Tip #10: Consider using your Home Buyers' Plan (HBP) allowance of up to $25,000
Use your RRSP as your savings account towards a down payment, and it will help you maximize your tax return. You will be able to withdraw up to $25,000 tax free under the Home Buyers' Plan (HBP) to use towards your down payment.
Just remember: You can't use the contributions you've made within the last three months.
Tip #9: Get pre-approved
A pre-approved mortgage will help you know the price range of houses you can be looking at and will let you jump on quick sales to get the most out of your buck.
Tip #8: Find a REALTOR®
REALTORS® can help you find houses that have all your must-haves and remind you of items you might forget during the excitement of house shopping. They will also use their expertise to make the process as clear and smooth as possible.
Tip #7: Keep to your budget
Make sure you don’t overstretch your budget for the perfect house. Be ready to walk out if the bidding goes above your range - another house will be waiting for you!
Tip #6: Get a home inspection
Hidden problems could increase the cost of your property. A home inspection should uncover most of them and if you still want to buy the house, it will give your REALTOR® ammo to reduce the selling price.
Tip #5: Make an offer
Do not postpone making an offer if you really like a house. You can add clauses for home inspection and other dependencies in case you uncover something that changes your mind later. Delaying the offer might just make you lose your dream house.
Tip #4: Plan for extra costs
Buying a house has more costs than just a down payment and applying for a mortgage. Make sure you save for closing costs such as lawyer fees, property taxes, title insurance, moving expenses, appliances, and furniture, among others. Your REALTOR® will be able to prepare you for which additional costs to expect.
Tip #3: Focus on location
You can decorate and do upgrades to the house but you can’t move the house to a different neighborhood. Commuting distance, schools, and noise nearby might be deal breakers even if the house is perfect inside.
Tip #2: Have realistic expectations
You might need to compromise on things you can live without. Your budget is important, so realize that you may not get everything you are looking for in your first home, but see it as a stepping stone from which you can build.
Tip #1: Enjoy the ride
You will only buy your first house once in a lifetime, so take your time. It’s a big purchase but it does not have to be stressful. In the end, you will have a house you can call "your own home!"