So, you're thinking about buying a home? Now could be a great time based on your situation!
If you have your finances in place, and you have decided what you want, now could be a great time to buy a home.
Currently, in the British Columbia, there are a lot of programs to support home purchases from a provincial and federal level. While buying a home is a uniquely personal decision, if you are feeling like now is the right time for you, there are some amazing opportunities to buy the home of your dreams.
Feeling like you might be ready? Here are some things to consider ahead of starting your search.
1. Start saving for a down payment
If you know you’re intending to buy a home in the near future, it’s important to start putting together your down payment. How much you need will depend upon the purchase price of the home.
- If the purchase price is less than $500,000, the minimum down payment is 5%.
- If the purchase price is between $500,000 and $999,999, the minimum down payment is 5% of the first $500,000, and 10% of any amount over $500,000.
- If the purchase price is $1,000,000 or more, the minimum down payment is 20%.
2. Get pre-approved for a mortgage
It is important to understand what mortgage lenders will approve ahead of looking for a home. When it comes time to make an offer, sellers will value a pre-approval over one that is not pre-approved because it is likely a more solid offer. Trilogy Mortgage offers a great option for a streamlined online approval – get started by clicking the button below.
3. Know the costs of the transaction
Inspection – Not required but is usually advisable which can cost $250-$500 depending on the size of the home.
Agents – If you bring a buy-side agent, they will charge the seller for their services. Around half (50%) of the 7% on the 1st $100,000 and 2.5% on the balance is payable to a buyers agent. Of course, if you buy without an agent you should be able to negotiate a better sales price.
Lawyer – You will need a lawyer to finalize the deal as well as clear disbursements. This fee can be $1,500 +.
CMHC (mortgage insurance) – Will apply if you put less than 20% down on a home.
GST – This applies if you are purchasing a new home.
First time home buyer – Check out programs both federal and provincial as there are incentives that may apply like RRSP implications.
Moving – the costs of movers is extremely variable from Kijiji (~$500) to professional movers and organizers (~$2,500+ depending on volume). Or pizza and beer if your friends love you.
4. Understand the market
Doing your research is very important. If you are selling your existing home and buying a new one, it is important to understand the micro-market you are selling from and buying into. If you are a first-time buyer, make sure you understand the trends in the type of home you are looking for in the specific community you are looking at.
5. Know what you would like to buy
This is the most personal part of your buying journey. It is a good idea to rank the attributes of the home you are looking for – “must-have” and “nice to have” characteristics. Beds, baths, sqft, and property type are obvious questions, but also consider neighbourhood, proximity to work, and lot size. This way, you are able to hone your search right away and it will be less overwhelming from the beginning. You can always revisit this list.
6. Start your search
90% of people find their home online, so that is a great place to start. Set up your saved search and start flipping through pictures and 3D tours. The best way to know if “now” is the right time, is to start looking!
Want real-time alerts when new properties hit the market?
Bōde has the perfect system to allow you to set your search criteria, price points, neighbourhood preferences (and so much more), and receive real-time updates directly to your email.. and it’s free!
With your free Bōde account, you don’t need an agent to help you buy your home, you can do it yourself and save! That means no cold calls, no agent fees, and you are completely in charge of your home search!