Buying Your First Home: How To Prepare

May 17, 2022

Purchasing your first home is regarded as one of life's most significant achievements, both personally and financially. It's a significant investment, and it's likely that this will be your largest purchase to date.

A successful home buying process, like any large project, is all about connecting the dots correctly from start to finish. These first-time buyer recommendations can assist you in navigating the process, saving money, closing the deal, and ensuring that you will not make the most common homebuying mistakes.

Analyze if You are Ready to Purchase a Home

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest” - Benjamin Franklin

Take into account your wants and needs in relation to your budget and lifestyle. Identify the best housing alternatives and locations for you. Most importantly, have assurance in your decision by consulting the best real estate brokerages in Canada, as well as experts such as mortgage advisers, home inspectors, and lawyers.

First and foremost, you must assess whether you are ready to purchase a property. Because you're accountable for additional costs like home repairs, utility costs, waste pickup, water, and energy, homeownership can be more costly than renting.

You’ll also have to pay for property taxes and insurance. These expenses quickly add up, and if you are not financially ready, you may find yourself in a difficult situation, especially if you only have one source of income. There are also various hidden costs to the home buying process which you should closely analyze to be able to purchase your dream property.

Before applying for a loan, think about getting out of debt, or at least try to minimize it. Although having debt is typically not a huge deal, lenders will definitely look at your debt-to-income ratio, which reveals how much of your earnings are used to pay off your debt. This ratio is used by lenders to calculate the amount of mortgage you can afford.

Pro tip: If you're unsure whether you can afford a property or not, try to make a budget based on what you anticipate your monthly mortgage payment to be and save the rest. This can help you gain confidence in yourself and your savings approach so you can proceed with your home purchase.

Start Saving For Your Down Payment

One of your first and most important steps in purchasing a new property should be to preserve money for a down payment.

The amount of money you place down on a house is known as a down payment. Generally, the greater your down payment is, the easier you can get a mortgage.

You may also wonder, as you start saving for a down payment, how much exactly you need to save to be secure. The minimal amount is determined by the purchase price of the property. A down payment in Canada is normally between 5% and 20% of the purchasing price.

Start Preparing for Your Pre-Approval

Pre-approval will offer you the comfort of knowing your spending boundaries before you begin searching, allowing you to focus on houses and areas that are within your budget. More crucially, it shields you from interest rate hikes while you search, with rates locked in for 60-120 days.

This is, in the end, a win-win scenario for you. A mäklare can be quite beneficial if you don’t have a preexisting relationship with a particular bank or if you want to look for the best financing rates. They can answer a lot of questions and help you to figure out which financial terms and alternatives are ideal for you. Mortgage brokers have long-standing contacts with a variety of lenders and may often get you favourable deals thank you might get elsewhere.

A pre-approved mortgage helps make the buying process much easier once you've found the home you want.

Examine Your Credit Score

Getting a mortgage includes a significant credit score, which hopefully comes as no surprise. It's a good opportunity to double-check your credit reports for mistakes and consider signing up for a monthly credit score monitoring program.

Paying off credit card bills and not using them for two months before applying for a mortgage is a quick approach to raise your score by a few points. You should also wait until after you have closed on your new house to apply for credit (such as a new credit card or car loan.)

If you are buying a house with a spouse or another co-buyer, your mortgage provider will almost certainly look at both of their credit scores during the application procedure. That’s not to imply you are condemned if one buyer’s credit score isn’t perfect but don’t expect everything to go smoothly only because one buyer has a perfect credit score.

Understanding Your Mortgage Options

You might be surprised by the various loan options and payment alternatives when it comes to your mortgage. It might be difficult to understand terms like private insurance (PMI) but a little investigation can assist you in getting started.

Because the duration is shorter and they may be able to close with a lower interest rate, some purchasers typically opt for a 15- or 20-year loan. At the same time, one of the reasons 30-year loans are so common is because they typically have lower monthly payments. You may pay a little higher interest rate in this situation, but the monthly payments are usually more reasonable.

Concluding Thoughts

Purchasing a first home can be intimidating for anyone. Before you can start looking for your dream home, you must first work out your finances, find and take advantage of savings possibilities, get pre-approved for a mortgage, and engage a real estate agent, lawyer, and other specialists.

 

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