What do I need to do before I can buy a home:
- Decide where you want to live.
- In the city, or a smaller community? Or maybe rural life is for you.
- Decide what is important to you when looking for a home.
- For example, how many bedrooms do you want? Do you want a big yard, or a smaller, low maintenance one? Do you need a garage? How important is a big kitchen? Do you want to be near or on public transit routes? What schools are nearby?
- Savings – you will need a down payment of at least 5% of the purchase price.
- First time home buyers may be eligible for the Home Buyers’ Plan allowing qualifying buyers to use a portion of their RRSP to help buy or build. See cra-arc.gc.ca/hbp/ for more info.
- A larger down payment can reduce your mortgage loan, interest on your loan and your repayment time.
- Use an online mortgage calculator.
- Your financial institution may have one on their website. The results are not written in stone, but if you plug in the numbers you will give you a good idea of what is a reasonable range for you.
I’m ready to buy. Now what?
- Get pre-approval on a mortgage loan.
- What your monthly payment will be will depend on how much you pay on the “principal” (the amount you borrow), the interest rate on the principal, and the amortization period (how long you take to pay it back).
- Meet with your financial institution to get pre-approval. This will affirm what you can spend, and will also lock in the quoted interest rate for a set amount of time.
- You can shop around – don’t be afraid to negotiate interest rates and mortgage terms with different financial institutions.
What’s my next move?
- Engage your REALTOR®
- We can sit down and talk about where you’d like to be and the type of home you want to live in. What’s important to you, and what would be a deal breaker?
- Once I know what your preferences are, I can set up with an online link into MLS listings of homes that fit your requirements. You can independently watch all the listings that match your needs, and mark your favourite listings. Let me know when you want to look at a home that really piques your interest.
- Keep an eye on open houses in your area of interest. Attend as many as you like and contact me if you wish to have a closer look. I’ll call the seller’s realtor and arrange a time we can go and look at the home.