July 24, 2023 | Buying

Inside the Hunt for a House in the GTA

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Has the time come to begin the hunt for a new house? It’s an exhilarating experience that can also be nerve-wracking, especially in the competitive and exciting GTA market. You’re about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime in one of Canada’s most dynamic cities. You may not yet be certain of the exact outcome, but you know you will need every advantage you can get to ensure your search is successful. In this post, we’ll give you the background information you need to create an effective course of action that leads you to a new home that you love!

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What Is the GTA?

When you think of the GTA, Toronto is likely the first thing that pops into mind. You picture the bustling streets of downtown, filled with activity and people popping in and out of stores and restaurants. You may also imagine the crowds and the non-stop traffic in a city that never sleeps. Toronto itself is impressive, spanning 140 neighbourhoods across 641 square kilometres and a population of close to three million.

But there is so much more to the GTA than most people realize! It covers approximately 7,125 square kilometres and consists of 25 urban, suburban, and rural municipalities. To the West, the GTA begins with the City of Burlington and doesn’t end until you reach Clarington in the East. York, Peel, Halton, and Durham are all included in the GTA, along with major cities like Markham, Vaughan, Aurora, Mississauga, Brampton, Oakville, Milton, Oshawa, Pickering, Ajax, and more. All told, the GTA has a population nearing 7 million people, making it by far the largest CMA (Census Metropolitan Area) in Canada!

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A Wide Array of Housing Options

With such an impressive geographical layout, you can only begin to imagine the types of homes you will find in the GTA. It’s hard to believe that so many structures and styles are out there, but if you imagine it, you can bet it exists somewhere. Here are a few types you may discover in your online or offline travels:

  • Sparkling new condos along the shores of Lake Ontario
  • Century-old heritage homes in Victorian, Edwardian, Colonial, Georgian styles and more!
  • Old bungalows on large lots offering renovation or opportunities to rebuild
  • Spacious, custom-built homes with floor-to-ceiling windows
  • Townhouses, stacked townhouses, and row houses, old and new
  • Semi-detached homes, complete without parking and outdoor space
  • Detached homes, big and small, bungalows, split levels, two-storeys, three-storeys and more!

Whether you’re searching for a sprawling estate or a modest condo to break into the market, you will have nearly unlimited options in the GTA. That’s the good news! The bad news is that with the growing population and rising demand, you may also have plenty of competition when searching for your new home.

Making a Compelling Offer

Buying during a busy seller’s market can be a challenging venture. If other buyers have their eyes on the same home, you’ll need to place a compelling offer that stands out. Sometimes, this means being able to offer the highest dollar amount. But what if you’re not in a position to do that? 

Fortunately, not everything always has to be about the money. For some homeowners, a fast, easy sale with less work on their end might be their highest priority. Others may value a flexible closing date or a firm offer. Getting to know the homeowner and their motivations can often give you an edge you didn’t expect. Here are a few more ideas that can help you craft an offer sellers will love:

  • Get a pre-approval before placing your offer. This shows that you are a serious buyer and that you qualify for a mortgage. Plus, it enables you to drop the condition of financing because you’re already approved.
  • Consider making a firm offer if you can. Buyers often use clauses like home inspections to protect themselves. The problem is that sellers hate conditions as they make the transaction more complicated. If they have the choice between an unconditional offer and a conditional one, they’ll often choose the former, even if the dollar amount is slightly less.
  • Increase your deposit amount. A higher deposit means less risk to the seller in the unlikely event that you back out or the transaction falls through for any reason. If you’re in competition with another buyer and everything else is equal, this might be the one thing that puts you over the edge.
  • Have a bank draft of your deposit ready with your offer. This shows that you are a serious buyer who means business!
  • If the sellers have been there a long time, consider writing a heartfelt letter about how much you love the home. Selling can be an emotional experience, and some homeowners want to be sure their house will be in good and loving hands when they move on. When nearly everything else is equal, this added personal touch can go a long way toward getting your offer accepted.

While there is no guarantee that a homeowner will accept your offer, making it as compelling as possible means you are more likely to become the proud new owner of a home in the GTA. It might take time and a little patience, but it will be well worth it once you turn the key.

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Your GTA Negotiating Experts

Once you place your offer, there’s not much you can do except wait on pins and needles for the seller to respond. They might accept right away, and your celebrations can begin! They can also reject your offer outright, and you’re back to the beginning. Or, more often, there will be some back and forth before you come to an agreement. This is where it helps to have a local GTA Realtor® with negotiation skills to work on your behalf. 

With their expertise and a little luck on your side, you will find and secure a home you love at a great price and terms that work for you.

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Home At Last!

You have successfully navigated the fast-paced GTA real estate market, and a huge congratulations is in order! The paperwork is signed, and it’s onto more practical matters. Now you can begin decorating to make your new house feel like home and have fun exploring your neighbourhood!

Are you ready to begin the exciting process of house hunting in the GTA? We are here to guide you step by step until you find your new home. 

Are you ready to begin the exciting process of house hunting in the GTA? We are here to guide you step by step until you find your new home. Reach out today at info@teamrajpal.com or call 647-875-8000 for more information or to get started.

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