An information seminar for first-time home buyers was held on March 19 by a real estate agent, a financial planner and a mortgage agent.

Toronto newcomers learn about buying homes

Eatonville Library hosts tell-all session on buying a home for the first time

Satish brought his family to Canada three months ago to be closer to relatives in Toronto. Knowing only what he could find online about buying a home here, he was eager to talk to a professional about the in’s and out’s of Toronto housing.

“We wanted to meet some real people who can actually talk about it face-to-face, rather than just going online,” said Satish, who didn’t want his full name used.

To his delight, Eatonville Library hosted a seminar on Monday for first-time home buyers.

Satish appreciated being able to talk to professionals in a group setting about the city’s housing market.

The attendees, many new to the country, had plenty of questions to ask the mortgage agent, real estate agent, and financial planner who hosted the event. The housing market experts covered topics like picking the right home, budgeting money, and how to improve one’s credit score.

The seminar was a first for its hosts, said Roger Travassos, a real estate agent at RE/MAX Edge Realty. Mortgage agent Lisa Okun came up with the idea, to bring together three industry professionals who could educate people about how to go about getting a home in the city.

“I was thinking about what the best way is to help a first-time home buyer,” Okun said. “If we did a panel, it would be helpful for people, that was the idea behind it. To help first-time home buyers get all their ducks in a row so that they’re ready.”

Satish said he was impressed with what he learned about Toronto’s housing market, and he appreciated being able to ask questions throughout the presentation.

He was curious about the difference between buying a resale home and a brand-new home, Satish said. That’s why he raised his hand during the seminar to ask about it, to which Travassos responded that a buyer doesn’t have to pay HST on the total price of an old home, whereas buyers of new homes do. Satish said he was happy with that response.

The hosts agreed the turnout and the curiosity of the attendees would prompt them to hold another information session like this in the future.

Financial planner Liz Schieck said the best part was its accessibility to the public.

“I love providing information in a forum that everybody can get access to, that’s a free event for people to attend.”