We all want to know that when we have decided that we want to buy a home, that we are ready. There are some things you can do in advance to ensure you are prepared financially.
Assess your present household budget and your annual income to determine if you are eligible for a mortgage and how much you can comfortably afford. Also check out the Mortgage Affordability Calculator at http://www.REALTOR.ca.
What do lenders require?
Mortgage lenders use two calculations to help determine your eligibility for a mortgage
– your Gross Debt S ervice (GDS) ratio and your Total Debt Service (TDS) ratio. Your GDS ratio is the percentage of your gross monthly income used for mortgage payments, taxes and heating costs or – if you are buying a condominium – half of the monthly maintenance fees. As a general rule of thumb, your GDS ratio should not be more than 32% of your gross monthly income.
Your TDS ratio is the percentage of gross monthly income required to cover monthly
housing costs, plus all your other debt payments, such as car loans or leases, credit
card payments, lines of credit payments and any other debt. Generally, your TDS ratio
should not be more than 40% of your gross monthly income.
Have you been pre-approved?
Getting pre-approved for a mortgage before looking at properties gives you a more
realistic expectation of what you can afford. However, keep in mind that the preapproved
amounts can overestimate what you can actually afford to pay.
Pre-approval does not guarantee you will be approved once you actually apply if market
conditions, interest rates, or your personal circumstances change.
Do you know your credit rating?
Order a copy of your credit report to make sure it does not contain any errors because
lenders will check it before approving you for a mortgage. A credit report is a summary
of your financial history and shows whether or not you have had any problems in the
past paying off debts.
The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC), a federal government agency, has
tips on how to order your credit report for free and how to improve your credit rating.
Visit FCAC’s website at: http://www.itpaystoknow.gc.ca.