Newcomers guide to Canadian housing

Roughly two-thirds of Canada’s annual population growth now comes from net
international migration. For many of these new arrivals, finding a safe,
affordable place to live can be an immediate challenge, especially since
housing in Canada varies greatly between provinces, territories, cities and
communities. To help Canada’s newcomers make the best housing decisions,
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) offers the following tips on
what to look for when buying or renting a new home:

  • Decide how much you can afford, how many rooms you will need, where
    you’d like to live and what type of housing you prefer.

  • If you are renting, find out what the rent includes. Remember that while
    the rent may be higher in central areas, these neighbourhoods also often
    offer greater access to work, shopping, recreation and public

  • Use several different search methods to find your new home. Ask relatives
    or friends. Search the classified ads of ethnic, community or daily newspapers. Check bulletin boards in grocery stores, laundromats, libraries, thrift stores, health clinics, etc.

  • Many non-governmental agencies can help you find a community where
    you'll feel comfortable. Make a list of neighbourhoods where you might like
    to live. Take into account the character of the community and the
    proximity to medical care, schools, shopping, places of worship and
    possibilities for work.

  • If you’re buying a home, make sure you have the right team of
    professionals. An appraiser and a home inspector will give you a better idea of the condition of a home and its worth. A lawyer (or notary in Quebec) will help protect your interests. If you need to arrange for a mortgage, you will need to find a lender or mortgage broker who can help you buy your home.

  • Before you search for a home, learn more about the housing market and
    the latest price trends in the city or neighbourhood that interests you. Keep
    interest rates in mind. Figure out how much you can realistically afford and
    ask a lender or mortgage broker how large a mortgage loan you qualify

  • Always check out a house or apartment as thoroughly as possible before
    committing. Make sure all plumbing, electrical and other systems are in
    good working order. Ask about utility, repair and other costs that you may
    have to pay in addition to the rent or mortgage.

  • Know your rights and responsibilities as a tenant or home owner. Most
    cities and towns in Canada have bylaws that protect your rights and

  • Try to remain positive and avoid being too choosy. If you're having
    difficulty finding a permanent place, consider a room that rents by the week or month while you keep looking. Don't feel rushed into renting an apartment or buying a home immediately.

    (Source: cmhc.ca)

    This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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    About the Author

    Tracy Head and Laurie Baird help busy families find mortgage solutions. Together they have more than 45 years of experience in the mortgage industry.

    With today’s increasingly complicated mortgage rules, Tracy and Laurie spend time getting to know the people they work with and help them to better understand the mortgage process. They support their clients before, during, and after their mortgage is in place.

    Tracy and Laurie work closely with their clients, offering advice and options. With access to more than 40 different lenders, Tracy and Laurie are able to assist with residential, commercial, and reverse mortgages in order to match the needs of their clients with the right mortgage package.

    They work closely with their clients to find the right fit, and are around to provide support for years down the road!

    Contact them at 250-862-1806 or visit www.okanaganmortgages.com

    Visit their blog at www.okanaganmortgages.com/blog


    The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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