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First Time Home buyers Guide

First Time Home buyers guide in 10 easy steps


Buying your first home is exciting, but it can also be overwhelming. These steps have been designed to help alleviate some of the stresses experienced by many first time home buyers. Use the guide to get a clear direction of the entire buying process.


Step 1 – Get Pre-Approved

Knowing how much you can afford to spend is an important first step. A pre‐approved mortgage allows you to lock into an interest rate for 120 days and provides you and your real estate agent with the parameters of what you can afford. This is especially important for first time home buyers, it give you the information up from as to how much you can qualify for , the rate that you will get and the documents that are required by the lender. Deciding how much to spend on a down payment will determine whether or not you will require mortgage insurance. Some mortgage programs require as little as 5% down, however anything less than 20% down payment requires the purchase of default mortgage insurance. In either case, your down payment can be gifted from a family member, personally accumulated, or a combination of both.


Step 2 – Find a Realtor

Finding the right real estate agent is an important part of buying your first home. Realtors have access to MLS listings and can directly negotiate with sellers on your behalf. Rate House can help match you with a pre‐screened real estate agent who will provide you with 15% of his/her net commission once you’ve successfully purchased your home.


Step 3 ‐ Make an Offer

When you find your perfect property, make an offer with conditions that fit your own specific needs. Subjects and conditions on a contract usually take 5 to 7 days for removal and only then is the contract binding. Once your offer is accepted, contact the mortgage broker who provided your pre‐approval. He/she will require a copy of the contract of purchase and sale, as well as a feature sheet. The broker will then request formal approval from the lender along with any conditions.


Step 4‐ Meet the Conditions

Mortgage lenders will have a number of conditions that need to be met before your mortgage can be approved. Be prepared to provide a letter of employment, a recent pay stub, and your personal Notice of Assessment. Additionally, bank statements including your name, account number and 90 day transactions history will also be required. If you plan to use gifted money for a down payment, the funds must already be in your bank account and you should have a formal letter signed by the giftor.

Step 5 ‐ Get Approved

Once your mortgage broker informs you, in writing, that you’ve been approved, remove your financing subjects. Once all your subjects are removed, you will be asked to provide a non-refundable deposit. At this point you should be completely committed to making the purchase so as to avoid any negative financial consequences. RateHouse recommends completing a home inspection and can provide a no obligation quote from a reputable service partner. There may be some financial inattentive from provincial or federal governments  for first time home buyers, be sure to check them out.


Step 6 ‐ Stay Safe

Fire insurance is mandatory for all single‐family homes. Condos, apartments, and townhouses rely on building management to have insurance policies in place. Home, content, and mortgage insurance are all highly recommended for new home owners, regardless of home variety. RateHouse can provide a no obligation quote for each of these coverages from reputable service partners.


Step 7 ‐ Make it Legal

A real estate lawyer can help with all the details of finalizing  and registering your home purchase. He/she will receive mortgage instructions from the lender, a contract from the real estate agent, and insurance documents from the insurer. Registration, payments and searches will all be completed on your behalf. You will need to provide your lawyer with a void check and 2 pieces of ID, as well as the balance of your down payment and any additional closing costs.  Your lawyer will also help to apply form any grants or first time home buyers tax credit.Mortgage costs can be easily checked using a mortgage payment calculator such as the one provided here by Rate House. Rate House can also recommend professional lawyers and notaries who specialize in real estate.


Step 8 ‐ Move In

Make your move easier and book with one of RateHouse’s approved moving companies. They offer free no obligation quotes and will handle your belongings with care. Check out RateHouse’s moving check list to get organized for your next move.


Step 9 ‐ Make it Personal

Put those finishing touches on your new home by getting creative. Services like landscaping, renovations, and painting can all make your new property feel more like home. Rate House can provide a trusted list of professionals ready to help transform your new surroundings.


Step 10 ‐ Enjoy It

Becoming a first time home buyer is a huge achievement and you should feel a sense of accomplishment. Welcome home!


Rate House has helped Canadians across the country buy their first home. Get in touch and see how much easier it can be with access to the right information, hassle‐free. We’re sure this first time home buyers guide will help you with your search for a new home.

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