5 Tips For A First Time Home Buyer In Ottawa’s Current Market

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The Canadian market is currently red hot, and one of the best examples of this is in Ottawa, where homes are selling in days or even hours, with REALTORS® many times having to artificially slow the market.

With around 3 weeks of inventory (assuming no new listings on the market) available to Ottawa buyers, vs a more typical 3-6 months in a balanced market, both demand and price have been outstandingly high.

Buying a home in today’s market means that first-time buyers are facing some new challenges. 

We know that these challenges can be stressful, so to help we’ve put together some tips for you below that should guide you on your journey to finding a home you will truly love.

Build Solid Credit

When it comes to buying a house, having great credit can really give you an edge when it comes to negotiating your interest rate. 

Credit is the barometer that banks use to measure how responsible an individual is with their money and paying back their debts on time.

Creating a strong credit history takes time, but is worth the effort when it comes to making larger purchases like a home. This can make your offer on a home really stand out from the rest of the crowd and help get you into your new home sooner.

Save a Down Payment & Create a Budget

A minimum down payment is necessary to get a mortgage on a home and depending on the size of your down payment, your monthly mortgage payments may be less.  

The first-time homebuyer incentive through the Government of Canada can also help reduce your monthly mortgage payment without increasing your down payment.

With all the offers for homes in Ottawa at the moment, a healthy down payment can help secure a property that you’ve fallen in love with.

When you find out what kind of down payment is reasonable for your situation, it’s important to create a realistic monthly budget so that you have some overhead to save, buy groceries, and manage utilities and whatever other expenses you may have. You want to be able to live comfortably!

A budget is key for new buyers and will create good financial habits going forward.

Determine To Build New or Buy Old

One of the bigger decisions that need to be made by the first-time buyer is to build a new home or purchase an existing, pre-owned home. 

New homes are usually more expensive and even more so in the current market where homebuilders are resorting to using online auctions. They do, however, offer benefits in the form of energy efficiency, modern accents and design, and fewer maintenance concerns than something older. 

A pre-owned home, however, will typically be cheaper (assuming similar square footage and specs), feature different floor plans that you may prefer, or may be located in a more well-developed community.

It’s key to compare and list some of the pros and cons of each so there aren’t any surprises for you after you have moved in.

Consider Your Lifestyle

Your overall lifestyle is also important in finding a home. Getting into a home that is the right fit for you can make it much easier to carry out your day-to-day activities, honouring your responsibilities and enjoying your hobbies. 

Are you a downtown commuter that loves to go hiking over the weekend? You might want to balance travel times so that a trip to either of these destinations is not significantly longer than the other. 

Do you have a green thumb, or have animals or children? A larger backyard may help you spend more time outside, as well as allow your growing family to enjoy it too. 

Are you working from home with your significant other? Maybe more office space is a necessity.

Keeping your lifestyle in mind is important for a first-time buyer and those who look to settle down for the long haul.  


It’s no secret that a knowledgeable REALTOR® helps remove the stress and headaches associated with buying a home, especially if it is their first and considering the market at the moment. 

From understanding what’s happening with house pricing to home inspections to getting better acquainted with the terms and conditions of buying a home, a REALTOR® can save you time and money in the long run. 

With an array of tools to access more listings and the negotiation skills to get you the best value for money, REALTORS® can be a major asset in your home buying journey.

The REALTORS® at LIFE have years of experience in helping home buyers, whether it’s your first time or not. Their dynamic team guides families who trust them to be comprehensive when it comes to a home.
For help on your home buying journey, and to get a free consultation, click here: https://lifereg.ca/contact/

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About The Author
David Robertson

Since 2011, Dave brings integrity and professionalism to his clients in Ottawa when helping them buy and sell real estate. Every client matters to Dave.He doesn’t just sell you a home; he builds relationships for life by treating every client with the respect and honesty he would give his own family. Even after the sale of your home, he will continue to be there to answer all your real estate questions and recommend preferred vendors. As an Ottawa native, Dave understands the changes in the local market. Dave's previous industries in banking and home equity have sharpened his expertise in real estate trends. He will professionally explain the real estate process and paperwork involved. As team leader of LIFE Real Estate Group, Dave offers his clients a team of dedicated agents and administrators. Why hire a single realtor when you can hire a team? LIFE Real Estate Group's innovative marketing strategy and commitment to excellence has propelled them to be one of the top teams at Solid Rock Realty! Dave's passion for serving people is the foundation of his success. His goal is to earn the right to be your real estate professional for life. Whether it is creating a customized plan for creating generational wealth through real estate or even home maintenance tips, he is available for all his clients. Message Dave for past testimonials to see how he has helped local families.

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