If you are like many newcomers to Canada, you may be thinking of buying your own home. You will want it to be a positive experience. Here are some important things to consider.

Is now the right time to buy a home?

Buying a home is different from renting a home. It comes with more financial responsibility. For example, you will have to pay property taxes, buy insurance, take care of water bills and manage other expenses that you are not responsible for when you rent a home. You will also need to pay for repairs and services to maintain your home. When you rent, your landlord usually pays for these things.

You should also consider the work involved in owning a home. Fixing things, removing snow from your property, managing a garden – these can be very time-consuming. Before you begin the process of buying a home, make sure you have the time and the finances to support it.

When you decide you are ready to buy a home, you will probably need to get a loan from your bank. A loan for buying a home is called a mortgage. In Canada, there are many mortgage options.

A man and woman in a driveway of a home, standing behind a sign that says "Sold"

Get professional advice

A professional mortgage advisor can help you understand how much money you you will need as a down payment, how much money you will have to borrow, and how long it will take you to pay the money back. A good advisor will ask you about other financial goals you may have – like savings for your child’s education –  to help make sure that the cost of your new home does not stop you from achieving your other goals.

Understanding mortgage interest rates

In Canada, there are different types of mortgage rates. Fixed and variable are the most common types. A mortgage advisor can help you decide which is best for your financial situation.

Fixed rates are mostly higher than variable rates. However, when you choose a fixed rate, the rate stays the same throughout the mortgage term so you do not have to worry about it increasing.

If you choose a variable rate, the interest you pay may be lower at the start of your mortgage, but it may increase during the mortgage term. If this concerns you, you may want to go with a fixed rate.