Planning to buy or refinance your home? Start early to ensure your credit score and financials are in order, to give yourself the most flexibility in your financing options, says Vernon’s Dawn Stephanishin, with Invis, the Mortgage Brokers.

Planning starts early for successful home financing: 6 questions to ask

Prepare today for financing – or refinancing – tomorrow

Whether you’re eyeing first home purchase or making the move to your next home, successful financial planning starts early.

This will give you the most flexibility in your financing options and set you in good stead for one of life’s most significant milestones, says Vernon’s Dawn Stephanishin, with Invis, the Mortgage Brokers.

  1. What size payments do you want? First, when looking for your new home, be sure to decide on the monthly payments that you’re comfortable with. “As a mortgage broker, I always ask about your lifestyle and what your plans are for the future as this will affect the size of mortgage you want to take on,” Stephanishin explains.

    What payment do you expect to make? Recognizing the long-term commitment, many buyers don’t want to feel strapped by buying a home – they want to also have the financial ability to enjoy vacations and hobbies, not to mention those unexpected expenses that can come from owning a home.”

  2. What downpayment will you have? As you start the pre-approval process, determine what funds you’ll have for your downpayment. Keep these funds in one account if possible, as you’ll need to provide a history of the account’s activity for three months to prove the funds are from your own resources, Stephanishin advises.
  3. Is your credit history in good shape? Make sure all your bill payments are made on time. The better your credit score, the better financing options and terms you’ll have. “It’s essential to protect your earned credit history and to not allow multiple inquiries.” As you prepare for this milestone move, include an emergency fund as part of your planning, as buying a new home can have unexpected costs for repairs and maintenance.
  4. Do you have other major purchases planned? Avoid any large purchases prior to purchase, instead trying to be more frugal and save as much as you can in the months leading up to the move. “A new vehicle payment will likely cancel your pre-approved mortgage very quickly, so always ask before you buy any large items,” Stephanishin says.
  5. Do you have any career changes planned? Finally, avoid changing jobs during the pre-approval and home-buying process – probationary employment periods and income changes will negatively affect your application.

READ MORE: Don’t get surprised by those unexpected home purchase costs


Dawn Stephanishin is an award-winning mortgage broker working in the Vernon area to help you realize your real estate goals. Learn more at

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