If you're thinking of moving, for whatever reason – the kids are gone, the family is growing, the neighbours are annoying – it's always a good idea to do a refresher on a few home-buying dos and don'ts.
DON'T trust, inspect. While the new house you're looking at may appear pretty, chances are that it's been spruced up to highlight its good side and hide its flaws. Be sure to get a qualified home inspection, and to make your purchase conditional on its results.
Do write down a list of questions about buying a home. You can discuss them with your MCAP broker and your realtor. Remember, knowledge is power.
Don't underestimate the cost of owning and buying a home. When budgeting, keep in mind that you will need a little extra for all the legal and government-related fees and taxes. And don't forget to take into account insurance, property taxes, utilities, and repairs and renovations.
Do consider what neighbourhood and type of home you want to live in. If you're an empty nester, you might be looking at a downtown condo, while a family may be looking at areas with great schools, parks and homes with large yards.
Don't take everything with you. Hold a yard sale before you move to get rid of stuff you don't use and need. It's a great way to earn a few extra dollars to help with moving costs – and it's fewer things to pack!
DO talk to a mortgage specialist. Call your MCAP representative to start the dialogue on what's possible and what rates are available. Your realtor can also help you analyze the market to determine your current home's value.
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