Step by Step Mortgage Process

mortgage processAre you confused by the mortgage process?

Not to worry, we’ve broken it down in 10 Easy to Follow Steps.

The mortgage process can be a smooth and almost uneventful process, or an unnerving one. Either way, a great deal depends on preparation as well as the selection of the right Mortgage Alliance Authorities Professional and the right mortgage lender.

Get a mortgage that works for you! Find your local Mortgage Alliance Authorities Franchise or top producing mortgage professional

Should you buy or rent?

Is home ownership right for you?
Ask yourself these questions…
Do you enjoy moving often?

Do you prefer using your savings for such things as vacations, retirement or starting your own business?

• Do you enjoy not having to worry about regular maintenance and repairs?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may not be ready to own a home yet. While you
probably have a lot of good reasons for wanting to buy a home, you also have to consider your reasons
for not wanting to.

Remember that buying a home is one of the biggest emotional and financial decisions you’ll ever make,
so prepare yourself to make a knowledgeable decision.

Although buying a home almost always seems like a great idea, it is important to understand what
homeownership involves. Of course, being a homeowner is something to be proud of but it also means
having to invest money, time and energy and take on added responsibilities. So, before you decide to
buy a home, make sure you’re ready.

When most of us consider becoming homeowners, we immediately think of how wonderful it will be. It
is true that there are a lot of good reasons for wanting to buy a home.

Here are some of the main advantages of owning a home:
• Financial Security. If housing prices rise, your home can provide you with some financial security
due to capital appreciation.
• Flexibility. You can decorate or renovate your home to meet your own family’s personal tastes
and needs.
• Stability. Having a place of your own.
Although it is nice to think about the positive aspects of owning a home, it is important to consider the
downsides as well. Here are some of the main disadvantages of owning a home:
• Financial Stress. Coming up with the down payment, meeting regular mortgage payments and
other ongoing costs will tie up a lot of your cash, and can put considerable stress on your
finances.
• Maintenance. Keeping your home in good shape requires time and money.
• Higher Costs. You may pay more each month for housing than you did as a renter. There are also
extra costs for maintenance and property taxes.
• More Responsibility. You alone are responsible for payments, repairs and maintenance.

Is home ownership right for you?

Ask yourself these questions…

• Do you enjoy moving often?
• Do you prefer using your savings for such things as vacations, retirement or starting your own
business?
• Do you enjoy not having to worry about regular maintenance and repairs?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may not be ready to own a home yet. While you
probably have a lot of good reasons for wanting to buy a home, you also have to consider your reasons
for not wanting to.

Remember that buying a home is one of the biggest emotional and financial decisions you’ll ever make,
so prepare yourself to make a knowledgeable decision.
Although buying a home almost always seems like a great ide
a, it is important to understand what
homeownership involves. Of course, being a homeowner is something to be proud of but it also means
having to invest money, time and energy and take on added responsibilities. So, before you decide to
buy a home, make sure you’re ready.

When most of us consider becoming homeowners, we immediately think of how wonderful it will be. It
is true that there are a lot of good reasons for wanting to buy a home.

Here are some of the main advantages of owning a home:
• Financial Security. If housing prices rise, your home can provide you with some financial security
due to capital appreciation.
• Flexibility. You can decorate or renovate your home to meet your own family’s personal tastes
and needs.
• Stability. Having a place of your own.
Although it is nice to think about the positive aspects of owning a home, it is important to consider the
downsides as well. Here are some of the main disadvantages of owning a home:
• Financial Stress. Coming up with the down payment, meeting regular mortgage payments and
other ongoing costs will tie up a lot of your cash, and can put considerable stress on your
finances.
• Maintenance. Keeping your home in good shape requires time and money.
• Higher Costs. You may pay more each month for housing than you did as a renter. There are also
extra costs for maintenance and property taxes.
• More Responsibility. You alone are responsible for payments, repairs and maintenance.

Are you financially ready?

So, you’ve decided that homeownership is right for you. Now you need to determine if you are
financially ready to buy a house.

In this step, you will find a number of simple calculations that you can do to evaluate your current
financial situation, how much house you can afford and the maximum home price that you should be
considering.

Once you understand these variables, you can make the best choice for you and even save money.
Test yourself to avoid any future surprises, you can do some financial exercises to see where you stand.

They include: calculating your net worth, your current monthly expenses and your current monthly debt
payments.

Knowing your net worth is important because you will need this information when you discuss a
mortgage with your lender. Your net worth is the amount left over once you’ve subtracted your total
liabilities from your total assets. It will also give you a snapshot of your current financial situation and show you how much you can afford to put as a down payment.

How much will it really cost?

Once you have figured out the home price range you can afford and the type of mortgage you qualify
for, you will need to calculate all of the associated costs of the transaction to make sure you are
financially ready.

Up Front Costs:
You will need to plan ahead to cover the many up‐front costs of buying a home. Timing is important to
help make sure things go smoothly.

• Mortgage Loan Insurance Application Fee and Premium. If yours is a high ratio mortgage (less
than 25% down payment), you may need mortgage loan insurance. To get this insurance, you
may be asked to pay the required application fee. Your lender may add the mortgage insurance
premium to your mortgage or ask you to pay it in full upon closing.
• Appraisal Fee. Your mortgage lender may require that the property be appraised at your
expense. An appraisal is an estimate of the value of the home. The cost is usually between $250
and $350 and must be paid when you contract for those services.
• Deposit. This is part of your down payment and must be paid when you make an Offer to
Purchase. The cost varies depending on the area, but it may be up to 5% of the purchase price. If
you wish to make a down payment of 5% and you give a deposit of 5%, then your down
payment is considered to be made.
• Down Payment. At least 5% of the purchase price is usually required for a high‐ratio mortgage
and at least 25% of the purchase price is usually required for a conventional mortgage.
• Estoppel Certificate Fee. This applies if you are buying a condominium or strata unit and could
cost up to $100. (Not applicable in Quebec)
• Home Inspection Fee. Remember that this may be a condition of your Offer to Purchase. A
home inspection is a report on the condition of the home and may cost over $200, depending
on the complexities of the inspection. For example, it may be more costly to inspect a home that
has large square footage, one that is expensive or one where contaminants such as pyrite, radon
gas or urea‐formaldehyde are suspected.
• Land Registration Fees. You may have to pay this provincial or municipal charge upon closing in
some provinces. The cost is a percentage of the property’s purchase price and may vary. Check
with your lawyer/notary to see what the current rates are. (Sometimes called a Land Transfer
Tax, Deed Registration Fee, Tariff or Property Purchases Tax)
• Prepaid Property Taxes and/or Utility Bills. To reimburse the vendor for pre‐paid costs such as
property taxes, filling the oil tank, etc.
• Property Insurance. The mortgage lender requires this because the home is security for the
mortgage. This insurance covers the cost of replacing the structure of your home and its
contents. Property insurance must be in place on closing day.
• Survey or Certificate of Location Cost. The mortgage lender may ask for an up‐to‐date survey or
certificate of location prior to finalizing the mortgage loan. If the seller does not have one or
does not agree to get one, you will have to pay for it yourself. It can cost in the $1,000 to $2,000
range.
• Water Quality Inspection. If the home has a well, you will want to have the quality of the water
tested to ensure that the water supply is adequate and the water is potable. You can negotiate
these costs with the vendor and list them in your Offer to Purchase.
• Legal Fees and Disbursements. Must be paid upon closing and cost a minimum of $500 (plus
GST/HST) .Your lawyer/notary will also bill you direct costs to check on the legal status of your
property.

• Title Insurance. Your lender or lawyer/notary may suggest title insurance to cover loss caused
by defects of title to the property.
3. How Much Will It Really Cost?
If you feel you cannot cover all of the up‐front costs, you can ask your lender for a loan. Remember that
payment for this loan amount, based on a 12‐month repayment period, will have to be included in your
Total Debt Service ratio calculation.
Other Costs
Besides up front costs, there are other expenses to consider:
• Appliances. Check to see what comes with the house, if anything.
• Gardening equipment
• Snow‐clearing equipment
• Window treatments. Check to see what comes with the house.
• Decorating materials. Paint, wallpaper, flooring and tools for redecorating.
• Hand tools. You will need some basic hand tools for your new home.
• Dehumidifier. May be required to control moisture levels, especially in older homes.
• Moving Expenses
• Renovations or Repairs
• Service Hook‐Up Fee. Charged for utilities. You may be required to pay a deposit for utilities
such as telephone and heating services.
• Condominium Fee. You may have to make the initial payment for these monthly fees.

What should you buy?

Your Current and Future Needs:
Before you start searching for a home, you need to think about your needs both now and in the future.
Here are some things to consider:

• Size requirements. Do you need several bedrooms, more than one bathroom, space for a home
office, a two‐car garage?
• Special features. Do you want air conditioning, storage or hobby space, a fireplace, a swimming
pool? Do you have family members with special needs?
• Lifestyles and stages. Do you plan to have children? Do you have teenagers who will be moving
away soon? Are you close to retirement?
Try to buy a home that meets most of your needs for the next 5 to 10 years, or find a home that can
grow and change with your needs.
Choosing a Location That Is Right for You:
Even if the home you choose has everything you need, the location might not be appropriate. When
deciding where to live, you should take the following things into consideration:
• Whether you want to live in a city, a town or even in an out‐of‐town location
• Where you work and how easy it is to commute
• Where your children will attend school and how they will get there
• Whether you need a safe walking area or recreational facilities such as a park nearby How close
you would like to be to family and friends
New Home, Previously Owned or Build Your Own?
When thinking about the kind of home you want, the first thing you should consider is whether you
want a previously owned home (often called a resale) or a new home.
Here are some characteristics that may help you decide:
New Home:
• Personalized choices. You may be able to upgrade or choose certain items such as siding,
flooring, cabinets, plumbing and electrical fixtures.
• Up‐to‐date with the latest codes/standards. The latest building codes, electrical and energy‐
efficiency standards will be applied.
• Maintenance costs. Lower maintenance costs because everything is new and many items are
covered by a warranty.
• Builder warranty. A homebuilder’s warranty is usually available in all provinces (except Nunavut
and the Northwest Territories). This can be important if a major system such as plumbing or
heating breaks down. This warranty does not apply if you build the home yourself.
• Neighbourhood amenities like schools, shopping malls and other services may not be complete
for years.
• Taxes such as the Goods and Services Tax (GST) (or, in certain provinces, the Harmonized Sales
Tax (HST)) will apply. However, you may qualify for a rebate of part of the GST or HST on homes
4. What Should You Buy?
that cost less than $450,000. For more information about the GST New Housing Rebate
program, visit the Canada Revenue Agency website.
• Extra costs. You may have to pay extra if you want to add a fireplace, plant trees and sod, or
pave your driveway. Make sure you know exactly what’s included in the price of your home.
Resale Homes:
• Easy access to services. Probably established in a neighbourhood with schools, shopping malls
and other services.
• Landscaping is usually done and fencing installed. Previously owned homes may have extras like
fireplaces or finished basements or swimming pools.
• No GST/HST. You don’t have to pay the GST/HST unless the house has been renovated
substantially, and then the taxes are applied as if it were a new house.
• Possible redecorating and renovations. You may need to redecorate, renovate or do major
repairs such as replacing the roof, windows and doors.

Building Your Own Home:
Some people prefer the challenge and flexibility of building their own home. On one hand you can get
exactly what you want in terms of size, design, location, quality of material, level of energy‐efficiency,etc. However, you should expect to invest lots of time and energy.

Deciding on the Type of Home to Buy
There are many types of homes to choose from and each has its advantages and disadvantages. Think
about your needs before making a decision. Don’t forget to look beyond the walls. The environment
surrounding your home can be almost as important as the environment inside of it.

Single‐family Detached:
The most popular style and the most solid investment. It is a freestanding home which sits on its own lot thereby offering a greater degree of privacy.

Semi‐detached:
A single‐family home that is joined to another one by a common wall. It can offer many of the
advantages of a single‐family detached home and is usually less expensive to buy and maintain.

Duplex:
Two units — one above the other or side‐by‐side. The owner usually lives in one unit and rents the
other.

4. What Should You Buy?
Row House or Townhouse:
One of several types of single‐family homes joined by common walls. It offers less privacy than a single‐family detached home but still provides a separate outdoor space. These homes can cost less to buy and maintain.

Link or Carriage Home:
Houses joined by garages or carports, which provide access to the front and back yards. Builders
sometimes join basement walls so that link houses appear to be single‐family homes on small lots. These
houses can be less expensive than single‐family detached homes.

Manufactured Home:
A factory‐built single‐family home that is transported to your chosen location and placed on a surface‐
mounted foundation. The term manufactured home has replaced the term “mobile home”.

Modular Home:
Also a factory‐built home constructed in compliance with local building codes. The home is typically
shipped to your location in two or more sections. It may or may not have a longitudinal sub‐frame.

Condominium:
Refers to a form of legal ownership as opposed to a style of construction. Condominiums can be high‐
rise residential buildings, townhouse complexes, individual houses and low‐rise residential buildings.
Condominiums are also known as stratas in British Columbia or syndicates of co‐ownership in Quebec.

What professionals should you call on?

Because purchasing a home is probably the biggest investment you will ever make, you’ll definitely want
a team of professionals working with you throughout the process.

The Real Estate Agent
No one will play a more important role in helping you find a home than your real estate agent. Your real
estate agent’s job is to:
• Help you find the ideal home
• Write an Offer of Purchase
• Negotiate on your behalf to help you get the best possible deal.
• Provide you with important information about the community, arrange and coordinate the
home inspection and essentially save you time, trouble and money
• When the time comes to select a real estate agent, don’t be afraid to ask questions — especially
about any possible service charges. Vendors normally pay a commission to the agent but some
agents charge buyers a fee for their services.

The Lender or Mortgage Broker
If you haven’t already gone through the mortgage pre‐qualification process, you will need to find a good
lender to assist you during the purchasing process and for as long as you have your mortgage.
Remember that many different institutions lend money for mortgages, such as banks, trust companies,
credit unions, caisses populaires, pension funds, insurance companies and finance companies. It’s a
good idea to shop around and speak with more than one lender because terms and options will vary.
Some people find it helpful to use a mortgage broker. Mortgage brokers don’t work for any specific
lending institution. Their role is to find the lender with the terms and rates that will best suit the buyer.

To find a lender or mortgage broker, you can call 1‐877‐366‐3487 or visit www.rightmortgage.ca
The Lawyer/Notary You need a lawyer (or a notary in Quebec) to protect your legal interests such as ensuring the property.you are thinking of buying does not have any building or statutory liens or charges or work or clean‐up orders associated with it. He or she will review all contracts before you sign them, especially the Offer (or Agreement) to Purchase. Having a lawyer/notary involved in the process will give you peace of mind and ensure that things go as smoothly as possible. Law associations can refer lawyers/notaries who specialize in real estate law (in Quebec, contact the Chambre des notaires du Québec ).

Lawyer/notary’s fees range widely and depend on the complexity of the transaction. Shop around for
rates and, when choosing your lawyer/notary, use the Checklist for Selecting a Lawyer/Notary to guide
you.
5. What Professionals Should You Call On?
Remember that a lawyer/notary:
• Should be a licensed full‐time lawyer/notary.
• Should be local and understand real estate laws, regulations and restrictions.
• Should have realistic and acceptable fees.
• Can explain things in plain language.
The Home Inspector
You should consider having any home you are thinking of buying inspected by a knowledgeable and
professional inspector.
The home inspector’s role is to inform you on the property’s condition. He will tell you if something is
not functioning properly, needs to be changed or is unsafe. You will also be informed of repairs that
need to be done and he/she may even be able to tell you where there may have been problems in the
past.
Every inspection should include an evaluation of at least the following:
• Foundation
• Doors and windows
• Roof and exterior walls
• Attics
• Plumbing and electrical systems
• Heating and air conditioning systems Ceilings, walls and floors
• Insulation
• Ventilation
• Septic tanks, wells or sewer lines
• Any other buildings such as a detached garage
• The lot, including drainage away from buildings, slopes and natural vegetation
• Overall opinion of structural integrity of the buildings
• Common areas (in the case of a condominium/strata or co‐operative)
There is presently no uniform certification and no requirement for home inspectors to take any courses
or to have passed any tests. Anyone can say that they are a home inspector. However, a good home and
property inspector generally belongs to a provincial or industry association such as the Canadian
Association of Home and Property Inspectors and l’Ordre des technologues professionnels du Québec.
Home inspector fees are generally $200 and more, depending on the size and condition of the home.
Use the Home Inspection Checklist to review your home inspection report.

The Insurance Broker
An insurance broker can help you with your insurance needs, including property insurance and
mortgage life insurance. Lenders insist on property insurance because your property is their security for your loan. Property insurance covers the replacement cost of your home, so premiums may vary
depending on its value.

5. What Professionals Should You Call On?
Your lender may also suggest that you buy mortgage life insurance. Mortgage life insurance provides
coverage for your family should you die before your mortgage is paid off. This type of insurance is often available through your lender, who then simply adds the premium to your regular mortgage payments.

However, you may want to compare rates between both an insurance broker and your lender.
Be careful not to confuse property or life insurance with mortgage loan insurance, which may be
required for high‐ratio mortgages. (Refer to 7. Ready to Buy? for more details.)
The Appraiser Having an independent appraisal done on a property before you make an offer is a good idea. It will tell you what the property is worth and help ensure that you are not paying too much. Your lender can also ask for a recognized appraisal in order to complete a mortgage loan.
The appraisal should include an unbiased assessment of the property’s physical and functional
characteristics, an analysis of recent comparable sales and an assessment of current market conditions
affecting the property.

Appraisal fees may vary but you should not pay more than $250 – $350 in most areas for a typical single‐family house.

Your real estate agent may be able to refer an appropriate professional.

The Land Surveyor
If the seller does not have a Survey or Certificate of Location, you will probably need to get one for your mortgage application. If the Survey in the seller’s possession is older than five years, it will probably need to be updated. Remember that you must have permission from the property owner before hiring a surveyor to go onto the property. Ask your real estate agent to help co‐ordinate this with the owner.

The Builder / Contractor
If you are buying a newly constructed home or require renovations to a resale home, you will have to
hire a builder or contractor. Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing one:
• Ask for references and talk to other customers about the builder’s performance.
• Check with the New Home Warranty program in the area.
• Visit other housing developments that the company has built.
• Ask builders or contractors if they are members of a local homebuilders’ association or ask for a
provincial license number.
• If you are having a custom home built, remember that:
o You may want to hire an architect.
o Builders of custom homes usually work on either a fixed‐price or a cost‐plus basis.
Authorize any changes to your contract by writing your name or initials beside the
change.  

How can you find the right home?

Once you figure out what you can afford to pay for a house and obtain a pre‐qualified mortgage, you are ready to start your search. There are a variety of sources you can use to find the home that is right for you:

• Word of mouth. By telling everyone you know that you are looking for a house, you might hear
about homes that are just becoming available on the market.
• Newspapers and real estate magazines. Check the new homes section in daily newspapers or
look for real estate magazines available at newsstands, convenience stores and other outlets.
These free publications feature pictures and brief descriptions of a variety of homes.
• The Internet. Check out real estate websites, such as http://www.mls.ca for information and
pictures of a wide range of properties. This site allows you to narrow your search by location,
price, number of bedrooms and other features.
• “For Sale” signs. Drive around a neighbourhood that interests you and look for “For Sale” signs.
This is a good way to find homes that are being sold by the owner.
• Visit new development sites. If you are looking for a newly built home, this will allow you to see
the different models available and to get information from builders.
• Work with a real estate agent. For most buyers, a real estate agent is the key to finding the
right home.
Useful Tips for Your Search
• Keep records. Whether you work with a real estate agent or search by yourself, it’s a good idea
to visit lots of different homes before choosing one. To make sure you have all the information
you need to compare homes, use detailed notes and pictures. Don’t forget to consider the
home’s utility costs, property taxes and major repairs, as these will affect your monthly housing
expenses. Ask to see copies of bills. You should also be ready to compromise. Chances are you
won’t find a home that has everything you want.
• Check out the existing financing on the property. It may be possible to take over a favourable
existing mortgage from the vendor or even obtain a vendor take back mortgage in order to help
close the deal.
• Think twice. Even if a home seems perfect, go back and take a closer, more critical look at it.
Visit on different days and times, chat with prospective neighbours and look beyond cosmetics.

Ready to buy?

Once you have found the home you would like to purchase, you need to present the vendor with an
Offer to Purchase or an Agreement of Purchase and Sale. As your home is probably your biggest
investment, it would be wise to work with your real estate agent and/or a lawyer/notary in preparing
your offer. Remember that the Offer to Purchase or Agreement of Purchase and Sale is a legal document
and should be carefully prepared.
Any offer or agreement will typically include:
• Your legal name, the name of the vendor and the legal civic address of the property.
• The purchase price offered.
• The chattels that will be included in the purchase price (e.g.: window coverings, appliances or a
satellite dish). Whatever items in or around the home that you think are included in the sale
should be specifically stated in your offer.
• The amount of deposit.
• The closing day (date you take possession of the home) — usually 30 to 60 days from the date of
agreement. It can also be 90 days or longer.
• Request for a current land survey of the property.
• Date when the offer becomes null and void.
• Any other conditions that go with the offer, including property inspection and approval of
mortgage financing.
• The process of making an offer, receiving a counteroffer and then revising it again is not
uncommon. The whole process can seem like a roller coaster ride — exciting, but stressful. It’s
all part of making the deal work best for you and the vendor.

The diagram below outlines the entire process for you in detail.

Steps for the Offer to Purchase
You
Your real estate representative helps you prepare an Offer to Purchase. This offer should include all the

details of the sale.
You may want your lawyer to look at the offer BEFORE you show it to the vendor, because it is a legally

binding document.
Your real estate representative or lawyer will then present the offer to the vendor, who will accept (1),
make a counteroffer (2) or reject (3).

Vendor
Situation 1
The vendor accepts your offer. The deal is concluded.
7. Ready To Buy?

Situation 2
The vendor may make a counteroffer, asking for a higher price or different terms. You sign the offer
back to the vendor with a higher price than your original offer, but lower than the vendor’s
counteroffer. The vendor accepts this counteroffer. The deal is concluded.

Situation 3
The vendor may make a counteroffer, asking for a higher price or different terms. If a counteroffer is
returned to you at a higher price, ensure that you know exactly how much you can afford before you
start negotiating. You don’t want to get caught up in the heat of the moment with costs you can’t afford.

You reject the counteroffer and decide not to make a subsequent counteroffer. The sale doesn’t go
through and your deposit is returned.

When you make an Offer to Purchase, your real estate agent or your lawyer/notary will most likely add
certain conditions to it, making it a conditional offer. This means that the contract will only become final when the conditions are met. The following three conditions are generally standard in an Offer to

Purchase, especially for first‐time buyers:

• A satisfactory home inspection report
• A property appraisal
• Lender approval of mortgage financing to finance the purchase
Once these requirements are met, the conditions are removed and the Offer to Purchase becomes final.
Home Inspection.It is always a good idea to have the home you are buying inspected by a knowledgeable and professional home inspector. The inspector will go through the property and perform a comprehensive visual inspection to assess the condition of the house and all of its systems. When you receive the home inspection report, you and your real estate agent will have to discuss how required repairs may affect the sale price that was agreed upon. (Refer to 5.What Professionals Should You Call On for details.)

New Home Warranty Programs
A home inspector is not used as frequently for new homes if the builder provides a New Home
Warranty. Warranty coverage varies from one province to another, but typically covers labour and
materials in your new home for at least one year after completion. It is also intended to address
structural defects for a minimum of five years, and up to ten years with some extended coverage
options. A dollar cap is common. Before you sign a contract for a new home, contact your New Home
Warranty Program office for a list of registered builders in your area.

For Condominiums or Strata Units
To buy a resale condominium or strata unit, you will have to get a satisfactory Estoppel Certificate or
Certificate Status (does not apply in Quebec). This should be included as a condition in the Offer to
Purchase.

7. Ready To Buy?
Mortgage Approval
A pre‐approved mortgage certificate is not a guarantee of being approved for the mortgage loan. Even if
you have a pre‐approved mortgage certificate, you must still meet your lender during the conditional
offer period to get a final mortgage approval. To ensure that the process goes smoothly, make sure you
bring:
• A copy of the property listing
• A copy of the signed Offer to Purchase
Your lender will update/verify your financial information, the property and other information required
to complete the mortgage application. Your lender may require an appraisal and/or a survey. Title
insurance may also be required. Your lender will also inform you on the various types of mortgages,
terms, interest rates, amortization periods and payment schedules available.

The final steps

Closing day is the day when you finally achieve your goal — you take legal possession and finally get to
call your new house your own. You are sure to feel great relief and satisfaction but remember that the
home buying process isn’t over just yet. There are quite a few things that need to be done on closing
day:
• Your lender will provide the mortgage money to your lawyer/notary.
• You must provide the balance of the purchase price to your lawyer/notary along with the closing
costs.
• Your lawyer/notary pays the vendor, registers the home in your name, and provides you with a
deed and the keys to your new home.

Hiring a Mover
It is now time to hire a mover. Friends or relatives may be able to recommend a professional moving
company but don’t forget to ask the mover for references. You will also want an estimate and outline of
fees (flat rate or hourly charge, etc.). Once you’ve selected a mover, it is a good idea to have the
representative come to your home to see what will be moved and revise the estimate if necessary.
During the move, you’ll want to ensure that your belongings are insured. Your home or property
insurance may cover goods in transit but call your broker or insurance company to be safe and to ask
about the extent of coverage. Many moving companies offer additional insurance coverage. Be aware
that professional movers are not responsible for items such as jewellery, currency or important papers.
You will have to move these items yourself.

If you decide to do your own packing, keep in mind that you will need the proper materials and that it
could take up a lot of time.

The Big Day
On moving day, go through the house with the van supervisor and provide any special instructions. The
supervisor will also make note of the condition of your goods on an inventory list. Go through the house
with the supervisor to make sure the list is complete and accurate. Then, when the van arrives at your
new home, mark off the items on the mover’s list as they are unloaded. Remember that even if the
movers unload and unpack boxes and remove packing materials, they will not put dishes or linens into
cupboards.

Saying goodbye to one home and neighbourhood and discovering a new one can be very exciting. Just
make sure it is not hectic as well. Be sure to plan ahead to make the transition as smooth as possible for
everyone involved. That way, you can breathe easy and enjoy your new home without having to worry
so much.

Is there more to home buying?

Finding and purchasing your home can be an exciting and overwhelming process. You may be relieved
once you finally take possession of your new house but be aware that the financial responsibilities of
homeownership are just beginning.

Make Your Mortgage Payments on Time
Whether monthly, biweekly or weekly, be sure that you always make your mortgage payments on time.
Making late payments (delinquency) may result in late charges and negatively affect your credit rating.
Failing to make payments can even lead to more serious consequences like foreclosure.
A good way to prevent late payments is to have the amount automatically deducted from your account
every month and to put at least three months’ worth of mortgage payments in savings for emergency
situations. If you are having trouble making payments, discuss the situation with your lender.

Costs of Operating a Home
Besides your mortgage, property taxes and insurance, there are many other ongoing costs related to
operating your home. They include maintenance and repair, costs for services such as security alarm
services, snow removal services and gardening services (if you wish to pay for these). If you have a
condominium or strata, some of these expenses may be included as part of your monthly maintenance
fee.

Saving for Emergencies
Even if you know how to do repairs yourself, there are costs involved. Every building has a life cycle,
which means that all parts of a building age and require major repairs or replacement at some point. For
example, you might know that your roof will have to be replaced in a few years simply because of its
age. Repairs like these are expected and can be planned for. However, many repairs are unexpected and
can sometimes be costly.
Set aside an emergency fund to deal with unexpected problems ranging from major repairs to illness
and job loss. A good guideline is saving 5% of your take‐home pay and putting it in a special account.
Living Within Your Budget
Prepare a monthly budget and stick to it. You should monitor your spending every month and evaluate
your progress in meeting your financial goals. If you continue to spend more than you are bringing in,
you must find ways to cut back. If you are having trouble sticking to your budget, don’t hesitate to ask a
professional money manager for help. 

Tips on home repair and maintenance

Once you’ve finally settled in, you may start to view your home with a more objective eye. Perhaps
there are things you’d like to change — the kitchen cabinets or the flooring, for instance. Perhaps there
are things that require repair, such as the plumbing or the windows. You will soon realize that
maintenance, repair and renovations are a normal part of homeownership.
Perform Regular Maintenance and Repair
By doing regular maintenance and taking care of small repairs right away, you’ll avoid more costly
repairs down the road.
One of the best things you can do is get to know your new home. Here are some things you need to
know:
• Your home is made up of various components that work together. These include mechanical
systems (heating, air conditioning and ventilation) and the building envelope (foundations,
floors, walls, windows, doors and roof).
• You need to learn enough about the major mechanical systems of your home to be able to
perform routine maintenance and handle various emergencies. Every adult member of your
household should know the location of the following:
o Main shutoff valves for water and fuel o Emergency switch for the furnace or burner
o Hot water heater thermostat o Main electrical switch
o Fuse box or circuit breaker box
• Renovations targeted at increasing energy‐efficiency may affect appliances exhausting by a
chimney. Check chimney performance if you tighten the envelope or add exhaust fans.
• Moisture, heat and air pressure must be balanced to ensure a healthy home
Remember that homes, like people, get old. It’s a good idea to inspect your home regularly and replace
or repair parts and materials that wear out with use and time. And remember that since different
components of your home work together and affect each other, minor repairs can quickly become
major ones if they are not immediately taken care of.
You will probably be able to do many of the repairs yourself. However, if you feel you cannot handle the
job on your own, it is best to call an expert. No matter whom carries out the repair, remember that the
work has to be well done. Bad materials and poor workmanship will end up costing you more in the end.
Don’t forget to keep records of any repairs and improvements you make.
Home Improvements
Besides doing regular maintenance and repairing your home, you will also want to consider renovating
or making improvements. These changes will not only make the home more pleasant for you to live in,
they may also increase its value.
Change is good but be careful not to go overboard unless you plan to stay in your home for many years.
If you are planning to sell your house, you also have to ensure that the changes don’t make your home
worth a lot more than the other homes around you. Remember that the value of your home is closely
related to the other homes in your area.
10. Tips on Home Repair & Maintenance
Here are some things to keep in mind when planning a change or renovation:
• Think about how changes would appeal to someone buying your home in the future. You can
make very personalized changes with paint because it is inexpensive and can easily be changed.
However, things like flooring, cabinets and countertops have a longer life — make choices that
will also be appealing to others.
• Updating the bathrooms and kitchens in an older home can increase its resale value.
• Don’t underestimate the importance of landscaping. The right planting can improve the
appearance and value of your home.
• Updating your exterior paint, installing new roofing, resurfacing your walkways and driveway,
adding attractive mailboxes and front‐yard planting will also help make your home more
appealing.
• Over time, some renovations can practically pay for themselves, especially if they result in
savings on utility bills, a higher selling price or years of greater comfort and enjoyment in your
home!
Make Sure Your Home is Fully Secure
• Change all the locks when you buy a new home.
• Add dead‐bolt locks and window locks where necessary.
• Consider getting a security system. Your property insurance rate may be lower if you have one.
• Use outdoor lighting. You can get lights that turn on automatically every evening or motion‐
sensor lights that come on when someone walks by. However, use outdoor lighting judiciously
to be more energy‐efficient.
• When you are away from home, use lights and radios on automatic timers and arrange to have
your mail and newspapers picked up or discontinued. This way, people won’t be able to tell that
you are not home.
• Get to know your neighbours and keep an eye out for each other.
Be Prepared and Stay Safe
Have a fire evacuation plan and make sure everyone in your home knows how to get out of the home
from each room in case of a fire. If you have a second floor, you need a special escape plan to get to the
ground. Check to see that windows have not been painted shut. Although doors and windows should
always be securely locked, you have to be able to open them in an emergency.
A few tips:
Fire extinguishers must be easily accessible at all times. If you have a two‐storey home, there should be
one on each floor. Remember to check your fire extinguishers at least once a year. To help you
remember, make a habit of doing it when you set your clocks to Daylight Saving Time.
In some areas, it is a legal requirement to have smoke detectors in your home. Even if they are not, you
will still want them in your home. Check the batteries at least once a year. Carbon monoxide detectors
are also important to have. They will let you know if there are high levels of carbon monoxide in your
home, and can save you from illness or death. To make sure that they are working properly, check them
10. Tips on Home Repair & Maintenance
at least once a year. It is a good idea to make a habit of checking your fire extinguishers, smoke and
carbon monoxide detectors at the same time.
Paper, paint, chemicals and other clutter can be a fire hazard. Make sure they are stored in a safe place.
If you no longer need them, hazardous materials must be disposed of at a community toxic waste
center. Never put them in the garbage.
Collect your important papers and store them in a safe place — for example, a fireproof box or a safe
deposit box.
Keep a list of emergency phone numbers (including 911, poison prevention line, doctors, relatives,
neighbours and friends) close to the phone and make sure your children are aware of it. 

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