Owning your own home is the dream for many people. With home prices rising at a quick rate in Toronto and surrounding areas, most people start off renting, but eventually, when the time is right, become homeowners. The journey from renter to homeowner is exciting, but can also feel overwhelming at times. There are a few key steps you should follow if you want to go from renter to owner with ease. Check out how to go from renter to owner in five steps.
1. Create a Timeline
First thing’s first: Create a timeline for when you would ideally like to buy your first home. Check when your lease expires and work from there to create a realistic timeline for going from renter to buyer. If your lease expires on December 30th this year, perhaps that means you’ll want to buy a place for this December, or give yourself more time and plan for next December. Knowing your timeline allows you to figure out your budget and how much you need to add to yoursavings, and also gives you enough time to start searching and find your home.
2. Figure Out How Much You Can Afford
Knowing how much you can afford is a key part of going from renter to owner. Look at what you’re paying now on rent and how much income you’re bringing in. Are you comfortable paying what you’re paying now? How much more would you be comfortable paying for a mortgage? Don’t forget your down payment. You’ll typically need around 20% of the home’s purchase price for a down payment, and remember to factor in closing costs, home insurance, maintenance and utilities. You don’t want to end up house poor, so figure out how much home you can afford before starting your search.
3. Choose a Neighbourhood
While it’s important to like the neighbourhood you’re renting in, when you become a homeowner, you want to make sure you love the neighbourhood you buy in and can see yourself happy there for years to come. Factor in aspects that are important to you, whether that means proximity to your job, a family-friendly area, a bustling neighbourhood filled with cafes and restaurants, lots of nature, or whatever else comes to mind. It’s a big undertaking to sell a home after you move in because you don’t like the area, so do lots of research before committing.
4. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
Once you know your budget, timeline and neighbourhood, getting pre-approved for a mortgage is an important next step. With the mortgage pre-approval process, the lender will check your credit score and verify your financial information, including your income, debt and assets. If you get pre-approved, a lender is making a commitment to you to lend you money for your down payment, but it’s not a guarantee on a specific rate or mortgage since your circumstances may change from the time you get pre-approved to the time you buy your home. Mortgage pre-approval will save you time house hunting since you’ll only see homes you can afford and it may even give you better negotiating power with the seller!
5. Enlist The Help Of A Realtor
Buying a home is likely the biggest investment you’ll ever make, and going at it alone can be a recipe for disaster. Enlist the help of a realtor to make the process easier and more seamless. They’ll play a vital role in your home buying experience, acting as your personal advisor and negotiator. A good realtor will show you homes that match your criteria, guide you through the homebuying process, and negotiate the best buying price and terms for your home.
Going from renter to buyer is an exciting process, but it’s not one you should go at alone. Follow these steps to find a home you love and can afford!