With the popularization of reality TV it was only a matter of time before the advent of real estate TV and that time is definitely here. One such popular show carried on HGTV, the Home & Garden Network is Property Virgins. This show, hosted by Sandra Rinomato follows the real estate purchase (and sometimes lack of purchase) of first time property buyers.
Well there are no lights, camera, action when your the first time buyer and your dealing with Century21 Northumberland Realty and I'm sorry to say no Sandra either, but we have our own team of "Property Virgin" realtors that will certainly make this a much more pleasurable and profitable experience. I would like to introduce you to Nicolle Morrison, co-owner of Northumberland Realty and an expert on all things financial. She can help you make the transition from renting to owning. Also part of the Northumberland PEI first-time buyers team are Robin Fraser-Smith and Judy Crossman. Both these women bring their experience as home owners, realtors and women to the process of finding a home that you can call home. Judy has a wide client base and a circle of community, having lived on PEI all her life. Robin brings a wealth of knowledge about the real estate market having been a realtor 9 years as well as how home ownership relates to family life having 4 children of her own. These ladies are diligent in their quest to find you the right first home and help you in the process of buying it.
Whichever of us you choose let's take you through the steps from "it's time we bought our own PEI home" to "here's the keys, enjoy your new PEI home".
The first thing that all prospective PEI home buyers and "Property Virgins" should do is apply for a pre-approved loan. This is a certificate, good for 90-120 days that guarantees that a financial lending institution will give you a mortgage of a certain amount. That amount is based on their conception of your ability to repay. Your current income, how long you have been with an employer, your consumer debt as well as your credit score are taken into consideration when making this assessment. Having pre-approval gives you a budget to work within. It also means that vendors will take you more seriously when you make an offer. You should be aware that the "guarantee" that the lending institution makes that they will lend you this amount is contingent on the home being worth the amount that you propose to pay for it (home appraisal) and that your financial situation hasn't changed between when the pre-approval is given and your deal closes. That means don't buy a car or make any major purchase in the meantime as this will unbalance your debt to income ratio.
When your finances are in place, then the fun begins. We will determine through talking to you 2 lists of wishes and wants. The first list is of features your new PEI home MUST have. The second is of features you WISH your new PEI home had. Also you will have to consider where you want your new PEI home to be located. In PEI there is the consideration of city versus country. When making this decision, winter should be taken into consideration as well as where you work and the possible daily drive to work.
With your requirements in hand we will begin to search for suitable PEI properties to show you. You should also search the internet and see what is available. As a first-time buyer you may not be aware of the types of options the PEI real estate market offers and the internet provides a quick way to educate yourself.
We will arrange viewing times for all the chosen homes and properties and you will begin to visit them. As you look at these PEI homes we promote the look at 3 and keep 2 approach. When you have viewed three PEI properties be prepared to cut one from the search. Then as you view another property, cut one again. This means that you are never choosing from more than 3 PEI homes as it is hard to compare when there are too many options.
Once you have made your choice and are ready to offer that is when the work begins. We advise against becoming too emotionally involved in a home as there are usually other homes that would suit as well and too extreme an emotional involvement makes it hard to do business or walk away. We will advise you on an opening offer based on comparables. These are similar PEI properties in the area that have sold recently. We will adjust this price up or down depending on how closely the property that you are offering on resembles the comparable and whether it is worth more or less as a result.
Your offer will be written up and presented to the seller. The seller may accept your offer outright, counter with a different price, possession date or any other variable in the purchase scenario, or reject outright. If your offer is rejected you have the option of re-offering but his puts you in a poorer bargaining position. If you are countered then you must consider your response carefully. If the counter is close to what you wanted to pay then you may accept the counter offer. If there is still room to negotiate you can try countering again. When you counter then the vendor may once again accept, reject or counter.
Once terms are set, and the deal is made, the rest of the process switches to your lawyer. You will need a lawyer with PEI real estate experience working for you. They will perform what is called conveyancing. They will search title, determine the pro-rated portions of oil, taxes etc that you will owe the vendor, as well as preparing the final documents etc. You will attend at your lawyer's office when everything is prepared and sign your documentation and pick up the keys.
You are now a home-owner! Sound hard? There can be some emotional moments and there is definitely stress attached to buying your first home, but with one of us at your side we can help you and guide you through the whole process.