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First-Time Homebuyer Mistakes

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To ensure a smooth and successful experience, there are a few common first-time homebuyer mistakes to avoid:

1. Not Using a Real Estate Agent

While you might be able to house hunt on your own, there are many aspects of buying real estate that can be confusing to first-time shoppers. A real estate agent provides an essential service that you can rely on for negotiating offers, organizing inspections and other details. A good realtors experience is valuable and can help guide you through the process. In addition, whatever money you might save on commissions could easily be spent on a botched offer or overlooked repairs that could be avoided with the help of an agent.

2. Not Using the RIGHT Real Estate Agent

Not using a real estate agent has its issues, but so cannot using the RIGHT real estate agent. You don’t want to be halfway through your home search and then realize your real estate agent isn’t right for you. To avoid this, it helps to get a referral from a friend. If you don’t have any friends who recently purchased, take the time to ask around. Mortgage professionals are great resources to help you build your entire home buying A-Team! Also be sure to speak with your potential choices before you commit.

3. Getting Swept Away

While love at first sight is a good thing, it is always best to err on the side of caution when purchasing a new home. As one of the largest purchases of your life, it is ideal to keep an open mind when house hunting to ensure you are not jumping in too fast, going over budget or ignoring potential pitfalls.

4. Going Over Budget

When it comes to house hunting, budget is everything! As much as you might love the idea of that extra bedroom or a popular neighborhood, it is in the best interest of your future not to go over your predetermined budget. You don’t want to sacrifice your retirement savings or emergency fund and overextending yourself could put your investments – including your home – on the line. Click here to download the My Mortgage Toolbox app (or find it on Google Play and the iStore) today to help you plan your mortgage! From determining your affordability, mortgage payments, income required to qualify and more, our app has it all!

5. Fixating on Lowest Interest Rate

While a low interest rate has its perks and can be important, it should not come at the expense of heavy penalties or restrictions. When it comes to a mortgage everything from terms to penalty calculations to interest rates matter. Ideally, you want to choose a mortgage product that has the best overall contract to serve your needs – now and in the future. To ensure you are making the best decision, talk to a Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professional about all your options today.

6. Opting Out of Mortgage Insurance

Buying your first home is easily one of the largest investments you will ever make. Mortgage insurance can help you protect it. Not only does it provide you with peace of mind and coverage should anything happen, but mortgage insurance can also allow for more flexible financing options. In addition, it gives you the opportunity to take advantage of available equity to pay debts or make financial investments.

7. Not Researching the Neighborhood

The house of your dreams can only go so far if it is in the wrong neighborhood. Annoying neighbors or a nearby industrial zone can ruin that perfect home. Before committing, it is a good idea to get to know the area and the neighborhood before you make an offer. Talk to local business owners and residents to determine if there are any red flags you should know about.

8. Not Researching Your Lawyer or Notary

At the beginning we talk about not using the RIGHT real estate agent and mortgage professional. However, it is important to ensure that you are putting that same energy into finding the right lawyer or notary as well. Same as with finding a real estate agent, your best referral sources for a lawyer will be friends and business associates. Your DLC mortgage professional may also have some references or suggestions if you are not sure where to start.

9. Choosing a Fixer-Upper Based on List Price

A fixer-upper can be a great project – and of course a low price is appealing – but it is important to be extra diligent during inspections and considerations for these types of homes. On the surface, it might look simple enough to get the home up to code and give it a fresh new look but once you get started, it could be a bigger project than you anticipated. Negotiating a long due-diligence period can be a great option to provide you time to get estimates from contractors in case you need to back out.

10. Immediately Starting Renovations

Renovations can be fun and can often increase the value of your home, but there is no need to rush into them. In many cases, overextending your credit to get upgrades done quickly doesn’t always pay off. Before doing renovations, take time to ensure that you have a solid plan and understand the financial expectations so you can complete and enjoy your renovations without future stress! Living in your home for a while before renovating will also help you plan the best functional changes to the layout. If you are new to homeownership, don’t worry! Our Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professionals can help walk you through every step of the process and provide helpful insights and potential referrals to help you build your home buying team.

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Real Estate

A Pre-Approval Does Not Guarantee a Mortgage Approval

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You’ve gone through all the steps, jumped through all the hoops to start living your dream life in a new house. However, before you get too excited about your mortgage pre-approval, be warned that for Canadians, this doesn’t always guarantee a mortgage approval. Here’s how you can easily ensure that you get the property you desire.

Why is Mortgage Not Ensured from the Pre-Approval?

A pre-approval is still an important step to take to eventually lay the ground for a mortgage. It tells the seller of the house that you’re serious and ready to buy. While this step can be infinitely helpful in getting a mortgage, it’s not guaranteed.

The lender doesn’t yet know the property that you’re interested in. Depending on the cost of your future property, the pre-approval may not allow you to open a mortgage for houses above your means.

Pre-approval lets the seller know that your credit is worthy of buying a house, but will not necessarily qualify the buyer for every property out there.

How Can you Ensure you Obtain the House you Want?

Along with the assurance of a pre-approval, you can also take a few steps to ensure a future mortgage.

  1. Have a Great Credit Score. Credit scores show the lender how trustworthy you are with paying back a big purchase. In Canada, credit scores run from 300 to 900. A score of 660 or higher is ideal for getting approved for a mortgage. With a better credit score, you’ll be offered the lowest mortgage rates, which is great for your wallet.
  2. Supply a Larger Down Payment. In Canada, a down payment of less than 20% will require you to get mortgage default loan insurance. Bypass this step by saving up a larger down payment to go in with.
  3. Pay off Debt. A mortgage is not an easy weight to take on. Long-term debt in your name is created when you open up a mortgage. Make sure that your pre-existing debt is paid off before jumping into a new debt payment. This will also be more credible to the banks prospective.
  4. Test out Scenarios. Use a mortgage calculator to see what price range of houses are affordable with your current financial situation. A mortgage calculator will estimate the total monthly payment, including real estate taxes and homeowner’s insurance, that is required for purchasing a home. The calculator will save scenarios to pull up later in order to adjust the calculations to new situational changes. Comparisons of multiple circumstances or housing prices are easily obtained to clearly see what aspects of the purchase process are of importance. In addition, with this Canadian mortgage calculator, a schedule of payments can be printed to show how much the balance due is reduced each month.

What Was the Inspiration?

The perfect house is out there waiting for you to move into! However, be sure to do more than just getting a simple pre-approval. While this pre-approval is helpful in a home search, it’s by no means a guarantee to a mortgage. Keep all these tips in mind while searching for your new residence and stay realistic in what amount of debt you want to take on.

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Real Estate

This Ontario Manor Has More Rooms Than You Could Use & Costs Under $1 Million (PHOTOS)

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It turns out that some Ontario family homes are basically mini-mansions.

This Ontario house for sale comes with more rooms than you’ll ever probably need, and it will cost you less than a small Toronto home would.

The house is in Milverton, Ontario, which is a short drive away from Kitchener.

The listing was built in 1910 and has a ton of rooms, plus it sits on over an acre of land.

There are 12 rooms in all, but that doesn’t include the attic and fully renovated garage.

With that much space comes some pretty unique features, like this amazing vintage safe that’s hidden away in the house.

The house’s turret also lends itself to some unique interior room shapes as well.

There are five bedrooms, which will come in handy when you can have friends and family stay at your place again.

Outside of the house, the barn/garage comes with its own spacious interior.

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Real Estate

8 Of The Cheapest Homes You Can Get Around Ottawa (PHOTOS)

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Not all houses in the National Capital Region come with an enormous price tag. Luckily, there are still some affordable homes for sale around Ottawa if you’re on a tight budget.

The average price of a home in Ottawa is $591,413, according to Zoocasa. But if you’re willing to look outside of the city, you can find much cheaper options.

Here are eight incredible places to live that will make you eager to pack up your stuff and move, including one home with a pool.

Five-Bedroom Home

Price: $299,900

Address: 981 Dianne Ave., Rockland, ON

Description: If you crave a separate space for your home office, this five-bedroom home with a garage has tons of room.

Constance Lake Retreat

Price: $260,000

Address: 168 Constance Lake Rd., Ottawa, ON

Description: While living here, you can enjoy swimming in the pool and the picturesque lake view.

Two-Bedroom Duplex

Price: $259,900

Address: 138 Rue Archambault, Gatineau, QC

Description: This duplex has so much potential and is only a short drive from restaurants and stores.

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