Home Buying Guide for New Canadians
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Congratulations on Being a New Citizen

July 22, 2016

Home Buying Guide for New Canadians

Congratulations on becoming a new Canadian citizen! One of the many benefits of being a new Canadian is that it becomes much easier to buy your first home in Canada. However, it is important to have enough information before making that kind of decision. To help, we’ve compiled some some Do’s, and Don’ts when buying a new home.

Do: See if you have Enough Credit

Finding out your credit score is simple and easy, especially with websites like Equifax or Transunion. If you do not have enough credit, obtaining a credit card, or getting a smaller loan will help. Use them frequently for necessary expenses you have normally paid cash for. Then, when your bill comes you are able to pay off the balance each month with the cash you have left in the bank. This strategy will help build your credit in a few months. Your credit rating is also tied to your mobile phone account, so paying your mobility bill on time helps your credit score as well.

Don't: Rely on Old Information

Friends and family who have been through the buying process can be a great resource. However, depending on how long ago they went through it, their information might be out of date! It is important to make sure to look into a lot of different sources of information. Do research online, or contact your financial institutions or mortgage broker and ask questions.

Do: Find a Homebuying Professional

Realtors, mortgage brokers, and other financial professionals are a great way to get up-to-date information that pertains to your homebuying needs. These professionals have a wealth of information about floor plans, different communities, home market, and the buying experience. The more questions you ask, the better!

Don't: Think there is a Time Limit

You do not need to be in Canada for a long time to buy a home. There is no set time for how long you have been in Canada to be eligible to buy a home. Often, all you need is proof of a steady job or a job transfer.

Do: Make Sure to Use Your Savings

There are many accounts that you can use to your advantage when buying a home. Savings accounts are wonderful resources, especially your Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA) and Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP). You can borrow up to $25,000 from your RRSP as a first time homebuyer in Canada. Depending on your income level, RRSPs allow you to reduce your tax bill or increase your income tax refund while saving for retirement. They are win-win for first time homebuyers, as you don’t have to choose between retirement savings and a down payment for a home. Also, as a first time homebuyer, you could qualify for the first time homebuyer’s tax credit, which can mean a refund of up to $750 on your next year’s tax return.

Don't: Forget to Pay Your Taxes

It is very important to make sure that all of your tax paperwork is sorted out before buying a home. This helps with qualifying for a mortgage, and will save you a lot of hassle.

Do: Browse New Homes and Communities

Lastly, many homebuyers will look for a new home for nearly a year or more before they are able to narrow down the features they truly desire in a home. Whether you’d like to live close to work, or don’t mind a commute to one of the areas surrounding Calgary, browsing neighborhoods and viewing show homes will allow you and your family to find your perfect match.

In addition to homes for sale within Calgary city limits, there are also a number of communities offering a variety of home styles and amenities to suit any lifestyle, such as:

  • Boulder Creek Estates in Langdon offers a small town feeling, and lots of space for your family to grow with large Estate homes and lots.
  • Heritage Hills in Cochrane is the perfect city escape with views of the Canadian Rocky Mountains, with homes to suit any budget.
  • Spring Valley Estates in Airdrie is coming soon, and offers more variety with condos, starter homes, and estates.