Going House Shopping in Canada

Buying a home will most likely be one of the largest purchases you make in your life, so it’s safe to say that it can become a high-pressure, high stakes process. However, you needn’t worry if you are armed with the information that you need to find the best financing as well as find the right home for you. Here are several tips on how to make “house shopping” less stressful and more rewarding.

Prep your financial profile. Your search for your dream home begins before you even browse the local listings. Preparing yourself financially is the best way to find the lowest Canadian mortgage rates; in fact, it is even more important than shopping around to find different mortgage products. This is because a house hunter with a high credit score and a significant down payment (ideally 20 percent of the total home cost) won’t have to work as hard to attract the best lenders.

Venture outside of your bank. It’s natural to start with your bank when you are shopping around for a mortgage lender. However, you should visit at least one credit union and one mortgage company to compare the service and the value of the mortgage agreements that they offer. You may find that you prefer one type of lender over the others, and if so, you can focus your search on that kind of financial institution.

Get pre-approved before house hunting. Aside from finding the financing, you must also find a house that you love. Going through the pre-approval process can help you conduct a more efficient search because it will tell you what price range you should be working within in. Getting pre-approved often just requires filling out paperwork to provide information on how much income you have and how many debt obligations you are responsible for. It doesn’t mean that you are approved for a mortgage just yet, but it can also cut down on the amount of time that lapses in between making an offer on a home and getting the money that you need to follow through.

Be flexible. This tip helps in both finding a home and finding the lender to finance it. If you see a home that has the majority of your requirements (such as location, size, and layout) try to figure out how you can work around those things that you don’t like about it. Renovation is always an option when you are home buying, and sometimes you can even negotiate the building costs into the total price of the home. Likewise, don’t be afraid to play ball with the lender. Use a mortgage calculator, and then see if you can reduce some of the administrative costs to bring down the total price of the home.

The biggest takeaway from home buying advice in Canada is to be as prepared as possible (by doing lots of research) and then remain open to the possibilities once you start to do the legwork. If you keep these in mind, you’ll have a better chance of finding a home that you love.

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