When people say it takes a community to raise a family, a similar mentality can be applied to the importance of surrounding yourself with a team of experts before you begin your homeownership journey.
Buying a home is a huge milestone and among the largest financial commitments you’ll undertake throughout your lifetime. So, in order to protect your largest asset, you’ll want to assemble a team of experienced professionals who will provide you with expert advice and guidance throughout every step of your homeownership trek for years to come.
While the amount of involvement and interaction with each member of your team will vary, each party will play a central role in helping you navigate the homebuying and mortgage processes.
5 key members to include in your team
They are certainly other experts you’ll team up with along the way – such as contractors and various maintenance/repair professionals – but following are the main players you’ll want to pay special attention to when building your initial roster.
- Financial Planner. Working with a financial planner is one of the first steps you should take if you’re thinking of buying a home. This will help you define your goals and create a sound financial plan. Your financial planner will help create a budget to pay down any outstanding debt, put money aside for your down payment and associated homebuying costs, and assist you with establishing a good credit rating, which is essential when applying for a mortgage.
- Mortgage Agent. A mortgage agent works on your behalf to find the most suitable mortgage based on your unique needs. Getting preapproved for a mortgage will help you understand what you can afford to spend before house hunting. Mortgage agents are a popular choice for all buyers, but particularly for first-time homebuyers and non-traditional buyers, such as self-employed or credit challenged individuals. One of the primary benefits of working with a mortgage agent is our access to multiple lenders, including banks, trust companies and credit unions, which empowers us to compare rates and products to ensure you receive the best option every time you need a mortgage or wish to access home equity.
- Realtor. While much of your preliminary house hunting will be conducted online, you’ll ultimately want to rely on the knowledge of a local housing expert to close the deal. A qualified real estate agent will help you locate your desired property, provide you with comparable data to determine current market values, coordinate showings with sellers, effectively negotiate the terms and price you’re comfortable with, and coordinate the final purchase transaction.
- Lawyer. Your real estate lawyer will assist you with the complex legal matters associated with homebuying. This includes reviewing and preparing important closing documents, conducting a title search to ensure there are no claims against the property, verifying that property taxes are up to date, calculating the land transfer taxes due at the time of closing, registering and transferring the deed, and arranging for the transfer of funds. Your lawyer will also hand over the keys to your new home!
- Accountant. Buying a home is a complicated transaction and your accountant will ensure you’re making smart financial decisions by helping you understand how your new home may impact your overall financial picture and assist with all tax-related issues. There are a number of government programs offered to homebuyers, particularly for first-timers, such as the First-Time Homebuyers’ Tax Credit and RRSP Home Buyers’ Plan, as well as Land Transfer Tax Refunds, which involve tax benefits that will impact your income tax return.
If you find a professional you feel is a great match, don’t hesitate to ask them for other professional referrals. Also ask friends and family for suggestions based on their own first-hand experiences.
Have questions about finding the right professionals to join your team? Answers are a call or email away!