Should I buy a new or resale home?

Your decision will be based on the amount of time, planning and money that will be required.

*NOTE: Prohibition on the Purchase of Residential Property by Non-Canadians Act from January 1, 2023 and January 1, 2025 Temporary Residents cannot buy a residential property in Canada unless they are:

  • Study Permit holders can purchase a residential property as long as they have been physically present in Canada for a minimum of 244 days in each of the 5 calendar years preceding the year in which the purchase was made. They must also have filed income tax returns for the past 5 years and are restricted to a purchase that does not exceed $500,000
  • Work Permit holders can only purchase a residential property if they have a valid work permit and have worked full-time in Canada for at least 3 years within the 4 years preceding the year in which the purchase was made. They must also have filed income tax returns for the 3 years that they worked full-time.

New Homes

If you buy a new home, you generally have 2 options:

  • You can buy a plot of land and hire a builder to construct the house
  • You can buy a unit or house that a builder has already built or plans to build (also called pre-construction).

The first option usually costs less but takes more time and planning.

A real estate agent (also called a realtor) can help you with both options. A real estate agent must be a member of the Ontario Real Estate Association [OREA]. If you decide to work with an agent make sure to read Should I sign a Buyer Representation Agreement? first. 

New homes in Ontario are covered by Tarion Warranty Corporation. Tarion administers the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act, which protects you from defects in the builder's work and materials and from any violations of the Ontario Building Code. Make sure that your builder is registered with Tarion. You can also find a builder or find a newly built home in regions across Ontario through Tarion.

Resale Homes

Resale housing, meaning the home has been lived in by owners or tenants, may require some redecorating or repairs. There are often homes that are completely renovated. Some people buy homes directly from the owners, but most hire a real estate agent to help them.

The agent is trained to help you locate homes for sale that match your needs, show the homes to you, help you make an offer to buy, and assisting you with finding the right financing or mortgage brokers and finalize or close the deal.

You can contact a community agency for more information about buying a home. To find help in your area, go to Services Near Me.

For More Information

  • Buying a Home: Who You Need on Your Team - Information about the people who can be involved when you buy a home in Canada. From the CMHC. Available in many languages.
  • Buying Your First Home in Canada: What Newcomers Need to Know - A brochure with information about the process of buying a home in Canada. From the CMHC. Available in many languages.
  • Buying a House - Tips and information about buying a new home from the Ontario Securities Commission.
  • Homebuying Step-by-Step - An online guide that explains many topics, such as cost, finding the right home, and home repair and maintenance.
  • Making an Offer and Closing the Deal - This brochure has tips on how to make an offer, close the deal and buy your first home in Canada. It is from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. It is available in many languages.
  • Mortgage RatesSee if you qualify for a mortgage and compare current mortgage rates at all banks across Canada. From 
  • GST/HST Housing Rebates - A listing of the tax rebates available on new houses. From the Canada Revenue Agency.
Last updated: June 12, 2023 4001293