Buying a Home

Pride of home ownership is indeed one of life’s greatest joys and biggest accomplishments. It is an exciting time and my hope is that this guide will bring clarity and peace of mind during your home buying journey.

I know there may be many more questions you will have – buying a home is one of the biggest investments most people make. My team and I have guided many future home owners through the process of selecting and purchasing their home, it would be our pleasure to work with you too. Please feel free to give me a call at 250-801-6678 with any questions you have about buying your home. We’re here to help you not only be an informed & educated buyer, but to also help you enjoy the experience of buying your home!

7 Steps To Finding the Right Home For YOU

terry compton choose where to buy a home

Step 1 – Deciding Where & What to Buy

Let’s get started! The first step is deciding where you want to live, what type of home you are looking for and what features are “must haves” or “would be nice to haves” in a home.  Invariably, there will be trade-offs, but rest assured I am here to help sort through the options to find you the best house, at the best price and with as many of your wants and needs as possible.

To get you started, here are some key questions to ask yourself:

  • What type of home are you looking for? Single family, semi-detached? What style of home is best for you? Bungalow, split level, two storey, duplex?
  • What about the age of the home?
  • How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need?
  • What are you looking for in a kitchen, family room? Do you want a separate dining room?
    What is your preferred layout?
  • What are your high priority features? Appliances, ensuite, fireplace?
  • What other types of rooms do you need? Main floor laundry room, home office?
  • What about storage space? Basements, lockers?
  • Do you need a garage or extra parking spaces?
  • Is energy efficiency important? Newer windows or a high-efficiency furnace?
  • How is your daily commute? How easy is it to get to the places you need to go?
  • How close do you need to be to transit, shopping, schools, hospitals?
  • Are there any important location factors? Backing on to parks, road traffic?
  • What size of yard are you looking for? Is the backyard important? Or is a side yard okay?
  • What about the front yard?
  • What other landscaping features are important? A fenced yard, play areas, pool, gardens?
  • Is it important what direction the house faces?
  • Who are you sharing this home with and what are their needs? For example, pets might need a fenced yard or extended family wants a separate entrance.
  • How much do you want to invest beyond the purchase price of the home in terms of financial or sweat equity, if you can’t find all the features that you want?
  • How long do you plan to live here? That can impact the type of home, the location and how much you will spend.
terry compton realtor mortgage

Step 2 – Getting Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

The mortgage industry is a highly competitive field and it is important to understand that interest rates can change at any time. Partnering with a mortgage broker or financial institution to help you find the right mortgage product at the best rate is key to your home buying process.

5 Easy Steps to Get You Pre-Approved For a Mortgage

  1. Talk with a mortgage specialist. There are hundreds of options to choose from when it comes to lenders. Independent mortgage brokers tend to offer the most options because they do not just work with one bank. However, if you have a good relationship with your
    bank or financial institution, contact them as your first step towards finding the right mortgage for you. But be sure to compare rates.
  2. Complete and submit your application with the mortgage broker. They will collect your financial and personal information in order to find out how much mortgage you can carry.
  3. Gather all the necessary documents. The mortgage broker will give you a list of documents that the banks/lenders need to finalize the mortgage.
  4. Verification of your details. They will do their checks and balances to make sure that you are not getting in over your head.
  5. Obtain a copy of your pre-approval. This is a powerful negotiating tool. The seller of your dream home will feel more confident that you are the right person.

While it is important to talk to a mortgage lender about pre-approval, be selective by choosing two or three at most since shopping and showing too many “credit checks” can negatively affect your credit score.

Having that Pre-Approval Documentation Can Offer You Several Benefits

  • Save you time and disappointment by only looking at properties that you can afford.
  • Save you money. Well chosen rates mortgage terms can save you money for years to come.
  • Less stress throughout the process. You will know that you are ready and capable of buying a home.
  • Get a better deal on the home that you want. Sellers prefer to know that buyers already have financing in place.
Terry Compton

Step 3 – Choosing the Right REALTOR®

First, it’s important that you understand whose interests REALTORS® are legally bound to serve in a real estate transaction.

The Listing Agent

The Listing Agent is under contract with the seller to market and sell their property for the best possible price. Working with a listing agent means that they can:

  • Arrange a showing of the property.
  • Assist with financing the property.
  • Provide details about the property.
  • Explain all the forms and agreements related to buying the property.

Your Personal REALTOR®
When you engage the services of your own personal agent—someone who is under contract to work solely in your best interest—you get all of the same services listed above plus your personal Realtor® provides:

  • Confidential assistance that addresses your needs first.
  • Honest, loyal and diligent care, free from any conflicts of interest.
  • Access to all listings including MLS, bank-owned properties, distress and estate sales, even homes that were previously on the market where the seller might still be interested in selling.
  • Expert advice on useful clauses such as home inspections and financing to protect you fully.
  • Expert negotiation of the offer to purchase, to achieve the best possible price and terms.
  • Expert advice on market value, inclusions, location, as well as help you decide when you should walk away.
  • Discovery and disclosure of all information about the property including liens, warranties, disclosures, seller’s purchase price, and market and planning activity in the area.

As your Personal REALTOR®, our job is to ensure you are an educated buyer in all aspects of your home buying process.

Why Us?

In one sentence: We Care. We know there are many REALTORS® to choose from, but for my team and me it’s way more than a job. Your home purchase is a big life decision and we’re honoured that we get to be part of it.

As a “local girl”, I know Kelowna & it’s many sub-areas like my back pocket.  As part of RE/MAX Kelowna, the largest brokerage in Kelowna, I have a vast network to a wide variety of current and upcoming properties.  The process of buying your house, townhome or condo is about helping you find the perfect place to call home… give me a call at 250-801-6678 today to get started.

terry compton realtor buyer

Step 4 – Becoming an Educated Buyer

The Terry Compton Home Buyer Service Program

Our exclusive Home Buyer Service Program will empower you with key market information and every possible advantage to ensure you become an educated buyer. Educated buyers are able to make informed decisions creating a stress free and more enjoyable home buying process.

Here’s what you can expect from me when you enroll in our program:

  • Absolutely no fees or costs to you on home purchases as outlined in our Exclusive Buyer’s Agency Agreement.
  • Access to property listings from a variety of advanced property
    search programs.
  • Access to a database of expired listings that may reconsider selling.
  • Proactive prospecting within your desired area to locate potential sellers with homes that match your criteria, that are not actively for sale on the market now but may be considering selling.
  • Access and expertise in navigating a purchase of For Sale By Owner homes that match your criteria.
  • Up-to-the-minute access to the best deals on the market, including brand new MLS listings, newly price reduced properties, current foreclosures, new home options, private sales and deals under contract that have fallen through.
  • The most current real estate market information that may impact your buying decision, including mortgage changes, statistical sales data on median house prices, sales and months of inventory, local area market changes, trends and much more.

The Terry Compton Home Buyer Process keeps you informed every step of the way.

  1. After our initial fact gathering meeting, we enter a detailed summary of your wants and needs for a home into our database and see if there is anything currently on the market that we can get you out to view.  Researching the current market is critical in helping us all determine and identify your next steps. This information is instantly shared with our entire team at Re/Max, other agents and potential sellers to begin the property match process.
  2. We then set up an email “alert” to notify and forward any new/active listing that meet your criteria so you can review them at your convenience.  We won’t bombard your email with information that is not relevant to you. We will provide updates on all the homes that are new to the market or have had a recent price change and that match a broadened scope of what you are looking for.
  3. As market area specialists with a pulse on local and national real estate market trends and changes, we also ensure you are kept informed of all relevant industry changes that may impact your buying decision, including price trends and mortgage rates.
  4. We personally inspect all the potential properties in the area and take in several listings ourselves. This hot new listing information is passed on to our clients first.
  5. You will get information about every property relevant to our search – we will share the information only we, as a REALTOR®, have access to.
  6. When you find a home that peaks your interest, simply contact us and we will arrange a convenient time to view and discuss.

Remember, when selecting what homes to view…

  • Choose different styles and types of home that meet your needs.
  • Drive by the home and area for your first impression.
  • Select a maximum of 5 homes to visit in one day (3 to 4 is best).
  • Schedule time after the showings to sit down and discuss the homes’ merits.
terry compton realtor buying home kelowna

Step 5 – Making an Educated Offer

The ongoing communication and education you will receive from our team will empower you to get the best possible deal on the home that you desire.

You’ve found the one. Fantastic! Here’s what happens next:

  1. We will conduct a detailed CMA (Comprehensive Market Analysis) complete with comparable active and expired listings, recent solds and historical data relevant to determining the market value of the home. This will empower you to make an informed decision.
  2. We will prepare an offer that protects you, follows your instructions and matches your schedule and needs.
  3. We will explain the details of the offer, the terms and suggest options for specialty clauses ensuring you know exactly what you are agreeing to.
  4. We will present and negotiate the offer on your behalf to get you the home that you want at the price and terms you want.

What happens after this:

  • The seller may accept your offer – congratulations!
  • The seller may reject your offer – not common, but it can happen and I would endeavor to find out why.
  • The seller may counter sign, changing the terms of the offer and present the offer to back to you.
  • Our negotiations continue to reach agreeable terms between the seller and yourself, or until I know an agreement cannot be reached and it is time to walk away.
terry compton home inspection kelowna

Step 6 – Conditions, Home Inspections and Waivers

The offer has been accepted. Now we need to satisfy the conditions.

This usually involves performing a home inspection, getting the rest of your personal information and the property information to your mortgage broker or bank, and arranging for the other information that might be necessary, like surveys, water tests and condominium documents. I will help you make the necessary arrangements to ensure that the entire process runs smoothly before the deadline.

Next, you will need to add some people to your team.

Finding a Home Inspector

Home inspections allow you to scrutinize the details of the home and save you from some unpleasant surprises. I would be happy to recommend a reputable home inspector, however, when making your decision….

  • Ensure that the home inspector is a qualified professional. Being a member of an Association can reassure you are getting an experienced, knowledgeable professional.
  • Ensure the home inspector checks for visible issues with plumbing, electrical systems, the roof, insulation, walls, ceilings, floors and windows, and the condition of the foundation. They can also check that included chattels, like furnaces and air conditioners, are in working order.
  • Ensure your home inspector gives you an up close and personal look at your new home. It takes about 3 hours to go through all the systems, and if there are any problems, you will see them with your own eyes. They will also give you maintenance tips and easy fix-ups, if necessary.
  • Ensure that in the end, you receive a detailed report that summarizes the condition of your home.

Choosing a Lawyer

Lawyers are an invaluable member of your team whose job is to ensure that you get what you are paying for and in accordance with the terms of your agreement of purchase. Your lawyer will ensure:

  • There is nothing on title that is not supposed to be there.
  • The property taxes, utilities and condo fees, if applicable, are up to date.
  • You have all the information that you need about your new home.
  • Your mortgage lender is satisfied and that your mortgage is secured on property title as required by your mortgage agreement.
  • You know exactly how much money you will need in order complete the transaction on closing day.
  • They also ensure that the seller gets paid the purchase price.

Step 7 – Preparing to Move

Typically you will have anywhere from 30 to 90 days to get everything ready for your home. It could be shorter or longer, depending on what you need and have agreed upon with the seller.  The closing date is usually the same as your move-in date.

It is a good idea to get things organized well in advance of the closing date to reduce the stress of the move.

  • Lawyers: We will send your lawyer the information about your purchase. You will need to provide the lawyer with some additional information: insurance, down payment information, fee payments, adjustment payments and possibly other signed documents that they ask you for. You will meet with the lawyer about a week before the closing to finalize everything.
  • Down Payment and Closing Costs: Make the necessary arrangements to have the funds available when the lawyer asks for it. Liquidating some assets can require some additional time.
  • Movers: Whether you are using professional movers, renting a truck or getting a bunch of friends together, plan and organize it early.
  • Insurance: The lawyers will need a copy of your home insurance before closing so that the financial institution will release the money to them. Call your insurance broker with the listing information. They might also want to know the age of the house, the condition of the roof, furnace, electrical system, as well as other general information.
  • Change of Address: It’s time to start giving out your new address to everyone. Use my checklist to make sure you have everyone covered.
  • Utilities: It is important that you call the local utilities to get their services changed into your name. These include phone, internet, television, gas, electricity, water, and any rental agreements. Remember, too, to cancel the services at your old address.