Buying a home is an important and exciting step in your life - it could be the biggest financial decision you'll make.
Understand what a mortgage is before you sign.
A mortgage is a type of loan taken out by a borrower to assist with the purchase of a home. The lender (usually a financial institution) gives the borrower access to funds under the promise that the borrower will pay it back as per specified repayment arrangements and terms. There is a cost to a mortgage—the lender will charge the borrower interest or service charges, depending on the agreement.
How much interest you pay depends on three factors:
- How much you borrow (the principal)
- The interest rate on the loan
- How long you take to pay it back (the amortization period)
Do you qualify for a first time home buyer incentive?
First time home buyers are exempt from paying the property transfer tax if the purchase price of the home is less than $500,000.
To help with your purchase, you could also withdraw up to $35,000 from your RRSP (tax-free) as long as you repay it over the next 15 years.
Mortgage term and payment options
There are a number of different mortgage options to choose from, depending on what works best for you financially. These options include term types and payment options.
This gives you the option to re-pay any amount of the balance owing at any time, without taking a penalty. With open mortages, interest rates are usually higher.
This can provide peace of mind because your mortgage is "locked in" to a specific interest rate for a chosen term and immune to fluctuations in the market. With a closed mortgage, you don't have the repayment flexibility of an open mortgage, but you are often allowed a few penalty-free repayment periods that are built into your agreement.
This has the potential to save you interest and gives you the freedom of added flexibility. With a variable mortgage, you can take advantage of low interest rates without having to lock into a specific rate. By not locking in, your interest rate can vary from month to month.
No matter what type of mortgage you commit to, you have a number of different payment options available to you. You can choose to pay weekly, bi-weekly or monthly, depending on your financial circumstances. If you want to pay off your mortgage faster, you can pay on a weekly basis and take several years off your overall mortgage timeline.
You also need to bear in mind that if you have a down payment of less than 25% of the purchase price of the home, you will require a high-ratio mortgage. These mortgages have to be approved by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) or Genworth Corporation and you'll need to get mortgage insurance.
Get pre-approved for a mortgage with G&F.
Getting a mortgage pre-approval from G&F is an important first step before you begin your house hunt. A mortgage pre-approval factors in your financial situation so you will know how much you can afford for a house and what price range you should stay within. It will also give the home seller more confidence in your offer because you'll have financing pre-arranged.
The first step is to talk to a G&F Mortgage Relationship Manager (MRM) about what you're looking for and start exploring financial requirements. The conversation you'll have with the MRM will be a discussion about your mortgage availability, current interest rates and the mortgage options that are available to you.
The next step in the process is filling out a mortgage application form. It's a good idea to submit a mortgage application before you begin house hunting so that you can be pre-approved for a certain price range. Your MRM can guide you through this process.
Meet our team.
All of our Mortgage Relationship Managers are mobile. They can meet where it is most convenient for you.
Get pre-approved for a mortgage.
Find out how much you can afford before you start looking for your new home. Apply today!