The house in human hands

Welcome to Canada

Canada is a country, consisting of ten provinces and three territories, in the Northern part of the continent of North America. It extends from the Atlantic to the Pacific and Northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometres (3.85 million square miles) in total, making it the world’s second-largest country by total area and the fourth-largest country by land area.

As a new comer to Canada, you may want to look into purchasing your first property, in this blog post, I will try to cover some of the things to consider when purchasing a property in Canada. I would like to call it “Home Buying Guide for New Comers to Canada”

Mortgage / Finances

Most major banks do offer mortgages to newcomers but do have certain requirements for the loans.
Royal Bank has a document online that details their requirements. Some of the requirements for having a down payment of less than 25% consist of:

  • You must have immigrated to Canada within the past 24 months
  • You must have landed immigrant status
  • You must have a minimum of three months’ full-time employment in Canada.
  • All debts held outside of Canada must be included in determining how much you can afford, or your total debt servicing ratio
  • You’ll require a letter of reference from a recognized financial institution.

Bank and loans rules and regulations change all the time thus I would strongly suggest to speak to a mortgage specialist in a bank or mortgage brokers who will be able to assist you in obtaining a mortgage.

Canada 2014 best places to live

Listed below are Moneysense top 10 places to live in Canada:

Rank City Population Average House Hold Income Average House House Price Average Property Tax
1 St. Albert, Alta. 64,377 $128,270.17 $373,426.00 $3,286.00
2 Calgary, Alta. 1,306,471 $119,771.69 $435,825.00 $2,782.00
3 Strathcona County, Alta. 98,232 $137,509.40 $408,331.00 $3,398.00
4 Ottawa, Ont. 953,589 $103,186.09 $398,845.00 $2,283.00
5 Burlington, Ont 187,497 $110,113.81 $496,412.00 $2,855.00
6 Boucherville, Que. 41,928 $122,131.67 $352,698.00 $3,333.00
7 Oakville, Ont. 196,722 $145,694.87 $692,902.00 $3,756.00
8 Edmonton, Alta 868,392 $91,807.29 $375,308.00 $1,966.00
9 Regina, Sask. 221,999 $91,328.02 $372,335.00 $1,965.00
10 Québec, Que. 535,353 $70,627.27 $249,015.00 $1,609.00

Types of homes in Canada: Not an exhaustive list but most commonly sought after…

Single / Detached SIngle Home
Freestanding home, you own the land and the house
Semi Detached semi
Home has separate entrance and each owner owns their own property and responsible for their own side. Homes usually share a common wall or sometimes garage walls
Townhouse townhouses
Home is attached side by side to a series/row of homes, each unit has its own entrance but shares a common wall
Condos condo
Multi-unit tenant building (apartment like), you do not own the land but own just the unit itself, monthly payments to condo corporation to handle repairs and maintenance are usually attractive to first time home buyers

Things to consider when buying a house

  1. Location – The key phrase in real estate is always “location, location, location”, one cannot deny the fact that location plays an important part of your decision of purchasing a house in city, suburbs or countryside.
  2. Cost – The amount you are approved to purchase the property, things to consider: taxes, lawyers and closing costs.
  3. Size – Number of bedrooms, washrooms, and garage specs for your needs
  4. Work – How would you commute to work, public transportation vs vehicle
  5. School– What are the school ratings around you, is the school walking distance?
  6. Feature – Things that are important to you, a big backyard, fireplace, swimming pool, layout, etc
  7. Family & Friends – Would you be close to family and friends
  8. Amenities – Are you walking distance to shopping, clubs or gyms

Finding the Right Real Estate Agent

  • Look online for an agent, from the agent’s website it will tell you how tech savvy they are and have confidence about them
  • Ask colleagues, family or friends for recommendations of an agent they have used in the past or that they trust
  • Request for a meeting and tell the realtor your wants and needs for your new home purchase. Using a realtor does not cost you, a buyer does not pay the realtor for their service typically.
  • Also note you can use a realtor for new built homes. There are a lot of details of purchasing a new house and a realtor will help you with this process as well
  • I also have a separate blog post on purchasing house/condo in ottawa

Things to consider

A good real estate agent will be able to give you a hand from criteria setting to the closing, but as always having the accurate information in hand is better, so here is a list of things to consider when making the purchase.

  • Double check the paperwork for names, addresses in the forms
  • Items included and can be negotiated in the purchase, windows coverings, fridge, stove, dishwasher, laundry washer, dryer, built in vacuum
  • The closing date, possession date and when the offer becomes null and void
  • The purchase price and the deposit
  • Lawyer or notary fees, land title and taxes, I have a blog post that covers these items
  • Home inspection and mortgage approval

Summary

I hope this home buying guide will help you, I will try to make it up-to-date and if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me

Cheers!

Nilay Ertemur

References

http://www.rbc.com/canada/brochures/First_Home_English.pdf
http://www.moneysense.ca/canadas-best-places-to-live-2014-full-ranking
https://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/co/buho/hostst/
http://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/odpub/pdf/66687.pdf


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