RBC - buying a house

Answers for newcomers on purchasing a home


Becoming a homeowner can be very exciting but at the same time can also feel a little intimidating. Some of the most common questions asked by newcomers are: Do I qualify for a mortgage? What’s a pre-approval? And how does buying a home in Canada differ from my home country?

“A home can be one of the most personally and financially rewarding investments you’ll ever make,” says Paul Sy, the director of multicultural markets at RBC. “If it’s your first time buying a home and you are new to the country, the process may seem a little overwhelming.”

According to RBC research, the top five concerns newcomers have are:

1) Getting approved for a mortgage: 31 per cent

2) Making the down payment on their home: 18 per cent

3) Making the regular monthly mortgage payments: 16 per cent

4) House prices rising in the next two years: 14 per cent

5) Mortgage rates going up: 14 per cent

Sy points out there are a lot of uncertainties that come with buying a home, which is why it’s important to know the right questions to ask. Here are a few to help you get started:

  • How much can I actually afford?
  • What are the best mortgage options for me and my financial situation?
  • How much do I have for a down payment and how much will I need?
  • What are closing costs and how much do I need to set aside?

“If you answer these tough questions in advance you can avoid last minute surprises when it comes time to purchase your home in Canada,” Sy explains.

Additional tips on buying a first home are available online at www.rbc.com/homeincanada and information designed specifically for newcomers can be found at www.rbc.com/canada.


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