Why Home Ownership?
Unlike renting, when you buy a home your mortgage payments are helping build your net worth. You’re saving a pool of money you can borrow against a portion of down the road or receive when all you sell.
Buying a home is like having a “piggy bank” that pays interest. You build equity over time by: 1. Paying down the mortgage commitment, and 2. Through any increases your home’s value. Home ownership also helps hedge against inflation.
Owning your own home gives you the freedom to make your living space your very own and with the satisfaction of knowing that any improvements you make will likely increase the value of your home; benefitting you, not a landlord.
Homeownership gives you a sense of stability and security. It is making an investment in your future.
Before you start the search for a new home it’s important to set a budget.
- Will you need a mortgage?
- Do you have savings for a down payment?
- Do you have investments such as RRSPs?
- Do you have family that can help you with a down payment?
Whether you’ve decided to purchase a home in a year or one month, your budget will determine the type of house you can buy. Even if you don’t think you can afford a home, it’s useful to go through the process of speaking with a bank or mortgage broker. If you currently don’t qualify for what you’d like to purchase, you can find out about financial tools and investments that can help you save for a home (e.g. high interest savings accounts, tax-free savings accounts, GIC’s, RRSPs, debt consolidation loans, etc.).
Resources for First-Time Homebuyers
Buyers can withdraw up to $25,000 per individual ($50,000 per couple) from their RRSPs interest and tax free to use towards the down payment of their first home. Contributions made to RRSPs made 90 days prior to withdrawal are also allowed as an RRSP tax deduction. You can buy a home and claim the RRSP contribution as well. For more information on the RRSP Home Buyers’ Plan click here
Through participating lenders, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) provides mortgage insurance for eligible buyers to finance up to 95% of a home’s value. In addition to an application fee that can range in cost from $75 to $235, there is a mortgage insurance premium, the cost of which ranges depending on the amount you are borrowing (additional charges may apply). The premium can be added to your mortgage loan and paid off as part of your regular mortgage payments. For more information on CMHC mortgage programs go to www.cmhc.ca
First-Time Home Buyers' Tax Credit
First-time home buyers can now claim a tax credit of up to $750 for the costs related to purchasing a home. For more information on this credit click here
Working With A REALTOR®
When looking to buy a home, you should work with a REALTOR® that is willing to take the time to find out about your needs and how buying a home fits into your short and long-term plans. Search for an Accredited Buyer Representative® (ABR®) - that ensures they have been fully-trained on, and certified in, buyer representation!
- Help you establish your list of needs and wants
- Help you establish a price range to consider
- Answer your questions about the market and help you compare homes and neighbourhoods
- Connect you with other professionals involved in the home buying process (i.e. real estate lawyer, home inspector, condominium document reviewer, mortgage lender, appraiser, etc.)
- Search the Multiple Listing Service (MLS®) System for houses that meet your criteria
- Provide you access to our proprietary, local MLS® System for up-to-the-minute access to home listings via your own computer with automated email capabilities
- Search for private sales and new homes not listed on the MLS® System for houses that meet your criteria
- Save you time by pre-qualifying properties
- Make all the arrangements for property viewings and walk you through potential homes answering your questions and highlighting the home's strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities
- Help explain mortgage options and assist you to navigate the financing process
- Draft a legally binding contract and negotiate with the seller and their professional negotiator on your behalf
- Work with your real estate lawyer and co-operating real estate agent to help ensure a smooth purchase and closing
- Mediate any potential issues and assist with the details required to complete the sale
- Protecting your interests!
Finding A Home
Curious to find out what homes are for sale in your price range? Click here