Buying A Home In Halifax – Your Real Estate Team

The Mortgage Broker or Bank Lending Officer is the first team member you will consult. In the same way you shopped for a REALTOR®, you should carefully select a lender. I usually give my clients the names of three lenders; two bank lending officers and one mortgage broker. Based on my experience, I prefer to see my clients go directly to the bank – not the branch, mind you, but a roving, commissioned lender. I have one very good mortgage broker I recommend (Rod MacInnis) because I’ve had a professional relationship with him for over twenty years and he has always done a great job for my clients. Unfortunately, many mortgage brokers are working on their own and don’t always have the experience required when something unusual comes up. A bank officer always has someone more senior they can turn to if things start to go sideways. And, as I mentioned, don’t just walk into your branch and ask for a mortgage. On those few occasions where my clients have done that it has not turned out for the best.

When you choose the person who is going to arrange financing, the first thing they will do is pre-qualify you and tell you how much you can afford, what interest rates are available and explain your other expenses, such as, interest rates, monthly or bi-weekly payments, deed transfer tax and so on. Then once you’ve found your dream home, your banker will prepare the mortgage application, and help you assemble the required documents and you’re almost there. Well, there are a few more steps, so read on.

The HSouthdale typical homeome Inspector is the next professional whose services you will require. If you are buying an apartment style condominium, the need for a home inspection is debatable, but I always include a home inspection clause in the Agreement of Purchase and Sale and let the buyer decide if it is necessary. If you are purchasing a single family home, I usually insist that a home inspection is part of the process. Let’s face it, purchasing a home is the biggest investment most people make and spending a few hundred dollars to have a professional inspection is well worth the money. And I said, “a professional inspection”, because on occasion, I have had clients tell me that their dad or their uncle “is very handy” or even works as a contractor and is quite capable of doing the inspection. At that point, I usually ask them if they would be willing to sue the family member if they missed something. Professional inspectors should carry Errors and Omissions Insurance. Make sure the inspector you choose has such a policy before you engage him or her.

The Real Estate Lawyer is an essential part of the process. Once again, I always give out the names of two or three lawyers to guide you through the legal documents, including the Agreement of Purchase and Sale, provide legal advice when required, make arrangements with your bank to order mortgage funds and review the title to the property. If you are purchasing a condominium, your lawyer will also review the many condominium documents such as the estoppel certificate, declaration and the rules and regulations, to name a few. You should contact the lawyer you are going to use, early in the process and make sure you’re ready to go once you’ve found that special property.

Purchasing a Rural Property or any other property on well and/or septic will require another (or possibly two) professional. At the very least, you will need to test for water quality. Coliforms, bacteria, arsenic, iron, and any number of other possible contaminants can be found in well water and you should do sufficient testing to make sure that the water is what the experts call potable or in plain English, safe for drinking. You may also want to get a “flow test” to make sure that the well on your new property will supply enough water for your needs. None of this is cheap, but, on the bright side, once you move in you won’t be getting a hefty water bill every two months from Halifax Water. You should also consider getting a die test and/or have your sewer line scoped to make sure the septic system is operating properly. A die test involves sending die through the system. If brightly coloured water starts to bubble up in the lawn, you have a problem, or should I say, the seller has a problem since you haven’t purchased the house yet. None of these issues will be your problem unless you go forward and purchase the property without doing any of the tests and investigations I have just mentioned. By the way, a new well could cost anywhere from $ 10,000 to $ 30,000, so think long and hard before you skip any of these measures.

Innovative Real Estate - Trevor

Trevor Parsons, REALTOR®, Broker/Owner

Trevor has operated his own real estate brokerage in the Halifax/Dartmouth area for more than twenty years, first as First Realty and for the past seven years as Innovative Real Estate.

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