Submitted by Pamela Dass
September brings to us the end of summer, and the routine of back to work and back to school for most families.
Before we realize it, we will be looking forward to Christmas and the New Year, 2018, when we will all start thinking about our “New Year’s resolutions.”
This is a key time of the year to make life-changing decisions such as going back to school, changing jobs, relocating, family planning, purchasing a new car or a new home.
When it comes to family needs we think of investments, owning a home, upgrading or downsizing.
There isn’t one golden opportune… good or bad time to buy or sell a house; however, if you are entertaining the thought of purchasing a property, don’t wait until you are ready to move to start the process.
Often, buyers will go out shopping and visiting “Open Houses” and start the process of buying right away during the active market in the springtime, only to get discouraged because of inadequate knowledge and preparation. Therefore, if you’re thinking of buying, some key factors must be taken into consideration, and require careful planning.
There are pros and cons to property investment. It depends on your situation, your financial health and personal needs.
Real estate purchase of a home is a very emotional decision, so it’s important that a potential home buyer use the services of a professional real estate broker who can guide you through the process with ease, and help you fulfill your needs of becoming a home owner. It costs nothing and you will benefit from investing your time, which can eventually save you lots of dollars.
Are you financially ready to own a home? It’s important to figure out how much you can afford to spend or are willing to spend.
To get started, one must understand one’s financial capacity and the expenses that come with buying a house. Understand the upfront costs, the initial amount of money you need to purchase (including the minimum down payment and or any applicable taxes), the closing costs, municipal property and school taxes, condo fees, inspection fees, notary fees, etc.
There are continued cost-of-living expenses [in your home] to consider – utility bills, insurance, routine repairs and maintenance, large and expensive repairs and/or renovations.
Your mortgage payment will probably be the biggest expense, but there are other costs you should be aware of; you don’t want unpleasant surprises.
The importance of meeting with a mortgage financial advisor is “a must” before you start house shopping.
Mortgage Interest Rates can have a considerable impact on your monthly mortgage payments. Your real estate broker has access to many mortgage specialists who can help review your financial status and provide you with a mortgage pre-approval (for your affordability) and locking in interest rates for 3 months.
Note: The Bank of Canada Prime Interest Rates have unchanged since 2010, until this summer, 2017, when the key interest rate was increased twice, the first time in seven years.
Throughout my many years as a real estate broker, I have had many clients who had to consult the credit bureau to rectify erroneous information and/or outstanding unpaid bills or credit card balances. Don’t wait for any surprises, get your mortgage financing in order before you venture out to shop for your new home.
Secure financing before falling in love with a house. This can be beneficial in many ways:
• It helps to lock in your rate – Should interest rates increase during your pre-approval term, you secure the lower interest rate
• It allows you to budget within your financial capacity
• It arms you with facts that can help put more money in your pocket
• It helps in negotiating an offer on a property
So it’s important to use your mortgage pre-approval or loose it, no cost attached
Also the professional services of a real estate broker will help you through the mortgage pre-approval process, which in turn better prepares you to choose the type of property you want in the location of your choice.
It also helps to guide you through the process of making a legal offer to purchase, inspection right onto the the final step of getting you to the notary and having that “Deed of Sale” in your hands.
Pamela Dass is a certified real estate broker with Groupe Sutton Clodem Inc.
She can be reached at (514) 209-2153.