We all know that Toronto is a great city. It has a ton of amenities, and it’s the financial capital of Canada. But with this comes a red-hot housing market, and if you’re looking to buy your first home or invest in a condo in the GTA, then you might be feeling intimidated by the prospect of finding one within your budget. Fear not! This guide will help you find some reasonably-priced homes for sale in toronto so that your search won’t be stressful or frustrating any longer.
Step 1: Define Your Ideal Home And Make A Checklist
Every homebuyer should be thinking about the home that best suits their needs in terms of house type, design and style, and desirable features before they even start home-hunting. Creating a Wants & Needs Checklist will help define your absolute deal-breakers and must-haves once you enter the housing market.
Pro Tip: Getting your expectations in line about buying a dwelling with a renovated kitchen, a swimming pool, or shiny hardwood floors will save you money. Most of the time, a house in need of some work might be the best fit, financially speaking. You can upgrade the features to your liking later and at your own pace.
Step 2: Consider A Less Expensive Housing Type
Toronto has many different types of properties you can buy. Ultimately, the decision will be budget-related but will also be affected by the particular necessities or desires of the homebuyer. These are some popular housing types in Toronto due to affordability:
- Detached: The most popular house type and frequently costly. It stands on its own, has an array of features and gives a lot of privacy.
- Townhouses: The property is shared, so it tends to be more affordable than detached and semi-detached homes.
- Condominiums: Can be cheaper than a detached home and frequently come with amenities, but owners have to deal with condo corporations, additional fees, and less privacy.
Step 3: Find Out How Much Home You Can Purchase
Answering “How much home can you purchase?” is a crucial piece in the homebuying puzzle. Once you feel you are in a good place financially and have all your documentation ready, sit down with a lender or your bank’s mortgage specialist or broker and get pre-approved for a mortgage. Knowing how much you can spend will show real estate agents and sellers that you’re ready to do business, and you’ll feel confident because anytime you set foot in a property, you’ll know right away if you can afford it or not.
Pro Tip: Interview a few mortgage professionals before selecting the right one. Not all mortgage brokers will offer you the same interest rate or terms in the financial agreement. Make sure to read the fine print before signing anything. You should also know about fixed-rate vs. variable-rate mortgages.
Step 4: Consider Homes That Are “Diamonds In The Rough”
Buying a fixer-upper is a great way to get a lower purchase price and less competition for a home that is, in fact, a diamond in the rough. Of course, you need to be very careful and do all the necessary inspections during the buying process. That way, you avoid picking a home that may need extra expensive renovations that need long-term construction times; or being surprised by unexpected issues. Fixer-upper homes are the best option for proactive, handy homeowners that are eager to tackle at least some renovation projects by themselves.
Pro Tip: Estimate the cost of renovation beforehand. Creating a list of everything the home needs in terms of labor and material costs will tell you if buying that house is, in fact, a good deal. Also, figure out if the renovations require neighbourhood or city permits.
Step 5: Go House-Hunting In Affordable Neighbourhoods
Finding reasonably-priced homes for sale in Toronto can be a matter of location. For example, neighbourhoods located west of Downtown are typically less affordable. Narrow your home search to areas you like and meet your basic needs and budget requirements without being over-competitive. This list is not exhaustive, but it’s a starting point:
- Cliffcrest: Cliffcrest is a peaceful and family-oriented neighbourhood in the district of Scarborough. The median home price in Cliffcrest is relatively affordable, with most homes selling for about $819,000.
- Mimico: This Etobicoke neighbourhood is at the shores of Lake Ontario and has various housing options, beautiful lakeside parks, and tons of amenities. Those looking for a home away from the city’s hustle and bustle will be able to find homes for sale in Mimico at an average cost of $737,400.
- Bendale: Bendale is a charming and culturally diverse neighbourhood known for its abundant green spaces and amiable feel. The average home listing price in Bendale is around $890,000, which is 41% below the average home price in Toronto.
- Church-Yonge Corridor: One of the most populated areas in the city, Church-Yonge Corridor is great for homebuyers seeking a condo lifestyle. In this area, condominiums sell, on average, for just over $652,000.
- Clairlea-Birchmount: This peaceful community is a top favourite among first-time homebuyers due to its affordability and convenient access to recreational venues, parks, schools, and amenities needed to live comfortably near the city centre.
Step 6: Find Yourself An Experienced Buyer’s Real Estate Agent
The right real estate agent is the one that specializes in the neighbourhood you’re seeking and properties in your price range. This professional will save you time and money with their skill set, contacts in the industry, and experience. It will also give you peace of mind because they know every required process and paperwork to help you buy property at ease and within your budget. A buyer’s agent will represent your interests and negotiate on your behalf, so make sure to have an open line of communication with your agent.
Pro Tip: Don’t let friendship determine who you choose for the job. Hire an agent for their experience, good reviews, referrals, and do a quick background check as well.
Step 7: Learn To Negotiate Home Prices
In hot real estate markets like Toronto, home sellers usually list homes at a higher price or have a number of offers for the property. Landing that home at your price point can pretty much depend on your capacity to negotiate. Work closely with your real estate agent and discuss a strategy and how much you are willing to offer. Your offer should show the seller that your finances are on point. Home inspections and appraisals can also be good discussion points.
Pro Tip: Always communicate with the seller through your real estate agent. They know the real estate jargon and phrase any requests or questions without risking the whole purchase process.