The Home Buying Process from The Perspective of a Real Estate Agent As A Buyer – Part 1
Early in 2020, my wife and I explored selling our condo to explore buying a home. We loved our condo as it was spacious, open concept, modern, and in a desirable location, but our condo fees kept rising and we were finding that we were outgrowing the space. So, we decided to start exploring what options were available for us on the market.
We knew that we wanted to grow our home to have at least 3 bedrooms; one to act as my office space, and the other could be a guest room, or a room for one of our kids if we ever had children. As we started to look into the market, we saw that our best options would be a detached home, or even a newly built townhouse.
At first, we fell in love with a townhouse in Brighton from Edinburgh Homes. It was spacious, modern, in a great location, and included a bonus room at a very reasonable price. However, because I knew it would take several months to sell our condo, my wife and I weren’t comfortable agreeing with a condition based on a sale as that would provide unwanted stress that we weren’t needing. Therefore, we decided to be patient and continued to explore the market for additional options.
We explored homes in Evergreen and Aspen Ridge, but ultimately the design of Brighton is what made us fall in love with the neighbourhood; we felt that the long-term fit for us and our potential family would be home in the Brighton Community. The challenge that we now faced was that the lot selection was limited as the latest phase of land had almost sold out, and the upcoming phase had not been released. Unlike other neighbourhoods, where you can buy the lot from the City, the lots in Brighton are controlled by Dream and allocated to a limited number of developers that can build in the area.
Unlike most people who are looking to build a home who start by looking for a lot and builder, we did what every home buyer should do first; we reviewed our financials and looked to get our financing set up first that way we would know exactly what we could afford and what we needed to do to get approved for the mortgage we desired. With that in mind, I reached out to my go-to mortgage guy, Ron Quaroni, to see what we could be approved for. Ron being a first-class mortgage broker, explained that I may be better of with a lender that could do a 12-month rate hold as my mortgage would not start until I took possession of the home. Luckily for me, my sister had recently built a home and used RBC as her lender, that I reached out to Geoff Rathgaber and he walked us through the process and was able to hold a rate for us.
The big learning opportunity that someone can take from this, is that my wife and I focused on our financing first and then had to make some changes so we could improve our buying power. For instance, I needed to sell my car and buy something more affordable, as the $250 monthly reduction in my monthly car payment, made a significant impact on the type of home my wife and I could afford. (Big thanks to Gary Huang for Bema Saskatoon for helping me out)
So now that we had our financing in place and knew exactly what we could afford, as a buyer, I now had a strong understanding of how I could leverage my buying power when negotiating a deal for a home. Make sure to like, comment, and follow as I discuss how my wife and I researched throughout our home-buying journey.