Finding that perfect home is one of the most satisfying and exciting times in a person’s life. That dream home can be a game changer as it finally allows you to move from a rented space to owning your own home and giving you that feeling of permanence.
To make this a smooth transition, here are 5 must do’s that will help to make this a pleasurable first-time home ownership experience.
1. Get pre-approved for a mortgage
Before you go shopping for your dream condo, make sure you know how much money the financier is willing to lend you. This pre-approved amount of money will be how much you will be given for your mortgage and is a necessary first step in financing your new home.
To be pre-approved for a mortgage, the lender will need to verify:
Here’s the deal:
Pre-approval is so important because the seller will want to know that you as the buyer can consistently cover the mortgage payments and are qualified for the full amount of your dream condo.
2. Know your budget
A pre-approved mortgage will quickly show you your financial boundaries. However, just because you are pre-approved for a certain amount of money, does not mean that you will want to spend or borrow that amount.
Before looking at different homes, make sure that they are within your comfort price zone and that you can afford them. There is nothing worse than finding your dream home, only to find out that you cannot afford it or will be stretched too thin by your monthly payments.
3. Look at the minutes
Every condo in the much sought-after Coal Harbour district is run by a strata and that strata has published their minutes that give an up to date monthly or bi-monthly review of the condition of the building and what is going on in the building.
We cannot stress enough that it is so important to read through and fully understand these minutes. Andy or I would be happy to review these important documents with you and explain any part of the minutes that seem confusing or to help clarify some of the more important parts.
The minutes of each condo will show you:
How much money is in the contingency fund – this fund is set aside to cover large expenses such as roofs or rain screening. The more money in the contingency fund, the better.
Any problems that may have arisen in the building such as leaky pipes or problem condos.
Any upcoming expenses that will not be covered by the contingency fund or may need additional funds to cover the expense.
As ethical realtors, we let all clients know that the most important thing to look for in the minutes is any type of water damage such as leaky pipes or excess mold or condensation. Water related problems can seriously damage a condo. They can be some of the most difficult problems to fix and troubleshoot.
By reading the minutes, it should be straight forward to see if you are getting involved in a poorly run or problematic building that is only going to be a money pit.
4. Get to know the area
Anytime a client is looking at purchasing their dream home, we recommend that they take some time to see the neighbourhood and the area in which their building is located. Andy and I love showing clients the beautiful neighbourhood of Coal Harbour and some of the added features that will enrich their lifestyle.
A neighbourhood and welcoming community is a great built-in feature to any dream home. So, make sure to take the time and see the neighbourhood to make sure it is the right fit for you. We would love to show you our favourites.
5. Find the right realtor
The right realtor is a must to help you take care of the issues and complexities that are bound to arise as you look for your perfect dream condo. A well-connected and informed realtor will help you narrow your search and be able to show you a wide range of homes that are within your budget.
We are a successful and professional real estate team who have been helping clients find their perfect condo in the Coal Harbour area for many years. We are dedicated and hard working and would love to be a part of your first home buying experience.
This article first appeared in the Andy + Sam Real Estate Website. For more information about real estate in Downtoen Vancouver, visit www.realestatecoalharbour.com.