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Buying with The Spring Team

Thinking about taking the plunge into homeownership but feeling a little lost? No worries! We’ve got you covered with the ultimate guide to buying a home in Toronto. Ready to turn your home-buying dreams into a reality? Let’s do this!

Create a custom real estate search: Become a Real Estate Raccoon!

Below is the complete guide to Buying Real Estate in Toronto with The Spring Team (or any team tbh…we just don’t like to be fully transparent)

Hey there! We want you to feel confident and capable as a home buyer, no matter who you choose to work with. That’s why we have a special program called The SpringUp Buyers’ Method. It helps you become an expert in all things home-buying. Plus, we won’t even start looking at properties until we’re both on the same page. Trust us, you’ll be in good hands with this program!

Step 1 Who's your Realtor?

First, Interview a few agents and see if their personality matches yours. You’re going to spend a TON of time with your Buyer’s agent, so it’s important that you get along.

Of course, there’s much more to consider when buying real estate in Toronto.

Qualifications your agent should have:

  • Local market knowledge – are they specialists?
  • Good reviews or testimonials – have you googled them?
  • Financial Knowledge – they can walk you through the numbers! (we love spreadsheets and making smart financial decisions)
  • Find an agent who works full-time in the industry and has a track record.
  • Great communication skills
  • Did they show up on time & prepared?
  • Do they communicate with you in a way you understand and feel comfortable
  • Network connections: Effective real estate agents rely on their relationships. Do they work with other agents regularly?
  • On the same page with your housing goals? Or are they constantly trying to get you to do things you don’t want to do?

  • Considering leasing a new car or taking on another credit card? STOP! Not till after you close on your new home, please.
  • Pay off as much debt as you can before proceeding (we have tips on how to get around this)
  • Take your money out of the market so you can move fast when “the one” comes along. This is vital!
  • Find two months’ worth of pay stubs, employment letters, or NOAs for the past 2-3yrs two years of tax returns T4’s

  • Find a mortgage broker – Unless you have a deep relationship with your bank, a Mortgage Broker is usually the best bet. They’re professionals with access to hundreds of lenders, credit unions, and private lenders.
  • Broker vs. Bank – Going beyond just the best rate. It’s not always about the rate; it’s about the mortgage terms. How much does it cost to break the mortgage? Can you move it to a new property if you sell? What are the hidden fees?
  • Interest rate vs. mortgage terms – have this discussion with your mortgage pro.
  • If your credit isn’t where you want it to be, work on creating a plan with your broker to repair it. You want to be at a 700 credit score to qualify for the best mortgages
  • Your agent may also be able to help you find someone trustworthy that they have worked with before. We have two incredible mortgage brokers that treat our clients like gold.

  • Your mortgage broker will have given you a price range. That’s your maximum affordability range.
  • How much are you putting down? 5-50% is what is required. Depending on the property type, the purchase price and the lender.
  • If saving up 20% isn’t feasible, you have many other options as long as you don’t already own a property.
  • Remember that just because you’re approved for a certain amount doesn’t mean you have to spend that amount. Work with your lender and agent to establish a price point and monthly payment that you will be comfortable with.
  • Make sure you have cash in hand, as we said above. Keep up to 6% of the home’s purchase price in liquid cash in your account, as you’ll need it when you find The One.

  • Create a must-have checklist in your SpringUP! Notebook. We give you one when we get started, so you can have all your real estate search notes in one place.
  • Identify Must haves: Location, number of beds, baths, square footage, parking, locker, yard, school zone, public transportation, local shops, amenities, mom and pop or big box?
  • Nice to haves: pool, jacuzzi, smart home capabilities, etc.
  • Deal breakers: main streets, needs too much work, train tracks etc…
  • Connect your agent with your mortgage broker so we can all freely communicate and create a clear and easy path to buying.
  • Determine different neighbourhoods you might want to live in.
  • We’re on the same team here! Let’s talk feedback seriously when looking at properties. Let us know the good, the bad, and the ugly so we don’t waste your time showing you properties that aren’t a good fit.

  • Keep your Must Haves Checklist in mind, and bring your SpringUP! Notebook with you!
  • We won’t see more than 4-5 places at at time. Too confusing otherwise! Honestly, in Toronto, there likely won’t be more than 4-5 places to show you anyway.
  • Take plenty of pictures to look back at.
  • Provide your agent with ANY feedback regarding the properties that you view. Both positive and negative feedback can be very helpful for an agent to find exactly what you want.
  • Sometimes we’ll tell you not to buy a place even if you like it. Our job is to consult, not to be “yes” people.

  • Offer time isn’t the first time you should see offer paperwork. We’ll walk you through all the contracts and documents during our initial Buyer Consultation so none of this surprises you.
  • We’ll run through ALL of the comparables together. Numbers don’t lie, so we’ll get an idea of how much we should spend on the property without going over the top.
  • Work with your agent to establish a strategy to get the most from your offer and have the best chance of it getting accepted. It’s not always about the best price, but it usually is.
  • Don’t let emotions get in the way. Let’s focus on your commitment and the data.
  • Multiple offers happen all the time, no matter how long a property has been on the market. We’ll help you focus on the numbers, not the emotions.
  • Sign the offer and any additional documents!

  • Do we need a home inspector? We’ve got you!
  • Do we need a contractor to give you an opinion? We got you!
  • If work is needed to be done on the property, strategize with your agent to submit a request for repairs.
  • Review disclosures and paperwork with your agent.
  • If you will be making any additions or construction to the property, such as adding a pool or a guest house, check with the city building department to ensure zoning allows for those upgrades.
  • If you plan to renovate, get an idea of the costs.
  • Get us your Lawyer’s and Broker’s contact information, and we will make sure they get everything they need.

  • We’ve always found Sonnet Insurance to be cheap, effective, and online.
  • Your lender will also offer you an insurance option.
  • Change address, set up utilities, find out when garbage day is, and book movers/cleaners.
  • Sign the offer and any additional documents.

  • The lender will order an appraisal on the home to verify that the market value supports the purchase price.
  • Double-check that your interest rates and mortgage payments are what you agreed upon.

  • Go through the house with your agent to double-check check everything you agreed upon in your offer is present and turn on all lights and appliances to make sure they are in working order.
  • Ensure that any repairs that were agreed upon in the transaction were completed.
  • If repairs are difficult to visually inspect, call back your home inspector or a specialist to ensure the repairs were completed correctly.

  • You’ll be well-instructed by the lawyer and mortgage broker here
  • Make sure you have all of the downpayment cash ready (you likely would have been called in by your lawyer to get this all sorted a few days prior)
  • Ensure all of your IDs aren’t expired
  • Ensure you’ve changed your addresses
  • Go pop some bottles!

  • Closings happen after 3pm usually so don’t plan on being in your new home first thing in the morning
  • These days, there’s usually a key left in a lockbox on the property, and the remaining keys are left in the home somewhere. The lawyer will give you full instructions.