Are you a first-time homebuyer in the vibrant city of Calgary, Alberta? Congratulations on embarking on this exciting journey toward homeownership, which in our opinion is one of the most rewarding things in life.

At Concourse Mortgage Group, we understand that buying your first home is a significant milestone, and we’re here to guide you every step of the way. Our aim for our first-time purchasers is to reflect on the process and consider “well, that wasn’t too difficult”, and even find pleasure in the process.  After all, this experience should be enjoyable and rewarding.

Why Choose Calgary?

Calgary, nestled in the picturesque foothills of the Canadian Rockies, offers a diverse range of neighbourhoods, each with its unique charm and character. From the bustling downtown core to the tranquil suburbs, you’ll find a place that suits your lifestyle. Two communities that often capture the hearts of first-time homebuyers are Mahogany and Auburn Bay, both located in Calgary’s southeast quadrant.

Three Main Considerations in Qualifying for a Mortgage:

1. Income

a. Lenders will need to verify you have enough income to pay for the mortgage, and there are certain guidelines they adhere to via OSFI (  These guidelines are to ensure a stable housing market in Canada.

b. Your broker will want to know the nature of your employment, such as:

  1. Salaried
  2. Salary + bonuses
  3. Hourly guaranteed
  4. Hourly with variance
  5. Self employed
  6. Seasonal
  7. Etc.

c. Document requirements will vary depending on employment type, which is why an initial “discovery meeting” with a mortgage professional is so valuable.

2. Credit

a. Lenders want to determine how you manage credit, so they will look at the “Five Cs of Credit”: Character, Capacity, Capital, Collateral and Conditions.

b. Typically credit scores above 680 are considered “good”, with a perfect score being 900.  We often call them “unicorns”, even though they do exist!

c. Along with your credit score, lenders will also review your detailed “credit report”.  This shows the history of all sources of credit, including date they were opened, payment history, any collections or judgements, current balances, etc.

d. As a good guide to what lenders want to see, you’ll want to have at least two tradelines for at least two years.  A tradeline is typically a credit card or line of credit.  Something you can borrow from, then pay back, borrow, pay back, etc. These are also referred to as “revolving debts”.

  • While lenders like to see this as a baseline, there are exceptions to this, including those that are new to Canada, where credit may not have been established yet.

e. Keys to establishing good credit:

  1. No late payments
  2. Do not go over the limit on any tradelines
  3. Try not to exceed 50% of the limit on any tradeline
  4. Utilize your credit cards.  This is the most effective way to build credit, provided of course you are diligent in repayment.

3.  Down Payment

a.  When buying a home in Canada, the minimum down payment required on a primary residence purchase is 5% of the purchase price, up to $500,000.

  • If purchasing between $500,001-$999,999, the portion above $500,000 would need to be at 10%, and the initial $500,000 at 5%. Example: $750,000 PP = $25,000 on first $500,000 and $25,000 on remaining $250,000 for a total down payment of $50,000
  • If purchasing above $1,000,000 you will be required to have a minimum down payment of 20%

b. Common down payment sources:

  • Personal savings/investments
  • Gifted down payment (from immediate family)
  • RRSPs via the Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP) –
    • Tax-deductible withdrawals up to $35,000 from RRSPs and have up to 15 years to repay.
  • First Home Savings Account (FHSA) –
    • Similar to the HBP, these funds would be tax free.
    • Contributions of up to $8,000/year, with a maximum of $40,000 lifetime contribution
  • FTHBI (First Time Home Buyer Incentive) –
    • This program can offer an additional 5% down payment from the Government of Canada for first time home buyers on an existing home, and 10% on a new construction home.
    • This is a payment free loan, which only needs to be paid back upon sale of home, or within 25 years.
    • Other terms and conditions apply – ask our mortgage professionals for more information!

c. When putting between 5.0-19.99% down payment, you will be required to pay mortgage default insurance, which is added to your mortgage.  This is commonly referred to as “CMHC insurance” (Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, backed by the Government of Canada), but can also be done with “Sagen” or “Canada Guaranty”.

d. Over 20% down payment does not require mortgage default insurance.

Our Comprehensive Services

Mortgage Pre-Approval: Our first step is to provide you with a mortgage pre-approval. This process helps you understand your budget and buying power, allowing you to confidently house hunt within your financial comfort zone.
Competitive Rates: We work tirelessly to secure the most competitive mortgage rates for our clients, aided by the fact that we work with over 50 lending institutions. Saving on interest can make a significant difference over the life of your mortgage, providing financial flexibility regardless of your chosen Calgary community.
Customized Solutions: No two homebuyers are the same, and neither are their financial situations. Concourse Mortgage Group offers a range of mortgage options, including fixed-rate, variable-rate, and more, ensuring you find the perfect type of mortgage for your new Calgary residence. Our mortgage agents are strategy-based, and looking to align your mortgage with your financial plan.
Expert Advice: Our team of experienced mortgage brokers is here to answer all your questions and provide expert guidance throughout the entire process. We take the time to educate you about the complexities of mortgages, empowering you to make informed decisions.

Why Choose Concourse Mortgage Group?

Concourse Mortgage Group is a local expert in Calgary. We serve diverse communities like Mahogany and Auburn Bay. Our partners live in these communities. Our office is also located there. We understand the local real estate market dynamics, ensuring that our clients make informed decisions and secure the best mortgage solutions for their needs. With access to multiple lenders we can find mortgage terms that financial institutions cannot.

We are consistently a top-5 team within our brokerage cross-Canada and have top producing brokers across Alberta ready to assist.

As a first-time homebuyer, you can trust us to simplify the mortgage process, providing you with the tools and knowledge needed to make the best choices for your future in Calgary, or wherever you find home. We want you to take pride in your home purchase.

Embrace Your New Life in Calgary

Calgary is a city that offers endless possibilities, from its thriving job market to its vibrant arts and culture scene. Whether you’re starting a family, advancing your career, or simply seeking a change of scenery, Calgary has something for everyone.

Take the first step towards your new life in this vibrant city. Contact Concourse Mortgage Group today, and let’s start your journey towards homeownership in Calgary, whether it’s in Mahogany, Auburn Bay, or any other community that captures your heart.

Ready to Begin Your Home Ownership Journey?

Contact us:

Phone – 403-300-2773

Email –

Walk-in – come see us at 138 Mahogany Plaza SE. We’re in office from 8:30-4:30 Monday to Friday, unless we’re out meeting clients.