THINK QUICK BUT DON’T PANIC – BE PREPARED
The market moves quickly, be ready.
While the housing market overall has been stable, people in Calgary have seen home prices rise more than 5% over last year. The market moves quickly under these kind of circumstances, particularly in the under $700,000 range, and what this means for buyers is that decisions need to be made quickly as well or they risk losing out on a purchase. Be prepared: having a plan in place will go a long way towards making these decisions easier, and faster, to make. You need to think quick, but don’t panic.
KNOW WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING FOR
Know which features are essential for you, and eliminate options that don’t have those features. You can also have a wish list of things that you would like, but that you could live without, but these should not be decision drivers. You should also have a very clear idea of what your budget is. What is the ceiling price that you’re willing or able to pay if a home has everything that you want? Does everything need to be perfect, or are you willing to make renovations? How much are you willing to budget for those renovations or updates? Knowing the answers to these questions ahead of time can help you avoid indecision and be confident in your choices.
HAVE SOME EXPERTS ON HAND
Beyond your realtor and mortgage broker, you’re going to also need people like home inspectors, lawyers, and potentially even contractors if you’re planning to make renovations. Having people in mind for these tasks before you start making offers will streamline the process. Ask for recommendations from people you trust and make contact so you know who to call when you need them and can establish a comfort level early on.
GET YOUR PAPERWORK IN ORDER
There are a number of documents you’re going to need to provide to your mortgage broker and lender in order to get approved for a mortgage and to remove that financing subject on your purchase offer. Having things like pay stubs, bank statements, and notices of assessment handy can cut down on the time it takes to get that financing approved. Bob or one of his associates can give you a more concrete idea of what kind of documents will need based on your profession and circumstances.
GET A PRE-APPROVAL
While most banks and lenders issue pre-approvals that are simply rate holds, your mortgage broker can actually look at all your documentation and make an educated evaluation as to what you’re going to qualify for.
The lender will still need to approve of the property, but a fair amount of uncertainty can be eliminated early simply by doing some pre-work before you have that offer on the table. This will also help clarify your budget and can help you boil all the information down into a more manageable format. Rather than thinking of a home purchase one giant cost, your broker can translate that into a monthly budget, which can help you make decisions much more easily.
Taking these steps in advance of writing a purchase offer can help you keep up in a fast paced market like in Calgary. Having a clear idea of what you want and who you want to work with as well as gathering your paperwork early and getting that professional opinion from your broker can mean the difference between losing out on a purchase and winning a home that you love.
It can also make the process of buying a home an easier and more relaxed experience.