Buying a home can be an exciting yet intimidating process, especially for first-time buyers like us. That’s why we went on a quest to find a comprehensive manual that covers everything we need to know. And a while ago, we stumbled upon True North Mortgage’s First-Time Home Buyer’s Guide. And this game-changer of a guide is free to download.

On the off chance you aren’t familiar with them, True North Mortgage, as the name suggests, is a mortgage brokerage in Canada. They are known for some of the lowest rates in the market, for their exceptional service and their unbiased advice. And the brand decided to put together a comprehensive guide for first-time home buyers.

But this isn’t your average guide. This one goes beyond the basics (and the obvious) and provides invaluable insights that many first-time buyers are unaware of. The guide takes you through each stage of the home-buying process filling you in on all the info and tips you need for stress-free navigation. From pre-hunt prep to moving day tips, the manual has you covered all the way.

first time home buyers guide
Photo via True North Mortgage

Below are 7 not-so-common facts that we uncovered while going through the guide­—

Professional Help

Think you’ll save money by skipping professional assistance? Think again. The guide emphasizes the importance of finding a good mortgage broker, realtor, and lawyer. Their expertise can save you time, money, and stress throughout the process.

Down Payment Details

While a 15% or 20% down payment may seem like the standard, the guide reveals that you might be able to score a home for just 5%. Of course, the required percentage heavily depends on the purchase price of the home. But it’s crucial to understand the specific requirements.

first time home buyers guide
Photo via True North Mortgage

Programs, Rebates and Tax Credits

As a first-time buyer, there are various programs, rebates, and tax credits available to help you gather a down payment or save more money. The guide highlights these financial opportunities that can make a significant difference in your home-buying journey.

Budgeting for Closing Costs

Many first-time buyers overlook the additional costs associated with closing a deal. True North’s guide outlines what they are and reminds buyers to budget for these expenses, which are separate from the down payment. Failing to have these funds available can lead to complications or even a failed purchase.

first time home buyers guide
Photo via True North Mortgage

Credit Scores

Did you know that lenders use a different type of credit score than what you see in your credit app? The guide explains that your FICO score used by lenders and your Pinnacle score in your app don’t always match. The brokers at True North can help you understand how this discrepancy may impact your mortgage application.

Mortgage Rates and Discounts

Even a slight discount on your mortgage rate can save you thousands of dollars in the long run. The guide points out that while banks may claim to offer a discount, their initial rates are often higher. This is where the impartial guidance of True North’s mortgage brokers comes into the picture. They can help you explore multiple options and secure the best possible rate for your mortgage.

first time home buyers guide
Photo via True North Mortgage

Pre-Approval vs. Unconditional Approval

It’s important to understand that pre-approval for home shopping doesn’t guarantee unconditional mortgage approval after you’ve put in a offer to actually buy one. The guide advises protecting yourself by including a financing condition in your purchase offer. This condition safeguards you from potential financial risks down the line.

While there are many more details and finer points outlined in the guide, these were just a few that stood out for us. If you’re looking to buy your first home, do yourself a favour and get your hands on this tell-all guide. Head over to the True North Mortgage website (link below) to download the guide for free.