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.


Google Rating

5      73 reviews


Photo of Kayla Prior

Kayla Prior
  January 28, 2023

We worked with Kim to sell our home in summer 2021 and couldn’t have asked for a better experience. Kim’s invaluable insights and intimate knowledge of the market in the area meant we could confidently prepare and list our home even in the uncertain conditions that existed at the time. Kim’s personability also made her a delight to work with and I would be happy to recommend her to anyone!

Photo of Bob Gill

Bob Gill
  January 25, 2023

We were referred to Lori and the VanDinther Team when we needed some trustworthy advice when deciding whether to renovate and stay or look for a more suitable already renovated home. Lori and her team provided unbiased solid advice based on their wealth of knowledge and experience in our market area. I would highly recommend the VanDinther Team for any Real Estate need you may have.

Photo of R L

R L
  January 13, 2023

We had a very good experience with Kimberly. Her knowledge of the area is excellent and she provided honest and insightful advice about different locations. She was responsive to our preferences. We couldn't attend our second pre-closing visit so she went herself and provided us with a video walk through which was really helpful. Her recommendations for services in the area were also a nice touch.

Photo of Shannon Ferr

Shannon Ferr
  January 13, 2023

Kim was our realtor and she was great! She is very knowledgeable about the Hamilton area and seemed to have our best interest in mind when helping us find a home. Some realtors can be pushy on you to buy quickly so they can collect commission, but we didn’t feel that way with Kim at all. Kim made the experience as enjoyable as it could be as first time home buyers.

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