Reza Ipchilar - Luxury Toronto Real Estate

Congratulations! You’ve decided to enter the scary, new frontier of homeownership. Buying a home can be daunting – this is arguably the most important life investment you’ll make after education.

Buying a home for the first time can be especially difficult – where to you even start? We’ll try to make it as pain-free as possible with this quick guide to buying a house. Below are key steps that’ll simplify your journey to homeownership:

1. What are you must-have features?

Location

The location of your potential Toronto luxury home or condo should go hand-in-hand with your lifestyle. Location is also one of the main influencers of home value now and in the future if you decide to one day sell.

Price often dictates location limitations, but commute to work, schools in the area, family needs, shopping, and entertainment should always be considered.

Budget

You’ve answered the age-old millennial question already – can I afford to buy a home? – so now you’ll have to consider how much you have to spend, and how much you want to spend. Don’t forget to consider added expenses tagged on throughout the home buying process which will bump the price beyond listing amount.

Features

Must all your bathrooms have sizeable bidets? Do you need a private backyard? A fireplace? A minimal work commute? Create a list of must-have features you expect from your location and property, and start building your list from Toronto homes for sale that meet your criteria.

Type of Home

You should also consider the type of Toronto luxury condos or homes you could see yourself/your family settling in. A single-detached home offers more living space and land, but requires more work to upkeep, while a luxury condominium provides low-maintenance living. Choose a setting that best suits your budget and lifestyle.



2. Searching for a home

A Toronto real estate agent has access to tools that make identifying luxury homes for sale in Toronto simple. One such tool is the local Toronto Real Estate Board’s MLS® (Multiple Listing Service®) System. MLS can be filtered for luxury homes in Toronto that best match your requirements such as location and budget.



3. Viewing potential properties

Once you start visiting Toronto luxury homes for sale, keep your requirements top of mind (i.e. Does it have all the features you need? Does the location work for your lifestyle?).

Don’t forget about technical considerations, too: wiring, power outlets, heating, foundation and roof maintenance, windows, plumbing, etc. Home inspections are an easy way to get a technical assessment of the property – be sure you’re hiring a professional home inspector for this service.



4. Making an offer

When you’ve finally found the Toronto luxury condo or home that meets your minimum number of bathrooms requirement, your Toronto real estate agent can formulate an offer the seller can’t refuse (just kidding, be prepared to negotiate).

The offer will include the price you are willing to pay, expiration of the offer, a closing date for the purchase of the home, and conditions of the purchase.

Some commonly included conditions are:

  • Home financing, which states you will be able to get a mortgage;
  • Selling your current home;
  • Survey provided by the seller that shows there are no encroachments on the property;
  • Title of the property being owned by the seller (your lawyer will confirm via a title search);
  • Home inspection by a qualified engineer; and
  • Inclusion and exclusion of any appliances and other items - or, what stays and what goes.

A deposit of appropriate value is also given along with an offer, showing your good faith to the seller.



5. Acceptance of an offer

If all conditions are met and the offer is accepted, it becomes binding to both parties. If either side fails to honour the agreement, legal action can be taken or the deposit forfeit; so before signing, be sure you fully understand the parameters of the deal.

The keys can’t be handed from seller to buyer just yet – there are a few more housekeeping tasks to take care of. You will have 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 also bill you for added expenses including land transfer taxes or outstanding legal fees. Be sure to have your lawyer double-check the offer-to-purchase so everything is as stated.

Once this is complete and the keys are in your hands, the home is yours!


6. Additional costs

Purchasing a home is associated with some extra expenses, including:

  • Legal fees
  • Toronto real estate agent fees
  • Appraisal fees
  • 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