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    Owning a home or land may be your dream, but in order for the purchase to be the happy and satisfying experience it was meant to be, you need to ensure that you are financially and mentally prepared for the responsibilities that come with it.

    Some people have a notion that property ownership is like renting, but with the power to have pets and paint the walls whatever color you like. However, while these privileges are available to owners in most municipalities, they come with the responsibilities of a mortgage, taxes and home maintenance. Preparing for property ownership requires you to take critical stock of your finances and your expectations.

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    Questions for Prospective Property Owners

    Are you ready to buy?

    Owning your own home or land is about more than just being able to decorate any way you like; it’s about being prepared to maintain your property over the years, realizing that part of your income and time will go towards repairs and maintenance. It’s about being willing to take the risks of ownership with a realistic expectation of the rewards.

    How much can you afford?

    It can be discouraging to find that your salary won’t stretch as far as you want. However, sacrificing a huge part of your income just to pay the mortgage can very quickly make property ownership a burden rather than a point of pride.

    What is your debt-to-income ratio?

    This is something that lenders take very seriously. Your overall debt should not be more than 40% of your income, and your property debt should not be more than 32%. What 32% of your income will buy depends on where you want to live. In rural areas for example, you may be able to buy a very comfortable residence with ample acreage. In highly sought-after areas however, it may not even buy a 400 square foot bachelor suite.

    What do you want?

    Do you like the idea of cleaning your own gutters? Do you shudder at the thought of lawn care? Would you rather just pay a fee every month and have everything done for you? Would obeying rules about when you can have your garbage cans out bother you, or do you want to live in a neighborhood where everything is ‘just so’? The answers to these questions can help you narrow down the search for the right type of property for you.

    We Can Help

    You need a good agent who will work hard for you. Our real estate team is dedicated to helping you find the right piece, at the best price. We want you to find the property that will make you happy and successful in real estate ownership.

    When you hire us to help you buy your property, we want to know what you want and how much you can afford. Then we’ll find a way to merge these two priorities and find a place that you’ll enjoy owning.

    Keep your objectives in mind when visiting a property. Sometimes the idea of ownership can overwhelm your practical sense, so keep your feelings in check. Keep a list handy of the features that you need and want, and judge each property by the list instead of by details that could distract you from your goal. When you’re alone with your agent, you can go over the pros and cons. We can help you stay on track while still keeping our eyes out for a great property.

    Make the offer. This can be a maze of “buyer”, “seller”, “chattels”, “deposit”, and “completion”. We’ll be happy to prepare the paperwork and go through it with you before submitting it. Remember, the seller may reject or counter your offer, so even at this late date, avoid setting your heart on the home or land you hope to own. You’ll probably have to write a deposit check to the seller’s broker that proves the seriousness of your offer.

    Get all necessary inspections done. A home inspector will check for signs of harmful materials like asbestos, lead paint and mold. They’ll also check for evidence of pests, faulty wiring and leaks. This is a crucial part of the purchase. Not getting an inspection done means that you could be stuck in a home with a bad case of black mold and no recourse other than to pay for its removal. Inspections will cost a few hundred dollars, but again, this is more than worth it in the end. There are several inspectors in the area that we’d be happy to recommend.

    Do a final walkthrough before closing the deal. We’d be happy to do this with you to make sure that everything agreed upon is completed prior to the final signing.

    From the first interview that determines your requirements to the moment that you receive the keys, we can help you with the complicated process of buying. Don’t hesitate to contact us to find out more about how we can make the home buying process easier!