BY ALIM CHARANIA
Let’s face it, things never happen when they should.
The same applies to buying a home. You may be looking anywhere from a month to a year, then all of a sudden the perfect home is found and you have to move fast to get it. All of it can be very exciting as long as you have done your due diligence and have everything prepared to take out a mortgage.
Unless you’ve prepared for the process, getting a mortgage quickly could potentially cause you to lose your dream home.
It’s not all bad news though! There are some simple things you can do to expedite the mortgage process so that when that home is found you’re able to purchase it. Here are some tips in order to prepare you for a quick mortgage approval.
1. Document your finances – know where your money goes and document it. This includes all those birthday and Christmas cash gifts from Grandma! When going through the mortgage process, the bank will look at all your finances to ensure you’re a good risk. Holes or unexplained expenses will only lengthen the amount of time it takes to get approved.
2. Take care of your credit – look at your credit and monitor it regularly. Make sure to pay all bills on time and avoid defaults on payments. One of the first things the bank looks for is good credit. You should also aim to have good credit two years prior to the time you purchase a home. This amount of time proves your financial stability and makes you a more appealing client.
3. Don’t overspend – even if you have good credit, the bank doesn’t want to see you emptying your bank account every month. If you had an emergency you may default on payments, making you a bad risk. Avoid making large purchases if you have other financial commitments and focus on saving. If you have extra money in the bank it shows you have equity and good cash flow.
4. Do your research – know your options and preferred rate, as well as your rights and bargaining power. When applying for a fast mortgage, the bank may take the opportunity to charge you a higher rate because you are focused on speed rather than options. Be aware that you can bargain if you think the rate presented to you is unfair. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for a second opinion if something goes beyond your knowledge. It could end up saving you thousands of dollars.
5. Make sure you’re ready – a mortgage is a big commitment and shouldn’t be rushed into if you have any reservations. Be sure you have steady cash flow so that you are positive you’ll be able to make payments. Also, be sure you feel comfortable and stable. If you feel at all pressured into making a decision then it may not be the right time for you to buy. Talk to a mortgage broker you can trust to ensure you are go through every step with ease.
Alim Charania is a mortgage broker with Dominion Lending Centres – Regional Mortgage Group Red Deer.