The real estate market here in Halifax has been extremely busy, and now there are new listings coming up for the spring. This gives you new opportunities to buy, so it might be time to think about springing into homeownership! Here are a few items you should have in order so you’re prepared for this investment.
Have your credit check in place
Before you get started with your home buying process, you need to know your current financial situation. That means getting a credit check. A credit check report examines your credit history, and your score is based on your repayment habits and credit inquiries. Equifax and TransUnion are the two major credit check services you can use, and you can use both of their services online. You can’t move much further along the path to homeownership without a credit check. Lenders need it to evaluate your borrowing ability.
Get a mortgage pre-approval
Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is one of the best things you can do before you buy a home this spring. A pre-approval shows the maximum mortgage amount you tentatively qualify for. This will help speed up the process of getting your mortgage down the line, since lenders already have information on you. Your pre-approval will be valid for a certain amount of time, so once you have that in place, it’s time to start house hunting. Pre-approvals benefit you, lenders, and sellers, because it shows you’re prepared and confident in your finances.
Determine your budget
Once you’ve been pre-approved and have your credit report in place, you need to work out a budget. Your pre-approval helps you determine the home loan you can secure, but your finances go beyond home payments. Think about what other expenses you have to keep in mind, like car payments and utilities. Consider extra spending like family vacations and paying for sports if you have children. Make sure you keep these costs in mind when you buy a home. You shouldn’t be putting all your income toward home payments, and a personalized budget will help you work with your unique situation.
Explore different areas
Springing into homeownership means moving to a new neighbourhood, and it’s important to explore different areas. It’s good to take a look around neighbourhoods and see what appeals to you, and what you could live without. How busy is the area? Is it quiet, or more lively? How many neighbours will you have? Depending on your preferences, the answers to these questions might be benefits or drawbacks to you.
This might seem like a lot of work on top of the already busy process of buying a home. However, it will be worth it when you find a neighbourhood that meets your requirements and you can be happy in your new home.
What do you need in a home?
There are probably a lot of things you’d like your home to have, but what are your firm non-negotiables? Think about how big your yard has to be, how many bedrooms you need, and what amenities you need nearby. Everybody will have different “must haves” so it’s important for your realtor to know what yours are. After you sort out your necessities, you can think about what you’d prefer your home to have as well. Maybe you want to live on a certain type of street, or have a home with a pool. When you and your realtor are clear on your requirements and desires, that will make it easier to find the right home for you!
Spring into Homeownership!
Buying a home this spring will be an exciting process, but it might seem a bit confusing too. If you have any questions about the mortgage process, you can always reach out to Clinton Wilkins Mortgage Team. Get in touch with them at (902) 482-2770 or contact them here.