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Your spring 2017 guide to sensible home buying

Tools for aspiring or existing home owners || Financial advice for home buyers || House price data centre

The housing market looks different in every Canadian city, but the rules for sensible home buying are the same all over.

Happy home ownership requires attention to detail – an understanding of the market in your community, deciding on a price you can properly afford, finding a mortgage with the best rate and terms and building a realistic understanding of all the costs of managing a house or condo.

Much of our economy is tied to housing, so there’s a lot of hype over home buying. The Globe and Mail Guide To Home Buying is your reality check. We have assembled our best work on housing below – articles, columns and interactive tools designed to help you make smart housing decisions.

Tools for aspiring or existing home owners

Real Life Ratio Calculator: Is your mortgage leaving you house poor? The Globe's Real Life Ratio is an answer to the self-interested housing affordability calculators offered by banks and the real estate industry.
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The Down Payment Tool: Find out when you’ll be a homeowner How long will it take you to break into the market? Find out with our interactive tool.
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The Downsize Your Home Worksheet Should you lock in your real estate gains, or wait and run the risk that the housing market could fall? This worksheet can help you make your big decision.
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Downsizing to a condo? Our calculator shows how little you’ll save Condos are smaller than houses, but they're not always the cheaper living option.
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Financial advice for home buyers

The 10-10 rule: How to protect yourself from a decline in house prices Urging first-time buyers to regard a 10-per-cent down payment as the minimum and ensuring they plan to stay put for 10 years would do wonders in helping Canada’s red-hot real estate market cool off a bit
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Pass on TFSAs and RRSPs to pay down your mortgage You can cut your long-term interest costs by making a prepayment early in a mortgage, and protect yourself against rising rates.
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Prudent savers are getting hit with the highest mortgage rates The best available mortgage rates are in some cases going to those with smaller down payments, and the potential to take on more debt.
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Should you get pre-approved for a mortgage? Ten things to know Pre-approvals have benefits but they don't come with the best rates and they aren't all created equal.
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Why variable-rate mortgages are more expensive than you think To many homeowners, they’re simply too low to resist.
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Should you rely on a broker for a great mortgage? Or call around yourself? Comparing dozens of lenders on your own can be educational, but it takes considerable effort and some know-how.
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Mortgage penalties are still obscure. Ottawa, home owners need your help What Canadian consumers really need is for lenders to lay out their penalties in a standard, easy-to-compare and easy-to-understand format. And it’s up to Ottawa to make that happen.
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Are shorter mortgage amortizations always better? No Longer amortizations can cost you significantly more in mortgage interest. But consider these four scenarios where “longer” is actually better.
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Will you die with a mortgage? 10 reasons why more people will Reverse mortgages are here to stay, and they’re becoming a go-to solution for a growing number of older Canadians.
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Should cash-strapped retired homeowners eye HELOCs or reverse mortgages? If you borrow modestly and with discipline, a HELOC can be the best way to bail you out of a retirement cash jam, our mortgage columnist says.
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Check out The Globe’s housing data centre

House Price Data Centre See how home prices are trending in your neighbourhood.
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