Make the most of your first-time home buying experience with the help of these eight essential tips.
1. Ready Your Down Payment
To purchase a home in Canada, you will require a minimum 5% down payment. Admittedly, it can take some time to save but the more you put down, the more affordable your mortgage will be in the long run.
See our previous post: 5 Ways to Super-Save Your Down Payment
2. Take Advantage of First Time Buyer Programs
Speaking of down payments, did you know that you that, as a first-time buyer, you may be eligible for down payment assistance? For more information, check out our previous post: Helpful Programs For First-Time Buyers.
3. Don’t Forget About Closing Costs
Your down payment isn’t the only thing you’ll need to save when buying your first home. Closing costs are additional one-time transactional fees buyers pay when finalizing their mortgage. These fees typically range between 3% and 4% of the overall purchase price.
4. Know How Much You Can Afford
There are several factors that determine how much home you can afford, including your monthly income, debts and how much you’ve set aside for your down payment and closing costs. Get a preliminary idea of what you can afford before you hit the market with the help of our free mortgage calculator.
5. Work With a Mortgage Broker
When it comes to mortgages, there is no “one size fits all” solution. That’s why, for first-time buyers, especially, it’s important to discuss your options with an expert. Not only will a mortgage broker help you secure the best rates (hello, savings), they’ll help you navigate the entire mortgage process from start to finish (generally, at no cost to you!).
6. Get Pre-Approved
In short, a mortgage pre-approval is a commitment from a lender to loan you a certain amount for a home. Not only is a pre-approval important to help you determine what you can afford, but it also ensures you’re taken more seriously by home sellers. Here again, your mortgage broker will be able to help you.
7. Stick Within Your Budget
Keep in mind, your pre-approval amount and what you can actually afford are two separate things. Of course, we understand the temptation to spend the full amount, but don’t forget you must take your current expenses and lifestyle into account if you want to avoid becoming “house poor.”
8. Work With a Reputable REALTOR®
Like a good mortgage broker, an expert REALTOR® will help you navigate the first-time home buying process. In addition to helping you zero-in on your new home wants and needs, they can help you save a ton of time, money and stress when it comes to searching the market, negotiating with sellers, finding the perfect home and more.
See our previous post: 10 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a REALTOR®
Are you thinking about buying your first home? Get started on your new home buying journey today with the help of our quick and easy online application!