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How do I buy a home?

This article has information from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).
Updated in 2011.

You need to consider many things when you buy a home, especially if it is your first time owning a home in Canada.

You need to consider many legal and financial matters when you buy a home. The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has a guide called Homebuying Step by Step that explains what you need to do. Their steps are:

  • Step 1 — Is Homeownership Right for You?
    Buying a home is one of the biggest financial and lifestyle decisions you will make, so it pays to make an informed decision by first looking at the main advantages and disadvantages of homeownership.
  • Step 2 — Are You Financially Ready?
    In this step, you will find a number of simple calculations that will help you evaluate your current financial situation and determine how much house you can afford and the maximum price that you should be considering.
  • Step 3 — How Much will it Really Cost?
    After you have calculated the maximum home price you can afford, you will need to calculate the up-front costs and expenses associated with buying a home to make sure you are financially prepared.
  • Step 4 — What Should You Buy?
    Before you start searching for a home you need to think about your current and future housing needs and what characteristics are important to you in a home.
  • Step 5 — What Professionals Should You Call On?
    This step describes the roles played by the professionals you will call on in the homebuying process: real estate agent, mortgage broker, lawyer/notary, inspector, insurance broker, appraiser, surveyor and builder/contractor.
  • Step 6 — How Can You Find the Right Home?
    If you have decided that you are ready to start your search, this step has information on ways to find the home that is right for you, useful tips for your search and Home Hunting worksheets.
  • Step 7 — Ready to Buy?
    Once you find the home you would like to buy, you have to present the vendor with an Offer to Purchase or Agreement of Purchase and Sale. This step describes the Offer to Purchase process.
  • Step 8 — The Final Steps
    Describes the final steps in the homebuying process: things you will need to do on closing day, and how to hire and work with a moving company.
  • Step 9 — Is There More to Homebuying?
    The real financial responsibilities of homeownership begin when you take possession of your new home. You need to budget for mortgage payments, ongoing operating costs and an emergency fund.
  • Step 10 — Tips on Home Repair and Maintenance
    This section offers useful tips for new homeowners on home repair, maintenance and renovations, and discusses the importance of security and fire safety. Also includes a practical Maintenance Calendar.

Read the full Homebuying Step by Step guide.

For More Information

  • Buying a Home: Who You Need on Your Team - Information about the people who can be involved when you buy a home in Canada. From the CMHC. Available in many languages.
  • Buying Your First Home in Canada: What Newcomers Need to Know - A brochure with information about the process of buying a home in Canada. From the CMHC. Available in many languages.
  • The ABCs of Mortgages - Explains the terms and conditions of a mortgage, your rights and responsibilities, and tips on how to pay your mortgage off faster. From the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada.
  • Mortgage Fraud - This brochure has information about how to protect yourself from mortgage fraud when purchasing or refinancing a home. From the CMHC.
  • New Home Buyers - Tips and information about buying a new home. From Tarion.
Last Updated: December 22, 2011
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