The short answer? Whenever you can afford one.
But that doesn’t mean there’s no way to save money by waiting, said Daniel Huddart, a managing director with Baird Realty in Toronto. With interest rates near historical lows and the cost of construction rapidly falling, “now is likely the best time to buy.” (Story continues below)
“If you want to invest in real estate now will be even better than before,” Huddart said. “I’d say it has never been more attractive than right now.” As an added bonus for first-time buyers or those who’ve missed out on owning their own home: Housing prices are expected to rise much faster than wages this year and next year. That’s because many people expect interest rates will climb back towards historically normal levels later this year or early next year, making mortgages affordable again once they’re factored into monthly payments at least for some Canadians — assuming they don’t lose their jobs along the way. And so if possible – do your homework now! Take advantage of free tools like MoneySense magazine’s Home Buyer Report 2012 , which includes details on property values across Canada as well as major cities where specific neighbourhoods have seen particularly speedy growth over the last five years; how much house hunters could expect to pay based on factors such as location and size; what sort of mortgage rate would apply after things like down payment requirements are factored in; plus practical advice from experts about moving costs