6 tips for Americans who are buying a second home in Toronto

Buying a second home in Toronto can be such an amazing thing for you and your family. You can use it as a vacation home and later on a place to retire. Life there is somehow calmer and safer. Let’s face it, Canada is much better suited for seniors. Before we start sharing some tips, there is something you should know as a U.S. citizen buying a home in Canada. It is possible for Americans to own a home in Canada without having to become permanent residents, but they must still disclose their income or sale proceeds to the tax authorities in both countries. Now that we have this sorted, we can begin.

People you need to work with in order to buy a second home in Toronto

This is not something you can DIY. You will be needing plenty of help. That help needs to be from professionals. Here is a list of everyone who will be by your side to make sure that you get the perfect home in Toronto for you and your family :

  • A local and licensed realtor will be by your side from the very beginning. This is a person that needs to know everything from your budget to all your wishes to make sure that you get exactly what you want and need.
  • A home inspector is a key person. You will need them to make sure that the home you like is worth the money you will be giving. They can spot all potential red flags. Chances are your realtor will know a good home inspector that is nearby.
  • You might need a lender unless this is an all-cash purchase but this is something you alone will figure out with your bank.
  • You will also need an insurance broker and since you are not a Canadian resident you should know that insurance will be a bit pricier for you. Those are the rules.
  • Professional movers are the last stop for you. Movers will be there for you to make sure that all your belongings from the US come safely to your new home in Toronto but we will talk about that later on.
shaking hands after buying a second home in Toronto
Our first tip is all about showing you who can be there to help you to buy your second home.

For our second tip, we will talk a bit about home hunting and share some insights

Like many other people, you might begin your house search online. You can do it right now. Toronto is not just for renters, you have plenty of options. Unfortunately, Canada lacks both Zillow and Trulia. Fortunately, www.realtor.ca exists (Do not confuse it with the website realtor.com). You’ll probably think the Canadian real estate sites are a little outdated as an American. Zillow.com is much better obviously.  Properties that will shortly be available for sale won’t be listed. There is a lot less information online than you’re probably accustomed to mostly because of privacy laws. You will have a realtor with updated listings, so don’t worry. This is simply the start and a way for you to view the costs and other information.

House hunting in person is unquestionably the greatest approach to looking for houses if you’re considering traveling to Canada. It also gives you a terrific chance to actually see the country. Don’t worry if this is not possible for you. With the aid of your realtor and the home inspector, everything may be done online.

In case you are wondering about citizenship after buying a second home in Toronto…

Although anyone can purchase real estate in Canada, doing so does not grant you any immigration or residency privileges. And no, you won’t necessarily be able to migrate to Canada simply because you opt for buying a second home in Toronto. They have a stringent protocol that must be performed if you wish to immigrate to Canada, just like in the US, and it’s not quite as simple as most people think.

A woman wearing the Canadian flag and looking at the beautiful scenery.
You will not automatically become a citizen.

Real estate market in Toronto and Canada in general

They don’t have REOs, short sales, or foreclosures in Toronto or Canada in general. The Canadian and USA real estate markets are very distinct. People had completely different experiences when buying in both countries over the past ten years. The majority of Canada’s market is currently quite strong, and finding a “bargain” is more likely to result in a bidding war. This is especially true in a city that is popular as Toronto. People are moving here often and that’s why it’s not so easy to find a cheap home here.  This is the reason why you should engage with a neighborhood real estate professional who can assist you. Relying on professionals is a must when you are dealing when buying and moving such long-distance. Luckily movers like State to State Move have enough experience to handle this for you.

Here is a fun fact for you – deposits are lower here

In Canada, as in the US, you have 24 hours from the time your offer of purchase is accepted to give the seller a deposit. When you close on a house in Toronto, the average deposit is roughly 5% ( obviously we are talking about the purchase price) and is applied to the down payment.

Our fifth tip is a warning!

Unlike in many areas of the US, your deposit might be at risk if you change your mind and choose to not close on a house. The seller will very likely be entitled to keep it so be careful. We had to warn you about this because many Americans end up being surprised and not very happy about this. Now that you know, you won’t make this mistake and lose money.

A warning sign
You have been warned.

The sixth tip we have for you is regarding the home prices

Hopefully, we helped you a little bit, and now buying a second home in Toronto will be a bit easier for you. As we already said – rely on professionals and you will get the best possible deal. One last tip before we go – the prices in Toronto are at their lowest in January and February. Consider that when buying your second home.