Congratulations! You've made the decision to take the plunge into homeownership! This is a very exciting time in your life -- but are you really ready? Before you start making wish-lists, planning paint colours, or even book viewings, you need to be pre-approved!
Maybe you've tried the mortgage calculator and based on what you currently pay in rent, it seems like you'll be able to afford a pretty awesome house. While the calculator is a great tool to determine the approximate monthly payments for a specific home price, there's so much more involved in financing a home, as well as a lot of out-of-pocket costs that you might not be expecting.
Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is probably the most important step in your home-buying journey.
Getting a pre-approval means a potential mortgage lender looks at your finances and determines the maximum amount they'll lend you and what interest rate they'll charge you. Remember though, just because you've been pre-approved for a certain amount does not guarantee that you'll get a mortgage loan for that amount. Your actual approved mortgage will depend on a number of factors including downpayment and the value of the home.
The pre-approval will help you determine:
- The maximum amount of a mortgage you could qualify for
- Estimate your mortgage payments
- Lock in an interest rate for 60 to 120 days, depending on the lender
If you'd like more great information like this on the pre-approval and mortgage qualification process click here to visit the Government of Canada website!
Are you financially healthy?
Your mortgage payments won't be the only expense you'll need to plan for so you should consider looking at properties in a lower price range to avoid stretching your budget to its limit. You'll have closing costs to pay as well as utility bills that you may not have factored into your monthly expenses because they are currently included in your rent.
A lender will look at your credit report before approving you for a mortgage and could, depending on your credit score, refuse to approve your mortgage, approve for a lower amount or higher interest, require a co-signer or only consider approval if you have a large downpayment. Look at your financial health critically; have you "de-cluttered", removed unnecessary debt so that your credit score looks better? Are there minor repairs or touch-ups that could be done to improve your credit score appearance?
With all this and more to consider, your first step once you're comfortable with your finances, is making an appointment with a lender or broker. We are confident in recommending Clinton Wilkins Centum Home Lenders, but don't hesitate to shop around and find the broker or lender that is right for you.
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