1. Determine your budget! Get pre-authorized. See a mortgage broker (or several) or your favorite banker or both and determine the amount of mortgage you are pre-authorized for. This is the most beneficial information you can give your realtor. He/she can then avoid showing you homes out of your price range, inevitably making anything affordable look “less than” in comparison as well as wasting time.
It also creates the opportunity to be approved at a particular interest rate which can be locked in for 3-6-9-12 months. If a lower interest rate arises, they will honour the lower amount but if the rates rise, your rate will remain the same as promised. It gives you a chance to relax while looking for the perfect property.
Also, bear in mind that a larger down payment = a lower monthly mortgage payment but don’t think owning a home is out of your reach because you don’t have $20,000 stashed away. Talk with the mortgage broker about creative financing ideas. They have far more education in this field than you or I.
2. Make your wish list: Visualize, dream, whatever you want to call it….make a list of all things important to you. Start with location, square footage, bedrooms, baths, age of home, type of dwelling, size of yard/garage and then get more specific: appliances, flooring, color schemes, toys (hot tub, pool, tennis court).
Another great idea is to determine the 5 most important “must-haves” and “can’t tolerates”. i.e. Must have a double garage, can’t tolerate a busy street.
3. Set deadlines and plan of attack: I want to be in my home by_______. I will go out looking on Saturday mornings and/or Wednesday afternoons for 2-3 hours at a time.
4. Educate yourself. Look on www.realtor.ca and see what appeals to you. Communicate with your realtor by phone or e-mail. Let them know what properties interest you but listen to what they have to say, as often times they have already seen the property and they have more insight than you could derive from photos online.
5. When you find the right property, make an offer. “He who hesitates is lost.”
6. If the offer is accepted, act on removing subjects efficiently and effectively. A home inspection is always recommended, particularly on an older home and you should be present for the last 45 minutes to an hour to go over any issues with the inspector.
Remember that usually your deposit is required within 24 hours of final subject removal so have these funds available at a moment’s notice.
7. Once the offer is accepted, final subjects are removed and the deposit is paid, this deal becomes “firm”. You’re in now and not likely to get out without a lot of hassle and heartache. Be sure this is the one you want.
Here are some numbers you may find helpful on this journey.
250-861-HOME (4663) or 250-808-1000 (cell)
Brenda Dilley or Pam Martin
250-717-8949 ext. 103 or102
Lesley or Shaun Pierce
The Mortgage Group
250-862-1794 or 1-800-884-4101
Thomas Butler LLP
Pillar to Post (David Kilby)
Professional Assurance Inspections
Wilson M. Beck Insurance Services
2040 Springfield Road
Capri Centre Mall
Westbank Towne Centre Plaza
Interior Savings Insurance Services
(several locations) 250-712-4045
Terasen Gas 1-888-224-2710
City of Kelowna 250-763-6011
Telus Phone 250-310-2255
Shaw Cable 250-762-4433
Fortis BC (Electricity) 1-866-4FORTIS
School District #23250-860-8888
Black Mountain Irrigation 250-765-5169
Glenmore Ellison 250-763-6506
Lakeview Irrigation District 250-769-4322
Rutland Waterworks 250-765-5218
South East Kelowna 250-861-4200
Westbank Irrigation District 250-768-5154