How to Buy Land in Ontario

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There are tons of ways to invest your money in Ontario, even though some methods are relatively safer than others. Lands have always been a valuable asset to considering when thinking of investing.

While some investors purchase vacant lands for immediate development, others buy to let the value appreciate with time. Also, purchasing land close to your home can increase the total value.

When considering buying vacant or raw lands in Ontario, some strategies will help you make the best purchase decision. This article will walk you through what you should know about buying land in Ontario.

Land Purchase

A land is an endless option for developers, whether resident or commercial. With the land you have, you can do anything you want with it. You can either build yourself a perfect home or start a new industry if it is a commercial area.

Alternatively, you can sell a portion of the land or the whole land to an investor in case of any emergency, without having to take out a loan.

It can be a great retirement plan. If the land is fertile, it can be used for agriculture. You can start a farm, a garden or a plantation. By doing so, you can enjoy your retirement period and make an income from it. Having different kinds of income can provide you and your family a stable future.

Lands can also be conserved for the future as it requires low maintenance. The possibilities of things you can do with land are endless as long as it is suitable for your plans.

Why Buy a Land in Ontario?

For many Canadians, the dream of becoming a homeowner includes building a new home from scratch on their land. Although most people purchase existing homes and make changes to suit their preferences, there are still people interested in building rather than buying.

For investors, however, it is different. The prospect of making money from land sales is enticing. Buying commercial land in Ontario and other provinces in Canada is a long-term investment plan.

Regardless of the agenda for the land – whether to build or hold it in a rising market and wait to sell at a profit, the land will also come in handy for whoever possesses it.

So you might be thinking, why Ontario and not some other province in Canada? Below are some of the reasons why you should consider buying land in Ontario, Canada:

With a vast population and vast area, Ontario is Canada’s second-largest province in total land area. It is a society that thrives with multiculturalism and tolerance. Niagara water wall is the center of attractions for the tourists, and it is prominent for its natural diversity, site seeing, parks, lakes etc.

People are mostly attracted to the recreational activities that Ontario’s natural environment has to offer. Its vast culture has caught the attention of artists, tourists, immigrants and showered pride for Canada as a country. Ontario promotes summertime activities like swimming, boating, baseball, hiking, camping, fishing and sports and wintertime activities such as skating, skiing, hockey and curling. It is also the central economic hub in Canada.

Types of Land in Ontario

  • Residential Land

When buying residential land in Ontario, you must ensure that the title is clear. This is because lands with liens attached to them could be trouble at the end of the day. Checking the title is part of the due diligence that a title company does. You can also hire an attorney to evaluate all the paperwork linked with the land purchase.

Also, if you want to build a single-family home, ensure that the zoning permits that, as in some areas in Ontario, only multi-family buildings are allowed.

  • Vacant or Raw Land

When considering buying vacant or raw land in Ontario, you must ensure it has access to services like social amenities. You have to be sure that these amenities are available, and you don’t have to source them yourself.

  • Commercial Land

Before closing that deal on commercial land in Ontario, be sure you are comfortable with the provincial law governing what can be built there. Request for the zoning on the land before buying.

It is advisable to have a construction plan handy before purchasing residential or commercial land in Ontario. This will enable you to buy land that will match local zoning regulations.

More significantly, it is crucial to understand the value of the land you are buying when it comes to vacant or raw land in Ontario. The worth of the acreage you want to purchase will depend on several factors like proximity, transportation, public amenities, etc.

If you are not a resident of Ontario, it is recommended that you enlist the service of a residential or commercial realtor to source the best plot of land for your plan.

Steps to Buying Land in Ontario

  • Land search

The first step towards getting land is to search for land for sale in your preferred location. You can search online, drive through the area you are looking to buy, tell friends and family (referrals), etc.

  • Do your research

Once you are able to find land, do not be in a hurry to buy. Research the land; check the zoning laws, plans, accessibilities, environmental testing, survey, land title etc. Ensure everything is to your liking.

It is also advisable that you research a real estate agent to help you through the process.

  • Financing

How do you plan to finance your purchase? You can buy in cash, via bank transfer, mortgage insurance or loan. Whatever way you plan to finance your land purchase, ensure to get all documents in order.

  • Make an offer

How much are you willing to pay for the land? Make an offer to the seller in writing as in real estate transactions; a verbal agreement is not valid. In your proposal, you can state any information that you think might affect the value of the land.

Be sure to include the price you are offering, the location of the land or parcel number, and contingencies. Contingencies protect you when you encounter something unsatisfactory during the inspection period.

  • Make a down payment

Down payment will show you are a serious buyer. Once you make a down payment, you can still back out of the deal for any reason listed in the contingencies. Note that if the cause is not listed, the seller gets to keep the money.

  • Final Evaluation

At this stage, you can explore the property on foot to know the perimeters and shape of the property. It will also give you the chance to confirm any findings gotten from doing a land survey/title check.

  • Final Payment

Once you are satisfied with the land during the inspection period, you can proceed with payment. Ensure that all transactions are documented, and you have receipts.

Down Payment Cost of Land in Ontario

Generally, once you decide to go for a particular plot(s) of land, you will be required to make an average of 5% down payment for the land. Expect to pay 20% or more if you are financing your purchase with a loan without mortgage insurance.

If you are taking out a land loan, you’ll make a 20% – 50% down payment. Usually, the payment varies per lender, the land and the utilization of the land.

However, if you do not have the required down payment, you can put down your other prime real estate in Canada with a lot of equity. This will be used as collateral for your loan; it can either reduce or eliminate the need for a down payment.

Other things you should know

Note the following when planning to buy land in Ontario

  • You must pay the Ontario land transfer tax once you purchase or sell land in Ontario
  • Most municipalities in Ontario have bylaws for designated areas – residential, commercial or agricultural purposes. Ensure to read through what is allowed and what is prohibited before signing the contract with the seller.
  • If the nearby area is zoned for non-residential purposes, you might find industries, business organizations and factories built in your neighbourhood.
  • Nearby water sources can lead to hazards like drowning, especially among kids.
  • Is the land located in a high-traffic area?
  • Are there trains near the property?
  • Are there any kinds of harmful industries?

The above are factors you should take into account before sealing a land deal.

Conclusion

If you are interested in investing in the long term, the best option is buying land. Consulting a lawyer to ensure all steps are legal will save you a lot. It is advisable to do thorough research about the land, soil, and neighbourhood.

Don’t ever agree to buy/sell a property on someone else’s behalf if you are not a realtor. Also, never sign on the dotted line without doing due diligence. Make your payments through the bank to have solid proof of your transactions with the seller.

Ensure to make a copy of any transactions you make. Conduct a land survey to know your boundaries and focus on long-term investments to provide more stability.

Stay within your financial limits because taking a loan or going into debt could hurt your finances. Buy the land through a verified seller and ensure it is suitable for your plans and valuable in the long term.

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Avid researcher, freelance writer, and personal finance enthusiast passionate about financial education and literacy.

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Kareena Maya

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Kareena Maya is a freelance writer focused on the personal finance and travel spaces. He frequently writes about credit cards, banking, student loans, insurance, travel rewards and more. His work has been featured in publications such as Forbes Advisor, Bankrate, Credit Karma, Finance Buzz, The Ascent and Student Loan Planner.

Kareena Maya is a freelance writer focused on the personal finance and travel spaces. He frequently writes about credit cards, banking, student loans, insurance, travel rewards and more. His work has been featured in publications such as Forbes Advisor, Bankrate, Credit Karma, Finance Buzz, The Ascent and Student Loan Planner.