What can you learn from pro home buyers?

In other words what can you learn from investors who purchase homes frequently and make a living in the real estate industry?

Get pre-approved first

1) This has to be on the top of the list. GET pre-approved for a loan. Without knowing how much you can afford and how much the payments will cost you will waste your time. In Ottawa, most home buyers do their homework and already come with a pre-approval to work with a real estate agent. Mortgage brokers in Ottawa had done an outstanding job to get the message out about getting a preapproval before looking for a home. Being preapproved can certainly give you an edge over those who have not talked to a lender, and gives the buyers confidence knowing they can afford the home they are about to purchase.

Create a strong team of experts

2) This advice ties in with the above point. Develop a strong business relationship with a mortgage broker, real estate agent, real estate lawyer and home inspector. ‘Develop’ sounds very complex, simply call around and TALK to some professionals. Email is great but I would advise at least a phone call, preferably a quick personal meeting, with the professional you chose to work with. This person will represent and assist you. So get to know them beyond a quick email. Yes, Social Media and all that online tech platforms are great but nothing replaces a meeting with a handshake to agree to work with each other.

Organize your home search

3) Structure your home search. Experienced investors normally target a very specific property: “Focus on single family houses, with at least a 30 by 100 feet lot, maximum $350, planning to purchase in 60-90 days, in this area, age and condition etc.” They typically also add what they are planning to do with the property- rent, demolish, renovate etc. This type of description tells the real estate agent two things. First, this buyer is serious about purchasing and knows what she is looking for. Equally, this type of specific description just narrowed down the search criteria to be able to effectively monitor the market for newly listed AND relevant properties. Contrast that with “I am looking for a 3 bedroom family home with 2 bathrooms in Ottawa”. Your trusty agent will input this in the MLS and out comes about 800 homes… be organized and as specific as possible.

Define your must haves and good to haves

4) Define your must haves, like to haves and cannot haves. Determine what you must have in the new home. You have a large family so you must have at least 2 full bathrooms. No compromise there! Great! You just saved yourself looking at irrelevant one and half bathroom homes! Tell your agent what you’d like to have such as a double garage would be great. This tells the agent you would be OK with a single garage home if everything else is great, but search for double garage homes are a priority. The most important cannot haves are normally price and time. Be clear on when you want to purchase and take possession and what is the price range or the maximum price you cannot go over. If you are not sure about the must/like/cannot haves, your agent and mortgage broker can help you!

Be realistic

5) Be realistic. Do you want to live in the Glebe or Westboro neighbourhoods in Ottawa? Or in a suburb? Prefer to live in a condo downtown Ottawa? Learn the market values of these and other areas and property types. Be realistic what your budget can purchase and do not set yourself up to disappointment by wasting months looking for a home that you can buy for pennies on the dollar. They only exist in late night infomercials. Ottawa is a stable market where almost all homes (over 90%) that are sold on the MLS, sell for over 97% of asking price.

To recap

Be organized, be realistic, learn and get your support team together to assist you finding your new home. These are some suggestions to help with your home buying experience.

To get a pre-approval and ask any mortgage and financing questions call us! Kelly Wilson Top 1 % in Canada is here to help you!