Buying a home and applying for a mortgage—especially if you’ve never done it before—can be scary and complicated. There are so many things to consider and steps to take. The best way to avoid expensive mistakes and frustration is to let a professional help you navigate the whole process.
Most people start shopping for homes and mortgages online. That gives you a sense of what’s available and what price range you’re in. But at some point, you’re going to want the assistance and advice a live person.
Some buyers start with a realtor so they can begin looking at homes right away. Others start with a mortgage professional to get them pre-approved for financing and explain unexpected costs like appraisal, home inspection, property tax, transfer tax, etc.
In competitive markets, being pre-approved for financing is essential. But finding out how much you qualify for is only half the story. A responsible mortgage professional will discuss your overall situation and make sure you can comfortably afford to borrow that much. There are always additional ongoing expenses to consider, like repairs, maintenance, new furniture, decor updates, monthly condo fees, etc. If you max out on the financing, you won’t have enough to cover these expenses.
Another consideration is down payment. If you want to avoid paying extra for insurance from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), Genworth Financial or Canada Guaranty (with premiums ranging from 0.6% to 4.5% of the mortgage amount), you’ll need a 20% down payment. Obviously, most people can’t afford that, so they go with an insured mortgage. In that case, the minimum down payment is only 5% on the first $500,000 of purchase price plus 10% on any amount above $500,000.
If you’re considering buying and don’t know where to start, give us a call. As your local mortgage professionals, we’re here to simplify the process and make sure you get a home you can afford today and tomorrow!
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