How would you describe your home buying experience? “It was the best of times; it was the worst of times?” “Life (is) like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get?” Or did you “make him an offer he can’t refuse?” Buying your first home means you’ve found your own “precious” jewel on the Toronto real estate listings. The experience should go smoothly with the following tips.
1. Obtain the services of a Toronto real estate agent. An agent will look after your best interests during the transaction and find viable properties that aren’t listed on the market. If you’re looking through the public Multiple Listing Service (MLS) site, you’ll find some listings aren’t up-to-date and so a particular property may already be sold and still appear as available on the site. A Toronto Real Estate Board member agent will have access to the site’s more recent database, which evidently isn’t open to the public.
2. Scrutinize every part of the home you’re viewing. Some sellers allow photos to be taken and some don’t. It is advisable to list down the positive and negative features of the property to help you make the right decision.
3. Do not forget the cliché: location, location, location. It is better to buy a mediocre home in the best address in the city rather than acquire the most beautiful house on a bad neighborhood. You can always fix up a home; but a bad neighborhood – Toronto doesn’t have the bat signal for the caped crusader.
4. Arrange a home inspection. When you’ve found the ideal home and gone to the open house, ask your agent to schedule a home inspection with a professional engineer. You never know when the structure is unsafe or when the walls have termite infestation. However, for ghostly presence, you’ll need another expert.
5. If you are a first-time home buyer, then look into the Home Buyer’s Plan, which may help buyers like you withdraw up to $25,000 from your RRSP – tax free. If you’re married, your husband or wife might even be qualified to withdraw an additional $25,000. The Canadian government has programs available to assist first time buyers so do take advantage.
6. If you aren’t a first time home buyer and you’re looking to acquire a new home, prepare your down payment a year in advance. You can open an account for this purpose.
7. Read up on Toronto real estate listings trends. The average price for a home in Toronto fluctuates much like in any market. Knowing when to buy will save you money. You can also find out about mortgage news. In the beginning of 2011, the finance minister decreased the maximum amortization from 35 to 30 years. Buyers rushed acquisitions before the March deadline and as a result, sales increased that very month.
8. Make sure your credit card, car, or rent payments are paid in full and on time at least a year before you consider buying a home. This will allow your credit check to proceed without a hitch if you are looking to secure a mortgage loan.
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