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Real Estate Real Estate: Rules, rates and reality checks for first-time home buyers

Housing is the biggest investment most Canadians will ever make. Before you buy, arm yourself with the facts and figures you need to prevent your dream home from becoming a financial nightmare.

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New rules and incentives

Federal budget 2019: Ottawa targets housing affordability with zero-interest loans, subsidies

Ottawa is taking aim at housing affordability with billions of dollars in new incentives, including zero-interest mortgages for first-time buyers and subsidized loans for the construction of tens of thousands of rental units.

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How much can you spend on a home? It may have changed drastically

If you’re in the market for your first home, you’ve likely heard about recent changes to the stress test for home buyers. This explainer shows how the new rules affect your buying power.

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Drawing Conclusions: Understanding the new stress test for uninsured mortgages

Drawing Conclusions: Understanding the new stress test for uninsured mortgages

Still confused about how the buyer’s stress test works? This video does the math for you.


Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press

How mortgage rates affect you

Fixed mortgage rates are diving

Fixed mortgage rates are following Canadian bond yields, which just hit a one-and-a-half-year low. The net effect: payment burdens are easing for borrowers. Here’s where to get the best deals.

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Why you shouldn’t take the maximum mortgage you are offered

The urge to spend every penny of what a bank is willing to lend may never have been greater. However, exercising some caution can pay dividends down the road.

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Knowledge is power in negotiating your mortgage

Preparing to negotiate a mortgage involves a combination of factors – knowledge about how mortgages work, understanding the current market, some professional help and, at the right moment, good negotiating skills.

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Four reasons why you might not get the great mortgage rate you saw online

Here’s a roundup of some of the most common reasons why the best mortgage rates you see online may not be available to you or have unexpected twists.

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Christopher O Driscoll/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Are you ready to buy? Try these calculators

Is your mortgage leaving you house poor?

Mortgage calculators offered by banks don’t really help you budget for life’s other expenses. That’s why we created the Real-Life Ratio Calculator.

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The Down Payment Tool: Find out when you’ll be a homeowner

How soon will you be able to put in an offer? Our Down Payment Calculator will show how your savings add up.

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Globe Real Estate House Price Data Centre

So which cities are the most affordable and which neighbourhoods have seen the biggest price gains? Scroll through our exclusive data showing how prices are trending nationally, by city and by neighbourhood.

Go to the House Price Data Centre


Preet Banerjee calculates how much land transfer taxes or fees could cost a home buyer across Canada

Reality check: Expenses new home buyers often overlook

What land transfer taxes and fees cost across the country

Don’t forget to consider the other expenses of home buying. This video explains land transfer tax and real estate fees.


Fred Lum

How not to get hammered by rising condo fees

If you’re considering a condo purchase, here’s what you need to know about maintenance fees, special assessments and the condo boards that set them.

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The real cost of home ownership

First-time buyers may be familiar with additional costs such as property taxes, but there’s a whole range of other expenses to consider.

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Still thinking of home ownership as an investment? Here’s proof you’re wrong

Rising real estate prices do not necessarily mean houses are a great investment. From property tax to maintenance, the expenses add up. Here’s a look at the costs of home ownership over the long term.

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Should I buy a home now or wait till I’ve saved a 20% down payment?

A 20-per-cent down payment spares home buyers from requiring CMHC mortgage loan insurance, but is not the only option, says this financial adviser.

Read the Gen Y Money Q&A


Still have questions about buying your first home? Send it to us and you may be featured in an upcoming Gen Y Money Q&A.

You can also join the Gen Y Money Facebook group.

Also, sign up for the Carrick on Money newsletter.

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If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

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