Thinking of Buying?
When you're buying a home there are many things that need to be considered. From mortgage qualification (what can you afford?), to deciding what and where you want to live, locating the perfect home is not always easy. I'm ready to help walk you through all of these details.
I am always on top of the current homes in the market, and know neighbourhood values well, so I can help you find the most suitable homes that fit your price range and specifications. I have the best possible resources, along with the Greater Vancouver Real Estate Board’s MLS® System to help you locate the homes on the market that match your requirements. When buying a home there are a number of things you need to consider:
- Will you be living in your home fulltime, and if so, are you downsizing or upsizing?
- What size of a house do you want/need? What style?
- Is this home for an investment?
- Location -Do you want to move to another area, or stay in the same neighbourhood that you are in?
- What about schools, local shopping, transit, or proximity to recreational activities and other amenities?
- Is a view important to you?
- Do you want a South facing back yard, or?
- Do you want a new(er) home or one you can renovate yourself?
After your list is created review it again, figure out which are “must haves” and which are “wants”. Knowing what you want will move you closer to finding your perfect home.
Pre-qualification for financing?
Before you start looking for a home it’s important to determine what you can afford by pre-qualifying for a mortgage. The main home buying expenses are the down payment, the mortgage, and the completion costs. Current interest rates may also affect the amount you can afford. I will provide a list of mortgage experts who can help you through this process. The pre-qualification can be done over the phone, or even online in a very short time. Knowing what you can afford ahead of time will help you narrow down your choices of homes. Pre-approval also gives you leverage......sellers will see you as a serious buyer. You may even be able to negotiate a better deal without a subject to financing, and you can move more quickly when you find the house you want.
Conventional mortgages require a minimum of 25% of the purchase price as a down payment. Although you can’t borrow money for your down payment, gifts from family or friends can be used. And, you can borrow up to $20,000 from your RRSP if eligible. However, if you don’t have any other options high-ratio mortgages are available with up to 95% financing. A mortgage broker can walk you through this process to determine if you qualify.
Most people will need to borrow a portion of the purchase price from a lending institution or bank. I can help you calculate how much you are eligible to borrow based on your income and level of debt.
What about the extras?
It is also important to factor in other additional costs. This includes:
- Legal/notary fees (typically range from $800 to $2,000)
- Home Inspection fees ($200 to $500)
- Home insurance which is a standard requirement by the mortgagor
- Property Transfer Tax (PPT) (1% on first $200,000 plus 2% on the balance of the purchase price)
- Adjustments for water rates and property taxes. Depending on the timing of your purchase, these fees will be calculated accordingly.
- HST – on new construction or substantially renovated homes (12% at this time, but please speak to your accountant for any updated information and rebate qualification).
- Maintenance Fees – if you are moving to a condominium or home with strata fees (common area maintenance).
- Utility hook ups – phone, electricity, natural gas, cable, etc.
- Moving Expenses
Often times people, especially first time home buyers, don’t know about, or forget to factor in these costs. Better to factor them in now to avoid the surprise later on.
Ready, Set, Buy
Once you have pre-qualified for your mortgage, and found the home you want, the next step is to write an offer. I will work with you through all the specifics of the transaction (items you want included or excluded in the home or property, subject clauses to be added and deadline) and negotiate the best price and outcome possible.
From pre-qualification, to finding the right home, to writing the offer.........my number one priority is to ensure your home buying experience is stress-free, cost-effective, and fun!
If you're thinking of buying a home or relocating in the next year, I would be happy to help you. Please fill out the form below so that I can assess your needs and provide details of homes that currently match your criteria.