Must Know Tips For American Home Buyers in Toronto

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Must know tips for American home buyers in Toronto
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Toronto is known as the 4th largest city in North America. Considering Toronto’s significant advancement as a world-class city and as the economic hub of Canada, it is not far-fetched to see the growing interest of Americans in buying property in Toronto. Also, many big American tech companies have opened new offices in Canada recently, which has led to more and more enthusiastic Americans entering the Toronto real estate market. Here are the most important tips that American home buyers must know before investing in Toronto.

1. Is it important to have citizenship or permanent residency?

When American home buyers plan to buy a property in Toronto, there is no need to have a Canadian passport. And they don’t need to be a permanent resident of Canada to buy a house in Toronto. The key point is that they just must pay15% of the purchase price as a Non-Resident Speculation tax at closing. You should also know that home ownership does not mean that you will have any residency or immigration rights.

There are conditions for those who are eligible to get back the 15% Non-resident speculation tax. You can contact us for more details!

Related articles: Home buyers most frequently asked questions

2. Investment in Toronto real estate market

Within the last 25 years, Toronto’s real estate values have been growing and many of the home and condo buyers and investors have received an incredible profit as well. As an American home buyer who has been transferred to the Toronto office and wants to buy a house in Toronto, you must know that Canada has made an official order allowing more than 440,000 immigrants a year into the country. It means this will push property values to increase and subsequently lead to more developments in future.

3. Financing

There are generally two ways to buy a property: 1) pay in cash, or 2) get a mortgage from a Canadian bank or lender. The important point for getting a mortgage for non-residents of Canada is that the Canadian banks need a minimum of 35% downpayment. Before buying a home and getting a mortgage, this amount of downpayment should be in a Canadian bank for a certain period of at least 30 days ( it might be different from bank to bank).

The good news is that Americans can have access to the same mortgage interest rates as Canadian residents. But as an American home buyer, you must come to Canada first and open a Canadian bank account. Because in order to get a mortgage, the bank should have your credit references, confirmation of income, US credit check and financial qualifications to pay your mortgage.

Read More:Mortgage as a Foreign Buyer In Canada

4. Who are you dealing with?

From the very first step up to the closing, an American home buyer is going to deal with these people to buy a house in Toronto: 1) A Top Toronto realtor who represents you as a Buyer; 2) A home inspector to check the house before the final negotiation; 3) A real estate lawyer to make all the closing arrangements; 4) A lender institution or bank to give you a mortgage (Unless you are purchasing all in cash); and 5) An insurance broker, because if you don’t have related information and experience for home insurance in Toronto, it can be tricky!

The important thing you should consider is that there are no escrow companies in Canada. So, the real estate brokerage will keep the deposits and the lawyer will transfer the money.

Related articles: How much does it cost to buy a condo in Toronto?

5. House hunting and timeline

After you clarify the mortgage bank and make sure about the financial aspect, you can happily begin your home search. There are three ways to search for a house in Canada. The first way is to search online. The difference between Canada and US listings is that those houses that are coming soon to the market won’t be listed.

Must know tips for American home buyers in Toronto

The problem for American home buyers probably would be privacy legislation, which restricts sharing the public information. It means that unlike most of the US, the information about sold price and tax history are not publicly available for house hunters in Canada. But the advantage of searching for a house online is that you don’t need to be in Canada. You can see the available video of the house or ask for Skype tours of properties you are interested in.

The second method for house hunting in Toronto is using automatic search results via Email, which can be a very effective method. Match your search with your specific preferences/needs. Then you will receive new listings within your personal parameters daily. If you are in Canada, you can also house hunt in person. This will also help you visit Toronto and really experience Canada!

6. Land of taxes

When you buy a property in Canada, prepare yourself to pay for Land Transfer Taxes, which should be paid when you take possession of the property; Municipal Property Taxes every year; and Capital Gain Taxes when you sell.

Read More: Important Things to Do After Buying a House

7. Canadian lifestyle

Maybe one of the most prominent differences between Toronto and NYC would be the fact that the further away from downtown Toronto, the more affordable the homes become. This means that the price of the house in the suburbs is lower. However, their similarity is that Toronto’s seasons almost look like NYC. So in the hot summer days, Torontonians run away and go to cottage country and enjoy the fresh air near many lakes of Ontario!

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Mark was amazing to work with. He anticipated my questions and needs from start to finish, and I trusted him completely. It was obvious that he had my best interests at heart. Mark’s personality made the search for a new home fun, but I never doubted his seriousness in finding me the best home he could. He went to bat for me without hesitation and found me exactly what I needed, taking care of every detail. It made the process exciting, enjoyable and stress free. I would highly recommend him to any future home buyers or sellers!

Breanne M


Ari is the most pleasurable person I have ever dealt with before. He never once pushed me towards anything I didn’t want, which is rare in this space and really cared about what I really wanted. You can really feel it from his actions. He catered his service to my needs. He was very patient, hard working, diligent, on top of things and real with me about the situation of the market. The quality of service was very high, not just for this industry but in general. He guided me personally through the contract process in person and made it absolutely painless. Such a reliable guy anybody would refer to their friends. I would definitely recommend Ari!

Bo L


communication throughout the entire process making it smooth, transparent and timely. I recently got transferred to Toronto for work. I was scared I was not going to find a place in Downtown that met both my expectations and my budget, as the Downtown market is highly competitive. I am thankful that Ari took the hassle out of the apartment hunt. He delivered great listings that met and exceeded my expectations, he was always on top on arranging viewings and willing to make accommodations to fit my busy schedule. This allowed me to find a desirable place on my first week here in Canada. I appreciated his time and dedication, it was such a relief knowing that he was invested on my best interest. I can’t recommend him enough.



Ari was quick to understand my needs and steer me in the right direction. His professionalism and warmth made the process of finding a suitable home a lot less stressful than it could have been. He quickly arranged times to visit places I was interested in, which was one of the reasons I could seize a good deal and get a nice home in a good location. He is patient, friendly and knowledgeable and he definitely provides an above average service. I have nothing but good things to say about him and recommend him to everyone looking for a realtor.

Dario Machado


Dear Ari, I wanted to thank you for finding me my dreamed condo ! Ari is a very reliable and dynamic person, thanks to his professionalism he found me the perfect condo in less than 24 hours !! As a newcomer in Toronto, I was not familiar with renting process but Ari made it easy, fast and really stress free for me, he was very helpful. I am really happy for the high quality of the service he provides and I will recommend him to everybody without a doubt.



Oh Ari, In this crazy game of downtown real estate it is quite difficult to find an agent that is timely, true to his word, and a joy to be around. Not only did you make the search process very easy but how quick you put everything together when I was ready to make an offer was phenomenal. The online process really saved me a lot of time and explained everything very well. Most of all though your attitude and humor really made things enjoyable and you were very accommodating to whomever I brought with me on my viewings. I would definitely refer Ari to anyone looking for property downtown. He won’t disappoint.



Hey Ari, I’ve had a few experiences with agents trying to find me a unit in the past, and not all of them I’ve had a helpful experience with. Ari was very friendly and attentive to my needs. It was clear he understood what I was looking for and provided me with lots of great options! He found me a great unit under my price range that I love and made the process of applying and renting it so easy. He did all the leg work and the only thing he needed me to do was sign my name. If anyone is looking for an agent to help find them a place to live I’d send them to Ari without a doubt.

Megan D