How to Buy a House in Ontario

The Content Of This Page Was Last Updated On July 4, 2022.

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Anti-Flipping Tax Proposed

The 7th of April 2022 , the proposed new anti-flipping tax was announced in the federal budget. Those who have owned a property for less than a year are subject to the tax. You risk losing the Principal Residence Exemption if you buy a primary residence and move for a non-exempt reason.

Additionally, you might pay higher taxes if you buy an investment property and sell it within a year of doing so. According to the proposal, capital gains tax will become business income tax. You won't be entitled to a 50% deduction on profits before taxes as a result.

Purchasing a home can be one of the biggest decisions you'll ever make. Additionally, it can be a stressful and uncertain process. This is entirely typical. In order to navigate this uncertainty and keep a positive attitude throughout, having a solid understanding of the purchasing process is crucial. This manual aims to allay these worries while outlining the 10 essential steps for purchasing a home in Ontario It includes both significant considerations and costs to keep in mind as you move toward making your purchase.

It's crucial to really consider your options before starting the process and committing to the home-buying journey. Think about whether buying is the best course of action for your circumstances. This may consist of:

  • Evaluating the cost differences between owning versus renting
  • Realizing the emotional rollercoaster that home buying can be, and
  • Budgeting for costs along the way and putting money aside for a down payment

Saving for a down payment is the first step.

The first and most crucial step on the path to home ownership is to be in a position where you can save money for a down payment. In Ontario, a minimum 5% down payment is required for purchases under $500,000 Your minimum down payment for a home between $500,000 and $1,000,000 is 5% on the first $500k and 10% on the balance. The minimum down payment for homes over $1,000,000 is 20%. Our calculator will determine how much of a down payment you might require. mortgage calculator is a beneficial tool.

Purchase Cost Lowest Down Payment (as a Percentage of Purchase Price) Under $500,000 5% $500,000 – 9,999 5% of the first $50000, followed by 10% of the remaining amount $1,000,000 and above 20%

In all cases, putting down a sizeable down payment of at least 20% will give you more purchasing flexibility. Additionally, you will save thousands of dollars by forgoing mortgage insurance and interest payments. The latter can significantly increase your overall cost, with the following CMHC premiums typically being applicable:

Remaining Balance (% of Purchase Price) 5-9 99% 10-14 99% 15-19 99% CMHC Insurance as a Percentage of Mortgage 4.00% 3.10% 2.80%

With Average sale price in Toronto expanding to over $1,000,000 in 2021 starting early in saving for a down payment can be important, especially with prices rising simultaneously across all of Ontario. Fortunately, if you're buying your first home, the Programs are in place to assist from both the federal and provincial governments. consisting of:

  • Buying a House Plan , enabling you to withdraw up to $35,000 for a down payment from your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP),
  • The Incentive for first-time home buyers the Canadian government providing shared home equity up to $25,000, and
  • Rebates for the Provincial and Municipal Land Transfer Tax covering up to $4,000 in Ontario and up to $4,475 in municipal rebates for Toronto buyers

Step 2 Increasing your credit score and securing steady employment

Your credit score is significant, so a tool used by lenders to assess your creditworthiness , improving it is an essential component of getting a mortgage for your new house. Ideally, in order to obtain an insured mortgage loan, you must meet the credit score requirements. You must have a credit score of at least 600. Having a higher credit score can impact your mortgage interest rate, your lending options, and the mortgage lenders who are willing to give you a loan in addition to requiring a credit score above 600 for an insured mortgage.

Before you even consider purchasing a home, you should start improving your credit by taking active measures to raise your credit score, such as:

  • Keeping payments on time,
  • Maintaining a low credit utilization ratio (the sum of all outstanding debt divided by the aggregate credit limit across all accounts),
  • Preserving a positive credit history, and
  • Minimizing credit inquiries made on your account

Having a high credit score is only one benefit of Having a reliable source of income will make getting a mortgage much simpler. When you own a home, you are also responsible for all associated costs, which may include expensive yearly maintenance and repairs. tax on real estate premiums for home insurance You'll be in a better position to handle problems if your income puts you in a position where you can deal with any unforeseen circumstances as they arise. In fact, your lender might request a letter of employment to evaluate the stability of your income. If your income fluctuates more frequently due to being self-employed or a contract employee, it's crucial to prepare beforehand by putting some cash aside for a reserve fund Think about requesting home insurance online as well.

Step 3 Considering your Budget

Along with steps 1 and 2, your down payment amount, credit score, and income all affect how much house you can afford. The following variables affect housing affordability:

  • How much of a down payment you made ,
  • Your Ratio of Total Debt Service (TDS) which is calculated as your annual housing-related debt payments divided by your gross income,
  • Your Ratio of Gross Debt Service (GDS) , which is equal to your gross annual income minus your annual housing-related expenses, and
  • Monthly costs cannot exceed income after taxes at this time.

To ascertain your financial capacity, the Affordability calculator by WOWA streamlines the procedure Finding a home that you can feel good about requires not only knowing what you can afford but also how much you are comfortable spending. Lastly, when determining how much money to spend, Creating a budget can assist you in staying on track. and to maintain your ability to pay your monthly housing costs once you do move into your home.

Step 4 Choosing a Store to Buy at

Choosing where to buy a home comes after determining how much you can afford and how much you are comfortable spending on a home. Factors including commute time, school rankings, neighborhood amenities, public transportation, and safety tend to be at the top of many new homebuyers' minds.

Many young families or prospective parents consider being in a catchment area for a good school when making their purchasing decisions. Even though it's crucial, it's important to note the potential high housing costs near some elite schools

The location you choose for your commute will determine how comfortable you are on a daily basis. You might get more space for your money by choosing a neighborhood outside of the city to look, but it might lengthen your daily commute by several hours. As well, Additionally, being further from the city might make using public transportation less practical. meaning that you should give careful thought to the neighborhood you choose.

Despite being smaller than suburban and rural homes, urban homes are frequently more expensive. Examining the cost per square foot is a quick way to compare locations and determine where you can get the most space for the best price.

Step 5 Calculating Closing Costs

When purchasing a home in Ontario, a good range to allocate for closing costs is typically between 3-5% of the total cost The the two main elements of closing costs include Land Transfer Tax, as well as Attorney and Legal Fees See here for an estimate of a property's land transfer tax costs. Land Transfer Tax Calculator by WOWA

Type What is it Calculated Cost Tax on Land Transfers Provincial and, on occasion, municipal taxes on property transfers Based on your purchase price and a marginal tax bracket system Legal & Attorney Fees Your attorney represents you during the purchase and mortgage of the property. Costs vary depending on the job; they can range from $500 to $1,500.

Other a few smaller parts that will comprise your closing expenses can also consist of:

Type What it is Calculated Cost Real Estate Survey Your lender and attorney require a survey certificate. From $350 to 0 Home examination Before the sale is finalized, a professional inspects the property for any hidden issues. Depending on the type of property, usually around $500 Real Estate Appraisal Fee For the benefit of the mortgage lender, confirm that the asking price is fair for the market. Typically between $300 and $500; however, lenders may cover the cost Title Protection Insurance in the event of a disagreement regarding whose land the property is situated on Depending on the insurance provider, $200 Governmental Fee for Registration To be paid when your attorney files paperwork on your behalf. Varies depending on the document, averaging around $200; may be added to total legal fees Certificate of Estoppel Fee Certificate containing financial information about the condo board, your fees, and fines for violations ~$100

Overall, anticipating your closing costs can help you avoid unpleasant surprises and stay within your budget.

Step 6 Pre-approve for a mortgage and search for the lowest rate

Getting a pre-approval for a mortgage prior to looking for a house offers stability of up to 120 days of interest rate locking , while estimating the amount of a mortgage you are eligible for Pre-approval serves as a formal agreement in writing between you and your lender. However, Additionally, being pre-approved does not preclude rate comparisons. More specifically, a pre-approval gives you information about your potential mortgage, including how much you can afford to spend, the interest rate you have access to, and what your potential monthly payment might be. This information allows you to plan ahead.

In the event that you need to find a mortgage lender, Finding the best deal can significantly reduce your monthly interest expenses.

For instance, let's say you spend 0,000 on a house. Since you put $120,000 down (20%), there was no need for mortgage insurance. You obtained a $480,000, five-year mortgage at a 3.5% interest rate with a 25-year amortization. after being pre-approved, there is a 2% interest rate This indicates that over the course of five years, you will pay interest of ,110.

But between the time you were pre-approved and the time you needed the mortgage, interest rates decreased. Similar term mortgage rates were available at 2. 6% Instead of paying $57,530 in interest, you would have paid $57,530 if you had looked for and chosen a comparable rate. You paid an extra $13,580 because you didn't look around for a better deal. This highlights the significance of consistently looking for the best deal.

Step 7 Locate a Reputable Real Estate Agent

It's critical to find a real estate agent who can meet your needs and has a thorough grasp of the market you're looking in. Especially An experienced agent can offer much-needed clarity for first-time buyers in a novel situation. When seeking a representative, Real estate agent matching on WOWA will significantly simplify the search process by providing you with top agent profiles that you can contact to see if they are a good fit. We also provide a directory of Toronto's top realtors.

Step 8 Look for properties that fit your budget.

It's crucial to keep looking for homes you can both afford and see yourself living in, despite the temptation to broaden your search and increase your budget. Start your search online at sites like your area A MLS Page along with what your real estate agent discovers to demonstrate to you

It can be useful to look at specific properties when you're looking at Make a list of essential and desirable features. This will enable you to be flexible and help you focus your search. Keep in mind that purchasing a home can be an iterative process; you can always change your search if certain amenities or areas don't suit your needs or are overly competitive.

Step 9 Make a Proposal

Housing supply and interest rates are at record lows, and the Bank of Canada is maintaining coverage rates so low, you might be particularly interested in learning how to enter Toronto's housing market, which is the most competitive in Ontario. Your housing search will probably not end with the first offer as a result. Demand is making the process extremely competitive even in some of the quietest housing markets and the cheapest places to buy a house in Ontario. This makes Moving swiftly is crucial.

Your real estate agent can offer advice when it comes to choosing offer specifics, such as price and conditions.

Step 10 Your Expiration Date

It's crucial to take a deep breath as you approach this momentous and stressful day and to fully appreciate it. A major milestone is supposed to be moving into a new house. Step 5 had you consider your closing costs; with the assistance of The closing cost estimator from WOWA there should be no unforeseen expenses The house is yours once the real estate agent hands you the keys.

As you settle in, there are still some crucial tasks to think about.

  • Renovations before moving in, such as painting,
  • A thorough cleaning,
  • Locking the doors,
  • Service providers are informed, and
  • Notifying your loved ones and friends


Despite the fact that the entire process may at times seem challenging and stressful, It's important to have contacts along the way who have experience and knowledge. Your property agent, mortgage advisor You have the support of your friends, family, and loved ones, so it's critical to trust the process. The process will be successful as long as you follow the guidelines by setting aside money for a down payment, selecting a location, obtaining pre-approval, hiring an agent, submitting an offer, and closing.

This page's calculators and content are only offered for general informational purposes. WOWA disclaims responsibility for any outcomes associated with the use of the calculator and does not guarantee the accuracy of the information displayed.

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