Yes, new mortgage rules have made it harder to qualify for a mortgage, whether you are a first-time buyer or looking to renew or refinance your mortgage with a new lender. That’s why you should get yourself mortgage ready well in advance. Here are 5 tips to help you do just that:
1. Get your credit report. Getting a copy of your credit report will let you know how you will be viewed by lenders. You can order yours for free through the mail or for a small fee online at www.equifax.ca. If you spot a problem, contact Equifax to resolve the issue.
2. Polish your credit. You can boost your score by several points fairly quickly with continual good credit habits. Most importantly, pay your bills on time, every time. Don’t let your credit accounts exceed 50% of the credit available. Before you cancel any credit cards, get advice. And don’t apply for a store card just to save on your purchase that day. Make a habit of checking your credit score each year, and watch how those good credit habits push your credit score skywards!
3. Cash is king. Plan to go into homeownership with the maximum downpayment possible. If you are in the “saving up” stage of preparing for homeownership, now is the time to meet. There are several downpayment savings strategies available that we can put to work for you.
4. Get a boost from family. Parents and grandparents have enjoyed the personal and financial benefits of home ownership themselves, and see how hard it is today to make that important first step into the market. Check to see if they are willing to help by gifting or loaning some or all of the downpayment, or by helping you with other debts.
5. Start a dialogue early. Get in touch early to talk about your purchase, refinance or renewal plans. I can help you be fully prepared to get you where you want to go, and to make sure you can take advantage of any opportunities that come your way.
Also remember, history has proven that it is almost impossible to perfectly time the market. Home ownership has proven to be a very solid investment over the long term, so focus on
Make a plan to spend December in a way that will be the most enjoyable for you. Don’t stretch yourself too thin, use the power of saying “no” and set boundaries with family, friends and colleagues. Find other ways you’ll guarantee yourself more enjoyment and less stress. Be sure to exercise, make time for yourself, watch a movie, take a long walk on a sunny day, go phone and computer free for an evening, stick to your holiday list and budget, give back to a cause or your community, simplify your holiday décor, focus on what’s important and be grateful for what you have. Always remember that It’s A Wonderful Life!
Written by Ingrid Patry