Finding the perfect home doesn’t have to be stressful. Here’s a 6-Step Guide on what to expect when investing or buying real estate in Toronto.
1. Prepare a Plan
Location not only impacts your lifestyle but also the value of your property. Consider factors such as commute to work, schools, family, shopping and entertainment.
Consider how much you have to spend and how much you would want to. Remember that buying a home includes additional expenses beyond the list price.
Do you require an attached garage? An ensuite bathroom? A recently renovated kitchen? Once you decide which features you would like, it’s time to prioritize the list.
A detached house may have more space, while a condo might offer a low-maintenance living situation. It’s important to determine what type of home best suits your budget and desired lifestyle.
2. Power Tools
A real estate agent can be your most useful resource because of their experience and access to industry tools. Once you identify your living requirements, choose an agent who understands your needs and can conduct in-depth searches using the local Board’s MLS® (Multiple Listing Service®) System. Not only do agents provide expertise, they also negotiate the best price on your behalf when buying properties in Toronto.
3. Viewing Properties
When you visit a property, keep your requirements from Step 1 in mind but also take note of the technical aspects like wiring, power outlets, heating, foundation, roof maintenance, windows, plumbing, etc. A home inspection can provide the best assessment of the property and your real estate agent can refer you to a trusted professional once an offer is made on your dream home.
4. Making An Offer
Once you find the right home, your Toronto Real Estate Agent can put together an offer. The offer will include, the price you are willing to pay, expiration of the offer, a proposed closing date and conditions for the purchase. Some commonly included conditions are:
- Selling your current home.
- The survey provided by the seller that shows there are no encroachments on the property.
- Verification that the property is owned by the seller (your lawyer will confirm via a title search).
- A home inspection by a qualified engineer.
- Inclusion/exclusion of appliances and other items – basically, which ones stay or go.
A deposit is given along with an offer to show good faith to the seller.
5. Offer Acceptance
When the offer is accepted and all conditions are met, it becomes binding. If either party does not honor the agreement, they can be sued or lose their deposit. Before signing, be sure that you fully comprehend all the terms of the offer and consult with your agent.
Before the property is handed over from the seller to the buyer, a few more things must be done. You will need to show proof of insurance to the institution that provided your mortgage.
On or before closing day, the lawyers from both sides will arrange to transfer the property title from the seller to the buyer.
The mortgage will be transferred to your lawyer’s trust account, and then to the seller.Your lawyer will bill you all additional expenses such as land transfer taxes or outstanding legal fees. Be sure to check with your lawyer that everything is as stated in the offer-to-purchase.
Once this is complete and the keys are in your hands, the home is yours!
6. The Extras
A few common additional costs to keep in mind when buying:
- Legal fees.
- Real estate agent fees.
- Appraisal fee.
- Survey costs (if the seller didn’t have a current survey).
- A high-ratio mortgage insurance premium.
- An interest adjustment for the mortgage.
- Reimbursement to seller for the unused portion of any prepaid property taxes or utility bills.
- Land transfer tax in certain provinces.
- Mortgage broker’s fee.