There is a lot of people who aren't sure what the first step is when thinking of buying a home. Most people may think if they don't have a down payment they can't get a mortgage or buy a home, however, this is very untrue. There are ways to access funds for a downpayment such as through RRSP loans (which if one qualifies, they pay the RRSP back over 10+ years).
The first step one must take when thinking about buying a home is to take a look at your income, your monthly debt payments and what you can comfortably afford each month. Once you have those numbers, you then really need to understand what amount of a monthly mortgage payment would be reasonable for you (usually, its slightly above or similar to the rent amount you've been paying if you are a first time home buyer). The last thing you want is to be house-bound or to miss mortgage payments so being reasonable in what's affordable and sticking to a budget is key. Once you have your budget in place, the next step is talking with a realtor you may know for a referral to either a mortgage broker or a mortgage specialist. There is a big difference between a broker and a specialist so don't be afraid to ask these questions to your realtor.
It usually takes less than 24 hours to get a pre-approval from a lender. Some lenders will pre-approve people for mortgages that may not be in line with your budget. For example, you may be approved for a $500,000 mortgage when based on your debt ratio, however, depending on the life style you live, you may feel comfortable with only a $350,000.00 mortgage or less when looking at the monthly payments. Ultimately, its your decision and the numbers may change a bit depending on the type of property you end of falling in love with, however, a realtor, such as myself, will always make sure to have your best interest in mind when working together.
It is a great time to buy with interest rates low and housing prices quite stable. Start taking the first steps now by logging onto www.howrealtorshelp.ca and calculating what you can afford each month.
I'd be happy to discuss this process with you anytime. Call, email or text me to get my valuable advice when you're thinking about making that first move.
Terri Ann Novello, REALTOR