You do not pay Michael, the lenders do.

7 Steps to get on-board before you are ready to shop a home

Step 1 – Your Credit Score

Whether you qualify for a mortgage through a bank, credit union or other financial institution, you should be aiming for a credit score of 680 for at least one borrower (or guarantor), especially if you are putting under 20% down. If you are able to make a larger down payment of 20% or more, then a score of 680 may not be required.

If your credit score does not meet the minimum requirements, there are a number of things you can do to improve it and your future financial success in time, including:

  • Paying your bills in full and on time. If you cannot afford the full amount, try paying  the most you can with the goal of keeping balance owing to limit under 65%.
  • Pay off your debts (such as loans, credit cards, lines of credit, etc.) as quickly as possible starting with the highest rate debts first!
  • Stay within the limit on your credit cards and try to keep your balances as low as possible.and spread the balances evenly where possible.
  • Reduce the number of credit card or loan applications you submit.
  • Considering an alternative lender if you are struggling with credit issues.

I can help review your credit history and provide you with options for your mortgage needs.

Step 2 – Your Budget

When considering your budget, it is important to look at the purchase price budget, as well as your cash flow budget. Being house rich and cash poor makes for a no-fun home! The home price based on your cash flow budget may be dramatically different from the budget home price you qualify for. Not only does having a budget help you to understand your purchase price range and help you to find an affordable home, but it can also help you to see any gaps or opportunities for future savings. This will be instrumental when you become responsible for mortgage payments.

Step 3 – Your Down Payment

The ideal down payment for purchasing a home is 20% which will allow your to have lower monthly payments. However, we understand in today’s market this is not always possible. Therefore, it is important to note that any potential home buyer with less than a 20% down payment MUST purchase default insurance on the mortgage, and they must have a minimum down payment of 5% up to 500k purchase price, and 10% down on the balance over 500k up to 999,999.99.

The down payment on your home could come from your own savings such as a savings account or RRSPs. Thanks to the federal government’s Home Buyers’ Plan, potential first-time homeowners are able to leverage up to $35,000 of your RRSP savings ($70,000 for a couple) to help finance the down payment. A gift of a down payment from an immediate relative is also acceptable. If your down payment comes from savings or TFSA or RRSP, the bank will want 90 days of statements to ensure the funds are accounted for. Gifted funds require a letter from donor to recipient and confirmation that the donor has the financial ability to make the gift.

Step 4 – Your Mortgage Options

Rate is only ONE of the many features in selecting the best mortgage product that meets your financial goals. With access to dozens of lending institutions , I am familiar with a variety of mortgage products allowing them to help find the best mortgage for YOU! As your mortgage professional, I offer third-party service focused on YOUR needs for your financial gain. This means that you can get the best rates and unbiased advice all for FREE from someone whose only goal is helping you achieve your dream of home ownership.

Step 5 – Your Paperwork

When you apply for a mortgage, you will typically need to provide a standard package of documents at submission, which almost always includes:

  • Your government-issued photo identification
  • One month of recent pay stubs from any applicants who will be listed on the loan along with most recent T4 or other annual income document,
  • Letter of employment confirming position, start date, minimum annual or hourly or salary information, and contact information for the author so the lender can verbally confirm the employment details,
  • Your most recent two years’ worth of personal CRA tax filings (along with the Notice of Assessments) and financials (if incorporated).
  • Three months of bank account statements for down payment,
  • Documentation to explain any unusual (generally non-payroll) large deposits or withdrawals to the bank account information provided.

Step 6 – Your Pre-Qualification

To have the best success with your mortgage submission, it is recommended that you get pre-approved and pre-qualified! This can be done to ensure that you get the best mortgage product FOR YOU, from the best rate to the best term agreement BEFORE you take action. Pre-approval holds you a rate and pre-qualification helps verify your budget and allows you to set up firm numbers for your real estate agent to find the best home in your price range.

  1. Pre-approval guarantees the rate offered and locks it in for up to 120 days. This protects you from any increases in interest rates while you are shopping (phew!).
  2. Pre-qualification lets the seller know that securing financing should not be an issue – income, credit, and down payment vetted, which is beneficial in competitive markets.

Quick Tip: Don’t forget about the closing costs! These range from 1 to 3% of the purchase price and should be factored into your budget.

Step 7 – You’re Ready to Shop

You made it! Once you have your down payment and have qualified for a pre-approved mortgage (your credit score is in order and all documentation has been provided), you are ready to start searching for your perfect home. If you’re stuck, I would be happy to give you recommendations for a realtor, if you don’t have one already.


Michael has over 15 years of award-winning work as a mortgage broker. He is a dedicated professional who is in it to win it for you. 

What do you want to use your mortgage for? Are you a first-time buyer? Are you wanting to use your home equity to support your dreams or family? 

Let Michael customize a mortgage to fit your lifestyle needs.

It does not cost you anything 99% of the time as lenders pay a finders’ fee to Michael.

Michael pledges to give you the very BEST mortgage rates and pass the value on to you.

The skill and determination that drove Michael’s success in rugby and now in mortgages has earned him Hall of Fame stature in both. 

Get this HALL OF FAME SERVICE working for you.