Purchasing a home is a huge decision in itself, but purchasing your first home is an even bigger deal! From figuring out paperwork and finding the right advisor to embarking on the much-anticipated search for your first home, there’s a lot involved and it can be an overwhelming process. Thankfully, VancityLiving Advisor Sherry Chen is here to break down the basics. Here are a few important factors to consider when purchasing your very first home.
Do Your Research When Selecting an Advisor
Purchasing your first home is an enormous decision and choosing the right Advisor is crucial. Once you’ve spoken with your Mortgage Provider, it’s time to research potential Advisors! You’re likely to have plenty of questions throughout each stage of the process, so find an advisor who will be flexible and patient with whatever questions you might have, no matter how simple or straightforward they may be. There are no silly questions!
Once you’ve selected an Advisor, make sure they keep you in the loop about any unexpected changes and inform you of things like conditions, forms and extra expenses etc. Need examples of what conditions to expect? Don’t hesitate to ask! Things can move very quickly, so it’s important you’re always up to speed.
Be Detailed With Your Property Search
Don’t be afraid to write down all your property criteria, from basic specs like square footage and number of rooms to preferred neighbourhood. You should even mention more specific preferences, like whether a listing comes with a den/terrace, closeness to transit etc. Basically, what are your must-haves?
The more information you provide, the easier it will be for your Advisor to find you the best listings to choose from. Once again, make sure your advisor goes through each step of the process in great detail.
First-Time Buyer’s Incentives
The First Time Home Buyers’ Program reduces or eliminates the amount of property transfer tax you pay when you purchase your first home. If you qualify for the program, you may be eligible for either a full or partial exemption from the tax. Take some time to discuss this with your advisor and see if you qualify. Each case is unique, so be thorough when learning about these scenarios and ask any question that comes to mind.
Be Aware of Extra Costs
Costs that new home buyers may not be aware of include moving, home inspection costs and lawyer fees. In addition, when purchasing a brand new home, you’ll also be required to pay additional GST. Costs can vary depending on the type of property, for example townhouses and condos may have monthly strata/condo fees. Ask your Advisor about these when viewing a listing.
Closing/Offer Process + Final Paperwork
You’ve finally chosen your first home! Once the exciting decision has been made, the final stage involves negotiating offers and signing paperwork. Your advisor will walk you through each of these in detail and there may be smaller steps in between, but some of what you can expect at this stage include the following:
Writing an Offer – This is a big step. Your Advisor should hopefully include good “subjects” in the offer. These subjects are essentially requirements that must be met for you to proceed with the purchase. Once you are ready to finalize the purchase, these subjects will be removed. Once more, consult your Advisor for the best advice. Offers aren’t typically accepted the first time, and there may be counter offers and a bit of back and forth before an agreement has been made on both sides.
Financing – Once you have accepted an offer, let your Mortgage Broker know so you can begin the financing process. They may require certain documents pertaining to the property at this stage.
Home Inspection – If possible, try to have your Advisor present during the inspection so they can help spot any issues that might come up.
Remove Subjects + Deposit + Move In! – When you are committed to a property, subjects are removed and a deposit is made. Congratulations, you just purchased your very first home! Now all that’s left is to move in!
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