The first-time homebuyer's path to homeownership
Thursday Jul 12th, 2018
First-time homebuyers know it is important to weigh their options before embarking on the Canadian dream of owning a home but many do not know where to start. Here are the milestones potential homebuyers pass to make sure they are making the right purchase.
Determine your net worth. Take your assets (cash, investments, savings, vehicles and other items you own) and subtract your liabilities (car loans, lines of credit, overdrafts and credit cards). A positive number is a good sign that you may be ready to purchase your first home.
Obtain mortgage pre-approval. There are many different mortgage options available on the market today. Thoroughly investigate the terms and rates available, and once you have settled on a rate, term and amortization period, apply for a pre-approved mortgage with your lender. Mortgage pre-approval presents you as a serious purchaser, to both real estate agents and sellers.
Hire a real estate agent. Top agents have extensive experience and demonstrate dedication and commitment to helping their clients. A real estate agent will have knowledge of accurate, real-time market data to leverage your negotiating position, as well as access to properties often even before they are listed.
Be realistic. Choose a home that is within your means. Keep in mind that you will need to set aside extra funds for ongoing home maintenance and potential increases in utilities, taxes and mortgage rates.