For West Vancouver Home Buyers
Whether you are a seasoned West Vancouver home buyer, a West Vancouver property investor or a first-time home buyer, the simple fact is that buying a home is rarely a purchase that you will make on a regular basis.
I look forward to helping you achieve your West Vancouver property ownership goals today and becoming your trusted West Vancouver real estate advisor for your future needs as well.
Building a Winning Relationship
My Commitment to You
To execute my responsibilities in accordance with your instructions, including complete disclosure, loyalty, confidentiality and accountability in line with the Real Estate Board of Vancouver’s code of Ethics.
- To Understand Your Requirements. Location, property type, and budget
- To Research the Market. Matching the right properties to your requirements
- To View the selected properties. Organizing access to suit your availability
- To Give Unbiased Assessments on the Value. By providing you comparative statistics on similar properties sold
- To Act as Your Consultant. Providing the right legal documentation and terminology when preparing your Offer of Purchase
- To Negotiate on Your Behalf. Ensuring the best possible price and terms are in line with the current market connections.
- To Recommend Professional Service Providers. From financial options to home-related services
- To Closing. Working beside you throughout the entire process, keeping you informed and knowledgeable about your commitments to time lines
When working with clients to help them find a new home, I expend a great deal of time, effort, and expense - I only receive payment once you have found and purchased your dream home.
- To Make Your Offer To Purchase Through Me. In my service area, or through a referral
- To Advise of Any Circumstance Changes. So I know when to adjust my search
- To Show You All Properties of Interest. Even if they don’t seem to fit your requirements
- To Be Your Known REALTOR® Of Choice. No matter the circumstances
- To Negotiate My Required Fee. If the seller of the property does not offer a sufficient cooperating fee or is a “For Sale by Owner” property
- To Advise if My Service Level Falls Below Your Expectations. So I may rectify the situation.
Before we start, I ask my clients to review these considerations - as they make a significant difference in the success of this process:
ARE YOU READY?
PERFECT CONDITIONS - THEY DON’T EXIST
DON’T WAIT TO SHOP FOR THE BEST LOAN
ALWAYS DO YOUR RESEARCH
PRIORITIZING AND COMPROMISING ARE NECESSARY ELEMENTS
ONLY WORK WITH ONE AGENT
WRITING AN UNREALISTIC OFFER
AFRAID TO WRITE AN OFFER?
DON’T BE AFRAID TO BACK OUT OF THE DEAL
THE BENEFITS OF HOME OWNERSHIP
9 STEPS TO PURCHASING A HOME
- Define Your Goals
- Select a REALTOR®
- Get Pre-Approval for a Mortgage
- Research your property options
- Look for a Property
- Prepare and Negotiate an Offer
- Remove Subjects/ Conditions of Purchase
- Prepare for Closing
- Move into your New Home
1. Define Your Goals
8 Reasons to Invest in Property
When choosing a REALTOR consider their:
Check their track record of working with buyers with regards to the following:
- Finding a home
- Negotiating the price
- Helping with financial solutions
- Understanding the local market
- Understanding property types
- Understanding property values
- Knowledge of the transaction process
Ask for references!
5 Characteristics that Make a Good Location
- A Safe Neighbourhood. A home located in a community with little crime, where neighbours interact and its safe to walk freely.
- Good Schools. Being in a good school district is important, even if you don’t have school-age children, as young families will always buy these homes.
- Convenience. The more ease of access to the main feature of the community, the more valuable the home. For homeowners in cities and towns it is access to shopping and public transit, for beach communities it’s the beach, for many it’s access to major road systems.
- Water Access and Views. No matter which town or city, someone will always pay for a great view or to be on or near the water. Put a home right on a waterway or on a hill with panoramic views or offer the upper floors in a high-rise, and you have a great location.
- Quite Locale. Being located near noise — whether a busy street during rush hour, close to a fire station, hospital, an airport or a local school — is in general a negative. The intermittent noise factors can be missed when looking at a home and not checking out your location fully!
The pre-approval process involves meeting with a lender and authorizing them to examine your current financial situation and credit history, which results in the amount and rate that you will be able to borrow
- Location — where do you want to live?
- Type — what type of home?
- Price — what can you afford?
Only you can determine the importance of each and once you start your search you will be able to determine if your expectations are realistic. LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
Why does location matter so much? For starters, you can’t move a home — at least not easily or inexpensively. When you buy a home in a good location. It’s usually a solid long-term investment.
And perhaps more than ever, location is the key factor driving price increases. In a strong housing market, homes in particularly desirable areas are more likely to see above-average price increases. In weak housing markets, these homes tend to retain their value better.
Understanding Property Types
A free-standing detached home that sits on its own lot, thereby offering a greater degree of privacy. Typically the home and the land are owned completely by the homeowner and therefore entirely their responsibility to manage and maintain.
ROW HOUSE or TOWNHOME
One of several types of single-family homes joined by common walls. It offers less privacy than a single-family detached home but still provides a separate outdoor space. These homes can cost less to buy and maintain, as typically they are subject to strata management associations that are responsible for maintenance and management.
SEMI-DETACHED or DUPLEX
A single-family home that is joined to another by a common wall. It can offer many of the advantages of a single-family detached home and is usually less expensive to buy and maintain.
Refers to a form of legal ownership as opposed to a style of construction. Condominiums can be high-rise residential buildings, townhouse complexes, individual houses and low-rise residential buildings. Ownership is subject to strata management association rules; however, the maintenance and management of the build are taken care of and in many cases, there is an increased level of security.
Understanding the Market Values of Properties
When you have chosen your location and property type, it is important to determine the value of homes presently on the market. The current selling price of a home does not mean that a property is ‘worth’ that amount — market conditions and what a buyer is willing to pay for a property affect the tire value of the home at any moment in time.
The value of a home is based on the following criteria:
- Location of the property
- Condition of the property
- Buyer demand
- Current prices of similar properties
- Recent sales of competitive properties
- Availability of financing
- Inventory Level
But ultimately, the value of any property is dependent on what is important to you and whether this is the home that you wish to buy.
LOOK FOR A PROPERTY
Now that you have been pre-approved, understand the costs of the mortgage, location, property types, and values have been analyzed, it is time to start visiting properties that match your requirements.
95% of all buyers use the Internet to search for homes and on average take 12 weeks to refine their criteria before they contact their REALTOR to view homes.
As your buyer’s agent, I can assist in narrowing your search by reviewing your ‘must-haves’ and ‘would-likes’ as well as making recommendations based on my experience and local knowledge of working within this community. As a REALTOR I also have access to:
- Previewing new properties at REALTOR Opens
- Using real estate technology that automatically sends new home matches immediately — never miss a hot new listing.
- Working with my network to find new properties that are not even listed.
- Every home in your preferred community including “for sale by owner”, discounted brokerages, expired listings or homes not actually on the market, but that are known to suit your requirements.
- Emailing your specific home requirements to top producing agents in the area so they know that you are a qualified purchaser.
Newspapers and real estate magazines still provide a platform that features homes — not every home is listed on the Internet, so searches can miss that hidden gem because it doesn’t meet your exact criteria.
Visit open houses and new home developments. You will learn a lot by getting out and seeing what is on the market.
Building a House Hunting Checklist
In the hunt for a perfect home, it’s easy to forget important priorities when you see a stunning feature or are overwhelmed by all the choices and homes you have visited. Use this checklist to help you stay organized and focus on the important criteria during your search.
Make a list of your priorities:
- What do you want from a home?
- What does your family want from a home?
- Choose your top five ‘must-haves’
- Choose your top five ‘would-likes’
Make a comparison chart:
- Positioning of the living spaces
- General size of rooms
- Kitchen style and appliances
- Garage space
- Condition of roof, common spaces
- Storage space
- Natural light
Do you feel an emotional connection to the home?
Take a tour of the home and a second walk-through without emotion. Become the inspector and look beyond the surface:
- Will your furniture fit? Downsizing can accrue additional costs if you have to replace furniture.
- Floor plans are a great way to see the flow, how changes can be made, etc. Not available? Then measure and draw your own.
- Check out the true storage space — open all cupboards, doors, attics, basements and storage cabinets.
- Lift up rugs and investigate for damage on the floor, under furniture or in the back of cupboards. Look at every detail from ceiling to floor including window trims, under sinks, bathroom tiles, etc.
- Look outside — understand the landscaping and the layout of other homes around the home, traffic parking, noise, etc.
- Check out the property at different times of the day.
- Take a moment and envision how you would use the space — does it fit your everyday needs?
- Who are your neighbours?
How long has the house been on the market?
- Is it priced to sell
- What is the resell potential
- Compare its price to others that have sold in the surrounding area
PREPARE AND NEGOTIATE AN OFFER
When you have found the right home, it is time to prepare and draft an offer of purchase. It is important that this offer both protects and represents your interests while remaining legally binding on final acceptance.
There are many components of an offer that you should be aware of and understand — as your REALTOR, I will answer your questions and explain the entire process so that you are comfortable with the steps involved.
An offer can be drafted with or without conditions; an offer without conditions is known as a firm or subject-free offer and one with conditions is known as a conditional offer and in effect, protects one party with the placement of certain conditions on the purchase.*
The seller may accept your initial offer, reject your offer or present a counter-offer. The counter-offer may differ from your original offer in respect to price, conditions, the closing date or any other items. Offers can be countered back and forth between the parties until one of you accepts or rejects, ending the negotiations.
*Understanding contractual Terminology
Acceptance of the sales contract can be made contingent on (dependent on or subject to) certain circumstances. It is important to stipulate that the property passes any inspections you want to be performed and that financing is approved.
As your Buyer’s Agent, I will advise you on what contingencies you should write into your offer, based on the type of property and your particular situation. Once you are satisfied and wish to commit to purchasing the home, a subject removal document will be prepared for you to sign.
To help alleviate the stress of buying, it is important to understand the closing process step by step:
Step 1 — Retain the services of a lawyer or notary as soon as you have an accepted Contract of Purchase and Sale and have removed all subjects.
Step 2 — Your lawyer or notary will need to gather information from you including how you wish to hold title to the property, especially if you are buying with your spouse, a partner, family member or a colleague. It is important to understand the different types of title and how they affect you.
Step 3 — Your lawyer or notary conducts a title search and obtains tax information and any additional information necessary to prepare the Statement of Adjustments. If you are registering a mortgage, your lawyer or notary will need to obtain an insurance binder with ‘’loss payable’’ to your lender
Step 4 — Your lawyer or notary prepares closing documents including title transfer, mortgage, property transfer tax forms and Statement of Adjustments. Your lawyer or notary will forward the seller’s losing documents to the seller’s lawyer or notary for execution.
Step 5 — 1 to 3 days before closing it is typical to meet with your lawyer or notary to sign documents and deliver the balance of funds — by certified check, bank draft or inter-bank transfer. If your funds are invested, ensure that they will be available for deposit in advance of closing.
Step 6 — Your lawyer or notary will register the transfer and mortgage documents, arrange for the seller’s lawyer or notary to pick up funds and notify you that the purchase has completed.
Step 7 — Normally you receive the house keys directly from your REALTOR on the Possession Date as set out in the Contract of Purchase and Sale
Step 8 — Move in and enjoy your new home
Moving into a new home is an exciting time but it can also be stressful. Whether you are doing it yourself, asking friends for a little help or hiring professionals, this moving guide will provide you some great insight:
AS SOON AS POSSIBLE
- Start early. Investigate and research moving companies and/or truck rental companies.
- Hire a moving company if you are doing it yourself, and reserve a moving truck. Be sure to get written confirmation of all your costs and details of your move for your records.
- Expenses can be saved if you move anytime before the beginning or end of the month.
TWO MONTHS BEFORE MOVING DAY
- Go through your current home and determine what you can throw out or donate.
- Make a list of items in your home that need extra attention while moving or special packing instructions.
- If you have children and you are moving to a new school district, start arranging the school and daycare transferring process.
- Order any boxes and moving supplies
ONE MONTH BEFORE MOVING DAY
- Time to start packing! Begin with the items in your home you do not use regularly.
- Clearly label on the outside to which room each box is going and a quick checklist of the items inside this makes unpacking so much easier.
- As you pack, make note of items of significant value for insurance purposes.
- As you pack, make note of items of significant value for insurance purposes.
- At your local postal office, fill out a change of address form with your new address.
- Inform the following companies and institutions about your new address: banks, cable, Internet and phone, insurance companies, utility companies, credit card companies, doctors, dentists and any subscriptions you may have.
TWO WEEKS BEFORE MOVING DAY
- Confirm your reservations with your movers or truck rental company.
- Cancel or transfer your newspaper delivery service if needed.
ONE WEEK BEFORE MOVING DAY
- Most of your packing should be done one week prior to moving day.
- Set aside the items of importance you wish to transport to your new home yourself.
A FEW DAYS BEFORE MOVING DAY
- Confirm arrival time of your moving truck. If moving yourself, confirm your reservations with the truck rental company. Prepare detailed directions for your movers including a cell phone number you can be reached at on moving day.
- Pack a travel bag with items your family may need on moving day such as toothbrushes, change of clothing, medications hair bushes, soap, etc.
- If you are moving yourself, start dismantling beds and other large furniture.
- Make a note of all utility meter readings at both the new and old home.
- Be present when the truck is being loaded and unloaded just in case your movers have any questions.
- Before the movers leave, check your belongings for any damaged items.
8 COMMON MISTAKES FOR HOME BUYERS
Take some time to educate yourself about the common mistakes home buyers make and your own home-buying experience will more likely be successful and exciting:
- Going over budget. Just because you qualify doesn’t mean you can afford the monthly payments plus all your other ongoing costs.
- Location is important. Loving the house will not be enough
- Not pre-qualifying for a mortgage.
- Not shopping for the most suitable mortgage to match your requirements.
- Not understanding all the terms and conditions, interest rates, length of contracts, mortgage types and rates, etc. before selecting your mortgage.
- Buying a new home before you sold your old home.
- Not understanding the true costs associated with buying a home.
- Not using professionals to assist in all aspects of your house purchase from using a REALTOR, mortgage advisor, home inspector, lawyer or notary through to your moving company.
What to Expect When Completing a Purchase
PROPERTY TRANSFER TAX
- Resale Housing: When a residence is purchased a Property Transfer Tax (PTT) is applied. The tax is calculated at 1% on the first $200,000, 2% up to $2 million, thereafter a 3% tax is applied. To clarify, only properties priced over $2 million are taxed at 3%, this is only applied on the amount above $2 million, not the full price. The First-Time Home Buyers’ Program offers an exemption to the PTT — ask your REALTOR for more details.
- Properties Over Two Million Dollars: There is now a 3% tax on amounts over $2,000,000. The 3% tax is only paid on the amount over $2,000,000, not the full price.
- New Construction: All buyers (whether first-time buyers or not) no longer pay PTT on purchases of NEW homes up to $750,000 in value; note the buyer must be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident; there is a partial exemption for homes between $750,000 and $800,000
- Property Transfer Tax for Non-Residents. An additional property transfer tax applies to residential property purchased in the Greater Vancouver Regional District by a foreign entity. An additional 15% of the fair market value of the foreign entity’s proportionate share of a residential property is due upon closing.
MORTGAGE INSURANCE AND FEESIf you obtain a high-ratio mortgage (a mortgage where you pay less than a 20% down payment) you will have to buy mortgage loan insurance from CMHC or a private company.
APPRAISAL AND SURVEY
Before your lender approves your mortgage, you may be required to have an appraisal done. Sometimes your lender covers the cost, otherwise, it will be your responsibility. The fee ranges from $150 to $350.
HOME INSPECTION FEE
Most REALTORS recommend that you get a home inspection by a certified home inspector. It will cost you from $350 to $650 for a smaller house, large houses may cost more. Your REALTOR should be able to recommend a good inspector.
Lawyer/notary fees for closing the sale depend on the complexity of the deal but they should range from $600 - $1,500. Disbursements to Land Titles Office — the fees are approximately $300. Your lawyer/notary will arrange the payment.
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