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Gale Tracey AMP

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April 2011...The Young and the Restless: First-time homebuyers

This can be a challenging time to be a first-time homebuyer. On one hand, you’re anxious to get into the market and become homeowners. On the other hand, it’s a huge financial decision. What will happen with rates? Will a future salary increase ease the immediate financial pressure? Will a job change mean a move to a new neighbourhood in the next few years? There’s a lot to think about.

If you are a first-time homebuyer or know someone who is, getting professional mortgage advice is a great place to start. We specialize in the kind of homebuyer education that can help get new homebuyers off on the right foot.

Determine what you can afford
. Before you start shopping for a home – and long before you consider putting an offer on one – let us help you determine how much home you can comfortably afford. This will keep you focused on shopping for homes within your price range.  If you qualify for a preapproved mortgage, you’ll be certain of the size of mortgage for which you qualify and guaranteed a rate for a specific period of time. If you don’t qualify for a pre-approved mortgage, we will be able to help you estimate a mortgage-qualifying amount.

Saving up.
You know that you’ll need a downpayment to purchase your new home. If you’re in the “saving up” stage of preparing for home ownership, this is a great time to meet with us so we can discuss your downpayment options, which include the RRSP Homebuyer's Plan. We'll also discuss how to prepare your credit rating for your mortgage in your future.

Build a team of professionals. 
We'd be happy to help you build a strong away team so that all aspects of your home buying journey are efficient and professional. Your team will include a realtor, lawyer, home inspector and of course your mortgage planner. 

Plan for closing costs.
There are additional costs that come with buying a home so you’ll need to have some extra funds set aside to cover these costs, which include appraisal fee, title insurance, legal fees, land transfer tax, property tax and interest adjustments, utility hook-ups, moving costs and what you’ll need in the way of furnishings or appliances. We can outline all of these so you won't be caught by surprise. 

Beyond the monthly payment.
Remember that home ownership involves costs beyond the monthly mortgage payment. Many first-time homebuyers neglect to consider such baked-in costs as property taxes, utilities and insurance. Get a realistic picture of those annual costs, and imagine that sum on top of your mortgage payment.

While it’s important to be prudent of course, many first-time homebuyers can be too cautious about getting into the market. In fact, mortgage planners often surprise first-time buyers by showing them that they could have been building equity for the last few years – rather than paying someone else’s mortgage with their rent money. Remember too that for decades, Canadian homeowners have been able to leverage their property purchase into a large financial return.

Ensure you get off on the right foot in your home ownership journey! Talk to us today.

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