real estate buyer's checklist

Finding Your New Home – Expert Checklist For Everyone

It is important for first-time home buyers to have a good understanding of the financials involved in the buying process.  Here are a few things you should consider:
1.    Mortgage Payments
When looking at a home on Owen Sound MLS® listings, the first thing you need to ensure is that you have enough funds to pay the mortgage.  Even though this is one of the first things that you should consider, mortgages often get considered last; however, if the house’s mortgage is too expensive, this should be the first sign that you should look for something that is more in line with your budget.  Doing so should not be difficult to do, as there are houses from the low end to the high end of the budget spectrum in Owen Sound.  Try using an online budget calculator to eliminate complications in this step!
2.    Homeowner’s Property and Insurance Taxes
Often homeowner’s high interest and insurance taxes are included in mortgage payments.  When this is not the case, make sure that you take this into account when comparing the list of expenses to your budget.  You can ask to clarify whether the mortgage includes these taxes so that you do not get any surprises!
3.    Property maintenance costs
Make sure you take into account any expenses you may incur from maintenance and repairs.  When homes are not in good shape, logically, they lose their value.  Don’t forget about broken windows, leaking roofs, or even renovations you may need to do to improve the house.  These can be costly and must be incorporated into the cost of a property when budgeting.  If you see a home on Owen Sound’s MLS® listings and are unsure of the shape the home is in, take a drive-by of the house or call the Key Exchange Team to book a showing.
4.    Savings
Ensuring that you have some savings stashed away is imperative.  Making sure to have savings is helpful for sudden and unexpected occurrences like a furnace malfunction, or higher utility bills than was anticipated.  In a perfect world, you would never need to tap into these savings, but the point of savings is that you have money to fall back on if you find yourself in an unanticipated financial situation.
5.    Credit Reporting
Having a good credit score can determine the interest that you will pay your mortgage.  If you have many unpaid debts, a bad credit score, or tend to make payments late, it will decrease your chances of getting a traditional mortgage, and increase your chances of paying a high-interest rate on your mortgage.  Before getting a mortgage, do everything you can to repair your credit score!  Improving your score will help you in the short-term and the long-run.
6.    Other Things To Keep In Mind
If you have been living in a rural area and would like to move to a more urban area or vice versa, it is smart to do your research on the area to where you would like to move.  In general, it is a good idea to begin research and online searching about six months from when you would like to move.  Try the Owen Sound MLS® system to see the broad range of houses available for sale.  It can also speed up the process of making an offer if you get prequalified for a mortgage.  Prequalification gives you a good idea of what kind of mortgage will be available for you when it comes time to make an offer.  If you are looking for a loan, there is a handful of items financial institutions will need to examine before lending: tax forms, pay stubs, debts, savings and retirements accounts.  Once this assessment is complete, you will know how much you qualify to borrow, and you can begin your Owen Sound MLS® search!


(The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA. The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by CREA and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. )

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