Are you a #mortgagephobe?

Are you terrified of committing to a mortgage and then not being able to make the payments?  It’s like that girl or guy from grade 9 that kept asking you if you wanted to “go steady,” right?  Ummmm – no, I don’t, thanks anyway.  If that is you, give this a read!

Here are 3 key tips to make sure you’re not taking on more than you can handle.

1.  Start with a budget

To get a real handle on what you can afford, you need to spend a few good months being honest with yourself about what you’re spending.  Check out my free budget worksheet, and take a look at where your money is really going each month.  After you have a handle on what’s important and what’s frivolous, it’s time to figure out what portion of your monthly income you can commit to a mortgage.  The general rule of thumb dictates that housing costs should not cost more than 35% of your monthly income, however, everyone’s situation is different!

2.  Work through a mortgage pre-approval and attend your Mortgage Agent’s workshops

No one goes to a mortgage agent until they NEED the money.  Ever heard the phrase: “It’s easier to get a job when you already have one”?  Well, the same can be said about mortgages.  It is always easier to start considering financing when you’re not in a “hail mary” position with an offer on the table.  Fill out a mortgage pre-approval form, and start organizing all required documents for your agent.  Ask lots of questions about the process, and make sure your agent that is willing to mentor you throughout the process.  This way, when you do decide to pull the trigger on a home, you will have a firm understanding of payments, lenders, rates and processes. Approaching a new task armed with knowledge is always much more enjoyable!

3.  Break up with Real Estate Professionals that are pushing you outside your comfort zone

If you’ve done your homework – you’ll know what you can afford.  Don’t let anyone else tell you what YOU should be comfortable with, budget-wise.  You’ve done the work – stick to your guns!