Logically, the first step to finding the right home is to determine what you’re actually looking for. There are a lot of homes on the market at any one time, and looking at them all is not the best way to spend your time.
To make your home search more efficient, ask yourself these three focus questions:
1. Where do I want to live?
This is your first decision. What neighbourhoods do you want to consider? Do you prefer to be South or North of Whistler Village. Or if you are looking in Pemberton, do you want to be in walking distance of town centre, or would you prefer to up the Pemberton Meadows? Is it important to be close to work or a certain school?
2. What type of home do I want?
What style of home is best for you? It could be a single family home, a townhome, a condo, or maybe you want to build a home on a vacant piece of land?
3. What are my must-haves and deal-breakers?
What are the most important features for you in a home? A rental suite? A garage? A pool or a fireplace? How many bathrooms? Bedrooms? Do you have family members with special needs? What do you absolutely not want in a home?
GET PRE-APPROVED FOR A MORTGAGE
When it comes to buying a home, getting pre-approved for a mortgage is a very important step. Not only does it help you understand exactly how much you can afford to spend on a home, but it often allows you to lock in an interest rate for a period of time which could potentially save you thousands of dollars for years to come.
Here are 4 simple steps to a mortgage pre-approval:
1. Talk to a mortgage specialist
Whether it’s your bank mortgage specialist or an independent mortgage broker — talk to someone with expertise who can help you compare rates and terms as there are hundreds of options to choose from.
2. Complete an application to find out how much you qualify for
There are many factors that go into determining your eligibility for a mortgage. Two of the primary practices are calculating your GDS (Gross Debt Service) and TDS (Total Debt Service) ratios. These factors determine how much you can comfortably afford to spend based on your down payment, income and other financial obligations.
3. Gather your financial information to finalize pre-approval
Your bank or mortgage professional will require documentation to support your application such as income and down payment verification to finalize the pre-approval process.
4. Get a copy of your pre-approval
This is a powerful negotiating tool. It’s extremely frustrating for sellers to lose a sale because of financing. A pre-approved buyer means sellers have one less thing to worry about. Even though many offers are conditional on financing, the seller of your dream home will see you as a more attractive buyer when they know you are pre-approved.