Your Home Sold Guaranteed Realty Elite - The Augustine Team

Essential Guide to Buy a Home in Burlington | Top Buyer Questions

Looking to buy a home in Burlington, Ontario? Buying a home can be a complex process, especially if you’ve never done it before. There are many considerations to think about before committing to buying a home, including where you want to live, what type of home you want, and what budget you have. 

If you want to find your dream home and beat out other buyers with a competitive offer, it’s essential to work with a knowledgeable real estate professional. Whether you’re a first-time home buyer or looking for your second home, this guide will provide you with valuable insights and expert tips to help you buy a home in Burlington successfully.

Key Takeaways

  • Define your homeownership goals and neighbourhood preferences so you know exactly the type of home you want.
  • Set a budget by calculating your down payment, monthly mortgage payments, and expected home expenses. 
  • Find a lender and get pre-approval before you buy a home in Burlington.
  • During the house hunting process, ask plenty of questions to your realtor and home sellers to determine whether the neighbourhoods and homes you’re looking at are a good fit.
  • Work with an experienced buyer’s agent. Ideally, you should interview several realtors and evaluate their credentials before choosing one to work with.
  • Get to know different communities around the Burlington area, and the benefits and downsides of the neighbourhoods you’re interested in. Then, decide on the type of property you want to live in.

What Should I Know Before House Hunting?

What Are My Homeownership Goals?

House hunting is one part of the home buying process most home buyers look forward to. However, before you start the process to buy a home in Burlington, it’s important to take a minute and establish your goals for homeownership.

For example, are you looking for a long-term home you can live in for the rest of your life? Or are you looking for more of a short-term arrangement? 

Is your goal to become more financially stable or build up wealth to pass down to your children? Do you want to live in a place where you can form close relationships with the neighbors and create a sense of community? 

Your goals will largely be determined by your motivations for buying a house in the first place. For instance, if you’re buying a house because you’re starting a family, you’re likely looking for a larger home you can set down roots in.

On the other hand, if you’re a first-time home buyer who wants to get away from renting, your first home will likely be a starter home that you won’t keep long-term.

You’ll also need to consider other factors such as: 

  • How much space you’ll need 
  • Schools and family-friendly activities for your children
  • Pet restrictions in the community
  • Whether you want to live in a community with an HOA

What Are My Burlington and Neighbourhood Preferences?

Before house hunting, make a list of all your neighbourhood preferences. Divide them into what you’re willing to compromise on and what you won’t budge on. Some criteria you can assess include:

  • Local school district. Research the quality of schools in the area. Consider the student-to-ratio, average test scores, and the availability of extracurriculars.
  • Crime rates. Verify that the area has low rates of violent crime and property crime.
  • Commuting distance. If a short commute is important to you, you may have to sacrifice other preferences. But if your goal is a larger home with more space, you may face a longer commute.
  • Community atmosphere. Consider whether you want to live in an area that’s bustling with activities and things to do, or if you prefer a quiet, calmer environment.
  • Proximity to essential services and amenities. Think about how far you want to live from essential services and amenities like hospitals, grocery stores, restaurants, and shopping centers.
  • Affordability. Consider expenses in the area such as property taxes, HOA fees, and the overall cost of living.
  • Future development in the area. Investigate any planned developments or infrastructure projects planned for the area, as they can impact property values and the overall neighbourhood dynamic.
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How Do I Set My Home Buying Budget?

It’s essential to create a reasonable budget before you buy a home in Burlington. That way, you can make sure you don’t purchase a house you can’t afford. The first step is to assess your financial situation. Review your income, savings, debt, and monthly expenses. From there, consider how much you can afford to spend on a down payment.

The minimum amount required for a down payment varies depending on the type of loan you take out and the lender’s own requirements. On average, most home buyers pay a 13% down payment. However, it can be a good idea to try and put 20% down, if you can afford to. That way, you won’t have to worry about paying for private mortgage insurance (PMI) each month. 

Next, determine the monthly mortgage payments you can afford to make. A mortgage calculator can help you break down the upfront and monthly costs. 

Aside from the mortgage, take into account other home expenses like property taxes, HOA fees, utility costs, regular maintenance and repair costs, and an emergency fund.

Once you’ve determined a down payment and monthly mortgage payment you can comfortably afford, establish a purchase price range for homes. This price range will be your budget and will guide your actions throughout the house-hunting process.

Lastly, once you have a budget, start looking for lenders in your area so you can apply for mortgage pre-approval status. Getting mortgage pre-approval before you start looking at homes is important because it will help you stand out to home sellers.

What Questions Should I Ask Home Sellers?

Ask About Specifics of the Property

Asking the right questions will help you establish whether a property is a good fit for you. First, ask about the features of the property, such as whether it has a spectacular view, swimming pool, storage shed, or prime location close to the local school. You could also verify whether appliances are included with the home.

Next, inquire about whether there are any restrictions on the property. This could include HOA rules, deed restrictions, easements, and environmental restrictions. 

It’s important to carefully review and understand any property restrictions because they can significantly impact how you can use or modify the property. In addition to asking the home seller, it may be worth consulting with legal professionals.

It’s also important to understand the condition of the home’s structure, roof, and flooring. Ask about the materials used to build the home, including the interior hardware, and how much upkeep they need.

Then, ask about the last time the roof and home’s foundation were inspected. While a home inspection will turn up any issues with the home, it’s still a good idea to see whether the home seller had them inspected or repaired recently.

Lastly, ask about the costs you can expect to pay on top of your mortgage, such as HOA fees, the monthly cost of utilities, and how much on average the seller had to pay on maintenance and repairs.

Ask About the Community and Long-Term Considerations

It’s important to get to know the area before you buy a home in Burlington or one of the surrounding communities, especially if you’re moving somewhere that represents a lifestyle change for you. 

Ask the seller questions to understand if the neighbourhood is suitable for your needs. This can include: 

  • What is the neighbourhood like? 
  • Are the neighbors friendly? 
  • Are the schools high-quality? 
  • Is there anything else you should know about living in the area?
  • Is the area calm and quiet, or does it get noisy with activity?
  • Is crime common in the area?
  • Is public transportation easily accessible?

Also, ask the seller if there are any drawbacks to living in the area and whether anything in particular about the neighbourhood influenced their decision to move. This can give you the insight to make sure that what was a dealbreaker to them won’t turn out to be a dealbreaker for you.

Next, understand the community trends that define the area. Reach out to your realtor to ask about property values, home prices, property development plans, and other housing market trends. This can give you a good idea of the area’s future.

How Do I Hire the Best Realtor in Burlington?

Is it Important to Have Home Buyer Representation? 

Home buyer representation is key if you want to buy a home in Burlington, whether you’re looking at resale or new construction properties. Think of your buyer’s agent as your advocate in a major financial transaction. 

They’ll help you throughout each step of the buying process, from finding homes that match your criteria to connecting you with home inspectors, lenders, and title companies. 

Once you find a home you like, your realtor will be essential when it comes to negotiating with the home seller or home builder. They’ll help you make a competitive initial offer, navigate counter offers, and make sure that by the end, you have the best possible price on your dream home.

What Credentials Will the Best Realtors Have?

The best realtors will have years of experience in the real estate industry. If they’re a brand new agent, they should at least have years of experience living in the area and extensive knowledge of the local housing market.

Aside from industry experience, top-performing realtors may have professional affiliations with national or local real estate organizations, local real estate boards, or local business organizations like a chamber of commerce. They may also have received awards or other forms of recognition from these types of organizations.

It’s also important to look at client testimonials when choosing a realtor. The best realtors have more positive reviews than negative ones. And if they do have negative reviews, pay attention to how they respond to criticism.

Other things to look for in a realtor are certifications and designations that show they have specialized knowledge in a particular area of the real estate industry. For example, a Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) or Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR).

If you want to buy a home in Burlington, Steve Augustine and Your Home Sold Guaranteed Realty Elite - The Augustine Team are the best choice. With over 20 years of experience and his unique buyer guarantees, Steve and his team can help you find the perfect home.

What Questions Should I Ask Before Hiring a Realtor?

Before heading into an interview, create a list of questions to ask the realtor to determine if they’re a good fit to help you buy a home in Burlington. Some potential questions include:

  • How many years of experience do they have in real estate?
  • How long have they worked in the local market? Are they knowledgeable about local real estate laws, potential property restrictions, neighbourhood trends, and home prices?
  • What’s their track record? How many homes have they sold in the past six months and what’s their average selling speed?
  • What are their professional affiliations and certifications?
  • How many client reviews do they have?

During the interview, pay attention to the realtor’s communication skills. The quality of the realtor’s communication often reflects on the quality of their negotiation skills. But strong communication isn’t just about speaking– the realtor should spend an equal amount of time listening to you and asking questions to get to know you and your goals.

What Else Should I Consider Before Buying?

What City and Neighbourhood Do I Want to Live in?


Ancaster is one of the oldest towns in the area. It’s located west of Hamilton and has a population of a little over 40,000. Most homes are resale, and the development of new homes is limited to preserve the historic nature of the town.


Beamsville is located in the heart of the Niagara Region and has a population of a little over 13,000. With its small-town charm, natural beauty, and rich agricultural heritage, Beamsville is a great place to live for those seeking a laidback lifestyle.


Binbrook is a community located within the city of Hamilton. With a population of a little under 10,000, Binbrook is known for its small-town charm, scenic surroundings, and family-friendly atmosphere. It’s also close to many outdoor recreational opportunities, conservation areas, and hiking trails.


Burlington is a large city in Ontario, with a population of over 205,000. Located on the shores of Lake Ontario, the city has a diverse range of amenities, including beautiful parks, recreational facilities, shopping centers, and a thriving arts and entertainment scene. 


Grimsby is a town in Ontario with a population of over 27,000. Known for its scenic beauty and rich agricultural heritage, Grimsby offers a peaceful and picturesque setting for residents. With its small-town charm, natural beauty, and a strong sense of community, Grimsby offers a wonderful quality of life for its residents.


Hamilton is a large city in Ontario. Over 579,000 people call the city home. With its strong sense of community, affordable housing options, museums and cultural attractions, and access to quality education and healthcare, Hamilton provides a welcoming environment for residents. 


Jordan is a community located on the Niagara Peninsula, east of Lincoln, Ontario. Known for its picturesque vineyards and wineries, Jordan offers a tranquil, suburban atmosphere. Living in Jordan means you can indulge in wine tasting, explore the natural beauty, or enjoy the small-town environment.


Oakville is the largest town in Ontario, with a population of a little over 211,000. Known for its upscale neighbourhoods, stunning waterfront, and lush green spaces, Oakville offers a blend of natural beauty and modern amenities. 


Smithville is a small community located west of Lincoln, Ontario. It has a population of less than 5,000 and offers a rural and suburban atmosphere. The town is known for its friendly atmosphere and a strong sense of community, as well as nearby conservation areas and hiking trails.

St. Catharines

St. Catherines is the largest city in the Niagara region and one of the top ten largest in Ontario. It has a population of 140,370. Known as the “Garden City,” St. Catharines has a thriving arts and cultural scene, parks, restaurants, and a thriving wine industry.

Stoney Creek.

Stoney Creek is a community within the city of Hamilton with a population of a little under 70,000. The community is known for its historic Old Town, waterfront area, and attractions like the Battlefield House Museum and the Erland Lee Museum.


Vineland is a small unincorporated community within Lincoln, Ontario. With a population of a little over 4,000, it has a rural and agricultural atmosphere. The area has many fruit orchards and wineries, and serves as one of Canada’s most significant fruit producers.


Waterdown is a community within Hamilton, Ontario. A little over 19,400 people call the area home. Waterdown is experiencing fast growth, and is known as a family-friendly place with highly-rated schools and a great mixture of small-town life and urban amenities.

What are the Downsides of the Area I Choose?

Downsides will vary from area to area. One of the most common drawbacks people think about when deciding to buy a home in Burlington is the cost of living. Cost of living includes housing, groceries, public transportation, education, healthcare, and taxes.

Commuting times, traffic levels, population density, weather, and noise levels are other important factors to consider when choosing where to call home. 

While there will likely be some downsides no matter where you go, take a minute to choose the top issues that would be deal breakers for you. You may have to compromise on some aspects to get what you want.

Are There Future Development Plans and Infrastructure?

There are many development and infrastructure plans in Burlington to accommodate the city’s growth. This includes plans to add new residential housing and commercial retail buildings. Along with more housing, the city of Burlington aims to manage parking standards, update services like stormwater management, and preserve the city’s historic areas. 

One significant development project is the Burlington GO Mobility Hub, which involves the expansion and improvement of the Burlington GO Station to accommodate the increased demand for public transportation options within and outside of the city. 

Another notable development is the Brant Street Pier and Waterfront Redevelopment, which aims to revitalize the waterfront area and create a vibrant public space for residents and visitors.

What Types of Properties Should I Consider?

Luxury Homes

Luxury homes in Burlington come at a higher cost, but they come with more amenities, smart home technology, unique features, larger lot sizes, high-quality building materials, and beautiful locations. Our realtors can help you find luxury properties that match your preferences.

New Construction

There are a number of home builders who construct new construction homes and custom homes in Burlington. Our team can connect you with home builders and new home developments that offer homes in your desired style and price range

Homes with Land

We can also use our databases to help you find homes with land for sale in Burlington. We can help you find neighbourhoods with larger lot sizes, and filter properties by their acreage so you can find one that fits your needs.

Condos and Townhouses

Find condos and townhouses in Burlington with the help of our team. Our databases of homes for sale contain single-family homes, luxury homes, condos, townhouses, and more. We can help you find condos and townhouses in your desired area of the city that fall within your budget.

When Should I Start Viewing Homes? 

Financially, the best time to start viewing homes is once you have a budget and mortgage pre-approval letter. 

It’s also important to make sure you understand the current housing market trends going before you jump into the market. That way, you can make more informed decisions and set realistic expectations of home prices, know how much competition you might face, and understand whether you’re shopping in a buyer’s market or seller’s market.

To get a better understanding of the housing market, it’s essential to work with a realtor. Ideally, you should consider hiring a buyer’s agent before you start viewing homes. Not only can a realtor find properties for sale that match your needs and budget, but they can also schedule showings and open houses for you. 

In addition, a real estate professional will be available each step of the way to answer your questions and provide up-to-date market information so you can stay on top of the best home prices.

Who is the Top Realtor in Burlington?

Your Home Sold Guaranteed Realty Elite - The Augustine Team
Steve Augustine

If you’re looking for the top realtor in Burlington, Ontario, look no further than Steve Augustine and Your Home Sold Guaranteed Realty Elite - The Augustine Team. Steve Augustine is a professional realtor with nearly 20 years of experience. 

Steve and our team serve the real estate needs of clients throughout Hamilton, Burlington, and Grimsby, where he calls home. Our familiarity with the area means we have in-depth knowledge of the housing market, historical market patterns, and current trends in the area. No matter if you want to buy or sell, we can help. 

Plus, our unique buyer guarantees like the Buy it Back Guarantee and Move Up Guarantee make purchasing a home risk-free. Unlike other realtors, our team offers these guarantees because we believe you should have a stress-free home-buying experience. 

Our realtors are committed to providing smooth, hassle-free real estate transactions, high-quality customer service, and exceptional communication. To learn more about working with Your Home Sold Guaranteed Realty Elite - The Augustine Team to buy a home in Burlington, call (289) 235-8000 or fill out the form on this page.

More Questions Home Buyers Ask

Is it hard to buy a house in Burlington?

Burlington is considered a buyer’s market, which means there’s high supply and low demand. As a result, the home buyers that decide to enter the market have an upper hand during negotiations with home sellers. For this reason, some home buyers may find it easy to buy a house in Burlington. Of course, it’s important to consult with a realtor, as market conditions change often.

How much is a downpayment on a house?

Down payments vary depending on the lender and the type of loan you take out. On average, many home buyers pay anywhere from five percent to twenty percent of the home’s sale price. Some home loans allow a smaller down payment, while others require no down payment at all. Ask your realtor for a list of options you may qualify for.

Is it expensive to live in Burlington, Ontario?

Burlington has a high cost of living. On average, people who rent pay $3,000 a month on living expenses, including rent, groceries, transportation, and other costs. For homeowners, the monthly cost of living is $3,800. The average household income for Burlington residents is higher than the rest of Canada.

Is it cheaper to rent or buy in Burlington?

Renters pay an average of $3,000 a month, while homeowners spend around $2,000 on their monthly mortgage payments. However, it’s important to consider that despite the upfront cost, owning a home eventually pays off in the long run as you build more equity. Be sure to consult with a realtor about what fits best with your financial situation.

What is the best time of year to buy a house?

The best time of year to buy a home in Burlington depends on your personal goals and a variety of factors. In general, the spring and summer months often have more homes for sale. However, you’ll also face heavier competition from other buyers. 

On the other hand, winter and fall months have less competition, but there will also be less supply to choose from. It’s important to work with your realtor to analyze all the factors that influence whether or not it’s the right time to buy a home: economic conditions, home prices, local market trends, seasonality, and your own personal situation.

Are house prices in Burlington dropping?

House prices in Burlington are rising, though they’re still lower than they were in the past. Homes also tend to sell for their list price, or slightly above. Be sure to check with your realtor for the most up-to-date home price information before you buy a home in Burlington.

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