Vancouver, BC – Buying a home is indeed an exhaustive experience wherein a buyer has to be cautious as well as make the right decisions. If you are thinking of buying yourself a house in Vancouver, you’ll have to make some very important calls. When you are to make tough decisions, you may feel the need of some good advice to help you. Here are some essential Vancouver buy house tips for you:
1. Make a plan, pick the location, hold your emotions
This makes it pertinent on you to chalk out a plan which would make purchasing your house much easier. Planning would enable you to understand your wants with more clarity in terms of choosing a home with more bedrooms over choosing a house with a bigger garage or a bigger kitchen or a fireplace in it.
Real estate does require one to ponder on location. In fact, it is the location that breeds value to the property, in case one desires to sell off or liquidate his property in the future. Moreover, one should take precaution in buying property which is closer to schools, hospitals, bus stops etc. and has the required amenities in its surroundings. Location thus is a necessary factor for you as well as in protecting your family’s interests.
No matter how badly you want a new home, you should not get overtly emotional in displaying the same to other parties or even to your realtor. In case you want to show your realtor that you are one of those who merely tend to window shop, the chances that he/she would get you a better deal are more pronounced.
2. Sell your current home (If your are a first time home buyer, skip this part.)
It seems to be a very tough decision when it comes to selling your present home: should you sell first and buy later, or buy first and sell later? Even though it is a security to buy a house in Vancouver before you sell your present home, selling first has some great advantages:
a) You’ll be aware of the selling cost of your house, so you can ascertain, beforehand, the amount available for buying a house in Vancouver
b) You might be lucky as you may not have to set the offer subject to financing
c) You may even manage a long closing time, giving you ample time to look for a good house in Vancouver.
d) Even though selling first could be distressing phase, you will find it equally tiring to own and maintain two houses!
If you feel this is not easy to decide, ask your realtor or real estate agent for some suggestions, they know the local market better.
3. Get a pre-approval, be financially ready and decide your budget
Make sure you have at least some of your down payment saved. Also, ensure that you are already capable of managing your debts, like those from loans or credit cards. You must realize that mortgage is a great responsibility. It is a inancial aspect that will require you to maintain it continuously. A pre-approved mortgage will let you know as to how much can you afford to spend in advance as well as signal to the other sellers depicting you to be a serious prospect to them. However, you have to make sure that you get everything written in all your negotiation process.
There are too many money lending institutions today from banks to lenders to credit unions. When you have to decide which one to go to, shed your inhibitions and ask all around the town, including your family and friends. Your agent/realtor will also know a lot about mortgages so you can ask him or her for some sound advice too. They might even get you in contact with a mortgage broker.
For deciding your budget, consider what you believe you will have remaining after the down payment. Here’s an equation to help you calculate:
Cost of a home = one-time cost + monthly costs
The one-time costs constitute the down payment, taxes, inspection fees and legal fees. The monthly costs are made up by the mortgage, maintenance, utilities, property taxes and insurance.
If your budget is really tight, consider “Shared Equity”: a smart method to get an affordable house in Vancouver. You will have your own shared equity investment or co-ownership. There is a service named as: “Mixer Mortgage” or “co-borrower mortgages” in many banks. It allows family members, friends or partners to share all the expenses of purchasing a home, both one-time and monthly costs like deposit, mortgage, etc.
4. Decide your preference and research, have an futuristic approach
As a purchaser of real estate one ought to be well informed as to what goes in and around the realty market. You can demand a comparative market analysis from your realtor, which could enable you in determining the sale price of other comparative properties in the neighborhood. Or you can try to do this kind of homework by yourself.
You need a house today but how well will the house as seen by you at a certain location help you in the future. In other words, you have to understand certain technicalities while buying the house. And this would include the technicalities of property market fluctuations.
Make decision according to your choice of rural, suburban or urban setting and select a suitable Vancouver neighborhood accordingly. Similarly, decide whether you want an apartment, or an attached or detached house. The availability as well as the age of the property, depending on whether it is new or being resold, will also affect the price of the house, and consequently, your budget.
An amazing search tool by the name of Multiple Listings Service, containing all information on properties, is routinely used by realtors and home buyers. You can search by yourself, it is free and easy. If you have an agent, get your agent send those listings to you in accordance with your requirements so that you can make a shortlist. Thereafter, you only need to visit a few houses in Vancouver and make a wise, aware decision.
When you see a house, take caution in rendering it a detailed look. It is not only the flooring that matters but what equally matters are the walls, wallpapers, and other things which would be of material significance to you or any residents for that matter. As such, a detailed look could also help you in negotiating better making the seller know of the items lacking in the house.
5. Look for the right agent/realtor and hire some specialists
Mere hiring of an agent for your entire house purchasing endeavors in Vancouver would not suffice. You have to know whether such agent is trustworthy enough to represent you or to act on your behalf if any circumstances so arise.
You will find that there are many approaches you can use to come across a real estate agent or realtor. You can find them by taking down names as you take a drive through the localities that interest you, visit an open house in Vancouver, check advertisements, and consult family and friends for reference to an agent they might know. Shortlist and interview a few before selecting one out of all the realtors. Frankly, we prefer hiring those agents who have long term local market experience, and referred by other home buyers recently.
Beware of any flimsy realtors in the real estate market! A good realtor or an agent should demonstrate the knowledge as well as the experience in having a team of professionals for meeting all your needs in purchasing of a house in Vancouver. As such, such realtor should have team of experts alongside him which would include lawyers, inspectors, movers, lenders and such similar entities.
You may get the best rates with the help of a mortgage broker. A lawyer or a notary public may help you be aware of all the documents that you may need when buy home in Vancouver.
Employing the services of a home inspector will help you know well the condition of the house before you shift in. Inspecting the plumbing, floors, wall, ceiling, electrical, heating, attic, roof, siding, trim, porches, patios, decks, garage and drainage system from a home inspector is definitely worth it. A professional advice from the home inspector will help you ascertain the money you would have to spend on reconstruction costs, if any and such details of essence.
6. Study the seller and all documentations
Purchasing the Vancouver house would also require you to dwell into the technicalities as well the fundamental aspects concerning the seller. Likewise, you also have to ascertain the reputation of the seller and the reason for which the seller likes to sell the property. Any hidden trigger points if any, should be disclosed at once.
It is one of the most important functionality of the sellers to make complete disclosure of known material defects. As such, you ought to have the copy of such disclosure from the seller well written and documented with necessary signature and formalities affixed on the same.
Do not fall prey to your seller’s stories while you buy house in Vancouver ! In the process of your negotiation and re-negotiation with the seller, the chances that your seller can come up with some concocted stories to dissuade you from the facts are certainly more. As such, many sellers use the tactics of showing their customers that there are lot of buyers waiting to purchase the same property at hand. On the other hand, if there indeed is more than one buyer, than one can refrain from venturing into further negotiations as any further negotiations would mean nothing but over-paying for the property. And that is not worth it.
7. Prepare an offer and negotiate
If you have really liked a dream home in Vancouver, just jump on it. In other words, do not lose on any opportunity to make the deal concrete and finalized to your liking. In doing so, you would have to make quick decisions as well as urge your realtor to seal the deal as soon as possible.
Your agent/realtor can help you prepare an offer as they are very experienced in these aspects. If there are terms you don’t understand, feel hesitant or have any concerns, do ask! You have all rights to be explained to by your realtor/agent. Bad Communication should never be a barrier in purchasing the house of your preference, which is why it is important that you make your realtor understand your thought process and point of view in the purchase of your house in Vancouver.
Don’t be scared by the home seller’s first price! The market of Vancouver housing is changing, you have power to bargain for a proper better price. And you do not need to talk to the seller face to face, your agent should do it and he/she should be a good negotiator and bargainer. This is why it is very important to hire a good realtor, since a seasoned agent can cut down the over high price and save thousands even hundreds of thousands of dollars for you!
8. Double check, then close the deal thoroughly
Be careful, check everything again in the deal, such as, hidden costs, special levy etc. The hidden costs may be in the form of mortgage insurance or any such other that may enhance the cost of buying home in Vancouver. As such, inspections fees, title insurance, appraisal fees, transfer taxes are certainly a part and parcel of the hidden costs that one would have to incur in purchasing of the house. Thus, purchasing of your house cannot discard such costs which would take the purchasing amount to a higher limit.
At this stage, one of the most important things is: make sure your lawyer or notary public will hold the special levy or credit for you. Sometimes, the property could have occurred some kind of special levy before your buy it. For example, an apartment or condo had fixed the roof or replaced the pipes several months ago, this money was a special levy and should be paid by the home seller of course. You and your agent should ask the seller to credit back this special levy, and your lawyer or notary public should hold this money for your future use.
Once your offer gets accepted, your lawyer (or the notary public) and realtor will seal of the loose ends. However, you should ensure that you know everything about the agreement, and act upon any conditions that require you to take an action immediately. If you ascertain this, you’ll have your Vancouver buy house dream come true really soon.
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