Get ready to buy
Be realistic about your situation and understand what you can afford. You should have your down payment and you should be good at managing debt. The cost of buying a home = one-time costs (down payment, legal fees, inspection fees and taxes) + monthly costs (mortgage, utilities, maintenance, insurance and property taxes).
Whether you're trading up, downsizing, investing, or buying your first home, the first step in buying a home is preparing yourself financially.
Know the market
The market may have changed since you purchased your current home. Regulations and procedures change regularly. Ask your REALTOR® to update you on what to expect in the process.
Check out REBGV.org to familiarize yourself with the latest news and access our Market Watch reports to see the latest real estate market trends.
Get a mortgage
Negotiate interest rates and mortgage terms with different lenders and get pre-approved for a mortgage before you start house hunting. This determines the maximum amount of money you can borrow. How much you pay for a mortgage depends on how much you borrow (the principal), the loan’s interest rate, and how long you take to pay it back (the amortization period).
Understand what will happen to your current mortgage
Prepare your finances and understand what will happen with your current mortgage. Will the buyer “assume” your mortgage or are you “discharging” it? If you’re buying a new home, is your mortgage “portable”? What taxes are involved? These are important questions to ask your Realtor, your mortgage lender, and your notary public, or lawyer.
Get your home ready to sell
If you'r downsizing, trading up, or moving laterally, you'll want to prepare your current home for sale.
An attractive, well-kept home has a better chance of selling faster. Keep in mind that clutter makes rooms look smaller then they are. Create a feeling of spaciousness. Minor updates, like improved lighting, can add value. Think about how to highlight and improve your home’s best features.
Know the difference in ownership
If you’re downsizing to a strata property, like a condo or a townhome, ask your Realtor about potential fees and receive strata meeting minutes. You'll also want to know if there are any restrictions, such as ones for pets.
Parking and storage are other considerations for strata home living. Understand your potential new home’s situation before buying.
It’s also important to look for strata depreciation reports. They’ll help you know what building maintenance is coming up.
Find a home
Decide where you want to live, which neighbourhood suits you best, and what type of home you want and what you can afford. Realtors work from a powerful business system called the Multiple Listings Service® (MLS®), which contains detailed information on property listings. Your Realtor can send you listings that fit your criteria and together, you can draw up a short list of possible homes.
Prepare for other costs
It’s important to understand the home-buying costs beyond the price you're paying for the property. On top of your mortgage, there are one-time legal fees, Realtor fees, moving costs, and disbursement fees.
LOOKING FOR YOUR NEXT HOME?
Realtors work from a powerful business system called MLS® Systems, which contains detailed information on home listings. Owned and operated by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver and its Realtor members, Realtylink is powered by MLS® Systems. Use Realtylink today to find your next home.