The New Year is the best time for a fresh start. It is a wonderful opportunity to take a big step to start achieving your specific goals. If buying a home in Canada has been an existing goal, use New Year as a great occasion to begin the process of home-buying for the first time.
Whether you are tired of residing in a rented home in Canada rather than owning a beautiful abode, or desire to have your own home where your kids and dog can move freely and you can make the renovations as per your choices, New Year is the best time to buy a house. So if you are planning to buying a home in Canada, you need to start the process of making your financial preparations first.
Here is our list of some New Year’s resolution tips that can help first time home buyers with the process of buying a house. So let’s get started and make the move!
Track Your Expenses
The first step in the process of home-buying is to determine the costs of buying a home in Canada and get prepared financially. Keep a track of your expenses to learn where and how you spend the money. This will help you understand and identify where you are overspending. Follow a few simple steps to monitor your expenses:
- Create a spreadsheet and input each of your purchases manually.
- Install a money-monitoring app on your phone. Mint, Wally and Acorns would work perfectly.
- Access your credit score by checking and rechecking the usage of your credit card.
Track the expenses for at least one month so that you will be able to find out where you need to cut the expenses and how much you need to save in the upcoming months.
Start Saving for a Down Payment
Once you have tracked your expenses and monitored where you are overspending, it’s time to start saving for a down payment. Make a budget for you that seems practical and reasonable. Make sure to allocate a certain amount of money for your savings account each month. You just need to make a few changes in your spending to be able to save money every month and add up your funds over time. Cut nonessential living expenses like eating out, gym memberships, magazine subscriptions, etc. Stay disciplined with your budget and you will certainly be able to see a notable growth in your savings which will further help you make a significant down payment.
Enhance Your Credit Score
Your credit score is a major factor that helps lenders to analyse your eligibility and credibility for buying a house. If your credit score seems perfect to the lenders, you will have better chances to secure a loan for the home. If your credit score doesn’t qualify the requirements for the loan, you will have to contact a Mortgage Loan Originator to understand and learn how you can improve your credit score.
You need to get pre-qualified for a mortgage loan. Pre-qualification is a way to determine your eligibility for the loan. It will also help you know interested parties whosoever is willing to sell you a home. This will increase your chances of sealing the deal at a desirable price.
Reach Out to a Real Estate Agent
It would be beneficial for you to hire a real estate agent because they will provide you with proper guidance on the home-buying process. This will make the process easier for you since you will have good knowledge about how it works. Reach out to a Mortgage Loan Originator and take their recommendations on a real estate agent of good reputation and credibility. They can help you get the best ones in the town.
Start your Hunt for the House
Visit real estate websites to find homes best suited to your budget and requirements. Discover available houses in the market on SquareYards.com. Moreover, you can have the opportunity to visit open houses in person, so go and explore. You can take pictures and notes of the homes you visit to make the comparisons further.
Create a Budget for Home Maintenance
You have no idea how much it will cost for the home maintenance and utilities. However, you can request the utility bills of the last year from the seller to know a rough estimate of the cost for home maintenance. Moreover, the home exploration will give you an idea of the home repairs and alterations you will need to make. So you can easily estimate the money to spend on maintenance.
Keep Consideration of other Expenses
You need to consider some other costs as well such as property taxes, homeowners insurance and not to forget, private mortgage insurance (in case your down payment is below 20%). The factors for the homeowner’s insurance cost include the location of the house, its size, the age of the house and the value of your possessions. The property taxes will depend on the taxable value of your home and they will be collected by the governments of the county, city and state.
Make Sure the Debt Doesn’t Increase
Remember that the mortgage lenders consider your income and employment history and thus, they will examine your job history and debt-to-income ratio. The lenders consider these two major factors to analyse how much of a mortgage loan you can afford. Do not make exorbitant unnecessary expenses since they will ultimately escalate the amount of your debt.
The Home Inspection is a Must
You should not miss out on this step. Do visit the homes and examine the issues with the property so that you can have peace of mind while buying, otherwise, you will not be able to know the problems and might end up buying a home that is not in good condition. Be straightforward and ask questions while on the home inspection. Take pictures for proof that might be helpful in future.
Learn About the Home Appraisal
An appraiser will be arranged by your lender so that you can determine the fair market value of the property you are planning to buy. However, you need to sign a home purchase agreement first and then the appraisal happens before the approval of your loan by the lender. The reason for arranging an appraiser is to save you from paying more for the house than its actual value. However, remember that appraisals usually take 14 days to complete. In case the appraisal is below the expected, you can negotiate and appeal the appraisal assessment. Else, you can ask for a second appraisal.
Get all Set for Closing Costs
Closing costs are usually 2-5% of the loan principal and they differ from state to state. These costs generally include application fee, origination fee, an appraisal, credit report fee and more. Your lender and real estate agent will have a proper discussion with you regarding closing costs. Follow these tips to get prepared for closing costs:
- Reach out to a lender before starting the home inspections.
- Make the budget for closing costs along with the down payment.
- Assess each cost thoroughly once you receive the Closing Disclosure. Compare the costs with your loan estimate.
Close a Deal of your New Home in Canada
Closing on is the final step of home buying and the whole feeling is freaking amazing. When you are about to close on your new home, get prepared with some important documentation and gear up to sign so many papers. You can ask your lender and real estate agent as many questions as you can pertaining to the closing day.
Since New Year is around the corner and is one of the best times to buy a house, gear up to make the best New Year resolution and turn your dream of buying property in Canada into reality. Square Yards is here to help first-time buyers get there and begin a new life in one of the world’s most beautiful countries.