We all long to own a house of our own and the process of acquiring one is an interesting and challenging experience. It is also rewarding in the long run and for immigrants in Canada, this is no exception. There are many questions to ask before buying a house including questioning the mortgage, location, and prices.
Here we look at a few tips on how you can go about buying a house as an immigrant in Canada.
What you can afford
Before setting out to buy a house, it is important to find out the cost and whether you can afford it. When buying a house in Canada you have to consider the related costs to owning a home, like the heating, renovations, and property taxes.
As an immigrant, you are able to get a mortgage to finance your purchase using a mortgage broker. There are times when you are asked to provide a letter of introduction from a previous financial institution you have done business with.
You can also use your broker to recommend an estate agent to help find you your preferred house, in your preferred neighbourhood, or more importantly in a neighbourhood you can afford.
The Ideal Home for You
It is important to also consider exactly what you need in your home or what you may require in the future.
- Special features: Consider whether you need a swimming pool, air conditioner or if you have a relative with special needs.
- Lifestyle: How many children do you have or plan to have and will you be retiring anytime soon?
- Location: Do you want to live in the City or rural areas, where your children will go to school and do you want to be near your place of worship.
Make an Offer
After you have found a house that is within your budget and suits your lifestyle, it is time to make an official offer of purchase. Your estate agent will help you prepare the offer and it is advisable to also use the services of a Lawyer who will research the ownership of the house and will finalise documentation of property transfer when your offer has been accepted.
Your offer will include; the price offered, amount to be deposited, request for a latest land survey of the property, the date when the offer will be null and void and the closing day of the agreement (the day you take possession of the property.
Once all the purchase details and financing have been thrashed out, you have to secure the services of a home inspector. For a fee, the inspector will run checks on your future home and a home inspection report will be delivered to you. Depending on the results of the inspection, you and your agent will agree whether there are repairs to be done and if there are any, how will this affect the price that was agreed with the seller.
It is important that when making your offer, you include the condition that requires the house to pass a detailed inspection of the property. It helps you make a change or even cancel the purchase agreement if the inspector finds problems with the house. Depending on the inspection report, the price you agreed to pay may change and your estate agent will help you with plans on what repairs will be needed.
Known as the closing day in Canada, this is a predetermined set date that is agreed upon by both the buyer and seller and signed for in the purchase agreement documents.
This is basically the day that you are given the house keys to your new home, money is paid to the seller and all lawyer fees are settled.