July 6, 2011
Want to Buy a Home but not sure Where to Start?
by Kelley Skar
This can be one of the most scary times in a persons life and also the most exciting…all at the same time! So you are looking to buy a home and you are not sure where to start.
I am going to give you a break down of how I typically start working with a new buyer and the things we need to do together before we start the search.
1. Pre Approval: This is the first and most important step. You need to find out how much money you can afford to spend. This will also determine the style, area, and finishings you are looking for in a home. Find yourself a good mortgage broker or mortgage specialist that you feel comfortable with, someone you either know or have been referred to and pick the person you feel is going to go the extra mile in giving you the service you deserve.
2. Picking the right REALTOR®: After you have your financing in place it is time to pick the right Agent for you. You should interview a couple of REALTORS®, or go with who your friends have referred you to. Typically if your friends have had a great experience with an Agent they are going to hopefully point you in the right direction. You should feel comfortable with the person you choose. You should feel like that REALTOR® is going to WORK their butt off for you. You should also find out how much experience they have and what their knowledge level is. If you ask me a question and I don’t know the answer…I am not going to BS you, I am going to admit I don’t know and go find the right answer, but that is just me!
3. Needs vs. Wants: Do you know what exactly you need or want in a home. Are you looking for a Condo or Single Family? Do you know the area? How many square feet do you need/want? Finishings…ie. Hardwood Floors, Finished basement, Granite Countrertops etc. How many Bedrooms or Bathrooms do you need or want? Very important questions to ask yourself before you begin.
4. Neighborhood Research: This could fall under #2 but I think it is as important as the previous 3. You should decide first on a Quadrant in Calgary and then zero in on the neighborhoods. What does each ‘hood have to offer? Schools…all levels? Shopping? Entertainment? Do you want to leave the neighborhood everytime you need groceries or hardware supplies? This should be something that your REALTOR® can help you with.
5. Get out and LOOK!: Time to start the search! You never know what you really want or need until you get over that hurdle of getting out and looking. Get online to REALTOR.ca, get your REALTOR® to send you listings, attend Open Houses(Make sure, if you are working with a REALTOR® that you tell the Agent sitting the open house. Do NOT sign anything. And do NOT write an offer on the Open House, without your REALTOR®! This is a whole other blog altogether!)
Do not be in a hurry to spend money! Be patient, take your time and find the home that is going to be perfect for you. If you follow these five simple steps it will make the whole process less cumbersome and scary. Like my Cub Master, Mr. Stewart, always said…”Be Prepared!” Or maybe that was the Cub Scouts motto…
About the Contributor
Kelley has consistently been in the top 5% in sales since he started full time in the real estate industry in 2008. He went through a major shift in his marketing plan at the end of 2009, recognizing the trend, and making the move towards digital marketing including websites, video, blogging and social media. Kelley is incredibly passionate about the use of technology and social media in his business and is often sought out for advice from other Agents from across North America. Kelley’s primary websites are: http://nwcalgaryliving.com and http://kelleyskar.com.