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5 Tips For Buying A House On A Budget

If you weren’t already aware, my home in Vancouver is a 900 square foot Laneway Home, pictured in the blog. It has 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and an open concept living room/dining room. With the market in Vancouver being so tight right now, home buyers need to consider these types of homes as well as townhomes and condos instead of large family homes. The size of this home is ALL I need in Vancouver and you would be surprised at how spacious it really feels. Even though I don’t own this home, I would consider buying it or buying this type of home. There are so many different factors that you need to consider when buying your first home, especially in the big cities. I’m sharing with you some tips and information that I have found useful when buying a home.


5 Tips For Buying a house on a budget: 

  1. Consider Moving Outside Preferred Area – This will generally allow you to have more square footage at a lower price. This doesn’t mean you have to be an hour outside of downtown … simply consider looking 15-20 minutes outside your preferred area. Although you might spend 15 minutes more commuting, you’ll save big bucks in the end!!
  2. Wait Until You Find What Is Right – The market is tough right now and always changing. If you don’t find anything you LOVE right now, there’s no harm in waiting until you do! Delay the process until you find what you really want so you are happy and your money is well spent, but do be mindful of staying informed and updating your saving strategy as the market changes.
  3. Adjust Must-Haves – As much as I want you to LOVE your home, sometimes you might have to adjust your must-haves list to align with your price range. Sometimes you can make sacrifices if the home offers something slightly different than you imagined but still works for your tastes and lifestyle.
  4. Budget – Make sure your budget is reasonable for the market and location you are looking at. You have to consider smaller spaces to work within your budget. Budgeting is VERY important for first time home buyers.
  5. Mortgage Specialist – Use the mortgage specialists at your local bank to talk to. I used BMO when I was originally considering my options and purchasing my other property, and they offer so much knowledge, support and guidance on mortgages. If you are a first time home buyer or are in the preliminary stages of thinking about buying a home, I suggest doing this as your first step. They will help get you into the home you are into!!! Visit BMO Mortgages for more helpful info.

Some fun facts I found about home buying in Vancouver & Toronto:

  • According to a recent millennial home ownership poll by BMO Bank of Montreal, first time home buyers in Vancouver and Toronto are more likely than the national average to be considering condos (37% and 41% respectively)!
  • 84% would or would at least consider a different size home than they had originally thought to purchase
  • 84% also would or would at least consider a move to a different neighbourhood within their desired city, and 60% would consider moving to another city altogether
  • 52% of first time home buyers are looking at older homes (52%), and 23% of first time home buyers are considering a fixer-upper
  • First time home buyers are expecting to pay more than what was paid in the past: $350k + (nationally), $450k+ (Toronto), $525k+ (Vancouver)
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photo credit: janis nicolay

Do you have any other questions when it comes to first time home buying?? Let me know in the comments below …




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  1. I can’t wait to see what you do for the baby room. My husband and I are also expecting the same week as you!

  2. My boyfriend and I are looking into building our forever home. The tips on speaking with a mortgage specialist is very helpful as we don’t know the first thing in being home owners. It would be so great if you did a house tour! I love all of your design work on Love it or List it and has inspired many pieces in my apartment today and for a future home.

  3. Love these tips .. also looking to buy a first home in the Toronto area so very similar market to Vancouver. Speaking to a specialist has been helpful, & so has considering smaller sized spaces. Will definitely be looking to you for decor inspo! xx

  4. I do like that you recommend adjusting what you need out of a house to make it fit into your budget. For example, a house may not need to be in perfect working order when you first buy it. If a few little things are on the fritz here and there then you can buy the house for cheap and fix it up later.

  5. I love that dresser! Where is it from? Did you paint it, if so what colour? Would love to see shopping for furniture on a budget 🙂

  6. Great opportunity for the new business starters with all amenities and great facilities professional information for the home. Always great professional information for a home. Thanks, Evan.

  7. Thanks, Jillian for sharing these tips! I agree that people should know their budget when it comes to buying a house. I also agree that people should not rush on buying a house. They should do research or even ask help from professionals.

  8. I appreciate that you pointed out the importance of determining your budget when you’re a first time home buyer because it’s helpful for you to choose smaller houses that will fit your budget. My plan is to buy a house early next year. It’s my first time buying a house, and I wanted to make sure that the house that I will choose won’t cause me to struggle financially when paying my monthly home fees. Thanks!

  9. I found it helpful when you said that you should consider buying a house with smaller spaces to make sure that they will fit your budget for buying a house. My husband and I are planning to find the best community where we can buy a house. We’d like to make sure that the house that we will buy can still allow us to have financial freedom while we’re paying for it, so I’ll consider all your tips.

  10. I love that you highlighted the importance of budgeting when you’re buying a house for the first time because it must be reasonable for the market that you’re interested in. My plan is to buy a new house before the year ends. I can’t be more excited as a first-time buyer, but I have to consider my income limits because I don’t want to struggle financially for trying to buy a house that I can’t afford. Thanks!

  11. As it is very difficult to find a house in budget segment however you can buy when the market trend changes as it often happens and you should keep an eye on that every movement whenever the market goes down you should buy the house immediately without the delay.

  12. Tips for the Home buyer
    will be, You know exactly what you qualify for and at what rate, you know how large your monthly mortgage payments will be, and you know how much you will have for a down payment. Once you are pre-approved, you avoid the frustration of finding homes that you think are perfect, but are not in your price range.

  13. Buying a house involved in several paperwork and legalities. The tip on How to buy a house is very informative and helps me to choose the right one. Worth Reading!

  14. I find it cool how you suggested that a person should wait for a while longer in order to find the right house that would help keep them happy and spend one’s budget wisely. Aside from that, one can also pass the time by looking through different online house listings. Doing this will help a person become informed of which one to get in the future. Also, doing this will help one have a reference to look up to when it comes to pricing, location, and amenities as well.

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