I meet with hundreds of people a year. Some have their finances planned out and tracked in a spreadsheet, which they can produce on their phone instantly. Others aren’t sure where to begin with their finances. Neither is right or wrong, but when I run across clients that have no idea where to start; I provide them with the information below
1 – Manage your credit
If there is one thing that will jeopardize the purchase of that home you want, it’s an unwise purchase or extra credit obtained. Keep your credit spending to a minimum at all times, make every payment on time and most of all pay more than the minimum payment. Keep in mind that if you just make the minimum payment on your credit cards, you will most likely still be making payments 100 years from now.
2- Put together a down payment
Initially, finding a down payment can seem challenging. But you just need to consider all the sources for down payment funds. Of course you will have saved some money but remember you can also, in some situations, use RRSP funds and non traditional sources like severance packages and of course gifted funds from a family member. Most often you need to prove that you’ve had the funds in the bank for up to 90 days and also that you have an additional 1.5% of the mortgage amount for closing costs.
3- Sort out what you can afford
It’s at this point that most people usually stop and scratch their heads. Some people just guess, some people use a mortgage calculator found online but the best way to go is talk to your bank or a trusted mortgage professional. They can help you figure it out and even go as far as getting you a “pre-approval” from one of their lenders. This can give you the confidence you need to actually start looking around.
4- Sort out what you want to buy
You will want to get out the pen and paper and start with your “must have” and “nice to have” list. Things you want to think about are the things that are important to you now; is there a school close by? Is there and ensuite bathroom? Do I want a garage? Is it too close to my sister’s house? Divide the list into things you can’t live without and things you’d like to have. It’s way easier to look when you know what you want to look at.
5- Look with your head, buy with your heart
The last step is, with the help of a REALTOR®, go look at properties that meet your requirements. The market conditions are perfect for buyers. Lots of inventory and there are great deals to be had out there!
You are going to fall in love with the home you want to buy, or else why would you want to buy it? Take the time to emotionally disconnect from the home, walk the property with your real estate professional and dissect it from top to bottom analyzing all of the good and bad. The items that need immediate attention and the ones that may need long term attention. Ensure the decision isn’t going to be one that you regret in a few years. If it means going back to the property a few times, then that’s what you need to do.
If you have questions or would like me to blog about something in particular, please email me and of course always check back to read and pass along my blogs!
Peter Fourlas – Regina Realtor®
Real Estate Agency
3889 Arcola Ave, Regina, SK S4V 1P5
Phone: (306) 529-0009