Begin by writing yourself a list of your needs regarding:
living requirements (i.e. how many bedrooms)
what you're bringing with you from the place you have now
how close to schools, shopping and other services you want to be by
the size of down payment you can afford to put on the new home
and of course the price range.
It's very important to be realistic when you're thinking about a down payment and setting a price range. Also remember, that there is an additional of 1.5% of closing cost (lawyer/notary, property transfer tax, property insurance and title, inspections, and property adjustments) added to the purchase price. At this stage, it's a good idea to talk things over with a mortgage consultant to see how much you will qualify for before looking at any properties, so you won't be looking in the wrong places and wasting your time. We can provide you with some mortgage consultants that can help you get started in a confident way.
There are also Home Buyers' programs that you may not be aware of:
HOME BUYERS’ PLAN
A one-time withdrawal up to $35,000 from a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) by first-time buyers to help purchase or build a home. Generally, you have to repay all withdrawals from your RRSP within 15 years. For more details, visit CRA’s website at: www.cra-arc.gc.ca
FIRST TIME HOME BUYERS' PROGRAM
The First Time Home Buyers' Program reduces the amount of property transfer tax you pay when you purchase your first home. If you qualify for the program, you may be eligible for either a full or partial exemption from the tax. www.gov.bc.ca
CMHC GREEN HOME PROGRAM
When you use CMHC-insured financing to buy or build an energy-efficient home or make energy-saving renovations, you may qualify for a premium refund of 10% on your mortgage default insurance and a premium refund for a longer amortization period (if applicable). Check out CMHC’s website for more information: www.cmhc.ca