Thinking on Buying Your First Home?

Getting Your Foot in the Door.

Like many would-be first time homeowners, you may be wondering how you can possibly afford to buy your first home. Even if you think you can’t afford a home, these saving tips and financing strategies can take you there sooner than you think and turn you from a renter into an owner.

Develop a plan for saving

The first priority for you should be to develop a culture of saving. This not only helps you in budgeting and planning for the future, but also to satisfy banks and other lending institutions that you have a clear commitment to save.

Start an automatic saving plan

Saving for a down payment can be a financial challenge but it’s a step forward to owning your dream home. Make saving automatic by setting up an automatic savings plan at your bank to regularly move a specific amount of money directly from your chequing account to a savings account. You’ll be surprised at how much you can save and how quickly the “pay yourself first” approach adds up.

Borrow from yourself

The federal government’s Home Buyer’s Plan (HBP) lets you borrow from your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) to help purchase your first home. You and your partner can each withdraw up to $20,000, provided it’s not locked-in and the money has been in the RRSP for at least 90 days. You have to repay the loan in installments over the next 15 years to avoid a tax hit.

Take a holiday from tax

If you open a new Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA), you won’t pay any tax on earnings, which will help you compound your savings. You can contribute up to $5,000 a year to a TFSA, and save for anything you like, tax-free.

Review your mortgage options

Once you make the decision to purchase a property, the next choice is the type of loan to suit your budget. The two most common types of loans are the variable interest rate loan and the fixed interest rate loan.

You can now choose to pay back your mortgage over 25 years, instead of the traditional 20-year amortization period. This means you will pay more interest over the long term, but you can reduce monthly payments to get into your starter home. You can always change this later, once your income rises and you can pay your mortgage down faster.

Get into a starter house

Try to be as flexible as possible when choosing your first home. Unless you are status conscious, your first home doesn’t necessarily have to be your dream home. You could settle for a starter home, which you can afford with a small down payment and easy mortgage installments. There are plenty of lower-priced houses out there in need of repair, with some “Do-It-Yourself” projects where you can add more value to the house. Just be careful not to buy a place where the cost of repairs will eat up any profits you might make when you sell.

In just a few years you will build enough equity in your starter home to make it easier for you to sell and move into to your dream home.

Buying your first home is an exciting process. After all, your home could be the largest asset you’ll ever own. Being able to finance most of its cost will take a load off your back in the future.

Have a question?  Please don’t hesitate to contact me.  I would be happy to answer it or assist you in finding an answer.  Buying your first home is an exciting process.   Happy House Hunting !

Thinking About Purchasing Your First Home

Thinking about purchasing a home of your own? Keep these critical considerations in mind:

How long you plan to live in the home.
If you purchase a home and get a job transfer or decide to move after only a short time, you may end up paying money in order to sell it. The value of your home may not have appreciated enough to cover the costs that you paid to buy the home and the costs that it would take you to sell your home.
HappyPeople03.jpgThe length of time that it will take to cover those costs depends on various economic factors in the area of the home. Most parts of the country have an average of 5% appreciation per year. In this case, you should plan to stay in your home at least 3-4 years to cover buying and selling costs. If the area you buy your home in experiences an economic up turn, the length of the time to cover these costs could be shortened, and the opposite is also true.
How long the home will meet your needs.
What features do you require in a home to satisfy your lifestyle now? Five years from now? Depending on how long you plan to stay in your home, you’ll need to ensure that the home has the amenities that you’ll need. For example, a two-bedroom dwelling may be perfect for a young couple with no children. However, if they start a family, they could quickly outgrow the space. Therefore, they should consider a home with room to grow. Could the basement be turned into a den and extra bedrooms? Could the attic be turned into a master suite? Having an idea of what you’ll need will help you find a home that will satisfy you for years to come.
Your financial health – your credit and home affordability.
Is now the right time financially for you to buy a home? Would you rate your financial picture as healthy? Is your credit good? While you can always find a lender to lend you money, solid lenders are more skeptical if your credit history is not good. Generally, a couple of blemishes on a credit report will make you a good credit risk and could qualify you for the lowest interest rates. If you have more than a couple of blemishes on your report, lenders like Quicken Loans may still provide you with a loan, but you may just have to pay a higher interest rate and fees.
Some say that you should refrain from borrowing as much as you qualify for because it is wiser not to stretch your financial boundaries. The other school of thought says you should stretch to buy as much home as you can afford, because with regular pay raises and increased earning potential, the big payment today will seem like less of a payment tomorrow. This is a decision only you can make. Are you in a position where you expect to make more money soon? Would you rather be conservative and fairly certain that you can make your payment without stretching financially? Make sure that whatever you do, it’s within your comfort zone.
To determine how much home you can afford, talk to a lender or go online and use a “home affordability” calculator. Good calculators will give you a range of what you may qualify for. Then call a lender. While some may say that the “28/36” rule applies, in today’s home mortgage market, lenders are making loans customized to a particular person’s situation. The “28/36” rule means that your monthly housing costs can’t exceed 28 percent of your income and your total debt load can’t exceed 36 percent of your total monthly income. Depending on your assets, credit history, job potential and other factors, lenders can push the ratios up to 40-60% or higher. While we’re not advocating you purchase a home utilizing the higher ratios, its important for you to know your options.
Where the money for the transaction will come from.
Typically homebuyers will need some money for a down payment and closing costs. However, with today’s broad range of loan options, having a lot of money saved for a down payment is not always necessary – if you can prove that you are a good financial risk to a lender. If your credit isn’t stellar but you have managed to save 10-20% for a down payment, you will still appear to be a very good financial risk to a lender.
The ongoing costs of home ownership.
Maintenance, improvements, taxes and insurance are all costs that are added to a monthly house payment. If you buy a condominium, townhouse or in certain communities, a monthly homeowner’s association fee might be required. If these additional costs are a concern, you can make choices to lower or avoid these fees. Be sure to make your realtor and your lender aware of your desire to limit these costs.
If you are still unsure if you should buy a home after making these considerations, you may want to consult with an accountant or financial planner to help you assess how a home purchase fits into your overall financial goals.

If you are ready to get started, call me !  I would be happy to help you.

Thinking of Buying A Home? Think About This !

Thinking of Buying a Home?

When buying the most important purchase in your life, why leave it to chance.  Find a professional Realtor who will put your needs first.  

New or Resale … you NEED a Buyer’s Agent



Buyers should be aware of their options so they are better able to protect their positions in a transaction. The role of the Realtor has been undergoing tremendous change over the past several years. Prior to 1991, all Realtors worked for the Seller in a Real Estate transaction. A buyer can now choose to retain representation with a Licensed Realtor and receive the same legal relationship that Sellers have received for nearly 100 years.

A buyer who understands their options will typically want to sell their Real Estate representative EARLY in the transaction in order to avoid potential conflicts of interest should they be making many calls to various Realtors (typically listing agents representing the Seller) or if shopping New Home sites (representatives are not necessarily Realtors – thereby having no accountability to the Buyer through RECO* or REBBA**).

With the advent of the Internet, many Buyers are conducting tremendous research on their own before looking at homes or contacting a Realtor. It cannot be understated that part of the research conducted from a buyer’s perspective, is the careful selection of the Realtor to represent their interests in the acquisition of property. A skilled Buyers agent will add tremendous value to the buyer during the drafting of the contract, during negotiations, and overseeing the contract to completion. If you’re going to spend the next 25 years paying for your new home… shouldn’t you spend a few minutes finding the right person to help make it all happen?

We know your rights … do you?

You have the right to remain silent anything you say while un-represented could be used against you during negotiations;

You have the right to be REPRESENTED

If you choose NOT to be represented;

Then all Realtors will work on behalf of the Seller during negotiations.


To find out more, please feel free to contact me, or book a complimentary private consultation to discuss your Real Estate Goals. My services are guaranteed to ensure your complete satisfaction!

Here is a little video from the Toronto Real Estate Board about the important of signing a Buyer Representation Agreement and let them look after your best interests !