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Studies show that buying a home still ranks high on the priority list for Canadians. For many renters, the question eventually becomes not just “should we?” but “when will we?” In the great rent or buy debate, it’s true that there’s a lot to consider. Before talking to a real estate agent about taking the plunge, try hitting these important milestones.

You have good credit and a down payment saved up.
When you’re buying a home in Canada, a good credit rating usually means you have minimal debt, which will allow you to qualify for a mortgage more easily, while having a sizeable down payment means the bank will be more likely to lend you a higher amount. Plus, putting down 15 per cent or 20 per cent of a down payment means paying less interest over time.

You can see yourself living in your city for at least five years.
Stability counts. If you’re early in your career or have a job that might require relocating—or if you have a desire to travel extensively—buying might not be on the priority list quite yet. If you purchase a home in Canada, it accrues more value over time, so buying a home and selling within a few years isn’t always the best strategy.

Buying is actually a better deal than renting where you live.
In some Canadian cities, the cost of rent is so high that it actually costs more to rent than it does to pay a mortgage. In an area like this where home prices are also rising, you might be better off purchasing, provided you meet the two requirements listed above. Ask your real estate agent to put you in touch with a lender to crunch the numbers for you.

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