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Looking for a sweet home? Don't rush!
If you are looking for a good home, you need to give yourself at least 3-6 months to get ready. In some cases, you need 2 years or more to prepare! Make sure you give yourself enough time, and don't wear yourself out.
Know how much you can afford:
The housing market is changing constantly, as do interest rates and the bank policy. Before you look for a home, you need to talk to an experienced banker. You need to dig deeper to see how much you can borrow from the bank, how much savings you have, and how much you can afford.
Know which neighbourhood you want to move in:
We all have a preferred neighbourhood. Don't feel and guess. Do your research!! You won't want to move into a neighbourhood where the price of housings will drop drastically after 5 years. You need to know if this neighbourhood is stable or declining. What is the demand in this neighbourhood? Who lives in this neighbourhood? What is the demographic and the school zone (if you have kids)? If a neighbourhood is more expensive than the other for the same size and style of home, why?
Know what kind of home you want to live in vs what kind of home you can afford:
You have certain budget. You can buy a smaller home in a good location or buy a bigger home for a secondary location. Which one do you prefer?
Discuss these with your family members:
It's important to talk amongst family! Looking for a perfect home is very challenging and time consuming. You need to talk about it and reach the same goal as early as you can to reduce frustration. When situation comes, you need to talk about it and solve them together. It is very important you know how your partner think since you need to handle all situation together!
Last but not least for those that are not ready for a home but looking for one:
You will reach your goal quicker and smoother if you prepare in advance. Firstly, you will need to build up your credit! Pay your credit card, electricity, and phone bill. Your credit is one of the most important criteria that the bank will look at if they want to lend you money. You must need to have good credit for that. Build your credit today - don't wait! Second, keep your job for at least 1 year or more (If you are changing to a better paying job, great! but make sure that you have worked for at least 6 months before you apply for a loan). Keep your tax return for at least two years. This suggestion is particularly targeting those who has cash income but didn't claim enough income for tax purposes. If you are looking to buy a home in the next year or two, make sure you have enough money for CRA! Ensure your next 3 month's pay stat is looking good!! Last but not the least: Don't buy a new car unless it is by cash! Any loan you got for the car will greatly affect the amount you can get from the bank. The bank will not be happy to see your $350 car loan per month. Wait until you buy your new home if you want to buy a new car!
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