The real estate market in Toronto

Property in Toronto
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Updated 2019-04-30 14:36

For anyone who intends to stay more than a day in Toronto, the first question to answer is where exactly are you going to stay in Canada? Before getting to Toronto, you ought to have made arrangements for a house you will spend your first few nights. Looking for a house to rent in Toronto has been made less tasking by technology, yet it is still important not to get stranded in the airport. While booking your flight, you should as well login to Airbnb.com or Hostelworld.com to book a temporary apartment.

Buying property in Toronto

The price for properties in Toronto and the rest of Ontario is continuously on the way up. In 2017 and 2018, some houses have seen an increase of 30% in their value. According to Radio Canada, in February 2017, the average price for a property was CAD 859.186 in Toronto and CAD 885.508 in the rest of Ontario. To counter this increase, the provincial government has decided to create a 15% tax for foreign investors who are neither permanent residents nor Canadian citizens.

If you did not run away after seeing the price of a house in Toronto, you can check the classified ads or walk around your favourite neighbourhoods looking for signs indicating a house is for sale. You can also contact the various real estate agencies of Toronto that you can find in the Yellow Pages. You must note that if you are not a permanent resident or a Canadian citizen, it will be challenging to get a mortgage.

Alternatives to buying property

After your first few days in Toronto, you can start to look for permanent accommodation. Most landlords have a 'For Rent' sign in front of available houses. Before renting out their houses, most landlords, though not all of them, demand to see a letter from your most recent or current employer stating your annual income, your bank statements proving you have enough money to pay for your first two or three months' rent, and a reference letter from previous landlords vouching for your good behaviour. So, bear that in mind while going to meet any landlord. Finding a house to rent in Toronto is a big deal as the demand is more significant than the offer. With persistence, however, you are sure to find a house. This scarcity is one reason why it is advisable to probably live in a shared apartment initially and use that as your base in trying to find a place of your own.

To make your search more fruitful, you should arrive in Toronto around the middle of the month as rentals tend to start within the 1st of every month with more openings around the 15th of the month as some tenants move out from an old apartment into new ones. Coming in the middle of the month will allow you to rent the houses tenants just moved out of or give you enough time to start looking for new houses towards the 1st day of the next month.

Websites like Zillow.com, Housinganywhere.com, Craigslist and Kijiji offer both for rent and for sale houses in Toronto.

Renting a home in Toronto

Most landlords require half of the house's monthly rent paid up as a security deposit before you are allowed to move in. It is common to find unfurnished houses; hence it becomes your duty to get them furnished. Sometimes, the tenant may also have to pay for the cost of water, electricity and other amenities if they are not included in the rent.

Leases are mostly for a fixed-term, usually a year. Once a fixed term elapses it could be renewed for another term of one year or leased on a month-to-month basis.

Sometimes, rents may be increased by the landlord after the house has been let. But by provincial law, the tenant must be notified of such increase 90 days before it is implemented. Again such increase can only occur once every 12 months. The rate of this increase is legally 1.8% of the current rent but could be increased to 4.0% upon the landlord's request for special permission.

Property scams

Houses in Toronto vary in prices according to taste, size, type and location. Every first timer to Toronto must understand that scammers recognise that you're not well acquainted with the city yet. They want to use your ignorance as leverage in duping you. Some of them also capitalise on your desperation to find somewhere to stay, and so they advertise non-existent houses only to run away with your money as soon as you have paid them. It is essential you verify everyone you are doing a transaction with to avoid being duped. Most of these scammers are online, but some also paste fake properties in streets and even on local newspapers and magazines. Do not just pay for any vacant space you see, check it out first and verify you are dealing with someone genuine!

Useful links:
Apartments for Rent
Toronto real Estate
Moving to Canada

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