Buying a home is one of the biggest purchases you'll ever make. While picking out a home and thinking about decorations is a lot of fun, there are important things to think about and do before you even meet with a real estate agent.

Money matters

Create a monthly budget so you can…

  • Better allocate income to expenses (groceries, loan payments, car instalments, etc.)
  • Figure out how much to budget for housing, including your down payment
  • Make up for any savings shortfall using your RRSP(s) (under the Home Buyers' Plan)

How much will it really cost?

On top of your mortgage payments, you should also incorporate these hidden costs into your moving budget:

  • Land transfer taxes
  • Property tax
  • Lawyer or notary fees to finalize the mortgage loan
  • Inspection fees
  • Utilities (water, waste disposal, etc.)
  • Hydro, gas, etc.
  • Appraisal fees required by the lender
  • Survey fees
  • Sales tax (new homes)
  • Moving expenses (truck rental, pizza, etc.)
  • Odds and ends (light bulbs, door handles, shower curtains, etc.)
  • Mortgage loan insurance premiums and home insurance
  • An emergency fund for major renovations, repairs and unexpected expenses

Start your estate planning so you can…

  • Get an idea of what's involved in settling an estate
  • Name an executor
  • Set up your Personal Record (PDF, 186 KB) so all your personal information and documents are in one place to make things easier for the executor
  • Decide whether you need to talk to an expert

Need help with estate planning?

Tips from an expert

Talk to a representative or a financial planner about…

  • Taking out life insurance, including life insurance on your mortgage loan (this type of insurance is also available through the lender), to make sure your loved ones are taken care of when you die
  • Buying other coverages (disability, critical illness, long-term care, etc.) to protect your savings and your home in case you get sick or become disabled
  • Improving your savings strategy

Talk to a lawyer or notary about …

  • Reviewing your common-law agreement (it sets out your respective rights and responsibilities) to include your home, if you're buying it with your common-law partner
  • Updating your estate planning decisions