Before you ask yourself townhouse or single family home - Rancher or Craftsman, you need to ask a very practical question. "What can I afford?" Being house rich and life poor is a difficult way to live, so doing this step first is a good reality check.
Using a mortgage calculator provides the opportunity to fill in information regarding your income, expenses, and possible housing prices; the calculator will then provide you with an approximation of what your monthly mortgage payment will be, based on current rates of interest. You can quickly and easily make adjustments to determine monthly payments that are feasible and the pricing of a home that will fit your budget
Conventional mortgage: means your down payment is 20% of the purchase price or more.
High-ratio mortgage: means your down payment is less than 20% of the purchase price.
For homes with a purchase price less than or equal to $500,000 the minimum down payment is 5%
For homes with a purchase price greater than $500,000 and less than $1 million, the minimum down payment is 5% of the first $500,000 plus 10% of the remaining balance
For homes with a purchase price of $1 million or more, the minimum down payment is 20%
High-ratio mortgages must be insured by a mortgage insurer such as the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), Genworth Financial Canada or Canada Guaranty. You will be required to pay the premium for this insurance.
Knowing the difference between pre-qualified and pre-approved is critical. Before starting to "shop" for your home sweet home, being pre-approved may make the difference in getting the home you love as the lenders process takes time the Sellers may not have. So being prepared ahead of time may give you the edge you need.
Getting pre-qualified is the initial step in the mortgage process, and it's generally fairly simple. You supply a bank or lender with your overall financial picture. After evaluating this information, a lender can give you an idea of the size of the mortgage for which you qualify. Pre-qualification can be done over the phone or on the internet, and there is usually no cost involved.
Getting pre-approved is the next step, and it tends to be much more involved. You'll complete an official mortgage application (and usually pay an application fee) then supply the lender with the necessary documentation to perform an extensive check on your financial background and current credit rating.