Five Steps to Buying a House in Ontario
Purchasing a home in Ontario is one of the essential parts of "adulting".
However, it's becoming harder and harder for Ontarians to buy a home. From growing interest rates to a dwindling selection, finding the perfect property can feel like finding a needle in a haystack!
Thankfully, there are a handful of ways that new home buyers can get the upper hand over the competition — doing their research and being prepared. Taking the time to do the necessary research makes it much easier to find the home that you're looking for in Ontario.
That's why we've put together a list of the steps to buying a house in Ontario.
Continue reading to learn more.
The five steps to buying a house in Ontario that every home buyer should know
Although buying a house in Ontario is rarely easy, using the following guide can help make the process quicker and less stressful for house hunters in the long run:
Step #1 — Save up enough to make a down payment and plan for additional expenses
Before you start assessing potential neighbourhoods and contacting reputable real estate agents, the first thing that you need to do is save up enough money to make a down payment for your future home.
In Ontario, home buyers can make a down payment as small as 5% (for properties $500,000 or less), but most real estate experts advise buyers to wait until they have enough money to make a 20% down payment. Doing this puts less financial pressure on home buyers and helps them obtain better mortgage rates.
However, a down payment isn't the only expense that home buyers need to plan for. You should also take the following long-term expenses into consideration throughout the process of buying a house in Ontario:
- Annual property taxes
- General maintenance and repairs
- Monthly or yearly home insurance payments
Step #2 — Start scouting and assessing potential locations in Ontario
The province of Ontario is full of beautiful towns and cities that are perfect for starting a family. However, not every location within these towns and cities is equally attractive to home buyers.
For instance, a property could be priced perfectly, but if it's located right next to railroad tracks, some home buyers will move on to the next option quickly.
There are several details that you should keep in mind while assessing a property's location, some of which include the following factors:
- Approximate commute time (is it longer or shorter?)
- Proximity to schools and daycare centres
- Proximity to grocery stores and other essential shopping centres (can you walk to a store if necessary?)
- Access to public transit like buses, train stations, etc.
- Distance from parks, playgrounds, etc.
- Crime and vehicle theft rate of the area
Be sure to keep these factors in mind throughout the home buying process Ontario.
Step #3 — Get pre-approved for a mortgage in Ontario
Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is an optional but undeniably beneficial part of the home buying process in Ontario. If you get pre-approved for a mortgage, you are able to lock in your interest rate for as long as 120 days.
Getting pre-approved for a mortgage also shows sellers that you're a serious buyer who is actively looking to make offers on properties. With all of this in mind, it's easy to see why getting pre-approved for a mortgage is beneficial for home buyers in Ontario.
As a reminder, if you're getting a mortgage for your home, your mortgage lender will likely require you to purchase a home insurance policy that meets their standards.
Mortgage lenders require home buyers to purchase home insurance because it helps them protect their investments. If something happens to the home, the home insurance policy can provide financial support.
On the other hand, if the mortgage lender didn't require home buyers to purchase insurance and something happened to the home, neither the home buyer nor the mortgage lender would be financially protected.
Step #4 — Find a reputable real estate agent in Ontario
Even if you're familiar with how to buy a house in Ontario, working with a real estate agent makes the process much smoother.
Having a reputable real estate agent by your side makes the home buying process quicker, easier and much less stressful for house hunters. Plus, when you work with a real estate agent, you can ask questions and for guidance along the way.
Step #5 — Make an offer on a property that's within your price range
The final step to buying a home in Ontario is making an offer on a property that's in your price range. Making an offer on a property can be an exciting and stressful time for prospective buyers.
However, new home buyers should note that Ontario's real estate industry is one of the most competitive in the country. Because of this, it's not uncommon for home buyers to have to make several offers on various homes before finalizing a sale.
So, if your first offer isn't accepted, don't worry! Just keep on doing what you're doing, and you're sure to find the perfect home for you and your family.
Save up to 25% on home insurance when you shop with Surex
As a reminder, home insurance is generally required if you have a mortgage for your home. So, if you want to protect your investment, the best thing that you can do is reach out to a Surex insurance advisor.
At Surex, we work closely with over ten of Canada's top insurance carriers, which allows us to provide policyholders, like you, with a wide variety of high-quality quotes.
Best of all, when you team up with Surex, comparing quotes becomes a quick and straightforward process; we can supply you with a wide range of high-quality quotes in ten minutes or less.
So, what are you waiting for? Contact a Surex insurance advisor online or over the phone to get started and to learn how you can save up to 25% when you bundle multiple policies with one of our reputable carriers.
Best of luck and happy house hunting!