feel rushed. The right home will speak to you and our job (as realtors) is to make sure the process is smooth; that you fully understand the legal documents you are signing and are protected to ensure an easy transaction. Happy house hunting!? Moses Silva, a broker with Re/ Max Twin City Realty Inc., says it?s important to get a Professional Inspection before you agree to a final sale. ?This prevents a buyer dealing with the unknown and to find out later the property may have defects, latent, or otherwise. This process assists the buyer to identify deficiencies that the property may have and the inspection will also determine what is needed to correct the areas of concern ? and evaluate what the cost may be to do the work needed.? Vicki Gergely, a sales representative from ReMax Twin City, as one her top three ideas listed definitely taking all the time you need before choosing your first home. ?It?s not a race,? she points out. ?Take the time to get to know the areas of interest, and the time to figure out what you actually want in regards to the type of home, functionality, space and location. You cannot change the location once you own the home, nor the square footage without a huge renovation. So take the time to make the right decision for you. I tell my buyers, I would rather them regret not purchasing a home, than purchasing a home.? According to Cheryl Avarell of Royal Lepage Action Realty, ?First time buyers need to focus on the down payment and saving for the closing cost. So often they seem to be a little short, and this causes extra stress.?

Go under the amount your mortgage agent gave you. Life is hard enough without being house poor, and you?ll want a cushion for those ?surprise? events

? Sarah Tolhurst, Royal LePage Hurley Real Estate ?Once the first time buyer knows what they can afford to purchase, the fun begins,? she adds. Broker Michael DeAngelis of Coldwell Banker Homefront Realty states affordability is the biggest concern affecting the first time home purchaser. ?Figure exactly where you are Now,? he says. ?By that, I mean examine your current financial situation, total income, total debt, how secure are their jobs, what are your family plans. What will change in their situation in the next five years, planning a family? Any major purchases outside of a home etcetera. How much is available for a down payment. Now do a budget, figuring out all your expenses and what is left over to pay for a mortgage.? Another step, he says, is to figure out your housing needs, size, location, schools, and more. Your longterm plans? Then go out and find a reputable realtor, that will listen to your needs and wants, and one that will assist you in meeting your goals.? Michael Hurley, a Broker from Royal LePage Hurley Real Estate, points out you need to check your credit, and ensure any and all credit issues are removed. ?It?s always good to know exactly what?s on your credit rating, so I would talk to your local bank or Mortgage Broker and pull your credit so you can repair any credit issues prior to purchasing your first home.? Then, Hurley adds, Save, Save, Save. ?Ensure a minimum of five per cent down payment for the purchase.? Jim Stonham, from Peak Alliance Realty Inc., noted these two items: ?Get pre-approved before even starting to look at homes. You need to know what you can and can?t afford,? he listed first. ?Know how long you plan on staying in your home. You want to avoid any charges from a lender when you want to sell your home before the term is up,? was his other idea. Jimmy Robinson, with The Ross and Robinson Team from Century 21 Professional Group, says there is a lot to be excited about. ?In my opinion, buying your first home is one of the most exciting things you will do during your lifetime. If you do a few things prior to buying your first home, the whole experience can be positive from beginning to end.? ?Of course your wants can change during the time you spend looking at houses, but your needs should not change too often during your searches,? he adds. ?Some people feel overwhelmed and under a microscope when they are searching for their first home, but with a little planning ? and getting the right realtor in their corner from the very beginning ? searching for your first home should and will be one of the most satisfying and happiest times of your life.?

before you buy a home according to a Broker

Wendy Derus, a Broker with Royal LePage Action Realty, provided a tidy summary of her ?Top Three? things prospective first time home buyers should do before purchasing their home. Our mini survey of local realtors was loaded with great ideas, as offered in the Realty Report column in this issue, and in previous examinations of the survey that appeared last week and in the September 11 Homes section. Here is what Wendy had to say: The three most important items that a prospective first time buyer can do are: ? Consult a Realtor ? Be financially prepared ? Prepare a (realistic) ?needs versus wants? list It is crucial that you rely on the expertise of a Realtor, especially when purchasing your first home. These are uncharted waters and a Realtor will educate you and guide you through the entire process from start to finish, help you avoid pitfalls and navigate through smoothly. Everything should be explained and understood from start to finish; from viewing the very first property, what to consider when choosing a property, making an offer, approximate closing costs, to what to anticipate on the day of closing. A Realtor is the expert and his or her knowledge of the current market conditions, comparable properties, neighbourhood information, as well as contract law and experienced negotiation skills, ensures that the buyers? best interests are at the forefront at all times. When you hire a Realtor to represent you in your purchase, it is not just a business relationship; it becomes a legal one, too. It?s so important that buyers fully understand how they are being represented and it is up to us to make sure they do. We assume responsibility and liability for representing our clients in their purchase. Being financially prepared to purchase your first home is extremely important. It?s not just about having the down payment. There are so many factors to consider, such as income, credit rating, job stability, current debt, hidden or unanticipated purchase expenses, as well as closing costs. Preparing a physical list of a buyer?s needs versus wants is another crucial step in preparing to purchase a home. This enables the buyer to see clearly what the most important criteria will be in choosing the right home and, more importantly, what he or she can afford. A buyer needs to think about what his or her needs are today, as well as what those needs will be in the future. Short-term and long-term needs must be considered. Many first time buyers are young couples just starting off, so there are most likely many changes ahead ? such as job changes, expanding family size, and financial/ income adjustments. Whether your first home is your life-long residence or just a stepping stone into the real estate market journey, it is the single most important purchase you will likely ever make. Consulting with a Realtor for expert representation, ensuring that you are financially prepared, and also being realistic about your needs today ? and in the future ? will serve you well in getting the best roof over your head! OPEN HOUSE SAT & SUN 2-4PM 153 BLACKBURN DR $379,900 All brick, mint condition

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