Committed to You: Buying or selling a home takes patience and requires building a relationship with someone you can trust. Trust us to listen to your needs and find a home that is perfectly suited to your needs and lifestyle, not just today, but for years to come!
The first question you're bound to ask is, "How much home can I afford?" That depends on a number of factors:
Your selected location. Are you set on a specific area? Downtown? The suburbs? A rural setting?
Your preferred type of home. Detached? Semi? Duplex? High-rise? Link? Townhouse? New or Resale? There are a variety of home styles you will want to explore.
Your income. After all, it's not just the mortgage you have to take into account. There are property taxes, utilities, and in some cases condo or strata fees. As a general rule of thumb, your monthly home-carrying cost should not exceed 30-35% of your income.
Market conditions. Is it a buyer's, sellers or balanced market?
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There are also additional costs to keep in mind. It's a good idea to work out exactly what you want and what you can afford before you begin the search. Be specific! After all, you don't want to suddenly come to the realization that your dream house has come with a nightmare of bills and expenses. Stick to looking at houses in your price range. The more you've thought it out, the better your sales representative can meet your needs.
A part of deciding just what you can afford can be accomplished by meeting with your bank or a mortgage broker and negotiating a pre-approved mortgage. There are many types of mortgages and many different terms. Research all of your options. This ensures that there are no surprises once you're ready to make an offer.
Once you've figured out your monthly expenses and what you can afford, you can start your search. It could happen that the first home you see is the one you want; or you might look at home after home with none of them catching your interest. Rest assured, the home you're looking for is out there, and when you find it, you're ready to make an offer. If your offer is accepted, the next steps are closing and moving into your new home.
Purchasing a home is easy once you put your plans into action.
You will need to plan ahead to cover the many up-front costs of buying a house. Timing is important to make sure things go smoothly.
This is part of your down payment and must be paid when you make an offer to purchase. The cost will vary.
With mortgage loan insurance from CMHC (Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation) you can own your home with as little as 5% down payment.
Home Inspection Fee
We always recommend that you make a home inspection a condition of your offer to purchase. A home inspection is a report on the condition of your home and generally costs $200-$500 depending on the complexities of the inspection.
Land Transfer Tax
This is a onetime fee that is a percentage of the property’s purchase price. The government will now refund up to $2000 for first-time home buyers.
Prepaid Property Taxes and/or Utility Bills
To reimburse the vendor for prepaid costs such as property taxes.
The mortgage lender requires this because the home is security for the mortgage – it covers the cost of replacing your home and its contents. Property insurance must be in place on closing day.
Legal Fees and Disbursements
Must be paid upon closing and at a cost determined by your lawyer. Your lawyer will also bill you direct costs to check on the legal status of your property.
Your Lender or lawyer may suggest title insurance to cover loss caused by defects of title to the property. Your lawyer may also suggest title insurance when there is not up-to-date survey for the property.
If you feel you cannot cover all the upfront costs, you can ask your lender for a loan. Remember that the payment for this loan will be put into the calculation of your total debt.