For many Calgarians, owning a home is the ultimate financial goal. With an investment that big, you want to ensure you are financially prepared to take the leap into buying real estate. This is why 'Financial Literacy Month' is a great time to freshen up your knowledge on the steps to homeownership.
- Know your credit standing: the first thing you should do, is to find out what your credit score is at the present time, so you know if you would qualify for a loan at this time, or if you need to take some steps to repair or rebuild your credit. You can find your credit report online via Equifax or TransUnion. Generally speaking, the lowest credit score that would make you a mortgage candidate would be 650, but the higher the score, the better candidate you are.
- Build your credit: if you need to repair or rebuild your credit, make sure you do this. The best way to make credi repairs is to ensure that you pay your bills on time. Even if you are paying the minimum on everything, don't miss a payment even by a day, as this can add to the damage on your credit.
- Create a budget: now that you know your current credit standing and are making steps to raise your credit score, you can decide on a budget. Take into account your income, all your expenses and then decide how much money you can comfortably put aside towards homeownership.
- Start saving: once a budget is complete, you need to start saving! Mortgages with less than 20 per cent for a down payment are required to have mortgage insurance. Make sure you don't just start saving for the down payment, but the closing costs for the sale (legal, moving, taxes, etc.).
- Talk to a mortgage professional: once you feel you have a handle on your finances, or at least a financial plan, you can go to a mortgage professional to determine what amount you can be pre-approved for with a mortgage. You realistically want to know this before you talk to a REALTOR® and start the process of looking at homes.
If you want to talk about buying real estate, please feel free to contact me!