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Are You Ready to Buy Your Next Home in Vancouver?

If you are ready to buy your first house, condo or townhouse in Vancouver Yaletown, Kitsilano, Vancouver Downtown, Gastown, West Vancouver, Coal Harbour, Kerrisdale, False Creek or other parts of the Lower Mainland, then there are three vital tips that you will want to keep in mind as you prepare to enter into the Vancouver real estate marketplace. By following these tips, you will be in the best possible position to ensure that you really will be able to find and buy your dream home.

Get Pre-approved for a Home Mortgage

Perhaps the most important step that you should keep in mind when it comes to buying your first home is to get pre-approved for a home mortgage loan. By getting pre-approved for a home mortgage loan before you start looking, you will be in a far stronger position to enter into a real estate contract.

The typical home seller will be more eager to enter into a sales contract with a person who has been pre-approved for a home mortgage loan. One of the biggest obstacles to closing a real estate deal in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland is usually the inability of the buyer to obtain acceptable bank financing. By coming to the bargaining table with a pre-approved home mortgage, you will be able to demonstrate to a seller that you are serious about buying their home.

Develop a Specific Home Buying Plan

Another important step that you will want to take when it comes to buying your first home is to develop a specific home buying plan. If you do not have a plan, you will often be tempted off course in your search for that perfect property. A Vancouver REALTOR® will help you set up your plan.

Perhaps the most significant element of a plan is to set forth specifically what you are willing to pay for a house, condo or townhouse. The failure to establish such a budget oftentimes results in a person ending up spending far more on a home than he/she can actually afford.

Consult with Amalia Liapis

Finally, your interests can be best served by engaging a professional Vancouver real estate agent to assist you in your search for your home. Amalia Liapis will provide you with the newest Vancouver MLS real estate listings, advise you on all facets of a property and the current market, guide you through the complex contract negotiations and always be there for your needs. By selecting a professional Vancouver real estate agent like Amalia Liapis to assist you in your home search, you have the best chance for success in finding your ideal Vancouver house, condo or townhouse and ensuring your experience is both exciting and stress-free.
 
 

 

Latest Vancouver Real Estate News

Grants & Rebates Part II

 

Over the next couple of blogs, we'll be providing a list of grants and rebates for property buyers and owners to make the purchasing process a little more affordable. The first five grants were listed out in the previous blog, which can be found here: Grants & Rebates Part I. Follow along to see how you can keep your wallet feeling a little fuller!

(6) BC Property Tax Deferment Programs
Once you receive your property tax notice, you may be able to apply for a low interest loan to pay your current year property taxes on your principal residence given you satisfy the requirements.

There are three different property tax deferment programs available: [1] Property Tax Deferment Program for Seniors [2] Financial Hardship Property Tax Deferment Program [3] Property Tax Deferment...

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Grants & Rebates Part I

 

Over the next couple of blogs, we'll be providing a list of grants and rebates for property buyers and owners to make the purchasing process a little more affordable. Follow along to see how you can keep your wallet feeling a little fuller!

(1) Home Buyers' Plan
Qualifying home buyers can withdraw up to $25,000 (or $50,000 for couples) from their Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSP) for a down payment. It allows you to buy or build a qualifying home for yourself or a related person with a disability. Home buyers who have repaid their RRSP may be eligible to use the program a second time.

 Additional Information: CRA Home Buyers' Plan

(2) GST Rebate on New Homes
New home buyers can apply for a rebate for the 5% GST if the purchase price is $350,000 or less. The rebate is equal...

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Interest Rate Forecast

With a considerable increase in energy costs followed by an incline in Canadian inflation rates in the recent months, there is some speculation that the effect on the consumer price index (CPI) caused by high energy costs should fade later this year. CPI is the Bank of Canada's preferred measure of inflation. There does seem to be some underlying momentum in core CPI which, if kept continuing, will be much harder for policymakers to brush aside.

Global economic growth was weaker than forecasted for the first quarter in 2014 but is expected to pick up in the second half of the year. As for now, the rates are anticipated to remain unchanged until 2015. There is much consideration that the new normal for interest rates is that it will be much lower than previously. The interest rate will see f...

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Hidden Costs of Buying a Home Part III

Buying a home involves sneaky hidden costs that are often overlooked. Be prepared for fees that go beyond the mortgage. The time for you to budget for those "end" expenses is now!

Concluding our three part series is the evaluation of potential additional fees you may be faced with during the buying process. Our previous blog posts regarding MANDATORY FEES & MORTGAGE FEES can be found here: Hidden Costs I & Hidden Costs II

POTENTIAL ADDITIONAL FEES
Home Inspection Fee: While this is not required, it is highly recommended to have a thorough home inspection in order to check for any major issues that may arise. Typical costs range from $500 to $700 for an inspection. Given the situation in which there are some complications, the inspector may recommend an external specialist...

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Hidden Costs of Buying a Home Part II

Buying a home involves sneaky hidden costs that are often overlooked. Be prepared for fees that go beyond the mortgage. The time for you to budget for those "end" expenses is now!

Our previous blog post regarding MANDATORY FEES can be found here: Hidden Costs I

MORTGAGE FEES
Mortgage Application Fee: The fees charged vary from lender to lender. If you're lucky, some don't charge at all.

Mortgage Default Insurance: For buyers with less than a 20% down payment, you are required to buy the default insurance which is calculated as being 0.65% - 2.75% of the mortgage amount. It'll be in your best interest to have at least 20% down in order to save thousands of dollars.

Mortgage Life Insurance: Having mortgage life insurance is a great safeguard that protects you and your family in case of...

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Hidden Costs of Buying a Home Part I

Buying a home involves sneaky hidden costs that are often overlooked. Be prepared for fees that go beyond the mortgage. The time for you to budget for those "end" expenses is now!

MANDATORY FEES
Deposit: Prepare ~5% of the purchase price readily available in cash.

Legal Fees: Lawyer and notary fees are dependent on the complexity of the transactions. A lawyer or notary public represents your needs and interests and will facilitate transactions between you, the seller and the bank on closing day. For straightforward transactions, the average cost will range from $600 to $1,200.

Property Transfer Tax (PTT): For the first $200,000, you pay 1% and 2% for the remaining balance.

Great News for First-Time Home Buyers! Effective as of February 19, 2014, the government has announced a reduction in the...

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Property Taxes Deadline

 

If you haven't paid your property taxes yet, today is the last day before late penalties kick in. July 2, 2014 is the deadline for property tax payment and various applications as listed below:

- Deadline to pay your rural property taxes
- Deadline to apply for the home owner grant without late payment penalties
- Deadline to apply to defer your property taxes without late payment penalties
- Deadline to apply for the Farm Extension Program

Before paying your property taxes, make sure to complete the Home Owner Grant Application. There are 6 ways you can pay property taxes:

1) By Mail: Mail the cheque or money order with the remittance portion of the property tax bill to the local municipality. Taxes must be received by the due date.

2) At a Financial Institution: Pay online, by phone, in...

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Mortgage Language Made Simple #4

Purchasing a home in itself can be stressful enough. Being bombarded with unfamiliar jargon can add to that stress. Fortunately for you, we've created a helpful cheat sheet that will make you a mortgage expert in no time!

Collateral Mortgage
While this financing tool is generally not in the forefront in terms of mortgage plans, it has definitely been around for quite some time. With a collateral mortgage, you still have some elements of a conventional mortgage such as a predetermined interest rate and term. This loan agreement is secured by the collateral security of a mortgage against your home. Depending on the lender, you may be able to have your mortgage registered for up to 125% of its value. 

Advantages of a Collateral Mortgage
- You're able to diversify your mortgage with multiple...

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Mortgage Language Made Simple #3

Purchasing a home in itself can be stressful enough. Being bombarded with unfamiliar jargon can add to that stress. Fortunately for you, we've created a helpful cheat sheet that will make you a mortgage expert in no time!

No-Frills Mortgage
It is a basic, bare-bones fixed-rate mortgage. While the rates quoted are generally quite low, there are some downsides to the low rates which we will touch base on below. 

Advantages of a No-Frills Mortgage
- Low interest rates (Generally cheaper than fully-featured mortgages)
- Stability in payment amounts

Disadvantages of a No-Frills Mortgage
- Very limited prepayment privileges (Restrictions on how many prepayments you're allowed to make)
- High penalties incurred for refinancing or paying out the mortgage
- No added flexibilty for payment options...

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Mortgage Language Made Simple #2

Purchasing a home in itself can be stressful enough. Being bombarded with unfamiliar jargon can add to that stress. Fortunately for you, we've created a helpful cheat sheet that will make you a mortgage expert in no time!

Prepayment Privileges
Your mortgage has an option to make extra payments up to a certain percentage of the whole without incurring any penalties. There are 3 ways you can make extra payments towards your mortgage:

[1] Additional Payments: This option is simply where you can opt into making additional payments towards your mortgage with one lumpsum payment or several lump sum payments. 

[2] Increased Payments: This option allows you to increase the payment amount arranged annually. This can often be done in conjunction with the additional payments.

[3] Lump Sum Payments:...

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