Your New Year’s resolution for 2017 is to finally stop paying rent to someone else and start investing in your own future with the purchase of your first home. The catch? You’re looking in Hamilton and you’ve heard the horror stories: first-time buyers priced out of the market in bidding war after bidding war. Don’t lose heart. These five tricks will give you a leg up on the competition, and have you buying your first home—in Hamilton—this year.
#1 Buy from a builder
When you buy a preconstruction home, the price listed by the builder is the actual price you’ll pay—which means no bidding wars. Look for a builder that requires a smaller deposit, so you’ll have longer to put together the balance of your down payment. (At DiCenzo Homes, we’ve consistently kept our townhome deposit to less than 10 per cent, but deposits can be as high as 20 per cent of the purchase price.) Be smart about the upgrades you purchase with your preconstruction home to keep your costs even lower—check out our tips for the best upgrades for resale value and best upgrades for day-to-day convenience.
#2 Pre-register for the best deal
If you’re buying a new home, you’ll get the best value if you purchase during opening or VIP events for the first phase of construction. Those that pre-registered for our Paradise Townes new home development (now sold out) and bought on opening night received special pricing that saved them up to $25,000. To avoid missing out on event announcements, follow new home builders on social media and pre-register for developments that you’re interested in. (Don’t forget to register for our Foothills of Winona!)
#3 Buy a townhouse
Affordability may be the most attractive “pro” in the townhouse vs. house debate. According to Winona real estate agent, Les Mekli, townhomes generally cost two-thirds of the price of a single family home. Buyers looking for less expensive options are actually driving multi-unit construction in Hamilton, with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation estimating townhomes and other multi-unit residential construction will make up as much as 58 to 60 per cent of new construction projects in the area.
#4 Purchase on the outskirts
Our years of experience in new home construction has shown that it costs more to build—and buy—in urban areas. Look for a home outside Hamilton’s urban area where price increases have been less alarming, such as Winona, Binbrook and Flamborough.
#5 Apply for the land transfer tax refund
Starting January 1, 2017, first-time home buyers who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents are eligible for a refund on 100 per cent of the land transfer tax for homes up to $368,000 (which amounts to $4,000 in your pocket). Some builders automatically apply for this refund on behalf of their first-time home buyers. If yours doesn’t, don’t forget to do it for yourself—and put the money on your mortgage.