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Five steps to homeownership
Buying a home can seem like a complicated process, but we’re here to guide you every step of the way. We’ve simplified the process into five steps to help you understand what to expect.
01. Down Payment
When buying a home, the down payment is crucial. The minimum down payment required is 5% for homes below $500,000, with an additional 10% required for homes priced between $500,000 and $999,999. If your down payment is less than 20%, you'll need mortgage default insurance.
Benefits of Mortgage Default Insurance: Although it costs 2.8% to 4.0% of your mortgage amount, mortgage default insurance provides access to the real estate market for those who couldn't otherwise afford it. It also enables lenders to offer lower mortgage rates by transferring the risk of default to the insurer.
Pre-Approval: Before starting your home search, get prequalified or pre-approved by a lending company to determine how much you may qualify for, and find a home within your budget. New tools in Canada allow preliminary approvals without a full credit check, preventing negative impacts on your credit score.
02. Begin Your Home Search
Start by looking online for active listings and find a REALTOR® who can help you navigate the market. During this stage, you'll visit properties, attend open houses, and compare potential homes with your approved loan amount.View Active Listings
03. Make an Offer
When you find a home you love, it's time to make an offer. In a buyer's market, it’s smart to include a finance and inspection clause. In a seller's market, a clean offer with fewer conditions will often win over a similar priced offer with more conditions.
Removing a home inspection clause should only be done if you've walked through the home with your own inspector. This is the biggest purchase of your life, so if you're considering removing the inspection clause, have the home inspected in advance. Your REALTOR® can help you book a second showing with your inspector.
04. Offer and Acceptance
After you make an offer on a home, the seller may accept your offer or counteroffer with different terms. If your offer is accepted, the contract will be pending financing, as most buyers are only pre-approved. There might be a seven-day 'pending financing' clause, which allows you the time to go to your bank or mortgage broker to get full approval to ensure the home passes the bank's appraisal process. Once this is done and any other conditions are waived, the sale becomes official and the contract is valid.
The last step of the process is to meet with your lawyer to sign the paperwork that transfers the property title. Plan to budget at least $1,000 for the lawyer's fee to handle all the legal documentation and title transfer. Title insurance is essential and well worth the cost. Your lawyer will guide you through the process, ensuring a smooth experience while safeguarding your interests.Start Your Home Search Now