Buying a home

Is there such a thing as a right time to buy a home?

If there’s a right time to buy a home, it’s when one you like is available at a price you can afford and interest rates are at their lowest point. Of course, we can’t know the future, so buying a property at the just the right time can be challenging.

Here’s some practical information to help you make good decisions based on your needs.

The process of acquiring property sometimes involves working with various types of representatives, many of whom must be authorized to practise by the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), including mortgage brokers, group savings representatives, financial planners, damage insurance brokers, financial security advisors and credit assessment agentsThe AMF’s mission does not cover all the points to be checked before buying a home. For example, it does not cover the inspection or the offer to purchase. Make sure you have all the information you need before buying a home..

Before doing business with any of these representatives, check our Register of firms and individuals authorized to practise.

Building your financial picture

Determine how much you can afford to spend on buying and maintaining a home

There are many costs to consider when buying a home:

  • Recurring costs: municipal and school taxes, insurance, electricity, snow removal, condo fees, etc. Factor in the maintenance costs that will be required over time, such as reroofing the building, replacing the windows, installing a new water heater, etc.
  • Non-recurring costs: notary fees, transfer duty (welcome tax), moving expenses, window coverings, lawnmower, equipment and tools, etc.

Planning to buy a condo?

Make sure you know what you’re committing to, especially the obligations of the syndicate of co-owners, which directly or indirectly affect all co-owners and include:

  • Getting the building appraised by a professional
  • Establishing a self-insurance fund
  • Establishing a contingency fund
  • Providing a description of a standard unit so as to identify improvements

Beware of mortgage fraud

There are many types of mortgage fraud, including illegal property flipping, straw buyer fraud and foreclosure fraud. Be vigilant and recognize the red flags of fraud!

Find out more

Obtaining a mortgage loan

If you want advice and don’t want to shop for a mortgage loan on your own, you can deal with a mortgage broker.

  • Make sure they are authorized to act as a mortgage broker. Some real estate brokers are also mortgage brokers and are therefore authorized to offer mortgage loans. Important: “Mortgage expert” and “mortgage advisor” are not recognized titles.
  • Know who pays the broker. If it’s you, know how much their services will cost.
  • Check whether the contract includes an exclusivity clause restricting you to dealing with only that broker. You are responsible for knowing exactly what you are agreeing to.

Purchasing the required insurance

A lender cannot compel you to buy the insurance it proposes to you

However, it may require you that you buy insurance to guarantee repayment of the loan so that it can be sure of being repaid even if you lose your job, become disabled or die. However, the lender cannot compel you to buy the insurance proposed by it. You can purchase insurance from another insurer or propose insurance you already have to your lender.


Insuring a condo unit

A condo unit isn’t insured the same way as an apartment or a single-family home. Condo unit owners must take out a form of personal property insurance called “condominium unit owner insurance” (commonly called “condo insurance”), which covers not only your property and third person liability, but also any improvements made to the standard condo unit.

Before buying a condo unit, ask the syndicate of co-owners questions

Refer to the list of questions to ask the syndicate of co-owners This link will open in a new window (in French only) prepared by the Chambre des notaires. It lists a number of things you ought to consider before you buy a condo.

It’s important to shop around!

Before buying an insurance product, take the time to compare the products offered by different insurers. There may be significant differences between them.

Find out more


Did you know?

You can contact us if you are dissatisfied with any products sold by a representative listed in the register.

End of the Information