Are You looking for your first home, or have you just started to think about it? I have some first-time homebuyer tips to help make your journey as easy as possible!
Some of You know about them, and some you might not, but they are sure to make your first homebuying experience that much easier!
Having your mortgage pre-approved is an important step in the process and benefits you in three ways:
• Pre-approval helps your realtor find the best home for your budget and allows you to verify your budget. Do not forget closing costs in your budget! Your budget should include these fees, which range from 1 to 4% of the purchase price.
• Pre-approval guarantees the rate offered and locks it in for up to 120 days, protecting you from any increases in interest rates while you are shopping (phew!). Make sure to ask exactly how long your pre-approval is good for!
• Pre-approval lets the seller know that securing financing should not be an issue, which is beneficial in competitive markets!
Keep in mind this is not the same as final mortgage financing approval, but it can be a very helpful step in the process towards getting your final approval by helping you work within your budget.
Maintain Your Credit
If you are currently looking at homes or thinking about looking at homes, it is vital to maintain your credit throughout the entire mortgage process. Be sure to continue to pay your bills on time, refrain from applying for new credit, closing off credit accounts, or committing to any other large purchases (i.e., new car), and also avoid pulling additional credit reports once you have been pre-approved. Another helpful tip is to keep any credit card balances below 70% of the limit to help skyrocket your score!
Utilize Your RRSPs
Did you know? The Home Buyer’s Plan allows you to utilize up to $35,000 from your RRSP and put it towards a down payment on a new home, which you can repay over a 15-year period. You must be a first-time home buyer to qualify.
Take Advantage of Government Programs
There are various government programs in place that provide some financial relief in the form of rebates and tax refunds, including:
• First-time homeowners would get a credit of $1,500 if they qualify. Learn more.
• First Time Home Buyer Incentive: The government will cover 5% of the purchase price on a resale home or up to 10% on a newly constructed home if you qualify. Learn more.
• GST/HST New Housing Rebate: You may qualify for a rebate for some of the GST or HST paid on the purchase price or cost of building your new house. Learn more.
There are also additional programs and support available depending on your province that is worth looking into, including land transfer and property transfer rebates, first-time homebuyer tax credits, homeownership support programs, and more.
Contact Me for Expert Advice!
Before you get started on your homebuying journey, make sure to reach out to me 403-253-2022 for expert advice on choosing the right mortgage options, determining your budget, getting your pre-approval, and more!