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Buying with Andrea

7 Steps to Successful Home Buying

Congratulations on taking this first step toward buying a home. Pride of home ownership is indeed one of life’s greatest joys and biggest accomplishments. It's an exciting time, and my goal is that this guide will bring clarity and peace of mind during your home buying journey.

Deciding Where & What to Buy

The first step is deciding where you want to live, what type of home you’re looking for and what features are “must haves” or “would be nice to haves” in a home. Invariably, there will be tradeoffs, but rest assured I’m here to help sort through the options to find you the best house, at the best price and with as many of your wants and needs as possible.

Getting Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

The mortgage industry is competitive by nature, which can bring great benefits and save you thousands when you know what to look for. Rates can change from one day to the next. But while important, they might not be the only thing to look for in a mortgage product. Contrary to what many people think, not all mortgage terms are created equal. For that reason, partnering with a mortgage broker or financial institution to help you find the right mortgage product at the best rate is key to your home-buying process.

Choosing the Right REALTOR®

First, it’s important that you understand whose interests REALTORS® are legally bound to serve in a real estate transaction. As your own personal buyer’s agent, I’m under contract to work solely in your best interest. My legal duties to you include, maintaining utmost loyalty and confidentiality, avoiding conflicts of interest, not misusing confidential information, obeying lawful instructions, acting in person, ensuring honesty, disclosing information and negotiating favourable terms.

Becoming an Educated Buyer

The exclusive Home Buyer Service Program will empower you with key market information and every possible advantage to ensure you become an educated buyer. Educated buyers are able to make informed decisions creating a stress-free and enjoyable home-buying process.

Preparing the Offer

You’ve found the one. Fantastic! What happens next? I will conduct a detailed Comprehensive Market Analysis (CMA) complete with comparable active and expired listings, recent solds and historical data to determine the market value of the home. This will empower you to make an informed decision.

Fulfilling the Conditions

The offer has been accepted. Now we need to satisfy the conditions. This usually involves performing a home inspection, getting the property information to your mortgage broker or bank and arranging for any other information that might be necessary, like surveys and condominium documents. I’ll help you make the necessary arrangements to ensure that the entire process runs smoothly before the deadline.

Preparing to Move

Typically you’ll have anywhere from 30 to 90 days to get everything ready for the move. It could be shorter or longer depending on what you need and have agreed upon with the seller. It is a good idea to get things organized well in advance of the closing date to reduce the stress of the move.

The Buyer's guide will give you answers to many questions and make you feel a lot more confident about the whole process. You can get the full version by following the link below:

Mortgage Calculator

Closing Costs

Closing costs are the legal, administrative and disbursement fees associated with buying a house. The purchase price of your home is only one of the costs you’ll encounter.

Mortgage Loan Insurance

For down payments of less than 20 percent of the house value, you will require mortgage loan insurance. The premium can be added to your mortgage payments.

Appraisal Fee

Cost depends on the size and complexity of the assignment. Some lenders will waive it.

Land Survey

The lender and/or buyer may ask for a current survey. Costs start at approximately $1000.


The lender will require proof of property insurance for the replacement value of the house and its contents from the day you take ownership. Speak to your insurance provider.

Title Insurance

Provides coverage in case of problems with the property title (among other things). For a house valued at $500,000, title insurance is approximately $500.

Mortgage Application Fee

These fees vary, and some lenders will waive them if you have other accounts with them. You may also encounter a credit report fee.

Mortgage Broker’s Fee

If you use a mortgage broker, a fee may be charged to arrange a mortgage on your behalf.

Legal Fees

Legal fees vary depending on the complexity of the transaction. Most start from approximately $1000 plus disbursements and registration fees.

Home Inspection Fee

Basic home inspection fees usually start at $500.

Land Transfer Tax

When you buy land or an interest in land in Ontario, you pay provincial land transfer tax. In addition to the province’s land transfer tax, there’s a municipal land transfer tax applicable to all properties in the city of Toronto. These taxes are payable when the transaction closes.


Resale homes are exempt from HST. Newly constructed homes are not. HST also applies to most of the services provided in completing the real estate transaction.

Other Costs

These include moving costs, fees charged by utilities for service hook-ups, property tax and other adjustments (these are pro-rated amounts for your share of any prepaid costs, such as utility bills and property taxes), ongoing maintenance (condo fees, etc.), and utility costs.

Source: Toronto Real Estate Board.