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March 25, 2019

If you’re single and have been wondering how and whether you should seriously consider home ownership, then this article is for you. Becoming a homeowner is an important life step with numerous benefits and we’re here to help you decide if it’s the right fit for your current life circumstances.

Benefits

Purchasing a home is one of the most significant investments you will make in your lifetime and can be quite a rewarding experience. Here are some of the major advantages of becoming a homeowner:

i) Stability

Owning your own property means that you have a stable place to live and helps reduce your exposure to inflation since mortgage costs are generally fixed versus rental prices which usually increase over time.

ii) Building Equity

Equity is the difference between the property value and the outstanding balanced on your mortgage loan.  This means that the more payments you make, the more equity you build. A home purchase, even while single, is an investment in your future. The equity you build can be used to consolidate debt, pay for higher education, finance home renovations and other major expenses.

iii) Building an asset

For a maximum down payment of only 10%, you can acquire a high value asset that continues to appreciate over time.

Can you afford it?

One of the largest challenges facing single persons looking to buy a home is the ability to afford this expense on only one income. We’ve compiled some of the key ways to help reduce this difficulty:

i) Income Maximization

Don’t hesitate to put plans in place to increase your earning potential. This includes pursuing education to better qualify yourself with helpful skillsets, seeking a new job when there are  no longer upward growth opportunities, or even turning your passion or hobby into a second job to help increase your net worth.

ii) Savings

In addition to increasing your income, it also makes a big difference to reduce your expenses and divert these funds to your savings instead. This often requires taking an honest look at which of your spending habits can be reduced and identifying which items are “wants” versus “needs”. There will be sacrifices involved, but it’s up to you to decide what you’re willing to give up, to achieve your homeownership goal.

iii) Focus your property search

When researching properties, target homes that are smaller in size and require less maintenance. Consider purchasing a starter home or fixer-upper to help reduce the purchase price. Keep in mind that you can expand later on, if the need arises.

We hope we’ve raised some helpful points and we’re happy to discuss further as you consider the home ownership journey. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions!

 

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February 21, 2019

There are many ways to upgrade and enhance your home without breaking the bank or needing to hire a contractor. Julia and Clyde share 6 of their favourite DIY projects which are not only a welcomed improvement to their property, but also can be completed in just a weekend. Have fun!

  1. Home Entrance

Gorgeous green front door surrounded by potted foliage

Give your front door and entryway a facelift. By adding an impactful front door colour (consider something warm and bright) along with attention to landscaping, you can make your entrance not only functional, but also inviting. Consider potted foliage or planting a selection of lush greens in varied heights and textures. Pay attention to details as well – adding a welcome mat and outdoor lighting can make a huge difference.

2. Kitchen Details

Modern Kitchen Sink

Add a sleek aesthetic to your kitchen by replacing your sink with a modern alternative. Look for other matching finishes such as a new faucet along with cupboard handles and knobs that also match the look and feel of the sink you selected. These changes all come together to revamp one of the most utilized rooms in your house.

3. Moulding

Living room with crown moulding

This addition can work for so many areas in your home, ranging from the living room to the bedrooms. For the biggest benefit, consider focusing on common areas so that the more exposed rooms in your home get to be made over first. With the application of a crown moulding trim, the space now appears more complete than ever before.

4. Wall Make-Over

Accent wall with palm tree leaves wallpaper

If painting is not your favourite thing, consider wallpaper your new best friend. Select the wall in your home which functions best as an accent and get creative with a fun wallpaper design. Wallpaper is also not permanent provided you use the self-adhesive version; this gives you the flexibility to reposition as needed, ensuring you’re happy with the new look.

5. Showerhead Replacement

Brand new showerhead

Not only does a new showerhead enhance the fixtures in your bathroom, but you can also make progress towards reducing your monthly water consumption by purchasing a low-flow unit. Your new showerhead ensures even and relaxing water flow and also can help teach your household about the value of being responsible consumers – double win.

6. Window Treatments

Fresh shower curtains

Give a room in your house a whole new look by replacing the window treatments. New blinds or curtains not only freshen the space but are also a great way to try a different colour scheme without the commitment of painting the walls. If there’s a colour combination you’ve been wanting to try – go for it!

Sources:

https://www.bhg.com/home-improvement/remodeling/budget-remodels/weekend-home-projects/

https://www.bhg.com/home-improvement/remodeling/budget-remodels/weekend-projects-under-20-dollars/

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January 25, 2019

Implementing a timeline and plan can make all the difference in turning your home-ownership goal from dream to reality. This timeline below helps guide you through key actions so you can remain on top of the to-do list and avoid common mistakes that can derail the process.

Long in Advance

Your credit report is often taken into consideration by lending agencies when determining your eligibility to borrow. Improve your credit by working towards reducing debt and building healthy habits such as spending within your means and ensuring your loan payments and bills are made on time. Find more tips for improving your credit score here.

12 Months Before

  • Get Prequalified since the Pre-Qualification process assesses your financial information and determines what value of property you can afford. Find out how to get started with a Pre-Qualification Interview from TTMF here.
  • Plan for your down payment. Depending on which mortgage program you qualify for, a down payment may be required. At TTMF, we offer up to 100% financing to persons who qualify for our 2% mortgage programme, up to 95% financing to persons who qualify for our 5% mortgage programme and 90% financing on our open market loans. It’s never too early to allocate funds for down payment purposes or start saving towards this expense.

9 Months Before

  • Budget for closing costs and fees. Aside from purchasing the property, there are a number of expenses which you can anticipate and save for long in advance, such as valuation costs and legal fees. You would get an estimate of these fees in your pre-qualification certificate. You can also find a number of mortgage-related fees and costs listed here. Saving for these expenses is a great idea.
  • Research as much as you can about the real estate market and the type of home that you are interested in. To help keep your search within your price range you can adjust the location boundaries of your search, consider fixer-upper properties, be open to starter homes that meet your current needs or buy land and build.
  • Pay attention to houses that are listed and become educated on factors such as which neighborhoods fit your price range, the size and type of property typically offered within your budget and nearby amenities. You can even keep your eyes peeled for open houses and attend those to start learning the ropes.
  • Decide whether to build or buy as each comes with its pros and cons. For instance, building can be more affordable and enables customization however there is added frustration of dealing with contractors and approvals. Alternatively, buying lets you shop and negotiate for the best price, though you may have to compromise on things such as features, amenities and sometimes even your location.
  • Start shopping for your new property. Knowing your pre-qualification amount you can selectively target homes which are a match for your budget.

6 Months Before

  • Get the list of required documents and start compiling what you can so you aren’t scrambling at the last minute. The paperwork requirements can be quite lengthy so it helps save yourself a lot of headache by being informed in advance. The checklist of required documents can be found here.

2 Months Before

  • Make an offer on a property. Keep in mind that closing on a home can take on average 4-6 weeks so give yourself leeway for this step. During this time, you’ll also want to assess the home for any problems. Your contractor can help you with this. Timing can also be delayed if you find something that needs to be addressed.
  • Review your documents. Ensure that all paperwork needs are met and your personal and property documents are in order. You can work with our customer service representatives to confirm everything is good to go.

1 Month Before

  • Secure home insurance. Look at your home insurance options and decide what’s best for insuring your property. TTMF offers blanket home insurance for the property. You should also consider insurance for the contents of your home. Additionally, you should take a look at TTMF’s Mortgage Cover. See details here.

We hope this guide helps you through the mortgage and home-buying process! There’s a lot to think about during this time so don’t hesitate to contact us if you need any help or have questions.