As a first-time home buyer, it is often thought that once you have saved your minimum down payment and pre-qualified for the home of your dreams you are ready to jump into the world of home ownership.
All too many times however, we see individuals who have missed saving for some critical costs associated with the purchase of any property such as legal fees, land transfer taxes, Appraisal costs, HST on the purchase price of a new home, as well as HST CMHC premiums.
I will explore the costs of land transfer taxes in Toronto, as well as available tax rebates for the first time home buyer.
When purchasing a home in Toronto it is important to note that not only will you be paying the provincial land transfer tax, but also the Toronto land transfer tax, and these amounts vary depending on the purchase price of the home you are buying.
Land transfer taxes are paid at the time of closing buy your lawyer and these amounts will need to be included with your down payment in order to complete your transaction. While it may not seem like a major concern when you first think about it, when you consider that the average cost of a home in the GTA is currently $520,000, this would result in a $13,000 surprise for the buyer who hasn’t planned.
In addition to planning for your land transfer taxes with the use of calculators available like the one found at http://www.landtransfertaxcalculator.ca, it is important for you, the first time home buyer, to remember that there are also land transfer tax rebates available to you. The provincial land transfer tax rebate is available up to a maximum of $2,000, and the Toronto land transfer tax rebate is available up to $3,725.
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Lena Guirguis is a Senior Managing Partner at Ottawa Capital Partners, and one of the founders of NV Property Management. For more information, please call (613) 801-0940, ext. 206, or visit http://www.ottawacapitalpartners.com.
The real estate market in the Ottawa Valley can be summed up this way: people from far and wide are in a buying frenzy, but there’s hardly anything to buy at the “store,” and the limited inventory is overpriced.
This “stampede” — as one realtor described it — will affect rural towns as residents grapple with finding affordable housing and agonize over their inability to purchase homes in their price range.
“We are seeing a lack of inventory in all price ranges,” said Laura Keller, a real estate agent from Carleton Place. HomeYou’ve been selected.Only $1.49/week for your first 4 months.Special offer just for you. Unlimited access.
Buying a home for the first time is exciting and a commitment to the future. It’s often challenging, too, and the process requires a lot of steps, many of which can be tricky to navigate as a first-time home buyer.
What are some things you should keep in mind as a first-time home buyer?
First-Time Home Buyer Tips
Here are 10 tips to keep in mind as you begin your journey toward homeownership.
1. Have Your Finances in Order
It’s wise to begin saving as early as possible once you’ve made the decision to purchase a house. You’ll need to consider the down payment, closing costs (which often range from 2% to 5% of the down payment), as well as move-in expenses.
You also need to understand the other costs of homeownership, such as mortgage insurance. property taxes, utilities, homeowner’s insurance, and more.
2. How Much Can You Afford?
Knowing how much you can realistically afford in a home is another important financial consideration. Look for the home of your dreams that fits your budget.
One way to avoid future financial stress is to set a price range for your home that fits your budget, and then staying within that range. Going through the preapproval process will help you understand what price range is realistic for your budget.
3. Make Sure Your Credit is Good
Another thing to keep in mind as a first-time home buyer is your credit score because it determines whether you qualify for a mortgage and affects the interest rate that lenders offer.
This is another good reason for getting preapproved before you start your search. Learn more about the preapproval process and your credit score.
4. Choose The Right Real Estate Agent
A good real estate agent guides you through the process every step of the way. He or she will help you find a home that fits your needs, help you through the financial processes, and help ease any first-time buyer anxiety you may have.
Interview several agents and request references.
5. Research Mortgage Options
A variety of mortgages are available, including conventional mortgages – which are guaranteed by the government – FHA loans, USDA loans, and VA loans (for veterans).
You’ll also have options regarding the mortgage term. A 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is popular among many homebuyers and has an interest rate that doesn’t change over the course of the loan. A 15-year loan usually has a lower interest rate but monthly payments are larger.
6. Talk to Multiple Lenders
It’s worth your time to talk to several lenders and banks before you accept a mortgage offer. The more you shop around, the better deal you’re liable to get – and it may save you thousands of dollars.
7. Get Preapproved First
Getting a mortgage preapproval (in the form of a letter) before you begin hunting for homes is something else to put on your checklist. A lender’s preapproval letter states exactly how much loan money you can get.
Make sure to weigh the pros and cons of the different types of homes based on your budget, lifestyle, etc. Would a condominium or townhome fit your needs better than a house? What type of neighborhood appeals to you?
9. List Your Needs and Must-Haves
The home you purchase should have as many of the features you prefer as possible. List your needs in order of priority; some things may be non-negotiable to you personally.
10. Hire an Inspector
Hiring an inspector is another crucial step in the home buying process. An inspector will tell you about existing or potential problems with the home, and also what’s in good order. You can learn more about home inspections and how to find a home inspector through the American Society of Home Inspectors website.
Buying a home for the first time is a challenge, but it’s one you can handle with the right planning and preparation.
Toronto is the largest city in Canada, the fourth largest city in North America, which makes it an exciting place to live in.
But as with other major cities, finding the perfect place to move to can get tricky. If you’re planning on buying a home for the first time in this city, it is indeed a big decision and there are things you should know in advance.
Don’t worry, this guide will help explain the basics of what you as a buyer should know when you decide to buy a home. It will make you feel like a true expert during the buying process.
Decide what type of home you are looking for
There is no right answer to what makes a good home. It all depends on your preferences and needs as the resident. It is, therefore, a good idea to determine as early as possible which features of a home are important to you. If you are buying a home and moving in with someone, it can be a good idea for both of you to make a list and compare.
Toronto is a city that offers different styles of living accommodations and its neighborhoods are quite versatile and diverse, same as the people living there who come from all parts of the world.
The most common forms of housing and real estate opportunities in this city include bungalows, two-storey houses, split-level homes, and the very popular Toronto condos. Due to the high property values, the city boasts of construction of many condominiums as they are a more cost-efficient choice and provide a plethora of benefits.
When you decide on the type of home you want to buy, it is good to do some research and learn the biggest differences between them.
What to think of when choosing homes in Toronto
There are certain things you need to consider when choosing your home in this city.
Being close to the things you need to visit every day makes life a lot easier. Pay attention to the proximity to shops, preschools, schools, and your job. In addition, access to good public transportation is crucial. Being able to move around the city easily and the opportunity to commute is important to many.
Know that having a balcony can significantly increase the value of your home and improve your well-being. Being able to move easily in the area is something that many people underestimate, but can be very convenient, and this is why you should see if there are good cycles and walking paths.
And finally, make sure that the house is well designed which is a quality that does not disappear with the age of the house or with renovations.
Set your budget
Before you start the search for your new home, you must know how expensive of a home you can buy. It is preferable to know in what price range to look for. The budget is usually decided based on your mortgage and how large are the monthly costs you can handle.
A mortgage is always about a balance between risk and income for the bank. The higher the risk for the bank to lend to a particular home, the more expensive the mortgage will be. When it comes to the bank’s reasoning when applying for a loan, it is in principle always a question of whether you as a borrower will be able to repay the mortgage.
The bank also takes into account your financial history. If you are a person who has managed your finances well, the chance increases that you will get your mortgage approved. If, on the other hand, you have a bad reputation with banks, it is weighed in as an aggravating circumstance.