If you've had a stable job for a couple of years and you like the area you live in, and do not think you will want to move for at least five years, then purchasing a home might be a good idea. You also need to be ready for the additional responsibilities such as yard care, fixing broken appliances, and other maintenance needs. Homes will not keep their value if these aren't kept up.
When you think you are ready to buy a house, it's important to consider what your credit rating is like, and what your debt to income ratio is. If you have a lot of debt, it's time to get it paid down. You want a couple of years of one-time payments, with no late payments for at least two years.
When you rent, your entire payment is just gone. But when you purchase you are building equity in your home and you will get either more than you have paid into the house back, or you'll get something back when you sell the house. When you rent, you will get nothing but perhaps your deposit back, if you're lucky. But, as a house owner you will have the responsibility of upkeep so if you are alone or travel a lot, you'll need to consider the added expense of someone to maintain your home.
4) How do I find a mortgage broker?
The best way to find a mortgage broker is to ask your friends. But, if you plan to buy new construction go to the sample house, and ask for a list of preapproved mortgage brokers. In fact, even if you have no intention of building or buying new construction, those lenders are usually really good or they would not be preapproved.
There are wonderful ways to research communities now. Use Realtor.ca, or Zillow.com to help you find houses in the area you want to live, and links provided will show you facts and stats about that area. You can also drive around in the area to see how it feels to you.
Other than the items you want on your wish list, look for rotted wood around windows, black stuff on the roof (usually mold), the size of the bedrooms, kitchen, and yard. Ask yourself if you like floor plan. What needs to be replaced? Carpet, appliances, anything else? Make a note of these things because if you like the house those can be points of negotiation.