This episode is brought to you by RECO. To learn more about house hunting and real estate, visit Reco.on.ca.
This podcast episode is all about real estate — one of my favourite topics! If you’re a longtime blog reader, you already know I had quite the experience when my husband and I were trying to buy a house in Toronto last year. After two straight months of house hunting and bidding wars, we decided to take a rest and continue renting.
If you’re not familiar with my house hunting blog series, definitely check out these detailed posts.
My House Hunting Blog Series
- Beware of the Buyer Representation Agreement When Shopping for a House
- Another Week, Another Round of House Hunting in Toronto
- My First Bidding War: But Not My Last
- House Hunting Checklist: My Must-Dos When Checking Out a House
- House Hunting in Toronto: My Experience in a Seller’s Market
Even with that experience still fresh in my mind, over the past few months my husband and I have started talking about looking again. We now realize that owning a house is out of the question if we want to stay in the city, but we can definitely afford to buy a condo or townhouse, especially if we plan on continuing to live in good ol’ TO for the next 3-5 years.
That’s why I’m so excited to share my interview with Kristina Wilson from the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO). Kristina has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to real estate buying and selling, and we delve into all the important things you need to know as a potential buyer in this episode. Here are a few takeaways from this episode:
Key Takeaways from this Episode
- Find a realtor who specializes in the type of property you want to buy instead of a generalist. If you want to buy a condo, find a real estate agent who is an expert when it comes to condos. They’ll know what buildings to stay away from and will help serve your needs better than someone who is more specialized in houses or vacation homes.
- Interview at least 2 to 3 realtors before choosing one. Ask for references before making a decision, and ask them what their experience is. For instance, how many homes have they successfully helped buyers purchase in the last year?
- Before stepping foot in a home you think you may want to buy, know how much you can actually afford. This means crunching the numbers, creating a budget with your new mortgage in mind, and getting pre-approved for a mortgage.
- Calculate your closing costs. Most buyers forget about these costs, but they could make or break your dream home purchase.
- If possible, make special requests in your offer. For instance, if you really want the home’s washer and dryer, but you fear the owners will take it with them, put it in your offer that you want it to stay with the home.
They are also a number of other great tips in this episode, so make sure to take a listen. But to supplement our interview, I’m including a number of helpful resources below. Happy house hunting!
Helpful Resources If You’re Thinking of Buying a Home
- Thinking of buying a condo? Here’s what you need to know
- Homebuyer’s checklist
- Common buyer questions & answers
- Buyer representation agreements: Understanding the fine-print
- Dealing with competing offers as a buyer
- Home inspections and choosing a home inspector
What You Need to Know About the Offer Process
Navigating Paperwork When Buying or Selling a Home
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