Elissa Cheng - Sales Representative - Re/max<sup>®</sup> - Direct 613 toll freeElissa Cheng - Sales Representative - Re/max<sup>®</sup> - Direct 613 toll freeElissa Cheng - Sales Representative - Re/max<sup>®</sup> - Direct 613 toll free . Remax logo - Re/max<sup>®</sup> Affiliates Realty Ltd, Brokerage
 

Moving Info

Buyer's Home Search

Helping You Buy Video Series

Preferred Professionals

Mortgage

Buyer's info

If you are ready to begin searching for a new home you may begin by having a look at my current listings.

Remember, I can give you a personal tour of any listing you may wish to see listed on the Ottawa Real Estate Board site. Please contact me for your personal tour now!

Finding the right agent

You want to find the right home, in the right location, at the right price - and you want to do it quickly, with minimum hassle. The best way to do that is to work with a professional realtor who understands your wants and needs, your time frame and your financial boundaries.

Why work with an agent?

Choose an agent who understands your needs

Here are a few questions to ask to help you determine if an agent is right for you:

Working with an agent

Let your real estate agent do the searching for you. The best buys aren't in the newspaper ads; most great opportunities are on "hot sheets" that are available every morning to salespeople with access to MLS information.

An agent's job is to:

Qualifying for a mortgage

Your RE/MAX® agent can arrange to have you pre-qualified for a mortgage before you start shopping for a home. It's easy, and you'll avoid possible disappointments down the road if you fall in love with a place, then find out you can't afford it. Plus, once you do find the perfect home, it will mean you can make an offer immediately.

Here's how mortgage approval works: the amount of money you qualify for, plus the amount of cash you can put down equals the amount you can afford to spend on a home. Most lending institutions won't allow more than about 30% of your income to support a mortgage. If you have other debts, they usually won't allow your debts and your mortgage to exceed 40% of your income.

Finalizing your mortgage

Once you've found the home you want to buy, you'll need to finalize your financing. You'll need to provide your lender with the following documents:

  1. A copy of the real estate listing of the property. If the home is still to be built, the mortgage lender will need to see the architect's or builder's plans and details on lot size and location.
  2. A copy of the offer to purchase or the building contract, if this document has been prepared.
  3. Documents to confirm employment, income and source of pre-approval.
  4. If you have a pre-approved mortgage, it's a simple matter of finalizing a few details with your mortgage specialist.

Choosing a neighbourhood

You're not just buying a home - you're buying a location. And even the most perfect house won't feel right if you're in the wrong neighbourhood. Educate yourself about the area so you'll choose wisely - and end up being happy with your decision.

Protect yourself with a home inspection

That gorgeous house on the corner lot may look great, but it could be hiding all sorts of expensive, annoying problems, from a leaky roof to faulty wiring to a mouldy basement.

Make sure your home is solid and secure inside and out before you buy it. A home inspector will determine structural and mechanical soundness, identify problem areas, provide cost estimates for any work required, and generate a report. It's a great way to avoid headaches and costly problems that can turn a dream home into a money pit.

If you decide to go ahead and buy a home with issues that have been flagged by your inspector, you can base your offer on how much potential repairs and upgrades may cost.

Home inspection costs range according to size, age and location of the home. Your RE/MAX® sales representative can recommend a reputable home inspection service or arrange for an inspector to visit your property.

8 things to look for when you buy

When you fall in love with a home, the things you like about it can blind you to its problems. Next time you go to an open house or tour a property with an agent, keep your eyes open with these top tips:

  1. Take a look at general upkeep. Is it clean? Are lawns left uncut? Do walls need paint? If the small stuff hasn't been taken care of, there's a good chance that bigger issues have been ignored as well.
  2. Test it. Try out lights, faucets, toilets, air conditioning and major appliances.
  3. Check for water damage. Look at ceilings and drywall for stains and bulges. Water that works its way in through a leaky roof or a cracked foundation can rot wood, create mildew and destroy possessions.
  4. Watch for "spongy" floors. Take note of soft, springy sections, squeaky or uneven areas - these can be a sign that costly floor repairs are needed.
  5. Check doors and windows. Make sure they fit snugly in their jambs and operate smoothly. Feel for drafts. Look for flaked paint and loose caulking - if wood isn't protected from moisture, it will rot.
  6. Look at the foundation. If you see deep cracks or loose mortar and bricks, there may be a significant structural problem. Soggy areas near the foundation are also a warning sign.
  7. Make sure there's enough storage space. If you are moving from a home with large closets and a shed, make sure your new house is able to store an equivalent amount of belongings.
  8. Measure. Make sure your furniture will fit into your new house.

These tips are for your own first (or second) look at a home. For true peace of mind, you should always hire a certified home inspector before you buy.

Understanding land transfer taxes

If you're buying a home in a large Canadian centre, you'll need to add land transfer taxes to your list of closing costs.

Unless you live in Alberta, Saskatchewan, or rural Nova Scotia, land transfer taxes (or property purchase tax) are a part of the homebuying process. These taxes, levied on properties that are changing hands, are the responsibility of the purchaser. Depending on where you live, taxes can range from 0.5% to 2% of the total value of the property.

Many provinces have multi-tiered taxation systems that can seem complicated. If you purchase a property for $260,000 in Ontario, for example, 0.5% is charged on the first $55,000, 1% is charged on $55,000 to $250,000, while the $250,000 - $400,000 range is taxed at 1.5%. Your total tax bill? $2,375.00.

Land transfer taxes

Ontario
Up to $55,000 X 0.5% of total property value
From $55,000 to $250,000 X 1% of total property value
From $250,000 to $400,000 X 1.5% of total property value
From $400,000 up X 2% of total property value