As a mortgage broker in Kamloops, here are five tips for first-time home buyers. Although mortgage debt is ‘smart’ debt, buying your first home is a substantial financial decision, and there is much to consider. It’s one of the most important financial decisions that most Canadians will make in their lifetime. Here are five tips to help you get on the right foot in your home-buying journey.
Determine what you can afford.
Before you start shopping for a home – and long before considering an offer on
one – create a realistic budget. Remember that home ownership involves costs beyond the
monthly mortgage payment, such as utility bills, insurance, taxes, and home upkeep. CMHC has a fantastic calculator that details the debt factors determining your qualifying amount. Check it out here.
Consider opportunities that will help you manage your housing costs. Perhaps you
could rent out part of your home or have a roommate to help offset expenses. If you
are in a condo, rent out an extra parking space if you have one.
Your dream house may be too expensive, so that a starter home might be the right option.
A smaller home or maybe a house just outside the expensive area will help get a foot in the door. You can use the equity from the first home to buy that dream home later.
Get expert advice.
Work with a mortgage broker to sort through all of the mortgage options and get the right
combination of mortgage features, privileges and rate that best matches your needs.
Your mortgage goes beyond just the mortgage rate–it’s essential also to consider the term,
prepayment options, refinancing penalties, restrictions, and fees. I’d be happy to help you build a strong team so that all aspects of your home-buying experience are efficient and professional. Your team will include a realtor, a lawyer, and a home inspector.
Plan for closing costs.
Additional costs come with buying a home – lawyer fees, reimbursements,
land transfer or similar tax, appraisal, home inspection, and title insurance – so you’ll need to
have some extra funds set aside to cover these costs. Generally, you can expect to pay between 1.5% and 4% of the home’s selling price in total closing costs.
Accelerate your payments – early and often.
A mortgage is the largest debt you will probably ever take on, and paying it down
quickly can mean considerable savings on interest costs over the long term. Get into the habit of making lump sum payments whenever possible, and consider making bi-weekly payments to decrease the life of the loan. I can also provide strategies to help you pay your mortgage faster and shave thousands off interest costs.
There’s so much to consider. Working together, you can enter the market and
build wealth with smart debt! I look forward to helping you achieve
your dream of homeownership.
Let’s talk today!