There are so many great benefits to owning a house. You get to enjoy your own space, make changes and upgrades as you see fit, customize the aesthetic to your personal preferences, maximize the landscape and outdoor offerings of the property, and so much more! Before you get started in the home-buying process, there are a few things that our experts at The Woolcott Team agree you should take into consideration first.
Let’s take a look at the top four things you should do if you want to become a homeowner.
1. Review Your Finances
Doing a complete review of your finances is crucial to your home-owning decision. Some aspects of your finances that you should take a closer look at include your income, debt or loans, monthly bills, savings and plans for the future. If you will be owning the house with your significant other or another person, their finances should be taken into consideration as well.
Along with the purchase of a home includes some additional costs, such as land transfer taxes, lawyer fees, and insurance. This is not to mention the costs that are associated with moving, furnishing the house and making any necessary upgrades.
After a complete review of your finances and a possible overhaul of your budget, you will have a much better idea of whether purchasing and owning a house is in the cards for you. If now isn’t the best time to buy, save for a bigger down payment, pay off some of your debt or increase your income.
2. Improve Your Credit Score
Believe it or not, your credit score can affect your chances of obtaining a mortgage. If you have a lower credit score, you may not qualify for a mortgage in the price range you had originally hoped, or you risk not qualifying at all.
We recommend that you check your credit score or speak with a mortgage broker to see what kind of mortgage you could qualify for. The sooner you find out what your credit score is, the sooner you can either apply for a mortgage or work toward building up your credit.
Some things that may affect your credit score include outstanding debt, making payments on-time, having available credit, and how long you have had your debt.
To check your credit score or to learn more, we recommend visiting the Government of Ontario website. The recommended credit-reporting agencies as stated by the Government of Ontario include Equifax Canada and TransUnion Canada.
3. Get Pre-Approved
After doing a complete review of your finances and getting your credit score straightened out, it’s time to see what kind of mortgage you might qualify for. Your mortgage broker will take a few things into consideration, including your collective income, outstanding debts, your down payment, and credit score. Using this information, they will be able to pre-approve you for the maximum mortgage amount that you qualify for.
One of two things will likely happen next: either you will begin the search for your dream home or you will continue to improve your financial situation. Taking some time to improve your financial situation for even as little as four to 12 months can prove to make a huge difference when it comes to the mortgage you are approved for.
4. Find the Right Local Real Estate Agent
Once you have made the decision to move forward and find your dream home, there is only one thing left to do! It’s time to find the best local real estate agent for you. We don’t mean to brag, but our experts at The Woolcott Team have years of valuable knowledge and experience when it comes to real estate in Hamilton, Burlington, Oakville, Waterdown, and surrounding areas! In fact, we have sold over 4,800 homes to date!