Tips for Overseas Canadians Purchasing Property

03 February 2016
Forest HIll

With the Canadian dollar at a discount, it is an opportune time for people working abroad to purchase property in Canada.

Location Is Important

Location is key, near transit (especially subways, streetcars, bus routes, and highways), close to schools and parks, and amenities such as grocery stores and banks.


In general, houses appreciate more than condos, due to land value. Houses may require more maintenance (yard, driveway, furnace, roof, windows, etc). Due to a lack of low-rise houses (semi, detached, freehold townhouses) in Toronto, be prepared with a large budget, and for a bidding war (multiple offers).


Condos are well-situated in the urban core, and due to supply, there is a good choice. Consider purchasing a 2 bedroom over a 1 bedroom plus den (or smaller), as the budget allows, as the former are more desirable. Having more than 1 bath is also good. Parking will help a unit sell faster, although this is becoming less important with the young generation opting not to have cars, relying on transit, taxis or walking.

Cash Flow

For investors, cash-flow is all important: In order to be cash-flow positive or cash-flow neutral, the rent needs to exceed or at least cover the monthly fees (mortgage, property taxes, maintenance fees, vacancies, fees of any property manager etc).

Utilities (electricity, internet, cable, heat) are paid by the tenant.

Maintenance Fees

Maintenance fees in a condo building are not regulated, and can continue to increase. Therefore, it is important to find a building where the fees are reasonable.

Generally, newer condo buildings have lower fees. These fees may increase by year 3 or 4. Buildings with swimming pools may have higher fees. A building with more units has more owners to share the fees with.

Condo townhouses have few amenities (parking, BBQs allowed on balconies, sometimes a party room), and therefore lower fees.

About Forest Hill Real Estate and Me

Forest Hill Real Estate has been servicing our buyer/seller clients for over 30 years throughout Ontario.

I have worked with a number of overseas buyers, purchasing property for investment, or to use personally. Having worked and lived abroad, I understand the challenges of being kept updated on local matters. Please contact me if I can be of help.  647-891-9051