Getting on the property ladder can be tough, especially if you already have a family to provide for. Owning a family home can offer more independence for families, but how can you get there?
Between work, school and managing your daily routines, set aside some time to think seriously about your home ownership goals. If you’re working towards home ownership with a partner, choose a quiet time when you’re both able to sit down and discuss what you’re looking for in a future home, how you plan to save for a down payment, and when you hope to move.
If you’re a single parent, or just looking for some extra input, consider talking to a close friend or relative about your goals. They can offer encouragement and insights, particularly if they are already a homeowner.
Have a financial plan
It’s important to get the family finances in order before purchasing a home. Monitor your spending and draw up a monthly budget. Prioritize paying off high interest debt. Try to save extra earnings such as bonuses and tax refunds, and put them towards your down payment.
Where can you save money? Could you eat out less, or go down to one vehicle?
These decisions could not only help you save for a down payment, but also help you manage your monthly budget when you become homeowners.
You can withdraw funds from an RRSP (that you will need to repay later) to put towards a down payment as part of the Home Buyers’ Plan. You may also qualify for the First Time Home Buyers’ Program, which will reduce or remove the property transfer tax amount on the purchase of your first home.
The federal government recently announced a new program called the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive to help first-time buyers get on the property ladder. The incentive is expected to come into effect in September 2019.
Get preapproved for a mortgage
With your finances in order and a down payment saved, it’s time to speak to your bank or a mortgage broker about getting preapproved for a mortgage loan. During this process, the lender will assess your finances and inform you of exactly how much they are willing to loan you.
Preapproval does not mean you are guaranteed a mortgage loan. If something negatively impacts your financial situation prior to closing on a home, you may no longer meet the lender’s qualification requirements, and you may not get the loan you need to purchase the property. This is not a good time to take on additional debt such as a new car payment.
Talk to a REALTOR®
Now that you have been preapproved for a loan, find a professional REALTOR® to guide you through the home buying process, from viewing homes in your price range to negotiating an offer and drawing up the paperwork. As a home buyer, the services of a REALTOR® are completely free, so it’s well worth getting the professional advice.
If you have any concerns about viewing homes around your family’s schedule, talking to your kids about moving to a new house, or making sure a new neighbourhood is the right fit for your family, ask your REALTOR® for their advice. Your REALTOR® is there to guide and support you as you take this big step with your family.
When it’s time to move, ask for help
Consider hiring a moving company. Ask family or friends if they can pitch in with organizing or babysitting.
If you’re ready to speak to a REALTOR® about starting your family’s home buying journey in Prince George, BC, call our office at 250-563-1000.