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New Year, New Home! 5 Steps to Home Ownership in 2017

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Blog by Marika Wolf | December 30th, 2016


The New Year is around the corner and many of us are all about resolutions.  A big one that many people talk about for 2017 is finally owning your own home.  Have you been renting for a long time and ready to take the next step of home ownership? Maybe you have come across some extra money and don’t want to spend it in the wrong place? There is no better time then the present and prices will only continue to rise steadily so the sooner the better!

You don’t need to start big! Figure out what you need in a home and look at your options.  In Kelowna we have an array of different types of housing. From condos in the low $200’s to multi million dollar mansions, there’s something for everyone.

The biggest struggle in getting your first place is going to be your credit and having down payment money so talk to your local friendly real estate agent and get some one-on-one advice. The Government of BC has come up with some great programs for First Time Buyers for 2017 to make homeownership easier and I will talk about these in my next Blog so check back next week.

Working with a lot of first time Buyers and younger families, I’d say that over half on my clients get some type of financial help from family. Whether it is borrowing cash for a down payment, or help qualifying by co-signing, it’s something we agents see a lot so don’t you worry if you’re in that position too!

In no particular order, here are 5 tips to get homebuyer ready in 2017:

1. Save any extra money for a down payment.  Saving is hard - try holding back a portion of your pay or right away giving some extra cash to save to a family member that you can trust, or put your money in an RRSP or TFSA that you can withdrawal from at a later time without penalty. My philosophy is ‘out of sight, out of mind’ – until I am ready to use it! To add, don’t be scared to ask for help from family! Sometimes it’s that eagerness of homeownership and getting on your feet that gets your foot in the door to start building equity and wealth.

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2. Keep up with your bills. Minimum payments. No over drawn credit cards etc. This will help your credit score and you want to make sure you credit score is top notch once you’re ready to buy a home. 

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3. Talk to a mortgage broker or your banker .  You need to find out what you can afford out of your new home based on your pay.  

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4. Stay in tune with the market.  The real estate world is an ever changing marketplace so it's important to know what's selling at what price, who's got the upper hand Seller's or buyers, and what's in store in terms of mortgage rules changes, interest rates and market conditions.  

5. Build a relationship with your real estate agent.  Many people I meet, I work with for two or three years.  Not everyone is ready to Buy and Sell right away and the process takes time for some.  Find an agent you can talk to, feel comfortable dealing with, and trust in helping to guide your decision-making. This relationship is very important in your real estate future and your connection with your agent will definitely make you feel at ease if it’s a good match.  Interview agents to see how well you chat together and go from there.  

This is all very fun stuff, life changing stuff and crucial to you becoming that homeowner you dream of being.

Happy Selling! …and Buying ;)