Ready to buy a home?

Buying a home is an exciting milestone but knowing where to begin can feel daunting. Partnering with the right real estate agent is a great place to start and will make the process so much easier. From understanding your goals to negotiating preferred conditions and pricing, having a great agent on your side makes all the difference.

The following steps break down the home buying process and will help prepare you for your next big move:

1 Initial Consultation

Our initial consultation has one main purpose: We get to know each other. During this step, we’ll discuss your investment goals, along with exactly what you’re looking for in a home. I’ll also explain how the home buying process works and the associated costs, so you know exactly what to expect and when.

2 Determine Your Budget

Now that we know what you’re looking for, it’s a good time to sit down with a mortgage specialist, who will help determine how much you can comfortably afford to spend. Having a set budget will narrow your home search, allowing you to focus only on the properties that work.

3 Home Searching

With a set budget guiding the home search, it’s my goal to understand exactly what you’re looking for in a home and the locations that work best. From there, I’ll be keeping busy finding you the best options available in the GTA and scheduling tours. And remember, having an open mind is key.

4 Making an Offer

This is where the negotiation skills come into play. I’ll work on submitting offers and conditions that work best for you, ensuring you feel well-represented, confident, and comfortable moving forward with the sale.

5 Satisfying Conditions

Despite your offer being accepted, there are a few steps we need to take to complete the transaction. Typically, these include financing, home inspections or, when purchasing a condo, requesting a status certificate. These conditions are in your best interest and work to protect you from risks associated with entering a binding agreement. Once the conditions are met, we can prepare for closing.

6 Prepare for Closing

There are varying costs due upon acceptance and closing. With the help from a real estate lawyer, we will navigate you through the closing process and important timelines.

7 Making Your Move

Congratulations, homeowner! In the time leading up to your closing date, we’ll go over the moving checklist. I’ve partnered with a personalized concierge service called MoveSnap to help keep the moving process stress-free and exciting, just as it should be.

FAQ for Buyers

Is now a good time to buy?

Simply put, maybe. Choosing when to invest in a property depends on several variables. Many potential home buyers choose to analyze local market trends and current mortgage rates before investing. While these are important metrics to follow, the best time to buy is always when you can comfortably afford to do so. 

If you’re unsure about timing, let’s connect and figure out what’s right for your next move.

What are conditions?

In order to protect a buyer, an offer would be conditional upon conditions that need to be met in order for the buyer to be satisfied and confident enough to proceed with the sale. 

There are a wide range of conditions and sometimes even include custom requests that the seller needs to do before the closing date. Below are a few examples of common conditions: 

The Financing Condition: This condition is designed to give you enough time to secure financing from a lender. Even if you’ve been pre-approved, you’re not fully approved for a mortgage until a lender has assessed your file and the property, and issues a mortgage commitment. This condition allows extra time for you to submit the required information to the lender in hopes of it meeting the lender’s guidelines.

The Home Inspection: This clause provides an opportunity for the buyer to inspect the home for major defects that could affect the enjoyment of the home or cost a large amount of money to rectify. This visual examination involves an inspector evaluating the home and reporting its condition at the point of sale.

The Status Certificate Review: Only for condo buyers, requesting the status certificate will reveal the condo’s financial and legal health. In addition to this, it will outline its declaration, important rules and regulations, and whether the seller is up-to-date on fees.

What costs are associated with a home purchase and when are they due?

There are a few different costs associated with a home purchase, so I’ll outline each of them below.

Deposit. Buyers are expected to put down a deposit, which is usually 5% of the purchase price. This deposit becomes part of your down payment. It’s good to note that money saved for a down payment needs to be liquid and paid out within 24 hours of an accepted offer. Your down payment is something to determine with a mortgage broker to ensure you’re putting down only what you can comfortably afford.

Mortgage Insurance. If you want to buy a home with a down payment of less than 20% of the purchase price, you’ll need mortgage loan insurance provided by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). This protects your lender in case you can’t make your mortgage payments. The CMHC mortgage loans allow you to get a mortgage for up to 95% of the purchase price for homes under $1,000,000. This insurance also ensures you’ll get a reasonable interest rate, despite the size of your down payment. Your lender will pay a loan insurance premium, which is calculated as a percentage of the mortgage and depends on how much you put down. This cost will likely be passed on to you and it can be paid in a lump sum or added into your mortgage payments.

Home Inspections. Home inspections provide a great opportunity for buyers to identify any major issues with a home prior to closing and costs vary from $400 and up. This fee is due immoderately after inspection of a home.

Land Transfer Tax. When you buy property in Ontario, you are subject to land transfer tax (LTT) which is due upon closing. The LTT is a marginal tax that is based upon the purchase price of your home. These unique rates also vary depending on where you live in Ontario. If you buy a home outside of Toronto, you only pay the provincial tax. If you buy a home in Toronto, you pay both the provincial and municipal taxes.

Legal Fees. When buying a home, you will need a real estate lawyer to protect your best interests and help navigate you through the tough legal jargon. Your lawyer will provide a number of services like reviewing all legal documents, ensuring property taxes are up-to-date, purchasing title insurance, and calculating the land transfer tax. Legal fees usually start at $1,200 and are due upon closing.

HST. When purchasing a newly constructed home, you will pay 13% (HST) of the sale price. Sometimes the HST is included in the price.

Prepaid Expenses. Lastly, there are prepaid expenses to consider. The seller might have prepaid property taxes, utility bills or condo fees before you take ownership of the property. You will need to reimburse the seller for these costs from the closing date forward.

What is the next step?

Once you’ve spoken to a mortgage specialist, the next thing to do is to speak with a Realtor. Your Realtor will explain the entire buying process, walk you through commission fees, closing costs, and payment deadlines. This is also a great opportunity to ask any questions you might have.

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Should I meet with a mortgage specialist before I start looking for a home?

Absolutely! This is always a great place to begin the home-buying process because with the help of a mortgage expert, you’ll determine how much you can comfortably afford. Once you determine a budget, you can then narrow your home search so that you’re only looking at properties that fit your criteria.

In addition to this, being a qualified buyer puts you ahead of the game and can come in handy when it’s time to negotiate. It also puts the seller at ease knowing pre-approved buyers are interested and ready to make a deal.

Do I need to pay for a Realtor to represent me on the buying side?

Fortunately for buyers, sellers pay the commission for both the buyer’s and seller’s agents in a real estate transaction. The only time a buyer might have to pay their agent is if the seller of the property is unwilling to pay the industry standard amount. Regardless of this fee, a buyer will always benefit from having a knowledgeable Realtor on their side of the transaction to help with negotiating the price and conditions that work for them.

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