With low interest rates and home prices in Guelph remaining stable, now is a good time to buy a home if you don’t already own one!


Canada Housing and Mortgage Corporation (CMHC) states that many of the potential first-time buyers didn’t buy a house when they could qualify for one because of the unpredictable job market.  However, Guelph’s employment rate has always been strong boasting as one of the lowest in the country.


Here are a few tips if you’re considering buying your first home…


How do I know I can qualify for a mortgage?


There are several  “on-line” mortgage calculators that will give you a rough idea of a mortgage amount that you can qualify for based on your income and your debts.  But don’t use this as a true mortgage pre-approval.  Why? There are many factors that can influence your ability to really qualify for a mortgage loan, such as credit history and income stability.  For example, if you work at a job that pays an hourly rate and your are entitled to overtime, overtime income can only be used to help you qualify for a mortgage, based on a two year average.


A good credit is also essential to qualify for a mortgage loan.  If you’re interest in obtaining your own credit history you can purchase it at www.equifax.ca.  Otherwise if you consult your mortgage broker they will review your credit history with you.


How to come up with a down payment?


The minimum down payment required to buy a home is 5% of the purchase price.  You can get a loan from the bank for the down payment, from savings, or through a family gift.  If you have great credit history and good job stability you may also be able to qualify for a mortgage – even if you don’t have the full 5% saved.


How much can I buy?                                      


There are two ratios that are used to help determine how much you can qualify for in a mortgage.  They are the Total Debt Service Ratio (TDSR) and the Gross Debt Service Ratio (GDSR). Essentially, these ratios compare the carrying costs of the house (mortgage payment, property taxes heat and debt) to your gross income.  These ratios should be between 32 and 44 per cent.  What I’ve found is that most home buyers can qualify for more of a mortgage, than they feel they need.  Have your mortgage broker work with you to help you develop a budget and determine what the ideal monthly mortgage amount should be based on your budget.  We can then help you work back to determine the purchase price.