You’ve decided to buy your very first home in 2017. You’re about to start looking for houses on the market. Let’s review your decision to ensure that you’re in fact ready for this step. Continue reading
5 tips for making a dent in your debt.
According to a BMO 2015 home-buying report, the average Canadian expects to pay off their mortgage by age 59 — but 31 per cent think they’ll still have a mortgage by their 65th birthday. Looking to ditch your debt quicker — without over-extending your budget? It may save you hundreds (if not thousands) in the long run.
The biggest benefit is saving money on interest charges. The longer it takes to pay down your mortgage, the more you’ll pay in interest. The BMO report found that, on average, Canadians believe they’ll pay approximately $60,000 in interest on their mortgage (and this number hits $100,000 for B.C. residents).
First-time homebuyer tip: Curious how mortgage payments work? It’s all about the amount of money you’re borrowing and the length of the loan. Based on these factors, your lender will calculate your payment schedule. Some of your payment will go toward interest (the amount paid on the amount you borrowed), and some will go toward your principal (the amount initially borrowed under the mortgage). You may pay more toward interest than principal in the first few years of your loan, and more toward principal in the later years. Calculate your potential payment schedule with our nifty mortgage calculator.
Spring is on our doorstep. For many of you, it’s the final race to buy that first home. In fact, why not make your last-minute rush a little less stressful by calling a real estate broker. It comes with a long list of advantages. Here are the major ones.
If time is of the essence, the real estate broker will be more than welcome. Not only will the real estate professional deal with the bulk of the work, but he or she will also work at a fast pace without skipping any steps.
First buyers usually have two common concerns: a possible budget overrun and buying a home with latent defects, which would implicate unforeseen renovation work and maybe even legal complications. Again, the real estate broker is there to assist first buyers and give them the proper advice to minimize those risks.
The real estate broker also helps first buyers to better manage their stress and avoid a ton of pitfalls, such as hasty decisions causing devastating consequences, poor knowledge of the laws and regulations or a lack of communication with the coveted house’s current owner. Continue reading
Review this checklist so the home you buy doesn’t break the bank.
Consider these 8 home-related expenses:
- Home inspection fee: Before closing, it’s customary for the buyer to hire a home inspector to confirm the home meets building standards and is “up to code” for that city. The inspection cost is based on the size and complexity of the home’s systems, but on average the fee should be between $375 and $500, according to our BMO Home Buyer’s Guide. You are responsible for paying this to the inspector. It’s a good idea to make your offer conditional, based on a successful home inspection. Sure, the house might look beautiful, but your inspector may detect structural or other problems that you can then negotiate with the seller to either fix or deduct the repair cost from the agreed-upon price.
- Appraisal fee: Your mortgage lender will require an appraisal (for example, the current market value of the home) before they’ll finalize your loan. Appraisals generally cost between $250 and $500, according to the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), and you may have the option to roll it into your closing costs.
- Utility bills: Unlike renters — who may have utilities built into their monthly rent payment — homeowners are responsible for all bills, such as water, gas, electric, home phone, cable and Internet. And this can add up faster than you may think. For example, keeping a home warm in the winter and cool in the summer can be pricey, depending on where you live. In fact, heating accounts for a significant part of the total expenses of Canadian households, according to Statistics Canada. Its Survey of Household Spending found Canadians spend an average of $1,895 on electricity, natural gas and other heating and cooking fuel a year. Need help planning? Use Natural Resources Canada’s home energy calculator to estimate how alternative energy sources and energy system replacements could potentially affect your energy bills.
It happens to a lot of us. A death, change jobs, fall in love, financial problems coming or, on the contrary, the sudden desire to make money fast. In other words, there are a lot of reasons for finding yourself at a crossroads where you have to decide if you want to sell your house or rent it.
Renting comes with a whole new set of responsibilities: finding good tenants, making sure that the house is in order, responding to emergencies, assimilating the new tax calculations. It’s not for everyone.
Selling is much easier, but may not pay as much in the long term. Much less. And if you’re nearing retirement, you have to take the time to think about it, because people are living much longer today. You need more money if you want to maintain an enjoyable lifestyle. Continue reading