ATTENTION FIRST TIME HOME BUYERS!!
Are you a First Time Home Buyer and planning to make a move towards your first home? Are you a Millennial and thinking about how and where to save money from to buy your first home?
Buying a house is becoming harder and harder these days in our market. Especially for Millennials, owning a home is their biggest dream and achievement, after they pay for their education. There are so many hurdles but yet, there are so many solutions.
Buying a home can be challenging but Benjamin Franklin very rightly said, “If you fail to plan, you Plan to Fail”. I feel you have to plan for it and then proceed. Here are a few guidelines to help you streamlining your way to afford buying a home!
Find Out If You Are Mentally Prepared To Buy
- Planning is crucial! If you mentally know you are tired of renting and want to move towards your own home, plan about it.
- Now do the main check, see if your bank account is ready. If not, make arrangements. Talk to your family and see if your Parents can help you out! Now find out what kind of house you would like.
- What neighbourhood where you want to buy – Urban / Suburban / Smaller City / Rural
- What type of home you want – Single Family / Semi detached / Duplex / Triplex / Town House / Condo
- Do you want a new or resale house – Depending upon the area
- This will help you to land on a rough figure of how much your dream home would cost! Have a picture ready in your mind so you know that you are ready for the move!
Figure out Your Affordability / Work with a professional Mortgage Specialist (Your first best friend in this process)
Personally, to me, this is The Most Crucial step any home buyer must make before you start your work towards your dream house. Finding the right Mortgage Specialist is very important and your Realtor can always help you find a good one as this person will guide you on many things like:
- What amount of mortgage you can qualify for?
This is the first step in buying a house is determining your budget. Run the numbers right now by clicking here to get an idea.
Or use this Link - https://www.realtorishan.com/MortgageQualifier.html
- Different programs for home buyers:
- Government Programs for Home Buyers
- CMHC Purchase Plus Improvements
- RRSP Home Buyers' Plan
- 5% Down Payment Program
- HST New Housing Rebate
- Land Transfer Tax (LTT) Rebate Program
- First-Time Home Buyer Incentive
- First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit
Learn more about the programs here.
Or use the Link - https://www.realtorishan.com/buying_tips.government.IshanVerma
- Mortgage Terminology:
Mortgage term – Typically from six months to five years, the ‘term’ refers to how long the bank has agreed to lend you the money. At the end of the term, you usually renegotiate a new term.
Amortization – The length of time it will take you to pay off the whole mortgage. Often as long as 40 years, if you don’t accelerate your payments. The longer your amortization, the lower your monthly payments, but the more you pay in interest over time.
Interest rates – Interest is the cost of borrowing money, and the interest rate tells you exactly how much. Using the mortgage calculator, check the difference between borrowing $100,000 at 6% and at 9% at the same amortization. Surprising, no?
That interest rate not only affects how much you pay, it also affects how much you can borrow. So, remember to keep searching for the best rate!
- How big is your down payment?
You want as small a mortgage as possible, which means making the biggest down payment possible. Just remember to set money aside for all the fees associated with buying a home. Not to mention moving, repairs, renovations, new furniture...think ahead.
According to your profile, you mortgage specialist will advise you on how much and how you can put together your down payment. Experts can tell you best solutions like:
The RRSP Home Buyers’ Plan – A little sweet relief.
If you’re a first-time homebuyer with money in an RRSP, you can withdraw up to $20,000 without paying any income tax. If your spouse is also eligible, that’s $40,000. Ask your REALTOR® how to best take advantage of this plan.
- What documents you need to apply for mortgage
Your mortgage specialist will guide you on what documents you would have to put together for applying for mortgage. The list could be more or less:
- Letter of employment confirmation
- A Full Credit Report which shows the full List your assets and liabilities
- Social Insurance Number
- Information about the house you want to buy
- Your last two years of income statements
Not only this, but much more! This person will help you fit your mortgage into your financial and retirement solution which is the core of any financial assistance in our lives.
SO BASICALLY, THIS PERSON IS YOUR FIRST BEST FRIEND IN HELPING YOU BUY YOUR HOME! WILL TELL YOU ABOUT THE SECOND ONE SHORTLY.
Remember every person’s financial situation is different. Just like two people can own two same vehicles but can have variant vehicle insurance, in the same way mortgage varies person to person.
Know your expenses and start saving!
After knowing the mount of down payment, you would have to make, start working on saving money. Know your costs:
- Cost of buying a home = One-time costs (down payment + legal fees + inspection fees + taxes + closing costs)
- But remember Monthly costs = Every month (mortgage + utilities + maintenance + insurance + property taxes)
Don’t forget these extra costs.
Face your new financial responsibilities head-on, and you may even dodge some of them. And then won’t you look smart!
- Application fee – Some mortgage lenders charge a fee to process your application. Many lenders will agree to waive this fee, so make sure you ask!
- Appraisal fee – Your mortgage lender may need to have your new home appraised by a professional, and they often pass the bill on to you. Sometimes your lender will also waive this fee. Again, it doesn’t hurt to ask.
- Mortgage broker’s fee – Your mortgage broker may charge a fee that’s payable on your closing date. Ask your broker, to avoid surprises.
- Land survey fee – Lenders may require a survey of your property. It can typically cost between $600-$900. Lenders will often accept an existing survey. Get your lawyer on the case.
- Home inspection fee – A home inspection is so important; we devoted an entire Step to it. Avoid surprises and protect yourself...this is money well spent.
- Home Insurance – Mortgage lenders require you carry fire and extended-coverage insurance because your home is the security deposit on the mortgage. Often you can have these payments added to your monthly mortgage payments. Shop around.
- Fire Insurance- Mortgage lenders require a certificate of fire insurance to be in place from the time you take possession of the home. The amount required is generally the amount of the mortgage or the replacement cost of the home. This cost can vary on the property size, amount of coverage, the insurance company and the municipality. The cost can vary anywhere from $250-$600 annually for most properties.
- Provincial Sales Tax on Mortgage Insurance- If your mortgage is insured, you will be required to pay the applicable taxes on the insurance premium on closing. While the insurance premium can be added to the mortgage amount, the tax must be paid at closing.
- Title insurance – Not mandatory, but it protects you from all sorts of fraud and potential errors surrounding the title to your land. It’s normally a few hundred dollars. Ask your lawyer for details.
- Legal fees – Your lawyer is vital to the home-buying process. You’ll pay legal fees for their time and “disbursements” which are the costs involved in title searches, drawing up the title deed, and preparing your mortgage.
- Maintenance and utility costs – Just a reminder, you now have more regular monthly payments in the form of property tax, utilities, repairs etc.
- Land Transfer Tax – Most provinces charge a land transfer tax payable by the buyer, and is based on the purchase price. First time home buyers purchasing a new home may qualify for a refund. Ask your REALTOR® or lawyer to calculate the payment.
- The HST and new homes – If you have decided to purchase a resale home, you successfully avoided paying HST. Nevertheless, services associated with the property, such as a home inspection, will still be subject to a HST. When buying a new home, however, you will come face to face with that 12% HST rate of a combined 5% federal and 7% provincial tax. Make sure you confirm who is expected to pay this tax, you or the builder. On the housing offer, the purchase price will state "Plus HST" or "HST included" as well as the recipient of any HST rebates. For new properties at $350,000 one can expect a rebate of $23,800 and for properties worth $525,000 or more, one can expect a rebate of $26,250.
- Closing Adjustments – The previous owner may have paid property tax or utilities in advance, and they want to be credited for those payments. Any bills after the closing date are the responsibility of the purchaser. A lawyer will let you know what they are once the various searches have been completed.
Start Saving your money and Cut Expenses
After you know how much you have to save for Down payment and closing costs, start planning for how to cut your expenses and save money. Here are a few tips which I have learnt over the time and my peers have taught me and some I of course googled:
- Stop Partying or Party Less
For an example - Average Expense of 1 party night per week:
$30 – Entry ticket to a party place
$200 – Food and Drinks
$50 – Commute
Total - $280
If you multiply this with every week which would be $280 * 52 = $14,560.
$$$ CHING $$$ $$$ CHING $$$ Suddenly your bank account is feeling much better!
- Use public Transport as much as you can or Carpool to work.
- Sell your vehicle if you can
- Consolidate your study loans
- Consolidate your debts
- Put a garage sale for the items that you no longer need
- Cancel the gym or club memberships that you don’t need
- Watch movies at home not in Cineplex
- Choose inexpensive ways of entertainment
- Save money spent on food (Cook at home / Meal prep)
- Get smart, use coupons for entertainment, food, visiting places
- Request your credit card company to reduce rates
- Cancel your cable
- Reduce Travel Expenses
- Cancel any unnecessary subscriptions
- Buy things in bulk
- Price match anything you buy
- Find a roommate to share living expenses
- Bundle your services (Home and auto insurance)
- Lower cell phone bill
Using the above said steps, there could be more, you would be able to save substantially and save up for the down payment.
Find the right Realtor to work FOR and WITH you
Why I mentioned For you is because the right realtor will work for your rights and will help you guide through the whole process and ensures the highest level of service and that you are always treated with honesty and integrity and will walk one step ahead of you so you are fully prepared.
Which is provoking me to tell, this person is your second-best friend!
Ask your realtor all the questions that you might have and share everything that you have done so far with your journey of purchasing the house. A REALTOR® will review your concerns, wishes, wants, needs and all the lists to help you determine your price range. Usually the right realtor will do all the following:
Answer questions about the markets you’re interested in and help you compare homes andneighbourhoods.
- Use the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS).
- The MLS is the single most powerful tool for buying and selling a home. Your REALTOR® will give you access to exclusive features of the MLS system that the public is not privy to.
- Preview properties to ensure you’re only shown homes that meet your needs and budget.
- Make appointments and walk you through potential homes, answering all your questions.
- Give up-to-the-minute information on financing and explain your mortgage options.
- Negotiate with the seller, smooth out any potential conflicts and draw up a legally binding contract.
Check out a few places and make an offer on what you see yourself living in
- Read all about it from local newspaper and online websites
- Go to Open Houses on the weekend.
- House hunting with your REALTOR® – hunting smarter
- Welcome to the wonders of mls.ca
- Work from a short list
- Stay objective when visiting potential homes
- Print it out and be sure to take it with you to homes you’re serious about buying. Good luck and happy hunting!
Find the Professional Real Estate lawyer
- Finding a good lawyer.
There are lots of good lawyers out there. Ask your friends or people at work. REALTORS® will happily give you the names of several good lawyers. They can’t legally recommend just one, but they’ll only refer lawyers experienced in real estate. Be sure you ask how they structure their fees, and get an estimate of the other legal costs you can expect.
- How your lawyer will help.
There here are many, many legal steps to transferring ownership of land from one person to another. Even if pitfalls like fraud, government legislation, zoning issues or unpaid taxes don’t come up, your lawyer will more than earn their pay by making the legal transfer of the home a smooth one.
- Don’t be scared of your lawyer.
They are there to help you. Ask questions if you don’t understand anything. Explaining legal jargon in plain language is a big part of their job.
Make an offer and Arrange Mortgage
You’ve found a home? Congratulations! Now, your realtor will help you to put together an offer for your dream home to make it yours.
Preparing the offer.
REALTORS® are expertly trained and will prepare the offer for you. Here are some terms you’ll see in the offer:
- Buyer or Purchaser – That’s you.
- Seller or Vendor – The present owner(s).
- Purchase Price – The most important number.
- Deposit – A cheque you write to the seller’s broker, who deposits it in a trust account. This is your way of saying “my offer is serious”. The size of the deposit is up to you.
- Clauses particular to this agreement – Every transaction is unique, and your REALTOR® may add conditions important to you. Making your offer conditional upon a proper Home Inspection is a good idea.
- Chattels included and fixtures excluded – Be sure you know what is included with the house! The washer and dryer, the microwave, draperies, light fixtures. Don’t leave anything to ‘chance’ because chances are, it won’t be there when you move in.
- Irrevocability of the offer – The length of time you give the seller to consider your offer. Usually less than 48 hours.
- Completion date – The glorious day you take possession! Often 30 or 60 days after signing.
- About the offer.
When it comes to the type of offer you make, it really depends on your individual situation. Discuss your options with your REALTOR® to see which of these offers is right for you.
After your offer has been accepted, by the way Congratulations, call your mortgage specialist to arrange Mortgage for your dream home!
Find Certified Home Inspector
When walking through a home you’d love to buy, it’s hard to put aside your emotions and really ‘see’ what kind of shape it’s in. Now that you are buying, it’s time to see everything. Home inspections rarely cost more than a few hundred dollars, and their service can save you from unpleasant surprises when you move in.
Go with a qualified professional.
Make sure your inspector is a member of a provincial association of home inspectors. It’s your guarantee they have the training and experience for the job. Your REALTOR® can recommend several home inspections companies to choose from. They will be inspecting lots of stuff. Plumbing and electrical systems, the roof, visible insulation, walls, ceilings, floors, windows and the integrity of the foundation. They check for nasty stuff like lead paint, asbestos, mould, outdated and dangerous wiring, and they’ll look for evidence of pests like mice or termites. A good inspector should make you feel like you’re watching a CSI detective.
Close the deal
Your offer has been accepted and you can’t wait to move in. These are exciting times, but don’t break out the bubbly just yet. You have to close the deal. Your REALTOR® and lawyer will do most of the closing work, but here’s your checklist.
- Immediately begin satisfying any conditions of the agreement that require action on your part. Your REALTOR® will fill out the documents stating that the conditions have been satisfied.
- Have your lawyer begin searching title to the property. This can take a while, so make sure you give ample time.
- We recommend a home inspection to avoid any unpleasant surprises on move-in day.
- Well before closing, get your homeowner’s insurance. Your insurance broker will give you a ‘binder’ letter certifying that you’re covered. You can’t get a mortgage without this letter!
- Contact your lender and have them finalize your mortgage documents. Have your lawyer review them before you sign.
- Your lawyer will transfer essential utilities like hydro and water, but you’ll have to make sure telephone and cable companies switch their services to your name.
- If you rent, you must give notice to your landlord, or sublease your apartment.
- Begin planning your big move! Where are those cardboard boxes? Book your moving service early to avoid scheduling problems.
- Send out your change of address information and fill out a card at the post office.
- Contact the Ministry of Transportation about changing your driver’s licenses.
- A day or two before closing, you’ll meet with your lawyer to sign the closing documents.
- Your lawyer will tell you in advance what certified cheques you’ll need to seal the deal.
And the big day arrives.
Deliriously happy and emotionally exhausted, here you are on closing day. You made it! If your lawyer has arranged everything well, closing day can be surprisingly low on drama. Before you know it, you’ll be handed the keys you new home.
Moving day will come sooner than you think, so get planning now.
‘Closing date’ often means moving date.
Unless you have major repairs or renovations planned, you probably want to move in the day you take possession. If you intend to move at the end of the month, contact a moving company or truck rental company now. Most people move during this time and there aren’t trucks and movers for everybody. If you can move mid-week or mid-month, a moving company might cut you a deal. Keep in mind, the closing process might not have the keys in your hands until early-to-mid afternoon. Verify with your lawyer and schedule your moving times accordingly.
- Go with a reputable moving company.
- Pack it yourself, and pack early.
- Take the important and needed stuff and get rid of the stuff you don’t need.
- Once you move in clean before your settle in.
This is a general guideline which will guide you to streamline the process of purchase of your dream home! If you have any comments or recommendations, feel free to drop a message below.