According to the Canada Housing and Mortgage Corporation (CMHC), the following are important factors to consider when shopping for a home:
- Size requirements – such as number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms
- Special features – such as air conditioning, a fireplace, a swimming pool
- Lifestyles and stages – do you have children, are you close to retirement?
- Setting – living in the city, the suburbs, the country
- Work – commuting to work
- School – how close are the schools
- Hobbies – parks, recreation facilities, walking/hiking trails
- Family and friends – do they live nearby?
- Cultural – such as places of worship or community centres
There are two categories of home ownership in Ontario. Full ownership means you own the entire property, including the house, garage and the land. Condominium ownership means you own a unit in an apartment building or townhouse complex, but not the building or the land.
There are many expenses to consider when thinking about buying and owning a home or condominium. Some important costs include:
- Down payment – a portion of the price of the house, paid before applying for the mortgage
- Mortgage payments – loan payments to repay the amount borrowed to buy the house
- Property appraisal fees – when buying a home
- Home inspection fees – when buying a home
- Property taxes – paid to the municipal government to pay for local services
- Service and utility fees – such as heat, electricity, and water; often require setup fees as well
- Moving expenses - moving services such as professional moving staff, large vehicle rental, etc.
- Renovation and/or maintenance – houses often require regular repairs
- Condominium fees – to cover maintenance and repairs
Many people involved in buying a home, such as real estate agents, lawyers, inspectors and appraisers, come with costs associated with their services. The Canada Housing and Mortgage Corporation (CMHC) has developed a number of resources to help newcomers learn about buying a home in Canada. Click here to be redirected to the Buying a Home section on the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation website.
Finding a Home to Buy
People selling their house in Canada usually use a real estate agent, though sometimes they will sell their home themselves. Houses for sale are listed in the classified section of the local newspaper, through real estate publications, or on real estate Internet sites such as www.realtor.ca. When a house is available for sale, it will often have a For Sale sign on the front lawn.
You can contact a real estate agent in your community to inquire about current house listings. The County of Simcoe Economic Development Office website also provides a map of current residential property listings.
Learn more about everyday living costs.