Buying a Home
I go above and beyond to help you navigate the real estate market and negotiate the best possible price for a property in your budget.
As your personal guide and trustworthy agent, I strive to give you the best of the best. In the years that I’ve spent in the industry, homebuyers have always asked me “What do I need to do when I buy a house?”. I’ve composed a step-by-step guide that organizes the buying process to make buying a house simple and fun!
1. Decide to Buy
Before you even go looking for a home, you have to understand your needs. Think about the type of place you’re looking for. Are you looking for a lot of bedrooms and washrooms for your family? Do you want a pool in the backyard? Do you want to live close to a school or a mall? These are just some of the things you have to consider before start looking for a new home.
You also have to familiarize yourself with different types of ownership as well to help narrow down the perfect home. Freehold is when it’s all yours, a condo is when you take care of the inside and pay your fees to an association, and co-op is similar to a condo but you rent a unit in the building and pay maintenance and repair fees.
Once you have narrowed down some qualities, its time to go looking for a home!
2. Hire an Agent
There are thousands of real estate agents how do you chose one that’s right for you?
You have to pick carefully. They will be acting as your representative and you will need someone to look out for your best interests. You will need someone that you can trust and someone who understands what you want.
There are a few ways to look for your perfect Realtor, such as:
- Jot down some names and numbers that you find on “For Sale” signs
- Ask friends and family for a recommendation
- Visit one of the local offices in your area
They have to be a trained professional who knows your area inside out. A great agent is someone who offers you quality services to help you accomplish your goal.
3. Find your Home
There are many ways of finding that dream home! First, before you go shopping you have to make sure you are also financially ready. Make sure to have a budget when you go shopping. You can use my very handy affordability calculator by clicking here.
One thing to keep in mind is your down payments. This is a percentage of the total cost of a home that you’ll need to pay. The more money you put down, the more you’ll save on monthly payments and cost of borrowing. Another important aspect is getting pre-approved for a mortgage. When the lender approves you for a mortgage, it gives you an idea of how much you can afford to buy your new house.
Keeping these things in mind, you are free to go window shopping! You can go searching for houses according to the different neighbourhood surrounding you, check newspaper listings, websites, or even drop by any open houses that are being held in your area. Looking for houses can be really fun and exciting! You can browse listings using the smart listings search on the Zolo website, here.
4. Make an Offer
Now that you’ve found the house that you are set on, it’s time to make an offer. Not all offers are the same and here’s where your real estate agent comes in. They will help you with specific terms and conditions that will be specified in the offer like the price you want to pay, financing conditions, or other things like inclusions and exclusions.
Not only is it about the price of the house but you have to carefully look at the other details included in this sale. Appliances, chandeliers, or even minor renovations can also be part of the deal. Shorter or longer closing dates can also be specified in the offer.
If there is something in the offer that doesn’t satisfy the seller, counter offers or negotiations can also be presented to help get a price that you think is fair.
5. Close the Sale
There will be closing costs associated with the sale that need to be paid either by or on the closing date. It can include mortgage application fees, inspections, and legal fees. But once that’s taken care of, you get your new house.
Congrats, welcome to your new home! You’re all ready to move in!
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First Time Buyers
Buying a house for the first time is a big and important decision in your life. As someone who represents you and looks out for your best interest, I would like to introduce you to the First-Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit.
First-Time Home Buyer’s Credit (FTHBC) is a government program geared towards buyers like you. The objective is to reduce costs associated with purchasing a home. As a first time buyer, you are eligible for a 15% income tax credit on a maximum of $5,000 of home purchase costs such as legal fees and land transfer taxes. It can be claimed for the taxation year that you acquired the house.
You are considered to be a first time buyer if neither you and your spouse or common-law partner has owned and lived in another home in the year of the purchase or in any of the four previous years.
RRSP Home Buyer’s Plan
The Home Buyer’s Plan (HBP) is a government program that allows home buyers to withdraw up to $25,000 from their Registered Retirement Saving’s Plan (RRSP) to put towards buying or building a new home.
Before you can withdraw funds, you have to be entered into a written agreement that specifies whether you will be buying or building your new home. You also must occupy this space no later than a year after buying or building this new home.
To take advantage of this program you have to be considered a first-time buyer. You are not a first-time home buyer if you (or you and your spouse) has owned a home which you have occupied as your principal place of residence in the past 5 years.
Once those conditions are met each person can withdraw up to $25,000 tax-free from their RRSP for a new home. Couples, including common-law, can withdraw up to $50,000. You will not pay income tax on these amounts as long as these funds will be repaid into an RRSP in the future.
Existing homeowners can also use this program to purchase an accessible home or a home for a disabled dependent relative. The intended individual must qualify for the Disability Tax Credit (DTC) and this home must be more accessible or better suited to the care of this individual.
Land Transfer Tax Rebates
First-time buyers of new and re-sale homes are eligible for rebates on provincial and Toronto land transfer taxes. The maximum that first-time home buyers can receive for provincial land transfer tax (LTT) is $2,000 and for the Toronto LTT its $3,725.
The provincial LTT is payable anywhere in Ontario, including Toronto. As mentioned before, the maximum that a first-time buyer can receive for the provincial LTT is $2,000. For re-sale homes, the provincial rebate only applies to first-time buyers who entered into Agreements of Purchase and Sale after December 13, 2007.
Toronto LTT is payable only for properties in the City of Toronto. The maximum a first-time home buyer can receive is $3,725. The Toronto LTT rebates are in addition to any provincial LTT rebate the buyer qualifies for.
The buyer is considered to be a first-time buyer for the provincial and Toronto LTT if they are at least 18 years of age and must not have previously owned a home anywhere in the world at anytime. If a spouse is involved, the spouse cannot have owned a home or had any ownership interest in a home while he/she was the purchaser’s spouse.
HST New Housing Rebate
The HST New Housing Rebate program allows you to claim a rebate on part of the HST you pay on the purchase price of either a newly constructed home or cost of building the home. You can claim a rebate on a newly renovated home, a purchase of a new mobile home, or when your home is destroyed in a fire and is subsequently rebuilt.
The purchase price of resale homes are exempted from the HST whereas the purchase price of newly constructed homes are subject to HST.
New home buyers can apply for a 36% rebate on the federal portion of the HST of the purchase price to a maximum of $6,300 for homes costing $350,000 or less. For new homes priced at $350,000 to $450,000 the rebate will be reduced proportionately. Homes priced over $450,000 would not receive a rebate on the federal portion of the HST.
For the provincial portion of the HST, new home buyers can apply for a 75% rebate applicable to the purchase price to a maximum of $24,000.