Buying your first home is a thrilling but scary experience. You saved up money for a down payment, attended open houses, and even had a few offers rejected. But then you stumble across it… your dream home, right here in Cloverdale! You make the offer, and to your jubilation, it is accepted! Now what?
First off, you can celebrate! Open that special bottle of wine and order from your favourite restaurant; you deserve it! But there is still plenty of work to be done before you step through the door of your new home.
Find a Lawyer
Hiring a real estate lawyer can ease many of the worries a home buyer, especially one buying their first home, may have. Your accepted offer is not legally binding, yet, but it will be after you and the seller meet all the conditions of sale. Having a lawyer by your side can help you ensure nothing gets overlooked and potentially save you from an expensive mistake. Your lawyer will investigate common roadblocks that could prevent your deal from closing, such as liens against the property and zoning issues.
Call Your Bank or Mortgage Broker
You should have already talked to your bank or mortgage broker through the home buying process and are pre-approved for a mortgage. At this point, it’s time to circle back. The process can sometimes take awhile to complete, so it’s always a good idea to contact your bank or mortgage broker as soon as possible to get the process moving. Your lawyer can help you with the documentation portion of your mortgage, but you will still need to initiate the process.
Do You Need Insurance?
If your down payment was below 20%, you will need mortgage insurance. However, it’s always a good idea to speak to an advisor as other options may be available as well. You will also need proof of home insurance to close the deal if a mortgage is involved, which is the case for most of us when buying property.
Schedule an Inspection
Some people may have already inspected a home, but if you reach this point in the buying process, now is the time to ensure it gets done. Your home is likely the biggest investment you will ever make. The last thing you want to discover a month into living in your new home is that the furnace is faulty and you’re left in the cold until it can be fixed. Home inspections do not break the bank, and is certainly a smart step to take when purchasing a home.
You can also inspect the house yourself to address certain issues before closing. If you discover that anything is broken, such as a doorknob or sink, it is far easier to get compensation from the sellers before the deal is closed than after.
On closing day, your lawyer will transfer your down payment and mortgage funds to the seller and register the home’s deed in your name, finally providing you with official ownership! You’ll then have to pay your lawyer’s closing costs and fees.
On top of the legal actions required at closing, you should also ensure your utilities are set up, including internet and cable access. It is also suggested to change the locks as soon as possible! You never know who had access to the property under the home’s previous owner. You will also need to update your mailing address. You can contact Canada Post for help with this, but it is also a good idea to update your online shopping accounts such as Amazon right away so that you don’t accidentally send your next purchase to your old address. And last, but certainly not least, enjoy your new home!
We hope this general guide helps ease the worries first time buyers may have after their offer gets accepted. For further assistance, please seek advice from a qualified legal professional