Mortgage Approval 101 – Understanding The Basics

There comes a time when you find a desire to put down roots, to get off the rental merry-go-round and find your own special home that you can deck out to your heart’s content. It can be a daunting experience, full of nagging little questions, fear of such a big financial commitment and just plain old fashioned sign on that dotted line cold feet. Relax, you’re normal. Buying that first home is an exhilarating milestone in your life. With that exhilaration comes the reality that there is a mortgage to be approved, signed and paid for. We, as Realtors®, are here to help you navigate the pathway to home ownership. Call and voice your concerns, once they are out in the open they seem less intimidating. We are happy to help.

Most mortgages require a down payment of some sort. There are zero down options and we can look at them, but most likely you would need at least a five percent down payment on your intended property’s agreed selling price.

 The larger a down payment you apply, the more money you will save on your mortgage because it reduces your finance charges. Another benefit is that if you put down 20 percent you are not required to take out mortgage insurance with the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The current rate for CMHC insurance is two and a half percent of the overall purchase price and is added to your mortgage costs. In short, the more money you can put down on your dream home, the more money you will save in the long run.

Shop around for a mortgage as carefully as you would for a new car. You most likely wouldn’t buy a car from the first dealership you visited would you? Make sure you understand what type of mortgage you are looking at and always read the fine print. You are committing to one of the largest purchases of your life. We can help you find the right mortgage and help you avoid costly financial mistakes.

Study the different types of mortgages, their terms and applicable interest rates. Are you the type that likes to budget things and prefers a predictable monthly payment, with no surprises up or down? You might be more comfortable with a fixed rate mortgage. If the interest rates are favorable and you have the personality and the budget that can handle a different payment amount each month, then a variable rate mortgage might be the answer. Learn about amortization terms and how these can affect your interest rates. We Realtors® can help you find the mortgage that works best for your situation.

We stress the importance of putting down as large a down payment as you can handle. You may end up trimming the vacation budget for a little while, but in the end you will save much more in interest fees and get your home paid off much more quickly. Take your ultimate dream vacation to celebrate when that happens.

As in many industries, sometimes buying a home all comes down to timing. It pays to do a bit of comparative shopping for your mortgage. Visit banks and mortgage brokers to find the best deal on terms and interest rates. Most lenders will honor a quoted rate for a specific amount of time, leaving you free to keep looking without fear of loosing the deal you’ve already discovered.

It is common knowledge that when you drive a new car off the lot or take that new washer/dryer home, that item starts to depreciate. Sometimes homes do as well, especially if you are buying a brand new property. Unlike a car, where putting on a new set of tires or a top-end stereo doesn’t do much for the vehicle’s value, certain improvements on a home do compensate for this depreciation. Adding an additional room, fixing up the basement to create a useful living space, upgrading the kitchen or putting in that extra bathroom all add to your comfort level and your home’s value.

When you ask us to become your Realtor® we commit to make your home buying experience as easy as possible. We are there for you from the time you start looking for the home and/or mortgage until we hand you the keys to your new property. Call us. We can make your journey to home ownership a pleasant one.