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purchase a home

Your next steps after deciding to purchase a home

Once you decide it’s time to purchase a home, what are you supposed to do next? It feels like you have a mountain to climb ahead of you, and there’s no denying buying a house is a lot of work! However, the list of things to do is more or less the same for all buyers. This means we have some guidance on what you can do right now. Here are some of the most important tasks to complete once you embark on your home buying journey!

Get a pre-approval

This is one of the most important things to do once you decide to purchase a home, and one of the first things as well. A pre-approval, as you might know, means a lender reviews your financial situation and based on that, gives you an estimate of the mortgage amount you might qualify for. It takes everything into account, from your credit history to your income and employment. It is by no means a promise that you will receive this mortgage amount, but it shows you what you are likely to achieve should your situation stay the same. A pre-approval is important because it tells you where you stand in the mortgage industry, and what you may need to improve before applying for a mortgage. It gives you a chance to get ahead and spruce up your finances. It also means a lender is already familiar with you and has your information, which can make the approval process easier and faster.

Reach out to agents

Getting in contact with real estate agents early is a good idea. You’re not going to go from deciding to buy a home to touring houses overnight, because you need to accomplish the basics like a pre-approval and a budget first. However, having agents to help you decide on the property type and location, and to find appropriate listings, will make your experience easier. Agents can be on the lookout for potential properties for you, and help you set up tours and submit offers. Be sure to take some time to research agents in your area, and feel free to ask potential agents any questions you have before deciding to use their services. This is one of the biggest purchases of your life, so you want the right professional on your team.

Make a list

You will need to sort out your priorities before you purchase a home. The best way to do this is to make a list of the various things you should figure out before you go house hunting. For starters, create a list of your needs and your wants for your new property. This includes things like property size, bedrooms, amenities, parking, and anything else specific to your ideal property. From here, you may be able to narrow down the property type that works best for you. Condos, townhomes, and detached houses all have their unique features and benefits, so think of the one that would most closely match your needs. This leads into your desired location. Condos are generally located closer to city centres and have easy access to transit and other amenities, while detached houses are set further out and have more lawn space. Finally, think about your timeline. When do you want to make this move? Wishing to move within six months will give you a different experience in terms of season, demand, supply, and perhaps pricing of homes than in one year.

Calculate a budget

Budgeting is arguably the most important part of buying a home. You must buy a home you can afford in order to enjoy your experience as a home owner. How can you budget and see if you have enough saved up? You’ll want to think about your income, expenses, and current savings. How much money do you have coming in and going out every month? How much extra can you support putting down for monthly mortgage payments? Also, have you saved for your down payment? This upfront expense will cost you tens of thousands of dollars, plus you need to consider if your down payment will be five per cent, or the full 20 per cent, of the purchase price. Making an accurate budget can be tricky, so you can always get in touch with a mortgage broker for help on this!

Avoid new debts

While you’re looking to purchase a home and are in the middle of mortgage applications, do your best not to take on new debts. This means things like credit cards, car loans, lines of credit, or any other debt. For one thing, new debt means your financial situation is different from when you got your pre-approval, which might make lenders second guess their willingness to finance a mortgage. For another, it will limit your ability to make mortgage payments when you have other big expenses coming in at the same time. You want to keep your finances as similar as you can throughout the buying process so you know you can afford the home you end up purchasing.

After all these less thrilling tasks are complete, you’ll be well on your way to touring homes and submitting offers! While these initial steps aren’t too exciting, they are essential to making sure you have a successful buying experience. You should also be in touch with a mortgage broker throughout the process. Once you find a home you like, make an offer and need mortgage financing, we’ll be there to help you find the best product possible.

If you have any 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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