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Steps before committing to a residential real estate purchase

When an Alberta couple becomes a family, a natural concern is where they will live. As the family grows, the possibility of purchasing residential real estate may arise. Of course, buying a home requires careful consideration, and relying upon experienced legal counsel is typically an invaluable asset.

A home purchase is a significant step that can be satisfying -- if the financial commitment can be met. Two important things to consider are how much money is available every month and what portion of that can be paid on a mortgage. Taking into account minimum monthly debt payments, a couple will be able to determine what size mortgage will be affordable.

The next step will be to work out how much house they can afford by discussing mortgage issues with lenders. Once they establish the potential monthly mortgage payment, they will have a good idea about price points to focus on. It's important to add closing fees into the equation. Doing it the other way round can lead to disappointment if an unaffordable property is chosen because vital financial issues were not considered.

Alberta house hunters may find the most logical step might be to secure the services of an experienced residential real estate lawyer early in the process -- before starting negotiations with a seller or his or her real estate agent. Getting a so-called preapproved mortgage is often recommended, but it is no guarantee that the lender will issue a final loan commitment, and not getting the mortgage after making a firm offer with no financing contingency could lead to legal problems. An attorney can scrutinise all documents before they are signed to ensure full understanding of the language and compliance with applicable laws.

Source: gailvazoxlade.com, "It's Time to Buy a Home", Gail Vaz-Oxlade, Accessed on June 9, 2017

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