Minimize the costs of bidding wars

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Most Canadians know it's a better idea to stick to their budgets than get sucked into a bidding war, according to data from the Bank of Montreal.

Figures from the BMO Home Buying Report, which polled 2,000 adult Canadians, show that only 28 percent of homebuyers are willing to fight over a property. This number was higher for first-time homebuyers, with 39 percent saying they'd be willing to enter a bidding war over a home.

Data also shows that bidding wars were more likely to occur in Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary. In fact, a quarter of home sellers in Calgary said they purposefully under-priced their properties in an attempt to spur competition among homebuyers. Continue reading

Pre-approvals and rate holds in home loans

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When it comes to getting a home mortgage approved, "pre-approval" can be one of the trickiest factors in determining mortgage rates. With the housing market always at least somewhat in flux, many people looking to buy turn to pre-approval as a way to find a preferred rate as they search for a home.

But even for mortgage professionals, the term pre-approval can take on different meanings. And to make things even trickier, it is often conflated with the term "rate hold," which to the average consumer, as well as many lenders, sounds like two different things. However, some mortgage professionals view them as the same. So, how does one make sense of this already complicated process when people inside the industry can't even seem to completely agree? Continue reading

Home buying for newcomers

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Buying a home can be stressful at the best of times, let alone if you’re purchasing property in a new country. Fortunately there are a number of ways for newcomers to Canada to make home buying an easy and affordable process.

Determine what you can afford
No matter where you are buying a home, the first step should always be determining what you can afford. In addition to the costs associated with taking out a mortgage, potential home buyers should account for expenses such as property taxes, utilities and home maintenance.

One easy way to help determine what you can afford is to use a mortgage calculator. These tools require a minimum amount of information regarding your home loan in order to provide borrowers with an idea of how much their monthly payments will come to. Continue reading