Purchasing your first home is exciting, but it’s also a big responsibility. In addition to being financially ready to take on a mortgage as well as the costs (and stresses) associated with repairs, renovations and general upkeep of a property, you’ll need to be mentally ready to dive into searching for a home, making offers and securing financing. It can be a lot for first-time buyers, but we’ll walk you through the options and help you confidently choose a mortgage that’s the right fit for your financial goals. Here’s what you can expect.
Hire Us Before You Start House Hunting
Hiring a mortgage broker is one of the best things you can do to find mortgage solutions tailored to your needs—and the sooner you connect with a broker, the better. With our deep knowledge, experience and industry relationships, we’re able to secure competitive rates and unique solutions for our clients. We’ll review your finances, discuss your short- and long-term financial goals, and come up with a tailored mortgage strategy. Once we find you the right lender, we’ll act as the intermediary, making the process as simple and seamless as possible.
While pre-approval isn’t a guarantee that your eventual mortgage application will be approved, it will give you a good estimate of the debt level lenders believe you’re capable of carrying.
The pre-approval estimate is based on your financial status, including your income, credit rating, debts, down payment savings, and so on—but keep in mind it is only an estimate. If you’re unhappy with the amount you’ve been pre-approved for, your mortgage broker can negotiate with the lender.
Calculate Up-Front Costs
Budgeting for the many up-front costs associated with purchasing a home is essential, and the sooner you factor this into your costs, the better. Some of the costs you’ll need to factor in include the down payment, deposit, appraisal fees, land transfer tax, and title insurance, as well as a portion of any property taxes, condo fees or utilities the seller had prepaid. And don’t forget to budget for movers!
Round Out Your Team and Start House Hunting
In addition to a mortgage broker and lender, there are several other professionals you’ll want or need to work with when purchasing a home, including a realtor, lawyer, appraiser, land surveyor and, in some cases, a building contractor. These experts will help guide you through the home-buying process and can answer your questions so you have a good grasp on things every step of the way.
A realtor, in particular, is invaluable when it comes to finding the best properties for your family. You and your realtor should discuss budget, location, must-haves (e.g., number of bedrooms), preferred style, and your current and future needs. Realtors are experts who know the market well, so be open to their recommendations and insights.
Negotiate Mortgage Details
Once you’ve found your home and your offer has been accepted, your mortgage broker will reach out to your lender with a completed mortgage application. Your broker will negotiate with the lender to get you the best possible mortgage product for your current needs and long-term financial goals. It’s at this stage that the amortization period, type of mortgage and payment schedule will be finalized. Once you have a mortgage agreement you’re happy with, all you’ll have to do is wait for the closing day so you can finally move into your new home.