Buying Checklist

Finding a Property

We can help you.

Buyers have questions. We have answers. Selling a home in a hot Seller’s market is no easy task. We can be your best resource.

Faulkner Real Estate offers boutique service to buyers seeking properties in Ottawa’s hottest urban communities.

We help home seekers find the locale offering the lifestyle they want now and in the future. Transportation options, parkland, proximity to select schools, shopping, recreational activities, medical services, restaurants…. everything you care about matters.

Let us know your ‘would likes’, ‘must haves’ and ‘showstoppers’ and we will determine if your expectations are realistic.  We may discover options you may not have previously been aware of or considered.

QCan I make arrangements to view a property with the listing realtor and reach out to my own Realtor if I choose to pursue it?


Contact your own Realtor directly for information on properties or to arrange a viewing. Realtors are not permitted to interfere with existing relationships. If your Realtor is not available to show you properties they are required to make arrangements for you.

QMy best friend works for a real estate Brokerage in Toronto and he offered to help me buy a home in downtown Ottawa. Is this a good idea?


Any Realtor licensed in Ontario may assist with a real estate transaction in Ontario. You will want to consider whether your friend is competent to provide you with advice you need. Can he explain why two seemingly similar comparable homes sell for substantially different prices? Realtors who have experienced the comparables are in the best position to present valuable insight to Buyers.

QHow do I know my offer has been presented?


Realtors are required to keep all offers received for at least one year.  This allows RECO to verify the presence of a competing offer when asked to do so.


Government Programs

Are you eligible?

Federal Government programs and incentives change over time. For the most up-to-date information, refer to the Government of Canada website 

First-Time Home Buyer’s Tax Credit

A $5,000 non-refundable income tax credit on a qualifying home.  For an eligible individual, the credit will provide up to $750 in federal tax relief.

For more information check the Canada Revenue Agency’s website

Home Buyer’s Plan

The Home Buyer’s Plan was introduced to help first time home buyers to fund their mortgage down payment. Under the program you can withdraw up to $25,000 CAD from your RRSP and use it toward purchase of your first home. If married, both you and your spouse can withdraw up to $25,000 CAD from your respective RRSP accounts.

For more information check the Canada Revenue Agency’s website

GST/HST New Housing Rebate

You may qualify for a rebate of part of the GST or HST that you paid on the purchase price or cost of building your new house, on the cost of substantially renovating or building a major addition onto your existing house, or on converting a non-residential property into a house.

CMHC Green Home Program

When you use CMHC insured financing to buy or build an energy-efficient home or make energy-saving renovations, you may qualify for a premium refund of 10% on your mortgage default insurance and a premium refund for a longer amortization period.

Buying Checklist

Set your price range before shopping for a home.
  • Determine a comfortable price range, taking into consideration your current debt obligations, foreseeable expenses, risk tolerance and lifestyle.
  • Pay down loan and credit card balances as lenders will review your income, debts, down payment, and credit score.  Obtain a credit report and correct any errors.
  • Obtain a written pre-approved mortgage from your lender or mortgage broker. This will give you the confidence of knowing exactly what you can spend on a home and protect you against interest rate increases while looking.
  • Calculate your down payment while allowing sufficient cash for deposit to accompany an offer, closing costs and improvements.
  • If you are contemplating buying without having sold your current home, discuss the risks with your Realtor and understand potential consequences.
  • Investigate whether Mortgage Life Insurance, Disability Insurance or Job Loss Mortgage Insurance is worthwhile for you.
  • If schooling is important to you, do your due diligence.  Many schools do not allow students from outside their boundaries, which are subject to change.
  • If you are currently renting, review the terms of your lease.  When delivering notice to vacate at the end of your tenancy, use only forms provided by the Landlord and Tenant Board.
After your purchase
  • Discuss you pre-closing obligations with your lawyer.
  • If chattels were included in ‘good working order,’ confirm their condition and report any issues as soon as possible.

New Builds

Realtors can add ‘no cost’ value.

Developers commonly cooperate with and encourage Realtors to introduce clients to their offerings. Let your Realtor make the initial contact with the developer to confirm compensation and to minimize or eliminate your out of pocket expenses.

The developer’s team is working for the developer, not you. You deserve loyalty and good counsel to protect your rights and secure you with the best outcome.

We can suggest favourable contract terms, financing options and finishing selections. Our critical eye and suggested design changes can make a big difference to the builder’s proposed floor plan.

Buying a Condominium?

The purchase price from most developers includes HST and assumes you qualify for the HST rebate. If you or your immediate family do not intend on occupying the property, you will not qualify for the rebate.

In Ontario you have ten calendar days after receiving a fully signed and executed agreement to change your mind without penalty. This is known as a cooling off period.

Interim occupancy is the period from the date the buyer is given access to the property until the closing of the transaction, which can only occur after the Condominium is registered. The interim occupancy fees include condominium fees, taxes and the amount it would cost to borrow the balance of the monies owing to the developer.

Buyers should understand potential delays in construction and the developers right to make revisions without seeking consent.

QWhat is Tarion and do all builders need to be registered?


Tarion administers the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act and sets the standards for builder licensing and after sales service.  If the builder cannot or will not fulfill their warranty obligations Tarion will step in.

Since 1976 the Ontario’s new home warranty program has paid out hundreds of millions of dollars in warranty claims.

It is illegal in Ontario for builders to build and sell a new home without being a registered builder with Tarion. It is also illegal for builders not to enroll the new build into the warranty program.



Assess your Financial Readiness

Talk to an expert

Using a mortgage broker to find the lender with terms best suited for you can benefit your credit rating as you are not ‘shopping around’. Each time a bank pulls a credit check it can have a negative impact on your credit score.

It may surprise you to learn you may not have the negotiating power with your bank equal to that of a mortgage broker. Their business with lenders may trump your years of loyalty. In addition, lenders regularly solicit mortgage brokers and make them aware of special promotions with more competitive rates.

If you have your information ready, a mortgage broker can usually provide mortgage commitments within 48 hours, much faster than most banks.  Having confidence that you can move forward with an unconditional offer can make a difference in competing offer situations.

Interest Rate Commitment

Posted rates are negotiable. It is prudent to negotiate a rate and have it locked in for the longest period of time possible. Banks typically offer 120 day commitments and longer in the case of homes yet to be built. Locking in an interest rate protects you against rising rates while you shop for your home.

Latest Interest rates offered by the top lending institutions

Existing Financing

Sellers are bound to the terms of any existing mortgage on their home.  There can be substantial financial penalties to discharge a mortgage prior to its maturity date. A seller may consider transferring (porting) their mortgage to another property or asking the buyer to assume their mortgage in an effort to minimize their penalty.

Bridge Financing

Juggling buying and selling can be tricky.  Bridge financing is available when a seller has a firm, unconditional offer on his/her home.  In this case the Lender will provide the funds needed to bridge the gap between closing dates.

If you are making an unconditional offer to purchase a home without having sold your current home, please consult with your mortgage broker/lender to discuss your financing options.

Mortgage Default Insurance

When you buy a home with less than a 20% down payment, the mortgage needs to be insured against default. Mortgage insurance will compensate the lender, NOT you for potential losses in the event of default.

Mortgage default insurance enables you to purchase a home with a minimum down payment of 5% (10% for multi-unit dwellings) and generally adds .6% to 4% to the cost of the amount borrowed.

Mortgage Insurance is available through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), Genworth Canada, and Canada Guaranty Mortgage Insurance Company.

Home Buying Calculators

Easy to use mortgage tools to help you establish your financial situation, determine how much house you can afford and the maximum price that you should be considering.

Mortgage Payment Calculator
Determines how much and how often your payment will be. Compare options and find one that’s right for you.

Debt Service Calculator
Allows homebuyers to evaluate their financials and understand how much they can comfortably afford to spend on a mortgage.

CMHC Premium Calculator
Estimates the premium payable when you are purchasing a home. Simply enter the purchase price, down payment and amortization period.

Household Budget Calculator
Compares your income with your current or planned expenses and debt payments to determine your budget.

Mortgage Affordability Calculator
Estimates the maximum mortgage you can afford.

Land Transfer Tax Calculator
Estimates the land transfer tax you will pay when purchasing a home.

Buyer’s Costs

Avoid surprises.  

Real Estate Commission

The compensation owing to your Realtor for their services is usually included in the purchase price. There must be an agreement in writing between the buyer and seller and Realtors involved on this point before proceeding with an offer.

Harmonized Sales Tax (HST)

All services, including legal fees, home inspections, appraisals, labour for renovation, moving costs and real estate fees are subject to HST. Effective July 2010 the HST rate in Ontario is 13%. HST applies to new homes priced over $400,000 and substantially renovated homes.

The Federal government offers a GST/HST New Housing Rebate program providing a rebate on part of the GST or the federal part of the HST paid on the construction, or purchase of most newly constructed or substantially renovated houses when used as a primary place of residence.

This link may help you determine whether or not your home would be deemed ‘substantially renovated’ by Revenue Canada

Land Transfer Tax

This is a mandatory provincial tax payable on all home purchases made in Ontario. Effective January 1, 2017, it is calculated as follows: 0.5% of purchase price on the amount up to and including $55,000

This link may help first time home buyers determine whether they are entitled to a rebate for land transfer tax (up to a maximum rebate of $2000)

CMHC Insurance Fees

Mortgage insurance is calculated as a percentage of the loan and based on the size of your down payment. The greater the percentage of the amount you borrow, the higher the percentage you will pay in insurance premiums. Premiums can vary dependent on your financial standing and employment, ande can be added to the loan amount

Visit CMHC’s website here for more information.


The deposit is a requirement of the Agreement to Purchase and will form part of your down payment. It is usually held by the listing brokerage in a trust account until the completion date of the sale.The deposit is negotiable between buyer and seller but will usually be a minimum of $5000 and increases with the value of the property.

Home Inspection

The cost will vary between inspectors. Costs may increase if the property is large, or the scope of the inspection is more specialized (unique or older properties) On average the costs are $500-$800.

Legal Fees

Costs vary by firm and property but reflect a lawyer’s services in a real estate transaction. Expect the base rate to be $800.

Some firms quote fees including disbursements and additional closing costs that may include: title search, deed registration, mortgage registration, tax certificate, status certificate, compliance certificate, zoning and building department searches, utility searches.

Subject to Adjustments

Buyers must be prepared to pay the balance of the purchase price, subject to adjustments, on closing date. If property taxes and condominium fees have been prepaid by a seller the buyer will be required to pay the seller back on a per diem basis.

Land Survey

Not all property transactions require a land survey. Your Sales Representative and lawyer can recommend whether a current land survey is necessary in your situation. Costs will vary, but expect to pay at least $1800.

Title Insurance

Title insurance is an insurance policy protecting residential or commercial property owners and their lenders against losses related to the property’s title or ownership.  Your lawyer may require you to purchase title Insurance even though it is not required in Ontario.

Budget at least $300 for a residential purchase up to $500,000 and typically less for condominiums.

Mortgage Application and Appraisal Fees

Budget $300 plus.

Insurance Fees

Buyers might want to consider the benefits of Mortgage Life Insurance, Disability Insurance, Job Loss insurance.

Tenant Costs

If you are currently renting, carefully review the obligations of your lease. Budget to continue paying rent until your lease expires or until an earlier termination date is mutually agreed to by both you and your landlord. In both cases, it is important for valid notice to be given.

 The Landlord and Tenant Board website contains the appropriate forms required for notices relating to tenancies.

Let our team of professionals help you today.

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