Your 10 Step Guide to Buying your Own Home

Home Sweet Home with VMBS

Buying a house is a big leap, but it takes lots of small steps to get there. Understanding each step, makes it easier to navigate the home buying process. Your homeownership experts at the Victoria Mutual Building Society (VMBS) are here to demystify the process.
  1. Assess Your Finances
     If you need a mortgage to purchase your home, your lender will evaluate your income, expenses and the debt you already have to determine how much you can borrow. Use this time to ensure you have enough saved for a potential deposit and that your credit history is as tidy as possible, make sure current debts are paid on time.

  2. Find Out What You Can Afford
     As a rule of thumb, your monthly mortgage payment should not exceed one third of your monthly income, and your total bills should not be more than 40% of your monthly income. Having completed Step 1, talk to a VMBS Mortgage Specialist or use our online mortgage calculator to get an understanding of your current financial situation and what will be required of you with a mortgage. Make sure you don’t overextend yourself.

  3. Where Do You Want To Live?
     Location is the biggest factor determining your property value over time, and your home equity relies not only on your home’s condition but also on how the other homes in your neighbourhood are taken care of and appreciate in value. Location also matters because your home is your life base, it needs to be located so that it’s safe and convenient to get to work, go shopping or to your children’s activities.

  4. Prioritize - Separate Needs From Wants
     Make a checklist. How many bedrooms, and bathrooms do you need? Do you want a kitchen island or perhaps a big backyard? List everything you want in your house and then number them in order of priority. This will give you clarity about what matters most. Bear in mind you may not get all you want, but this way you’re sure to get what you need.

  5. Assemble Your Team
     You’re ready to begin your search, and there’s no need to go it alone. Ask friends and family who have already been through the process for recommendations. Talking with a professional real estate broker and a lawyer with expertise in the process, will help you develop a good strategy during the process. Choosing the right mortgage for you mostly comes from choosing the right mortgage partner. Hire people with comprehensive listings, industry longevity and expertise, like the Teams at Victoria Mutual Property Services (VMPS), whose portfolio includes properties across the island and Victoria Mutual Building Society with 137 years of experience.

  6. Find Your Home
     Armed with your budget, checklist, and your VM Property Services Real Estate professional, it’s now time to look at properties! Take a friend along, as a second pair of eyes will see things you may miss. Make sure to bring your camera along, as photos will help you remember the details. Think about how each home will work for you, looking at the size of the rooms relative to your furniture. Consider also the age of the house as it might determine how soon you’ll have to make repairs.

  7. Sleep On It
     You’re about to make a big decision, so make sure to have a good night’s sleep and reassess in the morning. Make sure that you can check comfort, safety and access off your checklist.

  8. Make an Offer
     Great, you’ve found the property for you! So now it’s time to make an offer, get advice from your real estate broker about a good initial offer, leaving yourself enough room to negotiate, but starting too low could turn off the seller. It may take a little back and forth, but once you reach a mutually accepted price, the seller’s attorney-at-law will draw up the sale agreement.

  9. Valuations and Inspections
     To make ensure you’re making a smart choice, your mortgage provider will ask you to get a valuation done on the house. This will determine whether the house is worth the proposed price. When determining the value, things like the size, amenities and condition of the house, as well as the value of similar homes in the area will be considered. This step is important, as your lender will only approve a loan amount consistent with the value of the house. You should also hire your own inspector to assess the house for any problems that might not be obvious but could lead to costly repairs, such as termites or a leaky roof. As an added bonus when you apply for a mortgage through VMBS you get a 50% discount on valuations from VM Property Services.

  10. Closing
    We expect you’re now so excited, you’d like to move in tomorrow - don’t worry, you’re almost there. The closing or settlement process can take up to 90 days after the offer is accepted. During this period, prepare to pay the closing costs which include registration fees, stamp duty, as well as agent and legal fees.

What do we look for in a Mortgagor?

The Victoria Mutual Building Society has simple requirements when considering your mortgage application:

  1. Ability to Pay This is determined by your assessing your income versus your expenses.
  2. Attitude to Debt How well you have managed your prior debt

The Best Mortgage Offering

  • As low as 8.50% Jamaican Dollar Mortgages
  • As low as 4.25% on Foreign Currency Mortgages (USD/CAD/POUNDS)
  • 50% Discount on valuations done through VM Property Services
  • Up to 95% Financing*
  • $0 Processing or Commitment Fees
  • Best support from start to finish
  • Dedicated and knowledgeable Team
  • Beneficial Partnerships to minimize the costs to you
  • 10% Discount on first year Insurance premium through BCIC