October 26, 2017

[Ep. 124] What to Do Before Buying a Home with Penelope Graham

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I’m Jessica and I’m a money expert, speaker, Accredited Financial Counsellor Canada®, host of the More Money Podcast, and am currently writing my first book with HarperCollins Canada (2025).
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If you have some questions about the home buying process, my guest Penelope Graham, Managing Editor for Zoocasa has the answers!

Penelope was actually one of the panelists for my Millennial Money Meetup in May 2017, and the focus of that event was homeownership and renting vs. buying. She was one of the top-voted panelists by attendees, so I knew I needed to bring her on the show to share her wisdom.

Having bought my first place just a year ago, I still remember all the stress, research, and more stress that went into finally signing on the dotted line. Toronto is a hot market, so I knew I needed to be prepared and not take this home-buying process lightly.

Now that that’s behind me, I want to make sure that other millennials who are thinking of buying are just as well informed and prepared for this very big purchase. And if you have any questions after this episode, contact Penelope via Twitter and she’ll be happy to guide you on the right path!

Tips If You’re Thinking of Buying Your First Place

  1. Remember that getting pre-approved for a mortgage is your first step. This will help you figure out how much mortgage you’ll be approved for, how much you can afford, and what your budget should be. Also, don’t borrow the maximum you are approved for, especially if only putting 5% down. You don’t want to be house poor after all!
  2. Interview potential realtors as if it was a job interview (because to them, it actually is!). Make sure you pick a realtor that’s the right fit for you, ask for their stats (how many homes sold/bought for clients), ask for references, and make sure they are a full-time realtor and completely invested in working with you.
  3. When given a buyer representation agreement from your realtor, negotiate a term for the contract that suits you best (ie. no longer than 3 months). This way, you can end the relationship if it’s not working and you won’t be tied to a lengthy contract.

Helpful Resources

  • Got a question about the home buying process? Tweet Penelope and she’ll get right back to you with some helpful tips!
  • Check out Penelope’s posts on the Zoocasa blog for some clear guidance on what to know and what to do.
  • To learn more about mortgages in-depth, read the resources on the Financial Commission of Ontario’s blog.

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