Buying a home is a fairly standard process and barring unforeseen circumstances, should go smoothly if you have a comprehensive checklist of things to expect and do.

You may want a condo, or you may only qualify for a “high-risk” mortgage – those are details that you, your realtor, your mortgage broker and your family can delve into at the appropriate time; the details may be different from person to person, but the main ideas the same.

7 Steps to Your Dream Home
1. Find Your Broker and Realtor
Finding your realtor and mortgage broker should be an easy task, but it may require a bit of research. The qualities of the best realtors and mortgage brokers are:

  • Great references (word-of-mouth is key)
  • Proven track records
  • Willingness to build a relationship and have
  • Repeat clients
  • Located near to the area you are moving to

2. Pre-Approval
You and your mortgage broker will be old friends by the time this process is through. After calculating your current debt, monthly salary, and other odds and ends, your mortgage broker will get you pre-approved for your mortgage. This will give you the approximate amount you can spend on your home. There’s no point in shopping for a house you can’t afford. When calculating your monthly mortgage budget, make sure to take into consideration that you will also be paying for:

  • Property taxes
  • Home Insurance
  • Condo fees (if applicable)
  • Utilities
  • Monthly living expenses
  • Miscellaneous items

You may want to reduce your budget after calculating your monthly expenditures versus your incoming cash flow.

3. House Shopping
This is the often stressful, but definitely fun part of the experience. Now that you have a budget, you will want to create your list of “must-haves”; the deal-breakers in your new home. These are necessities for you or your family as well as items you feel will add to your quality of life: number of bedrooms, proximity to schools and shopping, fireplace, garage, air conditioning, etc. Once your realtor has your budget and your Must-haves” list in hand, he or she will be able to find you several houses in your neighbourhood of choice to view. Don’t be afraid to visit as many houses as it takes to find the perfect dwelling.

4. Making an Offer
After you choose your perfect house, you can then make an offer. Your realtor can advise you on the right price to come in at. Your offer will be subject to financing which means that the seller has to make sure that you have been approved for the cost of their house. As the buyer, you will also have conditions on your offer such as an agreeable possession date and a property inspection, as well as any other conditions you feel are fair. You may want to change your price if the property inspection is sub-par or rescind it all-together.

5. SOLD!
If your offer is accepted, all conditions are met, and your mortgage broker and financial institution have worked together to secure the monies needed to purchase the house, you will have a visit or two to your lawyer’s office to sign on the dotted line and agree to transfer of ownership on a specific possession date. Your broker or financial institution will have a home appraisal done as well to make sure that your prospective abode is worth the price you’re paying. You will also be working closely with your mortgage broker to create the best mortgage payment schedule (monthly, biweekly, weekly) based on your monthly income and current mortgage rates.

6. Moving Day
As your date of possession nears, you will have to start organizing your move. About two months out you should arrange a moving company or truck rental. Go with a company that has good recommendations within your community. This is also the perfect time to go through all of your possessions and have a garage sale or donate items to a charitable organization.
Your moving checklist should include:

  • Complete school transfer paperwork (if you have children)
  • Submit a change of address form to your local post office
  • Scheduling a service disconnection and reconnection at your new address
  • Pack items that aren’t used regularly

Before you go, decide on which items you will want to transfer to your new home yourself and confirm your truck about a week before moving day.

7. First Payment
Your first mortgage payment will be at the end of your first month in your house. Your payment schedule will have been previously determined with your mrtgage broker. Now is the time to organize, meet your neighbours and get acquainted with your new neighbourhood.

Author's Bio: 

Lilly Gordon is a freelance writer and web publisher. She researches and writes on a variety of topics including mortgage information and Sherwood Park Mortgage Brokers.