You’ve embarked on a journey of buying a home, and you couldn’t be more thrilled. Maybe you have been eyeing your dream home for a while now and have finally decided to invest in your future. Purchasing a house is an important decision, and you want to be sure that you have explored all your options before applying for a home mortgage.
There are several things to know before buying a home. This can range from choosing a real estate broker, finding a builder, exploring home warranty options, your rights when buying a condo and home inspection conditions.
Even before you meet with a real estate broker and find out your options, it is always wise to read and educate yourself about buying a home in Ontario. This will make it easier to understand real estate terminology and make the buying process smoother.
Finding the Right Real Estate Salesperson or Broker
The first step in choosing a real estate salesperson, broker or brokerage is verifying that they are registered with the Real Estate Council Of Ontario (RECO). The legislation that empowers RECO is the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act.
A registered real estate sales professional will have met certain educational criteria set by RECO. The agents will also need to abide by the laws and code of ethics set under the legislation. Moreover, the agents must have deposit insurance, which protects you from losing deposit money should fraud occur. If you have any salesperson or broker grievances, you can file a complaint with the concerned authorities.
Apart from the legal requirements, it would help if you also asked for references when considering a brokerage as a home buyer. Before signing a contract, make sure you read it thoroughly.
Beware of Mortgage Fraud
As a home buyer, you will always need to be on your toes to save yourself from mortgage fraud. Certain tell-tale signs point to fraud, such as:
- When you are asked to lie about your income
- Asked to lie about living in the home or renting it out
- When you are asked to fill up documents with blank spaces or not to fill up certain sections
- When asked to use your name and credit information
- Not allowed to visit the property or have it inspected
How To Choose a Home Builder That Fits Your Needs?
All home builders and vendors in Ontario must be licensed by the Home Construction Regulatory Authority (HCRA). The HCRA is also responsible for investigating builders and vendors who are not licensed.
A licensed builder must meet the competency requirements and demonstrate that they can be financially responsible when conducting their activities. They must also prove that they will conduct their business per the law and not breach their license.
As a responsible home buyer, you must research a builder before buying a new home. You can check the HCRA’s directory to verify if the builder is licensed and how many homes they have previously built.
How Can Home Warranties Protect You after buying a House?
In Ontario, all new homes and condo units come with home warranties and safeguards in place. New homes have 1-year, 2-year and 7-year warranties. They cover issues such as poor workmanship, water seepage and structural defects.
The warranty will also usually cover delayed occupancy and closing. They come into effect on the date of possession and continue to be in effect even when the owner sells the property before the end of the warranty period.
Now that we have covered the important legal terminology, we can discuss the other important things to consider when buying a house.
Location Of the Home
Location matters, especially if you travel a lot or otherwise too. Ensure the home is easily accessible to common places of visit such as work, school, shopping and recreation. It would also help to check the usual traffic flow during peak hours since you do not want to waste time in traffic. When considering the location, check the surrounding neighbourhood for parks, grocery stores, the nearest public transport, safety and security in the area.
Number of Bedrooms and Bathrooms
When buying a home, you will need to plan for the future. If you are thinking about getting married and having children later on in your life, think of the home’s size, particularly the number of bedrooms you will need. However, this will depend entirely on your budget, and it is wise to have realistic expectations.
It is usually good to have a spare room in the house. You may be able to convert it into a spare bedroom, home office or even an exercise room. Apart from the bathrooms, check how many bathrooms or half bathrooms come with the home. If you have a large family, then having a limited number of bathrooms may not be ideal.
The kitchen is probably the most used area of the house, and you will need to pay close attention to its layout, size and appliances that come with it. If your family or friends like to hang out in the kitchen area while food is being prepared, think of all the ways you will be able to decorate the space.
If you are particular about cooking meals from scratch, then communicate this to your realtor about your need to have sufficient space for countertops, stoves, sinks, and storage areas. On the other hand, if you eat out frequently or order food, you may suffice with a basic kitchen.
Karthik Talwar is a content writer for BreezeMaxWeb that helps businesses showcase their brand through enticing copy. When he is not working, he enjoys exploring new places and trying new foods.