First Time Condo Buyers CMHC Guide (2020)

First Time Condo Buyers Guide

If you’ve been looking around at condos in the Toronto area you’ve probably noticed a huge discrepancy
from one area to the next in terms of pricing. To help you find the best condo that will fit into your
budget, we have put together this guide with helpful tips and a list of the less expensive areas to
purchase condos in the GTA.

CMHC – First-Time Home Buyer Incentive

This proposed incentive helps eligible first time home buyers with their downpayment. 

With this incentive the Government of Canada provides:

  • 5% or 10% for a first-time buyer’s purchase of a newly constructed home
  • 5% for a first-time buyer’s purchase of a resale (existing) home
  • 5% for a first-time buyer’s purchase of a new or resale mobile/manufactured home

The incentive is available to first-time homebuyers with qualified annual incomes of $120,000 or less. A participant’s insured mortgage and the incentive amount cannot be greater than four times the participant’s qualified annual income.


  • Early payout options in full are available at any point in the duration of the 25 years.
  • Learn more about fair market value and how this will help you calculate repayment.
  • Calculate the fair market value of your home and multiply it by the percentage of the Incentive you received.

Down Payment

In Canada, you must have a minimum of 5% that you can put down if you are going to be purchasing a condo that costs less than $500,000. If you can put together more for the down payment, however, you’ll end up saving a lot of money on interest.

Get Pre-Approved

It’s always best to get a general idea of how much money you can afford to spend on a condo before shopping for one. When you get pre-approved you’ll be given a maximum amount by the lending institution, which will help you stay on track financially while you’re looking for a new condo.

Use a Mortgage Broker

You shop around to get the best price for other things that you purchase so make sure that you use a
mortgage broker who will shop on your behalf when buying your condo. You don’t have to pay a broker
to use his services and he’ll be able to negotiate on your behalf to get the best rate. You can end up
saving thousands of dollars by using a broker instead of going yourself to apply for a home loan.

Find the Right Area

You’ll want to find a condo that’s in a great location while at the same time working into your budget.
Some of the most thriving areas in the GTA to purchase a condo or townhome include the following:


These districts are generally more affordable when compared to the other areas across the Toronto
region. These are great cities to start your search for the perfect condo as a first-time buyer.


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