Becoming a Homeowner is a Great Move!

Are you currently renting and thinking about joining the ranks of homeowners? You should know that in addition to providing numerous financial benefits, buying a home will help improve your quality of life. Not only do homeowners enjoy more freedom, they also have a strong feeling of pride, as well as peace of mind. It's definitely a worthwhile investment!

A Well-Adapted Home

First and foremost, being a homeowner means living in a house that suits your tastes and fits your lifestyle.

Is your family growing – do you want a backyard and basement playroom for your children? The purchase of a home can help you benefit from these extra spaces and is also a good long-term investment. Condominiums and plexes offer other benefits: less maintenance in the first case and additional income in the latter.

Building Capital

Paying for a home is a bit like making long-term savings. Instead of paying rent to a landlord, your monthly mortgage payments are used to finance your assets and build capital that you will recover once you finish paying.

A Profitable Investment

Across Canada, the value of real estate investments has increased significantly over the past ten years. In Québec, the median price of a single-family home grew from $110,000 to $209,500 between 2002 and 2010. This translates into an average appreciation of 8% per year.

Taking Advantage of Fixed Payments

Tired of rent increases? Unlike tenants who must deal with these fluctuations, as a homeowner, you can enjoy fixed payments for many years and, depending on the type of mortgage you choose, protect yourself against possible interest rate increases.

A New Lifestyle

Unleash your creativity and decorate your house as you wish, without worrying about the restrictions that are imposed on tenants. Any amount invested in decoration or renovation will be for your benefit. Moreover, nobody can make you leave your home, or enter uninvited for inspection or maintenance.

Steps involved in buying a property

Team Up With A Broker

Whether it’s a family home or real estate investment, buying a property is a complex transaction that requires careful thought. When embarking on this journey, it’s in your best interest to team up with a knowledgeable professional: a real estate broker. A broker will guide you through all of the steps involved in purchasing a home. Also, as an objective partner, your broker will help you structure your project and assess the important issues that arise at each stage. And because real estate brokers are governed by the Real Estate Brokerage Act, strict bylaws and a code of ethics, the protections they offer will allow you to avoid potential problems.

Choosing Your Real Estate Broker

Choose a real estate broker who will meet your needs, and do not hesitate to meet with a few brokers to compare the services they offer. If possible, develop a business relationship with a broker who is very familiar with the neighbourhood you want to live in.

Evaluate Your Needs

House, condo, loft, studio: what type of property best suits your needs, and in what neighbourhood? Should you buy new, or renovate? How many bedrooms do you want? How many bathrooms? Do you prefer a small or large yard? Discussing these issues with your broker will help determine the features that are essential in successfully moving forward with your search. This is an important step, as it allows you to begin assessing the financial aspect of your purchase.

Determine Your Budget

Your broker can help you get started in drawing up a budget, primarily to determine whether it is consistent with your objectives and current real estate market conditions. Your broker will then encourage you to take the first step in obtaining a pre-approved loan from your financial institution. This crucial step accelerates the buying process and gives you credibility with sellers. You are now ready to begin visiting properties.

The Property Search

Start your property search in good company. While you can explore the largest number of homes for sale and for rent in Québec by yourself on our website, a real estate broker has the expertise to ensure that you buy your home at a fair price. To help you, your broker will access the computerized Centris® system, a highly effective tool that allows brokers to sort through all of the properties for sale by a real estate broker. Your broker will then present you with a relevant and varied selection of properties that match your criteria, and from these options you can choose the properties you want to visit. Your broker will help you identify the advantages and disadvantages of each home or condominium you visit.

Ready to Make an Offer?

Your broker will help you prepare the offer to purchase. He or she will accompany you throughout the entire process and act as your negotiator. Once your offer has been accepted, your broker will tell you what steps need to be taken in order to continue the purchase process: choosing a certified building inspector or soil analysis specialist if necessary, finalizing the financing, etc. If you sell your home at the same time, your broker will also coordinate the transfer of titles at the notary’s office.

A Simplified Purchase Process

From the offer to purchase to negotiations, from the choice of a notary and qualified inspector to the signature of the deed of sale, buying a home is a complex process. Your real estate broker is a valuable ally in successfully completing your journey to homeownership, thanks to their knowledge, network and experience. For many buyers, simplifying the steps involved in buying a property is an extremely valuable service

Financial Tools

There are many tools available to help you evaluate your financial situation and make your dream of becoming a homeowner a reality.

Borrowing Capacity and Preauthorized Mortgages

When you start looking for a property, it's in your best interest to determine your borrowing capacity. That way, you know what type of property to lean towards during your search. One approach is to get a preauthorized mortgage before even finding your property. Thanks to a preauthorized mortgage, you already know how much money you can borrow, your interest rate and the amount of each payment. You will be able to find a property that matches your means.

Mortgage Loan Insurance

You dream of buying property but you don't have enough for a down payment? Not a problem! Mortgage loan insurance can help make your dream a reality. In general, lenders require you to get mortgage loan insurance when you have put down less than 20% of the property's sale price.

Mortgage loan insurance is applicable to various new or existing properties. Also, bear in mind that a modest down payment means a higher mortgage payment and in the end, a greater total cost. In Canada, mortgage loan insurance is available through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and Genworth Financial Canada.

The Home Buyer's Plan

The Home Buyer's Plan is a government program that allows buyers to withdraw money from their RRSP, without paying tax on withdrawal, in order to purchase a home. Funds withdrawn must be paid back into the RRSP within a fixed time limit.The Home Buyer's Plan is a government program that allows buyers to withdraw money from their RRSP, without paying tax on withdrawal, in order to purchase a home. Funds withdrawn must be paid back into the RRSP within a fixed time limit.

To qualify, neither you nor your spouse may have owned a home that was used as a principal place of residence during the five years prior to your withdrawal request. In addition, you must have entered into a written agreement for the purchase or construction of a property (promise to purchase or preliminary contract) before being able to withdraw funds from your RRSP. For more information about eligibility conditions, contact the Canada Revenue Agency or your financial institution.

Considering Start-Up Costs

Did you know that when you buy a property, you must have money set aside to cover start-up costs? Your down payment and mortgage payments are not the only costs involved, so it's wise to have some additional savings set aside that can be used for your additional expenses.

These expenses should not be taken lightly and some mortgage lenders will even check that you have these funds available before granting you a loan. Mortgage loans are calculated based on the value of your home and, therefore, cannot be used to pay these additional costs.

Here is a list of common start-up costs:

  • Property's certificate of location
  • Property inspection and evaluation
  • File processing fee for mortgage insurer as well as any taxes on the premium
  • Notary fees
  • Adjustment costs determined by the notary (electricity, heating, municipal and school taxes, equipment rental contract, etc.)
  • Property transfer tax (welcome tax)
  • Moving expenses
  • Service and utilities hook-up fees (phone, electricity, etc.)
  • Decorating (paint, curtains, etc.)

An Adviser Who Will Guide You!

Buying a home, condo or any type of property is an important decision. It is essential that you be well advised and, above all, well protected. A real estate broker is the professional to turn to for a successful transaction that provides peace of mind, a sense of security and greater ease. Here are some advantages of working with a professional.

A fair price

Real estate brokers have the necessary resources and expertise to accurately assess the value of the properties you’re interested in. They have access to market statistics and advanced tools that enable them to perform a comparative market analysis. You will therefore become an informed buyer and will ensure that you pay a fair price for your new home.

A command of legal documents

Your real estate broker will inform you of all the steps that must be taken and will accompany you throughout the entire process. Your broker will prepare and explain all the terms of the promise to purchase, ensuring that it meets your needs and your budget, and will negotiate on your behalf and in your best interest. Your broker will also guide you to the appropriate professionals: mortgage lender, qualified building inspector, notary, soil analysis specialist, etc. He or she will also accompany you to the home inspection, review the inspector’s report with you, and advise you on the follow-up that must be performed.

Largest supply of properties in Québec

Your real estate broker is part of a network of close to 13,000 brokers who list their properties in the Centris® system, the Québec equivalent of the MLS® system for accessing complete property information. He or she will help you select the homes that interest you and that meet your requirements among the largest inventory of properties for sale in Québec. Your broker will work closely with the other brokers in the network to organize property visits, and is an objective ally who will tell you about the advantages and disadvantages of each property you visit.

Security and protections

Real estate brokers are responsible for the real estate transaction. They are subject to the Real Estate Brokerage Act and must comply with the requirements of the Organisme d’autoréglementation du courtage immobilier du Québec (OACIQ), contribute to the Real Estate Indemnity Fund and hold professional liability insurance. Using a real estate broker to buy a home or any other type of property means teaming up with a professional who will properly advise and guide you.

Source: centris.ca