Buying your first home: Three steps to successful mortgage shopping

Table of contents

A step-by-step guide to mortgage shopping

Buying a home is probably the biggest financial decision you will ever make, and for most people, it requires getting a mortgage.
Before you start shopping around, you need to know what you can afford. It’s important to have a realistic budget.
Some questions you need to ask yourself before and during the mortgage shopping process include:
  • How much of a down payment do you have?
  • What price range for a home is within your budget?
  • Have you considered all the costs involved with owning a home, such as mortgage payments, utility costs, property taxes, and maintenance costs?
  • Are you expecting any big changes that will affect your household budget in the near future? For example, do you plan to start a family or add other expenses, such as car payments, that would affect your budget?

This publication outlines three steps you can take to get the mortgage that’s best for you:

  • Step 1: Figure out what features you need and want in a mortgage.
  • Step 2: Shop around and get pre-approved.
  • Step 3: Learn about the extra costs to buy a home and understand your rights and responsibilities related to mortgages.
Note: FCAC’s Mortgage Calculator tool was used to determine the dollar amounts in the examples in this publication. If you use another tool, such as a lender’s calculator, the results may differ slightly since the figures will reflect a different method of calculation.   

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