Helpful advice for First Time Home Buyers

If you are buying a home for the first time in Ontario, you're probably more than a little nervous. Don't be; thousands have done it and survived. You can too!!

The process is as simple as 1,2,3. First, find a house in your price range. Second, sign an offer that protects you and that is acceptable to the vendor. Third, close the purchase and move in.

We recommend that you get informed about the process and surround yourself with a good team who can deal with all of the issues and problems that may arise in the case of finding and buying the right home for you. In other words:

  • Get informed. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has a great workbook for new home buyers called Homebuying Step by Step: Everything you need to buy a home in Canada, which is highly recommended.
  • Get a good Real Estate Agent who will take the pain out of finding the right house in the right location at the right price for you. Make sure you know who the agent is working for (you, the seller, or both).
  • Get a good Mortgage Broker who will "shop" your financial information to get you the best mortgage with the best rate, without any cost to you. They can pre-qualify you for a mortgage so you will know how much you can afford.
  • Get a good Home Inspector who will inspect the home you wish to buy and provide you with a report of any defects, difficulties or problems. Understand that most home inspectors do not provide any opinion about things they
  • Get a good Lawyer who will "quarterback" your purchase and coordinate you and your team to a smooth closing. He or she will also provide you with assurance of good title (by way of his/her opinion or title insurance) If asked, the lawyer will review or prepare offers to purchase and will ensure that clauses designed to protect you are included (such as conditions for financing, home inspection, etc.).

Things to watch out for

Home buyers in Ontario should be aware of the following:

  • "Buyers Beware" is still the law in Ontario, with certain expectation, so be sure to check the home you are planning to buy very carefully. Also insist on the Vendor delivering a completed and signed Vendor Disclosure Statement before your offer to buy. In other words, be sure to do your due diligence investigations.
  • Land Transfer Tax ("LTT") is payable by the buyer on registration of the transfer. LTT is a percentage of the purchase price for the home: One-half of a percent on the first $55,000, one percent thereafter to $250,000 and 1.5 percent thereafter, and an additional tax of one half of a percent for lands value at more than $400,000 if it contains one or two single family residents.
  • In Ontario, agreements respecting land must be in writing, signed and witnessed to be enforceable. Be sure the written offer includes terms, conditions and warranties respecting everything that is important to you.
  • Fixtures and Chattels. Fixtures are attached to the lands; chattels are not, but there is confusing case law on the issue, so "when in doubt, spell it out" in the contract. For example, a dishwasher may appear to be a fixture, but it may not be, so stipulate in the Agreement that it is a fixture that is included in the purchase.


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Jan Hall
  August 30, 2022

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Anastasiia Pysarchuk
  July 22, 2022

We couldn't be happier with how we were treated and worked with by Melissa Uba of the Lori VanDinther Team. She was extremely responsive and very pro-active on communicating with us. My brother and I came from Ukraine a couple months ago and it was very important to find someone who could guide us. Mellisa became that person and did everything to help with first leasing experience in Canada. The process went so smoothly and she was an absolute pleasure to work with. She was very knowledgeable about the process and was a great resource. She offered her opinion when we asked and helped us to consider things we hadn’t thought of. We’ll definitely reach out to Melissa in the future and we highly recommend her!

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Monica Leoni
  June 21, 2022

Lori VanDinther and her team are dedicated professionals who love what they do and who make your experience a personal one. We had the pleasure of working with Melissa Uba recently and we could not be more grateful for her help. We are currently hosting two young Ukrainians in our home, who recently began the process of finding their own place to live in a very difficult and expensive Burlington market. Melissa handled the situation delicately and compassionately, getting to know the needs and realities of our guests first, and then catering her searches to meet them on every level. Melissa showed professionalism and empathy throughout, and made every viewing a positive and hopeful experience. We recommend her highly!!

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Wendy Walker
  May 27, 2022

Lori and her team are extremely professional and knowledgeable. In a changing market Lori and her team nailed it! The sale of my home went quickly and without any problems. The expertise in knowing the data in the market to their confidence in selling my home quickly and at a good market value was unprecedented. The communication with all team members from start to finish was fabulous. Thank you again for doing a fantastic job! Wendy Walker

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