Buyers Guide

Working with an Agent
Let your real estate agent do the searching for you. The best buys aren't in the newspaper ads; most great opportunities are on "hot sheets" that are available every morning to salespeople with access to MLS information.  

An agent's job is to...

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Questions to Ask Your REALTOR®
How do I know if I have found the right REALTOR® for me?
You are going to be working very closely with your REALTOR®. You need to be confident that you are working with someone who understands what you want, knows the real estate market, and can give you the advice and guidance you need.

We encourage you to interview several REALTORS® before choosing the one you want to work with.

To help you choose a REALTOR®, here are some questions to consider:

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First-time buyers
8 steps plan to buying smart

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Market Conditions
Pay attention to market conditions – they will have a definite impact on your position as a buyer. The table below lists the influences that different conditions may have on you. Impact and expenses may vary, depending on your area.

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Needs vs Wants
What features do I want in a home? What features do I need in a home?
Looking for a new home can seem overwhelming at first. There are so many things to think about, so many choices, and often not enough time.

A small investment of time and effort right at the start can pay tremendous dividends. Take the time to organize your thoughts and think seriously about what sort of home you want before you start looking. It will simplify the process, save you time, and help lead you to the right home for you.

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Neighbourhood
Finding the perfect neighbourhood
Choosing the right neighborhood is an important part of finding a home. If you love the house but hate the neighbors, or have the perfect kitchen but have an agonizing two-hour commute, you’re never going to feel completely comfortable living there.

Your best bet is to figure out if your neighborhood is a good fit with your family before you start looking for a home there (or certainly before you put in an offer). Spend some time there; take a walk through the streets, visit local shops and restaurants, and pick up a community paper to get a sense of the area’s personality.

Here are few questions that can help you figure out if a neighborhood is right for you:

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Viewing Homes
You pull up to the curb and there it is – the home of your dreams.

Calm down. Take a deep breath and start again. The hardest thing to do when looking for a home is to remain objective. It is easy to fall in love with a home's appearance, but it's very important to look beyond the window dressing.

Here are some things to consider when looking at a home...

 

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What Can You Afford
Buying a home involves both one-time costs and more regular monthly expenses. It's important that you take both into account when you're figuring out how much you can spend on a home.

The largest one-time cost is the down payment, which usually represents up to 25% of the total price of the property. Then, in addition to the actual purchase price, there are several other expenses that you may be expected to pay for.

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Inspection & Appraisal
Protect yourself with a home inspection
That gorgeous house on the corner lot may look great, but it could be hiding all sorts of expensive, annoying problems, from a leaky roof to faulty wiring to a mouldy basement.

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Types of Home Ownership
What type of home ownership is right for me?
There are three broad categories of home ownership...

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Empty Nesters & Retirees
The kids have grown, and retirement is just around the corner. You've decided it's time to move to a smaller home with lower costs and less maintenance.

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Making an Offer
When you’re making an offer to buy a home, there are six main elements to consider:

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Negotiating an Offer
Once your offer to purchase has been drafted, it will be presented to the seller as soon as possible. The seller can accept your offer, reject it, or make a counter offer.
 

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Glossary
Real estate terminology

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