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One year ago, COVID-19 changed the Real Estate industry dramatically. While many other businesses were unsure of what the future held, Ottawa saw a thriving market for buyers and sellers. But as buyers and sellers remain cautious in the current climate, online buying and selling remain an integral part of Real Estate in 2021. Here is a list of tools and resources to help you navigate buying your home online in this booming spring market.

Do Your Research

The first step in the process of buying a home is to decide on the neighbourhoods in Ottawa that suit you best. Make sure to do your research! Decide what is important to you: if you work from home, you may be looking for something more rural; For those who still travel to and from work each day, proximity to work, schools, and daycare centres may affect your decision on where to buy. Make sure to check out the bus and LRT routes if public transportation is desired.

You may be curious if there is more development that can be expected in a neighbourhood of choice. A Development Information Officer at the City of Ottawa Client Service Centre can help you to confirm the zoning in any neighbourhood that you may be curious about before making any major decisions.

Land Transfer Tax

An expense that buyers often overlook is the fee that is paid for the Ontario Land Transfer Tax. This is paid when the title of a home is transferred from the seller to the new owner (buyer) of a house or condo. For those buying a home in Ottawa, see the Ontario Government Land Transfer Calculator for an idea of how much you will be paying for this. The Ontario Government calculator link provides general guidelines on calculating land transfer tax payable in Ontario. Note that first-time homebuyers may be eligible for a refund for all or part of the land transfer tax.

Securing a Mortgage

Before setting out to buy your own home, especially in a market as competitive as the one we are seeing, you will want to secure a pre-approval from your lender of choice. Whether you go with your bank or look at a broker is entirely up to you, but having the pre-approval will be necessary in order to buy the house you have your eye on before it is snatched up by someone else.

Knowing how much you can spend on your home will help you narrow down your search. Take into account all costs and pay very close attention to all aspects of your potential mortgage. Tools such as this online Mortgage Calculator can aid greatly in working out your options. Remember, this calculator is for demonstration purposes only. For solid information on what a mortgage looks like for you, discuss options with your approved lender.

Lawyers and Legal Fees

Just like your REALTOR ® and mortgage lender, your lawyer is an essential part of the home buying process. Your lawyer is a vital asset that will help explain any questions you may have about the agreement of sale. They are there to protect both your best interests and your bank account. Be sure to maintain contact with your lawyer throughout the process to avoid any surprises upon closing. Your lawyer may set up zoom calls as opposed to meeting in person, so it will be important to familiarize yourself with any technology that may be used during this process. Remember that lawyers come with fees, and this must be incorporated into your costs when discussing what is affordable for you in terms of buying a home.

I’m Ready To Begin!

COVID-19 kick-started the virtual tours and live-streamed open houses, and REALTORS ® all over Ottawa have embraced this tool to help with online buying and selling. With in-person showings still very limited, your search will begin online before hitting the streets. Talk to me today about what is available on the market, and I can help you navigate the homes that are best suited for your wants and needs. You can now view hundreds of properties online before having to step a foot outside of your own door.

It is no secret that buying a home in Ottawa has seen dramatic changes throughout the last year. Thankfully, with the various online tools available, the process has been made easier than ever. If you are looking to buy a home in this booming spring market get in touch with me today. I can help you to position yourself advantageous so that you can secure the home of your dreams in 2021. I look forward to connecting with you in the future to discuss your Real Estate needs.

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