Buyers2018-02-04T22:41:07+00:00

A New Home

A good place to start

Our primary objective is to smoothly guide you through what can often be a turbulent and hectic process. By having practiced in the local market since 1991 and assisting hundreds of clients like you, our experience will bring you valuable advice, making your home purchase an easy and enjoyable transaction.
Get pre-approved

It’s important to launch your house hunt having already obtained pre-approval for a mortgage. This marks you as a serious buyer, and lets you jump on a property you are interested in without losing time applying after the fact. Mortgage pre-approval also helps narrow your search as you have your price range established.

Prioritize your house (or condo) hunt

Sit down with your partner to hammer out priorities so you’re on the same page when it comes to your house hunt. Then, once you see a strong candidate, be ready to act fast.

Consider moving out of town

Many first-time homebuyers are trading big cities for smaller cities that are in the early waves of urban renewal. These emerging markets offer great deals, particularly on detached houses. Often these locations offer extensive public transit, a thriving cultural and retail scene, and easy access to the larger urban hub (which can be handy if you still work there).

Be open to creative ideas
Buyers often purchase something completely different than what they set out to find.  Sometimes, it is more about “feel” than it is specifics like location, space and features.  You’ll find we may recommend something totally different just based on what we’ve learned from your tastes in style and configuration.
 Check Out the First Time Buyers Guide On The Resource Page
Here are some recent legislative changes:

January, 2011: The Conservative government under Stephen Harper tightened the rules further, dropping the maximum amortization period for a high-ratio insured mortgage to 30 years. The maximum amount Canadians could borrow via refinancing was further lowered to 85 per cent.

June, 2012: A third round of tightening brought the maximum amortization period down to 25 years for high-ratio insured mortgages. A new stress test was also introduced to ensure that debt costs are no more than 44 per cent of income for lenders seeking a high-ratio mortgage. Refinancing rules were also tightened for a third time, setting a new maximum loan of 80 per cent of a property’s value. Another new measure limited the availability of government-backed insured high-ratio mortgages to homes valued at less than $1-million.

December, 2015: The recently elected Liberal government moved to tighten lending rules for homes worth more than $500,000, saying it was focused on “pockets of risk” in the housing sector.

The package of measures included doubling the minimum down payment for insured high-ratio mortgages to 10 per cent from 5 per cent for the portion of a home’s value from $500,000 to $1-million.

August, 2016: BC Government introduces a foreign buyers tax. This applies to buyers who aren’t Canadian citizens or permanent residents; foreign-registered corporations; and Canadian corporations controlled in whole or in part by foreign nationals or foreign corporations. This tax would represent $300,000 in additional cost on the purchase of a $2-million home.

Mortgages

What you need to know

Mortgages are a legal agreement by which a bank or other creditor lends money at interest in exchange for taking title of the debtor’s property, with the condition that the conveyance of title becomes void upon the payment of the debt. You can take some of the unpleasantness out of the mortgage application process by knowing what lenders are looking for and knowing how to get approved for a mortgage.

UNDERSTANDING MORTGAGE PRE-APPROVAL

Not all mortgage pre-approvals are created equal, so it’s important to understand what kind of pre-qualifications have been performed.

Whether or not the mortgage specialist has done credit checks, verified income and determined the source of your down payment could affect whether you’re approved in the final stages of your home purchase.

Canadian lenders look at the following elements of credit when assessing your ability to pay back a mortgage and whether you’ll get the mortgage approved:

  • Credit History – Your lender will want to make sure when you’ve borrowed money, you’ve paid it back

  • Capital – Your lender will look to see if you’ve accumulated other assets

  • Collateral – When it comes to a mortgage, you’re putting your house up as collateral

  • Capacity – In short, capacity is debt servicing. As a good rule of thumb, your housing cost shouldn’t exceed 30-32% of your gross income and all of your debts shouldn’t exceed 40-42% of your gross income

  • Character – Objective things like how long have you been in your job, what type of job you have and how long you have lived in your current residence

LOOKING FOR A MORTGAGE SPECIALIST?

Mortgage Calculator -

Why isn’t there one on our website?

 
With so many variables to factor in, no online mortgage calculator can correctly calculate the figures that will help you with your purchase.  
 
We strongly recommend obtaining correct figures from your banker or mortgage broker

Buyer Representation Explained

The following is published by the British Columbia Real Estate Association.

Working with a REALTOR®

REALTORS® work within a legal relationship called agency. The agency relationship exists between you, the principal, and your Brokerage, the company under which the individual who is representing you, is licensed. The essence of the agency relationship is that the Brokerage has the authority to represent the principal in dealings with others. Brokerages and their Licensees are legally obligated to protect and promote the interests of their principals as they would their own. Specifically, the Brokerage has the following duties:

Undivided loyalty

The Brokerage must protect the principal’s negotiating position at all times, and disclose all known facts which may affect or influence the principal’s decision.

To Obey

all lawful instructions of the principal.

An Obligation

to keep the confidences of the principal.

To Exercise reasonable care and skill

In performing all assigned duties.

To Account for all money and property

Placed in an Brokerage’s hands while acting for the principal.

You can expect competent service from your Brokerage, knowing that the company is bound by ethics and the law to be honest and thorough in representing a property listed for sale or lease. Both buyer/tenant and seller/landlord can be represented by their own Brokerages in a single transaction.

Dual agency occurs when a Brokerage is representing both the buyer/tenant and the seller/landlord in the same transaction. Since the Brokerage has promised a duty of confidentiality, loyalty and full disclosure to both parties simultaneously, it is necessary to limit these duties in this situation, if both parties consent. If you find yourself involved in a dual agency relationship, before making or receiving an offer, both you and the other party will be asked to consent, in writing, to this new limited agency relationship. This relationship involves the following limitations:

a) The Brokerage will deal with the buyer/tenant and the seller/landlord impartially

b) The Brokerage will have a duty of disclosure to both the buyer/tenant and the seller/landlord except that

i) the Brokerage will not disclose that the buyer/tenant is willing to pay a price or agree to terms other than those contained in the offer, or that the seller/landlord is willing to accept a price or terms other than those contained in the listing;
ii) the Brokerage will not disclose the motivation of the buyer/tenant to buy or lease or the seller/landlord to sell or lease unless authorized by the buyer/tenant or the seller/landlord;
iii) the Brokerage will not disclose personal information, not otherwise necessarily disclosed in the transaction documentation, about the buyer/tenant or seller/landlord to the other party unless authorized in writing.

c) The Brokerage will disclose to the buyer/tenant defects about the physical condition of the property known to the Brokerage

BUYER AGENCY EXCLUSIVE CONTRACT:
WHAT IF I DON’T SIGN?

You may also choose to use the services of a REALTOR® without having any kind of agency relationship. This might occur, for example, when you are being shown a property by the seller/landlord’s agent. The REALTOR® you choose to work with in this manner has a legal and ethical duty to provide you with accurate, honest answers to your questions and may provide all these services:

• Explain real estate terms and practices
• Provide and explain forms used
• Assist you in screening and viewing properties
• Inform you of lenders and their policies
• Identify and estimate costs involved in a transaction
• Assist you in establishing your range of affordability
• Prepare offers or counter-offers at your direction
• Present all offers promptly

A REALTOR® who is not your agent cannot:

• Recommend or suggest a price
• Inform you of his/her principal’s top/bottom line
• Disclose any confidential information about his/her principal unless otherwise authorized

You should not provide a REALTOR® who is not your agent with any information that you would not provide directly to his or her principal.

Review our Services To You When Buying a Home

The Buying Process

What to expect

The real estate closing can be a mysterious process for home buyers. Most people know that it involves a lot of paperwork. But aside from that, it’s all a big blank. The purpose of this article is to fill in those blanks. By the time you finish reading this guide, you’ll know exactly what happens on closing day.

We will inform you in advance of “closing costs” in addition to your down payment for your dream home. These various charges can add up and for the most part they are all legally required payments in buying a property.

Legal fees

A lawyer or notary public is an essential part of your home-buying team, as the work provided involves legal fees. Most legal fees include searching the title of a property, arranging a property survey if necessary, and handling other disbursements as required.

Mortgage insurance and application fee

For any high ratio mortgage, which is any mortgage in which 80 per cent or more of the house’s purchase price is covered by the mortgage, the lender requires mortgage insurance. This amount is generally factored into your mortgage payment.

Property insurance

This insurance covers the replacement value of your home and its contents. Most mortgage lenders will require proof that you have this insurance before processing a mortgage.

Home inspection

A professional home inspector knows what to look for and can confirm or add to the information you have gleaned from the sales information or your inspection.

Property transfer tax

This provincial tax is payable at the rate of one per cent on the first $200,000 of the purchase price and two percent on the balance. Some exemptions may apply, including for first-time home buyers.

GST

GST is payable to some degree on the purchase price on all new homes, although partial rebates are available on the purchase of most homes. A resale residential home is usually exempt from GST. An excellent resource is the BC Real Estate Association’s online tax calculator

Extra charges

Other charges may apply however these must be specifically documented in your purchase contract

View our Closing Cost Worksheet for a better idea of what to expect

Why isn’t Possession Date the same as Completion or Closing Date?

The Possession Date is traditionally 12:00 noon the day after Completion.
Why is this? Virtually every home seller is moving to another home and relies on the funds from their house to move to the next. Lawyers and the Land Title Office will not guarantee Title Transfer anytime prior to end of business day. On very rare occasions (ie. vacant homes) it may be possible to negotiate Possession at 5pm or later Closing Day.

What happens if I am currently renting?

If you are currently renting as a tenant, the Residential Tenancy Act stipulates that you must vacate your rental property at 1:00pm on the last day of the month. What this means is that you may be homeless for the time between 1:00pm the last day of the month and 12:00 noon on possession.
Tips:
-Be prepared for interim accommodation for the evening and storage if needed.
-Consider setting a Closing Date mid month (ie. 15th or closest weekend to the middle). This way, you’ll have both properties for 2 weeks allowing you to take your time moving or to do any necessary upgrades or renovations. There will be an interest adjustment for these additional days however your first mortgage payment will not occur until the last day of the following month meaning no rent/mortgage will be due on the first day of the month. Contact your mortgage representative for more details.

How do I get the key to my new home? How many keys will we get?

As your agent, we will organize the key transfer.
We always suggest re-keying the locks as one can never know how many keys are in circulation. If you are handy, simply remove the deadbolts and knobs and take them to a locksmith to get re-keyed at the shop; you will save on service call costs. If you’re not handy, the cost will be worthwhile.

What condition can I expect my new home to be in?

You should be prepared to give your new home a good cleaning when you move in. ‘Cleanliness’ often has different meanings to different people hence the reason why it is impractical to specify that the house will be clean at closing. Be prepared for the worst and you will likely be pleasantly surprised.

To remind you and to confirm crucial dates, we will issue you a Closing and Possession Schedule.

What due diligence should be done at purchase time?

Building Inspection

We strongly recommend the hiring of certified professional Building Inspectors for inspection of the finalist property. Please note that family friends, carpenters or other trades may not be qualified to conduct a comprehensive inspection on the property. Professional Inspectors provide added reassurance which a friend or acquaintance will not be able to give.

Solicitor For Closing

A Lawyer or Notary Public can process the sale to closing on Completion Date.

Visit out Resources Page for More Information
GET IN TOUCH

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