Buying Real Estate in Canada 101: Tips for Newcomers

By Remitbee - Mar 18, 2022

Did you land in Canada to work, study, or move in? Welcome and congratulations on arriving in this country. Now that you’re here, one of the things that you might be interested in is owning real estate property. Is owning a home in Canada possible for newcomers? Absolutely!

Canada does not require residence or citizenship to become a property owner. No laws or regulations prevent newly arrived immigrants in Canada, so you are entitled to purchase a home in this country. Depending on your budget and preferences, new immigrants can buy available residential properties for sale in Canada including a condo, a duplex, a townhouse, or a single-family house.

We know it can be exciting to move to another country and start anew. But before you select your forever home, here are some tips you can consider when you go shopping for a new home in Canada:

Determine your budget

Prices of houses in Canada are predicted to increase until 2023 because of low housing inventory and competition. Statistics show that for 2022, the average cost of a home in Canada is $748,450, a 21 percent annual increase compared to 2021. In short, buying a house in Canada is expensive.

When choosing a home, always be practical and think about how much you can afford for a down payment, monthly mortgage, home insurance, property taxes, mortgage insurance, utilities, and other expenses. Failure to consider your budget when buying a home can lead to financial disaster. You may lose money and lose the home you wanted to live in.

Research neighbourhoods that fit your needs and lifestyle

Location is another important factor when buying a home. Canada has ten provinces and three territories, each with its capital city. The location of your home will also dictate the price of your property. To know if a certain neighbourhood suits you best, it is ideal to visit it at different times, such as rush hour and weekends. It is also best to talk to people you know who live there about the pros and cons of that neighbourhood.

Have realistic expectations and patience

Buying a home is a process. It will take time, research, effort, and patience on your part. So, when you go on your first search, don’t lose heart if you don’t immediately find one that ticks all the boxes. It may take days, weeks, even months before you find the perfect home for you.

It is also best to keep an open mind when choosing the type of home and location. Be open to suggestions other people might offer you.

Get pre-approved for a mortgage

You should apply for a mortgage pre-approval from a bank or lender to know how much you can borrow. You will determine the maximum mortgage amount you can borrow from a specific lender, including the rates and recommended monthly mortgage payment.

Once you get a pre-approved mortgage, you will receive a letter you can use when buying a home in Canada as a newcomer. The bank or lender will also inform you about the required downpayment, so you can start saving up.

Work with a real estate agent who understands your needs

Once you have determined how much you can allot for the home you want, it is best to hire a legitimate and professional real estate agent. This individual will help you find the best home and make an offer. Real estate agents are professionals in the business, so you can rely on their judgements concerning the offers available and the deals you can get the home you want. They can also help you determine other factors you should check when buying a home, such as repairs and maintenance. Real estate agents can also explain to you in detail the fine prints of any home-buying contract if anything's unclear to you.

Make an offer on the house you love

Once you make an offer, you should also put down a deposit different from your down payment. The deposit is an amount you pay the seller to show that you are serious about buying the property they are selling, that way, they won’t offer it to other buyers in the market. This amount will get rolled into your down payment when you close the house. The deposit for houses in Canada is usually 5 to 10 percent of the home’s value.

Be prepared to compromise on certain things

After paying the deposit, you should do a home inspection to ensure your safety and comfort in your new home. Doing a thorough inspection also ensures that what you pay is worth every penny.

True, you can’t have everything, so be ready to compromise on certain or small things you see in the home you want to purchase. Many realtors and mortgage lenders assist you in finding a qualified home inspector so that you can have professional help during inspection. If there’s anything you see that should be of major concern, talk it out with the inspector and the buyer to determine what you can do to improve it. Otherwise, you can call off the purchase of the property.

Closing costs and other associated fees

When you close your home, you will do a lot of paperwork, including your financing options. Make sure to read the fine print of all documents before signing them and if you are unsure about anything, ask questions for clarifications. Once everything is settled, you can now enjoy your new home in Canada!

Live the Canadian Dream

The process of finding a first home in Canada as a newcomer is an adventure. There will be ups and downs and tons of paperwork. But once you have found the perfect house, you can start settling down and enjoy the benefits of living in Canada.

If you immigrated to Canada to pursue a career and send money back home, choose RemitBee as your preferred remittance company. We offer the best currency exchange rates, affordable transfer fees, and swift transactions.

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