Buying your first home is a very intimidating and stressful process. Over the years, I have worked with thousands of first time Toronto home buyers, here are my recommendations to anyone thinking about jumping into the Toronto housing market for the first time.

* Be definitive about buying

* Get qualified for a mortgage. It is extremely vital that you know exactly what you can qualify to buy and what you're comfortable borrowing, because then we know what homes to show you.

* Get educated.  Real Estate agents can offer you a certain crash course in your preferred real estate in a few hours. The best part is that it is free. Buyers don't have to pay an agent a fee, the seller does.

* Hire a Real Estate agent who is an experienced, qualified, educated sales expert. Since you're already found my website you don't need to look any further.

* Know all the hidden and exposed extra costs. When buying a resale or existing condo, you need to be aware of certain closing costs.

* Do not rush into anything but do not drag your feet either. Currently, and for the past eight years the real estate market in Ontario and rest of Canada has been very strong.

* What to offer? Do not listen to any advice that tells you that there is a standard discount from an asking price. Look at past sale comparables before making an offer and listen to your Real Estate agent's advice. This advice is the most important input you will ever get. If you have selected your agent wisely they will know exactly what to do.

* Make an offer

* Do not chicken out! Most buyers end up worse off for it, and most of them ended up realizing this fast and deeply regretted their decision to bail.

* Take time to consider the following:

- How much can you comfortably afford?

- How much downpayment do you need to put.

- How to buy a home with little or nothing down.

- What it takes to get approved for financing. What banks and other financial institutions are looking for.

- How much your payments will be.

- The tax advantages of buying.

- Is renting or buying better for you?