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  • Writer's pictureMike Hidlebaugh

Your Home Buying Team

It is essential to have a team of professionals that you can completely trust throughout the home buying process, while you are likely making the biggest purchase of your life.

More clients are beginning to utilize the services of a Mortgage Associate or Broker to secure a loan for their home purchase. There are many benefits to using an Associate or Broker.

Banks have many employees who are great people, know their jobs very well, and do a great job. There is just one challenge to this and that is they are employees of the bank. Their number one priority is to make sure they are looking after the bank. They are also limited to the products that the bank they work for offers.

As a Mortgage Associate I have access to 20 lenders, some that are only available to borrowers through a Broker or Associate. This means we can customize financing to fit your particular situation. With many different options we generally have access to lower rates. More options and better rates is an obvious win for the borrower!

Best of all Mortgage Associates and Brokers are free to the borrower. The lender always compensates us. If we do need to charge a fee, it will always be explained upfront so you can make an informed decision. This is rare and usually only occurs in second, third, or private mortgages.

Your Professional Team

Real Estate Agent

A Realtor® is an integral part of your home ownership experience. They help you find a home, look after the contracts, negotiate in your best interests, and provide valuable information on the house and neighbourhood or community you are buying in. Their job is to find you a home, write the contracts, negotiate on your behalf, and to provide you with important information about the home and the community. If you were to look after what your realtor looks after on your own, it would take you hours. Much of the information you would be seeking, you would not be able to find without the assistance of a realtor. In short they have the ability to help you make an informed decision about your purchase.

If you would like to know more about a real estate agent’s ethical obligations, visit the Canadian Real Estate Association’s website at or call your local real estate association.

The Lawyer/Notary

A lawyer protects your legal interests by ensuring there are no liens against the property you are considering purchasing. They also make sure there are no charges or work and clean up orders associated with it. They will review all contracts before you sign them. This should result in peace of mind that everything will be smooth. Law associations can refer you to lawyers who specialize in real estate law. Lawyers do charge a fee which can depend on the complexity of the transaction.

Remember that a lawyer:

· Should be a licensed full-time lawyer.

· Should be local and understand real estate laws, regulations and restrictions.

· Should have realistic and acceptable fees.

· Should be able and willing to explain things in plain language.

· Should be experienced with condominiums (if you are purchasing a condominium).

The Home Insurance Broker

They look after all of your insurance needs related to your property. Because your property is the security for your loan, lenders will require property insurance. An insurance broker can help you with your insurance needs, including property insurance and mortgage life insurance. It will cover the replacement cost of your home so premiums will obviously vary as home values vary.

The Life Insurance Broker

We also recommend that you consider obtaining mortgage life insurance or a term life insurance policy. Mortgage life insurance provides coverage for your family if you die before your mortgage is paid off. A term life insurance policy would provide you with a set amount of money that you could use to pay off your mortgage if that is what you choose to do with it. As your mortgage broker, I have the obligation to offer you the benefit of Mortgage Protection Plan (MPP) offered through Manulife Financial which provides mortgage life and disability insurance. MPP will always be discussed as an option for mortgage life insurance. If you are interested in finding out more information on MPP, please do not hesitate to ask.

The Home Inspector

If you are thinking of purchasing a particular, you should always consider having a home inspection completed by a qualified, professional home inspector. Home inspectors complete a visual inspection of the home. They will inform you about the condition of the property and let you know if something isn’t functioning properly, something needs to be fixed, or something is unsafe.

Every inspection should include a visual assessment of at least the following:

· Foundation

· Doors and windows

· Roof and exterior walls

· Attics

· Plumbing and electrical systems (visible)

· Heating and air conditioning systems

· Ceilings, walls, and floors

· Insulation (where visible)

· Ventilation

· Septic tanks, wells or sewer lines (if qualified)

· Any other buildings such as a detached garage

· The lot, including drainage, slopes, and vegetation

· Overall opinion of structural integrity of the buildings

· Common areas (condominium/strata or co-operative)

Home inspector fees are generally in the $300-500 range and depend on the size and condition of the home. If you don’t know where to start when it comes to building your team don’t worry, we can point you in the right direction!

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