How we Help
At Royal LePage Burloak, we understand that you're embarking on one of life's biggest decisions.
Educate you about the current market conditions
Discuss and analyze your wants and needs within your budget
Guide you to homes that fit your criteria
Coordinate the work of other professionals you'll need during the process
Negotiate with the seller on your behalf
Make sure all the required paperwork is fully completed, accurate and that deadlines are met
Work with you to resolve any challenges that may arise
That means you need sound advice from our loyal and trustworthy REALTORS® with the experience and expertise to back it up. Royal LePage Burloak has been buying and selling homes in Burlington since 2002 and has grown to a network of over 175 real estate sales representatives serving Burlington and surrounding area. No matter where you are or where you want to live, you can count on us for unsurpassed local market knowledge and a vast referral network. When you see a Royal LePage Burloak sign on a lawn, you know it's a sign you can trust, because Helping You is What We Do.
Buying a home is a personal and emotional journey. After all, what can be more satisfying than searching and finding the home of your dreams? At Royal LePage Burloak, we make sure you achieve this goal with REALTORS® you can count on which is why the relationships we form with our clients are extremely important to us. In our eyes, ensuring a positive buying experience for our clients and forming a strong and comfortable bond with your REALTOR® involves three fundamental values: honesty, trust and mutual respect. Allowing us to be accountable to you while acting as your eyes, ears, and most importantly, your voice throughout the process, we will have the chance to transform your dream into a reality!
Here's a brief overview of what our Royal LePage sales representatives will do:
Deciding to Buy
Buying a home can be a little overwhelming at times — especially in the initial stages. When buying a home, it is extremely important for you, the buyer, to be confident, well informed, and know exactly what you're looking for every step of the way. Before taking the final steps of purchasing a home, here are a few helpful things you might like to consider:
Needs and Wants
Start by making a list of things you consider to be a priority in your next home. Such things could include the number of bedrooms you would like, lots of storage space, certain proximity to schools or work, etc.
Once you have completed that list, take some time to list some things you would like to have in your next home. This is where that fundamental difference between needs vs. wants comes into play. Now that you've covered the basics, you might decide that it would be nice to have a house with a pool, or a front yard with a nice rose garden you can tend to on sunny days. Creating both of these lists will not only help you reach a good starting point, it will also allow you to eliminate homes that do not
have the features that were listed in your notes.
For most of you, creating this list will be simple. After all, these are things that you need
and you want
. However, if you need some tips on where to start, consider the following:
Think about your current lifestyle as well as any lifestyle changes you foresee longer term
Select an urban, suburban or rural location that best serves the needs of your evolving lifestyle
Choose neighbourhoods in close proximity to the amenities that are most important to you like schools, shopping, entertainment, recreation and transportation
Consider your commute times to work, school, friends and family
Determine the size of home you require, such as the minimum number of bedrooms, as well as any other space requirements, like room for a home office
Understand the home features most important to you, such as additional bathrooms or a large yard
Decide on a property type that suits your lifestyle, needs and finances whether condo, townhouse, single or multi-family dwelling
Types of home ownership
Another thing to be aware of when deciding to buy a home is making sure you understand the difference between the types of home ownership. As a point of reference, here are a few important ones to know:
A. Freehold Ownership
The home and its care is entirely your responsibility.
B. Condo Ownership
You are responsibility for taking care of the inside of the home, however, you pay fees to a certain organization to look after the common areas and general maintenance.
C. Co-op Ownership
This is similar to the responsibilities outlined in a Condo Ownership, but instead of owning your own unit, you buy shares in the whole building and pay maintenance and repair fees
Current Market Conditions
The conditions of the housing market vary and fluctuates from regions, cities and even neighborhoods. For that reason, investigating the market yourself will never give you the same knowledge that a REALTOR® can. By seeking out professional experience, you will enhance and enrich your understanding of current market conditions and maximize your search.
Like many things in life, planning ahead is the key to success. For example, establishing a budget from the very beginning of your search will help ensure a positive and stress-free end result. Furthermore, here are a few more planning tools to keep in mind when understanding financing:
Determine What You Can Afford
Purchasing a home involves both one-time costs and monthly expenses. The largest one-time cost is the down payment, which typically represents between 5- 25% of the total price of the property. How much you can afford comes down to 3 factors: your monthly mortgage payment, your down payment and the amortization period or length of time it will take to pay off the loan.
The down payment is usually the percentage of the total cost of a home that you'll need to pay. The more money you put down, the more money you'll save on monthly payments and, in the long run, interest paid.
Obtaining a pre-approved mortgage will not only help you realize the amount of money you are able to spend on a home, but it will also protect you against increasing interest rates while you look for your new home.
Monthly costs incurred with home ownership typically mortgage payments, maintenance, insurance, condo fees (if applicable), property taxes and utilities.
Finding your Home
Most people start off by having a particular neighborhood or location in mind, but a great Sales Representative may suggest options that may have never crossed your mind. Here are some things you might like to consider as you set out on your hunt:
Choosing the right neighbourhood
Do you need to be close to schools, public transit, highways or where you work? Those can be huge factors when choosing a place to call "home". Similarly, considering your proximity to other amenities like parks, grocery stores, doctor's offices and recreational centres may also be things you keep in mind when deciding on a location. Don't be afraid to drive around and check out some of the homes or facilities of certain areas. Are they well taken care of? Can you see yourself living this particular neighbourhood? Asking these questions will not only help you decipher between your likes and dislikes, they will also prompt more questions you may want to ask your REALTOR® about properties and their values.
House hunting can be a lot of work, but they can also be a lot of fun! When you visit homes, go with a partner – spouse, parent, friend – because two sets of eyes are better than one. Don't be shy about asking some tough questions regarding the home. Take some notes that you can refer back to later when considering your needs and wants.
How our Sales Representatives help in you in your home search:
Provide access to both MLS® listed properties and properties listed exclusively with Royal LePage Burloak
Send you listings of the properties that match your specific criteria
Ensure you receive new listings of properties that match your criteria as soon as they become available on the market
Provide supplemental neighbourhood information such as historical property values for the area, property taxes, schools and public transportation
Help you hone your home search criteria, as required, with an appreciation for current market conditions
Pre-screen and preview the homes that best fit your criteria
Show you the properties that you are interested in viewing
View open houses with open eyes
Paying attention to detail is a key aspect when searching for your dream home. Keep a lookout for things like doors and windows (are they new/old?), water leaks, squeaky floors, soggy areas around the yard that indicate poor drainage and could lead to a wet basement, missing shingles, lighting, etc. When buying a new home, you will always be entitled to a professional home inspection, but it never hurts to begin your own inspection right away!
Tips for looking beyond surface aesthetics:
Exterior features from the foundation to the walls, the roof, the eaves and downspouts, drainage, windows, doors, fencing and landscaping
Interior fittings such as walls, floors, outlets and switches, lighting, kitchen and bathroom fixtures, and appliances
Heating, cooling, plumbing and electrical systems
Visible signs of problems such as water or pest damage
The benefits of having all of the above investigated thoroughly by a qualified home inspector
Noise levels from neighbouring properties, the street, cars and public transport, and where applicable, highways, railways and airports
The ability for you to live comfortably, according to you pre-determined needs and wants, with available space for your furnishings and storage requirements
Making an Offer
You've fallen in love with a property and are ready to buy! Keep in mind that while it is extremely important to envision yourself in a home and to feel happy and excited when house hunting, try your best not to let your emotions get the best of you when deciding to put in an offer. Turn to your REALTOR® for assistance and guidance when deciding to put together an offer and discuss all important details. When you have reached this final stage, here are a few things you should know:
Types of Offer
The main factors of most offers include price, deposit, terms, conditions, specific items that are included or excluded with the home and the closing date. From there, you can decide to make a "firm"
offer which means that you're willing to buy the home exactly as it is. Or, you could make the offer "conditional"
on things like "subject to home inspection", "subject to the approval of financing" or "subject to sale of buyer's existing home". In a conditional offer the home is not sold until all conditions have been met.
Negotiating your offer
The seller will either accept your offer, reject it or make a counter offer based on things like price, closing date or other conditions. While receiving a counter offer may be unsettling, know that your real estate Sales Representative has plenty of experience to help you. Some good tips for negotiating are to: make sure what you're asking for is fair and equitable; be polite and collaborative; hold fast to your "needs" and be flexible on your "wants"; and know when to walk away no matter how hard that may be.
Major elements of an offer:
Appreciate what comparable houses are selling for, how current market conditions can impact your offer, and where applicable, whether there is any competition from other interested homebuyers
Determine any offer conditions such as a satisfactory home inspection or arranging financing, and the potential impact of such conditions on the acceptance of your offer
Sort through the key elements of your offer including price, deposit, financial terms, inclusions and exclusions, and your closing or possession date
Manage all offers and any counter-offers, negotiating to get you the best possible deal
In the midst of searching day and night for your perfect home, you must remember to protect yourself and put your best interests above all else. After all, what good would it be to finally buy the home of your dreams and not be able to enjoy it because of a question you forgot to ask or a document you failed to acknowledge during the process. To help avoid any of this, ask your REALTOR® to put you in touch with people who can help. For future reference, here is a list of a few people you should keep in mind:
Have the Home Inspected
Having the property inspected by a qualified home inspector will give you the added confidence that you have made the right decision. A qualified home inspector can expose any property deficiencies, while also supplying you with a full written report and estimated costs for any necessary repairs.
A home inspector will check your property for any structural damage; perform a thorough examination of the heating and cooling system, plumbing and electrical systems, the roof, attic, walls, ceilings, floors, windows, doors, foundation, basement and more; then prepare a complete written report detailing all their findings
Hire a Legal Professional
When it comes to complex legal documents, it takes a lawyer experienced in Canadian real estate law to help make sure that you and your investment are protected. A real estate lawyer will review the agreement of purchase and sale, do a property title search, check that your home complies with current building and zoning codes, ensure utilities and property taxes are paid up, review the mortgage agreement, and get all the paperwork ready for closing.
Closing the Sale
Closing day is the day you officially take ownership of your new home. It's an exciting time for sure, but there are a couple of details you need to keep in mind before finally receive your new keys:
These fees need to be paid by or on the closing day and include mortgage application fees, inspections, legal fees, insurance, registration and more.
Your home purchase becomes a reality on closing day when ownership is officially transferred to you. Before and on closing day, there are a number of tasks to complete. Here are some helpful tips:
If you are renting, give notice to your landlord and arrange for the return of your deposit
Confirm your home purchase with your mortgage lender and finalize your mortgage details
Hire a legal professional to represent your interests and manage closing documentation
Obtain home insurance and notify your lawyer and mortgage lender of the selected insurer
Arrange for your self-move requirements or obtain estimates from reputable moving companies and book as far in advance as possible
Coordinate cancellations, transfers and change-of-address notifications for medical, financial and contracted services, utilities, licenses, subscriptions, memberships and personal mail
Organize the connection of services and utilities at your new home
Meet with your lawyer on closing day to sign required mortgage and property closing documentation, pay associated balances and fees, and collect the keys to your new home