A home is one of (if not THE) biggest purchase a person makes in their lifetime. When you are ready to invest in a home for the first time, you’ll have new information and hurdles pop up left and right throughout the whole process. It’s important to be prepared so you can also enjoy this big step in your journey instead of just stressing about all of the little things. To help you out, we’ve prepared this guide to 4 things you need to know as a Canadian first-time home-buyer!
First-Time Buyer Initiatives
There are multiple programs that benefit Canadian first-time home buyers. Definitely talk to your banking professional and/or your realtor about your options based on what you are searching for.
Home Buyer’s Amount: This allows Canadian buyers the ability to claim $5000 for the purchase of a qualifying home. This tax break is only offered if you or your spouse or common-law partner purchased the home in the tax year and if you did not live in a home owned by you or your spouse within the previous 4 years (making you a first-time buyer). This tax credit provides up to $750 in federal tax relief.
First-Time Home Buyer’s Incentive: This incentive offers first-time Canadian home buyers the ability to borrow 5-10% of a home’s purchase price to go toward the downpayment. The benefits of this are that with more money down on top of what you also contribute, the amount owed is less, lowering your monthly mortgage payment. There are eligibility requirements to qualify, including annual household income, minimum downpayment qualifications, and first-time homebuyer status. For specifics on the eligibility requirements, head to the website and read more.
If you’re starting at square one, take a look at this post about how to get your finances in order before you begin your home search!
Working with a Professional
Another important piece to first-time home buying is finding the best real estate professional to work with. Choosing your realtor shouldn’t be an “I-found-them-on-Google” thing. This is the person who will be looking out for your best interests and explaining all of the real estate jargon to you throughout the process. You want to choose someone you can trust and feel comfortable speaking to about sensitive home matters.
Some great ways to vet your agent:
- Look for customer ratings and reviews
- Check out their social media profiles and websites to verify professionalism and knowledge
- View their current listings to see that they represent the types of properties you’re searching for
*For more tips on finding the perfect realtor for you, check out this blog post!
Examine the Current Market Trends
The real estate market is a fluctuating one. Knowing when to buy is an important part of staying within your budget on a home you will be happy with. Your realtor will be the best resource for this. Market updates are essential to real estate professionals’ businesses. Your realtor will have the most accurate updates for the area you are searching in, as well as well-researched market predictions for the coming weeks and months. The economic state, interest rates, population changes, and supply-and-demand all factor into the real estate market. Instead of trying to keep track of that information yourself, rely on your trusted realtor who is immersed in the market trends each day.
*At the time of this post, the Canadian real estate market is returning back to pre-COVID-19 activity after major pauses in March-April 2020.
Understand Your Options
Unlike 15 years ago, the options for purchasing a home are expanding. With greater access to technology, piles of flyers and home showings aren’t the only way to find your dream home. At Sweetly, our realtors have access to technology that makes the process much simpler. Once you know the criteria you desire in a home, join our buyers’ list! One of our agents will follow up with a call to make sure we know exactly what you’re looking for. When an eligible property comes on the market that meets your requirements, you’ll receive an immediate notification so you don’t miss out. If you would rather embark on the traditional real estate process, that’s okay, too! Our agents know the real estate world like the back of their hands and would be happy to work through your journey in whichever way makes you most comfortable.
At Sweetly, we believe in delivering a better experience to our clients. If you are a first-time buyer searching for the perfect home, reach out to us via email at email@example.com or give us a call at 780.477.9338. You can also fill out our general inquiry form here!