Allison Cosgrove, the Blue Jean Mortgage Queen providing solutions and results for homebuyers in Mississauga, the GTA, and Golden Horseshoe areas, educates homeowners on the many ins and outs of getting a mortgage and managing home ownership.
“Over the years, I have learned that some questions and concerns are consistent among first-time homebuyers,” says Allison. “So, following is a quick strategic guide for those getting on the Canadian property ladder.”
- Research the market. Understand the current housing market in your area and the factors affecting it.
- Research the different types of mortgages available.
- Save for a down payment. Aim to save at least 5% of the purchase price of your home. The more you save, the better. Remember, once you purchase the home, you’ll be paying down more interest than principal for the first few years. The larger the down payment, the more equity you will start out with in the home.
- Getting pre-approved for a mortgage will give you an idea of how much you can afford and will also strengthen your offer when you find a property you like.
- When budgeting, consider all costs associated with buying a home such as moving, opening or transferring utility services, eating out until the kitchen is unpacked, etc. There are also closing costs and legal fees to consider. Often overlooked is the land transfer title fee that is about 1 per cent of the purchase price of the home.
- A mortgage broker will help you find the best mortgage rate and terms that fit your needs and budget. Mortgage brokers can also provide advice on other financial matters such as credit scores and debt consolidation.
“The best place to start,” counsels Allison, “is with a mortgage broker. This is because mortgage brokers shop the market on behalf of our clients, making us a one-stop service for information, resources, and finding the best lending product and rate applicable to your situation.”
She concludes, “Buying your first home can be intimating but it doesn’t have to be. With some strategies going into the process and help from a mortgage broker, it can be a fun milestone that gets you on the property ladder.”