On Jan 1st, 2018, the Canadian government changed some of the rules around mortgage qualification, and consequently, it has reduced the buying power of most Canadians by roughly 20%.
So How Does a Pre-Approval Help?
Just like you wouldn't go into a restaurant without knowing if you have enough money in your bank account to cover the cost of your meal, you shouldn't start shopping for a home without an understanding of how much you can afford. A pre-approval doesn't guarantee financing, but it provides you with a framework that leads toward a full approval.
The number one benefit of a pre-approval is that it can be done ahead of time. It allows you to uncover any major obstacles that might be in the way of qualifying for a mortgage.
Solve These Problems
A pre-approval might uncover these kinds of problems you didn't know you even had.
Misreporting and errors on your credit report. Experts say that 10-20% of credit reports contain errors. It can take a lot of time to correct these mistakes.
Credit reporting. Besides any errors that can show up on your report, sometimes payments get missed and go unnoticed which could reduce your credit score significantly.
Employment issues. Changes in employment status or changing employers can make it harder to qualify for financing.
Documentation for downpayment. Do you have a proper money trail to prove the funds for your downpayment over 90 days?
Having the lead time to uncover potential mortgage pitfalls, and then fix the problems might mean the difference between getting an approval for financing, or missing out this spring market.
If you're looking to buy a property this spring (or anytime really), now is the best time to start the process.