Vancouver First Time Home Buyers
Being first time home buyers is a nerve-racking experience filled with highs and lows. For most of us buying a home is the largest financial decision of our lives.
There so many variables that come into play when buying your first home, especially in a hyper-competitive market like Vancouver. Incentives, rebates, fees, taxes, other buyers, preferred location can quickly transform a minor issue to a major concern. Having a trusted team of professionals that have been through the process…many times lends a calming effect and makes it a much more enjoyable process.
Preparing For The Home Buying Journey
Once you confirm you’re ready to proceed and buy your first home its best to get pre-approved for financing. This lets any potential seller know you are serious and are in a financial state to make a bonafide offer.
Next, schedule a meeting with a reputable Mortgage broker. They will ensure you get the Mortgage thats right for you and don’t over-extend yourself. They can also ensure your payment structure (once you close) is something your family can afford.
Next, its time to go to your preferred banking institution and apply for a mortgage. Once you have their offer its very important to take some time and compare that to other banks and financial lending institutions. This ensures you get the best possible rate on the open market. Saving just a few decimals points on your interest rate or the repayment structure can potentially save you thousands over the lifespan of the mortgage.
Make a list of needs for your potential first home. The number of bedrooms, bathrooms, amenities, parking, etc. Always plan for some growth so you’re not running out of space as soon as you move in.
Next its the fun part, the “wish” list. What amenities would be nice to have: jacuzzi tub, walk-in closets, fenced back yard, etc. It’s very important in to have a clear distinction between the two and what your priorities are.
Hire A Professional Team
Hiring a professional Realty Team makes a world of difference. They know the neighbourhoods intimately, average market prices, number of listings in the areas and of course, an extensive network of other real estate professionals that may just have a listing right for you.
When interviewing Realtors make sure they understand your goals and limitations so they can find a home that suits your needs. Here is a great article on the best 10 questions to ask a Realtor.
A great Vancouver-area Realtor will be very upfront with all fees and charges associated with your first home purchase. They will also provide a thorough breakdown of the expected tax costs.
So you have selected your favourite Realtor outlined your needs and wants, been approved by a bank for a certain amount and its time for your team to find some homes that match that criteria.
These first few open houses and rounds of viewings can be extremely exciting with lots of ups and downs. The key is to make an informed decision and to be informed you have to see as much data (listings) as possible.
Trust your Realtor, if they offer some suggestions outside of your typical range, be a good sport and see what they have to offer. A realtor’s time is valuable so if they thinks it’s a good match then its probably worth the time.
Looking outside of the box is a great method of comparison. You can see what the same amenities may cost in different neighbourhoods or how much more square footage or larger yard you can get in the suburbs compared to a smaller condo in Yaletown.
First Time Home Buyers: Make an Offer
Once you find that dream home its time to make an offer. This is when the expertise of great realtors can make the difference between closing and setting a move-in date or attending more open houses. They also make sure all necessary inspections have been performed so there are no surprises.
Be sure not to rush, allow yourself adequate time to make preparations especially if you have children in school, you want to upgrade your life, not plunge it into upheaval.
If you are currently renting, you may also need additional time to conclude an existing lease. Some landlords are accommodating with early terminations. You could also sublet if too much time remains on the lease.
Once everyone in your party is satisfied and all considerations have been made, its time to submit your offer!
Preparing For Closing Day
The big day of moving into your first home has arrived. To prepare for this special occasion you should have arranged a moving company, or at least a few friends, hopefully with trucks and some cash set aside for pizza.
Remember to transfer of all services. Internet, utilities, delivery services should all be updated of your new address. Paying the small fee for a Canada Post forwarding service to your new address ensures nothing will get lost in the move.
Some unscrupulous property companies like to add expensive, last-minute cleaning “fees”. Hiring a professional cleaning crew or maid service can ensure no surprises and you leave your rental unit in the best possible condition. Be sure to take a final walkthrough video of every room so that you can prove it was in an acceptable state when you vacated the property.
Nothing thrills us more than helping a first-time home buyer find their new home. Helping families begin their journey here in the Lower Mainland is what gets us out of bed every morning. If you are thinking of buying your first home and would like to see what options are currently avaliable, book a consultation by clicking the link below.