Steps to Take Before Buying a Home

Thinking about buying a home? You know what type of home you want but not quite sure where to start. Here are some tips to start you on the right path so when your dream home, you can make an offer!

Research Early

As soon as you start thinking about buying a home you might want to buy start browsing real estate websites and Hamilton neighborhoods. Make a note of homes you are interested in that fit your criteria as well as how long they stayed on the market. Think about if you prefer a house or a condo or maybe a townhouse that takes care of outdoor maintenance.

How Much House You Can Afford?

This is a very important step as you don’t want to take on more than you can afford. A general rule of thumb is to only look at homes that are three to five times your annual household income. This is with a 20% down payment and a reasonable amount of debt. For example, if your combined income is $100,000 than look at houses from $300,000-$500,000.

Get Prequalified for Your Mortgage

This step goes hand in hand with the step above. To purchase a home, you will need to know the amount the bank will lend you. To get prequalified, you need to provide financial information to your mortgage banker, like income, savings, investments and debt. This will be reviewed and then they will give you an amount that they will lend you. Having this information will help you make a responsible financial decision and will make buying a home quicker since you did this step ahead of time.

Find a Hamilton Real Estate Agent That Fits Your Needs

Finding the right Real Estate Agent in Hamilton can be the difference between finding an OK home and finding your dream home! The right Real Estate Agent will have information on the Hamilton neighborhoods you are looking at, current Hamilton market trends and be able to guide you to make sure you don’t overpay for a property. They have information that is not easily accessible to the public and their negotiating skills takes the stress off you! Best part is when using a Real Estate Agent to buy a house it doesn’t cost you anything. They’re compensated from the commission paid by the seller of the house.

Shop and Make an Offer

Once you find the Real Estate Agent for you, start shopping! You will see a lot of houses so make sure to take notes and rate properties based on what is the most important and least important to you. Try to look at the little details of the house. Is the tap leaking? Do the lights turn on? Rank the Hamilton neighborhood as well. Is the house on a main street? Is their schools and shopping centers near by? Are other homes nicely maintained?

Once you found the right property, work with your real estate agent to negotiate a fair offer. Your agent will take care of the paperwork and the back and forth with the other agent. Once both parties agree on the price and conditions, you have yourself a home!


Indoor Winter Activities for Kids

Now that it is getting colder it sometimes seems more difficult to figure out what to do with the kids. Below are some great and simple games to play as a family to keep the kids occupied and warm! 

Have a snow free Snowball Fight. Crumple up several sheets of paper and create a safe zone for the kids to run. Want to make it even sillier? Use marshmallows as snowballs instead.

How about some Winter Pictionary? Grab a white board, some markers, a timer and write a bunch of winter words on paper and put them into a jar. Have some fun drawing skates, a snow man or Santa!

A classic game with a spin. Winter Simon Says. All the same rules but instead of Simon use winter words like Frosty Says, The Snowman Says, The Polar Bear Says, The Penguin Says.

Maybe 20 Questions winter style. The word must be winter related, and the kids have 20 questions to try and guess it!

Add a little cold and play Pass the Ice. A winter spin on hot potato using an ice cube!

How about Winter Magazine Scavenger Hunt? You will need some magazines, glue, scissors and paper. Have the kids look through the magazines and cut out and glue the winter pictures to their paper.

Finally make an Igloo out of sheets. Pretend you are in a winter storm and make an awesome fort to hide out in!

The next time it is too cold to even think about going outside you have some fun little games to play with the kids where it is nice and warm!

The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS®, and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are member’s of CREA. The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by CREA and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.