Interest rates touching historic lows and more attractive house prices in parts of the country have added up to better affordability for first-time home buyers. The federal government’s recent budget has added more reasons for Canadians who aren’t yet homeowners to consider entering the Kamloops real estate market this year. Under the new federal budget, first-time home buyers can qualify for a $750 tax credit, to help with closing costs, such as appraisal or legal fees. Also, home buyers can now withdraw up to $25,000 from their RRSP under the Home Buyers Plan for a down payment – up from the previous limit of $20,000. Couples can access an extra $10,000 from their RRSPs under the plan.
For those who are feeling secure about their income and want to take advantage of low rates and a more affordable market, the new federal budget provisions could make an enormous difference in terms of the properties they can afford, We’re now seeing more first-time buyers seriously considering making the jump into the Kamloops market this spring.
Here are some tips to help first-time home buyers:
Start the process early.
A mortgage consultant can help you with getting the right documentation in place, such as proof of income and down payment. A consultant will also check your credit history to avoid any unpleasant surprises and ensure you can meet the lender’s requirements. If you are thinking about a home purchase, consulting a mortgage specialist is critical to navigating the mortgage process.
Know your price range.
If you want to buy a home within the next few months, getting a mortgage pre-approval will help you determine the right price range of homes to shop for. Many lenders will also guarantee a rate for up to 120 days when pre-approving potential borrowers for a mortgage.
Don’t rush your decision.
A buyer’s market means that you now may have the leeway to negotiate more with sellers on the price as well as other terms of the transaction such as the possession date and extras to be included in the purchase.
Accelerate your payments – early and often.
A mortgage is the largest debt that most consumers will ever take on, and paying it down faster can mean large savings on interest costs over the long term. Get in the habit of making lump sum payments whenever possible, and consider making bi-weekly payments as a way to decrease the life of the loan.
Know your goals.
Choose a mortgage that accommodates the present state of your finances but also fits your long-term goals. Similarly, don’t just buy because it’s a buyer’s market – choose a home that fits your lifestyle as well as your family’s needs in the years ahead.