Tips for purchasing your first home in Canada

12 April 2019
RLP Meadowtowne

If you’ve recently settled in Canada from another country, you might have your sights on buying a home, and the process to do so here can differ greatly from other countries. It’s normal to have lots of questions about what the real estate market and how to start your search. Whether you’re still deciding on which province is right for you or you’re looking at specific neighborhoods, it’s important to feel confident and knowledgeable when looking to purchase your home – it’s one of the biggest decisions of your life and your family’s life – not to mention arguably the biggest purchase you will ever make.

Here are tips to help you on your home buying journey to successfully settle into your first home in Canada:

Consider a real estate agent: Real estate agents do more than just help you search for a home. From finding properties that fit your budget, to negotiating contracts and filling out all the paperwork, they balance several jobs at once to help you find the right home for you. They will be with your throughout the process and help you uncover the nuances of the Canadian release estate market.

Understand the local housing market: Before you begin your home search, ensure you’ve done research into the real estate market in that province, as the markets differ greatly across the nation. Using RBC’s True House Affordability calculator will assist you in this process, providing insides to home prices in specific area that interest you and your family. It will also connect you with a mobile mortgage specialist to further discuss your home-buying goals in Canada and help you find what you’re looking for

Location: Take your time to ask questions, learn about the market and various neighbourhoods, and think through what is important to you before making a decision, such as being near schools, transit, grocery stores and other amenities. Feeling connected to your community be it through social programs, volunteering or local attractions can also have a huge impact on your experience. Do some digging to find out more about what’s available based on your interests. It may help seal the deal.

The carrying costs: The cost of operating a home is often overlooked by buyers – or it could be vastly different than you may have anticipated. Understanding how much it costs to heat and cool it, cover the taxes and otherwise maintain the property are major considerations when pulling together your holistic home budget. If you’re purchasing an existing home, your realtor may be able to help you obtain copies of the current owners’ bills — electricity, water, gas, taxes — to get a sense for what the operating expenses are, then factor them into your budget.

Find more ideas on how to save more and settle in faster at rbc.com/newcomers.