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Selkirk Home
Buying Guide

31 October 2022
10 min read

9 simple steps for buying a home in Selkirk

Whether you’re looking to make the move out to Selkirk or are already living there, it is important to be aware of what to look for specifically in the Selkirk housing market.

Step 1

Save for your down payment
& other upfront costs

If you are thinking of becoming a homeowner, you will need to start saving up for this very important purchase. You will need to consider the following costs:

Down payment

To buy a home, you will need a minimum down payment of 5%.


If your down payment is less than 20%, you will need mortgage default insurance.

Mortgage Default Insurance is a legal requirement with a down payment less than 20% and your financial institution will arrange this insurance for you. You can pay it up-front or add it to your mortgage. Mortgage default insurance will cost between 2.8% and 4.0% of your total mortgage, depending on the size of your down payment.

First time home buyer?
There are programs to help you buy your first home:

The Government of Canada has created several programs intended to assist those who are looking to purchase their first home. Several of these programs can also benefit those who have previously purchased a home, but have not lived in a home that either they or their spouse or common-law partner own in the last four years.

Read more

• Using the Home Buyers' Plan, first time home buyers can withdraw up to $35,000 from their RRSP to put towards their down payment, and repay it over a 15 year period.

The First-Time Home Buyers' Incentive offers qualifying participants 5% of the purchase price (10% if you’re building). Note that you will still need your own minimum down payment of 5% and that you cannot exceed 19% down payment with this program. After 25 years, or when you sell your home, whichever comes first, you repay the incentive based on the current value of your home. Or, if you prefer, you can repay it at any time, without penalty.

• The Home Buyers' Amount is a tax credit of up to $5,000 that qualifying home buyers can claim on their tax return.

• Building or doing extensive renovations? You may qualify for the GST/HST New Housing Rebate, which allows you to claim some of the GST you paid for a home you purchased from a builder.

Closing costs

Expect to pay approximately 1.5% - 2% of the home’s purchase price in closing costs, which include legal fees and land transfer fees. You must pay these costs when you take possession of the house.

Home inspection

Getting a home inspection before putting an offer on a home is a good idea. A home inspection can cost $275 - $500+, depending on the size of the home.

Appraisal costs

The financial institution may require an independent appraisal of the home. If an appraisal is necessary, it typically costs around $300.

Moving costs

Don’t forget about moving costs as they can add up quickly if you’re hiring professional movers.

If you don’t have enough saved yet, creating an account specifically for your future home purchase and setting up a regular pre-authorized deposit can help you save for a home.

New envelope-less Cambrian ATMs
Our new ATMs no longer require envelopes for cash or cheque deposits. To learn more, click the link below!
New ATMs
Step 2

Know your price range

A good rule is to only go see homes that are well within your price range and avoid getting attached to any single home.

With Cambrian’s Mortgage Affordability Calculator, it takes just two minutes to learn how much home you can afford. Using this calculator will not affect your credit rating.

Try our Mortgage Affordability Calculator to see how much you can afford and what your mortgage payment would be.

Mortgage payments

Use our Mortgage Affordability Calculator above to help estimate what your mortgage payment will be.

Apart from budgeting for mortgage payments, it is also important to budget for ongoing costs, such as:

Monthly utilities

Include heating, hydro, water, internet, phone and cable costs in your estimate.

Property taxes

Research the property taxes in the area. Also note that property taxes vary by home. Real estate listings often include property tax information and are a good place to look.

Home and contents insurance

Talk to your insurance provider or go online to get a quote.

Condo fees (if you’re purchasing a condo)

Monthly condo fees vary by condo and are typically included in the real estate listings.

Estimated living expenses

In addition to regular living expenses, make sure you budget for contributions to your savings and any loan or credit card payments you may have.

Home maintenance costs

Things break and need to be replaced in a home and you’ll want put away money to pay for it. Plan to put away at least $5,000 a year towards ongoing home maintenance. You would also need to evaluate when larger expenses may be required such as replacing the roof, windows or furnace and how much those would cost.

Renovation costs

If you want to buy a fixer-upper, you’ll need to consider the cost of home renovations. You may need to add an additional amount to your mortgage, which will increase your mortgage payment.

Step 3

Get pre-approved


If your down payment is less than 20%, you will need mortgage default insurance.

Getting pre-approved means that a financial institution has reviewed your financial situation and have determined the maximum amount of mortgage you would qualify for. Your Cambrian advisor will provide you with a written letter detailing the pre-approved mortgage (maximum mortgage amount, conditions, etc.)

This allows you to make an offer immediately when you find a home within your pre-approved amount. When your offer is accepted, we will formally approve a mortgage for you based on the details of the home you are purchasing.

Lock in your mortgage rate
with Cambrian’s Best Rate Guarantee.

On the date you apply for a Cambrian mortgage, we automatically lock in our current fixed mortgage rates for you, for up to 4 months. If mortgage rates go up while you are house hunting, you are safe because your rate is locked in.

Apply online in 15 min
to lock in today’s fixed mortgage rate
  • Online applications are reviewed within one business day.
  • Credit decisions are made locally ensuring a quick turnaround time.
Book a meeting online to speak with a Cambrian advisor
  • Meet via video, phone or in person.
  • You can meet with any of our available advisors at the time that suits you best.
Step 4

Use a Selkirk-based Realtor

Jeannie Sasley, a Realtor in Selkirk says that the market in Selkirk cannot be compared to the Winnipeg market. “It’s a rural market,” she says, “so realtors have to live and work in this area to know our market.” If you’re looking to buy or sell a home in Selkirk, using a local realtor is extremely important.

When someone from Winnipeg is looking to buy a home in Selkirk, it is common to use a Winnipeg-based realtor. While you may have a relationship with this person and prior experience working with them in Winnipeg, Sasley says it will still put you at a disadvantage.

“When a Winnipeg realtor comes in who doesn’t know our market, they end up suggesting you under or over-bid on a property. Selkirk realtors know the homes and why they have been listed at the price they’re listed at.”

Step 5

Know what to watch out for

If you choose to work with a real estate agent, they will be your partner when searching for your first home, so it is important to work with someone who understands your goals and knows the market.

Sasley says that a lot of the homes in Selkirk were built in the 1970s. This means that knob and tube wiring is generally not an issue, as that was used in homes in the early 1900s. However, aluminum wiring is something to watch out for.

As in Winnipeg, you’ll also want to watch for foundation issues. “Two of the things we’re looking for are cracks in the foundation and water infiltration,” Sasley says. Repairing a home’s foundation and water damage can both be very pricey so it’s important to watch out for these issues when looking at a home.

You’ll also want to understand how the home was maintained. Have renovations been completed? If so, were they done well? “Dated kitchen flooring and other home improvements add up, so there is a lot of value if the home you’re considering has had renovations completed,” Sasley says.

Other things to look at include the condition and age of the furnace, windows and roof. A new furnace can cost between $5,000 – $7,000 and new windows can $10,000 or more – expenses that add up quickly.

Step 6

Make an offer

Making an offer that has little or no conditions can be enough to get your offer accepted, even if it isn’t necessarily the highest offer.

Sasley suggests agreeing to the possession date that the seller is wanting. “That always helps when there are two deals close in value on the table,” she says. She also suggests noting in the offer that there is flexibility on the possession date. “This shows that the buyer is flexible and easy to work with.”

Keep your price range in mind, and work with your realtor to make an offer that you can comfortably afford.

Step 7

Protect your investment with a home inspection

Hiring a home inspector to do a thorough review of the home, from foundation to roof, and report on what they have discovered, can be very beneficial in the long run.

A home inspection is the best way to protect your investment and make you aware of the full condition of the house.

Klaus Moeller

Winnipeg home inspector

“When you get to view a potential home, you only get 15 – 20 minutes and you’ll only be looking at superficial items to make sure it looks nice, and if you don’t have experience, you won’t know what to actually look for.”

Foundation issues are a common problem in Winnipeg because of the large range of temperatures and amount of ground water this region has. A home inspector looks for cracks in the foundation and signs of water infiltration during the inspection.

While looking at a home, carefully examine the windows, furnace and roof, as well as the foundation. Replacing or repairing these items adds up quickly, so it is important to keep the condition of the home in mind when viewing it. Consider whether replacing a dated roof or purchasing new windows is a project you would be willing to take on and if so, make sure you can afford it.

In a hot real estate market, consider getting a home inspection prior to making an offer on a home, instead of making it a condition of your offer.

Learn how to choose a home inspector and what they should look for.

Step 8

Secure your mortgage

At the financing stage you are going to have an important decision to make: choosing the right mortgage for your financial situation, either variable rate or fixed rate.

Today’s Rates

*All rates subject to change without notice.
3 Year Closed
Variable Open Mortgage
5 Year Variable Closed Mortgage

When choosing a mortgage, rate isn't everything. Terms, flexibility and personal advice are equally important considerations when choosing a mortgage.

For example, some mortgage brokers offer deeply discounted mortgage rates that come with very limited options to repay the mortgage more quickly or pay it out prior to maturity. Often you must also pay a broker fee when getting a mortgage through a broker, which can cost 1% - 3% of the total cost of your mortgage. Alternatively, some brokers are paid directly through a fee from the financial institution. Because of this, it may be in the broker’s best interest to get you a mortgage at a specific institution, which may not align with your own interests.

As a credit union, our purpose is to save our member's time and money.

With this in mind, Cambrian offers a 4 month Best Rate Guarantee, quick mortgage approval and personalized advice from advisors who intimately know our Winnipeg and Selkirk communities. You can also choose to pay up to an additional 20% of your original mortgage balance every year, without penalty. Make one lump sum payment or make additional payments throughout the year.

Step 9


Congratulations – you’re a homeowner! Your next big decision: which local pizza joint to order from on moving day.

Want to learn more about buying a home?