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.