Buying Tips

Your Credit Score

The Credit Score is a numerical representation of your current and past credit and can range between 300 (the lowest score representing the worst) and 900 (the highest score representing the best). There are currently two reporting agencies operating in Canada, Equifax and TransUnion. Equifax’s credit score is called the Beacon while TransUnion’s credit score is called Empirica, but both scoring models are based on the FICO (Fair Isaac Company) model in the United States.

Credit scoring has an enormous impact on your financial picture. For a lender, your credit score plays a significant factor in the decision to lend you money, and in determining the terms and conditions of your loan.

Mortgage Terminology

Deciding which type of mortgage is right for you will depend on what you can afford. Prepayment privileges are another important part for borrowers to consider. These arrangements allow you to pay money against the principal, reducing the total amount of interest you'll ultimately pay. Learn more about arranging mortgage options available.

Finding the Home That's Right for You

Before you start searching for a home to buy, you need to think about affordable price and your housing needs both now and in the future. It is a good idea to try to find a home that meets your price range and most of your needs for the next five to ten years.

Make sure your location is appropriate. Take the following things into consideration: where you want to live (town location or out-of-town location), where you work and how easy is to commute, where your children will attend school and how they will get there, how safe is community, whether you need recreational facilities nearby (like playgrounds, parks, walking areas etc.), how close you would like to be to family and friends.

When thinking about the home you want, consider if you want resale home (also called a previously owned home), new home or you prefer building your own home.

Resale homes are usually located in an established neighborhood with easy access to schools and services like shopping malls, restaurants and other services. They may have extras like finished basements, fences, swimming pools, fireplaces, landscaping, etc. You don't have to pay GST/HST unless the house has been renovated substantially, and then the taxes are applied as it were a new house. With resale homes you may need to redecorate, renovate or do major repairs such as replacing the roof or windows and doors. An older home is usually less energy efficient than new home.

New homes are up-to-date and have latest building codes/standards applied. You will have option to upgrade or choose certain items such as flooring, siding, electrical fixtures, cabinets, plumbing, etc. New homes have lower maintenance costs because everything is new and many items are covered by a warranty. Builder warranty is usually available this can be important if a mayor system such as heating or plumbing is breaking down. Keep in mind that a new home is only as good as its builder. Investigate the builders reputation and check if any lawsuits have been failed against the builder.

Many people prefer the challenge and flexibility of building their own home. That way homeowners can get exactly what they want in terms of location, size, design, quality of materials used, level of energy efficiency, landscape, etc. On other hand, you should expect to invest lots of time and energy in building your own home.


Know your credit rating first so you have time to resolve any issues that might stand in your way of buying.
Know your price range and obtain a pre-approved mortgage before you start house hunting.
Stick to your price range, no matter the economic situation, because it is safer to buy within your budget.

Lorne Park Brantford

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