There are many attractive incentives for current home buyers, plus, many Canadian markets are flush with selection resulting in a buyer’s market. But, don’t let home-buying hype push you to overbuy and derail your long-term financial goals.


Buying a home is a huge financial commitment, and the total costs of home ownership go well beyond the mortgage payment. You’ll be on the hook for utility bills, taxes, maintenance, repairs, condo fees, and much more. These extra expenses can be more than your mortgage payment. Before you start searching for property, figure out what you can afford. Consider:


• You’ll need a down payment. Nowadays, financial institutions will accept less then 10 per cent for a down payment. But, you’ll pay a hefty premium for highly insured mortgages (less than 20 per cent down payment), through CMHC fees.


• Draw up a budget. List your normal monthly income and expenditures, then figure out how home ownership will affect your budget.


• Calculate how much you can afford each month. You can go online and use a mortgage calculator from any of the big banks.