So, you are tired of dealing with the world of rentals and have decided to take the plunge and purchase your first home, congratulations! This is a huge step that can oftentimes seem overwhelming. Do not worry, there are steps you can take to make it go smoothly. As a mortgage broker, I have been fortunate enough to not only watch but help many of my clients successfully tackle the feat of becoming a first-time homebuyer. Here are some things that I suggest you keep in mind in order to make the transition as seamless as possible.
GATHER YOUR DOCUMENTS
Organization is vital throughout the process of buying your first home, or any home! Things go smoothly when you come prepared with your documents. keeping your important documents together and readily available to you. The most important documents are the ones below:
- Income Documents – Keep your T4s, Notice of assessments, and statement of account showing you don’t owe any taxes. If you are self-employed, ask your accountant for the FULL T1-Generals and keep a PDF file in a safe folder, keep your Company registration or Business license accessible
- Bank/Investment Statements- If you are still receiving paper statements, keep the most recent ones, especially if they are quarterly. To make things easier keep your down payment in as few accounts as possible and avoid transfers in and out of the account. Keep in mind that every deposit must be explained. Keeping funds in one account can save you a lot of headaches.
WHAT’S YOUR BUDGET?
As with any major financial decision, it is always best to have an idea of what you can realistically afford. Remember to always leave yourself some room for emergencies as things don’t always go as planned. Do this simple budget worksheet to come up with a realistic number you can spend on housing and work backwards from there.
PRE-APPROVAL IS KEY
Though a pre-approval is not a guarantee, it is always a good idea to have one. Pre-Approvals allow you to clear up any unforeseen issues such as unknown credit problems in advance and will allow your mortgage broker to give you realistic numbers based on your documents. In a fast-paced market like ours, it’s an added advantage to be prepared and able to act quickly. Pre-Approvals allow you to better understand your price range, perfect your abovementioned budget and can ease your mind by holding a rate for you while you search for your new home.
Follow these guidelines and you are a shoo-in for a great mortgage and peace of mind throughout the house hunting process.
If you are curious to see how much you qualify for, but you are not really ready for a commitment, check out my app and get a rough pre-approval number! This is by no means an accurate reflection but for some people the number can be close. Be honest with these figures to make your estimate more accurate. If you have questions, please reach out or comment below.