Buying A Property
Buying A Freehold Home
AT A GLANCE
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Buying A Home
The purchase and sales agreement is a binding contract between the buyer and the seller of the property. Before signing an agreement to purchase a property there are important provisions that you should ensure you understand:
The inspector evaluates the structures and foundations of the home and provides you with a final report about the possible defects and problems. A home inspection is not mandatory, but very common.
The survey consists of a plan showing the features of the land, such as buildings, fences, improvements and natural features. The survey represents the land at the specific point in time that it is completed, so it would be advisable to have a survey done. There is a common practice for purchasers and mortgagees to accept the most recently provided survey by the vendor or mortgager. The vendor or mortgager provides a declaration that the survey accurately represents the property and its features and that nothing new has been erected since the last survey.
‘As is’ denotes that the house will be sold to the purchaser in its current condition and the seller will not be making any repairs to complete the sale.
You need to have good title to have legal ownership of the property.
An insurance policy that protects property owners and their lenders against potential losses related to the property’s title or ownership. It is a one-time fee, called a premium and the cost of the insurance is based on the value of your property.
Without a sufficient mortgage, you will not be able to complete the purchase of your new home. Make sure you consult the bank or a mortgage broker about your options.
In Ontario, when you are buying a newly constructed home, an HST rate of 13% is payable on the sales price. To assist new homebuyers, both the provincial and federal governments attempt to provide relief in the form of New Home Rebates. The rebates are normally built into the purchase price.
Chattels are items that are not attached to the land and therefore will not be left in the home when the seller moves out. Fixtures on the other hand are things that are affixed to the land such as appliances and are part of the home and should be there when the buyer moves in, unless their exclusion is specifically stated.
Tarion regulates new homebuilders and protects the rights of new homebuyers. Builders are legally obligated to provide protection to homebuyers. Builders must provide up to a seven-year warranty on every home built. The warranty is broken into three terms; a one-year, two-year and seven-year warranty.
If your home is only registered under one spouse’s name, you and your spouse, who is not the registered owner, must attend our office and sign a consent and direction that all proceeds are solely paid to the registered owner. If spousal consent is not given, the sale proceeds will be made payable to both spouses even though only one spouse is registered.
In most cases, a minimum of 5% of the house value is needed as a down payment. But you must also be able to cover other closing costs such as the legal fees and disbursements, appraisal fees and a survey certificate. This cannot be a borrowed amount, though certain lenders also accept gift money as a down payment. However, such a sum needs a signed letter from the donor stating that it is a gift and not a loan.
The rest of the purchase money is paid through a Mortgage Loan.
Two main mortgaging options are available; a fixed mortgage and a variable mortgage.
- Fixed mortgage means that you “lock in” a certain interest rate for a specified length of time (ex. 5 years)
- Variable mortgage on the other hand means that the interest rate fluctuates with the market.
You can reach out to your lending institution prior to actually buying the house to determine whether you will be approved for a mortgage. This can likely lock in an interest rate for a set amount of days and help you determine how much you can afford to pay for a property.
- Personal information and identification such as your driver's license or passport.
- Job details, including confirmation and proof of income.
- Your sources of income.
- Proof of financial assets.
- Information and details of all your bank accounts, loans, and other debts.
- Source and amount of down payment.
- Proof of source of funds for the closing costs (usually about 2.5% of purchase price).
A mortgage in which the down payment is at least 25% of the purchase price. This mortgage normally does not require mortgage loan insurance.
When the down payment in a purchase is less than 25%, insurance is provided to a lender to protect against defaults on mortgage installments.
Mortgage loan insurance requires premium payments, which can vary between 0.5% to 3.75%
If financing is required to purchase a property, it is recommended that the agreement of purchase and sale should be conditional upon written confirmation of financing terms from an institutional lender
HST combines two separate components: the already existing 5% federal GST, and Ontario’s 8% Retail Sales Tax (RST). There is a new housing rebate available for each component, and each has its own rebate formula.
The lender will obtain its own appraiser to determine the value of the security for mortgage purposes. The borrower pays the cost of the appraisal. Appraisal fees can range from $150 to $300.
The fees normally range from $200 to $400, but could be even more.
You will generally be required to obtain a property survey prior to mortgage funds being paid out if you are buying a house. The purpose is to make sure that the lender knows the exact dimensions of the property that it is using as security. Your lawyer normally arranges this survey for you. Survey fees range from $150 to $300.
If you are obtaining a high-ratio mortgage or the lender requires you to obtain mortgage insurance for other reasons, then you will be paying a mortgage insurance fee to Genworth Financial Canada or Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The fee is between approximately 0.5 to 3 percent of the amount of the mortgage that is being insured (generally the first mortgage) and is added onto the mortgage total.
This includes paying your lawyer for legal fees as well as out-of-pocket disbursements that he or she incurs relating to the preparation and filing of the mortgage documentation. Disbursements would cover such things as property searches, photocopy expenses, couriers, and other costs associated with the preparation and registration of the mortgage. The disbursement costs would also normally include the provincial mortgage filing tax–the fee referred to above.
Primary lenders require that any borrower of a mortgage carry sufficient fire insurance to cover the amount of the mortgage, and that they be paid off first. The second mortgage lenders would want the same type of coverage and have it shown that they are paid off second, and so on. The borrower is responsible for making insurance arrangements and paying the costs of the insurance policy, showing that the lender is on the policy as being paid first or second, as the case may be. This has to be provided to the lender’s lawyer before any mortgage funds are advanced.
Adjustments between purchaser and builder (new construction): On a new home, closing adjustments are greater than on a resale home since adjustments can include hydro and water meter installation costs, Tarion New Home Warranty Enrolment Fee, boulevard tree planting, driveway paving, grading gas water heater, etc. These items are not normally adjusted when one buys a resale property.
When transferring residential property in Ontario a Land Transfer Tax is charged, based on the purchase price of the property. There is a reduction of the Tax for HST, if the property purchased is a newly built home. The Ontario land transfer tax is payable by the purchaser when the property is Transferred and the Deed of Land Registered. Ontario Land Transfer Tax is charged on the following upward sliding scale:
- 0.5% on the first $55,000 of the purchase price, plus
- 1.0% on the amount exceeding $ 55,000 up to and including $250,000, plus
- 1.5% on the amount exceeding $250,000 up to and including $400,000, plus
- 2.0% on the amount over $400,000. up to $2,000,000 plus
- 2.5% on the amount over $2,000,000 (as of January 1, 2017).
**NOTE: First Time Home Buyers will have a portion of the Land Transfer Tax covered through Refunds/Credits.
The City of Toronto (416 telephone area code, bounded by Steeles on the North, Western boundary of Etobicoke, Eastern boundary of Scarborough and Lake Ontario’s shoreline on the South) has an additional Land Transfer Tax.
The Toronto City Land Transfer Tax is as follows:
- 0.5% of the amount of the purchase price up to $55,000.01
- 1.0% of the purchase price between $55,000.00 and $250,000.00
- 1.5% of the purchase price between $250,000.01 and $400,000.00
- 2.0% of the purchase price between $400,000.01 and $2,000,000.00
- 2.5% of the purchase price above $2,000,000.00 (for residential properties under 3 units)
Contact your utility providers to receive readings of meters on closing so that there will be no interruption of services and that the purchaser will only be billed after the closing date.
Before keys can be released by the lawyer for the purchaser on the date of closing, the mortgage lender must provide closing funds, closing cheques must be certified, documents must be exchanged between the lawyers for the buyer and seller, and the land registry office registrations must be completed.
Cheques required for closing that must be payable to Nava Wilson LLP in Trust.
If you have questions about any part of this process, please call us to clarify.
We will be there to help you through every stage of your real estate transaction.Contact Us