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5 Online resources to help you buy a home

5 Online resources to help you buy a home

(Photo credit: pallspera.com/Flickr)

(Photo credit: pallspera.com/Flickr)

You want to buy a home, that’s as much as you know. But if you’re a first-time homebuyer, it can be a bit of a headache to figure out where to start.

Here are some online resources that can ease you through the process of what will likely be the biggest purchase in your life.

CMHC: The CMHC website helps you figure out what you should consider before buying a home and it offers a step-by-step process of what home shoppers can expect when they decide that buying property is for them. This national website offers a detailed list of aspects to consider that will help you decide what type of home to purchase and what you should look for in a home and it also goes as far as telling you the people you’ll need to hire to buy a home. But most importantly, the website details the additional closing costs you might face after a home purchase and this goes a long way in prepping your budget so you aren’t hit with sticker shock once the deal closes.

BuzzBuzzHome: If a new construction home is what you’re after, then browsing this listing website is a good first step. The website, which was founded in 2009, offers homebuyers across Canada, a good place to start their research with info about what units will be available in the development plans, who’s the developer on the project, the starting cost of units and the development’s construction status. If you’re looking for homes within a specific area, the website’s easy-to-use interface lets you search by area. The website also offers an active forum that lets you connect with other project followers and those interested in chatting about real estate. (You can even research projects in the US if you’re interested.)

Ratesupermarket/Ratehub: These websites are a good resource when it comes time to shop around for mortgage rates. Nailing down a pre-approved mortgage can help you move faster in your home purchase and these websites help you compare rates across many financial institutions. They also offer calculators to help you calculate the other aspects of buying a home. You can also visit other bank websites for other calculators related to buying a home.

Crime maps: The safety of your home’s neighbourhood likely makes a difference in where you decide to live. Many of Canada’s police forces, such as the Toronto Police Service and the Saint John Police Force, offer an online crime map and crime statistics that gives you details on types of crime that have occurred in your area. These maps usually break down the crimes into robberies, arson, motor vehicle thefts, break and enters, homicides and other categories.

Fraser Institute’s School Report Cards: If you have a family or looking to start one, the neighbourhood you live in helps decide the schools your child will attend. If you’re unsure of what are good schools in the area, the Fraser Institute ranks how well schools perform academically, which includes how well the schools performed in provincial tests. It offers details of the children’s academic performance over the last few years and the school district it belongs to.

What other online resources helped you make a decision on your home?

There are many factors that influence your decision on where you decide to live or invest in a home, such as whether you can afford it, whether now is a good time to enter the housing market or how much rent you can charge a tenant.

If you’ve bought a newly built home, claim some of your purchase’s HST by applying for a rebate. Rebate4U will walk you through filing an HST rebate so you don’t have to worry about it. Our priority is to provide our clients with the most professional and quality service in obtaining rebates for their new and renovated homes. We are proud to offer our clients the most personal and attentive service, and we make sure that all of our clients are 100% satisfied.

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