In this article, we will explore the third stage “Closing the deal” in detail. This is when you turn your mortgage pre-approval into a full-blown approval.
A home inspection is a visual examination of the physical structure and systems of a house, from the roof to the foundation. In British Columbia, inspections are performed according to the Standards of Practice of The Home Inspectors Association of BC (HIABC).
Allow up to five days to schedule an inspection. As a home buyer, you want to make sure there’s nothing wrong with your home that would make you not want to own it or would make you seriously reconsider the price you’re paying. A home inspection should identify the need for major repairs, builder oversights or other building deficiencies.
Generally, an inspection includes a home’s heating system; interior plumbing and electrical systems; the roof, attic and visible insulation; walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors; the foundation, basement and structural components.
Registered Inspectors are required to meet rigorous requirements, including passing comprehensive written technical exams, and be registered with the B.C. Government. Click on this link to confirm if your inspector is licensed.
A home doesn’t pass’ or ‘fail’ an inspection. The home inspector will evaluate the current condition of the home and indicate components and systems which may need repair or replacement. If you discover major issues with the home, you can:
Ask the seller to make repairs
Ask the seller to reduce the price of the home and schedule someone to make the repairs
Accept the deficiencies and live in the home anyway.
Before having an accepted offer on a home, you got a “pre-approval” which isn’t a full approval. It’s essentially a confirmation from the lender that they think they should be able to give you a mortgage, if they like the property you chose, and if all of the information you provided is accurate.
At this stage, they’ll want to review the property purchase agreement, the MLS listing, and strata corporation documents to verify they are happy with the property. If all goes well, they will provide an approval (still conditional). Once approved, they will issue a commitment letter that is their commitment to a mortgage rate and mortgage contract terms. The commitment will also list all of the conditions that need to be met in order for them to fund the mortgage.
You want to move quickly to satisfy lender conditions because if you are unable to satisfy their documentation requirements, you may have to find another lender in a hurry. Typically, they will want documents to confirm:
How much money you make
Sources of your down payment
The value of the property
The property “conforms” to their lending standards
What do we mean by “conforms to lending standards”? If the property has some characteristic that makes it less desirable, then they may not want to use it as collateral for a loan. Examples include former grow-op, heritage status building, poorly managed strata corporation.
When scheduling movers there are 3 steps:
Find 3 movers who you believe will do a good job
Ask for a quote
Schedule the move
Check the background of a moving company and read their reviews. With movers, you often get what you pay for, but just because they are expensive, does not mean they will be good.
Ask for a quote in order to compare the costs by different movers and their availability. Don't just compare the sticker price, understand how they're calculating their quote. This is important because they're providing you with an estimate based on the information you provided, and you’ll want to understand how changes to this information will impact the final price. If you have antiques to move or other items that require special care, be sure to tell the movers before they give you a quote.
Make sure the moving company has the necessary equipment to dismantle and reconnect kitchen appliances and has knowledge about how to handle fragile or expensive items. Consider the experience level of the movers which is based on factors like years in the moving business, speed of delivery, availability on the moving dates you’re interested in, and whether they are providing any additional services, such as packing or storage. Factors like packing are important when you live in a larger home or have no time to pack yourself.
If you have a deadline by your landlord to leave your home, then availability on specific dates is important. Make sure you get written confirmation of the important dates in writing before you sign any commitments.
When you buy a home, the lender requires you to get home insurance but they only require bare-bones coverage for the value of the building. That being the case, your home is likely your most valuable investment and it is wise to ensure that you have enough coverage to protect yourself in case of emergency.
For more information on the types of home insurance read our full report. To get a quote on house insurance, visit our partner site SquareOne Insurance.
You have no idea to whom the previous owner or builder may have given copies of the home keys. There are many legitimate reasons to give people copies of keys but, as a homeowner, you want to know that no one unexpected will be walking through the door while you’re in your pyjamas!
This is why you need to rekey all the locks in your new home. Rekeying should not be confused with replacing a lock. You don't need to replace the locks in your new home. A locksmith simply disassembles the lock cylinder - the area that accepts the key - discards the old pins and replaces them with ones that fit your new key. This is not an expensive procedure and usually only takes a few minutes to change several locks.
Arrange a final walk-through with your real estate agent at least one week before closing the deal. The goal is to confirm the property’s condition hasn't changed since you last saw it, that any agreed-upon repairs have been made, and that any other terms or clauses of your contract have been met.
If there is anything unclear in the explanations above. Please let us know so we can improve our advice for the next reader.