How to Navigate The Home Buying Process

Buying a new home can be a rewarding experience. But if you don't know what you're doing, your experience could end up stressful and financially devastating.

This resource center has been created to help you through the steps of purchasing your new home. Whether you are buying a condo, house, fixer-upper, or building a new home, the tips found here will make sure you are prepared and have the knowledge to make a sound financial decision.

1. Pre-Approval

When you first decide you want to purchase a home, you'll need to go through the pre-approved mortgage process. This will help you understand how much you qualify for, ensuring you are looking at homes in your price range. This will also act as a rate hold for you. Most lenders will hold your rate for 90-120 days. If you require a longer rate hold that may be available, it is important to ask about it.

Get a quick pre-approval here

2. House Hunting

Once you know your price range, your Realtor will begin researching the available properties and will show you homes that fit your criteria. Create a list of 'must haves'. Work with your realtor to understand the best options for your price range and desired features. Don't stress out if you aren't sure what you want. On average, a home buyer will look at 5-12 homes before moving forward with a purchase.

3. Submitted Offer and Acceptance

Once you’ve found the home you are interested in, you will make an offer. Unless you go through the full mortgage approval, the offer will be “subject to financing,” meaning that the offer depends on whether or not you are able to obtain a mortgage. Your offer may also have other conditions, such as “subject to a satisfactory home inspection” or “subject to review of the condominium documents.” Once the offer is accepted, you will provide a copy of the purchase agreement along with the property feature sheet to your mortgage broker.

4. Lender, Insurer, Appraisal

Your mortgage broker will work with the lender, insurer, and appraiser (if required) to get you final approval on the financing. At this time, you will be required to provide further documentation. You will need to collect the requested paperwork and submit it in a timely fashion, to ensure that you get approved for financing within the conditions stated on the offer.

View the required mortgage documents here

5. Firm Sale

Once you have met all of your financing conditions, your mortgage planner will instruct you to remove the “subject to financing” condition from your purchase contract. This is done with your Realtor. You may remove other conditions at the same time (if they have been met), such as “subject to a satisfactory home inspection.” Once all of the conditions are satisfied, you have a “firm sale.” Instructions from the lender as well as our office will be sent to the lawyer’s office at that time.

6. Before Signing

The lawyer is now receiving and preparing the mortgage documents. Use this time to start preparing for the move. See the moving checklist for some of the steps you may need to take.

7. Lawyers

The lawyer will call you in to sign, usually as soon as they can have you in. This is when the lawyer will ask for the remainder of your down payment and additional closing costs. The completion date is the day the money is given to the sellers and the property is transferred to your name.

8. Move In

Usually your possession date will be the day after the completion date. This is the day that you receive keys and can move into your new home.

9. First Mortgage Payment

Unlike with rent, which is paid at the beginning of the month, you make your mortgage payment at the end of the month. For example, if the purchase of your home was completed on June 1, and you chose monthly payments, you will not have a mortgage payment until July 1 (at the end of one month). If you chose weekly payments, the payments would come out at the end of every week. You will receive the details of the mortgage repayment from your mortgage lender.

What you should do now

If you would like us to negotiate the lowest rate for your mortgage, apply for a quick approval.

If you are serious about learning everything involved when buying a home, visit our "Homebuyer Zone " page where you can read and download valuable checklists and resources.

If you have questions, contact us for more information.