What to Look for in a Resale Home

Home buying is an art — you’ll need a well thought out plan to buy a resale home that holds its value.  

We can help, with home buying tips and tricks for choosing the right resale home.

Quick Read

What type of home has the best resale value?

3 most important features to look for

What makes a house good?

6 factors that affect resale value

Who pays the HST on resale homes?

Taxes home sellers pay in Ontario

It’s easy to get caught up in the psychology of home buying and forget to ask a seller the important questions, like did you have a building permit for your home renovations? 

Houses with 2nd owners

Finding a Resale Home Value

The type of home with the best resale value depends on size, age, condition, location, and desirability to buyers. 

  • Homes with room to grow, like traditional colonials or ranchers, are easier to resell because they appeal to families.
  • Large lots, plenty of bedrooms, and storage space in a garage or basement hit the mark for the most buyers.
  • Go for an upgraded home if you expect to sell soon. They move faster than fixer uppers.
  • Big ticket items, like a newer roof and siding, save buyers money and can be a real selling feature.

New construction vs resale home — what’s the best value for your money? 

Top 3 Important Resale Features to Watch For

What are three important things you would look for when hunting for a home? Good things to look for in a house are: 

  1. Hardiness

Proper insulation reduces home heating bills and stops mould and mildew. Bubbling paint, water stains, or black mould can be a sign a home is poorly maintained.

Controlling how much moisture a resale home retains from cooking, bathing, breathing, or doing laundry makes it last longer. Vapour barriers (plastic wrap) used with pink or wool batt insulation stops cold and wet from travelling from a home’s exterior to interior. Boric acid-treated, blown-in or cellulose insulation, made from recycled paper, prevents insects and rodents from eating away at the attic.

Easily applied polyurethane-based spray foams to boost a home’s insulation can cost between $8,000 and $14,000 for new homes, suppliers estimate. https://reitzel.ca/article/spray-foam-insulation-cost-in-ontario-2022 Depending on a resale home’s style, condition, and age, the spray variety averages from $1 to $6 a square foot. 

Home buying tips for first tme home buyers

  1. A Solid Foundation

Is your resale home built on a solid foundation?

Sinkholes, water that flows towards instead of away from buildings, and tree roots too close the foundation can destabilize a resale home. Avoid these slippery slopes when home buying:

  • circular depressions or soft spots that indicate unstable soil
  • doors or windows that stick from ground movement
  • wet basement walls or floors caused by poorly sloped grades
  • or large foundation cracks from tree roots.

See what can happen if a sinkhole takes out your resale home

  1. Curb Appeal

A newer roof, attractive siding, and tidy landscaping and walkways add thousands to a resale home. Buy a right-sized home for the neighbourhood. Small resale homes surrounded by larger properties sell for less. 

Does your new home have an illegal suite? 

6 Things That Affect Resale Home Value

  1. Location, Location, Location. 

A gently used resale home can be upgraded. A noisy location in a deteriorating neighbourhood could be forever. Look for good homes near shopping, schools, hospitals, and transit.

  1. Quality flooring. 

Modern buyers prefer hardwood or good quality engineered floors to stained, worn, or dusty carpets.

  1. Vinyl windows. 

Newer windows save you the expense of sealing or replacing drafty windows. Vinyl windows are easily replaced if broken, and last up to 20 years. 

  1. Newer appliances. 

They don’t have to be top of line, but newer appliances save energy and can keep a resale home purchase on budget.

  1. Tankless water heaters. 

Popular for their energy savings (24-34% over conventional models), tankless water heaters produce hot water on demand, last longer, and are less apt to flood your home.

  1. Tiled surfaces. 

Tasteful tiles modernize bathroom, kitchen or foyer floors and backsplashes. They make a tired room look new again.

It all helps your resale home’s value if you decide to sell sooner than later.

Drafting the agreement of purchase and sale for a condominium resale home. Watch for these red flags when buying a condo

Paying HST on a Resale Home

Residential resale home buyers and sellers escape the 13% harmonized sales tax (HST), but pay the tax on:

  • real estate commissions
  • legal fees
  • professional home inspections
  • hiring a mover
  • and title insurance. 

HST is charged for resale homes with extensive additions, rebuilt from the foundation up, or formerly used as commercial business offices. 

Taxes for Ontario Home Sellers

How much tax you pay when you sell a house in Ontario is similar — 13% on real estate commissions,  legal fees, moving costs, and expenses like home staging, repairs, or upgrades.

Provincial land transfer taxes for buyers, and a municipal land transfer tax in Toronto, are extra. Check out taxes and rebates for first time and foreign home buyers in Ontario. 

Questions you ask real estate lawyers

Ontario Lawyers that are available

Why You Need a Real Estate Lawyer

Buy or sell a resale home anywhere in Ontario with Axess Law’s virtual real estate lawyer service. Our licensed, remote real estate lawyers review your offer to purchase for clauses that protect your legal and financial interests. Is there a cooling off period when buying a house in Ontario? 

We negotiate with other parties to a real estate transaction. Closing dates in your agreement of purchase and sale are firm unless amended by mutual consent. When finding mortgage financing is challenging, your Axess Law lawyer liaises with the seller’s lawyer about extending the completion date. 

If the lender’s home appraisal is lower than your offer, Axess Law contacts the seller’s lawyer about adjusting the price. Buying and selling a home at the same time calls for the legal skill of a real estate lawyer. Axess Law discharges your existing mortgage, and sets up your new mortgage loan to make the switchover as problem-free as possible. 

Close real estate deals from home

Legal claims against a property title can get in your way at the last minute. Axess Law’s Ontario real estate lawyers search property titles for easements, rights of way, and financial liens by contractors. Title to the property is registered in your name, and Axess Law can add a spouse to a property title with ease.

Affordable Real Estate Lawyers, Anywhere You Are

Access lawyers for less in Greater Toronto Area, Ottawa, or anywhere in Ontario  when you buy, sell, or transfer property. Axess Law’s flat fee real estate lawyers are affordable, and our rates are all inclusive (excluding taxes, disbursements, and third-party charges). Axess Law offers you only the legal services you absolutely need. Your final invoice includes no surprises or hidden charges. Your itemized statement of adjustments is explained when we deliver it, and we answer any questions you have about it. 

Find real estate lawyers in Ontario. 

Make Appointments by Phone or Online in Minutes

Making appointments by phone or with our easy online booking form is quick and convenient. Just call our 647-479-0118 lawyer line in Toronto, or toll free to 1-877-402-4277, to find times that work for your schedule.

You can meet in person with a professional real estate lawyer at any of our conveniently located Greater Toronto Area or Ottawa law offices. When time is of the essence, Axess Law has a virtual real estate lawyer near you for a secure, confidential video conference call. Try our onsite parking. Transit access is nearby.