10 steps to buying a home

  1. Determine how much you can afford. Based on your down payment, income, existing debt, regular expenditures, and other key financial information, a mortgage broker or lender can help you determine how much you can afford to pay every month and the price range that works within your budget.
  2. Start your search. As a REALTOR®, I can act as your personal advisor, consultant, and negotiator. I will show you homes that match your criteria, guide you through the home buying process and negotiate the best possible price for your home.
  3. Make an offer. When you’ve found a place that you’d like to call your own, I will help you draw up an Offer to Purchase to present to the seller. This legal document specifies the price, the closing date, and any conditions.
  4. Retain a lawyer. It’s important to hire a lawyer who specializes in real estate. You could find yourself in a bidding war for the home you want, and you may want a lawyer to look over any offer to purchase before you submit.
  5. Arrange the home inspection. Many buyers consider including a home inspection as one of the conditions on their Offer to Purchase. A professional inspection is a good way to uncover major problems with the home. If the home doesn’t pass the inspection, you can adjust or withdraw your conditional offer.
  6. Get the mortgage approved. With a copy of the signed Offer to Purchase and the necessary financial information, we’ll submit your application to your mortgage lender. The lender will qualify the application and complete a valuation on the property you want to purchase. Mortgage insurance gives you the ability to buy a home with a down payment of less than 20% of the purchase price.
  7. Get property insurance. Apart from the mortgage, you’ll need to purchase property insurance that protects your home against fire and other damages. Once you have a policy in place, forward a copy to your lawyer and your lender.
  8. Check the legal details. With the deal finalized and the financing in place, your lawyer can now search the title and check whether there are any unpaid property taxes outstanding. Your lawyer will arrange for a survey to be completed, if necessary.
  9. Complete the paperwork. A few days before the deal is set to close, you’ll meet with your lawyer to review, sign, and get copies of all the documentation. At this time, you’ll also provide the remainder of your down payment and pay legal fees and any additional costs, such as prepaid utility expenses for which the seller should be reimbursed, that are due on closing.
  10. Pick up the keys. On the closing day, your lawyer and the seller’s lawyer will exchange documents and cheques. Your lawyer will also register your new home in your name. When these tasks are complete, you’ll get the deed and your keys to your new home, and you can move in.

To guide you through this in more detail you can contact RCIG now.

10 common costs Of owning a home

  1. Property tax- Many of the services you’ll enjoy in your new neighborhood, from parks and recreation facilities to road maintenance and schools, are funded in part by municipal property taxes. Rates vary widely, from region to region and home to home. Annual taxes can top several thousand dollars in urban centers, so some homeowners opt to pay in installments — your lender may provide an option to combine these with your mortgage payments.
  2. Energy costs- If you’re used to keeping the lights on and the thermostat up because utilities are included in your rent, you’ll now have to pay for these costs. Budget to cover monthly gas, electric, or oil bills, which fluctuate with the seasons. Your real estate agent can ask a home’s seller to confirm past costs.
  3. Phone, cable, and Internet services- The costs of being “connected” can easily add up to a couple of hundred dollars a month. Moving into a new home might be a good time to consider whether you need both a landline and a wireless line, for instance, or if you can bundle services for a discount.
  4. Home Insurance- Protect your home, its contents, and your property against damage or liability. Prices can vary, depending on your home and neighborhood, but plan for costs that typically start at a minimum of $500 per year. Keep in mind that a lower-cost policy may not offer the comprehensive coverage
    you may want. You can keep costs down by choosing a higher deductible.
  5. Municipal services- Some municipalities charge fees for services like water or garbage removal. For example, homeowners in some larger urban centers pay $150 to $235 a year for curbside collection of garbage, recycling, and compost.
  6. Fuel or transit costs- If you’ll be commuting a longer distance to work, consider whether you will face higher fuel or public transit costs or whether you’ll have to pay for parking.
  7. Monitored security- If you opt for home protection, monitoring can cost anywhere from $20 to $40 or more per month, depending on the plan.
  8. Home Maintenance- Plan to cover all the occasional costs to keep your house in working order, such as changing furnace filters, carpet cleaning, clearing your eavestroughs, and touching up the interior or exterior paint. You’ll find it easy to spend $30 or more a month on such home maintenance items and services.
  9. Property upkeep- Consider outdoor areas that may need tending to, such as wooden decks, fences, gardens, and lawns. Even when you do the work yourself, budget at least a few hundred dollars seasonally for items like a wood sealant, landscaping supplies, and plants.
  10. Repairs- These are larger, less frequent expenses like replacing the roof, furnace, air-conditioning units, or appliances. Housing experts recommend setting aside 1% to 3% of the value of your house each year — a minimum of $1,000 for every $100,000.

While the ongoing costs of owning a home can add up to hundreds of dollars every month, I can help you plan ahead to manage these expenses and be comfortable with your financing. Contact RCIG now.

The Benefits of Creditor Life Insurance

Simply put, a creditor life insurance policy is one that allows you to keep your financial obligations to the lender in the event that you pass away before the debt is paid. (There are also creditor disability and creditor critical illness insurance policies, but those are topics for another day.)

Having creditor life insurance comes with a number of benefits. Here, we will discuss two of the main benefits.

You will have more in your estate to leave to your family.

If you pass away with debt, your creditors will typically be paid off before any of the estate can be distributed to your family. If the amount owing is large (like it could be if the debt is a mortgage), that might mean very little is left over for your spouse and children. Additionally, if your family is forced to sell your home to pay off the debt, this could add even more stress to an already difficult time.

With creditor life insurance, your debts will be paid off in full and your estate will be preserved for your loved ones.

Getting creditor life insurance is easy.

Some will recommend that you get term life insurance instead of creditor insurance – and in certain circumstances, this can be a good strategy. But term life insurance usually requires a lot of medical questions as well as a paramedical examination. Not to mention, underwriting can take some time.

So, if you don’t like needles, or if you have conditions that might make getting regular life insurance difficult, or if you just want a process that is fast and easy, then getting creditor life insurance could be the better choice for you.

Most people never take out a mortgage or other loan thinking that they might not live to see the day when it is paid off, but in a world where anything can happen, it is always best to be prepared. With creditor life insurance, you can have the peace of mind that your financial obligations will be met and that no additional strain will be put on your family in the event of an unexpected death.

When we say YES! We stand behind our promise.®™