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Plan your heart out, then get a realtor

With the lowest interest rates in decades now being offered by banksand credit unions, people are once again venturing out to score thatgreat deal.

With the lowest interest rates in decades now being offered by banks and credit unions, people are once again venturing out to score that great deal. But as much as you may want to rely solely on your realtor to find you that perfect home, there is some homework you need to do before you reach out for help

The first thing every buyer needs to do is get prequalified for a mortgage either through a mortgage broker or bank. In most cases, people are surprised by how much or little they are offered from the banks. As with everything in life, having a solid grasp of your budget will make the search for your new space more focused for both you and your realtor. The pre-approval process can take up to a week so give yourself enough time to find the right mortgage for you.

Finding the perfect neighbourhood is another way to make the journey run smoothly. This is something that can be done with you and your partner or friends. Venture out to the areas you love at different points in the day. Try out the local shops and cafés. Make sure that a neighbourhood you love is just as appealing at night as it is during the day.

Focusing on the style of home you are seeking is another great way to get set before meeting a realtor. Use a weekend to venture out to some open houses. Take your time walking through the spaces and paying special attention to the layouts and sizes of the homes. Will your belongings fit? Is the space functional for the way in which you will use it? Bring a tape measure! Answering these questions will give you great guidelines for your realtor in terms of finding the right sized space and right floor plans.

Following these tips will ensure that when you hire your real estate expert, they have all the information required to make your search quick and efficient. It will also save you a lot of frustration and keep the buying process fun and exciting (the way real estate should be)!

– Ryan DeLuca is a realtor with Sotheby’s International Realty Canada, and host of The Real Estate Minute on Novus TV; rdeluca@sothebysrealty.ca.

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