First Time Home Buyer?

Our Simplified Homebuyer’s Experience™ makes it easy and stress-free for you.

As a first-time homebuyer, you might feel stressed about all there is to know.

We understand completely. Not just because we’ve all been there ourselves, but we also do this all day, every day.

We think buying your first home shouldn’t just be the biggest investment in your life, it should also be one of your life’s happiest experiences. That’s why we’ve created the REVO Simplified Homebuyer’s Experience™.

Our process is built to help you get the most enjoyment possible out of buying your home, by making it as easy as possible for you. We answer your questions, help you plan, and (most importantly) do a ton of the work so that you don’t have to.

It helps you focus on the more important tasks at hand, like deciding what colour to paint the master suite.

Please enter a number from 250000 to 3100000.
Please enter a number from 250000 to 3100000.
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

First-Time Home Buyer FAQs & Action Plan:

How do I get started?

Getting started is as easy as taking a minute to fill out our contact form.

Get Started

If you’re not quite ready to talk to someone from the team, no worries.  We suggest starting by figuring out how much you can afford to borrow using one of our simple mortgage calculators.  Make sure you think about how much down payment you have set aside and any other ongoing financial commitments you have.

I tried the online calculators – are those my real final numbers?

Online mortgage calculators give you a reasonable ballpark starting point for what you can afford, but there’s no substitute for working directly with a dedicated REVO team member. We know all the rules, we know all the lenders, and we can’t wait to get to know YOU.

Why wouldn’t I use my bank?  Wouldn’t I get a better rate?

Rate is an important factor in determining what the best mortgage deal is for you and your family, but it’s not the only factor.

Working with REVO means you’ll get the best rate possible (as you’ll see in our reporting) because we make the lenders compete for your business.  So, instead of being forced into whatever solution your bank has on offer at the time, we get you the best mortgage the entire market has on offer at the time.

Remember: we measure our success based on how many people we help, not on how many of each lending product we sold that month.  Buying a home deserves a personal touch.

What’s the minimum down payment for buying a home?

The current down payment rules are very clear: 5% of the first $500,000 and 10% of any amount above that.

The best way to fund your down payment is through your savings, but it’s not the only way. First time home buyers in Canada and recently separated folks can use up to $35,000 worth of RRSP’s per applicant, penalty-free.  You can also use a gifted or inherited down payment and, within certain guidelines, a borrowed down payment.

What’s the difference between my deposit and my down-payment?

Your deposit is the up-front amount of money you place in trust with the seller’s agent as a show of good faith; effectively to show your commitment to buying the property.

While there are clear guidelines for down payment amounts, deposit amounts vary widely by region or can even be a part of the strategy your realtor might use to get your offer accepted.  In every case, your deposit is deducted from your down-payment amount on the deal, so no need to worry about coming up with more money than what you had planned.

What’s the pre-approval process?  What do I need to do?

As you’ve probably noticed, we have “Get Started” buttons all over the site, so that part is probably obvious.  But maybe you’d like to know more before you push the button – we get that.

As soon as we received your contact form, that’s when the REVO Simplified Homebuyer’s Experience™ begins for you. We start shopping for the best mortgage deal to suit the financial information and goals you’ve shared with us in the contact form.  We generally have an pre-approval ready within a couple of business days.    From there, we’ll want to get to know you a bit more and find out what sort of home you’re shopping for – that way we can make sure that your mortgage, financial planning, and dreams all come together to give you a great first-time home buyer experience.

No need to go into a bank, no need to shop around – it’s all done for you and you can get it done from wherever you are.  This is part of how we make it easy and stress-free for you.

How do I make an offer to buy a home?

Your realtor will already know everything you need to know to help you get your offer submitted to the sellers.  When you shop for a home with a mortgage pre-approval in place, you’re already putting yourself ahead of any competing buyers who don’t have their financing already arranged.  Boom!

What conditions should my offer include?

Your realtor and our team will help you get this part just right.  You want conditions that protect your rights and interests as a buyer, but you don’t want to overcomplicate things.  Getting it just right means that your offer is more appealing to sellers and helps them determine which offer they most prefer to accept.

What is CMHC? Do I have to pay for that?

CMHC refers to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, a government-owned insurance company. Canadian law states that mortgages on purchases made with less than 25% down must have insurance in place protecting the lender in the event of failure to pay by the borrower. On the upside, this insurance being in place helps reduce the risk to the lending institutions, enabling them to offer mortgages at lower interest rates than they would offer if the risk to them were higher.

When you see CMHC expenses expressed in your mortgage documents, it’s a mandatory insurance expense to cover the above legal requirements.  The only way to avoid paying CMHC fees is to make sure you have a down payment that is greater than 25% of the value of your purchase.

What are and how much are closing costs?

Closing costs refers to the expenses incurred in the final transacting of your purchase, including getting the old owners off the title of the home, and putting your name on there as the new owner.  Closing costs vary slightly depending mostly on who you use for legal and home inspection services, and our team will work to give you maximum visibility into closing costs.  Here’s a high-level view of what you can expect for closing costs:

  1. Land Transfer Tax – This is variable by jurisdiction, but first-time home buyers in Canada do get reduction in this expense of up to $4,000.
  2. PST on your CMHC premium. As mentioned above, if your deal requires CMHC insurance for the lender, you will likely see the insurance premium expressed as part of your payment, along with the PST amount applicable on the premium.
  3. Legal Fees – The vary rather widely depending on the law office you engage and their level of service. Expect this to be around $2,000 that you can pay out of pocket or have in wrapped into your mortgage.
  4. Home Inspection – Another expense that varies quite a lot, but you’ll want to do your best to shop by reputation and not by price on this one. A good home inspection can protect you from buying a living nightmare of a property, help you get a reduction in price to cover deficiencies, or help you identify work that you want the current owners to do as a condition of the sale. Expect to spend $300 and up for this service, likely around $500.
  5. Appraisal (as required only) – In some cases, a lender may require an appraisal to establish how much they are willing to lend against the value of the property being purchased. Sometimes they lender will cover this expense, sometimes they have the buyer arrange their own appraisal.  For most appraisals, you can expect an expense of $300 - $500.
If a family member co-signs for me, do I lose my First-Time Buyer Tax Credits?

Not really.  You will still enjoy 99% of the benefits, we just need to set up the paperwork properly for you, and we do that.

Once I have my pre-approval, how long is it valid for?

Most pre-approval are valid for 90-120 days.  We’ll make sure you’re really clear on how much runway you’ve got so you can focus on shopping for the perfect place.

What are the conditions for me to enjoy First-Time Buyer Tax Credits and use RRSP’s penalty-free?

If you did not occupy a home that you or your current spouse or common-law partner owned any time during the four years leading up to your purchase, then congratulations – you’re considered a first-time home buyer.

You and your co-applicant (if you have one) can withdraw up to $35,000 from your RRSPs free from taxation.  In your planning, make sure in advance that any group or company RRSPs you own make allowances for this type of withdrawal.  All RRSP money accessed for this program must have already been in the RRSP account for at least 90 days prior to the date of your deal.

You have up until 30 days from your closing date to enjoy this RRSP withdrawal, but you can only make one withdrawal, so be sure to chat with our team about planning your best use of this privilege.


We’re here to help and ready when you are.