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3 'Must Haves' for the Home Buyer

If you're shopping for a home, you probably have a list of features that you really want.  Here are three more "must haves" to add - essentials that no buyer should be without!

1. Your home buying team.  The key members of your team are your real estate agent, mortgage broker and lawyer or notary.  These experts will provide you with advice on homes and neighbourhoods, financing options, contracts, and paperwork.
Their guidance will help ensure that you understand what you are buying, how you are financing it, and aware of your legal rights and responsibilities.

2. A pre-approved mortgage.  This important tool empowers you to hunt for a home with confidence.  By telling you up-front how much you qualify to borrow, the pre-approved mortgage helps narrow your search to home you know you can afford, saving you valuable time.
Once you find a home, you'll be more secure about placing an offer, knowing that the mortgage application is likely to be approved.  (The final mortgage approval is usually subject to an appraisal of the home.)
Best of all, the interest rate on your pre-approved mortgage is locked in for a specified amount of time (usually 60, 90, or 120 days), so you can look around without worrying about rising rates.  IF interest rates go down, you'll get the lender's newer, lower rate.

3. A home inspection.  By making your offer conditional upon a satisfactory home inspection, you gain valuable protection.  A qualified home inspector can assess the structure and systems of the home, so you can make an informed decision about the condition of your purchase.  If significant issues are flagged by the inspector, you may be able to negotiate a reduced price or even back out of the deal. 

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