The Homebuyers Roadmap

So, you're ready to become a homeowner. Congratulations! Like any successful adventure, some careful charting and route planning will go a long way to ensure the path to your destination is free and clear.

Throughout your voyage, you can count on your REALTOR® to be your navigator and help guide you to your goal. In 2012, on behalf of REALTORS® across the country and in collaboration with the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC), we created the Home Buyers' Road Map to help home buyers make informed decisions when choosing a home. We've since taken things to the next level with this complementary mobile-friendly and interactive guide.

Let's hit the road.


The Destination

Before you pack your bags, you should probably have an idea of where you're going. For this crucial first step, have a candid chat with your REALTOR® about the type of home that will best suit your needs and lifestyle. If you're an urbanite who needs to be at the centre of it all, a condo downtown might be your perfect fit. If you're someone who needs peace and tranquility, a bungalow on a large lot in the country might entice you. If you want the benefits of city living but need room to grow, a townhouse in the suburbs could offer the flexibility you need.

What type of home is best for you? Take the quiz.

What house is right for you?

Money Talk

You've narrowed down the type of home that's best for you, now it's time to figure out how you'll be financing what is likely the largest purchase of your life. Don't be afraid to get some help along the way through government programs and incentives that lend first-time home buyers a helping hand, such as the First-Time Home Buyers' Incentive and the First-Time Home Buyers' Tax Credit. Your REALTOR® can tell you more about available options.

You'll need to assess your household budget and annual income honestly to determine how much house you can afford. Before you start looking for a home, you should:

  • Get your credit rating.
  • Understand how much you could comfortably afford paying in housing-related costs.
  • Get pre-approved for a mortgage.

Use our handy affordability and down payment calculators to help you determine how far your money can take you.

Download the print Roadmap

What's Out There?

Choosing where to buy should require more than just throwing a dart at a map and saying, 'there!" Exploring what's out there is one of the most exciting parts of any journey. The best resource available to you,, is also Canada's No. 1 real estate website and features roughly 300,000 listings at any given time.

Beyond budget and the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, you can filter your property search by the criteria most important to you: a preferred neighbourhood, school catchment areas, neighbourhood features and even specific keywords.

Your REALTOR® knows the community, the local market and is your home buying MVP.

When exploring properties, make note of the features you like, dislike or won't even consider. This checklist will keep you from chasing that elusive unicorn and will instead help you and your REALTOR® prioritize and focus your search.


Set your GPS

You now know where you're going, awesome! Who's going to help you get there? If you haven't yet found a REALTOR® to work with, now's the time. They'll be your co-pilot to ensure you avoid as many roadblocks as possible and arrive at your destination safely. But rather than being in charge of the music, snack bag and map, your REALTOR® will help guide you through:

The amount of money needed for your deposit.
Deciphering clauses and conditions.
Coming to an agreement on conditions.
What to do when it comes time to make an offer – and possibly counteroffer.
Creating a timeline that meets everyone's needs.

Plan Your Stay

So, you've found that perfect place to stay. Nice! Now, how do you go about securing it? With a REALTOR® at your side and a little planning, you'll have plenty of experience and knowledge to navigate the entire process.


The offer




Land transfer tax

Legal costs

Home inspection


The Home Stretch

The best part of a road trip is turning the corner and having your destination in sight. Most of the hard work is behind you and the excitement is really building! As you prepare for homeownership, there are a few things you might want to take care of before pulling into the driveway.

Download the print Roadmap

Welcome Home!

Congratulations, you made it! Now you can officially unlock the door to the wonderful world of homeownership!

The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS®, and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA.