Beyond the asking price here are few things people tend to sometime overlook when buying a home:

Land transfer tax

Or as I call it, un-fun money. It’s a lot and it increases as the home price increases. In 416 area, buyers pay both Toronto and Ontario land transfer tax. For example, on a million dollar home in Toronto area, the land transfer tax is $32,950. (Toronto and Ontario combined). First time buyers get a partial rebate. To calculate what your land transfer tax may be, use this handy calculator from RateHub.

Utility costs

Even though utilities costs are rarely included in the house information sheet no prospective buyer should consider a house without having an idea about what these are. The simple way to do so is to ask the seller to provide you with their last twelve months’ bills in order to understand what the seasonal effects are.


When it comes to condos not all parking spots are created equal. Before you make an offer, make sure you figure out the layout of the overall parking garage (how big, how many levels, where/what type of accesses, emergency offer and buttons/phones) as well as check out your designated parking spot and determine the likes of how close to the entry/exit it is, how close to the stairs/elevators, and how well lit it is). For women especially, parking garages can sometimes be a maker or breaker.

Maintenance costs

Especially when it comes to first-time buyer’s people tend to not realize the extent to which a house needs to be maintained and/or repaired. Maintenance costs such as furnace or AC yearly maintenance call, yard maintenance, eave troughs cleaning, window cleaning or repair costs such as roof repair/replacement or furnace replacement can be significant and should be considered (this could represent an opportunity for the development of a checklist).

Energy Efficiency

Don’t get fooled by the new coat of paints or the great furniture staging. Determining the degree to which your house is energy efficient can make a significant difference not only to the cost of your utility bills but also to the comfort and safety of your house. Ask the seller if they have completed an energy efficiency of their house (and if so ask for a copy of it). If not and in the absence of a home inspection here are few quick ways to determine if the house is efficient. How old is the insulation, is the house insulated everywhere (attic and basement included), are the appliances and windows Energy Star?

The Land

Most people get fixated by the house itself. Don’t forget however to examine the area around the house and consider issues such as flooding risk, fences location or whether a driveway is shared or not.

Ready to start looking for a new property? Give me a call or email me. I’d love to chat and learn how I can help you find your dream home.