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Six steps to buying your first home Add to ...

A step-by-step approach to buying your first home.

1. Save for your down payment

Aim to save at least 20% of the purchase price, and borrow the rest from the bank. This type of loan is called a mortgage.

2. Make sure your credit report is in good shape

To qualify for a mortgage, you will have to pass a credit check. Order a copy of your credit report and check it for errors.

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3. Get pre-approval for a mortgage

Get pre-approval in writing. You will know how much you can afford for a house. And it will give the seller more confidence in your offer because you have financing arranged.

4. Shop around

Go to open houses. View a variety of properties. Explore different neighbourhoods and rank them based on your priorities.

5. Get financing arrangements in writing

Understand how your mortgage works – fixed or variable rate, payment schedule, fees and any special conditions.

6. Check the documents carefully

When you're ready to buy, review all documents related to the purchase with a real estate lawyer. You're signing a binding legal contract.

If you're renting now, check when your lease will expire. You could pay penalties if you try to exit your lease early.

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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