First Time Home Buyers Guide

We have created a first time buyer's guide to help you navigate the mortgage process and avoid the common mistakes people often make.

Buying a home for the first time can be one of the most significant moments of your life. It’s a process that may seem daunting, but is actually quite simple – once you know what you’re doing.

As mortgage experts with years of experience, we’re able to help you understand the process of purchasing your first home and answer any questions you may have about it.

Before You Get Started

One very important consideration is to ensure that you have a competent group of professionals working for you. This includes mortgage brokers and bankers, realtors, lawyers, appraisers, inspectors, insurance agents and several other potential services.

Each individual on your team plays a key role in the purchase of your first home – and if everyone works together, it will create a seamless process that is exciting and enjoyable.

As such, we suggest that you consider the following questions and apply them to your search while building your team, including your choice for a mortgage broker.

Remember: the most important person in this process is you, the purchaser, so it’s important to select people that are a good fit.

Key Questions for Potential Team Members:

  • How long has the individual been in the business?
  • How much volume do they do annually?
  • Is their website easy to understand?
  • Are they able to answer your questions?
  • Are they up to date with industry trends and regulations?
  • Do they have online reviews?
  • Is their process laid out clearly?
  • Will they offer unbiased advice or do they charge a fee for every interaction?
  • Have they ever had a mortgage as an individual?
  • Do you know someone who’s worked with them that can give you a personal recommendation?
  • Are they able to connect you with other professionals involved in the process with good reviews?

Often times, your home buying team will be with you for years, as you move onto your second, third or fourth purchases. It’s a lifelong relationship that can pay dividends.

Advice, understanding and friendly service are the backbone of everything we do at Spin Mortgage and we’re excited by the chance to help you get into your first home.


Steps to Buying Your First Home

We have outlined the 4 key steps to securing a mortgage for the purchase of your very first home.

Step One

Knowing What You Can Afford


Understanding what you can afford is an important first step in any property purchase. Our affordability calculator will help you determine what is in your scope based on a series of factors including income, down payment, taxes, regulations and a host of other items that are part of every real estate purchase.

If the calculator doesn’t provide you with enough information, we’re available to help you determine what is possible. Our experienced team can conduct a thorough assessment and ensure your information is accurate according to current Canadian Mortgage Guidelines, which you can then use to apply online.

When you quick apply, you’ll receive an immediate response that includes a list of required documents based on your profile. Once everything is submitted, our team will speak with you directly about your mortgage possibilities and how much you can afford – a process known as “pre-approval”.

Quick Apply

Step Two

Understanding Mortgage Rates

Mortgage rates are not one size fits all, so it’s important to understand what suits you and your goals best. As experienced mortgage brokers, we know it can seem like a lot to learn in a small amount of time – which is why we’re here to help.

We’ll work with you to answer the questions that many people have, like the difference between open, closed, fixed and variable mortgages, how rates are determined, how mortgage penalties work, what restricted rates are and how all rates are determined.

This part of the discussion can be somewhat intimidating for first-time buyers, especially with so much competition clouding the conversation and vying for your business. We’re not here to convince you to go with us or that you should spend more than you have. We are simply here to act as a guide to help you understand the complexities of the mortgage market and find a solution that best suits you.

Step Three

Time to Buy

As with all parts of the process, finding a knowledgeable realtor that you trust is important. Too often we see people using a realtor simply because of a personal connection and while sometimes that works out, it can also present challenges.

No matter your connection to a realtor, always ask for trusted referrals. Due diligence is important, as buying a home may be the single largest transaction of your life. Don’t be afraid to challenge your realtor and ask hard questions. At the end of the day, they work for you.

When you choose the right realtor and are ready to make an offer, be sure that you are protected through proper processes. This can include but is not limited to, having approved financing, ensuring any strata documents have been reviewed, the home has been appraised accurately and a third-party inspection has been completed.

All of this is important as at this stage your realtor will send us the required paperwork to initiate the formal mortgage approval process.

If all your ducks are in a row, everything should go smoothly and you could be signing that day.

Step Four

Taking Possession of Your First Property

The big moment. You get to take possession of your first property. It’s something to feel proud about, although we know for some people it can be bittersweet knowing that you now have a mortgage.

(It behooves us to point out that technically possession and completion are not actually the same thing. Possession means you can move into your home, while completion means money has changed hands.)

Completing the sale is a legal process that works differently in different provinces. Your Notary (in BC) or Lawyer (in AB, ON, BC) will arrange to have you sign all the real estate documents, typically a week prior to possession. You’ll provide a bank draft for the remainder of your down payment, as well as other important documentation such as property insurance.


Frequently Asked Questions

We have compiled a list of the most common questions you may have during the process of buying your first home.

Who is Spin Mortgage?

We’re an online mortgage brokerage with licensing offices in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario and have been operating since 1998. We handle one of the largest annual per-broker volumes in Canada through our online platform, which we have invested in heavily to deliver a mortgage process that is intuitive and easy to operate. We provide clients with the freedom they need to access mortgages on their terms.

How do I Apply?

First time home buyers can use our quick apply form that can typically be filled out in about five to ten minutes. If you don’t have all your information handy, no problem. Our applications have a “save for later” option that allows you to start off from where you finished without having to begin again.