Located in Northumberland County in eastern Ontario, Brighton is a lovely little town on the shores of Lake Ontario, known primarily for its warm community, access to nature, and stunning water views, making it not only a preferred vacation getaway but also a great place for anyone looking for an idyllic location to call home. It’s located less than two hours away from Toronto, which means the big city is just within reach. Whether it’s your first time looking for a new home or have been in the market several times, read on to learn more about the Brighton, Ontario, real estate market and find out more about the available homes for sale in Brighton, Ontario.
- Why move to Brighton, Ontario?
- The Brighton, ON real estate market
- Handy home buying tips for first-time buyers
- Find great homes for sale in Brighton, Ontario
WHY MOVE TO BRIGHTON, ONTARIO?
Ontario has always been considered a great place to live in because of the many employment opportunities, the diverse population, the countless sights to see, and the overall satisfactory quality of life that you can enjoy.
Brighton is just one of the many appealing locations in Ontario, and for many, it stands out because the community is still growing, the town is very welcoming to new residents, and living here puts you in close proximity to a number of such as Presqu’ile Provincial Park, which features one of Ontario’s longest sandy beaches and a historic lighthouse that has stood along the north shore of Lake Ontario for more than 180 years.
Moreover, the cost of living in Brighton, Ontario is relatively affordable, especially when you compare it to the nearby towns and cities. It’s also largely considered very family friendly and secure, giving you the peace of mind you crave. And while the population does tend to grow during the summer months, you’ll find the rest of the years rather tranquil, allowing you to enjoy the town’s charms to your heart’s content. Anyone looking for a quiet, small-town life will find that Brighton ticks all the boxes.
THE BRIGHTON, ON REAL ESTATE MARKET
Life in Brighton is generally a lot more relaxed than what you’ll find in the more well-known cities in Ontario, and the Brighton, ON real estate scene is just as calm in terms of the number of properties for sale at least. There were around 80 properties listed in November 2023, and while the local real estate scene might not be as cutthroat as it is in the bigger towns and cities, you can expect some competition from like-minded individuals who are just as drawn to Brighton as you are.
A large portion of the properties here are single-family homes, with a few townhouses included in the mix. Anyone looking at homes for sale in Brighton, Ontario is in luck, because the median price of homes in November 2023 was around $600,000, down from almost $750,000 six months ago. If it holds, then this spells good news for those who are hoping to save a little more on their purchase.
There are a handful of newer residential communities that are on the rise in Brighton. Orchard Gate by Stalwood Homes is composed of townhouses and single-family homes. Hamilton Woods, meanwhile, promises a luxury living experience.
This charming little town does have a number of properties that aren’t part of residential communities, and it’s worth exploring the rest of Brighton to discover them. Working with a local real estate expert will give you some insider information on houses for sale in Brighton, Ontario.
HANDY HOME BUYING TIPS FOR FIRST-TIME BUYERS
If you’ve made the big decision to purchase your first home, congratulations! It’s a huge step forward in life and there’s no doubt that you’ve spent a lot of time pondering this decision and thinking if it’s the right time.
Here’s a quick first-time homebuyer guide to help you prepare for the process of looking for and buying your first home.
Getting your finances in order
Your finances are a major consideration when you’re buying a home for the first time. You want to be sure that you have enough money to pay for your prospective home and still have enough left over for repairs or for decorating it. But beyond that, you also have to have enough money set aside for extra fees and costs associated with purchasing and closing on a home.
In Ontario, you will need to put down a down payment of at least 5% on properties priced under $500,000. For homes priced between $500,000 and $1,000,000, you’ll need a down payment of 5% on the first $500,000 and 10% on the rest; this would be the general range you’ll need to look at for homes for sale in Brighton, Ontario. Anything more expensive requires a down payment of at least 20%.
Start the process by figuring out what type of mortgage, amortisation period, interest rate, and payment terms you’re comfortable with. You can opt for a longer amortisation period, say, 30 years, which means that making payments will be easier on your budget. However, you will ultimately end up paying more in interest. Also consider whether you’re going with a fixed interest rate or a variable interest rate. Keep in mind that a variable interest rate may sound more appealing if it’s currently lower than the fixed interest rate, but because it’s variable, the amount you pay could increase from time to time.
Draw up a list of lenders that you think will provide the mortgage products and interest rates that you think you can handle. You can compare features and rates online, but you might also want to consider working with a mortgage broker who can break down each lender’s plans and help you decide which one to go with.
After choosing your lender, get pre-approved for a mortgage. At this point, you’ll find out how much you qualify for. The lender determines this by examining your debt service ratios and checking your credit score, which gives them a picture of your financial capacity and ability to pay debt. They’ll take a look at your total monthly housing costs, which should not take up more than 39% of your gross household income, and your total debt load, which should not exceed 44% of your gross income. They’ll also look at any existing loans you have and your credit card balance. All these will impact your credit score, a critical factor in getting approved for a mortgage. Should your credit score be less than satisfactory, you may want to first work on improving it. Some ways to do this are to make sure you pay down any debts on time, maintain a low credit utilisation rate, and limit credit inquiries on your account.
Keep other costs in mind. Aside from your mortgage, there are other costs involved in your home purchase. One of these is upfront or closing costs, which you pay once the sale is finalised. These include home inspection and legal fees and generally constitute up to 4% of your home’s purchase price. New properties are also subject to sales tax, which is 13% in Ontario and is covered by your mortgage.
There are a number of programmes in place that could make it easier for you to afford your home as a first-time home buyer in Ontario.
- THE ONTARIO LAND TRANSFER TAX REFUND is one such option. Qualified first-time home buyers receive a rebate of up to $4,000 for homes that cost more than $368,000.
- THE HOME BUYERS’ PLAN, on the other hand, allows you to withdraw up to $35,000 from your registered retirement savings plan (RRSP). If you’re buying a home with someone else, both of you can avail this plan. It’s tax free; just make sure that you pay it back within 15 years.
- THE FIRST-TIME HOME BUYERS’ TAX CREDIT is another thing you may also apply for. If your home qualifies, you can get a non-refundable tax credit of up to $750.
- THE FIRST HOME SAVINGS ACCOUNT, meanwhile, enables eligible homeowners to save up to $40,000 tax free. Annual contributions to this account amount to $8,000.
How to qualify for these programmes:
- Applicants should be at least 18 years old and be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada.
- They must also be actual first-time home buyers/owners, which means that if you have property that you received as a gift or from an inheritance, you don’t qualify for any of these programmes.
A real estate agent will be able to point you to any first-time home buyer financing programmes that can help you.
Finding the right neighbourhood
There’s a lot more to choosing the right neighbourhood than simply liking how the place looks. Your choice of neighbourhood will affect your life for the years to come and even impact the value of your home.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a neighbourhood:
- Visualise the life that you want to live. This means having to delve into what kind of activities you want to engage in and your plans for the future. Do you see yourself getting married or expanding your family a few years from now, for example. The neighbourhood you will ultimately choose should be able to accommodate such major life changes and give you and your future family the opportunity to thrive. You want there to be accessible schools and enough family-friendly places for everyone’s enjoyment.
- Evaluate your priorities. What are the things that you’d like to see in your ideal neighbourhood? You can answer this question by taking a look at the list of things that your current neighbourhood is lacking. You may want to engage in more outdoor activities, but your current neighbourhood provides little opportunity to do so. You may want to live near water, which is why you should look at places where waterfront homes are available. Drawing up a list of must-haves and nice-to-haves in your dream community will help you narrow down the neighbourhoods you’ll consider looking at.
- Consider the amenities and accessibility. Are there enough shops and restaurants that strike your fancy? Are grocery stores, hospitals, and schools within easy reach? How about parks and green spaces? And don’t forget to consider how long your commute to and from work will take. For many, a tedious commute is a dealbreaker.
- Look at how secure the area is. Your well-being is paramount. You want to be able to get around town with ease and without worries for you and your family. Chat up the neighbours and consult your real estate agent; they will be able to provide first-hand accounts of what living there is like.
Once you’ve figured out which neighbourhood best suits your needs and lifestyle, you can begin to zero in on the available properties.
What to consider when choosing a house
It would be wonderful if choosing a house were as easy as simply walking into the house and knowing then and there, without a shadow of a doubt that it’s the perfect one for you. The real process is a lot more complicated than that.. As easy as it would be to make a decision based on looks and vibe alone, you need to be a lot more judicious when looking at homes for sale in Brighton, Ontario, especially since it’s a major purchase.
Here are a few reminders:
- Choosing the right house is a matter of identifying your priorities, your non-negotiables, and the features you’re willing to compromise on. It’s just like selecting a neighbourhood. Take stock of your lifestyle and your daily habits, and see if the features of the house conform to the kind of life you’re envisioning for yourself.
- Remember not to go overboard budget wise. You always have to have your eye on your budget to make sure that you’re buying a house that you can afford. You might think you’re willing to shell out more than you planned the moment you find a house that seems to hit all the right marks, but keep in mind future expenses and mortgage costs that will increase along with the price of the house. Finding a home you can comfortably afford will avoid a lot of headaches in the future.
- Consider the size, age, and level of maintenance the house requires. Do you prefer newer construction or are you on board with older properties? Exactly how much space will you be needing? Are you prepared to take on all the maintenance duties that come with being a homeowner, or would you rather live in a place where any issues are handled by property managers?
Simply put, your future home should give you joy, not fill you with apprehension about the costs and how much effort you need to put into keeping it in order.
Finding a real estate agent
Perhaps in an effort to save money, you may be thinking about going it alone and forgoing the services of a real estate agent. Keep in mind, however, that finding a home involves far more than looking at online listings and setting up a schedule to view the properties of your choice. The process involves a ton of paperwork and knowledge of property laws and other requirements that you might not even have known existed.
When you work with a real estate agent, you have someone who advocates for you. They’ll not only handle all the legwork throughout the transaction, but they’ll also look out for your interest. They’ll make sure that you’re getting the best deal on a property and also let you know about any issues with the home, uncover vital information about the community that may influence your decision to purchase there, and decipher any legal jargon and various regulations, among many other tasks. They can also recommend professionals for things like home inspection. They may even be able to find properties for you that are not yet available to the public, thanks to their connections.
When choosing a real estate agent, these are the questions that you want answered so you know that you’re getting the right one on your side:
- Are they licensed?
- How long have they been practising in the field?
- How can they help you navigate a competitive housing market?
- How have they helped other buyers in a similar situation as yours?
- What were the toughest negotiations they went through and how did they come out on top?
Most importantly, your prospective real estate agent should be able to establish easy rapport with you and be sensitive to your needs and budget. You should find it easy to speak to them and ask questions, and they should be open about any challenges you may face when purchasing a home. They will also be able to put you at ease by satisfactorily allaying your fears and proposing solutions to overcome such challenges.
FIND GREAT HOMES FOR SALE IN BRIGHTON, ONTARIO WITH OUR TEAM
Finding the right home can be overwhelming, but with the help of Jacqueline Pennington and her team of real estate specialists, it can go a lot more smoothly. As the leading real estate team in Northumberland, we deliver full concierge services and are highly responsive to your needs.
We start by getting to know you better and helping you figure out your real estate goals. If you’re new to the market, we’ll provide you with your own personalised first-time homebuyer guide to get you acquainted with the ins and outs of buying a home.
Once you’re ready to look at homes for sale in Brighton, Ontario or if you simply want to learn more about Brighton, Ontario real estate, get in touch with us at 905.375.0062 or send us an email. We’d love to help you get to know this beautiful little town better and show you why it’s a great place to live.