Buying a Home
THINKING: Questions to Ask Yourself When Considering Buying a Home
- What amount of monthly payments can I afford? (mortgage, taxes, utilities, etc.)
- How much is my down payment?
- Do I have funds set aside for closing costs?
- Are my needs likely to change in the next 12-24 months? (job change, starting a family, etc.)
- Is my job stable?
- Do I have the time and energy for this process? (Looking for homes, looking at homes, notice given to landlord, etc.)
- Do I have a home that I need to sell first?
LOOKING: How to start your search
Determining your needs and wants
There are some things that your home must have to live comfortably and then there are some things that are on your wish list. Knowing your needs and wants will help narrow down the search and insure that you do not have buyer’s remorse.
Choosing your neighbourhood
Vancouver has many great neighbourhoods to pick from, finding that perfect home can be all about its location location location! Determine what amenities are important to you and your family as this will help narrow down our search and focus on neighbourhood’s that would be best suited for you.
Be the first to know what’s for sale
Vancouver’s housing market is definitely moving and great properties sell fast! When you work with me I will send new listings to your in-box as soon as they hit the market.
Viewing homes that fit your criteria
When you start to visit homes, you will get an even better idea of your likes and dislikes. The way a home feels on the inside as you move from room to room is more important then what you can see from pictures and the outside.
BUYING: Ten Important Steps for Making an Offer
1. Pricing Details
If you choose to work with me, you can expect to make informed decisions based on industry data. I’ll work with you to make the most appropriate bids/offers on the property of choice.
2. Upfront Deposit
Providing a deposit upfront demonstrates your interest and commitment to move forward with the home you’ve selected. This deposit will be applied to the purchase amount of your home once the transaction is finalized. I will work with you to determine the deposit amount that is best for your budget but still positioned well enough to lower your principal as quickly as possible.
Terms incorporate the overall transaction details and finance arrangements of your offer.
Conditions are a very important step in the buying process. The proposed agreement may incorporate “subject to home inspection”, “subject to approved financing”, or “subject to sale of your property”. I will guide you through the contract conditions to ensure you fully understand them before moving ahead.
5. Incorporation and Exclusions
Items such as appliances and certain installations or renovations, for example windows, upgrade, or mirrors can be negotiated into the offer.
6. Making an Offer
When you’re ready to make an offer, being educated and informed about the offer process and the housing market is key to making a confident decision. That’s why I work closely with all my clients to ensure the offer is just right for you, so you can move into the home of your dreams right away.
7. Firm Purchase Offer
Is when the buyer is ready to purchase the home without any conditions. This is an ideal situation for any seller.
8. Conditional Purchase Offer
A conditional purchase offer is placed into contracts where there are certain criteria that need to be met before a sale is made. For example, “subject to home inspection”, “subject to approved financing”, or “subject to sale of the seller’s current home” are commonly used.
9. Accepting the Offer
The offer to purchase is presented to the seller who can approve the offer, reject it, or counter-offer. The counter-offer can reflect a number of offer details including the purchase price, closing date, or any of the aforementioned variables. Offers can be negotiated until both parties (buyer and seller) have approved all terms of the sale.
This is the day the title of the property is transferred over and the transaction is finalized.
CLOSING: What expenses to expect
*** Please seek independent legal advice from your lawyer or notary ***
- Purchase Offer Deposit: typically 5-10%
- Mortgage Application Fee: Cost varies, be sure to shop around.
- Property Inspection: An inspection conducted by a certified building inspector in order to alert you on any potential problems your new home may have. Costs for this inspection varies depending on the company you hire, the size of the property and how quickly you must have it done.
- Appraisal Fee: Your lending institution may request an appraisal of the property in order to approve a mortgage; more often than not the cost of the appraisal will be the buyer’s responsibility unless the lender decides to cover it.
- Survey Fee: If your home is a resale purchase apposed to a newly built home, your lending institution may request an updated property survey, the cost for this survey will be the responsibility of the buyer.
- Property Transfer Tax (PTT): One percent on the first $200,000 and Two percent on the remaining cost of the home. First time homebuyers may be totally exempt for purchases u to $425,000. See First Time Buyers Guide to see if you qualify.
- Goods and Services Tax (GST): GST applies to newly built homes or existing homes that have recently undergone extensive renovations. If the purchase is for your primary place of residence and the purchase price is less than $450,000 you may be eligible for a new housing rebate consult a lawyer/notary to see if you are eligible.
- Legal/Notary Fees: You should have a realtor or a notary review all paperwork in every real estate transaction. Rates offered range depending on experience so be sure to shop around.
- Home Insurance fees: Your home will serve as security against your loan for your financial institution. You will be required to buy insurance in an amount equal to or greater than the mortgage loan.
- Moving Fees: Trucks, movers, and for condo’s potential move in fee that will cover locking and scheduling the use of an elevator.
- Service Charges: Any utilities you arrange for your new home, such as cable or telephone may come with an installation fee.
- Renovations: Budget accordingly, you may want to upgrade your new homes kitchen bathroom or paint color.
- Final Adjustments: Estimates are required for closing adjustments. Any bills (electricity, heat, water, etc.0 following the closing date are the obligation of the purchaser. A complete overview of all billable items is typically provided by your lawyer/notary. Be sure to look for this item in your closing papers or inquire with your lawyer or notary on any final adjustments.
Browse all the current MLS® listings from an interactive map or create your own custom search criteria and stay up to date on Vancouver real estate market information.