Resources & Insights

Some Practical Tips on Buying a Home.


You have found your dream first home, family home or retirement home.  Great! But what is next?

At Barriston, we understand that buying a home can be one of the most exciting, but overwhelming purchases you will make in your lifetime. We often see that, especially for first time homebuyers, signing the agreement to purchase your home is only one of many daunting tasks involved in the transaction.

It is our goal to assist our clients to make this transition as smooth as possible.  Here are some tips to get you through to your end goal!

Getting the Key on Closing

First things first – Keys! During the pandemic, we have seen many law firms recommend and realtors use lock boxes instead of having their clients go to the seller’s agent’s real estate office or law firm to pick up the keys. Your lawyer will confirm with you at your signing appointment where the keys can be picked up.  We try to make this as easy as possible.

Arranging your Move during the Coronavirus Pandemic

It is of utmost importance that you and your family maintain your health and safety during the moving process. Moving services were deemed essential services, and thus the federal government published a list of safety guidelines to assist you during this time:

Your ID

In Ontario, the law requires you to change your address on your driver’s license within 6 days and health card within 30 days. You should also attend at your local Canada Post office 4 to 6 weeks prior to moving to schedule your mail to be forwarded to your new address. Other entities to consider notifying that your address has changed are Service Canada (EI, CPP, SIN, Old Age Security Programs, Citizenship Canada, etc), CRA, Ontario Works/ODSP, Banks, Loans (OSAP), Doctor/Dentist, Memberships, Insurance, Employer, Financial Adviser, etc.

Utility Bills & Garbage Collection

Due to privacy laws, your lawyer cannot contact your utility providers on your behalf. You will be required to call all of the utility companies to either transfer or set up new accounts.

You should also call your city/municipal office to inquire about garbage pick-up, recycling facilities and local regulations and information.


If all this sounds a bit overwhelming, we have a solution.  All clients of Barriston are given free access to MoveSnap, a premium concierge service which allows you to plan and simplify your move.  This platform enables our clients to customize their move details in real-time: booking moving services, updating their government address and IDs, changing their utility services, forwarding their mail, accessing exclusive partner offers and more. In addition, MoveSnap also assigns each client a friendly and knowledgeable moving concierge to answer all their questions and help them research things such as doctors, schools, reputable moving companies and much more.

What we provide

Your real estate lawyer and clerk will be in touch with you throughout the process, ready to answer your questions and assist you any way we can.  For us, it’s about delivering peace of mind to our clients.  We hope this blog gives you just a little.

For more information about our Real Estate Group, you can access our information here.

Cassandra Ironside and Joanne McPhail