Buying a home is probably the biggest financial investment you will ever make. Before you make an offer, you need to know what you can comfortably afford.
In addition to mortgage payments, ensure your budget allows you to cover expenses like utilities, property taxes and maintenance.
Try to plan any changes coming that will affect your budget—such as starting a family, buying a car or getting a new job.
The greater your down payment—the amount of cash you have saved for your home—the smaller your mortgage will be. You can also withdraw up to $25,000 from your registered retirement savings plan for a down payment on your first home under the Home-Buyers Plan.
The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) offers useful information to help homebuyers. The Budget Calculator can help you create a budget that will show you how much you have available for housing payments.
The Mortgage Qualifier tool calculates the maximum mortgage amount you can afford. The Mortgage Calculator lets you work out the payments you can make on your mortgage and how to pay it off faster, reducing the total amount of interest you'll have to pay.
Choices that you make now will affect how long it will take to pay off your mortgage. For example, some accelerated payment plans will result in your paying off your mortgage years earlier and saving thousands of dollars in interest. Check out FCAC's publications for more information on shopping for a mortgage and ways to pay off your mortgage faster.
More information is available online at fcac.gc.ca. You can also follow @FCACan
on Twitter and YouTube.