Preparing for Home Ownership

Dated: March 11 2023

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Preparing for Home Ownership

So you've decided home ownership is within reach but you're not sure how to begin the process? Here are seven steps to help you prepare. When you know what to expect, navigating the process becomes a lot less stressful. 

  1. Assess Financial Affordability The first step in making your dream a reality is the most important one – assessing your financial affordability. Take an objective look at your monthly budget vs income. Assess your needs vs wants. What new expenses will you have once you move in? How's your credit score? Take the time to find a mortgage specialist that will guide you through the approval process and ultimately work for you.

  2. Review Mortgage Options* Mortgages come in all shapes and sizes so to speak. Be sure to research and understand common terms: Fixed rate vs Variable. Closed vs Open. Monthly vs Bi-weekly payments. Portable Mortgage. Prepayment Privileges.

  3. Do you Need Mortgage Insurance?* A conventional mortgage is made with a 20% or greater down-payment. When the down-payment is between 5% (the minimum) and 20% of the purchase price, mortgage default insurance will be required to protect the lender in the event you are unable to make payments. The insurance enables you to purchase a home without the minimum 20% down-payment, at an interest rate comparable to that of a conventional mortgage.

  4. Do you Qualify for a Federal Assistance Program? Government programs are always being updated to provide homeowners with financial assistance/incentives. These include: First Time Home Buyers Tax Credit, Home Buyers Plan, First Time Home Buyer Incentive and new effective April 1, 2023, the Tax-Free First Home Savings Account.

  5. Beginning the Home Search Starting with a few questions, your Realtor® will help you narrow down your search criteria. Does a particular community appeal to you? Do you prefer a bungalow or a 2-storey? Do you need flex space? Be sure to stay objective. Think about how you will live in the home and how it will function for you.

  6. Making the Offer When you're ready to make an offer, your Realtor® will review the terms with you, including price, deposit, inclusions, closing date etc. The current market will dictate how you proceed with offer details such as conditions and price negotiations.

  7. Closing/Moving Day Setting yourself up for a successful closing/moving day begins well in advance of the actual date. Take it one step at a time and involve your Realtor® with any concerns that arise. 

Many people will be involved in the process of making your dream of home ownership a reality. For financing or legal advice, for home inspectors or movers, we will connect you with other industry professionals. We guide you in navigating the process, and help bring it all together. For professionalism, integrity and experience, give us a call. Our passion for real estate starts with you!

*Information on mortgage financing and default insurance is provided as an overview only. For more information specific to your financial situation, make an appointment with a mortgage specialist to discuss your options.

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Cindy Wray

Growing up on the back roads of Brock & Ramara Townships, my memories are filled with endless summer days spent biking with the neighbour kids, climbing trees, building forts and playing by the ri....

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