Navigating Your First Home Purchase
We can all agree that the last two years were not the ideal start we would have liked. After all, having a pandemic sweep across the globe and then fill social media platforms like a wildfire was indeed an unexpected circumstance. Who knew panic would make humans rush to all the stores to stockpile toilet paper and sanitizer?!
LOOKING BACK 100 YEARS
100 years ago (the 1920’s) was the era immediately following WW1. It was an era of optimism, hope and celebration. It was the infamous decade of flapper dresses, pinstripes, fedoras, pin curls, giggle water, The Charleston, and cigarette girls. Also, not to mention the birth of the illegal (but very popular & rapidly fast-growing) speakeasy taverns. No one can deny that the “roaring twenties” were retrospectively, a decade of growth and prosperity.
While there seems to be a considerable number of “unknowns” in the world today, there is one commonality worth mentioning. Much like the 20’s, the need to own a home is still high. Back then, they were like today’s “IKEA” or “Build-A-Bear”, with houses that you could order from the Sears catalog.
2022 is off to a great start for homeowners looking to sell their home. Whether that be a family home, a real estate investment for rental purposes, or the ability to sell their current home to purchase a larger one, there is opportunity none the less. In an article recently published on the CREA Website, demand for homes is high. And if demand is high, then logic dictates that there are copious amounts of buyers.
FIRST TIME HOME BUYERS
If you are a 1st time home buyer, you are going to be the epitome of excited. Like a child waking up Christmas morning, running down the stairs, tripping over their own feet to raid the bottom of the tree to get to that present Santa left them. If “Santa” was on top of his game, he would have ensured that their video console, drone, robot, or bike came equipped with a warranty in the chance that their shiny new present needed repairs or replacement. A warranty in the “gift-giving” kingdom is the gift of assurance as well as insurance. Just like your Christmas gift, when buying your first home you will also want the same assurances and insurance in the form of warranties and guarantees.
THE FIRST PART
Before you can even add your new home to your portfolio, you need to equip yourself with the appropriate tools to secure your purchase and we are not talking about hammers and screw drivers here! You will need a few good people lined up: a mortgage broker, a realtor, a home inspector, and a real estate lawyer. Your mortgage broker will get you pre-approved for a mortgage. Next, you can spend a week or more viewing homes (an adventure in itself). Then, once you have your potential new home narrowed down, you will make an offer! After the offer is made, the home inspector does what he does best – inspects (Don’t worry. This is before you waive conditions). Now comes the wait to see if the offer is accepted, and, once it is, the mortgage financing is confirmed, the home inspection completed, and then the paperwork is signed with the lawyer. WHEW! You have now successfully completed the first part of home ownership. CONGRATULATIONS! *Insert congratulations confetti throwing and popping of champagne here*.
THE SECOND PART
Now that the fun part of finding your humble abode is complete, it is time to “adult” and protect your asset with insurance. There are different insurance products to setup: Mortgage loan insurance (Mandatory in Canada if your down payment is less than 20%) , Mortgage life & disability insurance to cover the outstanding balance of the mortgage, and Personal Life insurance (which most consumers have some form of through their employer or get setup outside of work *highly recommend*).
THE THIRD (AND FINAL?) PART
You’ve purchased your home and have your various insurance products in place (home, life, auto, health). What else is there left to do?? Well, to be honest, according to a study conducted by the Government of Canada, 55% of Canadians don’t know the answer to this question. It’s very important but often overlooked… It’s your estate planning (this includes your will, power of attorney, and personal directives). The older generations (like the Baby boomers) generally do have a will in place because they grew up with the understanding that this is important to do, but the odds are high that their existing executed will is out of date.
A will is the last love letter you will ever write for those you cherish the most. This is where you can lay out how you want things to be finalized, divided, and settled. What happens when you are laid down for your eternal rest without a will? Your estate becomes “intestate” and according to the Wills and Succession act, the provincial court steps in and decides who gets what. This cannot be said more strongly…. frequently, their decisions are made based on what is expedient, not what is best for your loved ones.
Life is filled with stages, and these are often unexpected and surprising! (Insert the sounds of little feet and squeals of joy). Buying a home, protecting your family and investments with insurance, and drafting your estate planning are just a few of the many steps you will take. Circumstances evolve and change throughout the various stages of life. Unlike the 20’s, we can’t order a home from the Sears catalog. We must rely on professionals to build them for us, just like you would hire a plumber to take care of your water tank, a mechanic to repair your car, or a lawyer to protect your estate. Make sure that you have the right professionals providing the right coverage, advice, and help so that you can enjoy the surprises life has in store for you.
The People History - https://www.thepeoplehistory.com/20s-homes.html
Alberta Wills and Succession Act - https://www.qp.alberta.ca/documents/Acts/W12P2.pdf
About the Author:
Serena Pawluk has been an independent Associate with LegalShield since 2017 and her primary focus is on the business-to-business side of the organization. In 2019, she completed her Employee Benefits certification which allows her to implement LegalShield’s services as an addition to corporate wellness programs.
To add more value for her clients, she became licensed as a Commissioner for Oaths in June 2020. This allows her to execute the estate planning kits inside of the LegalShield membership for her clients as a complementary service.
Serena was born and raised in Alberta. One of her proudest accomplishments is her partnership with the Alberta Chambers of Commerce. Dollars from partnerships are reinvested back into the community, providing sustainability and growth.
Finally, what Serena does best is help you live more, so you can worry less.
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