Congratulations on your decision to become a homeowner!

Buying a home is one of the most exciting — and important — moments of your life. Your home is not just the roof over your head, where you live, eat, sleep, play, and raise a family; it's also one of the most important investments you'll ever make. Whether you are looking in Tobermory, Owen Sound or anywhere in-between, we can help!

RE/MAX believes that: "You can't live in an RRSP." How true it is. For most people, buying property is the single largest investment they will ever make, not just in their family's lifestyle and comfort, but also in their financial future.

RE/MAX is here to help — and not just because we have thousands of highly qualified associates across the country to assist you on your journey. We want to do more than just help you buy a property; we want to teach you everything you need to know to buy your home.

Choosing Your RE/MAX Agent

Buying your first home is one of the most important investment and personal decisions of your life. It's also one of the most complex transactions you may ever undertake.

Your first step involves deciding how you will approach your home search. Who will you work with throughout this process — and how will you work with them? Ask yourself, "Do I want a RE/MAX agent working with me or for me?" There is a difference!

As a buyer, you have a choice in representation. Most buyers today choose to have a RE/MAX agent represent their interests in a real estate transaction. This is also known as Agency Representation (or fiduciary representation), which simply means that the RE/MAX agent you hire is legally bound to represent your interests. This involves the highest standard of care and extreme loyalty to you, the "client." Some agents will work with you as a "customer," which carries a different level of responsibility. Most real estate professionals require a client relationship because it allows them to provide the full range of services that buyers need and deserve. Your RE/MAX agent will discuss representation with you and will request your commitment in writing for this level of service.

As a first-time homebuyer, it's important that you find someone you feel completely comfortable with, who you can trust, and who listens to you and respects your views. They have the market knowledge and expertise, but at the end of the day, it's your home and your investment, so you must be able to work well with your agent. Experienced, professional RE/MAX agents understand and excel at this.

Like in so many professions, reputation and word-of-mouth are crucial. Indeed, for RE/MAX agents, client and agent referrals account for about 70% of business. As you begin your search for your RE/MAX agent, talk to family, friends, and colleagues who have gone through the home buying process to see if they can recommend anyone. Homeowners who've had a positive experience with a RE/MAX agent are only too happy to share this with you, much like they would a doctor, dentist, or auto mechanic. You can also use the Internet, or visit a local RE/MAX office.

As a first-time homebuyer, look for an agent who is experienced in your market, but not so busy that they can't give you due attention. RE/MAX agents that carry the ABR(r) designation (Accredited Buyer Representative) are skilled in understanding and responding to the specific needs of buyers. Consider looking for an agent with an ABR(r) designation before you look for a home and you'll be served, not sold. Your interests become their interests, and you'll be working with someone who has gone the extra mile by completing specialized training in delivering the best in buyer representation services. RE/MAX agents who have an ABR(r) designation also have established track records, with proven experience in representing the concerns of homebuyers. To find a local ABR(r) buyers representative visit REBAC.net.

What a RE/MAX agent does for you

There are many good reasons to work with a qualified real estate professional — especially a trained professional who has earned the ABR(r) designation. In a formalized agency relationship, you can expect your RE/MAX buyer's representative to:

  • Provide you with the highest standard of care and extreme loyalty to you as the client.
  • Understand your specific needs and wants, and locate appropriate properties.
  • Assist you in determining how much you can afford.
  • Help you get pre-approved for your mortgage.
  • Preview and/or accompany you in viewing properties.

Ownership Costs

Determining how much you can truly afford involves meeting with a mortgage representative at a financial institution. Most financial institutions, as well as Canadian Mortgage Housing Corporation, have online mortgage affordability calculators that allow you to plug in your basic numbers to see how much of a loan you might qualify for.

Consider these calculations an estimate — a mortgage representative will take your preliminary calculations and see if they hold up to further scrutiny. It's important to be honest with yourself when you do your own financial review. If you underestimated your household expenses to make your financial picture look brighter than it actually is, your mortgage representative will probably expose a more realistic view.

The mortgage representative will then come up with some close-to-final numbers, presenting you with a preliminary figure for pre-approval. Now you should prepare a thorough and realistic checklist of your current household budget, say, if you're renting an apartment and your expected budget in your prospective new home. You'd be surprised how some new items — such as additional insurance or costs for general repairs — can add to your expenditures as a homeowner. Make sure you take all of these items into consideration when calculating your mortgage affordability.

The importance of not overspending

Real estate experts cite overbuying as one of the most common mistakes first-time home buyers make. Whether they got caught up in a bidding war or fell in love with a home they just had to have, many people spend more on their new home than they can afford. Months later they may realize that their purchase has left them "house poor" with no money left to contribute to savings, other necessities, or even rainy day funds. This further underscores the need to be honest and realistic with your mortgage calculations, as well as the importance of getting pre-approved for a mortgage, since it can actually protect you from going overboard.

Costs of Home Ownership

From deposits to moving expenses, and everything in between, buying your first home involves more than just saving for a down payment. That may be the largest cost, but there are other things you'll need to plan and budget for.

  • The Deposit
  • Down Payment
  • Mortgage Loan Insurance (potentially)
  • Land Transfer Tax
  • Appraisal Fees
  • Home Inspection
  • Property Insurance
  • Mortgage Life Insurance
  • Legal Fees
  • Title Insurance
  • Moving Expenses & Service Connections

For more information on whether you are Fit To Buy, click here!

When you are ready, PUT IN AN OFFER! 

Fully understand the Agreement of Purchase and Sale, discuss it with your Realtor!

Whether you are looking to buy in Tobermory, Owen Sound, Wiarton or anywhere in-between, let us help you! Call Today 519-596-2255.