Say yes to what you want

"In order to say yes to your priorities you have to be willing to say no to something else.”

I saw this quote on Facebook and felt it summed up a few conversations I’ve had with clients over the last few weeks. With respect to mortgages and home ownership, this applies several ways.

Most of us will move heaven and earth to accomplish something that truly motivates us. Hot holiday coming up? All of a sudden, the pressure is on to eat well and hit the gym.

Burning desire to buy a home? People will re-evaluate their spending and savings habits and find the money for a down payment.

What about some of the other decisions you need to make?

I’ve been working with a couple for almost 1 1/2 years as they have saved to buy their first home. They’ve made some major changes and are on the home stretch, likely in the position to buy just before Christmas.

The engine in one of their vehicles blew up last week.

They called to see what would happen if they financed a new vehicle.

We played with their application, and in their case (based on the vehicle they were looking at), it would mean their maximum purchase price would drop by almost $100,000.

After a conversation about options, they decided to operate with one vehicle until they are into a house of their own. They are hoping to have a little extra cash to pay for a used vehicle once they are in a home.

Another family I’ve been working with was concerned about finding the absolute lowest rate that they possibly could (most people are of course). We explored several options for them and found a package that seemed to fit the bill.

The home they found was in a great neighbourhood, close to the school their children attended, and had great bones. It was super clean, but very dated inside.

We talked about a Purchase Plus Improvements mortgage. With this option, they would be able to renovate the kitchen and bathrooms, as well as replace most of the flooring.

It turned out that the lender offering the lowest rates did not offer a Purchase Plus Improvements mortgage. The lender that we chose to work with did, and their rate was only .05 per cent higher.

When we ran calculations showing the difference between the two rates, the clients were happy to have the option to be able to renovate the home upfront as opposed to picking away at it over time.

Recently, I told one couple the mortgage amount that they are pre-qualified to borrow. I also told them that the monthly payment would be about $3,500. We had a thorough conversation around what their priorities are.

Being committed to a mortgage payment of that size would seriously affect their lifestyle.

In their case, after they identified their wish list they decided to shop for a home in a price range that was about $200,000 less than what the figures said they could borrow.

They would rather live more modestly and have money to travel.

When I work with clients who are starting to hunt for a new home, one of the things we talk about is identifying their priorities. Having a price range in mind is important, but equally so is knowing what features are most important in the home you plan to buy.

If you are starting to think about buying a home, I suggest putting pen to paper and making a list of your “must haves” and “nice to haves” so that you can narrow down your search.

If you think you would like to be in a particular neighbourhood, it’s a great idea to drive through and around the area at different times of the day to see how you feel.

Think about not just now, but a little further down the road. If you are planning to start a family, are you looking at neighbourhoods with schools and daycares?

If you are looking for a more urban lifestyle, do you have easy access to city transit? Do you have older children that need some space?

Being clear about what you need helps your realtor find homes for you to look at it as they come on the market.

Your realtor can take the features you’ve said are important:

  • number of bedrooms
  • number of bathrooms
  • extra parking for an RV
  • a suite for extra income

Then, the realtor can set up a notification that is emailed to you to show you homes that meet your criteria as they are listed for sale.

Ideally, you will be able to find exactly the home what you want, where you want, at a price you are comfortable with. If that is not the case, you may have to decide what is truly most important.

You might find that to find the home you want in your price range you may have to consider different areas. You may have to downsize your wish list to stay in the area you want.

Being clear about your priorities will help. Being willing to compromise on less important features will help you feel more confident about finding a home that suits your family.

In order to say yes to your priorities you have to be willing to say no to something else.

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About the Author

Tracy Head and Laurie Baird help busy families find mortgage solutions. Together they have more than 45 years of experience in the mortgage industry.

With today’s increasingly complicated mortgage rules, Tracy and Laurie spend time getting to know the people they work with and help them to better understand the mortgage process. They support their clients before, during, and after their mortgage is in place.

Tracy and Laurie work closely with their clients, offering advice and options. With access to more than 40 different lenders, Tracy and Laurie are able to assist with residential, commercial, and reverse mortgages in order to match the needs of their clients with the right mortgage package.

They work closely with their clients to find the right fit, and are around to provide support for years down the road!

Contact them at 250-862-1806 or visit http://www.okanaganmortgages.com

Visit their blog at https://www.okanaganmortgages.com/blog


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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