What all First Time Buyers Should Know

Buying your first home is exciting, but it can also be stressful, especially if you are not familiar with the process and all the extra costs that go along with the purchase. Being prepared and fully understanding what is involved will go a long way towards reducing your stress levels. 

Follow these 5 tips to ease some of the stress of buying your first home:

1. Know What You Can Afford.

Cambrian’s Mortgage Affordability Calculator will quickly tell the maximum you can afford to pay for a home and what your mortgage payments would be.
It just takes 2 minutes to complete and it will not affect your credit rating. 

2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage.

Before starting house hunting, it is always smart to get pre-approved for a mortgage.

Being pre-approved means we will have reviewed your financial situation, discussed your down payment options and worked out the best mortgage solution for you.

A pre-approved mortgage will also establish you as a serious buyer, giving you the upper hand when you find the home you want.


Plus, once pre-approved, we will hold our low mortgage rate for 120 days while you search for your dream home. 

That means if rates go up, you do not need to worry because your rate is secure.  And if rates go down when you are ready to buy, we will give you the lower rate. So you can’t lose!


Start your pre-approval online. It only takes 15 minutes to complete. 

3. Make a Wish List.

Knowing what you are looking for in a home helps to narrow your search and make the process easier. Are you looking for a single-family home or a condo? Do you have a preferred neighborhood? Are you willing to do renovations or do you want a move-in ready home? Write out your wish list and compare it to homes on the current market to get an idea of what type of home you can get for what you can afford.

4. Know the Housing Market & Neighborhood

It is important to research the local housing market and the areas where you are interested in living.  What are homes selling for in the area? Are there schools, shops and amenities nearby? Will it be easy to sell this home in the future?

This will make sure you know you are buying the house that is right for you at the right price.

5. Be Aware of Additional Costs

Buying a home costs more than just your down payment and your mortgage payments. 


If your down payment is less than 20% of the purchase price, you will be required to purchase mortgage default insurance.

The mortgage default insurance premium is 2 – 4 % of the mortgage amount and is added to your mortgage.

You can avoid having to buy this insurance if your down payment is 20% or more of your purchase price.


We also advise homebuyers to budget for an additional 2% of the purchase price to cover the following costs:

  • Land Transfer Tax: This fee is required to transfer the land title to your name.
  • Survey Certificate: A survey certificate is required to ensure the house is situated on the lot within legal restrictions.
  • Tax Adjustments: You are responsible for paying your portion of the property taxes for the year of purchase.
  • Legal Fees: Legal fees include the lawyer's fees plus any disbursements required to transfer the property to your name. These fees vary from lawyer to lawyer.

Other costs to consider are the following:

  • Home Inspection: A home inspection is sometimes required prior to the completion of a purchase. A home inspection can reveal costly repairs which may not be visible to the average buyer.
  • Life Insurance: Life insurance is optional but it is important, as it will cover your mortgage payments in the event of death of the mortgage-holder(s).
  • Moving Costs: Moving costs can add up quickly, especially if you must rent a moving van or hire a moving company.
  • Utility Payments: In addition to your monthly utility bills, you may have to pay for service installations and hook-ups when you move in.


Take two minutes to complete our Cambrian Mortgage Affordability Calculator to find out what you can afford to buy.

Using our calculator will not affect your credit rating.

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