As immigrants, we dream of the day we find a home in Canada. Purchasing can be exciting, rewarding and confusing. Here are seven tips to help you find your best-fit home in Canada.
Here are 7 Tips to Help Immigrants Find Their Home in Canada
One: Do Your Research
Purchasing a house for immigrants and born-in-Canada residents is usually the most expensive commitment they will ever make. Check if ownership is the best choice for you and your family. For some people renting remains the most economical option.
Two: Get a Mortgage Pre-Approval
This way you will know your budget for your future home purchase. Avoid getting excited about a house you saw and then find out you can not afford it.
Three: Start Saving and Create a Solid Credit Rating
Open a bank account close to where you live. Decide on a percentage of your monthly earnings to save. Avoid using generic ATMs or loan companies such as Money Mart. They will charge you money you are better to save. Get a credit card and learn to be smart using it. Pay off the charge every month.
Four: Write a Want List
Make a list with your family of what you want in a house. You may not get every item you want but starting with a list will help you know what is important. Answer these questions:
- How many bedrooms and bathrooms?
- What style: condominium, bungalow, split-level, side-by-side, townhouse or two story house?
- Do you want a modern kitchen?
- What appliance are important?
- Do you require a garage? How big?
- Do you want an older home or a brand new one?
- Are willing to renovate?
- Do you want a big lawn or low maintenance property?
Prioritize your list from the most important features to the least important. This will be important information to give your realtor.
Five: Consider the Neighbourhood You Want to Live
Is it important for you to live close to other immigrants from your country? If you want to gather with your faith community or join in cultural activities, this is important to think about. Many immigrants purchase houses in North East (NE) Calgary as many stores, businesses, and agencies support immigrant needs in that quadrant.
Six: Realize Additional Costs on Top of House Price
On top of the cost of the house purchase, you will pay legal fees, property inspection, and moving expenses. There may also be repairs you will want to make.
Seven: Interview and Find the Right Realtor
Buying a house has many steps and rules. Make sure to ask friends and family you trust for a referral to a reliable, honest, and experienced realtor. Finding a realtor who will walk you through the steps of home ownership can make all the difference. Look for a realtor who will:
- Listen to your needs, wants and dreams.
- Tell you the truth about the Calgary and area real-estate market and the house you want.
- Support you through the exciting, but the sometimes scary process of home purchase.
- Negotiate a good price for you.
- Help arrange for a house inspector, lawyer, and other professionals and trades as needed.
- Understand the unique challenges of being a Canadian immigrant.
Note: It can help if your realtor can speak your home language.
Use these tips to become find your home in Canada. Being an informed immigrant will help you to finally live in the heart of your home.