So you have just bought your first home and are now thinking what’s next! Here are 8 simple things that you should do after you have bought your home.
Claim the First Time Home Buyer’s Tax Credit.
The Government of Canada provides a non-refundable tax credit of up to $5,000 to assist first-time home buyers with the costs associated with the purchase of a home, such as legal fees, disbursements and land transfer taxes.
Apply for a GST Rebate.
If you purchased a new or substantially renovated home that is valued under $450,000 you can apply for a GST rebate.
Review your Insurance.
You may have put a policy in place quickly just to get the mortgage conditions satisfied, but take the time to make sure that your new policy is providing adequate protection. Make sure your policy has adequate coverage for liability, fires, floods and contents.
Rebuild Your RRSP.
If you used your RRSP for your down payment, set up a plan to make your repayments. You will need to re-contribute the amount that you withdrew over the next 15 years. It does not need to be paid back into the same RRSP account so you can set up a monthly plan to rebuild your RRSP and provide for your retirement.
Create a Will.
Make sure that your estate needs are covered with an up to date Will outlining what you would like to happen in the event of your death. Ensuring that you have a strong Will in place will allow to you to decide who manages your property, who receives your property, and among other key factors, who gets to take care of your children. Andrew Cao, from KBL LAW LLP notes that a properly drafted Will is an absolute must if you own real estate, especially if the title is in your name only. Having a properly drafted Will prevents your loved ones from considerable expense, stress, delay, and grief if you pass away, and allows you and your loved ones to have some certainty, security, and finality.
Update your Life & Disability Insurance. Add Layoff Insurance.
You have likely added some major monthly expenses to your budget. Don’t let a disability derail your home ownership dream. If you took the bank’s mortgage insurance when you signed the mortgage, speak with a licensed insurance agent to understand the coverage you have and if it meets your needs. While quick to apply for, the bank’s creditor insurance is likely not your best option.
A new option to consider is Layoff Insurance from First Foundation. Layoff Insurance is designed to help you pay your mortgage and supplement your EI Benefit in the event you get laid off.
Establish an Emergency Fund.
Use a high yield savings account to set aside at least 3 months income to use in case of emergency. Something like a leaky roof of a period of illness or layoff could cause significant financial difficulty. Setting aside the cash will allow you to weather a little storm.
Get a Professional Financial Plan.
Make sure that you can balance the demands of home ownership, life, and planning for the future. This could include plans to pay your mortgage off faster, invest for retirement, save for your kids' education, etc.