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Tips For First Time Home Buyers

Buying your first home is exciting, but it can also be stressful, especially if you are not familiar with the process and all the extra costs that go along with the purchase. Being prepared and fully understanding what is involved will go a long way towards reducing your stress levels. 

Follow these 5 tips to ease some of the stress of buying your first home:

1. Know Your Budget.

Knowing what you can afford lets you know where you can start your search. 

Cambrian’s Home Affordability Calculator will quickly tell you what you can comfortably spend on a home purchase and what your mortgage payment would be. It's 6 questions and takes just 2 minutes to get information about how much home you can afford. 

2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage.

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage will give you peace of mind because you'll know exactly what your maximum purchase price can be, based on your down payment, income and financing. It will establish you as a serious buyer and can save you time during the offer process. Plus, we will guarantee your mortgage rate for 120 days while you search for your dream home. Apply online today in as little as 15 minutes with our new mortgage application. 

3. Make a Wish List.

Knowing what you are looking for in a home helps to narrow your search and make the process easier. Are you looking for a single-family home or a condo? Do you have a preferred neighborhood? Are you willing to do renovations or do you want a move-in ready home? Write out your wish list and compare it to homes on the current market to get an idea of what type of home you can get for what you can afford.

4. Know the Housing Market.

It is important to know the housing market in your area to make sure you are buying the house that is right for you at the right price.

5. Be Aware of Additional Costs

Buying a home costs more than just your mortgage payment.  We advise homebuyers to budget for an additional 2% of the purchase price, on top of your down payment, to cover these additional costs.

According to Credit Union Central of Canada, these are some of the added costs to be prepared for when buying a home:

  • Down Payment: you need to have a minimum of 5% of the purchase price to qualify for a mortgage.
  • Home Inspection: A home inspection is sometimes required prior to the completion of a purchase. A home inspection can reveal costly repairs which may not be visible to the average buyer.
  • Land Transfer Tax: This fee is required to transfer the land title to your name.
  • Legal Fees: Legal fees include the lawyer's fees plus any disbursements required to transfer the property to your name. These fees vary from lawyer to lawyer.
  • Life Insurance: Life insurance is optional but it is important, as it will cover your mortgage payments in the event of death of the mortgage-holder(s).
  • Mortgage Default Insurance: If your down payment is less than 20% of the purchase price, you will be required to purchase mortgage default insurance through CMHC. The premium varies according to your down payment percentage and can be paid up front or added to your mortgage.
  • Moving Costs: Moving costs can add up quickly, especially if you must rent a moving van or hire a moving company.
  • Survey Certificate: A survey certificate is required to ensure the house is situated on the lot within legal restrictions.
  • Tax Adjustments: You are responsible for paying your portion of the property taxes for the year of purchase.
  • Utility Payments: In addition to your monthly utility bills, you may have to pay for service installations and hook-ups when you move in.

Get pre-approved for a mortgage and start the search for your first home.

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