Tags : buying, credit score, first time home buyer, homes, Mortgage Broker in Burlington, mortgages, new homes, selling
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Buying a house requires a lot of time and effort, but by following these steps, you can make the home buying process manageable and help you make the best decisions possible.
1. FIND OUT WHAT YOU CAN AFFORD
As soon as you can, start researching on the internet, in newspapers, and magazines that have real estate listings. Make notes on the homes you are interested in. Also, note any changes there are in asking prices to keep and eye out for changing markets. This will also give you a sense of the housing trends in specific areas that you are interested in.
Put your finances in order
Get pre-approved by a mortgage broker : Before you start looking for a home, you will need to know how much you can actually spend. Speak with your mortgage broker to get a preapproval for credit. This generally involves completing an application and then providing your financial documents (T4 statements, paycheck stubs, bank account statements, etc.) so your lender can verify your financial status and credit. Try not to make changes to your finances prior to your purchase as it can affect your preapproval.
Get your credit score up: Make sure to keep your credit score up. A good credit score can save you $ in interest. If your credit score is not above the 700 mark, you can take steps increase. Payment history and the amount of money you owe make up 65 percent of your credit score. Make sure you consistently pay your bills on time and take steps to pay down your credit card debt to gain a better credit score. Close any accounts that you don’t use and request a cleanse of your credit history from creditors that you have had a good history with. **Note: If you are applying for a mortgage within six months, leave the card open, a recently closed card could negatively affect your score.
2. PLAN & LEARN
When you are planning a purchase, be sure to research nearby schools, even if you don’t have kids, since they affect home value. Look at local safety and crime statistics. Look at the nearest hospital, pharmacy, grocery stores in the area. Drive through the neighborhood on to check out traffic, noise and activity levels. Do you want a town house, low maintenance condo, or single home dwelling? Also keep in mind the following when looking at neighbourhoods: House type, neighbourhood, amenities, Transit
Get help from a realtor: you will be working closely with your agent so it is very important that you find someone who is compatible with you and who you will get along with. Your realtor should be highly skilled, motivated and knowledgeable about the area you are interested in. Take advantage of open houses and pay attention to the home’s overall condition. Are there repairs needed, stains, odd smells? Ask questions about new renovations, when was the roof done last?
If other potential buyers are viewing the home at the same time as you, don’t hesitate to schedule a second or third visit to get a closer look and ask questions privately.
Visit a builder’s sales office to look at new construction: don’t forget to account for all the extra expenses required for a new build (i.e. fencing, driveways, upgrades etc.)
4. GET A MORTGAGE and BUY
Plan with your broker to decide what options work best for you
Put in a qualified offer: Purchasing your first home is one of the biggest financial decisions you’ll ever make. Don’t take on more of a financial obligation than you can handle. Don’t forget about closing costs which can add up. While first-time buyers don’t have to pay certain fees there are a number of other closing costs that need to be taken into account. Land transfer taxes, lawyer fees, real estate agent costs and appraisal and home inspection fees are all some of the things that need to be paid for once a home is purchased. Make sure there is money in the budget for these fees as well. Speak with your mortgage broker about what these costs could potentially amount to.
5. MOVE IN
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