HOME BUYING TEAM
LU is a professional who will save you time and trouble. And possibly a lot of money. LU has the home buying expertise and knows the steps and negotiating, to work in your best interest! “Call LU …to VIEW!”
- Fine-tune your wants/needs list.
- Get VIP access to listing information.
- Screen houses,not wasting your time.
- Arrange appointments.
- Offer helpful advice throughout, BOTH pros & cons!
- Introduce you to trusted contacts who should be on your team, such as mortgage brokers, lawyers, home inspectors etc.
- LU is a professional. When speaking with LU , be as clear as possible about your needs.
If you’ve decided to do some renovations on your home to make it more sale impressive, it’s time to look for a credible contractor. Before anyone begins work on your home, it is important to do your homework.
1. Ask for Referrals
–LU will offer some suggestions
-Contact family, friends or neighbours, who have had similar work done
-Ask at your local builder supply store
When you’re interviewing contractors, ensure their credibility. Contact their references. Ask to see some samples of the contractor’s work and speak to his clients to ensure that they were satisfied with the price, length of time in which the project was completed and overall, how the project was handled. Also, don’t be shy to check with your local Better Business Bureau.
Once you have the names of a few contractors that look promising, arrange to get estimates from them. By arranging for 2-4 quotes you’ll get a good idea of the costs and quality of work.
When going over the project with your contractor, ensure they understand your needs and budget. Each contractor will have a different idea on how to approach the work and they should inspect your home before giving an estimate. If contractors are bidding based on an architect’s plans, be certain that they have detailed their approach to the job based on the drawings.
What’s more, if there is a significant difference in the price, ask the contractors to explain their estimates. And keep in mind that the lowest price is not always the best. A price that’s too low may mean that the contractor has undercut to get the project and then may submit additional project costs once the project is underway. As well, a high price doesn’t always mean that you’re getting gouged. The contractor may have budgeted for higher quality materials and may offer workmanship that is of an overall better quality.
In every case, before you sign the contract, be certain that it is as detailed as possible to the point of noting the specific finishes and brand names of the products to be installed.
2. Evaluating a Quotation
- Are the specific details of the project outlined?
- Are the specific costs detailed?
- Is there a provision for extra costs?
- Has a cap been set for the total project?
- Is there a firm project timeline?
- Has the contractor allotted time for inspections?
- Have you indicated that you wish to see all material receipts?
- Will the work be subcontracted?
Hiring an appraiser to appraise the value of property you are considering to buy may seem sensible but it is highly unnecessary. Your lender will want their own personal appraiser anyway, so you could be wasting valuable time &money. LU can do a competent “Comparative Market Analysis” for you, to establish a value range. The only situation where hiring an appraiser would become necessary is where the property is unusual with no comparable sales.
The true test for a buyer is “What else can we buy for the same or less money?”
In short, a lender is anyone who will give you money. There are private lenders and institutional lenders (ie: banks and credit unions). Even your “brother” can be your lender. Of course, when you’re looking for a lender, you’ re looking for a long-term relationship and terms and rates which are beneficial to you.
You really have a few options. You contact a mortgage broker who will search the current market for the best rates and conditions, based on your circumstances. Usually the broker is paid by the lender without cost to you. However, the cloudier your credit history, the more likely there could be a fee. A good mortgage broker will be connected to all major lenders through the industry.
We’ll go into more detail about this process, in the mortgage section.
This is a person who will do the leg work in finding the institution which offers the mortgage terms and conditions that are right for you. Much like an insurance broker, this professional works for you and can offer you an unbiased referral. Although most brokers are compensated by the lender (ie 2% of the mortgage amount to find you a lender).
A lawyer is there to represent your interest, and to process the documentation required. The legal aspects differ from province to province. LU can recommend lawyers to advise you on the steps to be taken before the keys to your new home are given to you. A lawyer helps ensure you are protected!
A home inspection is highly recommended. Whether you make it a condition of purchase or not, having the property pre-inspected by a qualified home inspector will give you the added confidence that you’ve made the right decision. Be very careful to verify the qualifications of your home inspector because there are no government standards or licenses for home inspectors. Some home inspectors in Canada do not have any form of accreditation. For your protection make sure your home inspector is a member of (PACHI) or (OAHI). This is your assurance that they have met their education requirements, have the experience and carry E & O Insurance.
You’ll want to make sure your property and valuables will be covered. A broker offers independent advice and can save you time, trouble and money. Plus, the bank will insist that you carry full insurance since your property is used as collateral against your mortgage.
Don’t be shy to ask LU for any recommendations.