Buying a House – 31-40 Real Tips from Real People

(September 22, 2022 )

Tip No. 31 Take a second or even third look.The first time that you view a home, details often get missed. If the home is a serious contender do back for a second look and have a list of things to confirm. On more rare occasions You may even want to go back for a third look to make sure before you write an offer. If you first viewed the home at night, go back in the daytime the next time so that you can see details that may not have been obvious.Tip No. 32 Measure the Home.While a potential new home may have all of the features you need for the price that you are willing to pay, check to make sure you can get all of your furniture up and down stairs, through doors, etc. Also check to see how much room there is in the garage. Will your vehicles fit? Do not rely on listing information for room sizes etc. Measure to make sure the home will meet your needs.Tip No. 33 Consider the Home Day/Night All Seasons.Before committing to an offer on a home ensure that you see if during the day and at night. Does it have enough natural light coming in when the weather is dark and dreary? Will there be issues when it rains or snows? Slope of yard and access are example associated with the latter points.Tip No. 34 Confirm Neighbourhood and Location.Buying a home is also about being comfortable that an area or neighbourhood also meets your needs. How fare are you away from the amenities that are important to you? Does the commute work for you? Does the neighbourhood work for you? Buying the most expensive home in a neighbourhood or over-building in a specific area may not bring the best resale value when it comes time to sell.Tip No. 35 Have Your Agent Prepare the Offer.Once you have selected the home that you plan to go after, sit down with your agent and discuss price, deposit, dates and terms and conditions. Offers without conditions should be rare. Most people need a mortgage and therefore the offer will be subject to obtaining a mortgage approval. Other conditions are often necessary to check out things associated with the home. Real estate agents do not know everything about every home you view but they should know where to go to get additional information for you during the condition removal process.Tip No. 36 Understand before signing.Most offers to purchase contain conditions that are for the benefit of the seller, buyer, or both parties. Ensure that you understand all of them before submitting an offer or responding to a counter offer. Do not just leave this to your real estate agent. If the agent cannot explain what they all mean to your satisfaction, get a different agent who can. Sometimes we may be in a hurry and are tempted to sign documents without thoroughly reading them. Do not do it. Once you have a legally binding contract, you are bound by what is written in the contract. This applies to your mortgage documents and the Offer of Purchase and Sale, and any other real estate related documents that you may be asked to sign. The courts do not accept ignorance of the contents as an excuse for not following through on a written contract. If you do not speak or read the language of the written contract well, get someone to interpret it fully for you. Once again, the courts do not accept language as an excuse for not understanding what you sign. Do not sign unless you understand the document fully and agree to its terms and conditions.Tip No. 37 Ensure that everyone to be on Title is on the Offer.All of the eventual owners of the home should be party to all parts of the real estate buying process. There are fewer complications, and it may save you time and money later. Even if someone has to be away during a part of the process, there is a solution. A power of attorney can be used effectively for one party to sign on behalf of another when the other party cannot physically be there to sign documents.Tip No. 38 Get it in writing.All agreements related to the real estate purchasing process should be in writing. While it sometimes may be tempting to sweeten an offer with the addition of something not contained in the written offer, do not do it. If the agreement does not directly relate to the real estate transaction, write up a separate offer. This also pertains to other things such as the mortgage pre-approval. Make sure the details are provided to you in writing, and that they address the mortgage rate, terms and conditions, and for how long the rate is locked in. Even when it is not intentional, people’s memories can fail them or become fuzzy on details. Having it in writing avoids unnecessary headaches later on.Tip No. 39 Inspect.Conditional offers will often contain subjects related to inspections. Home inspections are a basic consideration for every home purchase. Good home inspectors can find things you may miss. Some have instruments such as thermal imaging that can see things that the human eye cannot. Home inspections are important. There are also many other types of inspections that could be done on a specific home and/or property. If a home is not connected to municipal water and sewer systems, septic and water (quantity and quality) inspections may be prudent. There are many other types of inspections that could be required to adequately investigate the condition of a home and/or property.Tip No. 40 Investigate.In addition to inspections, there are other conditions that provide for the investigation of a home with agencies such as municipal authorities. If a home has had major alternations without the required permits, a suite added with a permit, or the property used for unlawful purposes, are these not things that might interest you as a home buyer? Your insurance company likely will. In BC, sellers are required by law to disclose latent defects associated with home or property but the buyer is responsible to investigate patent defects. Your real estate agent can help you with this process but at the end of the day, you, as buyer, are responsible for your decisions and “Buyer Beware” is part of the real estate buying process. A review of the title and Property Disclosure Statement are fairly standard conditions but there may be a need for others associated with a specific property.