Wednesday May 25, 2016 



Prepare Yourself

Pre-approval means dreams not lost when buying a home

Sarah Pederson, ECU/Submitted photo Shalane Wellard


ith stories of bidding wars and offers $50,000 over asking price circulating around the water cooler, there’s no denying the Fraser Valley real estate market is red hot. Such fierce competition means potential buyers can’t afford to be ill-prepared when making an offer.

“It’s not uncommon for couples to lose their dream home simply because they were unable to secure financing fast enough,” says Shalane Wellard, Money Advisor at Envision Financial, a division of First West Credit Union. “Some buyers don’t realize there is a time limit on the conditions of an offer. If you can’t meet the financing by the deadline, you risk losing the sale to another buyer—especially in a market like the one we are currently experiencing.”

Wellard says the time the paperwork takes to get the job done sometimes surprises buyers, even those who have been through the process before.

“Most people realize that mortgage deals require income verification, but people often bring in the wrong documents,” says Wellard, who attributes this to the stress involved with making such a huge life decision.

If you are employed, the easiest way to prove your household income is with two years worth of notice of assessments from the Canadian Revenue Association or your two most recent T4 slips—but not the property assessment.

“A property assessment has no bearing on whether or not a buyer has the financial capacity to afford the new mortgage,” says Wellard. “In this market, it’s not even an accurate reflection of the current value of the home.”

Wellard advises that the simplest thing to do is to get pre-approval and have all the documents in order before you even find your dream home.

“Not only will pre-approval speed up the process on the back end to ensure you get the paperwork done on time, it will also tell you what you can afford,” says Wellard. “This will help you focus your search and make sure you are putting offers on homes that you can actually purchase.”

About Envision Financial
Envision Financial is a premier provider of banking, investment and insurance services for residents and businesses throughout the Fraser Valley, Lower Mainland and Kitimat regions. As a division of First West Credit Union, B.C.'s third-largest credit union with 54 branches and 38 insurance offices throughout the province, Envision Financial brings innovative products, an extensive branch network and local decision making to the banking experience. Visit for more information.

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