If you’re a first-time buyer and your occupancy is quickly approaching, a whole series of things you’ve never had to deal with before are about to happen. There may be some stuff you don’t understand, and some of it can actually get confusing. Don’t worry, this list will help calm the nerves.
Monthly interim occupancy fees
If you bought your first home in the Greater Toronto Area, you likely bought a condo. The thing about a condo is you could end up moving in before the building is actually complete, and it needs to be complete to be registered with the municipality.
Basically, you have to pay the developer interim occupancy fees until the title is transferred to you at final closing. You can consider this rent. The amount will vary depending on the size of your unit and other building factors.
If you bought on a lower floor and the condo is tall, you could be moving in sooner than floors above you and paying interim occupancy fees for a longer period of time. The general time frame for interim occupancy can be anywhere from three to eight months.
Shop around for your mortgage
Your mortgage payments kick in at final closing. That means you should be shopping around now for your best rates, getting your financials in order, and figuring out who your lender is going to be.
A mortgage application doesn’t take a long time, but getting all your paperwork together can, especially if you’re self-employed. If you own your own business, you will likely have to provide two years of business financials. Self-employed applicants are seen as greater risk because your income can be more inconsistent.
Plan for closing costs
We have a pretty detailed example of a breakdown of a first-time buyer’s closing costs right here. The good news is that first-time buyers are exempt from a couple of the biggest closing costs (provincial Land Transfer Tax and Toronto Land Transfer Tax).
That said, it’s common practice to have at least 2% of the purchase price set aside for closing costs. But, there are so many things that affect closing costs. For example, if the developer is offering cash back on closing, then obviously, you will owe less.
All we’re saying is when you’re preparing for occupancy, be ready for closing costs to hit you. If you move into a new condo on one of the higher floors, it could close less than a month later and then you suddenly owe a big chunk of money in addition to your mortgage!
Donate some stuff
This is probably the least stressful part about getting ready for your occupancy. It can even be therapeutic. Go through all your possessions – clothing, music, books, knick-knacks, appliances, etc. – and decide what’s garbage and what’s donatable.
Getting rid of a bunch of your stuff before packing/while packing will make the moving process that much easier, and will allow you to start your new life in your new home with only the essentials.
Pay attention to these few items as your occupancy approaches and you should be more than ready to move into your new home!