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We’re not quite there yet – but I do have a meeting at the bank to get some info and set some goals.

Anyone out there have some good advice for first time talks with a bank about mortgages; specific questions to ask; things to go in with; etc ? or resources online that they trust (especially Canada specific ones)?

Lemme know in the comments below.


6 responses to “Thinking about a home”

  1. j Avatar

    Great news.
    Having gone through the entire process last year I can offer you whatever is left in my brain.

    We went with a mortgage broker. It is free and they shop around for the best rate. We were able to get a rate almost a full percentage lower than most banks.
    I can steer you in that direction if you want.
    Certain things you will have to think about:
    Mortgage insurance vs Life insurance.
    Amortization period and payment schedule. Some period prefer to pay bi-monthly. You should look into the pro’s and con’s. If you are planning on staying there a while it might be worth it. Others pay monthly (like me) and if you come into a bonus at work or extra cash you can throw that directly onto your mortgage. Some lenders put a cap on the amount that you are allowed to pay back in a year. In other words if you win the lottery they are not going to allow you to pay it off in one shot. The interest is what keeps them fat.
    It can be a big leap. We more than doubled our monthly housing expense (rent vs mortgage). We incorporate our tax payments into our mortgage payment that way we don’t get a massive bill every year. Instead we pay every month and our lendee pays our taxes for us.
    You’ll also have to plan for the notary fees (around $1000-$1500), home inspection ($500) and you pay have to pay out the previous owners for whatever they have paid in taxes.
    Email me all your questions. I’ll be glad to help

  2. Rick Avatar

    Bud welcome to ownership
    Contact me via iChat or e-mail I have a PILE of info.
    I will tell you this – the Bank will give you what you pay now in rent.
    That should give you 160,000 to 170,000 you should have a pile saved to put down.
    Rather than dealing with a bank – I know a few Mortage brokers – they’ll save you 1% on the going rate. Besides mine was HUGELY helpful. (and from your home town)
    Plan on a few G for: notary, Tax, and a few more thing that come in.
    If you use a real estate agent – be sure they are TOUGH and RUTHLESS. Mine was useless. The other agent later told me (over a few drinks) that I could have saved 3000-5000 on the price I payed.

  3. Anile Avatar

    Hey Stevey! This is very exciting – very cool news!! We just moved into our new place and we have tons of info to share too.

    I agree with Rick – get an agent who has strong negotiating skills and who knows the value of the properties you’re looking at, when you’re ready I can refer ours if you like. There isn’t too much to lose with hiring an agent to buy a property, it won’t cost you, and if he/she is good they can explain all kinds of stuff. Don’t wait on them to show you properties though, get busy on MLS and tell them what you want to see.

    Get to know your list of what’s important to you – everybody’s different, you need to train your eye for what kind of properties to visit so you don’t waste your time. # of bedrooms, bathrooms, size of kitchen, living room, storage, backyard/no yard, parking, etc….

    Prepare yourself for extra costs. Not only inspection, notary, municipal taxes, school taxes, insurances, but also the bloody Bienvenue tax (which you get slapped with a few months AFTER you buy the place, so keep some money aside), moving costs, and minor/possibly major reno costs.

    Depending on what you buy (house vs apartment), you may not have the advantage of going with a mortgage broker – we bought a co-prop, which means you get assigned a bank, but on the good side we pay really low taxes.

    As for bank questions, you’ll probably want to do a bit of research before you head in about the difference between variable rates and fixed (closed) rates, and check online for charts that compare monthly payments with bimonthly payments… you can knock years off your mortgage. The rest is pretty much on your end to get your stuff all healthy-like – the usual stuff, pay your bills on time, only have about 20-30% owing on your credit card, don’t have too many big outstanding debts such as a car or student loans if possible.

    Don’t forget since this is your first place you can cash in your RRSPs (up to 20 G per person) which is kick-ass, you have 15 years to pay them back. So if you’re planning to buy next year, give your RRSPs a nice dose of lovin’ this year, it’s a tax-free loan!

    Feel free to get in touch if you have questions! Good luck!

  4. Steve Avatar

    Thanks guys !! So much to soak in.

    Linda and I will be reading over every word you wrote carefully tomorrow night.

  5. Rick Avatar

    Oh – one more thing to “coax” you into action.
    We payed just under 200G for our place 3yrs and 7 months ago
    Now according to this site:
    Our value has gone up nearly 50Gs – so do the math.
    In the end you are living for free.
    That said be prepared to MLS like 2hr a day for a few months – and to visit PILES of places. Some you will wonder what the seller is thinking, other you’ll wish you had the extra 20Gs.

  6. Ed Fladung Avatar

    dude. i totally have advice for you. hit me up when ever you’d like and i’ll walk you through my experience.