Tips for buy­ing that first home

The Southwest Booster - - NEWS - LU­CIE TEDESCO COM­MIS­SIONER, FI­NAN­CIAL CON­SUMER AGENCY OF CANADA

For most Cana­di­ans, the pur­chase of their first house is a ma­jor mile­stone. It ‘s a chance to be­come a home owner. It’s also an im­por­tant fi­nan­cial in­vest­ment that likely means as­sum­ing a mort­gage for the first time.

First-time buy­ers of­ten have a wish list of fea­tures for their first home. Mort­gages too have fea­tures, and putting to­gether a wish list of mort­gage op­tions can save you money. It’s more than shop­ping around for the best in­ter­est rate.

To fig­ure out your best mort­gage op­tions you should first con­sider the fu­ture needs for your fam­ily. Are you mak­ing a com­mit­ment for many years, or is this a tem­po­rary pur­chase that may change as your needs evolve? You also need to de­ter­mine the amount you can pay as a down pay- ment and the amount of the monthly mort­gage pay­ments you can af­ford to make.

Put to­gether a real­is­tic budget, al­low­ing for the additional ex­penses that you will make when you buy the house, such as clos­ing fees and mov­ing costs. And be sure to con­sider the on­go­ing ex­penses of home own­er­ship, in­clud­ing an­nual property taxes, main­te­nance costs, as well as in­sur­ance costs, and leave a mar­gin for pos­si­ble in­creases in in­ter­est rates. Did you know that you can get a free copy of your credit re­port? Re­view your credit re­port well in ad­vance to make sure it is ac­cu­rate. Your mort­gage lender will be re­view­ing your re­port be­fore you are ap­proved for your mort­gage.

For more in­for­ma­tion, visit it­paysto­know.gc.ca. There you will find a mort­gage pay­ment cal­cu­la­tor and qual­i­fier, info on ex­penses to ex­pect when you buy a house and monthly bud­get­ing tools.

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