Are you a first time homebuyer? There is no doubt that buying your first Ucluelet home requires a lot of knowledge and can come with quite a learning curve. It's not just the home that you are buying, it's also meetings with the mortgage lender, insurance company, appraiser, your trusted REALTOR® and various other professionals you will encounter on your way to homeownership. That's why we've compiled this guide; to give you an in-depth look at the home buying process, and help relieve some of the tension that you may feel as you venture through the home buying process for the first time.
Just like if you're going to take a cruise, you must buy a ticket before you show up. Since this is probably the largest purchase of your life up until now, you will most likely need a mortgage to make the purchase. So before you start setting up dates to visit homes with your trusted REALTOR®, start your search off right by securing the financing.
Talk to a Mortgage Broker -
A knowledgable Mortgage Broker will be the intermediary between their clients and the lenders who provide the mortgage loans. Brokers provide resources and multiple offers to their clients, which gives you a good idea of what is available across the spectrum. A good Broker will have in-depth product knowledge and be willing to help you find a mortgage you can pay off as fast as possible. You will also benefit from working with a Broker whom you like and respect, as you will be communicating extensively with this person over the period of time that you are purchasing a property.
Determine Your Budget -
This is where you are required to be brutally honest about your finances. Be smart when determining how much financial burden you are willing to take on when buying a house. Just because you are approved for a certain amount does not necessarily mean that is your price range. Look at your finances and determine how much you are comfortable spending per month and work backwards from there.
You will want to know that you will be able to make your mortgage payments each month with a surplus included because you will need to also save for future home maintenance and unforeseen financial challenges. (For more tips on how to prevent new homebuyer nightmares, check out our Top 5 First-Time Ucluelet Homebuyer Mistakes)
Obtain a Copy of Your Pre-Approval -
While this is not a must-do, when homebuyers have a copy of their loan pre-approval, it shows maturity in how proactive they are as legitimate home buyers. This step is akin to showing up at the garage as a new car owner versus someone who knows what's going on on the inside; one is taken less seriously than the other, which can certainly work to the advantage of the one who shows up, fully prepared and informed.
Another reason to have your pre-approval taken care of before you start looking for your Ucluelet home is because your offer may get held up waiting on the letter, and in a situation with multiple offers, this can be a deal breaker. For added peace of mind, do not skip this step.
For more on this topic, check out Bill Gassett’s article (a top Remax REALTOR® in Massachusetts) entitled Mortgage Pre-approval vs Pre-qualification Letter for some great info to help you better understand these important documents.
Work With a Trusted REALTOR® -
This is the person who is going to orchestrate the entire transaction and is going to coordinate all the pieces of your purchase to make sure that everything is documented properly, on time, and processed correctly. They will also be knowledgable of local market data that will help to navigate your home buying choices like a pro.
A REALTOR® provides a crucial, objective opinion when it comes time to look at homes. With our decades of experience and extensive knowledge of Ucluelet and the surrounding areas, we can provide a sober second-thought which encompasses the entirety of the purchase of your new home such as repair costs, the neighborhood, the local school system, taxes etc. so as not be blinded by one or two superficial features like a soaker tub or a huge kitchen.
As your trusted RE/Max REALTOR®, we will be your contact point for all price negotiations and we will arrange for not only the fairest price but for the perfect Ucluelet home for you and your family.
Go Visit Many Homes -
With a REALTOR® by your side and pre-approval letter in hand, you're finally ready to go and start exploring Ucluelet! This is the most amazing place to be living, by the sand, forest, and sea. You've made a great choice of which area to live, now take the time to see the breadth of what is available. But be sure to take your time, if you see more than 5 or 6 homes in a short span of time, the details can get mixed up in your mind. So bring a checklist of things you want in a home, be sure to take detailed notes in each place you see, and enjoy the discovery process!
Negotiate Your Real Estate Deal -
When you've arrived in that perfect home for you and your family, it's time to write up a sales contract and negotiate the deal. This is where the expertise of your REALTOR® really pays off, the only way to know the home buying process is to have gone through the homebuying process, and we have been negotiating and advising our clients through it all for 20+ years.
Take your time and ask any questions throughout this process. There are no dumb questions during this stage of the home buying process. We encourage your curiosity and input as this is a big decision and an even bigger move. We are here to simply support you and guide your through the process of finding your new Ucluelet home.
Once you have presented an offer, agreed upon all of the terms of the contract and both parties have executed the contract, you will now move onto the the home inspection process. As a home buyer, it is your responsibility to hire a third-party home inspector to ensure that the house is safe and functional. We can certainly offer you some references to help you on your way.
The inspector will normally find a list of things to be repaired in the home, this can even happen in newer homes, so don't be deterred. Your job is to decide which are the important issues that need to be dealt with now and determine whether you would like to ask for repairs on these items.
Be reasonable when dealing with the negotiations, you certainly want to have any water damage, heating or electricity repairs or broken appliances dealt with by the seller before moving in, however nit-picky details such as burnt lightbulbs or cracked fixtures are encouraged to be curbed in the Home Inspection Contingency of the home buying contract as they slow the process, which can frustrate the seller and discourage them from accepting the offer with too many tiny contingencies.
Supply all documents to Mortgage and Title company -
If you have a good REALTOR®, mortgage broker, and closer at the title company, your deal will go very smoothly without any issues. Your sales contract will have deadlines that must be met on time in order for the deal to maintain legality.
If you have a contractual closing date and your mortgage lender needs another week or two to close, the sellers have the right to keep your earnest money and put their house back on the market if you cannot close by the date on the sales contract. This does happen. Make sure that you are documenting the deadlines, and are in communication with everyone involved to be sure that the closing is on track.
Schedule Closing and Final Walk Through -
A final walkthrough is a standard practice of walking the property before closing to make sure that there are no new major issues on the property that would prohibit you from purchasing the home.
If you agreed in the contract that some repair that had been agreed upon was not completed or a window has been broken (it has happened), then you would need to resolve the issue before closing, or cancel the closing and seek legal advice on how to resolve the issue. This is why it is important to schedule your final walk through at least 24 hours before the closing to allow time for any issues that need to be worked out.
Sign Closing Documents and Get Your Keys! -
You can expect to spend about an hour at closing signing stacks of papers that cover all aspects of the home buying process. You will not receive your keys until the title company submits the papers to the mortgage company and the mortgage company then sends the funds to complete the transaction. Do your best to schedule the closing in the morning, as it can take several hours for the transaction to complete and so if your appointment is in the late afternoon or evening, you will likely not receive your keys until the next day.
Once the money has successfully transferred, you will receive your house keys and be the proud owner of your first Ucluelet home and then it is time to Start Living in Ukee!