Key Takeaways

  • Crunch the numbers to determine whether buying a home makes financial sense. 
  • Consider all the costs associated with home ownership, including inspection and legal fees, renovations, transfer fees, and move-in costs. 
  • Work with a Certified Financial Planner® professional or Qualified Associate Financial Planner™ professional to better understand the financial impacts of home ownership. 

Buying a home can feel overwhelming, but with the help of a professional financial planner, owning your dream home could become a reality.

The idea of buying your first home can be both exciting and overwhelming. Fortunately, unlocking the door to a home of your own is a dream that can come true if you take the right steps.

5 First Steps to Start Your Home Ownership Journey

The key is to think ahead,” says Tina Tehranchian, a CFP® professional and a senior financial planner with Assante Capital Management in Richmond Hill, Ontario.

Taking these important first steps – before viewing what’s available for sale – will help ensure a smoother path to home ownership.


"A CFP professional or QAFP® professional can help you crunch the numbers, plan to save for a down payment, evaluate financing options and plan for the future."

Weigh renting versus buying

There's a great deal of emotional attachment to the idea of owning a home. However, it's not always realistic or helpful to do so. Do the math first to determine whether it makes better sense, logistically and financially, to buy.

Consider cash flow

If buying makes sense, check your household budget and cash flow to determine how much you can afford to save for a down payment each month. It will also help you identify the mortgage size that's reasonable (be sure to factor in the possibility of interest rate increases).

Get pre-approved

Once you know how much you can afford, shop around for the best financing solution. Then get a written mortgage pre-approval that outlines all the details, including whether it's fixed or variable, payment schedules, and any special conditions.

Consider all the costs

Saving for a down payment and paying a mortgage are usually top of mind when looking to purchase a home. Often, additional one-time costs are overlooked at the onset. These can include the following:

  • Home inspection fees
  • Legal fees
  • Land transfer taxes
  • Moving costs
  • HST

Build a good team

Buying a house is a big investment—likely the largest of your life. Work with a team of trusted experts including a realtor, lawyer, and home inspector to avoid potential pitfalls. On the financial side, a CFP professional or QAFP professional can help guide you every step of the way.

Work With a Professional Who Understands You

“A CFP professional or QAFP professional can help you crunch the numbers, plan to save for a down payment, evaluate financing options and plan for the future,” said Tehranchian. “Then as time and circumstances change, we can revisit your plan to ensure financial arrangements, including mortgage rates and investment options, continue to give you the best bang for your buck.”

A professional financial planner can consider your financial big picture. They can help you identify the long-term implications of owning a home to help ensure you still reach other goals like sending children to university, living life comfortably, and retiring with financial security.

To find a CFP professional or QAFP professional who will help you on the path toward home ownership, use our Find Your Planner tool.

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