First Time Home Buyers

The benefits of being a brand new home buyer

Buying a house for the first time is an exciting step in your life. It’s a major accomplishment, and something you should be extremely proud about.

You’ve worked hard to get where you are, so it’s important to make sure you’re prepared for everything that comes next. That means knowing what to expect, what you should be looking for, and what your next steps should be.

With home ownership comes more responsibility, but there is also value in the freedom and assets you are gaining. With the right team on your side, you will see that this process can be highly rewarding and stimulating, and you’ll be able to make some amazing new memories in your new home in no time.

All of the real estate agents on the Barry Team have been in your shoes. We’ve all been first time home buyers and we know exactly how it feels. We also know things now that we wish we knew back then, so we put that knowledge to good use. We’ll make sure you don’t make any of the mistakes many first time buyers do, and that you are able to fully enjoy every part of your new journey.

The Benefits of Being a First Time Home Buyer

young couple relaxing after buying a home for the first time

It’s a big step to purchase your first home, but there are many benefits you can enjoy when you make the decision.

If you are a first time home buyer, you could be eligible receive a land transfer tax rebate up to $4,000. To receive this benefit you will need to meet certain conditions, so talk to your realtor to see if you are eligible.

You will also become eligible to receive a home buyers tax credit up to $750. This also applies to anyone who has not owned a home within the last 4 years.

Under the Home Buyers Plan, you can borrow up to $25,000 from RRSPs tax free to use toward your purchase. It is classified as an interest-free loan. If you are purchasing a home with your spouse, you will each be able to take out $25,000, giving you a total of $50,000.

There are also some programs out there through which the government will lend qualified buyers the 5% down payment. You will need to ask your mortgage specialist about this option and to find out if you qualify.

Talk to your realtor to see if there are any other benefits you could qualify for, as there are some others that aren’t specific to first time buyers. For example, there are a variety of rebates in Ontario you could be eligible for by keeping your home energy efficient.

First Time Home Buyer Checklist

If you have decided you are ready to buy your first home, here are some of the things you will need to make sure you’ve figured out before you start house hunting:

  • Qualify for a mortgage before you start looking.
  • Calculate how much you can afford, factoring in closing costs, home insurance, and property taxes.
  • Figure out what you want and be realistic- know what neighbourhoods are within your budget and what features you can compromise on.
  • Hire a good real estate agent to guide you through the process.
  • Be prepared for more responsibility.

If you want to make sure you are completely ready for this new part of your life, talk to a real estate agent. Don’t try to do this on your own.

At the Barry Team, all of our realtors are on your side. We’re here to help you make sure you get answers to all of your questions, advice on the decisions you make, and the best value for your money. You’ll be surprised at how easy the process can be with an ally on your side.

man writing down a first time home buyer checklist

2018 Mortgage Rules and First Time Buyers

couple being approved for a mortgage

As of January 1, 2018, anyone applying for a mortgage in Ontario has new rules to play by, and for many first time buyers, this can get complicated. There are three major aspects to these new rules that everyone should know.

Firstly, all prospective home buyers may have to face a test before they are qualified for a mortgage. Dubbed the “stress test” by many in the field, this test makes buyers qualify for a higher interest rate than what currently exists, which indicates whether they would still qualify for the mortgage if these rates went up further down the road.

It was previously only administered to some buyers who had less than a 20% down payment. However, new rules dictate that anyone could be subject to the test, no matter how much your down payment is.

Secondly, Mortgage lenders have to go by a loan-to-value (LTV) measurement, which essentially means that the mortgage you receive will be based on your local real estate market conditions. It’s calculated by weighing the value of your home with the size of the loan, thus determining how risky the loan itself is. High-risk areas, such as Toronto, are generally areas with higher-priced markets.


There are restrictions in place that can be applied to anyone qualifying for a mortgage who appears to have been designed to avoid the LTV limitations. For example, sometimes people will go through a mortgage lender, who will partner with another lender to approve the rest of the loan to take the LTV burden off, which is sometimes referred to as “bundling.”

So what does this all mean for first time home buyers?

It doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t buy a home. There are other options available to you, such as having a parent co-sign with you or looking at different types of property. Our experienced realtors at The Barry Team know the market very well, and we know numbers. We can help you figure out the best way to buy your first home, and make sure you don’t need to give up on your goals.

The Cost of Buying a House

“How much money do I need to buy a house?”

We hear this question often. The cost of buying a house is a factor for everyone, not just first time home buyers, and many aren’t sure what the bigger picture is going to look like once all of the paperwork is done.

Here is a breakdown of the costs you will encounter.


Transactional Costs

Mortgage Payments: Firstly, you will need to qualify for a mortgage and have a down payment ready. The minimum down payment in Ontario is 5%, which is called a high ratio mortgage. Home purchases over $500,000 and up to $1,000,000 require 5% up to $500,000, and then 10% on the remaining balance. A 20% down payment is called a conventional mortgage.

Applying for a mortgage in Ontario requires those who have a high ratio mortgage to purchase mortgage default insurance (CMHC).

Appraisals and Home Inspections (approximately $400): When you apply for a mortgage, you will need a property appraisal to determine the value of the home. A home inspection is not required, but it is something you should consider to make sure you don’t run into larger expenses in the long run.

buying a home for the first time can be expensive

Legal Fees & Insurance

Legal fees (approximately $1200-$1500): This estimate includes title insurance, all disbursements, and your lawyer fee to close the transaction. Hiring a lawyer is necessary to make sure all of the legal papers and documents are handled properly. You are dealing with a large amount of money, and working with a lawyer makes sure you are always protected. This also includes title insurance, which is not mandatory but a good idea to protect you from any issues relating to the property’s history or the sale itself.

Insurance: You will need home insurance to make sure that your assets are protected, and your mortgage will often require you to have this to protect the lender.

Taxes: Once the deal closes and you move in to your new home, you will start paying property tax. This is not included in closing day costs but it is something you will need to budget for when considering your purchase.

Miscellaneous Additional Costs: These are the costs you will acquire if you are going to need to hire movers or cleaners, or anything else that comes up throughout the process.

Our realtors on the Barry Team will sit down with you and go through all of the financial elements required for the purchase of your very first home. We’ll help you figure out all the numbers and make sure that you are fully prepared for this investment. No surprises necessary.

Work With Us


Going the extra mile is what we do for our clients. We tailor every experience to ensure that your specific needs are met. Buying or selling in the Niagara Region? Work with Niagara’s top producing team.

Disclaimer: All of the information displayed is believed to be accurate but is not guaranteed and should be independently verified. We do not make any warranties or representations of any kind. The property information on this website is derived from the Canadian Real Estate Associations Data Distribution Facility (DDF). DDF references real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Revel Realty Inc., Brokerage. The accuracy of information is not guaranteed and should be independently verified.