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Don't fall in love with your dream home until you have a pre-approved mortgage and know exactly how much you can afford. That way you won't be disappointed. 

The best and easiest way to have an accurate pre-approval done is to visit a licensed mortgage broker (not a bank). The mortgage broker will review your documentation and do a credit check. You will also need to provide a job letter that confirms your position, start date at the company, guaranteed hours and your hourly rate, or your salary; a current pay stub; T4s and how much you earned in a tax year and how much tax was deducted for the past 2 years.  You will also need to provide your driver's licence.

Your mortgage broker will also require a 90-day history of where your down payment is coming from - a bank statement. If a parent is helping with the down payment, then you would need to provide a gift letter, and proof of the gifted money being deposited into your account. It may also be necessary to have your parents' credit rating reviewed.

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A perfect credit score, somewhere in the 900s is not essential.  A credit rating of 680 and above will qualify you for a 'best rate' approval.

If your credit score is lower, you might have to jump through a few more hoops and provide more insight to the lender.

Once your mortgage broker has all the information, they will calculate your net worth and what mortgage payments you can afford. All that information is then sent to the lender, who typically gives a pre-approval within 24-48 hours.

Once your pre-approval has been granted, it's important not to do anything that changes the basis of the pre-approval. This includes such actions as incurring extra debt or quitting your job. The lender will be reviewing the file again before final approval is granted and if there are substantial changes then you will likely need to repeat the pre-approval process.

Even though you are pre-approved, when writing an offer to purchase a home, in addition to any other subjects, you should make the offer subject to financing and appraisal.

Please contact me for more information or for a mortgage broker referral.


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Your home should be your sanctuary, but sometimes it's hard to brush off the stress of the day and sink into the serenity. That's especially true if your home is more chaos than calm. No matter what your day holds, you always want an inviting place to come home to.

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Add some greenery - plants can make your home feel calmer and ease anxiety. Plants like jasmine and English ivy can improve sleep, lavender and rosemary can lower stress and several other plants have been shown to improve air quality.

Hide the electronics - Nobody wants to stare at a tangle of cords. Thankfully we have more options than ever for keeping our tech devices hidden away. Tie up cords in a media centre so they are not visible, and dedicate a single drawer to storing all your chargers, power cords and small tech devices when they are not in use.

Get a dog - or a cat, a bird or a turtle for that matter. Even though having a pet can mean more noise and more mess, having pets lowers stress and reduces high blood pressure. Pets will also increase your odds of surviving for at least another year after having a heart attack.

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Clear the clutter - Clutter can play a significant role in how we feel about our homes, our workplaces and ourselves. Messy homes and workspaces leave us feeling anxious, helpless and overwhelmed.

Tone down the harsh colours - There might be something said for going bold, but soft colours can bring on a calming feeling. If you want a deeper colour, consider shades of blues and greens - two colours that are known to be more serene than yellow, orange or red.

Clean up your entryway - It's the first place guests see, and while you probably don't pass through your front entry all that often if you park in the garage, it may not feel as welcoming as you would like when you do.

Soften the lighting - harsh overhead lighting can make you feel like you're being interrogated, and can also be hard on your eyes. A dimmer switch can give you some nice control over just how bright the light is, and allow you to create a mood with lower lighting as needed.

Limit the patterns -  opt for solids and subtle patterns. While busy patterns may have their place, if you are aiming for calm, solid fabrics are your friends. If you would like to add some subtle patterns, try herringbone, tone-on-tone stripes, and tiny dots to add textural interest without competing for attention.

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Buy some fresh flowers - the presence of flowers trigger happy emotions, heightens feelings of life satisfaction and affects social behaviour in a positive way far beyond what was originally believed.

Make your master bedroom a zen zone -   getting good rest is key and there are several ways you can create a soothing space. Keeping the colours serene is key, and so is a good mattress. Loading the bed with soft textures can also help. The sensation of touch is often overlooked, but a powerful way to unwind!

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