Tips to facilitate your research
Here are a few tips to facilitate your research.
- Get pre-qualified for financing
- Evaluate your needs
- Learn to compromise; have some perspective
- Have the property evaluated
- Use visit sheets
Get pre-qualified for financing
Always keep your budget and financial resources in mind when looking for a new property. To facilitate your research, I strongly recommend getting pre-qualified by your financial institution. This means that the lender examines your finances to establish the loan amount you are eligible for, then gives you a written confirmation for a specific period of time.
Getting pre-qualified has many benefits.
- You can follow clear price guidelines while looking for your new home without the worry of being unpleasantly surprised or disappointed when it comes time for financing.
- A pre-approved loan can help you gain a seller's trust thanks to the reduced transaction time which in turn may give you more bargaining power and perhaps even lead to a better price.
- Ultimately, a pre-approved mortgage loan gives you a clear advantage over other buyers when multiple offers have been made on a property.
Keep in mind that many different establishments grant mortgage loans. I recommend you consult a mortgage broker for help with this considerable choice. A mortgage broker will ensure you find the best deal on the market based on your needs. Just ask and I will be happy to refer you to a trustworthy mortgage broker.
Evaluate your needs
Create a list of all the features you would like in your new home. Each buyer's needs are unique, and clearly establishing your own needs will greatly simplify your research.
By letting me know your needs, I can direct my research and notify you whenever a new property fitting your criteria is posted on our network. Receive this information even more quickly with my ALERTS tool. Working with me saves you precious time and gets you priority on the latest listings and price reductions.
Here are some ideas to help with establishing your needs:
- Property type: Single-family dwelling, duplex, condo, etc.;
- Joint owner or sole proprietor?;
- Geographic area: In the suburbs, the mountains, a new neighbourhood, with a view, etc.;
- Near public transportation, utilities/commercial services;
- Near work, school, daycare;
- Interior aspects: Space, # of bedrooms/bathrooms, air conditioning, storage needs, etc.;
- Exterior aspects: Parking, garden, yard size, play area for children or pets, pool, etc.
Learn to compromise; have some perspective!
The perfect home meeting every one of your needs probably doesn't exist, so be prepared to let go of a few preferences and keep an open mind during your search. I still suggest making a prioritized list of your top needs and ensure these items are met; however, don't be discouraged by a few bothersome details. Have some perspective: properties can be redecorated, and once settled in to your new home you'll be free to rearrange it as you like.
Have the property evaluated
To avoid paying more than market value, you can request an independent property evaluation before making an offer; however, remember to account for the costs incurred from this assessment.
If you prefer not to pay for an independent evaluation, I can prepare a CMA (comparative market analysis) for you. Together we can compare the price of the property you are interested in with other properties in the neighbourhood and identify the elements that may affect the asking price: location, dimensions, interior finishing, number of rooms, landscaping, etc. This information can help you decide how much to offer.
Use visit sheets
There are many elements to evaluate during a visit, and you will often have multiple visits in the same day. When it comes time to make an assessment, you may have trouble remembering all the details of each property.
I have therefore included a detailed visit sheet to make life simpler during your visits.
|Total # of rooms||walls|
|# of bedrooms||floors|
|# of bathrooms||light fixtures|
|# of entrances||windows|
|risk of flooding|
|Annual fees:||Interior layout:|
|floor coverings||place of work|
|other :||health clinic|
|property orientation (sunlight)||parking|
|patio or balcony|
Filling out this visit sheet ensures you have closely considered the important aspects of a visit, such as:
Ambient noise:coming from outside (street, restaurant, bar, etc.), from the neighbours, or from the property itself (soundproof walls)
Moisture:Are there signs of water infiltration? Traces of mold?
Odours:Do you notice strange smells in the bathroom, kitchen, basement, or attic?
Upkeep:Does the property seem generally well maintained? Note the paint job, windows, moldings, roof, etc.
Energy:Find out if the home is energy efficient (e.g., well insulated). Is the air circulation good?
Natural light:Try to visit a property during the day to judge whether it has enough natural light.
Storage:Consider whether the property can accommodate your storage needs.
Allergies/Health/Safety:Always think of the health of you and your loved ones during a visit. For instance, some floor coverings (carpets) can trigger allergic reactions or respiratory problems. You may need to scrutinize other elements of the property for your family's health and safety as well.