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Looking to buy a first home? Six essential planning steps Add to ...

Do your research before you buy your first home. You’ll be less likely to end up with something you can’t afford, or that isn’t worth what you pay for it.

Plan ahead in 6 steps

  1. Decide how much you can afford. Use this Mortgage calculator to find out the maximum purchase price you qualify for.

  2. Plan how you’ll save for your down payment.

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  3. Protect your credit score by paying all bills and debts in full and on time.

  4. Set up a loan to pay for your home even before you start to look. This is called a pre-approved mortgage.

  5. Check interest rates. But remember — interest rates go up and down.

  6. Know all the costs. Examples: appraisal, legal, home inspection and real estate fees.

Find out how much you can borrow

Your bank looks at:

  • how much you make each month and how much you can spend on mortgage payments,

  • how much the house is worth and how much you can pay in cash (your down payment), and

  • what it will cost to run your home – including taxes, heating and insurance.

Don't forget the HST

If you're buying a new home that costs more than $400,000, you'll have to pay HST in Ontario. Learn more about the HST and new homes.

You won't pay HST on resale homes. But it will apply to monthly maintenance fees for condos, as well as to legal advice, moving services, and home inspection and professional real estate services.

Get advice: Talk to your lawyer, a real estate agent or a mortgage broker. They can advise you on all aspects of buying a home, including all of the costs.

Content in this section is provided in partnership with Investor Education Fund, a non-profit organization founded and supported by the Ontario Securities Commission that provides unbiased and independent financial tools to help Canadians make better money decisions. To find out more, go to: GetSmarterAboutMoney.ca


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