The First Step Towards Home Ownership

Your First Step to Home Ownership is a Mortgage Pre-approval

There it is. Your dream home. Finally.

Then comes the bad news. You didn’t get approved for a mortgage.

Save yourself the heartbreak by getting preapproved for a mortgage.

Apart from the heartbreak of finding your dream home and not being able to put in an offer, here’s a few reasons why you absolutely need to go through the pre-approval process.

1 – It allows you to talk with several lenders and get the best interest rates.

2 – A mortgage pre-approval will let you know what you can afford and narrow down your search. Not having a mortgage pre-approval in place can result in missing out on the right home when it comes along. 

3 – Mortgage applications require extensive documentation. Getting this out of the way first will save you some stress and time later on. Plus, it’ll likely help you close faster.

4 – I have a mortgage broker that will work on your file in a priority sequence allowing you to get unparalleled mortgage advice and will work on your file in a timely manner. Reach out if you'd like me to put you in touch to start the process!

Have your own lender you'd like to secure financing with? Quick, go get preapproved. Once you do, give me a call, and I’ll help you find your dream home.


As many of you may know, the COVID-19 pandemic has consequently created an unforeseeable path to homeownership for a large group of Canadians. Ultimately, mortgage rates fell to historically low rates with a low inventory of homes, this created an extremely competitive seller’s market. More and more millennials and younger generations are left on the sidelines feeling that homeownership may be out of reach on the island and are considering alternative home bases.As restrictions loosen and we try to find normality in our daily routines and life, the demand for housing has remained constant pushing pricing up in the process.

What does this mean for the younger generation trying to get into the market?

Younger generations are being forced to be more practical with their buying power. After a competitive year search in the market, first-time home buyers and younger demographics are now more flexible and understanding of their wants and needs within their budget in the new standard current market conditions.From an investment standpoint, one thing we do know is that the real estate market has been on a steady incline of return of investment in the past 5 years. We expect that rates will continue to rise into 2022 making it more difficult for buyers to secure financing.

Don’t wait, it truly is a great time for investors. This could mean securing a low rate with a reduced risk to fund a self-paid and sufficient rental unit to a piece of land to be built on in the coming years. Now is the time to invest in the housing market in Victoria before it becomes out of budget. More buyers than ever are looking for homes with additional office or outdoor spaces which wasn’t a popular trend a few years ago. Getting into the market is a lengthy process and requires a lot of patience, especially with the current conditions.  It’s much harder these days for younger generations to get into the housing market due to the inflation in house prices compared to 3 years ago. Wages are not increasing at the same rate as inflation. Take advantage of the programs available for qualifying first time buyers. 

One option for a down payment for first-time buyers is the RRSP program. This program allows buyers to take from their RRSP account and use it as a portion towards their down payment to be repaid within 15 years. First-time buyers who are permanent residents and Canadian citizens can qualify for the land transfer tax rebate. The $4,000 rebate caps at $368,000 and any further cost incurred is owed. A first-time buyer incentive is also an option, a shared-equity mortgage with the Government of Canada that offers 5% to 10% depending on the type of home purchase price to put towards the down payment. There are required factors as to what the borrower’s annual household income is and what area the property resides in.

If you have been contemplating entering into Canada’s housing market, meeting with a REALTOR® will help you understand the programs and options available to you.

Give me a call or text and I am happy to discuss your options.

Julia Fitzsimmons



Are you looking to buy a house? Look out for these red flags during your home search.

1. Foundation Issues

It is normal to expect a home to have hairline cracks which indicate that the house is settling into position. Larger gaps and cracks signal a much bigger issue with the foundation. Things to be on the lookout for include visible cracks above window frames, sticking doors, and uneven flooring. There is nothing worse than a home purchase with foundation issues and often cannot be corrected without starting from scratch.

2. Strong Scents

Often agents will want to make a home have a pleasant scent for showings and open houses with the assistance of freshly baked cookies or candles. If the scent in the home is overpowering, this should set an alarm off in your mind as to what scent they may be trying to cover up such as offensive pet odours, smoking, or mildew.


3. Poor Tiling

Take a close look at the tiling job executed in the home. If there are gaps or the tiles are slightly uneven, this indicates that it was not installed by a professional. This may also indicate that multiple fixes have been attempted by a DIY job and could be pricey to have redone.


4. Unkept Property Maintenance

When you walk through the home, keep an eye out for neglected home maintenance. For example, long grass, burnt-out lightbulbs, leaky faucets, and old paint may be a sign that the seller did not care to upkeep the home. If this is how they care for their home, what else may be needing fixing that is not visible.


5. Mould and Improper Ventilation

As you walk through the home, take note of the ceilings and walls to check for any watermarks. This could be an indication that there may have been a leak or flooding at some point that may have caused internal damage. Look for mould indicators by checking if there is condensation on the windows or bubbling paint around windows, doors, or vents. This could signal moisture in the walls or ceiling drywall which creates mould and an increase in allergies.


Even though these are items that should be caught with your home inspector, checking for these red flags when first viewing a property can save you a lot of time and money.


MLS® property information is provided under copyright© by the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board and Victoria Real Estate Board. The information is from sources deemed reliable, but should not be relied upon without independent verification.