Buying your first home in Canada – What you Need to Know
One of the reasons Canada is the greatest country in the world is that we embrace new Canadians. The indigenous people were the first people in Canada. All other Canadian families have come from another country, we all have come from somewhere. Canada proudly is one of the most diverse and safe countries in the world. One reason for this is that as new Canadians we work hard and embrace our new communities.
A recent Royal LePage survey found that “newcomers to Canada represent one in every five home buyers. If the current international migration level is maintained, Canadian newcomers are expected to purchase 680,000 homes over the next five years”.
How can you as a new Canadian purchase a home in Ottawa? First, ensure that you are aware of the programs that all Canadians can use. The Federal government in March of 2019, made it easier to buy a home and reduce the size of a mortgage. With the Federal election now over more changes may be coming. The only way to keep up to date with all changes is to find a professional Real Estate Agent REALTOR®.
What do we want in our new home?
As a family sit down with your Agent and make a list of what you must have and want to have in your new home:
· Consider how many family members will be living in the house-how many bedrooms will you need?
· Will there be different age groups, small children, teenagers or people near retirement
· Will there be children who will want to walk to parks and recreational facilities
· Will there be members of the extended family living with you?
· It is possible in the future that more family members will be joining you
· Are there any special needs of any family members?
· Will all the adults be driving or is pedestrian-friendly areas important.
· Are there places of worship or cultural community centres in the area?
· Where are stores that have specialized food close to the home?
· Where is your work and is LRT/busses near any potential home?
· Are there family or friends already living in a particular neighbourhood
· Is it important to be near them for babysitting support or other reasons?
As a new Canadian the mortgage and banking environment can be confusing. It is very important that you work with your Agent. Regardless of how long you have lived in Canada, permanent residents and newcomers can both purchase a home with a minimum payment. As a newcomer to Canada you may not have a credit history that can be verified by a lender. Establish a credit history as soon as you can, apply for a credit card, open a bank account, and use it regularly. Apply for small loans and pay them off quickly. Can family members help in paying off the loans or with mortgage down payments? Pay all your bills on time.
Keeping a good employment record is also important. Discuss with your Agent if Mortgage Loan Insurance can be of assistance to you and if getting a pre-approved mortgage is best for you. They will also help calculate your maximum monthly payment you can afford
Starting a new life in Canada is very exciting. The purchase of a home is an important step in putting down rooting and enjoying living in Canada. It may seem to be a completed process however, with the help of your family, friends and your Agent it can be completed quickly and without stress.
Lisa Fitzpatrick ABR, SRS
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