Spring is the busiest time of year for the Canadian real estate market. If you’re new to the country and eager to buy your first home, you’ll find the widest selection in spring. But don’t wait till May! Start your journey to homeownership now. Here’s how to get a head start on the spring real estate market.

Get a head start with a pre-approved mortgage

Although it’s always wise to line up your mortgage pre-approval before you start your house hunt, it’s crucial in high demand markets like Toronto and Vancouver.

Traditional mortgages in Canada require a down payment of at least 20% of a home’s purchase price, but for aspiring first-time homebuyers, mortgage insurance makes it possible to buy a home with less.

Genworth Canada’s New to Canada program is a mortgage insurance product that enables newcomers to buy a home with as little as a 5% down payment on a new or resale home costing $500,000 or less. (For homes that cost more than $500,000 and less than $1 million, a down payment of 5% is required for the $500,000 portion, and an additional 10% down payment is required for the portion over $500,000.)

Get a head start on the spring real estate market by meeting with a mortgage broker and lining up your mortgage pre-approval now, so you’re ready to make an offer when the right home comes along.

Get a head start by finding a great real estate agent or REALTOR®

A real estate agent or REALTOR® is your best friend when it comes to finding the right home for your needs, whether it’s a condo, townhouse or house. Real estate professionals’ insights into the local market, as well as neighbourhood amenities, property values and sales trends, can save you time and money during your house hunt.

Ask friends or business associates if they can recommend a good real estate agent or REALTOR®. If this real estate professional is not familiar with the community you wish to buy in, he or she will refer you to a trusted colleague who is.

Get a head start by kicking off your house hunt!

Finally, don’t wait until the first day of spring to start house hunting. Use the last days of winter to research real estate listings, and talk with your real estate agent or REALTOR® about the type of home you want. It’s easier to get their undivided attention now, before they get super-busy!

Visit open houses on weekends and walk around neighbourhoods you are considering buying in, so you can familiarize yourself with different parts of town.

You may surprise yourself and find the perfect home before spring arrives – that’s the ultimate way to get a head start on the spring real estate market!

Want more information on buying your first home in Canada? Click on these Homeownership.ca features:

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