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Essential Tips for First-Time Homebuyers

By Kormans LLP

Are you looking to purchase a new home? Are you a first-time homebuyer?

If your answer is “yes” – you have come to the right place! This blog will offer you some quick essential tips to guide you with your first residential real estate purchase in Ontario.


Here are some Pre-Closing Tips:


  1. Research the area where you would like to purchase your new home and compare the home prices according to the current market.


  1. Think about your budget. A few things to consider are:
    • Moving expenses
    • Closing costs which include but are not limited to:
      • Legal fees and disbursements (third party costs including title search, registration of mortgage and transfer, couriers, bank charges, etc.)
      • Title insurance
      • Provincial land transfer tax (and municipal land transfer tax for properties in Toronto)
    • Mortgage fees, mortgage insurance, and appraisal fees
    • Storage and hotel accommodation costs (if you have to leave a rental before your purchase closing date)

 For assistance on calculating the land transfer tax which is a formula based on the purchase price, you can use our Land Transfer Tax Calculator.


  1. If you are not a Canadian Citizen or a Permanent Resident of Canada, the Non-Resident Speculation tax (“NRST”) must be paid for certain purchase of properties in the Greater Golden Horseshoe, which, is 15% of your purchase price. Your real estate lawyer will determine whether you are required to pay the NRST as certain exemptions and rebates may apply.


  1. Hire a real estate agent who will assist you with your Agreement of Purchase and Sale and with 1 and 2 above.


  1. Hire a home inspector to inspect the property.


  1. Take time to review the Agreement of Purchase and sale with your real estate agent.


  1. Build contingencies into your Agreement of Purchase and Sale such as making the Agreement of Purchase and Sale conditional upon the Buyer being satisfied with the home inspection or conditional upon the Buyer obtaining financing within a set number of days.


  1. Retain a real estate lawyer to represent you on the closing of the real estate purchase transaction. Call or email your real estate lawyer with any legal questions you may have to ensure that your intent is captured in the Agreement of Purchase and Sale.


  1. Get pre-approved on your mortgage and review any pre-approval conditions to ensure that there are no holdups.


  1. Forward a copy of the signed Agreement of Purchase and Sale including Schedules, Amendments, Waivers, and Notices of Fulfillment, along with the contact information of your real estate agent and the mortgage lender to your lawyer.


  1. Provide your lawyer’s contact information to your real estate agent and to the mortgage lender so that the mortgage instructions will be sent directly to your lawyer. Ensure that the mortgage lender is provided with a copy of the Agreement of Purchase and Sale, including Schedules, Amendments, Waivers, and Notices of Fulfillment.


Hopefully our Pre-Closing Tips have been helpful in assisting you with your big purchase! If you require further assistance, feel free to contact the Kormans LPP legal team and we will be happy to assist you with your first real estate purchase!



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