Home / Mortgages / First-time Home BuyerChoosing a Home

Types of Housing

Choosing a home is an exciting process. You have lots of options to consider and they will all affect your budget. We want to make you comfortable with your choice by pointing out some of the additional costs you may not have thought about.

Choosing a previously owned home

Resale homes tend to have ‘charm’ and are in established neighbourhoods where infrastructure such as transit, hospitals, and schools are well developed. Things to consider include:

  • Possible renovations, either to make repairs or to make the home suit your needs.
  • Ongoing maintenance may be higher due to the age of the home.

Choosing a condo

Condo maintenance is mostly covered by your monthly maintenance fee, but can stretch your budget in other ways:

  • Amenities like a concierge, pool, or gym may add to your monthly maintenance fee.
  • A parking spot or locker may need to be paid for separately.

Choosing pre-build

You may choose to buy your home directly from a builder, before construction has even begun. Buying directly from the builder could mean:

  • You can customize your home to your tastes. But, you may need to pay for extra upgrades and finishes that are above and beyond the basic finishes.
  • Higher energy efficiency ratings than older homes.
  • Ongoing maintenance costs may be lower.

The closing date

When you buy a new home or condo, the price quoted to you will be the base price of the home. Any upgrades will be an extra cost. But, as you get nearer to your closing date, other fees that were estimated in your purchase agreement may materialize, like:

  • Hooking up gas and electricity meters
  • Development fees
  • Deposit verification fees

Get professional advice

A number of professionals can guide you through the home buying process and make you feel comfortable every step of the way.

  1. Real Estate Agent: they will help you find the right home at the right price and prepare and present your offer to the owner.

  2. Lender: your lender helps with the financing needed for your home purchase.

  3. Home Inspector: you’ll want a home inspector to check for any defects or possible repairs needed.

  4. Lawyer/Notary: you’ll want one to review your purchase agreement and to handle the closing and mortgage transaction.

  5. Surveyor: you may need the services of a land surveyor if the owner does not have a current survey.

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