So I bought a condo, we actually took possession a few days ago. Surprised I didn’t mention it? It happened pretty quickly, but buying a home has been something my wife and I had been discussing for a while.

As exciting as buying a home is, the financial commitment is, well, A LOT! My maintenance fees, property tax, utilities, and mortgage interest will cost more than what I was paying in rent. Sure, you could argue I’m now building equity and prices could keep going up, but from a straight financial standpoint, I’m not convinced my return on my investment will end up positive – well not anytime soon.

So why buy? My wife and I were ready to move on to the next stage of our lives. We had a substantial down payment, and we set a limit on how much would spend on our home. The amount we borrowed wouldn’t affect our retirement savings, taking vacations, or any future financial emergencies so we felt comfortable buying. In the end, having the right real estate team in place made it easier for me to find a home.

real estate team

Mortgage broker

Using a mortgage broker isn’t mandatory but why wouldn’t you want to work with someone that can help you find the lowest rate possible? Instead of working with a single lender, mortgage brokers work with multiple ones. They’ll find you the best price for the type of mortgage that suits you best. There’s no need to shop around.

Getting the best rate is obviously important, but mortgage brokers are also there to answer questions you may have about the borrowing process. Don’t forget to get pre-approved so you know exactly how much home you (just don’t max out your limit). I worked with Michael Capobianco at CanWise Financial and the was able to secure me a 5 year fixed rate at 2.39% which was lower than any posted rate I found online.

Realtor

This should be obvious, but having the right realtor is absolutely paramount when purchasing a home – what brokerage they work for is just as important. I decided to work with TheRedPin, I had done some business with them in the past, and I admit their offer of 15% cash back on the commission was very appealing, but it was the services they offered in general that really set them apart from other brokerages. They have a team of insider agents who are fully licensed realtors that provide various professional services at no charge. When you’re ready to go out and actually see properties, they’ll connect you with one of their full-time realtors who have experience in the neighbourhoods that you’re looking at.

TheRedPin has really gone to a lot of effort to making the home buying experience better for the public. One obvious advantage is their map search. The layout and filters are much more user-friendly compared to realtor.ca – you can even screen for pre-construction listings. Dan Levi was the realtor who helped us find out home while Jane Beharriell provided invaluable backend support. When working with a realtor, you need someone that clicks with you.

Real estate lawyer

Having a real estate lawyer before you start your property search isn’t mandatory, but you absolutely want to have one when you’re ready to make an offer. Real estate lawyers will be able to go through all the legal matters that relate to your potential new home and can give you unbiased information. It would be a huge mistake to purchase a home without the assistance of a real estate lawyer considering they’ll be able to save you from situations you may have not even thought of yet. Jennie Lin was the real estate lawyer I used to help me with all my legal matters.

Final word

It’s foolish to simply rush out there and buy a home, this will most likely be the most expensive purchase you ever make, so you want to make sure you have a real estate team assembled that can help you with your decisions.