Guide to buying a house in Canada as an American citizen

Guide to buying a house in Canada as an American citizen

You have decided to move to Canada! Congratulations are in order! But, before you start celebrating this big life event with your loved ones, be sure that buying a house in Canada as an American citizen is not going to be easy. You will have to invest a lot of your time, energy, and, of course, money in this process. And, let us not forget about investing your nerves as well! Yes, buying a house, and especially buying a house in another state can be very stressful and complex. But, fear not, as long as you know what you are doing and as long as you prepare on time you will be able to buy that house. You have us to help you out with that! We prepared a guide to buying a house in Canada as an American citizen, so keep on reading for some tips and tricks.

Start Early

First things first – if you want to buy a property in Canada as a non-resident buyer, you will need to start early. it is important to understand that buying a house in another state is something that will consume a lot of time. Of course, you can buy a house in Canada overnight as well, but you can do that only if you have an unlimited budget and if you have no specific needs. Otherwise, you will need time to look.

Ideally, buying a house in Canada as an American citizen is something that will take you a couple of months. If you plan on doing everything all by yourself, you will probably need even more time than that. Thus, be smart. Don’t leave this big process for the last minute. Start planning this real estate ‘process’ as soon as you decide you want to move to Canada.

A clock measuring the time before buying a house in Canada as an American citizen.

When buying a house in Canada as an American citizen, be sure to give yourself enough time.

Decide Where You Want to Live

Before you hire a real estate agent, we strongly advise you to do research on Different cities and neighborhoods by yourself. If you are moving for a job or any specific purpose, of course, find a location near that ‘purpose’. Trust us, you don’t want to spend your precious time commuting.

However, if you want to buy a house in Canada just because you have some money you want to invest, do a detailed research on all the cities and neighborhoods. Consider crime rates, weather conditions, available job opportunities, schools, universities, etc. Take everything into consideration as making this kind of investment is a big deal.

Make a List of Must-Haves

Another thing you should do on your own is make a list of must-haves. This list should include all the things you would want out of your new Canadian home. For instance, on that list, you should write down the following:

  • Location
  • Square footage
  • Number of Rooms and bathrooms
  • Available amenities nearby
  • Price tag

Once you know all these things, finding a house will be much faster and easier. Just think about it – if you come with this list to your real estate agent, he (or she) will be able to find you not only a house of your dreams but also a house that suits your budget and all of your needs. And, they will be able to do this in no time.

A person writing in a notebook.

Coming prepared is what will save you time, energy, and money.

Hire a Real Estate Agent

Now that you know in which city and neighborhood you want to live in and now that you know what you want out of your new house in Canada, be sure to start looking for a real estate agent. Our advice for this one is to go ‘local’. In other words, hire a Canadian realtor. A local real estate agent is the only one who understands the Canadian market. Without him, the chances of you finding a  house in Canada easily are very low. Thus, do yourself a favor, and start looking for one now.

Moreover, when speaking of people you should look for right now, we cannot but mention professional movers. When it comes to moving from America to Canada, a simple process is possible only with them. While you are buying a house in Canada as an American citizen, they will do all the moving-related tasks.

Take Care of Your Paperwork

Let us not forget about the paperwork. This may be the most boring task, but hey, it is something that must be done before you move to Canada. However, acquiring paperwork for your new house (or for your old house) is not something you should do alone. That is, for this, you will need professional help. Look for lawyers who specialize in this field. They will tell you the exact documentation you will need to gather and where to send them.

Moreover, don’t forget that you will need a lawyer when buying a house in Canada as an American citizen too! There are many laws and regulations you must follow. If you happen to miss some of them, the process of buying will be prolonged or even worse, you may not be able to buy a house at all. Don’t allow this to happen – find a lawyer who will deal with your paperwork!

A stack of paperwork.

When buying a house, be prepared for a lot of paperwork.

Have the House Inspected Personally Before Buying

Once your paperwork is taken care of and once your realtor has found the house of your dreams, be sure to pay it a visit. Yes, we live in an age of technology. And, yes, you can view and buy a home with just a couple of clicks on your phone. But, we don’t advise that! The best way to ensure you have found the right house (and to ensure there is nothing wrong with that house) is to view it personally.

If this is your first time buying a house in Canada as an American citizen, be sure to hire a professional home inspector. A professional of this kind is the only one who can tell you if there are cracks in the foundation, if the roof is leaking, or if there is a pest infestation in the basement. Thus, be sure to hire one. Only when he gives you a green light, can you sign the papers and start packing for moving to Canada.

As you have seen, there are many things you have to do before buying a house in Canada as an American citizen. We have mentioned just a couple of them, but, you already know that there is a lot more to come. So, just like previously said, if you want everything to go smoothly, start with this process early.

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