Starting a new life in Canada can take years of planning, and getting on your feet once here also takes time. Finding a community, settling into work routines and helping children adjust to school are priorities for new Canadians.
For some, putting down roots means owning a home. Here are five experts you’ll need to do just that.
Owning property in Canada neither hurts nor improves your application for status in the country, but there could be tax implications. Discuss your plans for homeownership with your immigration attorney before making a purchase.
Real estate agent
They will find properties for you to view; walk you through those homes; and will present your offer to the seller.
Sometimes agents represent both the buyer and seller. Be sure the real estate agent represents your best interests in this transaction, and avoid any potential conflict of interest.
Before you make an offer on a home, find out how much you can afford. A mortgage broker can help confirm that by getting a pre-approval from a lending institution.
They can also explain the types of mortgages available to you and help try and secure one with the best terms for your circumstances.
Non-residents and newcomers to Canada can qualify for mortgages, but sometimes different documentation is required. For example, a letter of intent from your employer or prior lending institution may be necessary. Your mortgage specialist can tell you exactly what you need to work with your financial institution.
Real estate lawyer
Lawyers research the property title and liens, and confirm that legal descriptions of the building and lot are accurate. They also collect, hold and disperse the fees associated with buying property. The down payment, any land transfer tax or HST due, and mortgage funds from your lender are held in trust by a lawyer who makes sure everyone is paid appropriately.
Lawyers can also evaluate offers, making sure your interests are covered. This short video from the Law Society of Upper Canada explains why it’s best to hire a lawyer early in the home-buying process.
Different types of property (condominium, freehold, detached family home) have different legal issues, so search for a lawyer with the right expertise.
No one is required to use a home inspector, but if you discover problems after moving in, the seller usually isn’t obligated to fix them.
An inspector will examine the entire property before you make an offer. If they discover problems (the roof needs repairs, for example), you could ask the seller to make those changes before you buy the property, or reduce the price to offset the changes you’ll have to pay as the owner. You might decide the repairs are too extensive and you don’t want that property.