Envisioning Your Home
Buying a home is one of the biggest emotional and financial decisions you will ever make. You can ensure that you have a leg-up on other buyers by investing the time to learn about the process of home buying up front. This four-part online crash course will cover the basics of buying a home in Metro Vancouver and provide you with the fundamentals to get your home search off on the right foot.
Are You Financially Ready?
Before you begin shopping for a home, it is important to know how much you are willing and can afford to spend on your next home. You will want to plan ahead for the various expenses related to home ownership in addition to purchase cost, including heating, property taxes, strata fees, home maintenance, and renovation, as required.
A mortgage broker or mortgage specialist will help you make sense of the numbers and will do a detailed analysis of your finances (usually free of charge) to figure out the amount of mortgage that you qualify for. Much as how all Realtors are not created equal in terms of their skill, attention to detail, knowledge of the market, and ability to effectively communicate with their clients, the same applies to mortgage brokers. My partnerships with local mortgage brokers representing dozens of institutions ensures that you will always have access to the best financing rates from industry-leading professionals with a range of funding options.
By arranging your mortgage financing before starting your home search, you will be able to negotiate your purchase offers on equal footing with all-cash buyers—there will be no uncertainty about how much home you can really afford. Home sellers will have added confidence in your bid as a result, and will be far more willing to accept your offer— especially when confronted with bids from multiple buyers. Before meeting with a broker, here are some resources that will help give you an approximate idea of your affordability in our current market:
The Calculators You’ll Need
- Mortage Calculators (Tangerine)
- Rent vs Buy Comparison (NY Times)
- Home Buyers Plan (Governent of Canada)
- First-time Home Buyer Tax Credits (Governent of Canada)
Which Home Is Right For You?
Once you have a good idea about your finances, you’ll need to think clearly about the type of home you’d like to buy.
To help you get started, “My Dream Home” Wish List will help you consider what features you are ideally looking for in your next home. Knowing where you are willing to draw the line between “must-haves” and “nice-to-haves” in your new home is often a complicated process. A Realtor with the right skills and experience will able to help you sort out what you really need in your next home – versus what you would really like – and help you map out a realistic vision for the home of your dreams on the budget of your reality. By investing this time up front with a qualified and compassionate Realtor, you will be surprised by just how much heartache you will save in the long haul!