Planning Tips: Before You Buy

Posted by under First Time Home Buyer

Perhaps you woke up this morning and realized you are sick of paying rent. You’ve decided to go over your budget to start planning how to save up for a down payment on a home. Where to start? The following are the top 5 things to consider when thinking about buying.

Where to start when making a Pros & Cons List?
Maybe it’s less about making a list but rather doing the research to figure out what you want. What needs do you have – figure out what it is you are truly looking for while learning more about the real estate market. There are many places to start. Are there certain neighbourhoods you like? Do you want a condo, semi-detached or freehold? Downtown core or a white picket fence in the suburbs? Finding a home that you love and can afford is a long process for most so narrowing the search will be very helpful.

What is a Mortgage and how do I get one?
Probably the largest financial commitment you’ll ever make… Unless you’re loaded, you’ll need to find bank financing to purchase a home and a mortgage is a security on the owned property. It’s crucial that you get to know everything about mortgages – how they work, what the typical process is, what options there are for your circumstance and any other particular laws (think penalties!). There are tons of banks out there who want your money so you’ll want to take your time to shop around for the best rates and payment schedule you can get; and one that you can realistically handle long term.

Should I click on those get your free Credit Score banner ads?
Knowing what you can afford and what type of mortgage loan terms and interest rates you can get based on your financial history is crucial. A credit report shows what you’ve borrowed in the past and how well you made the repayments. It’s helpful for you to review your past repayment habits and see how good your score is. Or if you find that you don’t have a history, start establishing one. The banks look at this, along with a mortgage application, and use the combined info to help determine what rates and terms they can offer you.

Pre-Approved Mortgage: What is it and do I need it?
Getting a pre-approved mortgage is helpful in determining the price you can afford. Lenders assess your financial situation and give a certificate that states the pre-approval with a certain interest rate that’s valid for a specified time period. Some buyers prefer not to get pre-approved until they are already interested in a property, however there are some real estate agents prefer you get one before they start working with you. And certainly, a seller would better perceive a potential buyer who has written proof that they do have the money to back up an offer.

How important is it to get a good Real Estate Agent?
Before you ask your best pals to refer you to the agent who helped them buy their first house or decide to call big toothy smile guy on the fridge magnet that was stuck in the mail box, it’s important to understand what it is exactly an agent does. Do you really need an agent? A good agent looks out for your best interest. They have the resources to find every little detail of the prospective house that you need to know about. They can help point out the good and the bad points that you never even considered and should have an expert understanding of your market. To help determine if an agent is right for you, it’s crucial to be aware of what an agent’s commissions, duties and responsibilities are as a representative of the buyer or seller or in some cases for both parties.

For more helpful articles visit Zoocasa’s Before You Buy Centre.

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