One of your biggest financial investments will most likely be your new home. Buying a home is a time consuming process and the better you understand it the more you will save in terms of money and hours spent searching for the right home. Don’t assume that once you have found your dream home that that is the last step, in fact that is when the work begins, read on to find out all the steps involved.

Once you have found the home you would like to buy you will need to give the vendor the Agreement of Purchase and Sale.  This is basically a list of terms under which you will agree to buy the home.  It is best to discuss with your agent or lawyer about the terms to include.  Standard conditions include: Lender approval of mortgage financing, getting a proper inspection, and an appraisal. In addition to these standard terms, you should also include anything else that you feel should be part of the seller’s offer such as any furniture, window coverings, or appliances, On top of the terms, the agreement will include: your legal name, the name of the vendor, the address of the property, your offer price, the amount of your deposit, and the date you will take possession of the home also known as the closing day.

Once the Agreement of Purchase is drafted your agent or lawyer will present it to the vendor. The vendor can accept your terms of agreement, reject it or provide a counter-offer. Typically if you are presented with a counter-offer, the seller will be proposing a higher price or different terms, therefore before you begin the negotiating process you should already have a ceiling price in mind and you should have already decided about which terms you can afford to be a bit more flexible with.  The process of agreeing to a common set of terms will take some time but once it is finalized you will have other work to complete.

If you are renting your current place you will need to give your landlord a notice and decide upon whether you will hire professional movers or take it up yourself. If you decide to hire professional movers you will want to check their references, and they should also provide you with a cost estimate and inform you about any additional fees.

Do not forget to change the address for utilities and services and make sure to change the door locks, also consider changing any appliances and know that you will need additional cash for cleaning and decorating.

On closing day your mortgage money as well as your down payment (minus the deposit) and all closing costs (legal fees, transfer fees, and disbursements) will be transferred from your lender to your lawyer. For more information visit the CMHC’s website, www.cmhc.ca

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