First-Time Homeowner Tips

Buying a new home allows you to choose the features and finishes that best reflect 
your aesthetic vision and style.

Buying a home is one of the most important steps you will take in your life. As such, it can seem overwhelming.

Should you buy a new home or an older one? How much can you really afford? Which builder should you choose?

The answers to these and many other questions can change your life, so it makes sense to carefully consider each one of them.

At Brookfield Homes, we want to help you make an informed decision. The tips below will help you find the dream home you and your family deserve:

  • Deciding on old vs. new. While the possibly lower price of an older home may seem appealing, keep in mind that they represent higher long-term costs, including ongoing maintenance, window and roof replacement, and updating insulation as well as the electrical system. If you want to sell later on, you may have to upgrade certain systems to comply with the current building code. New homes, on the other hand, are covered by the Tarion Warranty, plus financing may be easier to obtain. Lastly, they are built with newer technology that helps you preserve energy and save money. (This section in our website contains more information on the advantages of buying a new home.)
  • Find out what you can really afford. Just because your bank approves you for $500,000 doesn’t necessarily mean you should borrow that much. Even if banks had your best interest in mind, they might not include expenses like child care, retirement savings, and the cost of your lifestyle. 
  • Aim for the largest down payment possible. While your down payment should be at least 5% of the price, most experts recommend you put down 20%, which will help you qualify for a conventional mortgage rather than a high-ratio mortgage. (Remember you can use up to $25,000 of RRSP towards the purchase of your first home.)
  • Settle for a payment schedule. You can choose monthly, biweekly or weekly payments. The more frequent the payment schedule, the more money you can save in interest costs. 
  • Anticipate extra expenses. Save cash for moving expenses, furniture for the new home, and closing costs like legal fees, the land transfer tax, surveys, and more — these can add 1.5 to 2.5% to the purchase price of your home. (Not all builders do this, but at Brookfield Residential, we pay all levies, survey fees, grading deposits, hydro and water hook-ups, tree planting fees, educational/development costs, driveway paving, curb deposit, and gravel parking pad, which saves you thousands of dollars.)  
For more information, please visit our New Home Buyers Guide.  

Are you a first-time homeowner? If not, what do you know now that you wish you’d known before?