Buy A Home
Marie Leonard Real Estate’s Five steps to buying a home:
1. We’ll use our in-depth market and community knowledge to good use and help you decide what you’re looking for and which neighbourhood we’re likely to find it in. We’ll also help you decide if you’re ready to buy – which can be an emotional decision.
2. We’ll recommend mortgage professionals and go over all costs associated with buying a home so you know exactly what you can afford.
3. We’ll access our network of 800+ Royal Pacific Realty REALTORS® and our 9,300 colleagues through the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver to quickly locate homes for sale and make appointments for you to see them.
4. We’ll negotiate on your behalf and use our extensive knowledge of market comparables to get the best possible price for you.
5. We’ll explain the terminology and the forms, and we’ll recommend professionals including home inspectors, lawyers, insurance brokers, movers and others.
For more information www.recbc.ca/consumer/publications.htm
The neighbourhoods we serve:
- About Vancouver – For Information
- Vancouver’s West End – For information
- Vancouver’s Downtown – For information
- Coal Harbour
- False Creek North (Yaletown) – For information
- False Creek South (Fairview) – For information
- Kitsilano – For information
- Mount Pleasant – For information
Is Vancouver real estate a good investment?
In April 2000, the benchmark price of an apartment condominium in Greater Vancouver was about $100,000. As of April 30, 2010, that same condominium is $397,779.
Population growth is driving price increases. This growth is expected to continue and by 2040, the population in the Lower Mainland will reach to 4.1 million residents from our current 1.8 million according to David Baxter of the Urban Futures Institute.
Where will this growth be located? There will be a trend to condominium living and higher density since Vancouver is geographically constrained by the Gulf of Georgia, the North Shore Mountains and the Canada-US border.
For home buyers, prices will likely go up, since housing demand is forecast at 29,600 new housing units per year.
What does it cost to buy a home?
You’ve decided to buy a home, which is likely one of the biggest investment decisions you’ll make for a while. So it’s vital you understand exactly how much it’s going to cost you. Here is an estimate of potential closing costs you need to factor into your budget (in alphabetical order).
Appraisal fee: lenders typically require an appraisal before loaning a mortgage. Fees range from $250 – $350.
Closing adjustments: may include property taxes, utility bills (hydro, water and heat) and condominium maintenance fees.
Deposit: this is part of the downpayment and you pay it when you remove all conditions from an Offer to Purchase.
Down payment: you’re required to put a minimum of 5% (of the purchase price) down to qualify for mortgage insurance, according to CMHC rules. Your downpayment becomes part of the purchase price.
Form B Certificate: when you buy a condominium, this document provides information about the condominium corporation’s financial and legal data.
Harmonized Sales Tax: since July 1, 2010, when you buy a new home, you must pay a 12% Harmonized Sales Tax (HST). Home buyers (new and resale) must pay the HST on services, for example, appraisal, legal, REALTOR® and survey fees.
HST rebate: there is a rebate of 71.43% of the provincial portion of the HST paid up on homes up to $525,000 to a maximum rebate of $26,250. If you buy a new home priced above $525,000, there is a flat rebate of $26,250.
Home inspector’s fee: most buyers (and most lenders) require any offer to be subject to a professional inspection. Fees vary and typically cost approximately $500.
Home insurance: lenders typically require buyers to carry fire and extended coverage and liability insurance. Rates vary depending on a property. Expect to pay between $250 and $750 per year.
Land survey fee: for detached houses lenders may require a property survey. Costs vary.
Legal fees: lawyers’ services range and may include reviewing the offer to purchase, searching the title, completing mortgage documents, overseeing the closing, and disbursements as well as costs for a title search, preparing the title deed, and registering a mortgage. Ask for a fee schedule.
Property Transfer Tax: when you register your property title you must pay 1% on the first $200,000 and 2% on the remainder. First-time homebuyers may be eligible for rebate. For information, visit www.gov.bc.ca and in the search box type: PTT rebate.
Mortgage adjustment: home buyers will be required to pay the interest accrued between the closing date and the first mortgage payment. This can vary depending on the mortgage amount and payment schedule.
Mortgage application fee: lenders (financial institutions and private lenders) may charge a fee for processing a mortgage application.
Mortgage broker’s fee: a mortgage broker is typically paid by the lender, although you should verify with your lender if there is a cost and how much it is.
Mortgage insurance: the federal government requires high-ratio mortgages (with less than 20% downpayment) to be insured against default. CMHC fees range and are based on the mortgage amount. For information.
Mortgage life insurance: often required by lenders. Premiums vary.
Property taxes: lenders may require home buyers to add monthly property tax bills to mortgage payments. Check with your lender.
Title Insurance: your lender or lawyer may suggest title insurance to cover loss as a result of title defects.
More costs and fees: moving expenses, curtains and blinds, carpet, appliances, paint, deck chairs, plants, hoses, paint and more.
Should you buy or sell first?
It can be a balancing act, deciding whether to sell your current condominium and then buy or find your future home first, make an offer (which might be subject to the sale of your current home), and then put your put your home on the market.
Both have pluses and minuses.
If you sell first, you may end up pressed for time, looking for a suitable home to buy. If you buy first, you may end up worrying whether you will sell your home – and get the best value – in time, so you don’t have to carry two mortgages.
Marie Leonard Real Estate Services can help you with an organized approach to buying and selling a home.
We help determine how much your current home is worth.
If you’re planning to upsize, we’ll provide referrals to mortgage professionals to determine exactly what you can afford.
We’ll look for homes in the neighbourhood where you want to live and keep you informed when properties come onto the market.
We’ll do a comparative market analysis based on our in-depth market knowledge, list your home for sale and advertise it to the widest range of clients. We’ll negotiate of your behalf to get the best possible price.
If your home sells before you have located another home, we’ll do our best to postpone the closing date so you’ll have time for home hunting.
In the end, Marie Leonard Real Estate Services are here to work with you, and to make buying and selling your home go smoothly and efficiently.