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Mortgage Questions to Ask Before Buying

Here are the Top Mortgage Questions to Ask Before Buying. When buying a home, particularly if you’re a first-time buyer, the home mortgage process can seem daunting. There are many things to consider, and if you haven’t got previous experience, it could get confusing.

We help you answer some of the most common mortgage questions.

How Much Down Payment Will You Need?

House hunting? You no longer need 20% down to be eligible for a mortgage loan, because you can get approved with just 5%. It’s still wise to save money though — putting a bigger amount as your initial payment might lead to lower interest rates and fewer fees. Not sure if you should break into those RSPs? Talk it through with your tax advisor first!

Do I Need Good Credit to Get a Mortgage?

Are you in the market for a mortgage but concerned your credit score might not be up to snuff? Don’t worry! Even if it isn’t as high as you’d like, there are still loan options available. However, if your number is above 620, then you’re likely looking at better terms with lower interest rates – which can easily save tons of money over the life of the loan. Before applying though, take time to increase that credit score so even more doors open and an array of great opportunities become accessible. Be careful by avoiding missed payments or consolidating debt – both could cause those scores to dip unexpectedly! A key ingredient of Mortgage Questions to Ask Before Buying.

How Much Will Closing Costs Be?

Closing costs can add quite a bit to your home purchase price — think between 1.5 and 2% of the total cost! Though it’s important for buyers to remember that this expense has be accounted for, typically paid on closing day via bank transfer or cashier’s check. Factor in these extra fees when budgeting as you begin your house-hunting journey so they don’t catch you by surprise at the end!

Is a Mortgage Preapproval and a Prequalification the Same Thing?

Thinking of buying a home? It’s important to know the difference between mortgage prequalification and preapproval. A basic review of your finances is what you’ll get with ‘prequalifying’. Think it as just scratching the surface – this doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be granted a loan, so don’t take off on house-hunting yet! Getting an actual ‘preapproval’ offers greater assurance; giving lenders detailed insight into how much they can lend out while indicating that yours is no casual inquiry. Unfortunately, even if everything looks good initially, unforeseeable changes during application processing could result in denial later down the line – so prepare yourself accordingly!

How Long Does it Take to Get a Mortgage?

It’s not uncommon for the mortgage application process to take a few days, though sometimes it can stretch out longer. Anything from high demand or additional paperwork could be putting an extra delay on your approval – so don’t forget to dot all those ‘i’s and cross all those ‘t’s!

Do I Need an Appraisal?

When you invest in a new home, it’s important to have the property appraised. After all, purchasing real estate is much different than buying other items–you need an accurate estimate of its true value! A professional appraisal will look at size and special features that affect valuation. Also, considering comparable sales prices from similar homes nearby. With an appraisal done right, you can rest easy knowing your purchase was worth every penny.

What Information Does the Lender Require?

Before you’re ready to take out a loan, we’ll need some financial info from you. We’ve got our eye on your earnings and debt – pay stubs, tax returns and credit history are all up for review. Plus, any funds that may be available as part of the down payment process. Get those documents together so you can get closer to making your dream purchase.

Final Thoughts

Buying a home can be an intimidating process and that’s why it pays to do your homework! Having all your ducks in a row will really pay off – from having enough saved for the downpayment, ensuring you maintain good credit score, or making sure any questions about real estate are answered. Take care of these important steps now so when it comes time to make what might seem like one of life’s biggest decisions—you’ll have plenty more confidence than if remained unprepared. A great summary of Mortgage Questions to Ask Before Buying.

picture of home in early evening. Good lighting and landscaping

Easy Curb Appeal Improvements

Are you trying to increase the value of your home? Here are some easy curb appeal improvements to consider. These days, most potential buyers are doing their initial search online and photos of a house’s exterior need to look great if they want it to make an impression. Want to know how you can get the highest return on your investment with minimal effort? These are 5 easy curb appeal tips that will give any front yard an instant boost! Just by adding simple elements like landscaping and updated paint colors, you can create a more attractive appearance for your property in no time at all.
1. Power wash your walkway, driveway, and siding:
A power washing is an easy, inexpensive way to improve the look of your home’s exterior. It will get rid of dirt, mold, and mildew that has built up over time. Power washing can also help remove any fading paint or stains on your walkways and driveways. Be sure to use a pressure washer with enough power for the job so you don’t damage the surfaces of your home or other hardscaping. An easy way to improve the exterior of your home.
2. Add colorful plants:
Furthermore, adding some potted plants or flower beds around the perimeter of your home can make a big difference to the curb appeal. Choose drought-resistant varieties like succulents and cacti that require little maintenance yet still add bright, cheerful color and texture to your outdoor space. Look for native plants that are adapted to your area’s climate for best results with minimal effort on your part. A very easy curb appeals improvements
3. Invest in outdoor lighting:
Equally important is good outdoor lighting can totally transform the look of your home after dark. Strategically placed landscape lighting fixtures can make a dramatic difference in making sure pedestrians and visitors alike know where to go on their way up to the front door. Solar-powered lights are a great energy-saving option that requires no wiring or additional energy bills!
4. Paint accent walls:
If you want something more permanent than pottery but don’t want to commit to painting all of your walls, consider painting an accent wall instead! Choose a bold color like cobalt blue or emerald green if you’re feeling daring – it’ll give passersby something unexpected when they come across your house from down the street!
5. Upgrade door hardware:
Finally, a quick swap out of doorknobs and handles is a relatively low-cost way to instantly boost curb appeal without breaking the bank. Plus it’s one of those small details that can really tie together all of the other efforts in making improvements outside of your home! Consider investing in high quality weatherproof materials like stainless steel for lasting quality. This will ensure that these components last much longer than their cheaper counterparts without corroding over time due to exposure outdoors!
Furthermore, by following these curb appeal tips, you are on your way to upping your home’s value and making it more attractive. Whether you plan on selling soon or not, taking the time for some simple curb appeal updates can go a long way! Lastly, if you’re looking to do a home improvement on a bigger scale and need to increase your mortgage, call today
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Tips For Millennial Buyers

Tips For Millennial Buyers

Are you a millennial buyers looking to purchase your first home but don’t know where or how to start? Are you feeling overwhelmed with the complexities of financing and maintaining a new property? Don’t worry, because we have put together some easy-to-follow tips for millennial homebuyers that will make transitioning from renting to owning a much smoother process. Homeownership can provide immense satisfaction and financial stability — so why wait any longer? Read on for our essential advice about Millennial Home Buyer Tips!

Real Estate Values Go Up and Down

Even though there were a few setbacks, young adults shouldn’t count out homeownership yet! The stock market crash of the late 1920s and early 1930s seems like forever ago — but look at how real estate values have boomed over the last five years. Despite naysayers believing millennials will never own homes, that’s definitely not true – so here are some things millennial homebuyers should know to make their dreams come true!

Millennial Buyers Should Have a Long View on Owning a Home

Millennial home buyers: don’t be intimidated by market fluctuations. If you make smart financial decisions and avoid costly mistakes, being a homeowner can mean security for your future – no matter what the current status of the housing industry looks like. So take that long view now to reap some serious rewards in years to come. A great tips for Millennial home buyers.

Millennials Buying Homes Should Be Saving For A Down Payment

Millennials, it’s time to get serious about buying your first home! Most of us understand the importance of this milestone purchase and likely need financing from mortgages. To make sure you’re establishing a successful long-term investment, save up for at least 20% down payment money if possible – that way you can enjoy no private mortgage insurance costs. If saving up is proving harder than expected though, don’t despair: many young adults find family gifts help with building their down payments funds faster!

Work on Your Credit Score

For millennials who are preparing to buy a home, improving your credit score should be top of mind. A great credit score can give you access to the best mortgage interest rates, so it pays off in the long run! Plus, having an impressive number on that report gets you closer and closer to realizing your homeownership dreams.

Go With The Right Mortgage Program

As a young adult homebuyer, you have plenty of loan options available – but your down payment can play an important role in determining which one suits you best. A great option to consider is the CMHC Loan: perfect for buyers with lower funds up front as it requires only 5% down! The process may seem intimidating at first – but understanding how mortgages work shouldn’t be something that holds back eager young homeowners like us looking to make their dreams come true!

Pick a Realtor You Can Trust

Choosing a reliable agent is the most important decision you will make when buying your first home. After all, they’ll be responsible for getting you through this unfamiliar territory – so it’s crucial that their information and advice can be trusted! Don’t just settle on any old Realtor; shop around and conduct interviews to ensure whoever represents you meets your standards. Perhaps look into recommendations from friends or family? Or maybe even do some digging online? However way you go about selecting someone, remember to ask plenty of questions – researching potential agents properly could mean the difference between finding yourself in an ideal property…and not!

Millennial Home Buyers Need to Be Patient

Making the decision to purchase a home is full of courage. However, one key tip for young adult buyers not to forget about in this process: take your time! Properly researching and knowing what’s out there can really give you an edge when it comes down to signing on that dotted linelet’s face it, if something doesn’t feel quite right with the final agreement then why commit? At least until you find exactly what works best for your circumstances. So go ahead and explore all available houses; get those offers ready, start negotiations… Concluding only if everything checks off so don’t be afraid to trust yourself throughout this journey!

Additional Helpful Articles For Tips for Millennial Home Buyers

If you’re ready to purchase a dream home, don’t go it alone! There are tons of resources that can help ensure your experience is stress-free and successful. Tap into the wisdom of experienced real estate agents for timeless advice before diving in. By arming yourself with additional information about what lies ahead, you’ll be well on your way to making an informed decision and who knows? You might just snag exactly what you had in mind from day one – all without skipping any steps along the way! Good luck out there…you’ve got this. 🙂

row of 5 small monopoly sized red houses

Best Mortgage Renewal Strategy

DO you have the BEST mortgage renewal strategy ready for 2023? Interest rates are on the rise, and if your mortgage is due for renewal this year you might be feeling a little anxious. Five years ago when interest rates were near their lowest point ever, those with $500k mortgages could lock in an awesome rate of 3% – meaning monthly payments as low as $2366. If that doesn’t sound like it was all that long ago…that’s because it wasn’t! Suddenly we’re here today facing potentially higher costs at renewal time – no one likes to shell out more money than expected so use these numbers to arm yourself against sticker shock come 2023!

What is the Best Mortgage Renewal Rate Strategy for 2023?

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by high mortgage payments, it might be worth considering extending your amortization. While this may sound daunting at first, lenders usually offer the option to reduce your amortization in later years. For example stretching a 20-year payment plan out over 30 years could cut $125 off monthly costs for every $100K borrowed! The numbers don’t lie so working with a mortgage calculator to confirm numbers is always a good idea

To keep budgeting manageable, why not consider extending the amortization? That’ll help to lower monthly payments. When rates drop down in future you can always refinance or make lump sum payments with available cash.

Should I Lock in from Variable to Fixed?

Thinking of making the switch from a variable to fixed rate mortgage? Good call – currently, fixed rates can be up to 1% lower than their variable counterpart. Plus, if market conditions keep heating up and cause variables rates to go higher like expected, that difference could grow larger! On top of this it’s s key strategy when considering shorter fixed terms.  Don’t get locked into historically high interest for longer stretches. Ultimately though ,which option is best comes down how comfortable you are with uncertainty. Call us today to review your options today!

Thinking of switching to a fixed-rate mortgage? In January 2023, the Bank of Canada is likely increasing rates again. Don’t miss out on your chance for some solid savings and peace of mind with your mortgage renewing in 2023.

Careful with your HELOC

Tap into your home equity but take heed – higher interest rates paired with drops in property values can cause major headaches if you’re not careful. One wrong step and you may find yourself underwater, owing more than the house is worth!

Is a 5 Year Fixed Rate a Good Idea? Time to Review

When it comes to mortgages, people tend to stick with the bank they’ve always known. Sure, there’s comfort in that but what you may not know is banks often fail to offer competitive interest rates at renewal. As a mortgage broker I could save clients tens or even hundreds of thousands on their loans.  All while you keep all day-to-day banking services exactly as they are! Banking might be big business but at the end of the day your money should stay where? Traditionally in Canada, borrowers take a simple five year fixed rate and set it and forget it. With rates at decade highs that isn’t likely to be the best strategy that will save you over the long run.

It’s time to plan ahead for your mortgage renewal—don’t get left behind! You might have a great rate from 2020-2022, but it’s not likely the same will be around at renewal. To stay on top of things, consider setting aside some extra cash for making a lump sum payment or regular additional payments. This way, you won’t find yourself short when your mortgage renewal comes up.

Family hanging pictures in new home

How to Downsize to a Smaller Home

Moving to a smaller home can be an intimidating transition for many, as there are often so many questions that come up. Are you ready to give up on the extra space you once had? How will moving from a larger house to a smaller one affect your lifestyle and day-to-day living? All these questions – plus the process of actually downsizing – can be rather overwhelming. Fortunately, the key to navigating this shift is all about understanding what’s involved in buying and making a comfortable home in spaces with fewer square meters than what you may have been used with before. With research and preparation, it’s possible not only achieve but maintain balance between having enough liveable space while still feeling organized. In this blog post, we’ll cover how homeowners looking to downsize their houses can do so without sacrificing comfort or convenience.

Reasons For Downsizing Homes

When it comes to owning a home, smaller isn’t always better. But if you take the time to consider what choosing less might offer, downsizing could prove extremely beneficial—especially with today’s tiny house movement becoming ever more popular! For many of my clients in real estate over the last thirty-seven years alone, opting for something smaller has been about saving money and living without excess space they just don’t need or use; but there are other advantages too. Millennials hoping to make travel plans or retire early may find that downscaling makes sense while those who see retirement on their horizon will appreciate much easier upkeep and management responsibilities compared to larger houses.

Start By Organizing to go Into a Smaller Home

Moving can be a stressful process, but you don’t have to make it even more daunting! Start downsizing your home early – at least several months ahead of the move. Not only will this help keep stress levels low, but taking on each room one-by-one will help with staging once your house is listed for sale. On top of that? Your property could sell faster too! This can be key when considering how to downsize to a smaller home.

Understand The Size of Where You’re Moving Into

Before making the move, it’s important that you understand how much space your new home offers. Doing a quick calculation of square footage will give you all the details about each room and help ensure nothing gets left behind! Knowing which furniture pieces are of use versus those that can be donated or discarded is key in downsizing homes. You may find yourself saying goodbye to some beloved items but remember. If something doesn’t fit its bye-bye for now – maybe things can work out when relocating again down the line?

Organize What You’ll Be Keeping

Get your home ready for the big move with some smart and savvy sprucing! From arranging drawers to shredding papers, proper preparation can help make downsizing a breeze. Make sure you label moving boxes appropriately – this way everything will be easy to find when it’s time. Don’t forget those treasured documents either. Invest in a safe place where all vital records are conveniently located come packing day.

Final Thoughts For Downsizing

It’s no secret that downsizing can be a tough decision, especially when we’re attached to our home. After all the great memories and experiences you’ve had in your home it’s not easy saying goodbye! When you finally get there though, the worry of managing everything decreases. But what do start weighing up if it really is right for us? These tips might just help make that process easier. For more information, contact us today. 

small plant with coins to show savings growing over time.

Affordable Home Upgrades Under $100

Affordable Home Upgrades Under $100. Are you a homeowner looking for an affordable way to upgrade your home? Perhaps, you are in the market for a new house and want to make sure it meets needs while not breaking the bank. Either way, investing in home upgrades can increase your quality of life, boost property value, and even save energy costs over time. The best part is that there are several projects out there which cost less than $100 – making them perfect for households on any budget! We’ll explore home upgrades that will transform your space without taking too much out of pocket cash. Courtesy of Prime Mortgage Works. 

Paint Outdated Cabinets

Spice up your space with a budget-friendly update! Investing in some paint and supplies can be an easy way to bring value to any home. With only $100 and one weekend, you’ll take something old and give it fresh life . This will up its equity for sale or brightening the look if you plan on staying put. Grab that brush or roller, pick out your hues of white or light grey, get ready to work those muscles. Then voila, newly painted cabinets at no extra cost!

Replace Kitchen Hardware

Updating your kitchen hardware can be a cost-effective way to give it an instant transformation. According to Matthew Griffin from At Home Real Estate Consulting, changing out those 2002 gold drawer pulls for something more current like matte black or silver can make all the difference! Want in on this budget upgrade? Check Amazon – you might just find everything you need with 25 stylish handles for around $25! One of many amazing affordable home upgrades under $100.

Add Solar Lights

Are you wanting to give your outdoor areas a little extra pizzazz? Take it from Jason Gelios, top-producing realtor with Community Choice Realty in Southeast Michigan: solar path lights are the way to go! Believe it or not, these high quality lights have become super affordable recently. You can buy 12 stainless steel LED light fixtures for under $50 on Amazon. Why not jazz up your backyard walkways and porches today?!

Change Out a Main Light Fixture or Two

Changing up your light fixtures is an easy way to spruce up the look of your home! According to Mike Stewart, entrepreneur and realtor with his own Professional Real Estate Corporation, buyers love new features that match their style. They’re drawn into it visually – so why not switch those old-fashioned lights out for something a bit more modern? Whether you shop online or hit up local stores in search of discounted deals LIGHTING UP YOUR HOME can be super simple & affordable too!

room in house needing renovation

Purchasing Fixer Uppers

Experienced buyers who value their investments know that purchasing fixer uppers can be excellent sources for substantial savings. These properties make it possible to obtain high quality homes at discounted prices, thus affording homeowners an opportunity to increase equity with budgeted improvements and repairs. Taking on a challenge is sometimes necessary in order to build or renovate one’s dream home. There are also those looking for monetary gain through fixing up houses before reselling quickly at market rates. Whatever the motivation behind investing in a property needing some attention may be, savvy purchasers understand how beneficial such purchases can truly be!

Purchasing Fixer Uppers – Basic Finances

Purchasing Fixer uppers can be a great financial investment, but buyers should proceed with extreme caution. It’s essential to understand the potential worth of your purchase after all work is done. An experienced real estate agent will provide invaluable guidance here in determining what that value may look like for you. Armed with this knowledge and a thorough review of both costs related to repairs and renovations as well as asking price. You’ll know whether or not such a deal presents itself before taking on the project at hand.

Consider the Scope

Restoring a fixer-upper home can be an arduous task, taking several weeks to complete. It’s essential that you accurately assess what needs to be done before commencing. No one likes getting in over their head financially or physically, so make sure the property is structurally sound first. If unsure of your own skillset for this kind of assessment contact professionals who understand such projects. Dedicated businesses offering these services exist specifically for those wanting reliable advice on refurbishing rundown properties.

Special Fixer-Upper Considerations

Before making a final decision on the prospective property, it’s important to evaluate its location and potential for appreciation. Even if significant repairs are needed in an area of steadily increasing real estate values, homeownership may yet be a lucrative endeavor – just bear in mind that unexpected problems can sometimes arise during renovations no matter how small or large-scale they would happen to be.

In Summary – Parting Fixer Upper Information

Purchasing a fixer-upper can be an exciting yet daunting decision. Before taking the plunge, it’s essential to weigh all of your options and understand what you’re getting into. Don’t forget to get advice from professionals! On top of that, if done correctly there are few things as satisfying as finding the perfect property. Not only do you have equity in something which might otherwise never exist for yourself but also pride at having put together such a project. So why wait? With guidance start searching today – your own dream residence awaits!

rate graph on iphone and laptop

2023 Mortgage Rate Predictions

In 2022, the prime rate saw an astounding 163% increase in mere ten months. As a result, this set a record that is unlike any other. This sharp incline left financial lenders and borrowers alike wondering: how long will rates stay at their peak? Looking to history for answers reveals one thing – it’s not too long before we see rates lower again.

With borrowing costs key to the Canadian economy, swift action had to be taken to address a ballooning inflation. Consumers and businesses react swiftly with cautionary behaviour when rates spike rapidly. As a result, we face an unprecedented situation in which expected levels of interest may remain elevated for much longer. Possibly longer than their traditional 4 month lifespan. Doing so could trigger economic uncertainty. This is why quick turnaround intervention is required more urgently now than ever before.

2023 Mortgage Rate Predictions

The current economic landscape does not yield a clear-cut path for future interest rate changes. Although historically it is improbable to see the prime rate stay at its high longer than nine to fourteen months, there are numerous factors which may influence this trend including oil prices, wage gains and COVID risk among others. Meanwhile market speculation has placed an expectation of one more Bank of Canada hike before rates peak with the potential for a first cut in December. Now remains the time where we must exercise our best judgement as inflationary pressures take hold amidst variable external forces on all sides.

Although the BoC Governor‘s words may suggest different, it is highly unlikely that mortgage rates and other borrowing costs will stay high into 2024. Economic trends have been showing more promising signs than expected by the Bank of Canada lately. This alone will provide a ray of hope for borrowers waiting to enjoy lower lending costs in future months. Call us to discuss.