How To Buy A House In Ontario
So, you’ve finally decided to expand your family. Congratulations! A new addition to the family is always wonderful news, and when that little one finally arrives, it may soon be time to start thinking about purchasing your first home.
Just as is the case in any Canadian real estate market, buying a house in Ontario involves taking a leap of faith. You’ve likely seen many stories in the news stating that buying a house in Ontario can be somewhat restrictive as far as prices are concerned. But with a bit of help from reliable sources, a comprehensive plan and some research on your part, you can turn the dream of home ownership into reality.
When you’re ready to begin the journey of home ownership, following these steps will help ease you into the process of buying a house in Ontario.
1. Budget strategically
A house is most likely one of the largest and most expensive purchases you’ll ever make in your lifetime. As a result, you need to budget strategically in order to ensure you find a property that is suitable for your needs. Take some time to plan out your budget. Start by setting aside some money for your down payment and figure how much you’ll need to cover additional costs. Start browsing through home listings online and in print to determine your price range and the neighbourhood in which you’d like to live.
2. Find a mortgage
When it comes to buying a house in Ontario, there are a multitude of mortgage options at your disposal, and finding one that aligns with your budget is key. The majority of conventional mortgages involve a down payment of 20 per cent, so keep that in mind when browsing mortgage products. Check and compare current mortgage rates and get in touch with a mortgage broker if necessary.
3. Get real with a Realtor
If home ownership is Mount Everest, then a Realtor is your Sherpa. He or she will guide you to the peak by dispensing helpful advice, negotiating prices and ultimately help you find the right property for your budget. You’ve most likely seen those television commercials that explain the importance of working with a Realtor; having a reliable one in your corner certainly makes a difference.
4. Lawyer up
To help you understand the legal aspects of buying a house in Ontario, it’s best practice to hire a lawyer who specializes in real estate. Not only can they review any offer you might submit; they can also conduct title searches and determine if the property in your crosshairs has any outstanding taxes or liens.
5. The Game’s Afoot
The longest part of the home buying process is often house hunting, but it doesn’t have to be. You can accelerate this step if you know…
- What kind of property you’re looking for
- Your desired neighbourhood
- Your immediate and future needs
- Your personal lifestyle
- Proximity to key amenities (major roads, shopping, schools, entertainment, etc.)
Many prospective homeowners create a checklist that they share with their Realtors and bring to home showings. This is especially effective if you attend several showings. Create one for yourself and keep it handy for those situations.
6. Deal or no deal?
Once you’ve found the home that checks all the boxes for you, it’s time to submit an offer. Once you’ve determined a realistic offer, your Realtor will officially present it to the seller. The offer itself is featured in a document that should include the following items:
- The price
- The conditions of the deal
- Closing date
When the offer is submitted, the seller will either accept it, reject it, or submit a counter offer. This is also known as signing back.
7. Check it out
Whether or not you choose to hire a home inspector is completely up to you, but it is certainly to your benefit to do so, especially if the house you’re interested in is a resale property. Many house hunters include a clause in their offer that indicates that the deal is contingent on whether or not the property passes a full inspection. If the inspection exposes flaws or areas that require replacement or repair, you can either negotiate them with the seller before the deal closes or withdraw your offer.
8. The final review
If the house passes inspection, several details need to be finalized before you can close on the deal. These include:
- Approval of the mortgage
- Results of the title search (with your lawyer)
9. Make your move
If everything checks out legally and financially, it’s time to begin your moving preparations. Make sure that you cancel the utilities at your old home and contact your service providers to ensure they’re ready to go at your new home. You’ll also need to hire a moving company and ensure that any mail is forwarded to your new location.
10. Closing the deal
After a final review of the paperwork by your lawyer to ensure that the new home is legally in your name, the payments are confirmed and the deed and keys are officially handed over to you. Now it’s time to get moved in and get the most out of your new living space.