Home Guide to buying first home

Guide to buying first home

Buying a new apartment or condo, especially in a hot real estate market, can be both an exciting and stressful time. Some of this advice is tailored to buyers in Canada, but much of it applies anywhere. Read on to learn how to find your perfect condo or apartment, in which ever city you reside in.

Budget and downpayment for first time buyers

Figuring out a budget and getting the downpayment together

What are you hoping to achieve by moving? Are you looking for more space, or a better location? Do you want to be closer to work and cut down on your commute? Figure out what your goals are and put down on paper. This can help you mentally succeed in your home search. What else do you need to do? Find out.

Electric baseboard heating versus hot water heating

Heating and cooling systems in apartments

Different apartments and condos come with different heating systems. We explain the most popular ones: baseboard, forced air heating and cooling, geothermal and hot water heating.

How much mortgage can I afford?

How much mortgage can I afford?

A mortgage broker can help you determine how much you can afford based on your income, debts and employment history. Getting pre-approved will jump-start your home search and put you in a position where you can act quickly when you see something great. 

Search tips for apartment or condo

Checklist for apartment and condo search

There's no substitute for actually getting into properties and getting a feel for different neighbourhoods and buildings. Finding a real estate agent is one of the first steps in your home search.

Strata or HOA fees

Strata and HOA fees for apartments

Strata, condo or HOA fees. We've all got to pay them, but what's reasonable? And where does the money go?

Why hire a realtor or real estate agent?

Why hire a realtor or real estate agent?

As a buyer, there is no charge for using the services of a real estate agent. The cost of commission is always borne by the seller. It's true that the internet has made it much easier to find properties and for search for a new home. But a good real estate agent can get you into new listings first, so you can get a jump on the competition. Here's why a good agent is so important.

Cost of parking spots

Are parking spots and storage units worth it?

How important is parking and storage with your first apartment or condo? What is the value and is it worth paying extra for?

Concrete or wood frame

Pros and cons of concrete and wood frame buildings

Condos and apartments come in many different types of buildings and construction. Concrete tends to be the preferred option, as it offers superior protection from noise transfer and tends to last longer. However, there are advantages to wood frame as well.

Location is very important in real estate

Location: the most important thing in real estate

You know the old real estate saying, location, location, location? It has stuck around because it's true. Location can make or break your purchase. Here's what to look for.

Carpet or hardwood flooring

Pros and cons of carpet and hardwood floors

There are many different flooring types in today's apartments and condos. Find out the pros and cons between carpet, hardwood, laminate, tile and new materials like vinyl.


The best guide to buying your first apartment or condo, with helpful tips and advice for prospective purchasers on everything from determining a budget, hiring a realtor, differences between buildings and construction, mortgages and financing, and more.