Buyers Guide » Gettings Started

Make A Wish List

Before you begin shopping for a home, make a detailed "wish list" of what you need and want in a home. Your REALTOR® will help you prioritize this list and suggest features that you may have overlooked. First, you need to decide upon a location. Think about factors such as school quality, crime rate and proximity to public transportation, shopping areas, work, parks, etc. Read about local neighbourhoods in our Community Info section.

Second, you need to choose the type of housing you want (i.e., condominium or house; new or resale) and the amount of space you need.

Print the Home Requirements Checklist, fill it out, and take it with you to your Realtor

For more information, read the following RealtyLink In Print articles:

Determine What You Can Afford

Before you start looking for a home, you and your REALTOR® need to determine how much you can afford. The main home buying expenses are the down payment, the mortgage and the completion costs. Current interest rates will effect the amount you can afford. Talk to your REALTOR® about various homebuyer incentive programs that can assist you with your purchase.

Down Payment
For a conventional mortgage, you will need to pay at least 25% of the purchase price as a down payment. However, if you qualify for the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) 5% down payment program you can get a high-ratio mortgage where you receive up to 95% financing.

Although your down payment can't be borrowed, gifts from friends or relatives are fine. You can borrow up to $20,000 from your RRSP if you are eligible.

Most people buying a home need to borrow a portion of the money from a bank or other lending institution. Ask you REALTOR® to calculate how much you are eligible to borrow based on your income and level of debt. You can also use the mortgage affordability calculator to determine how much you can afford.

Completion and Other Costs
There are additional costs involved in buying a home. These include mortgage insurance, taxes, legal fees, house insurance, inspection reports, appraisal and survey fees. If you are a first time homebuyer, you may be exempt from the Property Transfer Tax.

  • For more information about the PTT read the following RealtyLink In Print article:
  • For more information about Completion Costs read the guide.

For more information on borrowing your down payment from your RRSP, link to the following site:

Home Buyers Plan

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