Jumping into a home loans may seem all too easy, but the lender relationship is never the kind you should just jump into. It will last for many years, and it’s the largest financial investment you’ll likely ever make. It pays to take it slow and make sure you find the best mortgage situation possible. Avoid the following:

Not being aware of your credit score. Don’t just assume your credit score is good enough and jump right into buying. Months before you plan to meet with a mortgage provider to begin the pre-approval process, it’s best to find out what your score is and get a copy of your credit report. There is always a chance that there are mistakes present in the report. If you get ahead of them, you can have them fixed and, therefore, your credit score adjusted and improved, before seeking pre-approval. This will allow you to get the best mortgage deal possible.

Not saving enough for a down payment. Without the cash available for the required down payment, your loan application is more than likely going to be turned down by lenders. The down payment is what protects them at the end of the day. While the minimum is usually 5 percent, the higher your down payment is, the more favourable your mortgage will be. Also, remember that any down payment less than 20 percent will require mortgage insurance, increasing your cost.

Failing to shop around. This is where a real estate agent can really help. You might assume the cheapest option is the best, but that isn’t always the case in the long term. These loans usually have serious penalties if you miss a payment. Familiarize yourself with all the different kinds of mortgages available: fixed, variable, open and closed. And shop around for the provider that makes the most sense for you. Many stick to their primary bank as that seems easiest, but you risk missing out on a much better deal if you do this.