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Pick the Right Home Buying Team

Pick the Right Home Buying Team

Buying a home is probably the biggest purchase of your life.  It’s a bigger deal than getting married!  This translates into a very important time and having the right team on your side can make a big difference through the transaction and process.

As clients get more and more educated about the home buying process, they are seeking the advice of a mortgage broker (like us) to help arrange their financing.  Why do they come to us?  It’s easy.  Really easy.

We have nothing against the banks, we use bank lenders every day and they have great people.  But those people are not mortgage professionals specialized in doing one thing.  Those bank people are trying to manage many things.  They are also trying to maintain the best interest of their employer, where we have your best interest at heart.  At TeamClinton, we have a wide range of different banks, broker lenders, and credit unions and some of these are not available to you unless you use the services of a mortgage broker.   As our client, you have more choice and can get a really customized solution that is right for you.  Typically our rates are much lower than that you can on your own.  Better choice and lower rates is a huge win!

We are extra motivated because if we don’t get you financing – we’re not getting paid!  One of the best things about mortgage brokers is that you don’t pay us, we are paid by the lender!  Win-win eh??  If some very select cases, however, there may be a fee, and it only happens if we explain it to you upfront and then you can make your decision.  This only happens when there is higher risk lending involved.

Who is on your team?

Your Realtor

A real estate agent is a key player in your home buying process.  The job of a realtor is to help you find a home and deal with the offer to purchase, help you negotiate the best price and terms, and give you the information about the home itself and the community where you will be living.  The information they give you would likely take you hours to find on your own and you might not even have access to what they can provide.  A realtor can truly help you make an educated decision about your new home.

To find a realtor in our area, you should visit the Nova Scotia Real Estate Commission’s website

 Your Lawyer

In Canada, you need a lawyer to buy a home.  The lawyer will help protect you legally and will also help you to ensure the that the home does not have any liens or orders against it.  Your lawyer will review your purchase agreement contract once you sign it.  Your lawyer will help give you the assurance and peace of mind that the transaction will go smoothly.

You can visit the Nova Scotia Barristers Society website to find a lawyer in your area that practices real estate law.

The fees that your lawyer will charge vary per lawyer but usually are tied to how complex your transaction is and your lawyers level of experience.  For example, if you’re buying a new construction home, you will want a lawyer who has a lot of experience in this type of property transaction.

We recommend that your lawyer should :

  • Be a full-time real estate lawyer
  • Live in your area
  • Have reasonable fees
  • Be able to give you the ins and the outs in layman terms
  • Have experience with condos (if you are purchasing a condo)

Your Insurance Broker

An insurance broker will provide you with the insurance coverage that is required to obtain mortgage financing.  Without the proper insurance, the mortgage lender will not send the mortgage funds to your lawyer.  Property insurance will cover you for the replacement cost of your home if you were to have a loss.  The cost of this insurance depends on what type of insurance you decide to get.  There is a range of different coverages.

Also, we recommend getting life insurance coverage on your mortgage.  We offer a Manulife product called MPP and we also offer a ScotiaLife product.  This coverage is good to cover the gap until you can get a term of the whole life policy.  This coverage can be canceled at any time without penalty and typically the first couple of months can be refunded if you get coverage setup somewhere else.

People often ask if high-ratio mortgage insurance is home insurance or life insurance, and it’s not.  This insurance coverage is insurance for the lender if you put less than a 20% down payment down when you buy a home.

Your home inspector

You should think about having any home you make an offer on inspected whether it is a new construction or an existing home.  Having a professional inspector inspect it, will protect you and help you ensure that you are buying a sound investment.

With any property you buy (including a new home) there can be issues.  Some are immediate, need to do items and some can differ for years.  Having a knowledgeable inspection can make the difference.

Your inspector will do a visual inspection of the home itself.  The role of the inspector is to tell you about the condition of the home.  Your inspection will tell you if you need to change anything before you buy it or anything you should do soon after.  It is best to have information when you buy a home.

Home inspections typically cover the following:

  • Foundation
  • Doors and windows
  • Roof and exterior walls
  • Attics
  • Plumbing and electrical systems (visible)
  • Heating and air conditioning systems
  • Ceilings, walls, and floors
  • Insulation (where visible)
  • Ventilation
  • Septic tanks, wells or sewer lines (if qualified)
  • Any other buildings such as a detached garage
  • The lot, including drainage, slopes, and vegetation
  • Overall opinion of the structural integrity of the buildings
  • Common areas (condominium/strata or co-operative)

In our area, home inspections cost around $300 to $500 depending on the size of the home and the area of the home. Also, if you are looking for a home inspector, we can typically refer you to someone or your realtor would have some contacts!

For more information on your home buying team, feel free to reach out to us!  We have lots of good contacts that can help you through the process.