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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Danielle Lapointe
  May 11, 2022

I just bought my first home with Kimberly’s help! I can’t thank Kimberly and the VanDinther team enough. Kimberly was such a great help during an incredibly challenging seller’s market. As an out-of-town buyer, I really relied upon Kimberly’s knowledge and expertise, and I was so grateful that she was able and willing to do virtual tours with me. She has a fantastic understanding of Burlington and Oakville’s condo market, I felt really confident in the advice that she gave me. Working with a realtor who works within a team also proved to be a great benefit- when I expanded my search to Milton, Morgan was able to lead a virtual tour in a short turn around and I ended up finding my perfect first home. This team is great. I can’t recommend Kimberly enough and there is no doubt in my mind that I will work with her again when I am ready to look for my next home. Thank you!

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Lauren Wing
  April 30, 2022

We can't thank the VanDinther team enough for helping us persevere through a tough market and find a beautiful home. Morgan and Lori were were always available to organize showings, to provide market insights, and to give us the tools and support we needed to land a property we love. We so appreciate all of the work they did behind the scenes to provide us with an easy-to-navigate plan forward, often at short notice. We highly recommend Team VanDinther!

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Brad Rooke
  April 21, 2022

Good people are hard to find. Good honest people are even harder to find. Lori and her team proved to be both and earned the right to be called trusted advisors. Lori's real estate experience was drawn upon to read market conditions, map competitive landscape, formulate a pricing strategies, and deliver a unique marketing plan that allowed us to sell our home on time while achieving our target. price. Not easily achieved as some foreseen and unforeseen challenges materialized. Without a seasoned professional such as Lori by our side to navigate us through the process we would not have realized such a positive outcome. We enjoyed a positive professional experience and have many accolades for Lori and her team.

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Bette Dodds
  April 07, 2022

Many thanks to Lori and Morgan for taking me through the steps of selling my house, it had been over 30 years and the real estate market has changed tremendously! I was definitely in good hands, they are very professional and I was happy with the results!

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