This article is designed for buyers to work with their real estate sales representatives to structure a purchase of a house or condominium. The following is a summary of some of the many points to consider.
- Make a list of all of your wants and needs. For example your maximum purchase price, location of the property (i.e. is it near schools and public transportation?)
- Find out about programs available to assist first time buyers.
- Arrange for pre-approval for a mortgage with your bank or trust company.
- Know all your costs. These include legal fees and disbursements and G.S.T.; Land Transfer Tax which is approximately $725.00 on every $100,000.00. The ratio is higher over $250,000.00; closing adjustments with the seller; and mortgage arranging costs. You should allow about two percent of the purchase price for these items.
- Consider whether you should examine the house. Particularly if the house is an older resale it might be important to have it investigated by a home investigation company.
- Choose a lawyer and send him the offer for review. Your lawyer should help you review the offer so that you fully understand the terms of the contract and any changes that he may consider necessary. Your lawyer is no farther away than a fax machine.
Once the agreement of purchase and sale has been finalized, there are a number of steps that you should take before the closing. For example:
- Satisfy any outstanding conditions such as financing or home inspection.
- Arrange to cancel or sublet your rental premises as required.
- Arrange adequate insurance coverage on your house to take effect on closing. Your agent can contact your lawyer with any details required.
- Arrange to contact your Telephone and Cable Television companies.
- Hire a moving company or rent a van well in advance, especially if you are closing at the end or beginning of a month, when most purchases take place.
- Prepare change of address notices.
- Contact your lawyer three or four days before closing to arrange an appointment to review and sign all documents. Try to avoid the actual closing date when there are other matters you have to tend to. Ask your lawyer to provide the information for any payments due shortly after closing--mortgage payments, tax payments, common expense payments for condominiums.
- Arrange to pick up keys.
The purchase of a home is the largest investment that you are liable to make during your lifetime. It is therefore very important that before you make a commitment to buy a house you know exactly what you are buying and what you are paying for it. Home ownership is a dream for many people and if you follow all the steps and work with your real estate representative and your lawyer, your purchase can be a pleasant experience