Your comprehensive guide for moving to Ottawa

How to Buy a Home in Ottawa

Are you trying to figure out how to buy a home in Canada? The process can be tough and confusing – you might have tried to google the process and have been left with more questions than answers.  I will go over everything you need to know before looking for your home here in Canada. I will highlight key steps you need to take to make sure you don’t miss out on your dream home and ways to save you money.

Ok so now let’s get into it! Here are the steps to buy a house here in Canada. 

First of all, you will need to get your financing in order. You will want to connect with a mortgage broker and most importantly you want to do a FULL pre approval. If you have done a quick online pre approval where you typed in your income into a website- that is not enough! You will need to sit down with a mortgage broker who will review all your income and debt documents and run your credit. In my opinion this is one of the most important steps to take. Completing a full mortgage pre-approval will let you know your max budget from the start – and once you do put an offer on a house you know you are fully qualified to actually purchase it. 

Your mortgage broker will also go over your down payment. Here in Canada you will need to put at least 5% of the purchase total down. For example,  if you are purchasing a home for 500 grand your required down payment will be 25 thousand dollars. 

How much does Working with a Realtor Cost?

The next thing you need to do is connect with a Realtor to help you actually find and purchase a home. My advice is to do your research and pick a realtor who works in the neighborhood you are looking to buy. You will be working very closely with your realtor so make sure you choose someone who you like and trust! 


You might be wondering ok that all sounds great but how much does a realtor cost? As a buyer you do not pay to work with a realtor. The realtor is paid through the seller of the home you purchase. Every home that is for sale offers commission to the agent who brings them the person who buys their home, and this is how realtors get paid! 

Ottawa Realtor

Your realtor will understand what you are looking for and will show you homes. Most importantly they will negotiate on your behalf. It is essential to choose a realtor who is familiar with the market you are looking in so they have the knowledge and ability to get you the best price!

Once you have your mortgage pre approval and you have a realtor who has shown you homes the next step is putting an offer in on a home. 

This is an exciting process where you will work very closely with your realtor. In your offer you will decide a couple of things which include – your offer price, the preferred occupancy date, any conditions you’d like to include, and your deposit amount.

My Deposit is How Much...?

If you perked up when I said deposit amount here is what it is. The deposit is a financial commitment to the seller showing that you are serious about the purchase of their home and that you will follow through with the deal. The deposit can be anywhere from 1-5% of the home’s sale price. The most important thing about the deposit is that it is due 24 hours after the offer is accepted. This means that if you put an offer in on a home and it gets accepted the next day you will need to have the deposit ready to send. If you are seriously looking for homes make sure you have the deposit amount readily accessible – if you have the funds tied up in stocks or mutual funds it can take up to 3 days to actually access the money. 

Once you purchase a house you will need to fulfill any conditions you put in your offer. You might need to complete an inspection, or officially secure your financing – your offer will give you a deadline in which you will need to have these completed. 


Now let’s say your offer gets accepted and you are completing the inspection from the home and the inspection goes poorly and you are terrified about the thought of actually owning this property. You and your realtor will terminate the contract and you will get your deposit back and off you will go to look for more homes! 


Once you do successfully purchase a home you will need a lawyer to help you with all of the closing steps – most often your realtor will be able to refer you to a good lawyer. 

Your bank and lawyer will work together to collect the funds for the home – you don’t do any legwork here. Once the funds are sent from the bank to your lawyer – your lawyer will send the funds to the sellers lawyer and there you have the sale is complete. You will then get the keys to your home and you have officially purchased a house here in Canada! 

This is a very high level summary of what it takes to purchase a home in Canada. If you would like me to go more in depth on certain aspects of buying a home please mention them in the comments and I will either respond or make another video answering them!

My Deposit is How Much...?

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