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Buying a First Home

A big step

Want to make it happen? Check out our guide!

Buying your first home is an exciting step that requires a lot of thought and planning. Ready to go for it? We have expert advice and provide personalized service to help you each step of the way.

There's no place like home.

– Dorothy Gale

6 steps before you buy

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1 - Work out how much you can afford

First and foremost, you need to have a clear picture of your finances. Calculate how much you can spend on a mortgage to determine a target price range.

Next, calculate a realistic monthly payment based on your budget.

Learn about the federal incentive for first-time home buyers and how it could help you reduce your monthly mortgage payments.

See calculators

2 - Decide on a downpayment amount

The downpayment is the amount of the purchase price that you pay immediately, and must be at least 5% of the purchase price for the first $500,000 and 10% for the amount over $500,000. If your downpayment is less than 20%, your bank must take out mortgage loan insurance with Genworth or CMHC, and you’ll pay insurance premiums1 in addition to your mortgage payments.

Wondering where to get the money for your downpayment? Liquid assets, investments, gifts and inheritances are all acceptable downpayment sources, as well as RRSPs through the Home Buyers' Plan (HBP)2.

Further reading

How Does the Home Buyers’ Plan Work?

Thinking about buying?

Check out our mortgage offer. 

View offer

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3 - Budget for additional expenses

Buying a property comes with additional expenses you may not have thought of. Make sure you've set aside funds to pay for professional services, including property inspection and appraisal fees and fees charged by the legal professional.

You should also budget for insurance premiums (home insurance, mortgage loan insurance, etc.), property tax and any public utilities to be paid in advance, as well as federal and provincial tax on the sale price (for a new home), taxes on the mortgage loan insurance amount (if your downpayment is less than 20%), municipal and school taxes and welcome tax

Further reading

Purchasing a home: 9 fees to keep in mind besides your mortgage

3 ways to secure a down payment to buy a house

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4 - Meet with an advisor

We're here to help! Our mortgage advisors can help you find the right financing solution for your situation and guide you through the process, from pre-approval to purchase.

You can even request that an advisor come meet you at a time and place that's convenient for you.

Find an advisor
Young couple smiles while listening to an advisor



Young couple smiles while listening to an advisor



Young couple smiles while listening to an advisor





Smiling advisor talking to a couple

5 - Get pre-approved

Show you’re a serious buyer: get pre-approved before you start looking for a property. There are many advantages: it takes just a few minutes to apply online, it establishes a price range of homes you can afford, it guarantees your interest rate for 90 days and an expert can help you finalize the process.  

What’s more, it’s free and there’s no obligation to take out a loan!

Get pre-approved
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6 - Find a property and take out a mortgage

Have you made an offer on the home of your dreams? There are a number of steps involved in the mortgage process, like choosing between a loan and a line of credit, and assessing the property value.

Don't worry—your advisor will explain each step in detail at your first meeting and provide guidance and support throughout the process.

Preparing a mortgage application
Two women smiling in a kitchen while holding each other's hand



Two women smiling in a kitchen while holding each other's hand



Two women smiling in a kitchen while holding each other's hand





"Can I afford to buy a home?"

We’re here to answer your questions

Find answers

Solutions to power your dreams

Mortgage loan

Whether you want the peace of mind that comes with a fixed rate, the potential interest savings of a variable rate, or a combination of the two,1 we've got the right mortgage for you.

See our mortgage loans

Home equity line of credit

Buy a home with the All-In-One™ mortgage line of credit and leverage the principal you repay to finance new projects, like renovations or travel.3.

See the All-In-One line of credit

Loan insurance and mortgage lines of credit

Guarantee your monthly payments in case of disability, critical illness or death, and protect the financial future of your loved ones.4

See loan insurance

Our mortgage solutions can help you get the home of your dreams.

See all our solutions

More on buying a home

Little details that matter

Legal Disclaimers

TM All-In-One is a trademark of National Bank of Canada.

1. Insurance premiums are added to the total amount of your mortgage. File examinations fees charged by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and Genworth Financial Canada and taxes on premiums must be paid separately.

2. To be eligible for the Home Buyers' Plan (HBP), the property must be located in Canada, purchased or built before October 1 of the calendar year following the withdrawal from your RRSP, and intended as a primary dwelling, no later than one year after it is purchased or built. You and your spouse can each withdraw up to $35,000 from your RRSP. You'll have 15 years from the second calendar year following the withdrawal to repay the funds into your RRSP. Each year, you must repay 1/15th of the total amount withdrawn.

3. Subject to credit approval by National Bank of Canada. Certain conditions apply.

4. Certain conditions apply.

Ready to start?

You'll get an edge over other buyers and guarantee your interest rate for 90 days—it's free and there's no obligation to buy.

Request a pre‑approval
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