Checklist: Get ready to go house-hunting

Before you go house-hunting, use this checklist to make sure you are prepared to make a purchase:

  • Create a budget. You need to know where your money goes, where you can save, and how much you can afford to spend on your mortgage installment each month.
  • Check your credit rating and correct any errors in it. A good rating can help you get a mortgage loan; a spotty one may mean you end up paying a higher interest rate.
  • Assemble the documents you’ll need to get a mortgage loan.
  • Pre-qualify for a mortgage to find out how much you can borrow.
  • Make a list of what you need in your new home: number of bedrooms, eat-in kitchen, family room, garage, central heating and/or air, etc. You may also wish to make a second list of items that you want but are not essential, such as a fireplace, built-in cook surface and oven, en suite master bathroom and central vacuum.
  • Identify a neighborhood or two you’d like to live in based on price character, proximity to work, schools and daycare, recreation facilities, public transit, etc. Websites like and are good starting places.
  • Scan real estate ads in the newspaper or online to get a better idea of the kinds of houses that are available in the neighborhoods you like, and the selling prices of homes in those areas.
  • Engage a real estate agent who is familiar with the neighborhoods you’ve chosen.
  • Discuss your price range and housing needs and wants with your agent.
  • Ask your agent to walk you through the purchase process, from making an offer to closing a deal, and explain the costs involved.
  • View a number of houses with your agent so that he or she can get a better handle on your needs and preferences.
  • Narrow your search down to a few homes you can afford and like enough to make an offer to purchase.

Get Home Mortgage Loan offers customized for you today.