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Ready to Buy Your First Home? Here’s What You Can Expect

Posted by Ed Abdou on November 17, 2019

Taking the leap from renting to owning is an exhilarating, exciting, and nerve-wracking decision. You want to join the real estate market, but the GTA is a notoriously competitive one. And, there was an 18.8 per cent decrease in listings in the region last month. How can you be sure to get a home you love without wiping out your funds completely? Besides working with a knowledgeable and experienced agent, being prepared is key. Learn about the first-time home buying process and what to expect.

Set Your Budget

Before you even start touring open houses, solidify your budget. How much have you saved for a down payment? Have you met with a mortgage specialist yet? Are you eligible for the First Time Home Buyer Incentive? The bank will want to assess your credit history, down payment amount, debts, and your income. If you get pre-qualified for a mortgage, that set amount is valid for three months. The bank will still need more information from you, so don’t assume this means you’re guaranteed that amount as a mortgage. It’s just an estimation to help guide your home search.

Make Your Wishlist

It’s important to be realistic about what you want in a home, especially in Toronto. Do you want three acres of land? An Olympic-sized pool? These are serious limitations on your available listings in the city. You need to decide what your deal-breakers are and which elements you can compromise on. How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need? Is a backyard a must? Do you prefer modern designs or charming old-Toronto vibes? Create a definitive list to help guide your search.

Pick Up the Pace

Toronto’s real estate market is competitive and fast-paced. Unfortunately, buyers aren’t awarded the luxury of thinking over a listing for days or weeks. If there’s a listing you’re interested in, tour it as soon as possible. If you’re ready to buy, put your offer in ASAP. That means you need to have your financing set in concrete. Often, sellers won’t wait for your financing to come through because there will be many other offers. Time is not on your side, so make sure you move fast.

Make a Strategic Offer

For your offer to be official, it needs to be in the form of an Agreement of Purchase and Sale (APS). This legal document includes your down payment amount, the price you’re offering to pay for the home, the date you’d like to take possession, specific inclusions (things you want to be included in the offer, like certain appliances), and specific conditions (things the current homeowner must do, like an inspection). Each of the factors on this document needs to be well-thought-out. Again, you don’t have the luxury of taking weeks to create the APS.

Pick an Agent That Knows This Market

Working with an inexperienced real estate agent would be detrimental to your homebuying experience. You need to work with someone who understands this market in depth. They need to be on the ball and adept at all the legal home buying processes. Ed Abdou has over 20 years of real estate experience in the GTA and offers highly personalized service. To get the home of your dreams, work with the best. Contact Ed by calling his office at (416) 918-9144 or email

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