4 things to know before buying a home in one of Ontario’s cities

So you’re thinking of buying a property in an Ontario city? Well, there are a few things you should know.

Ontario is known for its world-renowned cities and natural beauty, but there are plenty of things people outside of the province don’t know or understand about it. That’s not to say they’re bad, we can’t recommend Ontario highly enough! However, buying a house is a huge commitment, and you want to make sure you’re making the right decision.

Here are four things you should know before you sign the lease on that property in one of Ontario’s cities.

What the cities are like

Forget what you know about Canada, because Ontario might just surprise you.

This region is full of amazing cities for people of all types. And yes, we mean more than Toronto.

Some of the biggest and best cities in Ontario include:

  • Toronto
  • Ottawa (the region’s capital)
  • Mississauga
  • Brampton
  • Hamilton

All of these cities have their own unique value to prospective homeowners. Toronto is the largest city in the region, with a bustling arts and culture hub beneath its tremendous skyscraper skyline. Ottawa has the beautiful scenery of its neighbouring river and the reported highest living standards in the region. While Brampton has emerged as a wonderful center of industry, presenting numerous employment opportunities.

It’s important to select a city that matches both your interests and future plans. This guide from Settlement was originally designed for people immigrating to Canada but features helpful information for anyone looking to choose their home in Ontario.

What support options exist for buyers

Of course, buying a house isn’t something you do alone. In today’s modern market, purchasing a property is just as much about who you’re working with as the property itself.

Your experience can make or break depending on the quality of the real estate and legal companies you choose to work with. What they understand about the area can inform your final decision making, and ensure you’re getting your money’s worth.

Say you’re moving to Ottawa, for example. You can’t just rely on any old mortgage broker, you need the best mortgage broker Ottawa has to offer, full of in-depth knowledge of the area and the prospective value of properties within it. Search for companies such as Breezeful, which specializes in these areas and can demonstrate clear knowledge in a language you understand. Want to protect your property in Toronto? Consult a firm such as the RSA, which has years of experience providing insurance for new families, couples and individuals buying in the city.

This attitude and extra research is exactly what you should look for from anyone in the real estate industry you work with. It can be the difference between finding a property that helps you get the most out of the city, and one that only shows you the dark fringes.

How to get around

Of course, a major concern when you’re buying a property anywhere is how easy it’s going to be to get around.

Sure, you may be buying your dream Ontario home, but nobody wants to stay shackled to the same place for too long.

That’s why transport (both local and long-distance) is so important to prospective buyers. Thankfully, Ontario is full of modern cities that have sophisticated public and private transport options.

Travel between major cities and towns within Ontario is simplified too. Air travel is always an option, while bus services, such as the Greyhound, cover the entire region. Alternatively, you can travel by train with services such as VIA Rail Canada, which supports the entirety of Ontario. Public transportation is strong across the region for anyone who can’t or doesn’t drive.

You can’t rely on English everywhere

One final note is less to do with where you actually live, and more to do with your lifestyle.

English will only get you so far in some regions of Ontario. While Ontario is not monolingual like Quebec, it does have a large French-speaking population. 4.2% of the population in fact, which is the largest percentage of any English speaking province.

Ontario is currently in the process of promoting bilingualism across the country, with many bilingual schools encouraging native speakers to learn French and communicate with French-speakers across the region. A worthwhile consideration for anyone buying a house with the intention of starting a family.

Not speaking French won’t hamper your ability to live in an Ontario city, but it’s something worth recognizing to get the very most out of the province.

Of course, these are just four things you need to know before buying a home in Ontario. There’s still so much you can research before, and experience when you get there. Whichever city you land in, the house you buy and the life you choose, you’re bound to have a brilliant one in this wonderful province.

Photo: Naveen Kumar, Unsplash