B U Y E R â€™S G U I DE METRO VANCOUVER PROPERTIES GROUP
R E / M A X C r e s t R e a l t y We s t s i d e | R E / M A X C r e s t R e a l t y RE/MAX Masters Realty | RE/MAX Metro Realty | RE/MAX Central Realty
8 LOCATIONS TO SERV E A LL O F YOUR REAL ESTATE NE EDS West Vancouver
North Vancouver Crest North Vancouver
Crest Westside Beach
Vancouver East Crest Westside 7th Metro
Crest Westside MacDonald
Vancouver West Central
CONTENTS Introduction – Welcome to Buying a Home
Commitment – Building a Winning Relationship Important Considerations The Benefits of Home Ownership 9 Steps to Purchasing a Home
4 7 8 9
Define Your Goals
Select a REALTOR®
Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
Research Your Property Options
Look for a Property
Prepare and Negotiate an Offer
Remove Subjects / Conditions of Purchase
Prepare for Closing
Move into Your New Home 8 Common Mistakes for Home Buyers Cost Guide – What to Expect When Completing a Purchase Why RE/MAX?
28 30 31 32 35
Featured Suppliers Local Community Involvement
A Home Buyer’s Glossary
RE/MAX Buyer’s Guide
RE/MAX Buyerâ€™s Guide
INTRODUCTION Welcome to Buying a Home My buyerâ€™s guide is intended to give you a platform to define your goals, research your options and bring your plans to fruition in line with your financial situation. Whether you are a seasoned home buyer, a property investor or a first-time home buyer, the simple fact is that buying a home is rarely a purchase that you will make on a regular basis. I look forward to helping you achieve your property ownership goals today and becoming your trusted real estate advisor for your future needs as well.
RE/MAX Buyerâ€™s Guide
C O M M I TM E N T Building a Winning Relationship I believe in working with you throughout the entire process, knowing that even if searching for the right home takes months, I will be as committed as the day we agreed to work together.
My Commitment to You To execute my responsibilities in accordance with your instructions, including complete disclosure, loyalty, confidentiality and accountability in line with the Real Estate Board of Vancouver’s Code of Ethics. •
To Understand Your Requirements. Location, property type and budget
To Research the Market. Matching the right properties to your requirements
To View the Selected Properties. Organizing access to suit your availability
To Give Unbiased Assessments on the Value. Providing you comparative statistics on similar properties recently sold
To Act as Your Consultant. Providing the right legal documentation and terminology when preparing your Offer of Purchase
To Negotiate on Your Behalf. Ensuring the best possible price and terms are in line with current market conditions
To Recommend Professional Service Providers. From financial options to home-related services
To Closing. Working beside you throughout the entire process, keeping you informed and knowledgeable about your commitments to timelines
In short, I will provide you with comprehensive, high-quality buyer’s service. After all, the seller has their own representative working for their best interests — shouldn’t you have an expert on your side?
RE/MAX Buyer’s Guide
Your Commitment to Me When working with clients to help them find their new home, I expend a great deal of time, effort and expense — I only receive payment once you have found and purchased your dream home. In return, I only ask that you will commit to allow me: •
To Make Your Offer of Purchase. In my service area, or through a referral
To Advise of Any Circumstance Changes. So I know when to adjust my search
To Show You All Properties of Interest. Even if they don’t seem to fit your requirements
To Be Your Known REALTOR® of Choice. No matter the circumstances
To Negotiate My Required Fee. If the seller of the property does not offer a sufficient cooperating fee or is a “For Sale by Owner” property
To Advise if My Service Level Falls Below Your Expectations. So I may rectify the situation
RE/MAX Buyer’s Guide
RE/MAX Buyerâ€™s Guide
I M P O RTA N T C O N S I D E R AT I O N S Before we start, I ask my clients to review these considerations — they make a significant difference in the success of this process: ARE YOU READY ? Do you expect to stay in your new home for some time? Moving can be expensive and you will want to build some equity before relocating. PERFECT CON DITIONS — THEY D O N ’ T EXI ST When is the best time to buy? When you have found the right home. D ON ’T WAIT TO SH OP FO R THE BEST LOA N Start up front. Getting pre-qualified before you start searching will help immensely and prevent disappointment. ALWAYS DO YOUR RESEA R C H Don’t get emotionally attached — know what you can afford, shop around for the best mortgage, find the right REALTOR® and know what is happening in the market. PRIORITIZIN G AND COM PR OM I S I N G A R E NECESSARY ELEM EN TS Compile a list of ‘must-haves’ and a list of ‘would-likes’. You will never find the perfect home otherwise.
O N LY WO R K WI T H O NE AG E NT Find the right REALTOR® who will work with you to realize your dreams. WR I TI N G A N UNREA L IST IC O F F E R Offer instead what the property is worth to you, otherwise you may be helping someone else’s offer look good! A FR A I D TO WR IT E A N O F F E R? Don't be afraid, as your trusted REALTOR® I am here to guide and counsel you. O UTS I D E O PI N IO NS Trust your immediate family, your instincts and do what feels right — too much stress indicates that it's time to walk away. BUY ER 'S R EMO R SE Don't be worried — most buyers experience this. It's normal and will pass if the situation is right. DON'T BE AFRAID TO BACK OUT OF A DEAL You have not gone too far until all the subjects have been removed.
RE/MAX Buyer’s Guide
THE BENEFITS OF H O M E OW N E R S H I P Without question, owning a home comes with responsibilities and risks that you don’t have to worry about when you rent such as a mortgage, taxes, homeowner’s insurance, maintenance and repairs. However, financial advisors — not to mention homeowners themselves — say there are far more advantages to owning:
PRIDE OF OWNERSHIP
TAX BEN EF I TS
The number one reason for home ownership in Canada.
Unlike stocks and bonds, not only do you get to live in your investment, your principle residence is exempt from Capital Gains Tax.
STABILITY AND SECURI TY Created when you are the owner and in charge of decisions — not your landlord. APPRECIATION Historically in Canada the value of homes have increased considerably. NET WORTH An increase in appreciation equals an increase in your net worth.
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MO RTG AG E EQ UI TY Part of your monthly payment is applied to the principal balance of the loan, which builds your equity — usable funds. Q UA LI TY O F LI F E Owning a home is not just a good investment in financial terms, it is also an investment in a higher quality of life providing immediate shelter and a nest egg for the future.
9 STEPS TO PURCHASING A HOME 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.
Define Your Goals Select a REALTOR® Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage Research Your Property Options Look for a Property Prepare and Negotiate an Offer Remove Subjects/Conditions of Purchase Prepare for Closing Move into Your New Home
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1 . | D E F I NE YOUR G OALS We need to determine clear reasons why you are buying and what kind of home fits your needs. The reasons for buying a home have changed significantly over the last 25 years â€” no longer is it simply a permanent place for you and/or your family. Owning property is now viewed with a keen eye on its investment potential, whether it is for the principle home, a second home or an actual investment. Buying and financing a home are closely related, so it is very important to review your current financial situation and to understand how much you can actually afford. During the determination of these answers you will find that you are in a better position to understand both your housing and mortgage options, as well as create the appropriate action plan and timeline for moving forward.
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8 Reasons to Invest in Property 1. Return on Investment. No one can predict the future, but over the last 25 years the average price of a home in Vancouver has risen substantially. 2. Equity. Redirecting rent money into paying down a mortgage, turns that money into equity that can be used to finance other opportunities. 3. Land Value. Land is an ever-decreasing commodity, thus making it more valuable. 4. Stability. Purchasing a home is typically a stable investment, as comparative to many other investment opportunities. 5. Affordable Borrowing. Current low interest rates make mortgages affordable. 6. Demographics and Immigration. Two factors currently supporting growth. 7. Rental Income. If you need to leave your home it can be rented to offset the mortgage â€” keep it as an investment property. 8. Location. Key to investment properties, and investing your time to understand location, could pay large dividends.
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2 . | S E L ECT A R EALTOR ® As a buyer, you have a choice in representation and it's important to work with a REALTOR® who will work with you throughout the entire process, no matter how long it takes to find your new home. When choosing a REALTOR® consider their: • • •
Knowledge Experience Expertize
Check their track record of working with buyers with regards to: • Finding a home • Negotiating the price • Helping with financial solutions • Understanding the local market • Understanding property types • Understanding property values • Knowledge of the transaction process Ask for references!
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3. | GET P RE-APPR OVED FOR A MO RTG AG E It is always in your best interest to be pre-qualified for a loan before starting your search. No matter prior experiences, circumstances or reasons for buying, the current rates, approval and unexpected challenges should be addressed before you have a serious intention of buying. The pre-approval process involves meeting with a lender and authorizing them to examine your current financial situation and credit history which results in the amount and rate that you will be able to borrow. THE BENEFITS OF P RE- Q UA LI F I CATI O N •
Knowing what you can afford enables you to plan accordingly — it allows you to understand the difference between how much you will be lent and how much you can actually afford to pay each month.
As a qualified buyer, you will be taken more seriously when you make an offer on a home.
You are able to take the time to understand the short and long-term implications, allowing you to make informed decisions and research your options.
Canada's National Mortgage Company
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Why Use a Mortgage Professional? There are generally two ways to obtain a mortgage in Canada: from a bank or from a licensed mortgage professional. A bank will only offer the products from their particular institution. A licensed mortgage professional will offer their clients a myriad of options from Canadaâ€™s largest banks, credit unions and trust companies â€” providing their clients with more choices and access to hundreds of mortgage products! Whether you are purchasing a home for the first time, taking out equity from your home or your current mortgage is simply up for renewal, it is important that you are making an educated buying decision with professional unbiased advice.
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5 Characteristics that Make a Good Location 1. A Safe Neighbourhood. A home located in a community with little crime, where neighbours interact and it's safe to walk freely. 2. Good Schools. Being in a good school district is important, even if you don’t have school-age children, as young families will always buy these homes. The better the school district, the higher the values of the surrounding homes. 3. Convenience. The more ease of access to the main feature of the community, the more valuable the home. For homeowners in cities and towns it is access to shopping and public transit, for beach communities it’s the beach, for many it’s access to major road systems. 4. Water Access and Views. No matter which town or city, someone will always pay for a great view or to be on or near the water. Put a home right on a waterway or on a hill with panoramic views, or offer the upper floors in a high-rise, and you have a great location. 5. Quiet Locale. Being located near noise — whether a busy street during rush hour, close to a fire station, hospital, an airport or a local school — is in general a negative. These intermittent noise factors can be missed when looking at a home and not checking out your location fully!
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4 . | R ES EA RCH YOUR PR OPERTY OP TI ONS There are three key components that determine the start of all searches: 1. Location — where do you want to live? 2. Type — what type of home? 3. Price — what can you afford? Only you can determine the importance of each and once you start your search you will be able to determine if your expectations are realistic. LO CATION, LOCATION, LO CAT I O N Why does location matter so much? For starters, you can’t move a home — at least not easily or inexpensively. When you buy a home in a good location, it’s usually a solid long-term investment. Perhaps more than ever, location is the key factor driving price increases. In a strong housing market, homes in particularly desirable areas are more likely to see above-average price increases. In weak housing markets, these homes tend to retain their value better.
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Understanding Property Types HOUSE A free-standing, detached home that sits on its own lot, thereby offering a greater degree of privacy. Typically, the home and the land are owned completely by the homeowner and is therefore entirely their responsibility to manage and maintain. ROW HOUSE o r TOWN HOM E One of several types of single-family homes joined by common walls. It offers less privacy than a single-family detached home but still provides a separate outdoor space. These homes can cost less to buy and maintain, as typically they are subject to strata management associations that are responsible for maintenance and management.
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S EM I -D ETAC HED o r DU P L EX A single-family home that is joined to another by a common wall. It can offer many of the advantages of a single-family detached home and is usually less expensive to buy and maintain. CO N D OM I N I UM Refers to a form of legal ownership as opposed to a style of construction. Condominiums can be high-rise residential buildings, townhouse complexes, individual houses and low-rise residential buildings. Ownership is subject to strata management association rules; however, the maintenance and management of the building are taken care of and in many cases there is an increased level of security.
Understanding the Market Values of Properties When you have chosen your location and property type, it is important to determine the value of homes presently on the market. The current selling price of a home does not mean that a property is ‘worth’ that amount — market conditions and what a buyer is willing to pay for a property affect the true value of the home at any moment in time. The value of a home is based on the following criteria: • • • • • • •
Location of the property Condition of the property Buyer demand Current prices of similar properties Recent sales of competitive properties Availability of financing Inventory Level
But ultimately, the value of any property is dependent on what is important to you and whether this is the home that you wish to buy.
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5. | LO O K FOR A PR OPERTY Now that you have been pre-approved, understand the costs of the mortgage, location, property types, and values have been analyzed, it is time to start visiting properties that match your requirements. TH E INTERN ET 95% of all buyers use the Internet to search for homes and on average take 12 weeks to refine their criteria before they contact their REALTOR® to view homes. YOUR AGENT As your buyer’s agent, I can assist in narrowing your search by reviewing your ‘must-haves’ and ‘would-likes’ as well as make recommendations based on my experience and local knowledge of working within this community. As a REALTOR® I also have access to: • • • • •
Previewing new properties at REALTOR® Opens. Using real estate technology that automatically and instantly sends new home matches — never miss a hot new listing. Working with my network to find new properties that are not even listed. Every home in your preferred community including “for sale by owner”, discounted brokerages, expired listings or homes not actually on the market, but that are known to suit your requirements. Emailing your specific home requirements to top producing agents in the area so they know that you are a qualified purchaser.
PRINT M EDIA Newspapers and real estate magazines still provide a platform that feature homes — not every home is listed on the Internet, so searches can miss that hidden gem because it doesn’t meet your exact criteria. PROPERTY V ISITS Visit open houses and new home developments. You will learn a lot by getting out and seeing what is on the market.
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Building a House Hunting Checklist In the hunt for a perfect home, it’s easy to forget important priorities when you see a stunning feature or are overwhelmed by all the choices and homes you have visited. Use this checklist to help you stay organized and focused on the important criteria during your search. •
Make a list of your priorities: •
What do you want from a home?
Choose your top five ‘must-haves’
What does your family want from a home?
Choose your top five ‘would-likes’
Make a comparison chart: •
Positioning of the living spaces
General size of rooms
Kitchen style and appliances
Condition of roof, common spaces
Do you feel an emotional connection to the home?
Take a tour of the home and a second walk-through without emotion. Become the inspector and look beyond the surface:
Will your furniture fit? Downsizing can accrue additional costs if you have to replace furniture.
Floor plans are a great way to see the flow, how changes can be made, etc. Not available? Measure and draw your own.
Check out the true storage space — open all cupboards, doors, attics, basements and storage cabinets.
Lift up rugs and investigate for damage on the floor, under furniture or in the back of cupboards. Look at every detail from ceiling to floor including window trims, under sinks, bathroom tiles, etc.
Look outside — understand the landscaping and the layout of other homes around the home, traffic, parking, noise, etc.
Check out the property at different times of the day.
Take a moment and envision how you would use the space — does it fit your everyday needs?
Who are your neighbours?
How long has the house been on the market? •
Is it priced to sell?
What is the resell potential?
Compare its price to others that have sold in the surrounding area
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6. | P R E PA RE AND NEG OTIATE AN O F FER When you have found the right home, it is time to prepare and draft an offer of purchase. It is important that this offer both protects and represents your interests, while remaining legally binding on final acceptance. There are many components to an offer that you should be aware of and understand — as your REALTOR®, I will answer your questions and explain the entire process so that you are comfortable with the steps involved. An offer can be drafted with or without conditions; an offer without conditions is known as a firm or subject-free offer and one with conditions is known as a conditional offer and in effect, protects one party with the placement of certain conditions on the purchase.* The seller may accept your initial offer, reject your offer or present a counter-offer. The counter-offer may differ from your original offer in respect to price, conditions, closing date or any other items. Offers can be countered back and forth between the parties until one of you accepts or rejects, ending the negotiations. *Understanding Contractual Terminology – see our glossary of terms
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Not in town? Not a Problem! While Real Estate will always be about building and maintaining personal relationships with our clients, it’s not always possible or convenient to get together to sign or exchange documents. With your convenience in mind, and a conscious effort to reduce our industry’s carbon footprint, our associates are committed to investing in technologies that will make your transactions as easy and paperless as possible. Whether it’s electronic signature software and apps, cloud storage solutions that make sharing and storing of transaction paperwork fast and easy, smart phones and tablet computers to help service you on the go, or video chat and email solutions that make communications from anywhere in the world feel like you’re right next door, our agents use cutting edge technology solutions that help make your buying or selling experience a breeze - no matter where you are!
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7. | R E MOVE SUB JECTS/ CO N D I TIONS OF PUR CHASE Acceptance of the sales contract can be made contingent on (dependent on or subject to) certain circumstances. It is important to stipulate that the property passes any inspections you want performed and that financing is approved. As your Buyerâ€™s Agent, I will advise you on what contingencies you should write into your offer based on the type of property and your particular situation. Once you are satisfied and wish to commit to purchasing the home, a subject removal document will be prepared for you to sign.
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8 . | P R E PA RE FOR CLOSING To help alleviate the stress of buying, it is important to understand the closing process step by step: Step 1 — Retain the services of a lawyer or notary as soon as you have an accepted Contract of Purchase and Sale and have removed all subjects. Step 2 — Your lawyer or notary will need to gather information from you including how you wish to hold title to the property, especially if you are buying with your spouse, a partner, family member or a colleague. It is important to understand the different types of title and how they affect you. Step 3 — Your lawyer or notary conducts a title search and obtains tax information and any additional information necessary to prepare the Statement of Adjustments. If you are registering a mortgage, your lawyer or notary will need to obtain an insurance binder with “loss payable” to your lender. Step 4 — Your lawyer or notary prepares closing documents including title transfer, mortgage, property transfer tax forms and Statement of Adjustments. Your lawyer or notary will forward the seller’s closing documents to the seller’s lawyer or notary for execution. Step 5 — 1 to 3 days before closing it is typical to meet with your lawyer or notary to sign documents and deliver the balance of funds — by certified check, bank draft or inter-bank transfer. If your funds are invested, ensure that they will be available for deposit in advance of closing. Step 6 — Your lawyer or notary will register the transfer and mortgage documents, arrange for the seller’s lawyer or notary to pick up funds and notify you that the purchase has completed. Step 7 — Normally you receive the house keys directly from your REALTOR® on the Possession Date as set out in the Contract of Purchase and Sale. Step 8 — Move in and enjoy your new home!
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9. | MOV E I NTO YOUR NEW HOME Moving into a new home is an exciting time but it can also be stressful. Whether you are doing it yourself, asking friends for a little help or hiring professionals, this moving guide will give you some great insight: AS SOON AS POSSIBLE • Start early. Investigate and research moving companies and/or truck rental companies. • Hire a moving company or if you are doing it yourself, reserve a moving truck. Be sure to get written confirmation of all your costs and details of your move for your records. • Expenses can be saved if you move anytime before the beginning or end of the month. TWO MON TH S BEFORE MOV I N G DAY • Go through your current home and determine what you can throw out or donate. • Make a list of items in your home that need extra attention while moving or special packing instructions. • If you have children and you are moving to a new school district, start arranging the school and daycare transferring process. • Order any boxes and moving supplies.
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O N E MO N T H BE FO RE MOVING DAY • Time to start packing! Begin with the items in your home you don't use regularly. • Clearly label on the outside to which room each box is going and a quick checklist of the items inside. This makes unpacking so much easier. • As you pack, make note of items of significant value for insurance purposes. • At your local postal office, fill out a change of address form with your new address. • Inform the following companies and institutions about your new address: banks, cable, Internet and phone, insurance companies, utility companies, credit card companies, doctors, dentists and any subscriptions you may have. TWO WEEKS BE FO RE MOVING DAY • Confirm your reservations with your movers or truck rental company. • Cancel or transfer your newspaper delivery service if needed.
O NE WEEK BEFORE MOV I N G DAY • Most of your packing should be done one week prior to moving day. • Set aside the items of importance you wish to transport to your new home yourself.
A FEW DAYS BEFORE MOV I N G DAY • Confirm arrival time of your moving truck. If moving yourself, confirm your reservations with the truck rental company. Prepare detailed directions for your movers including a cell phone number you can be reached at on moving day.
MOV I N G DAY • Make a note of all utility meter readings at both the new and old home. • Be present when the truck is being loaded and unloaded just in case your movers have any questions. • Before the movers leave, check your belongings for any damaged items.
Pack a travel bag with items your family may need on moving day such as toothbrushes, change of clothing, medications, hair bushes, soap, etc. If you are moving yourself, start dismantling beds and other large furniture.
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8 C O M M O N M I S TA K E S BY H O M E B U Y E R S Take some time to educate yourself about the common mistakes home buyers make and your own home-buying experience will more likely be successful and exciting: 1. Going over budget. Just because you qualify doesn’t mean you can afford the monthly payments plus all your other ongoing costs. 2. Location is important. Loving the house will not be enough. 3. Not pre-qualifying for a mortgage. 4. Not shopping for the most suitable mortgage to match your requirements. 5. Not understanding all the terms and conditions, interest rates, length of contracts, mortgage types and rates, etc. before selecting your mortgage. 6. Buying a new home before selling your old home. 7. Not understanding the true costs associated with buying a home. 8. Not using professionals to assist in all aspects of your house purchase from using a REALTOR®, mortgage advisor, home inspector, lawyer or notary through to your moving company.
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COST GUIDE What to Expect When Completing a Purchase PROP ERTY TRAN SFER TAX Resale Housing: When a residence is purchased, a Property Transfer Tax (PTT) is applied. The tax is calculated at 1% on the first $200,000, 2% up to $2 million, thereafter a 3% tax is applied. To clarify, only properties priced over $2 million are taxed at 3% , this is only applied on the amount above $2 million, not the full price. The First-Time Home Buyer’s Program offers an exemption to the PTT - in February 2014, it was announced that qualifying first-time buyers are PTT exempt when buying a home worth up to $475,000. There is also a new partial exemption on homes valued between $475,000 and $500,000.
MO RTG AG E I N SU RA NC E A ND F E ES If you obtain a high-ratio mortgage (a mortgage where you pay less than a 20% down payment) you will have to buy mortgage loan insurance from CMHC or a private company. The CMHC Mortgage Loan Insurance premium is calculated as a percentage of the loan and is based on the size of your down payment. The higher the percentage of the total house price/value that you borrow, the higher percentage you will pay in insurance premiums. The insurance premium usually gets added to your mortgage.
Properties Over Two Million Dollars: There is now a 3% tax on amounts over $2,000,000. The 3% tax is only paid on the amount over $2,000,000, not the full price.
A PPR A I SA L A N D SU RVEY Before your lender approves your mortgage, you may be required to have an appraisal done. Sometimes your lender covers the cost, otherwise it will be your responsibility. The fee ranges from $150 to $350.
New Construction: All buyers (whether first-time buyers or not) no longer pay PTT on purchases of NEW homes up to $750,000 in value; note the buyer must be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident; there is a partial exemption for homes between $750,000 and $800,000.
HOM E I N S PECT IO N F E E Most REALTORS® recommend that you get a home inspection by a certified home inspector. It will cost you from $350 to $650 for a smaller house, large houses may cost more. Your REALTOR® should be able to recommend a good inspector.
Property Transfer Tax for Non-Residents. An additional property transfer tax applies to residential properties purchased in the Greater Vancouver Regional District by a foreign entity. An additional 15% of the fair market value of the foreign entity's proportionate share of a residential property is due upon closing.
LEG A L FEES Lawyer/notary fees for closing the sale depend on the complexity of the deal but they should range from $600 $1,500. Disbursements to Land Titles Office — these fees are approximately $300. Your lawyer/notary will arrange the payment.
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WHY RE/MAX? RE/MAX agents are passionate about real estate. With full-time, experienced professionals dedicated to serving you, we offer expertize not found elsewhere. Choose Wisely. Choose RE/MAX.
PREM IER QUALITY PRO F ES S I O N A LS RE/MAX professionals lead the industry in experience, education and sales. In Western Canada, agents average about 16 years of experience and across the network hold a higher number of professional designations than associates of any single competitor. PREM IER BRAN D N AM E AWA R EN ES S The RE/MAX hot air balloon trademark is one of the most widely recognized trademarks in North American business and is now a global brand. No other real estate organization has the level of brand recognition and definition as RE/MAX. The brand draws buyers and sellers and as a result no one in the world sells more real estate than RE/MAX. PREM IER CUSTOM ER SAT I S FACTI O N Repeat and referral clients are the lifeblood of the real estate business. Approximately 70% of RE/MAX business comes from repeat and referral clients, a testimonial to the high caliber of service RE/MAX customers have come to expect from their Sales Associates.
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A survey completed by RE/MAX found that 95% of RE/MAX customers report overall satisfaction with their RE/MAX Sales Associate, 92% say they will use RE/MAX again and 93% will recommend RE/MAX to others. This is by far the highest rating in the real estate business. PR EM I ER COMMU NITY C IT IZ E NSH IP RE/MAX is a front-runner in terms of giving back to the community often devoting endless support to countless charities and local causes. The RE/MAX sponsorship of Children’s Miracle Network is a great example of RE/MAX community citizenship. Since 1992, RE/MAX has been a major contributor to the Children’s Miracle Network; a North American fund raising organization dedicated to generating funds and awareness programs for the benefit of Children served by its over 170 associated hospitals. RE/MAX across Canada raises over $4 million annually on behalf of 14 Canadian children’s hospital foundations.
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R E / MAX CA N A DA VS. T H E I N D UST RY BUYERS & SELLERS WHO KNOW THE BRAND1
AGENT EXPERIENCE (IN YEARS)
BUYERS & SELLERS WHO KNOW THE BRAND1
100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0%
Sutton Better Homes HomeLife & Gardens
Data is year-end 2015, except as noted. Coldwell Banker, Century 21, Better Homes and Gardens and Sotheby’s data is as reported by Realogy Corporation on SEC 10-K, Annual Report for 2015; Keller Williams, Royal LePage, Sutton and HomeLife data is from company websites and industry reports. 1. MMR Strategy Group study of total brand awareness of real estate organizations among buyers, sellers, and those planning to buy or sell. 2. Based on lists of countries claimed at each franchisor’s website, excluding claimed locations that are not independent countries (i.e. territories, etc.).
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Featured Suppliers: Metro Home Services The GetMetro.ca Preferred Supplier Program connects our agents and their clients with the many high quality service providers that have been used and recommended by our company and associates over the years. If you are looking for a reliable referral in any of the categories listed below, please visit www.GetMetro.ca! • • • • • •
Lawyers Notaries Mortgage Brokers Insurance Providers Financial Advisors Architecture and Design
• • • • • •
Builders Home Inspectors Cleaning Services Contractors Decks and Fences Flooring
• • • • • •
Handyman Services Landscapers Oil Tank Removal Plumbing & Heating Roofing, Siding and Gutters Windows RE/MAX Buyer’s Guide 37
LO CA L C O M M U N I T Y I N VO LV E M E N T RE/MAX understands that building a great neighbourhood starts with caring and supporting local programs and organizations that make a profound difference in everyday lives. That’s why we put our hearts, our dollars and our efforts behind a wide number of incredible worthwhile charities, right here at home.
CH I LD R EN 'S M I R AC LE N ETWO R K
RE/MAX is the exclusive real estate partner to the Children’s Miracle Network, a charitable organization consisting of 14 children’s member hospitals in every province treating more than 2.6 million children each year. Throughout our twenty-year partnership, $44 million has been raised by RE/MAX agents who make a contribution with every home sold through the Miracle Home Program.
BAC K PAC K BUD D I ES
At RE/MAX, the needs of children at risk have always been our 1st choice for charitable giving. Backpack Buddies feeds our kids at risk who without this program, go without nutritional food on the weekends. Through the Kids Helping Kids initiative, bags of food are prepared and delivered to recipient schools for children to take home on Friday’s after school.
SO LD O N SAV I N G LI V ES
You can help improve the quality of life for those living with HIV/AIDS by choosing a RE/MAX Sold on Saving Lives agent. Participating RE/MAX agents have pledged to make a donation to the Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation on behalf of each home sold. By buying or selling with a RE/MAX agent who supports Sold on Saving Lives, you are making a choice to help those living with HIV/AIDS.
OR G A N D O N O R AWA R EN ES S
RE/MAX is committed to help raise awareness of the ongoing need for organ donation. Canadian Association of Transplantation assists Canadians in making informed decisions regarding organ, tissue and bone marrow donation. Visit their website, www.transplant.ca, for national information regarding organ and tissue donation.
QUEST FO R EXC ELLEN C E ® S C HO LA R S HI P
Quest for Excellence is a bursary program for grade 12 students in Western Canada, established by RE/MAX of Western Canada to recognize the success and ongoing pursuits of students in regards to leadership and community contribution initiatives.
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A H O M E B U Y E R ’ S G LO S S A RY When buying a home, it’s important to understand some of the key concepts and terms. Throughout the purchase process, your REALTOR® will be available to explain any unfamiliar terms you encounter. That said, here is a short list of terms you’ll want to know:
Abstract Of Title – A complete historical summary of the public records relating to the legal ownership of a particular property from the time of the first transfer to the present. Agreement of Sale – Also known as contract of purchase, purchase agreement, or sales agreement according to location or jurisdiction. A contract in which a seller and buyer agree to transact under certain terms spelled out in writing and signed by both parties. Amortization – The process of reducing the principal debt through a schedule of fixed payments at regular intervals of time with an interest rate specified in a loan document. Appraisal – A professional appraiser’s estimate of the market value of a property based on local market data and the recent sale prices of similar properties. Assessed Value – The value placed on a home by municipal assessors for the purpose of determining property taxes.
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Closing – The final steps in the transfer of property ownership. On the Closing Date, as specified by the sales agreement, the buyer inspects and signs all the documents relating to the transaction and the final disbursements are paid. Also referred to as the Settlement. Closing Costs – The costs to complete a real estate transaction in addition to the price of the home. This may include: taxes, title insurance, appraisal fees and legal fees. Closing Date – This is usually the date that the legal ownership of the property transfers from the seller to the buyer. Conditions or Subjects – Items that are usually put in place to protect a party’s interests upon selling or buying the property and refer to things that must occur or be in place before the sale closes. Some of these conditions could be “subject to financing approval”, “subject to the strata council allowing pets”, “subject to the buyer’s house selling”, “subject to an approved home inspection”, etc.
Contingency – A clause in the purchase contract that describes certain conditions that must be met and agreed upon by both buyer and seller before the contract is binding.
Easements – Legal right of access to use of a property by individuals or groups for specific purposes. Easements may affect property values and are sometimes part of the deed.
Counter-Offer – An offer, made in response to a previous offer, that rejects all or part of it while enabling negotiations to continue towards a mutually-acceptable sales contract.
Fixed-Rate Mortgage – A type of mortgage loan in which the interest rate does not change during the entire term of the loan.
Conventional Mortgage – One that is not insured or guaranteed by the federal government. Debt-to-Income Ratio – A ratio that measures total debt burden. It is calculated by dividing gross monthly debt repayments, including mortgages, by gross monthly income. Deposit – A deposit provided from the buyer to the seller as a token of the buyer’s assurance and intention to buy the property involved. The deposit is applied against the purchase price of the home once the sale has closed. Your agent can assist you in proposing a certain and appropriate amount for the deposit. Equity – The value of the property less the loan balance and any outstanding liens or other debts against the property.
Home Inspection – Professional inspection of a home, paid for by the buyer, to evaluate the quality and safety of its plumbing, heating, wiring, appliances, roof, foundation, etc. Homeowner’s Insurance – A policy that protects you and the lender from fire or flood a liability such as visitor injury or damage to your personal property. Inclusions and Exclusions – These are specifications within the offer that detail the items to be included or excluded from the purchase of the property. Typical inclusions are appliances, window coverings, fixtures and decorative pieces. Lien – A claim or charge on property for payment of a debt. With a mortgage, the lender has the right to take the title to your property if you don’t make the mortgage payments.
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Market Value – The amount a willing buyer would pay a willing seller for a home. An appraised value is an estimate of the current fair market value. Possession and Adjustment Dates – When the buyer takes possession as specified in contract of purchase sale and adjustments are made for prepaid taxes, maintenance fees, etc. They are usually the same date. Possession Date – The date, as specified by the sales agreement, that the buyer can move into the property. Generally, it occurs within a couple days of the Closing Date. Pre-Approval Letter – A letter from a mortgage lender indicating that a buyer qualifies for a mortgage of a specific amount. It also shows a home seller that you’re a serious buyer. Principal – The amount of money borrowed from a lender to buy a home, or the amount of the loan that has not yet been repaid. Does not include the interest paid to borrow. Purchase Offer – A detailed, written document which makes an offer to purchase a property, and which may be amended several times in the process of negotiations. When signed by all parties involved in the sale, the purchase offer becomes a legally-binding sales agreement.*
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Purchase Price – The amount that the buyer is offering to pay for the property, usually dependent on market conditions and may differ from the seller’s current asking price. There is no “normal” amount or percentage that a price will differ from its asking price, as the final price will be determined by many factors, including the seller’s motivation and how close the asking price is to actual “market value”. Terms – An offer includes certain “terms”, which specify the total price offered and how the financing will be arranged, such as if you will arrange your own with a financial institution or mortgage broker or if you wish to take over the seller’s mortgage (assumability). Title – The right to, and the ownership of, property. A Title or Deed is sometimes used as proof of ownership of land. Clear title refers to a title that has no legal defects. Title Search – A historical review of all legal documents relating to ownership of a property to determine if there have been any flaws in prior transfers of ownership or if there are any claims or encumbrances on the title to the property. * The purchase offer and contract procedures vary by region.
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