Frequently Asked Questions
Have questions about buying a home in Markham, Unionville, Whitchurch–Stouffville and the Region of Durham? I’ve got answers!
Buying a Markham, Unionville, Whitchurch–Stouffville or Region of Durham home can be both thrilling and a bit unnerving, especially if you're a first-time home-buyer. Both experienced homebuyers and first-time buyers alike will benefit from the frequently asked questions below. Before you begin your home search, it is recommended that you prepare yourself for the journey by educating yourself. This will ensure you are a knowledgeable home-buyer prepared to make a confident home buying decision.
Q – This is my first time buying a home, where do I start?
A – Starting the buying process begins with fact-finding and familiarizing yourself through various articles. Before you get too involved in the process and start looking into specific areas, neighborhoods, or even homes, we would suggest preparing yourself by:
· Figuring out how much you can afford on a home, and analyzing your financial situation.
· Educating yourself on the Markham, Unionville, Whitchurch–Stouffville and the Region of Durham real estate markets.
· Analyzing your budget and getting rid of as much debt as possible
· Saving enough money for a deposit and down payment, so when you fall in love with a property, you can make an offer.
Once you’re familiarized with your own needs and what you can afford, contact us. It is our responsibility and our specialty to protect the interests of a buyer, and to manage the finer details of any real estate transaction. I’ll act on your behalf, whether you’re a new or experienced buyer, ensuring your complete satisfaction.
Q - I’ve heard some stories about mortgage products, how do I choose the right type of loan without making a mistake that could cost me?
After we review and have a better understanding of your finances and home buying needs, selecting an appropriate lending consultant would be the next best step. I have experience working with a number of trusted lending professionals that we would be happy to recommend, or you can always shop around and choose your own. Trusting your lender is very important. You should feel comfortable, while having the utmost confidence in them. Be sure to ask as many questions as you want, in order to get the answers that you need before you sign any document. You should feel at ease when signing the documents you’re presented with. The best loan is dependant on the individual. To find out what’s best for you, try answering these questions:
· How much can you afford for a down payment?
· Are you planning on residing in the home long-term? Or short-term?
· Do you qualify for a loan?
There are many options available in the Markham, Unionville, Whitchurch–Stouffville and the Region of Durham and there is no better time to buy!
Do you feel confident in scheduling your home buying consultation? Do you have more questions? Contact us today and we’ll help get you prepared. If you’re ready to move forward, we can look over your budget and needs and find you the perfect Markham, Unionville, Whitchurch–Stouffville or the Region of Durham home.
Q – What are closing costs are associated with purchasing a property?
It’s important that you’re aware of the costs associated with buying a property. Below are the closing costs that will occur:
1. Legal Fees. + HST and disbursements.
2. Disbursements; including obtaining Title Insurance, Registry Office searches, registering deed, registering mortgage, couriers, postage, long distance calls, etc.
3. Land Transfer Tax. Calculation of LTT for Buyers:
Calculation of LTT
.005 x Amount
(.01 x Amount) – $275
(.015 x Amount)-$1,525
** If you are planning to buy a home in Toronto, contact us for more information regarding additional Land Transfer Tax.
4. Adjustments fees: This could include costs of pre-payment of taxes, hydro, gas, fuel, etc.
5. Home Inspection: It is recommended that you have one completed (but not necessary). Typically the costs are about $500 + HST
6. Mortgage costs: Talk to your mortgage broker about fees due on closing. Ie: CMHC premium taxes, appraisal fees, etc.
7. Professional Mover: Ask us for referrals to great moving companies in your area.
Q – What to look for when viewing a home?
When walking through a home, one of the toughest things to do is remain objective. Too often do buyers immediately fall in love with a home’s appearance, only to experience a number of frustrations and repairs down the road. It’s important to look beyond appearances. Here’s what to look out for:
· General upkeep – how clean is the home? Is it dirty and cluttered? Is the front lawn tended to? Is the kitchen a mess? A messy home could be a sign of more issues that may not be visible.
· Water leaks – Stains, bulges, crumbling grout around the bathroom & kitchen, and other signs of damage on ceilings or walls could be a sign of leaking water. Leaking water can be a serious issue that could rot wood, undermine foundations, and lead to mould and mildew. If you are concerned, it would be wise to bring along a professional during the showing or home inspection.
· Is it in working condition? – Before you decide to buy, make sure all major appliances are in good working condition. Test the lights, furnace, air conditioning, faucets, toilets and anything that could be a concern.
· Floors – Pay close attention to the floors. Ensure they are smooth, even, without sloping, and solid without cracks, otherwise, repairs may be needed.
· Windows and Doors – Inspect each door and window. Make sure they close and open smoothly, and fit snugly so there’s no draft. Flaked paint and loose caulking could be signs of a damaged door.
· Outside – Take a walk around the entire yard to look for areas that could be affected by poor drainage. Soggy areas will let you know.
· Cracks – Look for deep cracks in the foundations or loose mortar and bricks.
Note: Remember to bring a measuring tape if you have big items such as a piano or a sectional that you want to keep.
If you’re concerned about the condition of a home, contact a home inspector. Inspectors can quickly identify any problems, and give you an indication of whether you should move ahead with the purchase of a home.
Q – How can I prepare my home for selling without spending a fortune?
You don’t always have to break the bank in order to prepare your home for a sale. Below are a number of great ways you can make your home more appealing to a buyer, in order to sell for more and in less time.
1. Mow the lawn, clean up the yard, and trim the bushes — pay close attention to anything that may be obstructing sunlight from entering the house.
2. Invest in a new, more inviting doormat.
3. Replace any doorknobs that have either begun to tarnish or are damaged in any way, and polish any that just need a touch up.
4. Hose down the driveway, sidewalk, and the exterior of your home to give it a fresh, clean look.
5. Edge the grass around walks and trees.
6. Upgrade the outdoor lighting to provide a sense of safety and dramatic effect.
7. Clean your gutters.
8. Decorate the front door to make it more inviting and appealing. A fresh coat of paint can do wonders!
9. Ensure the numbers of the home are clean and visible. Replace damaged digits if necessary.
10. Don’t allow your neighbours curb appeal affect yours. If their property is cluttered with junk, or poorly maintain, offer to clean it for them.
Q – Is the time right to sell?
In order to get your greatest return on your property, it’s always best to sell when the local real estate market is “hot” or is considered a “sellers market”. This can sometimes occur locally, regardless of the situations in other markets. The best time to sell is when:
· Mortgage interest rates are low. This allows buyers to finance larger mortgages.
· Your region is economically healthy and people feel confident about buying.
· There’s an increase in buying activity in your area.
· Your area is considered appealing to buyers. A number of factors can contribute to this, including; schools, low crime rate, the weather, affordability, distance from a major city, employment opportunities, and other factors.
Contact us to discuss the market conditions in your area.
Q – After I sell my home, what do I need to leave behind?
There are often questions regarding what you are expected to leave behind once you sell your home. You should notify the buyer of what you intend on leaving behind, and ask the buyer what they expect to be left behind.
Generally, the seller is expected to leave all “fixtures” behind. This means objects that are affixed, fastened to, or are an integral part of the home or landscape. Normally, lights and their shades (ones that cannot be unplugged and carried away), window shades, curtain rods (and sometimes the curtains), built-in dishwashers, trees and plants that are rooted in are all expected to be left for the buyer. If choose to keep any of these, either remove them prior to showing the house, or notify the buyer before signing any agreements.
Be certain that both you and the buyer are on the same page when it comes to any object that appears to be a major part of either the household or landscape.