First Steps

With the spring real estate market starting to pick up steam, real estate agents are seeing an increase in the number of people wanting to take a look at homes that might be of interest to them. Before you do that though there are several steps to consider:

  1. Decide if you really want to move and if so to where. Seems a simple question, but it really isn’t. All sorts of factors come into play such as schools, family sporting activities, amenities offered in different communities, commuting time etc.
  2. Try and agree on what each person wants to find in that house. Everyone has priorities that are important to them. For example a two car garage might be nice, but is it a priority. A four bedroom might be essential to one member of the family, but not the other. Have a good idea what you want so that your agent knows where to start looking.
  3. Check out your financing. What can you afford? This is a crucial step.

To help with an explanation of some of the terms that you will encounter, I asked Jill Gravelle, a mobile mortgage specialist with RBC, to explain some terms that confuse a lot of buyers. It’s a term you will often by asked by a real estate agent before they take you out to look at homes. Today I asked Jill to explain what it means to be pre-qualified for a mortgage?

Jill: Just to give a little insight as to the difference between pre-qualify and pre-approval in the world of mortgage financing. A pre-qualification is when you run the numbers on an unofficial basis. By numbers, I mean your monthly income vs your monthly debt repayment plus mortgage payment, plus heat, and plus property taxes. In essence, a prequalification is to determine, how much you can afford. It does not take into consideration the whole financial picture, nor your credit history. It is a starting point, for a client to start to build savings for a down payment, and gather mortgage information, not usually done as an application, to avoid a needless “hit” on their credit bureau.”

Now you know what it means when an real estate sales person asks you if you are pre-qualified.

With spring finally arriving, quite a few homes will be entering the market place. Have you taken those first 3 steps yet?

Keith and Bev Beardsley are sales representatives with Century 21 Action Power Team Ltd. They can be found at or contacted at 613-821-2384.

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