There is so much information and we don't know where to start!

I always recommend starting with a budget.  In real estate estate, location is supposed to be your #1 item before you start looking but in Toronto your budget might trump your desired location!  The best place to start is by calling your mortgage broker and determining how much home you can afford.  Once you've gone through the application process you'll get a "pre-approval" for a mortgage which is typically how much a lender is willing to give you.  Once you know how much you can afford we can start looking into neighbourhoods of interest.  If you need recommendations for a good mortgage broker, please contact me.

How much of a down payment do we need?

Your down payment amount is determined by the total purchase price of the home, how you qualify with your lender, and if you are going with an insured mortgage or not.   In Canada, any purchase under $500,000 requires a minimum down payment of 5%.  If the purchase price is between $500,000 and $999,999 the minimum down payment is 5% on the first $500,000 and 10% of any amount over $500,000.  If your purchase is over $1 million you are required to put a down payment of 20% of the total purchase price.  There are many factors affecting your down payment amount and I always recommend speaking with a good mortgage broker about this.  Check out my mortgage rate calculator to get an idea of down payments.   

What's the difference between a downpayment and a deposit?

A deposit is money you submit during the offer process of purchasing property and a down payment is the amount due prior to closing on your property.  The deposit is typically 5% of the purchase price, and this amount serves multiple functions.  First, it serves as a sign of good faith to the seller and demonstrates you have the financial means to make the purchase.  Second, the deposit also becomes part of your down payment on the property when you close.