What To Do After Buying A House

I’ve written before about that fraught and tender time between purchasing a house and closing on that house. In all of our experience with buyers, this is reliably the time when buyers feel the most stressed out. This stress is often confusing to buyers because they feel like the hard part is all over. You bought a house in Toronto! Yay! That was only the very first step between you and your moving-in day. Here are four tips for surviving the stressful in-between time:

Submit to the process

When you are house-hunting, you have a lot of control over what houses you see and when you see them. Once you purchase your home, though, you’re at the mercy of the bank. It can often feel like the bank requires a lot of your time and information, and in exchange, they make you wait around biting your nails. Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do about this. This paperwork and the waiting game are some of the most stressful parts of the home-buying process.

Everything is last minute

Real estate lawyers, critical players in making sure your deal closes on time, often have several different files on the go at once. Beyond this, they are also waiting for instructions from your bank. Likely, you will not hear from your lawyer until a day or two before closing. At that point, you’ll need to rush out to the bank and get a cheque for literally hundreds of thousands of dollars to give to your lawyer to hold in trust. Buyers are often surprised that there isn’t more ceremony and notice around such large sums of money, but, alas, there isn’t.

★ For more frequently asked first-time buyer questions check out:

Plan for adjustments on closing

“Adjustments” refers to the amount of money you may owe a seller at closing that is over and above your purchase price. Homeowners pre-pay for some services, including property taxes and condo fees. If the seller of your home has paid property taxes or condo fees for some time after closing, your lawyer will tell you what you owe the seller on closing. It can be a couple hundred to a couple of thousand dollars, depending on the property.

Don’t move on your closing day

Sometimes, you sell your house and buy your place on the same day. If that happens, there’s not much you can do about moving on the same day you buy a home. However, if you can avoid it, try not to schedule movers on the day that you are closing the transaction. The time of closing depends on factors that are out of your control, such as the lawyer’s schedule, the time that the bank deposits your mortgage money into your lawyer’s trust account, and the office hours of the land transfer office. Your home could close early in the morning, or it could take all day. If you’ve booked movers and your closing is delayed, your movers will be sitting in their truck with nowhere to deliver your stuff. Paying movers by the hour is not cheap.

★ For more first-time buyer tips read:

This is all housekeeping minutiae that almost no one enjoys doing. However, it is an integral part of becoming a homeowner and planning for the process can alleviate anxiety.

As always, stay safe.

Robyn VanderVennen
The Kim Kehoe Team

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