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buying this summer

Buying this summer? Some tips to make it smooth sailing

If you’re thinking about homeownership and buying this summer, you likely already know you’ll be entering the market at a fairly busy time. Summer is often a popular time for buying, and housing prices are still rising in Halifax and much of Nova Scotia despite interest rate increases. In a market like this, it’s important to keep yourself organized. Here, we have some tips to help you navigate the market this season.

Get your pre-approval now

If you’re looking to buy this summer, you’ll want to be sure you have your pre-approval in place. Pre-approvals give buyers an edge in a competitive market like this. First, they tell you, as the buyer, what you can likely afford in a mortgage. This allows you to narrow down your housing search, and helps you understand how you can maintain your situation to get the product you need. Second, having a pre-approval attracts sellers who are looking for serious buyers who won’t cause any extra stress during the transition process. Third, being pre-approved means a lender already has your information, and the actual approval process will likely be quicker as a result. All of these factors give you a leg up when you’re competing with other buyers.

Be specific about your needs

In a competitive market, you will want to be specific about your housing needs and wants. You don’t want to spend more time house hunting than is necessary. Before you dive into your search, outline your housing requirements in terms of size, age, renovations, bedrooms, neighbourhood, etc. You also need to sort out your budget, so you don’t waste time looking at homes you ultimately cannot afford. By the time you hit the market, you should have a good idea of what you want, where you want it, and how much you’re willing to spend on it. This will help you and your agent narrow down options, speeding up the buying process for you.

Ensure you have good credit

You don’t want to go through the process of buying this summer and then find out you don’t have the credit score required for a mortgage. Higher credit scores have access to better interest rates and mortgage products, meaning your credit score will play a big role in the type of mortgage and lender you can work with. Unfortunately, our credit score is often lower than we expect it to be, and we can’t rely on securing the product we thought. Things like late payments, keeping a high balance, and never paying above the minimum can keep credit scores lower than we want. It’s important to know your credit score before you get too deep into the buying process, so you know if you need to make any changes. This way, you ensure you secure the product that will serve you best.

Don’t delay your offer

Once you’ve found a home you want to buy this summer, don’t delay putting in an offer. When the market is competitive, homes sell quickly, and buyers don’t have the luxury of waiting before deciding to throw their name in the ring. This is why it’s important to have your housing needs sorted out ahead of time, so when you find a home you like, you will know if it fits your situation right away. This allows you to put in an offer without a waiting period, and heighten your chances of a seller taking your offer. While you shouldn’t rush to buy a home if you’re not ready or it doesn’t suit you, once you know a home would be right for you, be quick about making an offer.

Don’t forget about closing costs

After going through the process of buying a home, don’t forget you’ll need to pay for closing costs as well. These costs, while obviously not as big as your down payment, will take up a large chunk of money you will need to contribute in the near future. You don’t want to go through the whole buying process and then realize you didn’t budget for closing costs. Closing costs are often around two per cent of the price of your home. They include things like legal fees, property taxes, land transfer taxes, and title insurance. Plus, unexpected expenses always come up, such as repairs and general maintenance, and don’t forget about paying for the home appraisal. Basically, to have a smooth buying experience, you should prepare to spend much more than you think you will need to.

Use a mortgage broker

Every part of buying this summer will be made easier by having a mortgage broker on your side. Brokers know the market inside and out, and can help you secure the product that will serve you best. We can review your budget, connect you with appropriate lenders, and help you determine how much you will be paying for closing costs and other expenses. Brokers also act as a second set of eyes on all your documentation to ensure everything goes smoothly. If you think it would be handy to have a professional representative take the lead to guide you through the buying process, a broker is your best bet.

Buying this summer will require lots of organization and planning, but we’re here to make it easier. We can help you understand the market and your options, and assist you as you secure the home and mortgage you deserve.

If you have questions about your mortgage, get in touch with us at Clinton Wilkins Mortgage Team! You can call us at (902) 482-2770 or contact us here.

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