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What is the Process of Buying a House?

May 3, 2016
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Buying a home for sale in Ottawa is a major investment and a detailed process. First time homebuyers often find it confusing since they have to show good credit ratings and extensive proof of income before they can qualify for a mortgage. Real estate agents and mortgage experts are always available to help buyers work with the many details involved in home ownership.

Research and affordability

Home buyers should check out the area where they want to live. This is easy to do online. Websites show asking prices for homes in the desired area, businesses and even schools. This is easy research.

Driving around the area is always advised if it is convenient. Talking to local residents at a store or coffee house can also be helpful.

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It is important to know what you can afford. You may decide after your research to buy a smaller home in a more expensive neighborhood rather than a larger home in another area. A condominium or townhouse may be right for you.

Pre-qualification

You should consult with a bank, savings and loan or credit union home loan officer to become pre-qualified for a loan before working with a real estate agent. The financial institution’s loan officer will discuss the different types of mortgages available.

There are several mortgage plans for different buyers. The earnest money deposit, down payment and other factors will determine the best mortgage plan for you. Proof of earnings and investments or savings will be necessary.

Find an agent

You can visit open houses in your preferred neighborhood to find an agent. The agent showing the open house is often happy to work with a potential buyer for any house. You can also call different real estate agents or find one through personal referrals.

The real estate agent will ask about your desired price range and loan qualification before showing you homes. A good agent will find the best properties available in your price range.

Inspection

If you are serious about a new home in Orleans, you should make a point of spending time in that house. You can flush toilets, turn on the water, check heating systems and ask about utility bills. This includes heating, electricity, cable companies, water and sewer systems.

You should also inspect the neighborhood and see how well neighbors care for their property. Your real estate agent will provide homeowner association information. This refers to codes, covenants and restrictions regarding the care and maintenance of property in a community. Homeowner associations usually have an annual fee that covers maintenance.

Make an offer

The real estate agent will negotiate your offer with the sellers. An earnest money deposit is usually required if an offer is accepted. This is the start of escrow, where your money is held until the sale is completed, usually within 30 to 60 days.

A formal inspection of the house should be completed during this time. You may buy a “fixer” that needs improvement. In that case, you were aware of major problems when you made an offer. An inspection should cover building structure, electric wiring, plumbing, roofs and insect infestations. Any problems you were not aware of at the time of your offer should be fixed before the close of escrow.

Closing the sale

You will have to sign extensive paperwork for the loan and the purchase of the home. The real estate agent is involved in the closing and the seller usually pays the agent’s commission. Once funds have been received in the seller’s account, escrow is closed and you can move into your new home.

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