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Find housing


One of the first steps you'll need to take when you arrive is to find housing. Then you'll be able to begin discovering your new environment and settle in.

What you need to know about housing

Once you've determined which area you like the best, you'll need to decide whether you want to rent or buy.


The majority of newcomers rent before they buy, to give themselves time to discover their new city and make a more informed decision.

  • You can rent an apartment or a house.
  • You'll find For Rent ads in newspapers and online.
  • You will probably have to sign a lease when you rent an apartment. A lease is a contract under which a property owner allows a tenant to use the property for a specified period of time and rent, as per the conditions stipulated in the contract and by law. Be sure you understand all the conditions before you sign the lease.
  • The Régie du logement du Québec is a government organization whose mission is to inform you of your rights and obligations as a tenant. To find out more, visit the Régie du logement du Québec website. If you live in Ontario, you'll find this type of information on the website.


If you plan to buy property, first determine your budget, preferred neighbourhood, type of home (detached, semi-detached, row house or condo) and other needs before you start your home search.

  • You'll find For Sale ads in local newspapers, specialized magazines and online.
  • You can hire a real-estate broker to help you in your home search. This not required, but can be of big help. Be aware that it's the seller who generally pays the real estate broker's commission.
  • To increase your chances of obtaining a mortgage, you must have built a good credit report. To do this, you must start using credit wisely as soon as you get your first loan.

Learn more
The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) is responsible for housing in Canada. The CMHC website contains tools especially designed for newcomers seeking housing. Go to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation website.

What Desjardins can do for you

For additional help:

See the Becoming a homeowner section, designed with newcomers in mind

Evaluate your capacity to pay with our calculator tools

Whether you choose to rent or buy, Desjardins advisors can guide you in selecting the best solutions to meet your needs.

Desjardins is the largest mortgage lender in Quebec. At Desjardins, you'll find products and services tailored to your needs and benefit from the advice of a professional ready to help you carry out your project every step of the way.

Optional coverage that helps you meet your loan payment obligations in the event of disability or death.

Home insurance protects you against fire or theft, whether you're a homeowner, condominium owner or tenant.

If you decide to rent while saving up for a down payment to buy, you might consider opening a savings account.