By Nereda Manion of The Mortgage Centre–Hometown Financial, March 11, 2020
Here are five tips to make the process a little smoother.
- Know How Much You Can Afford
When you decide it’s time to start looking for a home, the first thing you need to know is how much you can afford. Book an appointment with a mortgage broker or your bank, someone you’re comfortable with, to go through the pre-approval process. Once you have an amount you’re pre-approved for, you can narrow down your list of potential houses. It’s important to remember that pre-approval is based on a snapshot of your current situation. If you change jobs, incur new debts, or if the rates undergo a big change, the amount you eventually qualify for can change. Online tools are also available to help you figure out what you can afford (https://mccapp.ca/app/nereda-manion), but meeting a mortgage agent in person can give you a much better understanding of your situation.
- Attend a First Time Home Buyers Meeting
Whether you’ve been through the pre-approval process or not, attending a first-time home buyers meeting is a great way to get answers to your questions and a learn about the general process. Chances are there will be topics mentioned that you hadn’t even considered. Attending an event with other first-time buyers will allow you to learn from what each person has experienced, and makes the situation feel less intimidating if you have a question that you feel silly asking. These meetings are designed to give you the basic information you need to start your journey. Upcoming Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/618382875623710/
- Don’t Forget About Other Expenses
Once you have the financing in place for the mortgage, it feels like everything is ready to go. But don’t forget about the other expenses you will encounter during the purchase of a home. Closing costs are something many first-time buyers are not aware of. You’ll need to pay your lawyer and possibly other fees at the time of closing. Moving expenses are a given. Whether you move everything yourself or have a moving company help you, there will be additional costs. Are the appliances coming with your new home? Or do you need to buy them? There are sure to be a few extra expenses that pop up between your purchase and the move. A good mortgage agent can anticipate some of these costs for you but set aside more than you think you will need.
- Look for The Best Fit for You
Make a list of the things you really want in your new home. Be realistic. Do you need two bathrooms? Do you love to cook and want a big kitchen? Yes, you can do renovations down the road, but it’s worth the time to look for something that meets your current needs. If you’re looking at purchasing in a rural area and want to make sure there won’t be development around you, check online for a secondary plan that shows proposed development areas. Look into zoning since that could impact what activities you may do on the property. Don’t let anyone rush you into purchasing a home just because they say it’s a great deal. More houses are always coming on the market. Look for the home that excites you and fits your budget.
- Reach Out to Your Community
Many of us want to go it alone these days, but the process of buying your first home can be easier with the help of others. Reach out to friends and family for referrals to mortgage agents, real estate agents, and lawyers that they loved working with. You may have family that can help you with a down payment.If nothing else, talk to others that have been through the buying process before and learn from their experiences.
Good luck on finding your first home.