Know what you can afford before you start looking for a home

As a first-time homebuyer, determining your house affordability is an essential first step before you start searching for your dream home. It’s important to be realistic about what you can afford and avoid getting caught up in all the details of what you want in a home, as many features and amenities may not be in your budget. By setting a budget, you can avoid overspending and ensure you’re able to make mortgage payments comfortably.

Another important factor to keep in mind is that you may need mortgage default insurance if you have a down payment of less than 20%. This protects the lender in case you’re unable to make your mortgage payments. To get a clear picture of what you can afford, it’s a good idea to speak with your bank and a mortgage broker. They can provide you with information on the different pricing options and help you determine your ideal budget. By taking these steps and planning ahead, you’ll be well on your way to finding a home that fits your budget and your needs.

Use a real estate agent

As a first-time homebuyer in British Columbia, working with a real estate agent can provide a number of valuable benefits. With their wealth of experience in the local home market, real estate agents can help you avoid potentially costly mistakes and ensure that nothing is missed during the home-buying process. They can also answer any questions you may have, including which cable TV and internet providers are available in your new neighbourhood.

Having a knowledgeable real estate agent on your side can give you peace of mind and make the home-buying process less overwhelming. They can help guide you through the various steps involved in purchasing a home, including navigating the complex legal processes, negotiating the best price, and ensuring that all necessary inspections are completed. They can also help you stay within your budget and make sure that you’re fully informed about any additional costs that may arise.

By working with a real estate agent, you’ll have a dedicated professional who is committed to helping you find the perfect home that fits your needs and budget. They can give you access to a wide range of properties and help you choose the best options based on your priorities and financial situation. With their guidance and expertise, you’ll be able to make a confident, informed decision and feel good about your new home purchase.

Understand additional costs

First-time homebuyers in British Columbia should be aware that there may be a variety of additional costs involved in the home-buying process, including land transfer tax, title insurance, and lawyer fees. These additional costs can add up and typically makeup 2-5% of the purchase price, not including the down payment. It’s important to take these expenses into account when budgeting for your first home, as well as initial costs such as an inspection fee and legal closing costs. Ongoing costs like house insurance and homeowner association (HOA) fees can also add up over time, so it’s important to plan ahead and have a comprehensive understanding of your financial situation.

It’s also a good idea to have an open and honest conversation with your real estate agent about any specific costs related to the home-buying process in British Columbia. Your agent can provide insight and guidance to help you navigate these costs and ensure you’re prepared for the full cost of homeownership. By familiarizing yourself with the home-buying process in BC and anticipating these costs, you can make informed decisions and have a successful and stress-free home-buying experience

Know what you are looking for in your first home

As a first-time homebuyer, it’s important to have a clear idea of your priorities when searching for your first home. Creating a list of what you want in a home can help guide your search and ensure that you find a property that meets your needs. If you’re purchasing a home with a partner, it’s a good idea to compare your lists and make sure that you’re both on the same page. To help clarify your priorities, consider categorizing your list into items that are “must-haves”, “nice-to-haves”, and “not important”.

One of the most important items on your list is likely location. The location of your home can have a big impact on your daily life, so consider factors like proximity to schools, shops, and public transportation. Additionally, you may want to consider the size of the yard, the number of bedrooms, and whether there is a separate rentable suite.

Another key aspect of your home search is the housing style. Whether you’re looking for a single-family home, a townhouse, or a condo, it’s important to consider your personal lifestyle and how it will fit with the style of the property. Finally, the kitchen layout is often an important factor for many homebuyers. Do you need a large open-plan kitchen for entertaining, or are you looking for a cozy and compact space for cooking and enjoying meals with family and friends? These are the types of questions to consider as you build your list of home priorities.

Use First-time home buyer incentives

As a first-time homebuyer, it can be challenging to save up for a down payment and cover the associated costs of purchasing a home. Fortunately, several incentives are available to help make homeownership more accessible and affordable. Some of the most common first-time homebuyer incentives include government grants, tax credits, and low-interest loans.

  • One popular incentive is the First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit, which provides a non-refundable tax credit to help offset some of the costs of purchasing a home. This tax credit can be claimed on your tax return and can help reduce the overall cost of homeownership.
  • Another incentive is the Home Buyers’ Plan, which allows first-time homebuyers to withdraw up to $25,000 from their Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) to use as a down payment on their first home. This program provides a great opportunity for first-time homebuyers to access their savings without incurring any tax penalties.
  • Additionally, there are government grants and programs available in specific provinces and territories that can provide financial assistance to first-time homebuyers. For example, the BC Home Owner Mortgage and Equity (HOME) Partnership program provides up to 5% of the purchase price as a loan, which can be used towards a down payment.
  • First-time homebuyers can also benefit from low-interest loans, which can be provided by the government or other financial institutions. These loans can help reduce the overall cost of borrowing and make it easier for first-time homebuyers to manage their mortgage payments.


Cedarbrook is the premier choice for master-planned living in Chilliwack. Contact our Sales team at 604 793-8578 or fill out our Contact Form. Tour our show homes and discover the difference for yourself.