What Kind of Home Should You Buy?

What Kind of Home Should You Buy?

Introduction Slide

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Slide 1

(Visual) Header Text: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Homebuying Step by Step

(Visual) Title: What Kind of Home Should You Buy?

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There are so many choices available when buying a home today, and knowing your options can help you buy a home that meets your needs today and in the future.

Slide 2

(Visual) Header Text: What Kind of Home Should You Buy?

(Visual) Subtitle Text: In this presentation we will cover how to:

(Visual) Footer: www.cmhc.ca and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation Logo with Home to Canadians tagline are used throughout the presentation

In this presentation we will cover the factors to consider when buying a home, including assessing your current and future housing needs, selecting a location and neighbourhood, choosing a new or previously owned home and deciding on the style of home to buy. Let’s look at each in more detail.

Slide 3

(Visual) Header Text: Assess Your Housing Needs

When looking to buy a home you will want to consider your housing needs both now and into the future. Before you start looking for a home, it is a good idea to make a list of all the features that you and your family want or need. Try to choose a home that meets most of your needs for the next 5–10 years, or a home that can grow and change with your needs.

Slide 4

(Visual) Header Text: Assess Your Housing Needs

(Visual) Text on Slide:

Size requirements

  • # bedrooms / bathrooms
  • Home office
  • Garage size

Special features

  • Air conditioning
  • Swimming pool
  • Special needs
  • Energy efficiency


  • Single
  • Young children
  • Teenagers
  • Close to retirement

Some things to consider when looking for a home include:

Your home size requirements: Do you need several bedrooms, more than one bathroom, space for a home office, a two-car garage?

Special home features: Do you want air conditioning, storage or hobby space, a fireplace, a swimming pool? Do you have family members with special needs?

Your lifestyle: Are you single? Do you plan to have children? Do you have teenagers who will be moving away soon? Are you close to retirement?

Slide 5

(Visual) Header Text: Select a Location

(Visual) Subtitle Text: Location considerations

One of the most important factors in selecting a home is location. When deciding where to live, the following considerations are helpful:

  • Do you want to live in a city, town or a rural location?
  • How far away from work is acceptable and how will the commute be?
  • Are the locations of schools, parks, shopping and other amenities of importance?
  • How important is the safety of the location?
  • How close would you like to be to family and friends?

Slide 6

(Visual) Header Text: Choose a type of home

(Visual) Subtitle Text: Types of Homes

When thinking about the kind of home you want, one of the first things you should consider is whether you want a new home, a previously owned home, often called a resale, or to have a house built especially for you to meet your needs. To help you decide, here are some advantages and potential challenges for each.

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(Visual) Header Text: Choose a Type of Home

(Visual) Subtitle Text: New Home, Potential Advantages

Some of the advantages of buying a new home include:

  • Modern design that includes the latest trends, materials and features. For instance, new homes may have energy-efficient features.
  • Personalisation, giving you the ability to upgrade or change the siding, flooring, cabinets, plumbing and electrical fixtures
  • Being up-to-date with the latest building codes and modern electrical and energy-efficiency standards
  • Lower maintenance costs since everything is new and many items are covered by a warranty
  • New Home Warranty; programs provided by provincial and territorial governments that guarantee that defects in a new home will be repaired if the builder fails to repair them. A warranty may also be provided by the builder of the home. Be sure to check all of the conditions of the warranty. This warranty does not apply if you build the home yourself.

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(Visual) Header Text: Choose a Type of Home

(Visual) Subtitle Text: New Home, Potential Challenges

When purchasing a new home it is important to note that:

  • Neighbourhood amenities such as schools, shopping malls and other services may not be complete for years.
  • You may have to pay extra if you want to add a fireplace, plant trees and sod or pave your driveway. Make sure you know exactly what’s included in the price of your home.
  • Taxes such as the Goods and Services Tax (GST) or, in certain provinces, the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST)) will apply. However, you may qualify for a rebate for part of those taxes if your home costs less than $450,000. For more information on the GST New Housing Rebate program, please visit the Canada Revenue Agency website.

Slide 9

(Visual) Header Text: Choose a Type of Home

(Visual) Subtitle Text: Resale Home, Potential Advantages

When purchasing a resale home, the advantages are that the home is complete and you can see what you are buying.

  • There is likely easy access to services and amenities as the home is more likely to be in an established neighbourhood with schools, shopping malls and other services.

  • Landscaping is usually done and fencing installed.

  • Previously owned homes may have extras like fireplaces or finished basements or swimming pools.

  • When purchasing a resale home you don’t have to pay the GST/HST. One exception to this is when the house has been renovated substantially; then the taxes are applied as if it were a new house.

Slide 10

(Visual) Header Text: Choose a Type of Home

(Visual) Subtitle Text: Resale Home, Potential Challenges

However, when purchasing a resale home you may need to redecorate, renovate or do major repairs such as replacing the roof, windows and doors. Also, a resale home may not have energy-efficient features built in.

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(Visual) Header Text: Choose a Type of Home

(Visual) Subtitle Text: Build Your Own, Potential Advantages, Potential Challenges

Some people prefer the challenge and flexibility of building their own home. You can get exactly what you want in terms of size, design, location, quality of material, level of energy efficiency and so on.

However, it’s a big project, so you should expect to invest lots of time and energy.

Slide 12

(Visual) Header Text: Decide on the Style of Home

There are many types of homes to choose from and each has advantages and disadvantages. Thinking about your specific needs can help in choosing the type of home you would like to buy. The next few slides provide information on the styles of homes that are available, including:

  • Single family detached
  • Semi-detached and duplex
  • Rowhouse, townhouse and stacked townhouse
  • Manufactured/mobile/modular
  • Condominiums

Let’s look at each style of home in more detail.

Slide 13

(Visual) Header Text: Decide on the Style of Home

(Visual) Subtitle Text: Single-Family Detached Home

A single-family detached home is a home containing one dwelling unit that stands alone and sits on its own lot, offering a greater degree of privacy.

Slide 14

(Visual) Header Text: Decide on the Style of Home

(Visual) Subtitle Text: Semi-Detached Home

A semi-detached is a single-family home that is joined to another one by a common wall. It can offer many of the advantages of a single-family detached home and is usually less expensive to buy and maintain.

Slide 15

(Visual) Header Text: Decide on the Style of Home

(Visual) Subtitle Text: Duplex

A duplex has two units — one above the other or side by side within the same building. The owner will often live in one unit and rent the other.

Slide 16

(Visual) Header Text: Decide on the Style of Home

(Visual) Subtitle Text: Rowhouse or Townhouse

A rowhouse or townhouse is one of several similar single homes located side by side separated by common walls. It offers less privacy than a single-family detached home but still provides a separate outdoor space. These homes can cost less to buy and maintain but can also be large, luxury units.

Slide 17

(Visual) Header Text: Decide on the Style of Home

(Visual) Subtitle Text: Stacked Townhouse

A stacked townhouse usually consists of two-storey homes stacked one on top of the other in a row of four or more homes. The units may have more than one level, with all units having direct access from the outside.

Slide 18

(Visual) Header Text: Decide on the Style of Home

(Visual) Subtitle Text: Manufactured, Mobile and Modular Homes

Manufactured, mobile and modular homes are all factory-built single-family homes that provide an affordable and flexible housing option. They can be transported to your chosen location and placed on a foundation.

Slide 19

(Visual) Header Text: Decide on the Style of Home

(Visual) Subtitle Text: Condominium

A condominium is a form of legal ownership as opposed to a style of construction. A condominium can be in a high-rise residential building, townhouse complex, individual house or a low-rise residential building. They’re also known as “stratas” in British Columbia or “syndicates of co-ownership” in Quebec.

Slide 20

(Visual) Header Text: Find the Right Home

(Visual) Subtitle Text: Start Your Search

Ready to start your search? There are a variety of options that you can use to find the home that’s right for you:

  • Word of mouth: tell people that you are looking for a house, and you might hear about homes that are just becoming available on the market.
  • The homes section of newspapers and free real estate magazines are good sources.
  • Real estate websites, such as www.mls.ca, will provide information and pictures of a wide range of properties, allowing you to narrow your search by location, price, number of bedrooms and other features.
  • Drive around a neighbourhood that interests you and look for “For Sale” signs to find homes that are being sold by the owner.
  • Visit new housing development sites to see the different models available and to get information from builders.
  • Work with a real estate agent. For most buyers, a real estate agent is key to finding the right home.

Slide 21

(Visual) Header Text: What Kind of Home Should You Buy?

(Visual) Text on Slide:

  1. Assess your housing needs
  2. Select a location
  3. Choose a type of home
  4. Decide on the style of home
  5. Find the right home for you

In summary, there are several things to consider when finding the home that is right for you — whether it be selecting a location, finding out what your needs are or selecting the type of home that will meet all of your needs. When the decisions are made, you can feel confident in knowing you are one step closer to finding your dream home.

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(Visual) Disclaimer: This presentation is not intended to provide financial or other advice and should not be relied upon in that regard. The information (including the assumptions and examples) it contains are provided for general illustrative and estimative purposes only, and does not take into account the specific objectives, circumstances and individual needs of the reader. All information is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty or representation of any kind, express or implied and it is not intended the reader will rely on this information without verifying the full terms of CMHC underwriting policies. The reader should be aware that other conditions, requirements and restrictions may apply and that the information is subject to change without notice. CMHC assumes no responsibility or liability of any kind in connection with the information provided. CMHC and the names of any CMHC products and services, as well as any logos or drawings are trademarks, registered trademarks or official marks of CMHC.© 2012, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. All rights reserved.

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