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home buyer's guide - are you ready?

Mortgage Down payment

  • Most down payments for a mortgage are between 5%-25% of the purchase price.  

Offer Deposit

  • In Toronto approximately 5% of the purchase price is required as a deposit in order to submit an offer on a home.
  • If the offer is agreed to, these funds are held in trust (usually with accrued interest) by the listing brokerage until closing. The funds are then directed towards the cost of purchasing the home.
  • If you are a first time buyer, please note that you can only use your RRSP funds towards the mortgage down payment as these funds will not be available to you until after the deposit is required. 

Land Transfer Tax

  • The Ontario Government has a mandatory tax that must be paid when purchasing a home.
  • As of February 1, 2008 a separate Toronto land transfer tax applies to Toronto properties only. 
  • The tax amount depends on the value of the home.
  • Here's how to calculate both land transfer taxes: 

Provincial Land Transfer Tax

Toronto Land Transfer Tax

0.5% on first $55,000

0.5% on the first $55,000

plus 1% of the amount from $55,001 - $250,000

plus 1% of the amount from $55,001 - $400,000

plus 1.5% of the amount from $251,000 - $400,000

plus 2% of the amount over $400,000

plus 2% of the amount over $400,000


The tax amounts (Provincial and Toronto) added together will give you the total land transfer cost.
Click here to determine your exact amount of provincial land transfer costs. 

legal Fees

  • Lawyers fees do vary, however, an average fee for a legal professional is $1000-$2000 plus disbursements 

Moving Costs

  • Depending on your moving preferences, the cost can range from $500-$5000. The average price for movers in Toronto for half a day is: $500-$700.
    For recommended movers, click here


What you may not have to pay? ThE HST.

  • The  HST introduced in 2010 does not apply to the purchase of resale properties.
  • However, the tax will be added to fees and services associated with the purchase.
  • For more information view  the video How will the HST affect my purchase of a home in Toronto.
    The HST will apply to the purchase of new homes, but a rebate will be available for those purchasing new homes up to $500,000 if they are their primary residences. 
  • A home under $400,000 has a rebate of 6% of the purchase price.

Prepare yourself by obtaining a pre-approved mortgage  

  • Speak with a mortgage consultant to determine what you can afford, and learn about mortgage options that make sense for you.
  • Having a pre-approved mortgage gives you and your agent, the ability to make educated decisions about homes and neighbourhoods that are consistent with your financial situation.
  • For information about the mortgage consultants whom Claire personally recommends, click here


Select a real estate agent and CHOOSE WISELY!

Choose a person who is not only an informed professional but also is someone with whom you are comfortable  an individual who, you believe, has your best interests at heart. Questions you might want to ask a prospective buyer agent are:

  • How many buyers do you work with at a time?
  • What is your experience working with buyers with similar circumstances to mine?
  • Will you be personally assisting me or will someone else be showing me property?
  • What is your availability?
  • Do you pre-screen properties?
  • What is your home purchase plan?
    Interested in learning how Claire distinguishes herself? Click here to learn about Claire’s Buyer Services

Identify your home preferences and develop a home purchase strategy

  • Meet with Claire to discuss your home preferences in terms of location, style, neighborhoods, and price. For many, these preferences are difficult to identify initially.
  • Prioritizing your needs does take time and often requires seeing various homes. This is part of the process.
  • Through a detailed buyer needs analysis, Claire will work with you to establish an appropriate direction and home purchase strategy that will meet your needs.
    If you are interested in submitting a needs analysis form directly to Claire, please click here.

Educate yourself through e-mail listings

  • Once a home purchase strategy has been established with Claire, she will begin to send you listings of homes on the market, via e-mail.
  • The intention of these e-mails is to provide you with a preliminary explanation about a particular property, to educate you about the market and to learn about the quality and value of homes in particular neighbourhoods.
    Would you like personalized e-mails sent your way? If so, click here and Claire will get you organized!

Get out and take a look!

  • Actually seeing homes is the only way to get a true sense of the space and the neighbourhood. 
  • Have Claire provide you with a tour of the area, and homes that fit your requirements and budget.
    Do you have a home(s) in mind that you would like to see? Click here to book a showing with Claire.

Found a home? It’s time to submit an offer

  • Claire will provide current market information and will assist you in drafting an offer that protects your interests.
  • She will subsequently communicate and negotiate your offer on your behalf.
  • In popular neighbourhoods, there may be more than one offer on a property coming in at the same time. Claire can guide you through this process.

Arrange for home inspection

  • Claire highly recommends arranging a home inspection.
  • This information will arm the buyer with relevant information about the home and anticipated maintenance fees for the home. Due to the number of set offer dates and multiple bidders, many home inspections are now taking place prior to submitting an offer.
  • This is of great advantage to the buyer as it eliminates many unknowns in the bidding process and allows the buyers to submit a price that they are comfortable with.
  • Looking for a home inspector? Click here

Hire a legal professional

  • Once an offer is solidified, it is important for a buyer to hire a legal professional to manage all closing related matters including transfer of title. 

Book the movers and start packing!

  • Claire is happy to offer recommendations concerning resources that can make the moving process as hassle free as possible. For recommended movers, click here  

client report

“When my husband & I decided that we were ready to enter the real estate market with our first home purchase, it was a very daunting experience, and, being relatively new to Toronto, I had no idea about what area of the city I wanted to live in.  When we approached Claire on the advice of a friend, she took the time to listen to my concerns and set up a personal “educational tour” of the various neighbourhoods in the city for me.  Claire and I spent an afternoon driving around the city (accompanied by a color-coded map and other information that Claire had put together for me) and looked at houses in our price range in each neighbourhood. I can’t tell you how much this “extra service” helped me direct our search and now, thanks to Claire, we are extremely happy in our Leaside house.” 

Andrea Cobham