Many potential home owners step into our offices without much knowledge of the home buying process. We enjoy having the opportunity to educate new clients, and introduce them to people that we love working with around the Windsor area. Whether you’re getting preapproved for a mortgage or are ready to start the hunt for a private house for sale, we’re happy to work with clients at any stage of their home buying journey.
To help you get more familiar with the process, let’s take some time today to introduce the people that you’ll meet during your home buying journey. These professions often work closely together, and we have some great pros that we’d love to recommend around the Windsor area. Just get in touch with us for our suggestions.
Before going into any Windsor real estate office, you’ll need to meet with a loan officer to secure preapproval for a mortgage. This person likely works for a local bank or independent mortgage broker, and is the first person that meets with you to go over your finances and credit score. They’ll help you gather all the important documents you need during the home buying process, help you choose the right type of mortgage, and will ultimately tell you how much credit you’ll be offered.
Insurance is a huge part of the home buying process. During the process, you may have to obtain mortgage default insurance, which protects the bank if you put down a down payment of less than 20%. There’s also title insurance, which separately protects both buyer and seller if someone comes along with a legitimate claim to the home’s title.
Finally, once everything is closed, the next major type of insurance you’ll need is home insurance, which offers a variety of different financial protections and levels of coverage for your home. Most mortgages require homeowners to have at least a minimum level of home insurance.
Real Estate Agent
Of course we’re biased, but we believe that the right real estate agent is key to a successful home buying process. Both the seller and the buyer must be represented by an agent. We manage everything from checking out available private houses for sale to scheduling appraisers and inspectors.
Once you’ve found a place you love, we help you negotiate a great offer with terms that work for you. We make sure that every piece of documentation is completed properly, and are there from the first day of your search to your last day of moving.
Real Estate Appraiser
Another pro that you’ll meet while finding your next home is a home appraiser. This is a licensed professional whose job it is to inspect the home, evaluate the local market, and give the home in question an objective value. In Canada, this profession requires hundreds of hours of in-class study, as well as thousands of hours of supervised, hands-on appraisal work. After all that is done, appraisers must pass a qualifying exam.
All appraisers working in Canada must be certified as part of a professional association. All of their hard work is done in the service of ensuring appraisers are always neutral and are able to give an objective and accurate assessment of any home’s value.
Another professional that’s involved in the home buying process is your home inspector. Like the real estate appraiser, a home inspector is a neutral third party whose job is to check out the structural condition of the home, and note any elements that may pose an issue — either at the time or down the road.
Not every province in Canada requires home inspectors to be licensed, but the one you hire should have lots of experience in the local area, and a reputation for thorough, detailed work. Your real estate agent will likely be the one that connects you with the home inspector and can help you schedule an inspection as soon as you sign the contract.
Unless you’re purchasing a newly built home, there will likely be some issues that need to be fixed before move-in day. Having a contractor on your team gives you the information you need to make an informed decision about closing. They can identify issues that need to be fixed, and give an accurate estimate for timeline and cost. If the problem involves plumbing, electrical, or roofing, they can recommend a colleague and help bring them up to speed on the project.
If there are no obvious issues when you tour the home, it’s tempting to skip the pest inspection. We advise against this. Pest-related damage can be almost invisible to the untrained eye, but can easily cause hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage if left untreated. Hiring a pest inspector to come out and inspect your home after the contract is signed is a great way to get peace of mind for a reasonable fee. If they identify any issues, they’ll be able to give you an immediate treatment plan for getting it taken care of before move-in day.
Working with the Dan Gemus Real Estate Team
Over our many years in business, we’ve had the privilege of working with many Windsor-area professionals who have helped us situate clients in their dream homes. To check out a few more of the pros we’d recommend, find our reference listing service here.