Buying Your Own Home in Montreal
Buying Your First Home
The Right Home at the Right Price
Avoid Common Buyer Errors
But Do You Need It
Thinking About Buying Your First Home?
With interest rates low, many renters are starting to think about purchasing a home of their own. While simple rental cost vs. mortgage cost comparisons can be very attractive, here are a few helpful tips from some of our Montreal Real Estate agents.
How long you plan to live in the home.
Selling a home costs money. If you potentially may have to move in the short term, the value of your home may not have appreciated enough to cover the costs of buying and selling with Montreal real estate agents.
How long the home will meet your needs.
What features do you require in a home to satisfy your lifestyle now? Let our Montreal real estate agents help answer that question. People tend to remain in homes longer than they initially intend, primarily due to the work and expense associated with moving. Therefore it is worth considering a home with room to grow. Could the basement be turned into a den and extra bedrooms? Could the attic be turned into a master suite? Having an idea of what you'll need will help you find a home that will satisfy you for years to come.
Your financial health - your credit and home affordability.
To determine how much home you can afford, talk to our Montreal real estate agents. Good Montreal real estate agents will give you a range of what you may qualify for. The "28/36" rule means that your monthly housing costs can't exceed 28 percent of your income and your total debt load can't exceed 36 percent of your total monthly income, it’s important for you to know your options.
Where the money for the transaction will come from.
Typically, homebuyers will need some money for a down payment and closing costs. However, with today's broad range of loan options, having a lot of money saved for a down payment is not always necessary - if you can prove that you are a good financial risk for a lender. If your credit isn't stellar but you have managed to save 10-20% for a down payment, you will still appear to be a very good financial risk to a lender. Maintenance, improvements, taxes, and insurance are all costs that are added to a monthly house payment. Montreal real estate agents.
Avoid Common Buyer Errors
Shopping for a new home is an emotional experience. It is, however, also a business transaction, and must be treated as such. Three of the most devastating things that can go wrong are:
- Paying too much
- Losing a dream home to another buyer
- Buying the wrong home
When you have a systematic plan before you shop, you’ll be sure to avoid these costly errors. Here are some tips by our Montreal real estate agents on making the most of your home purchase:
Get the information you need
What price do you offer a seller? Is the seller’s asking price too high? Is it a deal? Your own research is important and our Montreal real estate agents are here to help. Montreal real estate agents can offer an unbiased opinion on the value of a home, based on many factors and a great deal of information.
Buy your home
What do you need and want in a home? Sounds simple, but clearly identifying your needs and bringing an objective view to home shopping leaves you in a much better position. How much space do you really need? Too small and you may feel like you live in constant clutter. Too big and maintenance may become too daunting. Outline all of your priorities, and work with our Montreal real estate agents on finding a great home for you.
Check the title
Before you sign any document, be sure the property you are considering is free of all encumbrances. An attorney can supply you with a copy of the title to ensure there are no liens, debts, undisclosed owners, leases or easements against the title. Montreal real estate agents.
Update the survey
Before the purchase is completed, your attorney can provide you with an updated survey which is essential. This report will indicate boundaries and structural changes (additions to the house, a new swimming pool, neighbor’s new fence which is extending a boundary line, etc.), and will guarantee that you are indeed getting what you pay for. Montreal real estate agents.
Minimize the unexpected
For $300 - $500, a professional inspector will conduct a thorough inspection of the home. Their expertise can mean the difference between uncovering major flaws before or after you own a home. Make the final contract subject to the report’s findings. Montreal real estate agents.
But do you need it?
Various house toys weigh in.
It’s easy to fall in love with certain features of a home, but to find out that those same features, in the long run, are your least favorite. Here are a few common ‘extras’ and a quick assessment of their relative values.
Also referred to as radiant heat, in-floor heating is a brand new invention. Well, except that the Romans did it a couple thousand years ago by channeling hot air under the floors of their villas. And Frank Lloyd Wright did it in the thirties with hot water, but other than that...
For: In-floor heat comes in two primary forms: hot water heat and electric heat, and there are many advantages. The dramatic energy savings promised shouldn’t prompt you to ask for a decrease in salary just yet, since the more popular hot water radiant heat usually requires a second hot water heater and won’t shave too much off of your bill, but there are some notably appealing elements to in-floor heat in general. .
Against: In-floor heating systems are still considered a luxury, and can add a fair bit to the value of a home.
Assessment: Find someone with in-floor heating who doesn’t love it. Our Montreal real estate agents dare you.
It’s the quintessential luxury item that announces once and for all that you are a big dog, even in parts of the country like this one where it can only be used about ten minutes per year. It is the swimming pool.
For: A 2004 4-state NAR study found that having a pool increased property values from 8 to 15%.
Against: Safety issues have not been blown out of proportion by the media. Pool deaths happen all the time, there’s no getting around that fact. Pools are expensive to maintain, even without hiring a pool cleaner, and are a lot of work.
Assessment: The issues involved with owning a pool can be overcome, and many people enjoy having a pool very much. You just have to want one really badly for it to be worthwhile say Montreal real estate agents.
Kitchens do cool things these days. Appliances paneled to look like cabinets, an extra tap above the stove for filling large pots of water, $15,000 pounded-copper range hoods, and 460 different countertop materials...
For: Kitchens are finally being designed with maximum utility in mind. When shopping for a home, focus on the kitchen – it is where you will likely spend a great deal of your time, and the room in which every party tends to congregate.
Against: Be careful not to fall in love with the impermanent fixtures in a kitchen. While those glass-front, backlit uppers may brilliantly display the seller’s Royal Daulton bone china, will your mixed collection of garage sale Melmac have the same effect.
Assessment: The kitchen is the hub of virtually any home say Montreal real estate agents. Don’t underestimate its importance.
The Bottom Line
With all of your dream home features, try to let reason prevail (or at least get a word in edgewise). You may absolutely worship the tumbled marble rainforest shower with the heated towel rack, but it will be of little comfort every morning and night when you are cursing the home’s lack of closet space. It is often the most boring attributes of a home that will give you the most pleasure.