Speak to a mortgage professional; having your mortgage pre-approved is an important step in the process and benefits you in three ways:
- Pre-approval helps verify your budget and allows your real estate agent to find the best home in your price range. Quick Tips: It's not a pre-approval if you haven't provided the documents to your lender. Don’t forget about the closing costs! Factor in approx. 2% of the purchase price.
- Pre-approval is usually in writing and guarantees the rate offered and locks it in for up to 120 days. Make sure to ask exactly how long your pre-approval is good for.
- Pre-approval lets the seller know that securing financing should not be an issue, which is beneficial in competitive markets!
Keep in mind, this is not the same as final mortgage financing approval, but it can be a very helpful step in the process towards getting your final approval by helping you work within your budget.
*Maintain your good credit
It is vital to maintain your credit throughout the entire mortgage process. Pay your bills on time. Refrain from applying for new credit or any other large purchases (i.e. new car). Keep any credit card balances below 70% of the limit.
*Utilize Your RRSPs
Did you know? The Home Buyer's Plan allows you to utilize up to $35,000 from your RRSP and put it towards a down payment on a new home, which you can repay over a 15-year period. You must be a first-time home buyer to qualify.
*Take Advantage of Government Programs
There are various government programs in place that provide some financial relief in the form of rebates and tax refunds, including:
*First-Time Home Buyer (FTHB) Tax Credit: First-time home owners would get a credit of $1,500 if you qualify. Learn more.
*First Time Home Buyer Incentive: The government will cover 5% of the purchase price on a resale home or up to 10% on a newly constructed home, if you qualify. Learn more.
*GST/HST New Housing Rebate: You may qualify for a rebate for some of the GST or HST paid on the purchase price or cost of building your new house. Learn more.
There are also additional programs and support available depending on your province that are worth looking into, including land transfer and and property transfer rebates, first-time homebuyer tax credits, homeownership support programs and more.