If you are currently renting and thinking about purchasing your own home, this post is for you! Read on for a few simple actions you can take now to be one step closer to homeownership.
Make a List:
The very first step prior to going down the path of looking for a home is figuring out what you want. Making a list will help to sort through the important items, and make a clear image of what your goals are. Here are a few things to consider:
- How much space do I currently live in, and what is my desired living space in square feet?
- What type of property suits my lifestyle? A condo, townhome, duplex or single family home?
- What part of the city do I see myself in? Am I willing to relocate to suit my needs and budget? (Read on for more budget tips below.)
- What items are most important to me? A large space for entertaining? A small yard with no upkeep? A guest bedroom for out-of-town visitors? A walkable area – close to shops and transit?
Book an Appointment:
Visiting your local bank will really help with setting a budget, even if you have not fully come up with your down payment savings. They will assess your current income, savings and RSSP amounts to give you an idea of a mortgage amount that you qualify for. Remember – just because a bank qualifies you for a certain number does not mean you need to hit that mark. Always be sure to take a hard look at the numbers and to be careful not to overextend yourself.
There are always hidden costs that come with owning a home – think closing costs, realtor fees, monthly home insurance, and unpredictable repairs. Doing the research upfront will make you better prepared to save money for these unexpected items.
Check out the CMHC (Canadian mortgage and housing corporation) website for more information.
There are many simple ways to start shopping for a home nowadays. Websites such as Realtor.ca help to narrow the search by providing parameters such as location, budget and home type. Local builders websites showcase a wide variety of home plans and showhome images, while local land developers often host community launches, complete with showhome parades and food trucks – I mean, who can say no to free food?!
Even taking to social media via hashtag searches and realtor Instagram profiles can help to find the perfect home. The world is your oyster, you just gotta start digging!