Things You Should Know Before Buying A Home In Ontario
Buying a house will always be the biggest financial decision of your life. Houses are expensive, and properties in Ontario are no exception to this. Consequently, you need to prepare for this experience; you have to understand some of the key things to look for when buying a house in Ontario. If you educate yourself, you will make the entire buying process way less stressful – as well as help you find your dream home in a shorter space of time.
Below, we’ve listed a couple of key points to know before you buy, along with our own comprehensive step-by-step guide to buying a home in Ontario!
Top Cities of Ontario
First and foremost, you have to know which cities are worth your attention. Ontario is a big state and there are plenty of cities out there to choose from. According to Ottawa Life, five cities stand out from the rest:
These cities are known as the best in the state, and they are also some of the biggest. Therefore, the lifestyle and standard of living there are very high. So, if you want to buy property in Ontario, these are the cities to start looking at.
You Can’t Always Rely on English
Secondly, you have to know that Ontario does have a large French-speaking population. The most recent census found that 4.7% of the population speaks French, meaning English will only get you so far. Be prepared to do some dealings in French depending on where you’re buying your home. Don’t worry, most estate agents in these areas will be bilingual to avoid any miscommunications.
Comprehensive Step-By-Step Guide To Buying A Home In Ontario
Take the stress out of the buying process by following these seven steps to buying a house in Ontario:
Step 1: Evaluate your finances
The first step is evaluating your current financial position. How much will you need to save to afford a downpayment on your new home? Work this out, then work backward from there to see how much you can save every month to reach this goal as quickly as possible. You may discover that you’ve got enough money to buy a house already, or you could find that you aren’t ready just yet. Evaluate your finances, see where you stand, then take it from there.
At Justo, we can help you with this through our mortgage partner agents. We’ll examine your financial position, speak to our partners, and they can figure out how much you can afford – free of charge!
Step 2: Choose a real estate broker
A real estate broker can help you find the home of your dreams and save a lot of money at the same time. When choosing your broker, ensure that they are registered with the Real Estate Council of Ontario. This will mean they are fully regulated and have met standards set by this council. One of these standards is that they carry deposit insurance, meaning you are protected from losing your deposit money if the brokerage has financial trouble.
If you’re looking for a real estate broker in Ontario to help you with the home buying process, feel free to contact us today. What makes Justo different is that we take half as much commission as the average broker. Instead, you get that other half back as cashback, along with some additional benefits and services as well.
Step 3: Where to buy a house
Finding where to buy a house in Ontario can be tricky as there are so many different locations to choose from. We find that the location of a home is often the biggest factor people look at during the buying process. Naturally, you want to live in a fantastic location, but you may have to make a trade-off between location and affordability. Can you afford to live in the expensive downtown areas?
Our agents can help guide each client through this process and provide advice on the best thing to do. If a trade-off needs to be made, we’ll help you find the next best location for your budget.
Step 4: Examine your affordability
Affordability refers to what you can afford in a home. It is determined by a few factors, such as:
- Your credit score
- Your down payment size
- Your total annual expenses divided by your gross income
- Current monthly expenses
There are some complex calculations that go into determining exactly what you can afford when buying property in Ontario. You can use this handy tool by WOWA to examine your affordability, letting you know the price range of homes you can afford to buy.
Step 5: Submit an offer
At this stage, you know what you can afford and you can start looking at houses. When working with Justo, our agents will guide you every step of the way and screen homes that match your unique needs. From here, we can organize some showings for you as well. This gives you a chance to look around the different shortlisted homes, getting a proper feel for them. Very soon, you’ll find the property of your dreams and be ready to submit an offer.
Again, our agents can be extremely helpful during this step. They are knowledgeable of current market trends and will help you make an informed decision as to what your first offer should be. With their assistance, you can negotiate the best price that fits your budget.
Step 6: Get a home inspection
Before buying a home in Ontario, you should try to get a home inspection. Effectively, this is an on-site examination of the property, seeing what physical state it is in. Is the foundation okay? Are the windows and doors up to standard? You’ll hire an inspector to do this for you, providing a detailed report that shows you the condition of the home.
Ideally, you’d like to inspect every home that you’ve shortlisted. Unfortunately, given current market conditions, an inspection clause might throw you out of the race. The best course of action is to speak to the agent and get advice on how to proceed. Sometimes, it’s better to submit your offer without an inspection, other times we recommend you get one. It all depends on how many offers are present, the age of the home, how well it shows, and whether there are any visible reasons for concern.
Step 7: One final showing
It’s always wise to go back to the house for one final showing to ensure that all chattels and fixtures included are still there. Check that there’s no damage or other points of concern that weren’t there before. For example, the day the seller moves out they accidentally damage the walls while moving their furniture out. This final showing helps you avoid any nasty surprises.
Step 8: Complete all paperwork and move into your new home
When your offer is accepted, you will have different paperwork to sign and finalize before you move in. This will be handled by your lawyer and mortgage provider, so be sure you sign any papers you are given as quickly as possible to prevent any delays. Within a few days or weeks of signing your contracts, closing day will be upon you. This is when the exchange of funds between lawyers is finalized, and you will be handed over the keys to your new home.
This guide has shown you everything you need to know before buying a house in Ontario. Follow the steps above to breeze through the process and move into your home with minimal stress and fewer roadblocks!