Buying a home in Canada

When I look long term life and a place to raise a family, I am looking to buy a house.

I would like to know a bit of feedback on Real State in Canada, have the following questions -

  1. Being on PR can one buy a home?
  2. Do we need to pay any extra TAX being a foreign national residing in Canada while buying home?
  3. What is the average cost of home in suburbs, with great school district, I know its an open ended question, but what I am looking for, for instance Single Family Home in East Palo Alto - good School District, old home, 1500 sq ft 750K USD or Single Family Home in Round Rock, TX - good school district, new home, 2500 sq ft - 300K USD. Where does the it fall in Canadian Suburbs of Toronto/Vancouver/etc.
  4. What is the avg price rise in realstate market in canada and place specific, for instance Avg US is 4 percent but avg RoundRock, TX is 8 percent.

Looking for your inputs.


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As a PR you have all the rights and privileges of a citizen except the right to vote and hold political office. So yes you can buy a home and no you will not have to pay any extra tax for being a foreign national. Below is a description of the new tax you mentioned, it will not apply to you.

Important! As of April 21, 2017, any individual who is not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada (including corporations and trusts) is subject to a Non-Resident Speculation Tax of 15% of the purchase price (paid at closing) for properties purchased in Toronto, Brant, Dufferin, Durham, Haldimand, Halton, Hamilton, Kawartha Lakes, Niagara, Northumberland, Peel, Peterborough, Simcoe, Toronto, Waterloo, Wellington and York. You can read the details of the Non-Resident Speculation Tax here.

Firstly you are underpricing the East Palo Alto also there are no good schools there and no one I know will go live there for various reasons :slight_smile:

The Toronto housing market is red hot. Keep in mind unlike Round Rock TX, Toronto is a major North American city and the largest in Canada. Also recently the market fell about 15% and CAD is also a little weak against USD.

The market here has everything from new condos (2+ BHK) to separate houses (4+ Backyard) all within the downtown area. The price range for that can be anywhere from 500K to 1.5M CAD. When I say downtown area I mean about 20 minutes from core downtown.

Toronto is very large spread out city and I have friends who’s chosen to live a little further away and have bought much larger houses for 700K and under. I don’t have an idea on average price rise it has gone up pretty steep and also faced a big correction.

Vancouver from what I’ve heard has one of the most expensive property prices anywhere closer to the bay area mostly due to influx of foreign money. The local job market (and salaries) in Vancouver are not so great.

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One of the reasons we want to move is to buy a house in a city near where we work. Currently its not possible for us to afford to do that also in don’t want the risk of buying house on h1b. Do you know anyone who works in toronto downtown and lives near by in a house big enough for a family with a yard and other kid friendly things near by. We don’t want to live in a condo. Will kids enjoy toronto?

@preetb - I have the same question, but I am one of those who has bought a house on H1B.

Let me take an example here - Someone like me making 80K-90K in Austin, Texas can easily afford a house. the cost of renting a 2 Bed is 1200-1400 and Monthly Mortgage is 1500-1600 on 30 Year fixed loan. Home costing 260K-270K, good school district, 15-20 miles from Work, 8000 sq ft lot, with air conditioned area of 2500 sq ft. and there is a tax rebate on property taxes and Interest, so effectively its the same amount you are paying on rent.
And one can easily buy a home with 3 percent down and create an equity for himself in long run.
This example holds good only at places which have opportunities, prices are not sky rocket (like bay area) and you are earning above median salary (for Texas its 55K).

@anon25417004 - how about the same analogy when it comes to Toronto or Vancouver or Calgary or Winnepeg. What is average package of a sr. system engineer or consultant, how about rent vs EMI study, what is cost of owning a home, how about the inventory (new vs old), travel to work, etc etc

Would be great if we can have a detailed analysis here

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I’ve seen Sr. Software Engineer salaries between 90K and 130K. Rent can be anywhere between 2K to 3.5K depending on quality, size, location within the city of Toronto. On the higher end you can get a large multi-floor house with a yard minutes from core downtown. On the lower end you can get a Condo. Some people I know live closer to downtown and walk or bike to work. Others live a drive / train ride away and own larger houses with bigger yards.

Schools are good almost everywhere. People tend to pick the neighbourhood based on parks, cultural dynamics and proximity to downtown. is a good website to get an understanding of the housing market. Keep in mind you are living within the core of a major city (Toronto is the NYC of Canada) unlike Austin which is way more spread out. Also the Toronto housing market has been heating up for a while now. Vancouver is way more expensive from what I’ve heard the other two places you mentioned will be significantly cheaper than Toronto.

In terms of detailed information on buying houses, EMI, etc I will reach out to someone who knows more and see if he’s open to answering that for us.

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Hi all,

I had a question around the loans required for purchasing the home. Is it quite easy to secure any loan without any credit history in Canada?

Appreciate the help!


Not sure about Canada. but if it’s anything like the US, with or without credit history, you’ll probably need to show proof of income/savings to secure a large loan such as home loan. After 2008 crash getting home loans has become (relatively) tougher, at least in US from what I’ve heard. I definitely know that to rent an apt, in most places, you need to show proof of income/savings.