How can I buy a home ?
There are a lot of things that we, as consumers, buy in order to satisfy our needs. House is a purchase that not only meets our need to live in a safe, warm space, it could also be home to our moments of joy, sorrow or first time events where the memories may last a lifetime. Hence when determining our next home, we should always do our work ahead of time to prepare for the financial or physical responsibility that comes along with home ownership. There are four steps you need to follow that will help you buy a home.
1) Determine your budget
2) Draw the picture
3) Work with a realtor
DETERMINE YOUR BUDGET TO BUY A HOME:
Figuring out the finances is always step number one when buying a home. You will need to evaluate your personal expenses before speaking to a professional. A mortgage specialist with your bank or a mortgage broker who works with private lenders can help you determine what your budget is in the real estate market. Be prepared to provide documents about your employment and tax statements before anything else. You can also get a rough idea about what you can afford to buy a home, try using our mortgage calculator.
DRAW THE PICTURE:
We all have that picture in our heads! Decide what you are looking for. What does the home you want to look like? What features are best to suit your needs. Here are some features you may consider when you are a buying a home.
Location: Do you prefer the urban or rural lifestyle? What areas in the city would you like to live in? Do you want to be close to family or friends? How far of a work commute are you looking for? Is the highway access nearby? These are some questions you may ask when deciding the location of your next home.
Schools: Nearby schools can be an important factor in your decision process, so that you can check out Thames Valley School Board’s website in the links section for catchment areas. Fraser Institute’s school performance rankings are also available in the links section.
Amenities: Where is the nearest grocery store, mall or park? Find out what you can discover in the Forest City on the city of London’s website.
Capital: Some houses may require upgrades, or renovations to be completed right away or in the next few years. Do you want to spend your own capital for any additional work? They can also customize newly built homes with upgrades; do you have the additional funds for any sort of upgrading before they build the home?
Size and Style: There are many styles of homes available in the market; bungalows, two-storeys, townhomes or apartments, just to name a few. Depending on the lifestyle and the number of people, knowing the type of housing and approximate space you want to gain will save you time before you begin your search.
WORK WITH A REALTOR:
Realtors are knowledgeable professionals who represent buyers or sellers help decide in the real estate market daily. Their vast expertise in different areas of different neighbourhoods in the city, real estate negotiations, contracts, communication, marketing, pricing and cost estimation will help you buy a home. Once you have figured out your finances with a mortgage specialist, a realtor will place you in the market for the houses in the current market which you can go after based on your budget. Moreover, you can visit properties together to get a better feel of the home you want to purchase.
Once you have decided on the house you really like, it is time to let the realtor know that you would like to send an offer. The realtor prepares the offer contracts to make sure they specifically meet all your inquiries along with terms and conditions.
COSTS ASSOCIATED WHEN BUYING A HOME
Deposit cheque: Deposit cheques have to be sent to seller within a day of acceptance of the offer. Usually the amount can range anywhere from $5,000 to $20,000 depending on the seller’s request.
Legal Fees: When trying to close a residential property transaction, you will need to look into the services of a lawyer. Lawyer will review all contracts in advance and point out any problems in the documentation. They normally charge a flat fee of around $1800 CND for their services in closing.
Land Transfer Tax: Buyers (not sellers) have to pay a land transfer tax on the sale amount of property and the land. Your lawyer will arrange for the payment of the land transfer tax before closing when the deed is transferred to your name.
Ontario Land Transfer Tax Calculations:
- 0.5% of the value of the property up to and including $55,000
- 1% of the value which exceeds $55,000 up to and including $250,000
- 1.5% of the value which exceeds $250,000 up to and including $400,000
- 2% of the value between $400,000 and $2,000,000
- 2.5% for amounts exceeding $2,000,000, where the land contains one or two single-family residences.
Note: If you are a first time home buyer only, you may be eligible for a refund of land transfer tax amount up to $4,000, depending on the sale price. If the sale price is greater than $368,000, you may be eligible for a refund of $4,000.
Other costs include home insurance, and may include property tax prepayment, status certificate, appraisals, new home warranties and moving expenses.
Note: All costs are approximate, and must be verified by the buyer while there may be additional costs in different circumstances.