By: Abigail Ward

Being a first-time homebuyer in Ontario involves several steps and considerations. You will have questions and the friendly lawyers and staff at J. Quaglia Law have the answers for you. In the meantime, here is a general overview of what you can expect:

1. Determining Your Budget:

– Calculate your budget, taking into account your income, expenses, and potential mortgage rates. Use online calculators to estimate how much you can afford.

2. Getting Pre-Approved for a Mortgage:

– Speak to a mortgage broker or lender to get pre-approved for a mortgage. This gives you a better idea of what you can afford and makes you a more attractive buyer to sellers.

3. Home Inspection:

– If your offer is accepted, arrange for a home inspection to identify any potential issues with the property. This can be a crucial step in making an informed decision.

4. Securing Financing:

– Finalize your mortgage details and work closely with your lender to ensure a smooth financing process.

5. Legal Process:

– Hire a real estate lawyer to handle the legal aspects of the transaction, including the title search, reviewing contracts, and ensuring all necessary paperwork is in order.

6. Closing Costs:

– Be aware of additional costs involved in the home-buying process, such as land transfer taxes, legal fees, and home insurance. Factor these costs into your budget.

7. Down Payment

– A purchaser will be required to bring their down-payment for their purchase before the closing date for the transaction. You will be notified of this amount prior to closing. Your down payment will include your legal closing costs.

8. Land Transfer Tax Rebate up to $4,000

– To qualify for a refund:

  • The purchaser must be at least 18 years old.
  • The purchaser must occupy the home as their principal residence within nine months of the date of transfer.
  • The purchaser cannot have ever owned an eligible home, or an interest in an eligible home, anywhere in the world, at any time.
  • Beginning January 1, 2017, eligibility for the first‑time homebuyers refund program is restricted to Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada.
  • If the purchaser entered into an agreement of purchase and sale before December 14, 2007, the home must be a newly constructed home and the purchaser must be eligible for the Tarion New Home Warranty.
  • If the purchaser has a spouse, the spouse cannot have owned an eligible home, or had any ownership interest in an eligible home, anywhere in the world, while he or she was the purchaser’s spouse. If this is the case, no refund is available to either spouse.

9. Setting up Utility Accounts
– Setting up utility accounts for a new home purchase is a crucial step in the relocation process. Upon acquiring a new residence in Ontario, it’s essential to contact local utility providers to establish services such as water, electricity, gas, internet, and waste disposal.

10. Closing Day:

– Real estate closings can be completed between 8:30am and 5pm Monday through Friday, excluding holidays as determined by the land registry office. The timing of “closing the deal” between the Sellers and Purchasers lawyer is dependent on a few factors, such as when mortgage funds arrive to the purchaser’s lawyer trust account on closing day, funds then being transferred to the seller’s lawyer and the registration of the new Deed & Mortgage.

11. Post-Purchase Considerations:

– Plan for ongoing costs like property taxes, utility bills, and maintenance. Consider getting home insurance to protect your investment.

12. Government Programs and Incentives:

– Explore any first-time homebuyer programs or incentives offered by the provincial or federal government that may provide financial assistance or tax benefits.

Remember that the real estate process can vary, and it’s essential to work closely with professionals like real estate agents, mortgage brokers, and lawyers to ensure a smooth experience. Additionally, stay informed about any changes in regulations or programs that may impact first-time homebuyers in Ontario.