Tips on how to buy your perfect first home

Buying your first home is an exciting but sometimes complex process. A professional REALTOR® can help you succeed with the most important purchase of your life. Read on to find out how they do that.


Make sure you’re ready

If you’re thinking of buying a home, you’ve come to the right place. Once you’ve decided you’re ready to buy, a REALTOR® can help take care of the rest.

• Are you ready? Be sure. Few joys can match the pride of owning a home, but the responsibility can also come with sacrifices — from the financial commitment to the required care and maintenance. You’ll want to be sure both fit within your current or preferred lifestyle.

• Is your bank account ready? Check it twice. Buying a home is likely the most significant and largest purchase of your life. Do it right with the help of a REALTOR® and avoid regretting taking on more than you should. It’s ideal to have saved up some money and manage any debt. In a couple of easy steps, you can determine how much you can afford.

• Is right now a good time to buy? Markets go up, markets go down and even the most informed experts can’t accurately predict when a market will peak or bottom out. If you’re buying a home as a long-term investment (and for long-term enjoyment), you should be protected from short-term changes in the market. Instead, focus on picking a home that meets your and your family’s needs.


Where do you want to live?

Whether you’re new or native to a neighbourhood, a REALTOR® can help you navigate homes in the areas that best suit your needs and lifestyle. Take a minute to reflect on these popular housing options to help decide what fits you best.

• Urban Sure the prices are generally higher, but you can walk to a restaurant, maybe even to work. You’ll also have the widest range of housing options.

• Suburban Newer schools, modern shopping centres, bigger yards, and bigger homes are just a few of the reasons many people flock to the suburbs.

• Rural Rural living isn’t for everyone but if owning a few (or many) acres of seclusion is your idea of heaven, be sure to expand your search beyond the city lights.

• Smaller cities and towns Smaller cities and towns in Canada are dotted with thousands of wonderful self-contained communities and, compared to the big city, you can save a bundle.


What type of home do you want?

Whether you’re building a home from the ground up or giving new life to a home previously loved by others, a REALTOR® can help narrow down the specific type of home that will meet your needs.

• Single-family detached As the name implies, the home is freestanding and not attached to any homes next to it.

• Semi-detached Two distinct houses (with separate owners and lots) that are built side-by-side and share a common wall.

• Duplex A building on a single lot but that is zoned for two families (each with independent access).

• Townhouse Also known as terrace or row housing, they’re identified as homes featuring a common style and joined in a row. They usually share common walls on both sides.

• Condo With a condo, you own 100% of your unit and a share of the common areas. Common
areas include the necessary plumbing, electrical systems, hallways and elevators. They may also include amenities like a private gym or pool. On top of
the mortgage and property taxes, condo owners also pay a monthly fee to operate and maintain the common areas.


Needs vs. wants

Are you getting out of a two bedroom apartment because you need more space for the family? Then your new home should probably have at least three bedrooms and probably a second bathroom.

REALTORS® call these must-have features “needs.” Features you’d like to have — like a fireplace or attached garage — are called “wants.” Your strategy should be to find a home within your price range that fulfills all or most of your “needs” and as many of your “wants” as possible.


Sell your current home

Not a first-time buyer? If you’re not planning to own two homes at the same time, you’ll need to sell the one you have now. So, do you buy or sell first? Many people are able to time their sale and
purchase to happen on the same “closing date,” making their purchase offer “conditional” on the sale of their current home or by extending the “closing period” to give more time to find the perfect home. A REALTOR® can help you decide the best time to enter the market, analyze local market trends to set an agreeable and appropriate price, and help promote your home to potential buyers.

• Seller’s market When lots of people are looking for homes but there aren’t many for sale.

• Buyer’s market When there are many homes for sale but not enough people buying them.

• Seasonality This refers to the fact that winter sales tend to be slower in most markets while spring sales typically speed up.


Using a professional REALTOR® will help you breeze through the homebuying process and ensure that you find your perfect forever-home. Get started by visiting