Why Location Matters in Buying a Home

You heard location matters — now here’s how to use that to your advantage when buying a home in Ontario.

Buying a home seems more complicated every day. Should you look for more space and work from home, or save on the price and commute by GO? Our real estate lawyers have suggestions for you.

What you need to know before buying a house in Ontario and why location is important.

Quick Read

5 Best Location Tips for Buying a Home

The best location for buying a home can be close to transit, shopping, hospitals, and schools. They’re what realtors call “covetable amenities” and they sell houses. 

  1. Buying a Home for Appreciation Value

Buying a home in —

  • suburbs with newer properties, services, and roadways
  • waterfront communities
  • gentrifying historic districts
  • easily accessible tourist areas (think Niagara Falls)
  • or established neighbourhoods in high demand

adds resale value through the power of appreciation. 

  1. Buying a Home to Commute

Long commutes are a drain on your budget, can pollute, and take you away from family and afterhours fun. Walk or bike to work to multi-task (do it for the exercise!), or site yourself near transit lines and GO stations. 

  1. Buying a Home for Safety

Low or no street lights, long distances between homes and businesses, and problems with crime can leave you feeling vulnerable at home or outside. Try gated communities for extra security, or live near businesses with CCTV cameras. Lower crime neighbourhoods keep you safer at home and while away. Compare Toronto crime rates by neighborhood.Tip: Get a home surveillance app if your home is regularly vacant. See most popular home security apps

  1. Buying a Home for Modern Services

Stay away, if you can, from neighbourhoods where municipal services are out of date. Those ugly overhead electrical wires, and sluggish drains when you test the faucets, may mean a municipality isn’t investing in upgrading its water, power, and sewage services. Or that a hefty tax bill is headed your way. Buyers remorse and buying a home in an Ontario floodwater zone. Agreements of purchase and sale (Ontario) and how to amend your offer to purchase.  

  1. Buying a Home in Rural or Remote Locations

Buy in remote locations to save cash, retire, get outdoors, or start a home-based business. Look for reasonable access to household goods, home contractors, mail or couriers, and Internet. Remote work is popular right now, but your employer has to agree. You need to stay productive while fending off partners, kids, neighbours, and online temptations, plus all the other distractions that go with a virtual lifestyle. 

Income and Buying a Home in Ontario

Toronto buyers needed around $226,500 to buy a home in June 2022, Ratehub.ca reported. Moving to Hamliton could save you literally thousands. A salary of $179,060 bought a comparable home in that community. By comparison, Ottawa was a bargain. Ottawa home buyers could get into their own home for only $137,050 in annual income. The gap between your income and mortgage availability closes the further out you go. Check out CMHC’s mortgage calculator

What to include in your offer to purchase

Qualifying as a First Time Home Buyer 

That depends on what you are applying for. Programs for a first time home buyer in Ontario generally require:

  • that you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident (newcomers might qualify)
  • that you haven’t been a permanent resident in the past four years of a home you, a common law partner or spouse owned
  • or that you recently experienced a marriage or relationship breakdown with someone who owned a principal residence where you lived.

Owning inherited homes, or a business with residential units, disqualifies you. But you may still qualify if your spouse doesn’t, or you have owned certain residential properties in past. Tips and programs for first time buyers

New incentives for first time buyers

How Much to Save for Buying a House in Ontario

How you much you save before buying a home depends on your mortgage. Save 5% for the first $500,000, plus another $10,000 for legal fees, title transfers, moving costs, and other home buying expenses, if you plan to get a CMHC mortgage or loan with less than 20% down. Add 10% of the sale price for homes that cost over $500,000. Examples of how to calculate how much to save for the downpayment and fees.Costs to expect when buying a home in Ontario. 

Connecting to a lawyer

Why You Need a Real Estate Lawyer 

When you find that perfect location, let us know. Axess Law has locations all over Ontario, virtual and in person. We can video conference with you anywhere in Ontario, or can meet you in person at any of our convenient Ottawa or Greater Toronto Area law offices.

Our licenced real estate lawyers go over your agreement of purchase and sale to see that it includes all the essential clauses needed to protect your buyer or seller right to cancel. Without the right wording, you may not get your deposit back, or could be forced to return a deposit when a sale falls through at the last minute. We negotiate with the other party’s lawyer to ensure the offer to purchase gives you legal options.

Your real estate lawyer answers any questions you have, like can a buyer back out of a purchase agreement in Ontario, or who gets deposits when buyers back out? Can a buyer back out of a purchase agreement (Ontario)? 

If finding mortgage financing is taking longer than expected, Axess Law negotiates to try to amend your agreement’s completion date. Home inspection didn’t go the way you hoped? Axess Law talks to the seller’s lawyer about covering the cost of repairs, or reducing the sales price. 

Once the negotiating is over, we file title to your property at a local land titles registry. Your real estate lawyer checks for financial claims like construction liens or outstanding charges that can prevent or delay your home purchase or sale. We advise you what to do if a title transfer is held up, and when the deal is done, hand you the keys to your home. 

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 a first time buyer lawyer

Book Appointments Online or By Phone

Arrange day or evening legal appointments, 7 days a week, with Axess Law’s easy online booking form. We make virtual real estate lawyer appointments anywhere in Ontario, from any compatible computer or mobile device. Ask about times convenient for you by dialing our 647-479-0118 lawyer line in Toronto, or calling toll free to 1-877-402-4207. Axess Law has offices near you in Greater Toronto Area and Ottawa, with onsite parking and easy transit access.