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Buying a home in Canada & Bank Accounts

Buying a home in Canada & Bank Accounts

Old Mar 29th 2021, 1:52 pm
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Cool Buying a home in Canada & Bank Accounts

Hi Folks,

Hope you are all well and staying safe in the present circumstances and I'm hoping someone knowledgeable here can help me with a situation I am trying to understand and navigate.
My wife and I along with my children plan to immigrate to Ontario this year from the UK as it has always been our goal to do so and build a life out there together for our family. My wife is a Canadian citizen and I have obtained PR status whilst my kids possess dual nationality. We want to settle in Ontario as my wife will be working in Toronto and and have decided on Oakville as our preferred location.

The housing market in Ontario is currently nuts and homes are being snapped up very quickly and unfortunately favouring the seller rather than the buyer. We have been monitoring listings and engaged a Realtor formally who will work with us to find and close a sale as and when we find the right home. We have agreed that we will capitalise on technology wherever possible to virtually view homes we are interested in and given the circumstance currently probably a good thing as physical viewings are restricted by some sellers. Whilst this is not optimum we are happy that we can view and "kick the tires" from a distance and our Realtor will serve as our hands and eyes on the ground.

Now the issue I need to get my head around (hopefully with your insights) is how can I get a deposit from the UK into Canada whilst we are here so that we can act quickly if we find a home we want? Reaching out to TD Bank earlier today it seems that whilst I can apply for an account from the UK online I cannot activate it until I visit a branch in person in Canada so that seems like a non-starter.

Sellers expect Bank Drafts to appear quickly when an offer is accepted therefore this compounds things along with the fact the houses are selling very quickly. Whilst theoretically we could make the move and rent for a short period before finding a home I'd rather have one to go to from day one. Appreciate this is not perhaps conventional but that's how we roll;-)

Any advice/insight greatly appreciated!
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Old Mar 29th 2021, 2:21 pm
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Default Re: Buying a home in Canada & Bank Accounts

I'd definitely rent somewhere first before buying.
In my work I get to a few recently sold properties and they have all gone for way over the asking price.
I think it will cool down eventually, at least I hope so.
Renting also gives you the opportunity to seek out other areas just in case Oakville isn't for you.
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Old Mar 29th 2021, 2:55 pm
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Default Re: Buying a home in Canada & Bank Accounts

If I wanted to buy a house in Oakville sight unseen (that's a stretch on the scale of "if I wanted to amputate one of my testicles"). I'd engage a lawyer in Canada, transfer the funds to the lawyer's trust account and instruct the lawyer to act at the appropriate moment by email or txt.
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Old Mar 29th 2021, 2:58 pm
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Default Re: Buying a home in Canada & Bank Accounts

Thanks DMajor and we may just have to do that if I cannot figure out a way of getting around this challenge. I too agree that the housing market out there is ridiculous currently and cannot believe how buyers are paying over the odds. I've also observed how many Realtors take much pride in publicising the fact they have secured a sale at way over the asking price and as a potential buyer I can't help but think they're going to take advantage of me.
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Old Mar 29th 2021, 3:04 pm
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Default Re: Buying a home in Canada & Bank Accounts

Technically it wouldn't be unseen although not in person @dbd33 but thanks for your suggestion re lawyer and I will explore that further. I'm not one for self mutilation so will proceed with caution with my wheelbarrow;-)
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Old Mar 29th 2021, 3:11 pm
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Default Re: Buying a home in Canada & Bank Accounts

Originally Posted by dogstar View Post
Technically it wouldn't be unseen although not in person @dbd33 but thanks for your suggestion re lawyer and I will explore that further. I'm not one for self mutilation so will proceed with caution with my wheelbarrow;-)
An advantage of the lawyer approach is that an offer supported by an email to the vendor's agent saying "funds on hand" might have more weight if it comes from a law firm, especially one known to the seller's agent. I'd write some notes on what has to be done, google "property lawyer southern Ontario", email the notes to each of them and see which one seems to be on the ball. That's how I got my tax guy and it's worked out well.
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Old Mar 29th 2021, 3:17 pm
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Default Re: Buying a home in Canada & Bank Accounts

No idea how cheap these houses are and maybe money is no issue, but advice in the Spain forum would be to never trust an estate agent (Realtor). Maybe Canada is different these days and if we're talking about houses under 50K, it's still money. A structural engineer would probably be the better person if you want to snap up a bargain that way.
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Old Mar 29th 2021, 3:22 pm
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Default Re: Buying a home in Canada & Bank Accounts

Originally Posted by Moses2013 View Post
if we're talking about houses under 50K.
We are not.
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Old Mar 29th 2021, 3:25 pm
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Default Re: Buying a home in Canada & Bank Accounts

Thanks dbd33 and I get where you're coming from. I will do some digging to determine how feasible this approach could be in our circumstances. The challenging thing I suspect will be moving at pace as it seems most of the houses are flipped rapidly and some within days of listing. Having spoken with our Realtor it seems that the listing price is almost like a "guide price" that is often seen here in the UK market. Akin to saying we will start from here and see where we get to! I saw a home go last week for 200K over asking and that to me is absurd.
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Old Mar 29th 2021, 3:28 pm
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Default Re: Buying a home in Canada & Bank Accounts

Originally Posted by dbd33 View Post
We are not.
Sorry, that was in relation to Spain. Even when we're talking about houses under 50K, nobody would advice to buy without seeing it.
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Old Mar 29th 2021, 3:32 pm
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Default Re: Buying a home in Canada & Bank Accounts

Moses2013 Thanks, I take your point.
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Old Mar 29th 2021, 3:44 pm
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Default Re: Buying a home in Canada & Bank Accounts

Originally Posted by dogstar View Post

I saw a home go last week for 200K over asking and that to me is absurd.
A job I recently did in Brantford, (about 70kms west of Oakville) was listed for $379k and sold for $625k - that's not uncommon now..
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Old Mar 29th 2021, 3:53 pm
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Default Re: Buying a home in Canada & Bank Accounts

Originally Posted by dogstar View Post
Thanks dbd33 and I get where you're coming from. I will do some digging to determine how feasible this approach could be in our circumstances. The challenging thing I suspect will be moving at pace as it seems most of the houses are flipped rapidly and some within days of listing. Having spoken with our Realtor it seems that the listing price is almost like a "guide price" that is often seen here in the UK market. Akin to saying we will start from here and see where we get to! I saw a home go last week for 200K over asking and that to me is absurd.
In a hot market the seller tries to set up an auction format so they'll say "offers Monday at 6". They'll often have set the price deliberately low to encourage bidders to enter the fray. They'll have had a home inspection done so as to encourage offers with no conditions. One of my daughters sold her house in Toronto in that manner and the process went until 10pm with the agents shuffling back and forth from their cars; four hours of ever increasing bids.

Another of my children is bidding on a townhouse this evening. Their opening bid is "list, no conditions", they can go up 30% from there. They don't think they're really in the running but, if you don't play you can't win. They'll be bidding by WhatsApp which I suppose you could do from anywhere.

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Old Mar 29th 2021, 3:56 pm
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Default Re: Buying a home in Canada & Bank Accounts

I have to say that having discovered what the market is like in Ontario it is somewhat disheartening DMajor . We may well have to rent and hope that the market does cool down at some point and whilst waiting is frustrating and no guarantee that it will happen may be the better option. We're really keen on Oakville but may have to re-evaluate and consider an alternative location that is more sensibly priced, if such locations exist.
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Old Mar 29th 2021, 4:05 pm
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Default Re: Buying a home in Canada & Bank Accounts

The scenario you outline dbd33 is exactly what I have observed and deduced and in line with what I have gleaned from our Realtor. We're kind of lucky that my father in law is a Realtor in Edmonton,AB and he has given us some good advice. Challenge we have is that our budget is literally the list price of the kind of homes we are looking at and want to live in. So now from that perspective the option I see is to reset our expectations and think smaller which is obviously hard to stomach as the last thing we want is to be servicing debt beyond our tolerance.

Thanks for sharing your insight.
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