Useful tips for the purchase of your first home
- Make a list of all the features you want in your new home, such as number of bedrooms, bathrooms, proximity to schools, shopping and workplace.
- Be sure you can afford your home! Consult our section about financing to obtain more information on this topic. Above all, do not forget to calculate your other monthly living expenses (i.e. food, clothing, transportation, personals and childcare) to ensure you can afford your mortgage payments.
- Contact a real estate broker! They are trained professionals with knowledge about local conditions and the housing market in general. Your broker can help you narrow down your search and provide you with information on properties for sale and those that have recently sold. This will allow you to make informed decisions about pricing. Licensed by the province and members of local real estate boards, all brokers must adhere to high standards of ethical behavior.
- Obtain a pre-approved mortgage form the lender of your choice. This will help you determine the price range in which you should be looking.
- You may wish to have an independent appraisal done of a property before you offer a price. This can help ensure you won't pay more for the home than its market value.
- If buying a new or existing condo, look beyond style and amenities and investigate whether the construction is of good quality. You can ask for a copy of the administrative council meeting minutes to determine what kind of problems the condominium has had in the past, and the related expenses.
- To assess potential water leakage problems, visit your property immediately after rainfall or snow. Verify that flat areas such as the roof, deck and walkways do not have large pools of standing water on them. All building surfaces, except specially designed ponds, should drain freely and be immediately clear of water after a rainfall.
- It is imperative that your new home be inspected by a professional building inspector. The inspector's written report typically includes how well-built the home is and whether any repairs are necessary (including their estimated costs).
- Don't forget the other costs associated with the purchase of your own home (such as legal fees, municipal taxes and school taxes). Consult our "Costs to consider when purchasing a home" chart for more detailed information.