Buying a home with Joanne
Buying a home brings up a range of feelings for people. It’s exciting but, with so many decisions to make, it can also feel nerve-wracking! Having an experienced negotiator by your side who takes the time to find out exactly what your needs are, can make the difference between an enjoyable experience and a stressful one.
That’s why, in addition to being a Realtor®, I ‘m also an accredited Buyer’s Representative, trained specifically to meet buyers’ needs:
I also have good relationships with lenders, legal professionals, and home inspectors. These are the people who can speed your transaction along, or set you on your path – which brings us to the first step of the buying process, knowing why you want to buy.
Know why you want to buy.
Establishing why you want to buy will affect what you purchase and how much you’re willing to spend. The person who is buying as an investment may buy an entirely different property, at a different price point, than the person who plans to raise a family and live in a neighbourhood for 20 years.
Find out how much you can afford to spend.
You may be lucky enough to be purchasing with cash, but most people need to obtain a mortgage. Prequalifying lets you know how much you can afford to spend, what your budget will look like after you buy, and whether you’re even ready to purchase a home.
If you want to know the size of mortgage you might qualify for, click on my Mortgage Calculator.
If you’re looking for a mortgage professional, give me a call. I have relationships with lenders who have excellent reputations and track records when it comes to acquiring loan approvals for clients.
Create a checklist of needs and wants.
Once you establish your budget, the next step is to create a list of “must-haves” and “nice-to-haves” for everything from the type of home you want, to the neighbourhoods you prefer to live in.
Obviously, your budget will be a consideration, but so will your lifestyle. Do you entertain a lot, or do you prefer to curl up with your immediate family? Do you need a home without stairs, or a large garage to work in? How long do you want your commute to be? Is it important to be within walking distance of schools? Do you want a big yard, a fireplace, or a family room?
Spend some time thinking about your list and write down your thoughts. When you’re out looking at homes it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of a beautiful kitchen, for example, in a home that meets none of your other needs.
This list will also help you decide where to make compromises. For example, would you rather buy a place with a great view that’s a longer commute? By looking at your list, you can make choices that will serve you well down the road.
Choose a neighbourhood.
Now that you know how much you can spend, and what’s important to you in a home, it’s time to start choosing a neighbourhood. This part is fun!
Choosing a neighbourhood is often a balance between where you want to be and what you can afford. Browse the listings for the neighbourhoods you’re interested in to get a feel for the market. Visit the ones you like at different times of day. How do they feel? Are there lots of people out on the streets? Can you walk to coffee shops and parks, or is it close to the kind of shopping you prefer?
If you’re looking for a home that’s out of the province, or out of the country, give me a call. I can use RE/MAX’s extensive national and international sales network to get you started.
Find the agent who is right for you.
There are lots of agents eager to take on your job, but take time to choose one who’s right for you.
I make sure you feel comfortable asking me questions, and that I have knowledgeable answers. I respect your wish list and your budget. I’m enthusiastic, and I usually have ideas for properties that match your needs from the moment we talk. Above all, I’m willing to invest the time to make sure you get the home you want.
When you hire me to be your agent, you get me – not an assistant. I’m with you from your first viewing, to the day I hand you the keys to your new home! Whenever you need me, I’m there.
One way to find an agent is through referrals from friends. See what some of my past clients have to say about me on my Testimonials page.
We start our search online using the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) to browse neighbourhoods that meet your needs and prices within your range. I stay current with what’s on the market, and I’m familiar with the values of different neighbourhoods, so I know which homes are fairly priced and what condition they are in, before we choose which ones to visit. Once we have a list, I’ll set up some viewings.
Make an offer.
When we put together an offer, I take into consideration current market values, the condition of the home, the value of the neighbourhood, and any other factors that may be specific to this sale.
I use my skills as a negotiator, my contract experience, and my relationships with lenders and legal professionals to make this part of the process proceed as smoothly as possible. I’m on the phone, handling all the details, so that you don’t have to!
Once we find a place that meets your needs, I will recommend that you have it inspected.
The sign of a good agent is how they treat you after you buy. Are they still available for questions? Did they inspect the house before you moved in to ensure that everything was in order? Do they help you follow up on problems? I know that buying a home is one of the most important events in your life -- that’s why my job isn’t done until you’re happily in your new home!