Why use a Kelowna Mortgage Professional
There are hundreds of products available to consumers. Let me do the shopping for you. I can often get you a better rate than you at your own bank. Best of all (except in the most challenging of circumstances), my services are free to the client.
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Budgeting is a core ingredient that helps alleviate the stress associated with money issues that can sometimes arise if you purchase a home without knowing all of the associated costs – including down payment, closing expenses, ongoing maintenance, taxes and utilities.
The trouble is, many first-time homeowners fail to carefully think about their finances, plan a budget or set savings aside. And in this society of instant gratification, money problems can quickly escalate.
The key is to create a realistic budget based on your goals. Track your spending and make your dollars go further by sticking to your budget once it’s in place. Budgeting offers a step-by-step formula for figuring out how to best save your hard-earned money to invest in homeownership.
Start by listing your household income, then your household expenses, and review your spending habits. All of this can be done on a pad of paper or on a computer spreadsheet.
Keeping receipts for everything that you purchase will enable you to accurately keep track of where your money is going each month so that you can review and make necessary changes to your plan on an ongoing basis.
Examine all areas of your life from entertainment to the type of food you buy, where you buy your food and clothes, and how and where you travel. Also look at your spending personality and make necessary adjustments. Are you a saver, a splurger, a spontaneous shopper or a hoarder? Become smarter with your money and avoid impulse buying.
If you find you’re spending a lot of money in one area, such as entertainment for instance, set aside a reasonable amount each month and prepare to stop spending money in this area once your budget has been exhausted.
Budgeting provides you with the opportunity to re-evaluate your needs and wants. Do you really need the magazine subscriptions, the gym membership and all the other things you may spend money on each month? Although everyone needs some “me time” to wind down, could you not get that by taking a walk or reading a good book you borrowed from the library?
If you can set your budget solidly in place before you head out home or mortgage shopping, you will be far more prepared to purchase your first home.
Following are three top tips to help you prepare for the purchase of your first home:
1. Set up a savings account. You can deposit a predetermined amount into this account each pay period that you will not touch unless it’s absolutely necessary. This will enable you to put money aside for a down payment and cover closing costs, as well as address ongoing homeownership expenses such as maintenance, taxes and utilities.
2. Save up for big-ticket items. As you accumulate money in your savings account, you will be able to also save for specific purchases to help furnish your home – avoiding the buy now, pay later mentality, which can have a negative impact on your credit when you’re seeking mortgage financing.
3. Surround yourself with a team of professionals. When you’re getting ready to make your first home purchase, enlist my services as a licensed mortgage professional and find a trusted real estate agent. Experts are invaluable to you as you set out on the road to homeownership because we help first-time buyers through the home purchase and financing processes every day.
Experts can answer all of your questions and set your mind at ease. I have access to multiple lenders, and can help you get pre-approved for a mortgage so you know exactly what you can afford to spend on a home before you head out house hunting, while a real estate agent will be able to match your needs with a house you can afford. Both parties will negotiate on your behalf to ensure you get the best bang for your buck.
And, best of all, these services are typically free. Experts will also be able to refer you to other reputable professionals you may need for your home purchase, including a real estate lawyer and home appraiser.
Dominion Lending Centres Kelowna
Toll Free: 1-866-862-5040
Following are ways to take even further advantage of this excellent rate environment by paying down your mortgage faster.
Prepay early in the mortgage
Make extra payments as early as you can after getting a mortgage because the loans are interest-heavy upfront and the faster you pay down your principal, the more interest savings you will accumulate over the long run. Within the first five to seven years of your mortgage is where the largest portions of interest payments are contained. This not only will save you thousands of dollars in interest payments, but it will also increase the speed at which you are accumulating equity in your property. Many mortgage products allow you to make up to 20% more in payments per year.
Make an annual lump sum payment
Whether you use your tax refund, receive an inheritance or get a Christmas bonus, you should apply as much as possible directly to your principal. Most lenders allow you to pay 20% in lump sum payments per year without penalty. I can help you determine exactly how much you can prepay and what maximum percentage of your principal you are allowed to pay without penalty each year.
If your payments go down, don’t lower the payment amount
If you are on a variable-rate mortgage and the rates go down your payment will also often go down. Instead of making the lower mortgage payments, however, it’s best to call your lender and let them know that you would like to continue making payments for the original amount. I can help you determine if there is a charge for making the extra payment. Even with the charge, in most cases, it is still worth it and will help you pay down your principal faster.
Round up your payments even if it’s just a little
If your monthly mortgage payment is $776.22 and you were to round up your payment an extra $23.78 a month to $800 – that’s less than a dollar a day – you would effectively reduce your mortgage amortization from 35 years to just over 32 years right away or from 25 years to just over 23 years.
Increase your payments with your pay increases
If your income increases, try not to keep your mortgage payments the same. Although the disposable income is a joy to spend on unnecessary luxuries in the short-term, the long-term benefits of being mortgage free faster and saving those interest payments will far outweigh the short-term joys. Pretend that your income did not increase and maintain the lifestyle that you are currently living.
Increase the frequency of your payments
You can also change the way you make your payments by opting for accelerated bi-weekly mortgage payments. Not to be confused with semi-monthly mortgage payments (24 payments per year), accelerated bi-weekly mortgage payments (26 payments per year) will not only pay your mortgage off quicker, but it’s guaranteed to save you a significant amount of money over the term of your mortgage. Basically, with accelerated bi-weekly mortgage payments, you’re making one additional monthly payment per year.
As always, if you have any questions about paying your mortgage down faster, I’m here to help!
Dominion Lending Centres Kelowna
Toll Free: 1-866-862-5040