CATHERINE'S First Time Home Buyer's Guide
Pride of home ownership is the number one reason why Canadians desire their own home. There is no landlord looking over your shoulder. You can make home improvements knowing that any appreciation that results, will be to your benefit. Home ownership gives you and your family a sense of stability and security.
In Canada, especially in the last few years, homes have appreciated considerably and in doing so have added substantially to an owner’s net worth. Unlike stocks and bonds, you get to live in your real estate investment. Also, in Canada your principal residence is exempt from capital gains taxes.
Each month, part of your monthly payment is applied to the principal balance of your home loan, which builds your equity. You can borrow against a home's equity for a variety of reasons such as home improvement, sending your kids to university or college, or starting a new business. Homeowners accumulate wealth for the future while enjoying the benefits of a shelter that they have can use, improve and sell.
If you haven't already gone through the mortgage pre-qualification process, you will need to meet with a lender or mortgage broker. They will establish how much of a mortgage you will qualify for. Mortgage rates vary, and it is paramount that you shop around for the best rate, terms and options.
Our Mortgage Calculator will help you determine what monthly mortgage payment and the maximum mortgage you can manage.
What you want and what you need maybe two different things. Knowing the basics of your search will get you started and once you have had a chance to view a few homes you will be able to be more definitive in your search moving forward. Viewing homes helps EDUCATE you on home value in the marketplace.
· How many bedrooms do you need? Bathrooms?
· What style of home fits your family needs best? Two Storey, Bungalow, Split level?
· What features are important to you?
· Parking? How many cars? Do you need room to store seasonal vehicles?
· Basement (full or part) finished or unfinished?
· Do you plan to have children? What are their educational needs? Recreation?
· Do you need a substantial backyard? Pets? Fencing?
· Is there adequate storage space?
· Do you want a move in ready home or something that needs some TLC?
· What is your timeline to be in your next home?
· Appliances – What do you need?
· Special considerations such as mobility and future development of the home.
With all the focus on the house and what it offers buyers sometimes do not fully consider the pros and cons of the homes location – on the block, in the neighbourhood and overall in the city or district that it is located. This is the KEY to the homes value as this can never be changed. So, make sure you have all the facts moving forward.
· How far will you be commuting and what is the traffic like is the area?
· Is the property close to an obstacle or negative influence?
· Is it easy to access the home and maneuver cars around? Is there street parking for guests?
· Does the area provide city services?
· What is the access to schools, work, recreation, shopping centres, public transportation, cultural attractions, libraries, churches and hospitals?
· Is there any future development that could affect the value of the home & land?
· Is there any adjacent undeveloped land - what is proposed for this or other green space?
· How do the neighbouring homes appear? Are they kept up?
· Check the house and street out at different times during the day.