First Time Home Buyers

You’ve probably been thinking about it for a while and finally it’s time…you are ready to buy a house in the London, Ontario area.

Have you asked yourself the big questions?

  • Do you have the necessary financial management skills?
  • How financially stable are you?
  • Have you considered all the costs involved in home ownership, including mortgage payments, repairs and maintenance?
  • Are you able to devote the time required for maintaining the home?

Which Home is Right for You?

Once you have a good idea about your finances, you’ll need to to decide details about the home you would like to buy. Think about your current and future housing needs, location, the characteristics that are important to you in a home.

These are good places to start your search:

  • The Internet
    Check out real estate websites, such as These websites give information and pictures of a wide range of properties. Most sites let you search by location, price, number of bedrooms, and other features.
  • “For Sale” signs
    Drive, bike or walk around a neighbourhood that interests you and look for “For Sale” signs.
  • Visit new development sites
    If you are looking for a newly built home, you can view models and get information from builders.

The Buying Process

Making an Offer to Purchase

Once you have found your dream home we will work to prepare your offer, officially called The Agreement of Purchase and Sale.  The Agreement of Purchase and Sale is a legal document and utmost care should be taken in preparing this document.

An agreement will typically included:

  • Names
    Your legal name, the name of the seller and the legal civic address of the property.
  • Price
    The price you are offering to pay.
  • Things included
    Any items in or around the home that you think are included in the sale should be specifically stated in your offer. Some examples might be window coverings and appliances.
  • Amount of your deposit
  • The closing day
    The closing day is the date you take possession of the home.
  • Request for a current land survey of the property
  • Date the offer expires (Irrevocable Date)
    After this date the offer becomes null and void — that means it’s no longer valid.
  • Other conditions
    Other conditions may include a satisfactory home inspection report, a property appraisal, and lender approval of mortgage financing. This means that the contract will become final only when the conditions are met.

What Happens After You Make an Offer to Purchase?

There are three possible responses.

  • Response 1
    The seller accepts your offer. The deal is concluded and you move on to the next steps in the buying process.
  • Response 2
    The seller makes a counter-offer. The counter-offer might ask for a higher price, or different terms. You can sign the offer back (sign-back) to the seller, offering a higher price than your original offer, but lower than the seller’s counter-offer. If the sller accepts this counter-offer, the deal is concluded.
  • Response 3
    The sller makes a counter-offer, asking for a higher price or different terms. If a counter-offer 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 counter-offer because the price is still too high, or you can’t agree to the conditions. The sale doesn’t go through, and your deposit is returned.

courtesy of CMHC

see financing for information on mortgages

Closing Day

Closing day is the day when you finally take legal possession and get to call the house your home. The final signing usually happens at the lawyer or notary’s office.

These are the things that happen on closing day:

  • Your lender will give the mortgage money to your lawyer/notary.
  • You must give the down payment (minus the deposit) to your lawyer/notary. You must also give the remaining closing costs.
  • Your lawyer/notary:
    • Pays the vendor
    • Registers the home in your name
    • Gives you the deed and the keys to your new home