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2 0 17 E D I T I O N | F R E E

HOME BUYER’S RESOURCE

GUIDE Your complete step-by-step guide to home buying in BC

In partnership with Greater Vancouver Home Builders Association


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Have the

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E n E o i t R F ua

al v E et k r Ma

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To see all Listings in the Fraser Valley, visit

www.mindymcpherson.com

When it’s time to move - Move with Mindy!


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This Notice is not intended to cause or induce breach of any existing listing.

To see all Listings in the Fraser Valley, visit

www.mindymcpherson.com

When it’s time to move - Move with Mindy!


Welcome

Your own home – from dream to reality The annual Home Buyer’s Resource Guide is a comprehensive, step-by-step guide explaining the entire purchasing process

Joannah Connolly Editor-in-Chief Home Buyer’s Resource Guide Joannah Connolly is the editor-in-chief of Home Buyer’s Resource Guide, West Coast Condominium and Western Investor newspaper, and is the editor and content manager of Real Estate Weekly and REW.ca. She appears regularly on radio, TV and conference panels discussing the Vancouver real estate market.

Buying a home can be a long and complicated undertaking – and, especially in Metro Vancouver, an expensive one. Whether you’re trying to work out how much you can afford, assessing different neighbourhoods for your lifestyle, or deciding between presale and resale – the initial decisions alone are daunting. Then, once those decisions are made, you have to be savvy about finding the right mortgage, searching for the right home, making the right offer and knowing what subjects to impose. Even when you’re successful with that, there’s all the due diligence to undertake, and the closing costs and procedures to go through. It’s enough to make anyone’s head spin – especially if this is your first home purchase or you’ve been out of the market a while. Fortunately, since you’re reading this, you’ve come to the right place. The 2017 Home Buyer’s Resource Guide takes you step-by-step through the entire process – from setting a budget and choosing a neighbourhood right through to moving in and making your home your own. And of course, everything you need to know in between (that’s the tricky part). And at the back of the book, our Resources centre provides you with essential checklists to aid your home-buying journey, plus a directory of companies and industry associations that are also here to help. Written entirely by REW.ca’s expert in-house staff and industry contributors, this annual is just packed with invaluable information for any BC home buyer. Last year’s inaugural guide was a huge hit, and we think this year’s edition is even better! We warmly welcome your feedback and questions – email me at jconnolly@rew.ca. Happy house hunting!

Buying or renovating a home? Get it right the first time Considering the purchase of a home will be one of the largest investments in your lifetime, so getting it right and buying with confidence are essential. Working with professionals, experts in their fields, makes sense to help you achieve your goals. Focused on helping consumers buy, build and renovate homes, the Greater Vancouver Home Builders’ Association (GVHBA) represents 1,000 members including custom home builders, renovators, manufacturers and suppliers of building products, government agencies providing new home warranty programs, and industry professionals such as lawyers, real estate agents, insurance companies and financial institutions. Strong advocates of education for both our members and consumers, the GVHBA offers an annual Home Buyer Forum to help you buy smart and make decisions right for you, plus the Home Renovation Show and Parade of Renovated and Custom Homes to connect homeowners with the experts. Free to attend, GVHBA consumer events feature expert advice on all stages of the home buying, building and renovation processes. I highly recommend attending GVHBA’s free consumer events and accessing additional home buying and renovation resources via the GVHBA website, www.gvhba.org. Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for helpful home-buying, building and renovation tips. Our goal is to help you reach yours. Representing the residential construction industry in Metro Vancouver since 1974, the Greater Vancouver Home Builders’ Association (GVHBA), a not-for-profit society, is proudly affiliated with the provincial and national Canadian Home Builders’ Associations. 6

Bob de Wit is the CEO of the Greater Vancouver Home Builders’ Association (GVHBA), a not-for-profit society representing the residential construction industry in the Greater Vancouver Area. Celebrating 40 years in 2014, GVHBA has more than 870 members and is proudly affiliated with the provincial and national Canadian Home Builders’ Associations. Follow Bob @rdewit or email bob@ gvhba.org for renovation tips and industry trends..


Contents 1. Set Your Budget and Area 8 10

Tips to define your budget How to choose the right neighbourhood for you

2. Raise Your Down Payment 12 14

Three great down payment tips How the BC HOME loan program works

3.

Get Mortgage Pre-Approval

16 17

Work with a mortgage expert The new mortgage “stress test”

8. 32 33

Close Your Purchase Eight steps to closing your home purchase Lawyer versus notary: who should you use?

9. Move Into Your Home 34

Packing and moving like a pro

10. 36

Make It Your Own

Ten easy ways to transform your home

4. Search for Suitable Listings 18 20

6. 26 27

Working with a REALTOR Find your home on REW.ca

28 30 31

How to read strata documents When to hire a home inspector FAQs on removing financing subjects

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Joannah Connolly PRODUCTION MANAGER: Holly Burge

ADVERTISING SALES: 604-435-7977 VANCOUVER HEAD OFFICE: 303 West 5th Avenue, Vancouver, B.C. V5Y 1J6

Make an Offer

7. Do Your Due Diligence

PUBLISHER: Janai York

DESIGNERS: Annette Spreeuw, Arslan Sultan

How to view properties Resale or presale? The pros and cons

Optimize your offer The art of the lowball offer

GUIDE

PRODUCTION: Darko Isic

®

5. Choose the Ideal Home 22 23

HOME BUYER’S RESOURCE

Checklists 39 40 41 42 43

Documents needed for mortgage pre-approval Home hunting wants and needs Pre-contract considerations Subject removal Costs of closing your purchase

COPYRIGHT: Home Buyer’s Resource Guide is published by Real Estate Weekly Partnership. Copyright 2017. >OPSLL]LY`LќVY[PZTHKL[VLUZ\YL[OLHJJ\YHJ` VMHY[PJSLZHUKHK]LY[PZPUN[OH[HWWLHYPULHJO edition of Home Buyer’s Resource Guide, the W\ISPZOLYTH`UV[ILOLSKYLZWVUZPISLMVYHU` LYYVYZVYVTPZZPVUZ[OH[TH`MYVT[PTL[V[PTL VJJ\Y5VWHY[VM[OPZW\ISPJH[PVUTH`ILX\V[LK VYYLWYPU[LKPUHU`TLKP\T^P[OV\[[OLL_WYLZZ ^YP[[LUWLYTPZZPVUVM9LHS,Z[H[L>LLRS` Partnership.

PLUS… 44

Our directory of industry associations and suppliers to help you find your A-team of professionals

Rea l Estate W eekly

7


1

SET YOUR BUDGET AND AREA Tips to define your budget Now that you’ve decided to buy a home, do you know how much you can afford? Mortgage expert Alisa Aragon has eight invaluable tips

B

uying a home is a big step – and the very first step is to work out a realistic budget that you can qualify for a mortgage on, and comfortably pay off each month. Here are eight factors to consider when working out the right budget for your new home. Q Test out what you can afford. Talk to a mortgage expert in advance. They will give you an idea how much house and what monthly payment you can afford. To test how comfortable those payments will be, start saving that additional payment amount every month. Not only will this mimic the cost of ownership, it also helps you save for a down payment! Q What are you comfortable paying? It is not only about the maximum you qualify for. The most important thing is what you are comfortable paying on a monthly basis to make sure you enjoy your lifestyle and aren’t overstretched. Q Consider a longer amortization period. Remember that the longer the amortization period, the lower your payments. It will give you flexibility and you can still pay off your mortgage faster just by increasing payment frequency. Q It’s not just the mortgage. Home ownership comes with additional costs to consider such as property taxes, strata fees (if applicable), increased costs for energy and transport, etc. Plus you should set up a rainy-day fund, too. Q How long you will live there? The costs of buying a house include legal fees, appraisals, inspection fees, moving expenses, etc. If you don’t plan to live in your home for at least five years, you may not gain enough equity to make selling it again worthwhile. In that case, would you be able to rent it out? Is it financially sensible to buy it at all? Q How much house do you need? Buying a smaller house can end up costing you extra if you have to sell right away due to a growing family. On the other hand, 8

buying more house than you need incurs extra costs. Take care to get it right. Q Enhance your credit rating. The higher your credit score, the more you will qualify for. Check your credit report and fix any issues, don’t apply for any new credit, stay well below credit limits and pay your bills on time. Q Remember closing costs. While you are saving your down payment, save for

closing costs too, which you’ll need at the end of the process (see page 43). The lender will require you to have at least 1.5 per cent of the purchase price for closing costs. When you’ve defined your budget and saved your down payment (see page 12) it’ll be time to work with your mortgage broker to get pre-approval in place – and then you’re ready to go.

Alisa Aragon provides her mortgage expertise through Bridgestone Financing Pros and is an active member of the Greater Vancouver Home Builders Association. She is an expert in developing short- and long-term strategies that are customized for each individual client, including finding the best mortgage with the most favourable terms and rates to suit your needs. Contact Alisa to get expert advice on your mortgage needs via alisa@ financingpros.ca or at www.financingpros.ca.


REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONAL adventure enthusiast As your Professional Real Estate Advisor, you can expect a unique experience tailored to your individual needs. Whether buying your first condo or selling your 20th investment property, my job is to be attentive to the smallest details to make your experience seamless. I believe in long term client relationships that serve your best interests.

EXPERT South East False Creek Specialist

SAMSON DANNIELS 778.989.2454 • sdanniels@rennie.com

rennie.com/samsondanniels

rennie.com

WENDI Gustavson Personal Real Estate Corporation

Over 30 Years of Strong, Established Experience Selling Real Estate on the North Shore If you’re thinking of a move, please contact me to discuss your real estate wishlist. I’d love to help you achieve your real estate dream!

604.649.8624 wendi@wendigustavson.com | wendigustavson.com 9


1

SET YOUR BUDGET AND AREA

How to choose the right neighbourhood for you Each person’s perfect community may differ from the next, but there are many common features. Local agent Barry Magee explains how to balance those needs

O

ne person’s ideal home is likely to be different from another’s, but there are many features that will be the same. There are needs and wants that are similar in all people, and the desire to find the right community for one’s lifestyle is no exception. So how do you balance all those needs and desires and distil them into one neighbourhood that is ideal for you? When you enter the real estate market to buy a property, it’s very important to be mindful about where you are buying. What does this community offer me? Will there be a demand for my home when I resell it? There are many critical factors to look at when searching for the right place to live. Lifestyle is key to happiness Feeling part of a community that suits your needs is critical to happiness. Sometimes just a good old-fashioned walk around the area will give you a great sense of what it would be like to live there. Is there an unusual amount of vacant land? If so, it’s a good idea to research who owns the land and to see if there are any plans to use it. Imagine buying a home only to find out six months later a highrise building is going up to obstruct the view you fell in love with. It happens! Access to parks, recreation, shopping, restaurants and coffee shops is another key factor to a great neighbourhood. In Vancouver, areas like Cambie Village, Main Street and Hastings are experiencing a big upswing. Established areas like the West End, Commercial Drive and Kitsilano always have something to offer their residents and are more well known.

to other world cities, so anytime you can own in a market with high demand and low supply you are putting your money in a good spot. Remember your needs, too. If you cycle everywhere in the city, buying on Burnaby Mountain might not be the best spot for you. If you buy a home with direct access to parkland, this can be a great feature for the present as well as the future. If you have kids, it’s important to look at nearby schools. Buying too close to a school can be frowned upon by buyers as it could have some potential noise drawbacks. But if you are set on having your children attend a certain school, it might be your only option.

Seek advice when needed Most people in Vancouver know where they want to live, or at least have a general idea. When people are moving to the city from elsewhere, this is often where these tips will come in handy. Search out people who know the areas you are thinking about and ask questions. Research, research, research, is what I tell my clients. This is the most important purchase of your life – don’t leave anything to chance. Making the right choice to buy in the right neighbourhood will ensure that you are happy in your home, which is very much the name of the game when buying real estate.

Location wins, every time When it comes to resale value, a good rule of thumb is the more central the property is, the more it will appreciate in value over time. Vancouver proper is actually quite small when you compare it 10

Barry Magee is a Vancouver-based REALTOR® with Macdonald Realty at 4387 Main Street, Vancouver. He has an extensive background in marketing, and brings a consultative approach to the table for his real estate clients. Contact him via www.livinginvancity.com.


604-263-1144 Kerrisdale

604-689-8226 Yaletown

604-263-1144 Main Street

Beyond

Expectations If you are looking to buy a house, condo or townhome, your DEXTER REALTOR ÂŽ (backed by the entire Dexter Team) has the knowledge and the experience to support and guide you through the entire process.

Dexter Associates Realty is a member of

Wherever you are, we can help. Contact us with confidence. Enjoy the security and confidence which comes from dealing with professionals who care. Call or visit us at www.dexterrealty.com Independently Owned, Managed and Operated


2

RAISE YOUR DOWN PAYMENT

Three great down payment tips If you tap every source of funding, that initial lump sum could materialize sooner than you think. Here’s how to get there

S

o you’ve set a budget, which means that you know how much down payment you’ll need. Whether it’s $10,000 or $100,000, you’ll need to scrape every available bit of cash together to make your mortgage as affordable as possible. Believe us, it’ll be worth it. 1. Set savings goals You might have a concrete figure for your down payment in mind, but what about an end date? Only when you’ve set a time-related goal – and milestones along the way – will you be able to stay motivated. Let’s say your budget is $400K and you need to raise $40,000 over four years. Through savings alone, that’s $833 a month – so it could be time to reduce expenses or take a second job. Giving up your car, moving to a cheaper rental unit or cancelling your cable are all great ways to save faster. 12

2. Tap other sources Saving up that kind of money can be challenging, so what are your other options for additional funding? Q Parents or relatives: Maybe you have a Bank of Mom and Dad you can tap into? If they can’t afford to give you the money, why not ask them to buy the property with you? Q Inheritance: As we get older, most of us get some inheritance at some point. These days, inheritance can often skip a generation as Millennials get their grandparents’ estate directly. Q Selling assets: Do you have any assets that you could give up, like a car you don’t really need? Perhaps you have other investments? Whatever you can scrape together will help. Q Home Buyers’ Plan: The Home Buyers’ Plan allows first-time buyers to borrow up to $25,000 from their RRSP for a down payment, tax-free. If you’re

purchasing with another first-time buyer, you can both access $25,000 for a total of $50,000. Q BC government’s HOME loan program: The BC government is now offering first-time home buyers a down payment-matching loan of up to five per cent, or $37,500 (details on page 14). Even if you only get $3,000 from each of these five sources, that’s $15,000 towards your goal. 3. Track your progress Keep the money in a separate account, track monthly progress on a spreadsheet and forecast future contributions. Each time you are able to add funds, you can see how much closer you are to your goal. For many Canadians, saving for a down payment is the single biggest financial goal they’ll ever attempt. But using the tips above can help you become a homeowner sooner.


SEAN MILETICH A new angle on real estate

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ancouver REALTOR® Sean Miletich brings a whole new perspective to the real estate market. That’s because the Macdonald RealtyWestmar professional is not your typical REALTOR® – as a contractor with more than two decades of experience, he offers a uniquely different angle to the job. As a teen, Sean followed his contractor father from job site to job site, watching him “build people’s dreams.” His father was not only a builder, he also had a background in architecture and engineering and knew instinctively that you don’t just build homes, you build long-lasting relationships. That life lesson has carried Sean throughout his own thriving career as a residential contractor, and now as a REALTOR®. “It wasn’t the construction that piqued my interest as much as the care my father provided clients,” he explains. “If they needed a moving

van, a cleaner, or anything else that was not part of the construction process, my father was first to help.” After high school, Sean went on to study commerce at Kwantlen Polytech University. He then went on to Simon Fraser University, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Psychology, before becoming a licensed contractor in 1996. It’s the perfect synergy. Considering his university studies and his career as a successful contractor, Sean is truly a triple threat. He can create dreams, from conception to completion, because he has a good understanding of the emotions behind every client’s decision. “I am a passionate individual with a tool belt, who can take clients’ needs and emotions and provide a more complete service. I am not only a real estate agent, I am a trade consultant.” he notes. As a contractor, he can extend services such as renovations and staging for both buyers and sellers. “I am very aware of market demands and styles people are looking for,” adds Sean. “I can help my clients achieve this by assisting them in making modifications to their existing home that will make their home more appealing to buyers.” It all starts by Sean taking the time to genuinely understand his clients’ lifestyles. In doing so, he can show them neighbourhoods and communities that will enhance their quality of life. So what drove Sean to become a REALTOR®? It’s simple: He loves homes. “I’m a single full-time dad involved in a career that I am passionate to share with my clients. I am as excited to show clients’ homes, as I am to work on them,” he explains. “Real

estate is not a new endeavour. It is simply an addition to my passion with homes.” Sean humbly acknowledges that his existing clients have been pleased with what he has been distinctively able to provide them. “I’m focussed on their needs first, maximizing client satisfaction, giving them a return on their investment. I don’t rush my clients just to make a quick sale.” Similarly, the savvy businessman appreciates the power of referrals. As an added incentive, he provides a generous referral program. “I offer $750 for a completed sale under $1million and $1,000 for homes over $1 million,” he adds. Sean is an admitted workaholic, but when he does have downtime you might just find him playing a friendly game of hockey, riding his motorcycle, enjoying the theatre and opera, or more importantly spending time with family and friends.

To relocate or renovate, call me:

604.315.1074 info@realtorsean.ca www.realtorsean.ca

Macdonald Realty Westmar 5188 Westminster Hwy #203, Richmond, BC V7C 5S7 (604) 279-9822


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RAISE YOUR DOWN PAYMENT

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he BC HOME (Home Ownership and Mortgage Equity) Partnership program was introduced on December 15, 2016, to help first-time home buyers get into the market. Essentially, it is an interest-free, paymentfree loan from the BC government for the first five years – which is cheap money, and can potentially benefit a lot of buyers. How it works

The government is offering to match the down payment that a first-time buyer has already raised, up to a maximum of five per cent of the purchase price, or $37,500, on home purchases under $750,000. For example, if you’re buying a $600,000 condo, and you’ve raised five per cent as a down payment – $30K – you can get a matching $30,000 loan, increasing your down payment to 10 per cent. If you’ve raised $15,000, which is half of the minimum $30,000 (five per cent) required, the loan will match your down payment by $15K to take it up to the minimum down payment needed. To qualify, all applicants must: Q have been a Canadian citizen or permanent resident for five years; Q be a first-time buyer; Q have lived in BC for the past 12 months; Q earn a household income of less than $150,000 a year; and Q use the home as their primary residence for the first five years. After the first five years, you must start paying the loan back at current interest rates – in addition to your regular mortgage payments. The loan is registered as a second mortgage on the property, and must be paid back in full when the property is sold. Insured mortgages only The loan offered, when added to your down payment, cannot total more than 14

How the BC HOME loan program works A new provincial program offers first-time buyers help with raising their down payments – but it’s not without its risks and disadvantages

20 per cent of the purchase price. This is because the BC government will only offer the loan to those who qualify under the rigorous mortgage “stress test” (details on page 17) and whose mortgages are insured. So if you’ve raised a 17 per cent down payment, for example, the maximum loan is an additional 2.99 per cent, to keep your down payment under 20 per cent.

Further, because this is an unconventional down payment, your insurance premiums will be higher. The consensus so far is that the premium will be raised by 0.25 per cent. Risks of the program It is important to note that because this is a loan, your mortgage lender will calculate a repayment amount and include it in your liabilities. Lenders have said they will be using the higher of two options – the posted rate, currently 4.64 per cent, or the contract rate amortized over 20 years. For example, if you borrow the full $37,500, your lender could calculate a repayment amount of around $250 per month, which could reduce the mortgage you can borrow by over $50,000.

At the other end of the scale, if you use the program to increase your down payment to the minimum five per cent required, remember that you only have 2.5 per cent of your own money in the home. This could leave you exposed if home values decline when you come to sell or refinance. When you work out the numbers, not everyone would benefit from this program. An ideal candidate for would be someone with a good income, very little debt, and who is purchasing well below their approved limit. If you’re interested in the program, make sure you are pre-approved for a mortgage (see page 16) and you have talked to your mortgage broker to see if you would benefit. Lastly, avoid making subject-free offers based on getting the loan – there are no guarantees.


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2016

2016


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GET MORTGAGE PRE-APPROVAL Work with a mortgage expert Don’t start looking for a home until you’re sure what a bank will be prepared to lend you, based on income and credit history, advises Alisa Aragon

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ou’ve worked out your budget and down payment, but it’s essential to know how much a bank will lend you before you start looking for a home. Many factors are taken into consideration, and you might be able to borrow more or less than you think, depending on your income, debts and credit history. There are two different assessments of what you can afford: pre-qualification and pre-approval. Pre-qualification is a simple process where a mortgage broker or bank estimates the amount of mortgage you can carry by looking at your income, assets and debts. It’s simply to estimate the price range of homes you could qualify for. Pre-approval is a more in-depth analysis of your financial situation, as you will complete an application and give consent to pull your credit report. At this point, the lender has more detailed, verified information on your income, assets and liabilities. Based on this, the lender will issue a pre-approval letter with how much you are likely to be approved for. This can also lock in current rates for up to 120 days. Exceptional circumstances However, locking in a rate isn’t always advantageous. For example, we recently had a client who had a considerable sum to put as a down payment. He had a great credit history and income, and no debt, so he would have been able to qualify for a lot more. We didn’t get him pre-approved, because we knew there would be no problem getting him a great mortgage and, as interest rates were going down, there was no need to lock in a rate. It is also important to remember that getting pre-approved doesn’t mean that your mortgage has been fully approved. Final approval is given once you have an accepted offer, your mortgage application has been submitted, and the lender has approved all the financing conditions – including an appraisal of the home.

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Talk to a mortgage expert first Knowing what you qualify for is critical when you start working with your real estate agent, as it shows you are a wellqualified buyer who is serious about purchasing a home. In fact, some agents won’t even show properties to buyers who haven’t talked to a mortgage expert or bank. So before you start looking at homes, make sure you talk to a mortgage expert to find out how much you qualify for.

Mortgage experts can save you thousands of dollars and many days of researching different options, and they don’t cost you a cent as they are paid through a commission from the lender.

CHECK OUT THE CHECKLIST! Go to page 39 in the Resources section for our handy checklist on the documentation you’ll need to get mortgage pre-approval

Alisa Aragon provides her mortgage expertise through Bridgestone Financing Pros and is an active member of the Greater Vancouver Home Builders Association. She is an expert in developing short- and long-term strategies that are customized for each individual client, including finding the best mortgage with the most favourable terms and rates to suit your needs. Contact Alisa to get expert advice on your mortgage needs via alisa@ financingpros.ca or at www.financingpros.ca.


The new mortgage “stress test” Will your new mortgage application be subject to the federal government’s rigorous new stress test? If you have less than 20 per cent down payment, you need to read this

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s of March 1, 2017, Canadians applying for a mortgage that requires CMHC insurance will have to qualify under higher interest rates under a new “stress test” announced last October by federal finance minister Bill Morneau. The tougher mortgage rules were announced as part of a wider series of “preventative measures” aimed at “ensuring the long-term stability of the market” and reducing risk, according to Morneau. How it works Under the proposed new mortgage qualification rules, the previous “stress test” that applied to some insured, variable-rate mortgages and those with terms of less than five years is now applied to all new applications for insured mortgages (those with under 20 per cent down payment). Here’s how it works. The stress test requires that, even if a mortgage applicant can agree with their lender a discounted rate of 2.79 per cent, for example, they will have to qualify under – that is, prove that they have enough monthly income to afford – the full Bank of Canada posted rate, currently 4.64 per cent. The mortgage payer will still only have to actually pay the agreed-upon lower rate, but the new system is designed to ensure that if interest rates go up later, the buyer will still be able to service the mortgage. Reduced buying power The stress test now includes all new applicants for insured, fixed-rate mortgages with terms of five years and more. These applicants previously only had to qualify under the discounted interest rate they would actually be paying – which had typically allowed them to qualify for much larger mortgages than they can now. This means the buying power of a large group of new mortgage applicants is dramatically reduced.

Mortgage expert Alisa Aragon, a broker with Bridgestone Financing Pros, said, “This measure is going to take so many people out of the market, especially in Vancouver with our high prices. A lot of people have less than 20 per cent down payment, and … now that they have to qualify under the posted rate, they will qualify for a much lower mortgage. “I have a couple looking at homes around $630,000 and I have them qualified at the five-year contract rate. Now with the new rules coming into effect, they are going to qualify for a property of $504,000. That is a huge difference and that could mean the difference between buying a house or a condo.” How to avoid the stress test All new applicants for uninsured mortgages (those who have a down payment of more than 20 per cent) do not

have to undergo the stress test, and can qualify at the lower interest rate – the rate they will actually pay. Since October, this has resulted in a lot of first-time buyers taking steps to increase their down payments above the 20 per cent threshold, in order to avoid the stress test and qualify for a larger mortgage. Such downpayment-raising steps include Millennials increasingly tapping into the Bank of Mom and Dad (see page 12) – which has seen a recent surge in activity, according to a BC Notaries survey. However, one avenue that is not an option for raising your down payment above 20 per cent is the new BC HOME loan (details on page 14). The BC government’s new down-payment-matching loan program requires that the applicant’s down payment plus any loan totals less than 20 per cent, as the scheme requires all applicants undergo the stress test. 17


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SEARCH FOR SUITABLE LISTINGS

Working with a REALTOR® When looking for your perfect home, you might not think you need a buyer’s agent to help you – but you’d be wrong

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n real estate, like many other fields, professional representation is available at every step of the process. The purchase of a home is likely to be the biggest investment you’ll ever make, and you need to ensure that every aspect of the process is handled in a manner that helps you get the best deal and protects you and your money. You might not think you need a buyer’s agent, but you’d be a fool to do without one. Working with a Realtor ® (Designated Agency) is a helpful document by the British Columbia Real Estate Association that describes the relationship between buyers, sellers and real estate agents, and explains exactly why it’s so important for buyers to work with their own agent. No cost to you Remember, using a buyer’s agent won’t cost you any extra money, as their fee is 18

covered by the commission paid by the home seller, which is split between the buying and listing agents. Some would argue that the buyer’s agent’s service is not exactly “free” as the seller will weave the commission cost into the listing price. But that listing price won’t be any lower if you forego having a buyer’s agent. And you may even end up with a worse deal, as you didn’t have an experienced professional negotiating your purchase price for you. What’s more, the real estate profession is one of the most highly regulated in the country, and there are strict conduct requirements of licensees and brokerages to ensure that they exercise all reasonable care in their representation of you. That means it is actually illegal for them to not do everything in their power to look after you and get you the best deal they can.

Tips to find a great buyer’s agent Q Get recommendations and interview two or three potential agents, ensuring that they meet the “attributes of a great agent” listed in this article. Q Ask how they would help you find your home, whether your expectations are realistic for your budget, how many showings a week you can expect and how long they think it should take. Q Your buying agent should tell you when you’re being unrealistic, but if you find that they are unable to get on the same page as you, they might not be the right fit. Q Follow up with testimonials and references to ensure the agent you are choosing is trustworthy and hardworking. Once you’ve chosen your agent using these tips, you can trust them to do the best job for your home buying process.


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SEARCH FOR SUITABLE LISTINGS

Find your home on REW.ca REW.ca, an online search portal for local home listings and new home developments, is the perfect place to find your future home. Here’s how it works

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hether you’re searching from a computer or via a mobile device, looking for properties in your chosen area and budget range is a breeze when you use REW.ca. The online search portal for Lower Mainland home listings and new developments is the region’s most comprehensive, and offers user-friendly functionality such as map views, favourite listings, upcoming open houses, new listing alerts and much more. It’s the perfect way to ensure you find your ideal home. How it works 1) Go to the www.rew.ca home page and search for a home in your chosen neighbourhood and price range. On the home page you can initially filter by bedrooms, bathrooms and upcoming open houses only. On your results page you can filter by much more – such as property type, square footage and keywords like “balcony” – as well as applying the same search terms to more neighbourhoods. 2) As soon as you set up a profile and log in, you will be able to save your home search results to look at later. The system will also ask if you want to receive email property alerts to let you know when new listings under the same search parameters appear on the market, ensuring you never miss an opportunity. You can also pick “favourites” by clicking on the heart on the search results or listing page, and then go back to those favourites later. You can find your saved searches, property alerts and favourites under your name in the dropdown menu. 3) If location is key, try searching using the “Search by map” or “Search by neighbourhood” features, both available from the REW.ca home page. You can filter your results by price range, bedrooms, bathrooms and home types, and filter them further at the search results page. If you want to save a listing to your favourites list, just click on the heart on the listing page.

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4) When looking for open houses, you can either filter your results by open houses only, or check out our dedicated open houses section. When you search in that section using your filters, you’ll only see results that have open houses in the upcoming couple of weeks. Once you’ve done the above, you should have a great shortlist of favourite listings to check over with your REALTOR® and hopefully go for a viewing! And don’t forget to check out the new home developments in the “Developments” section to see if a new home is a better option for you. Searching while on the go? We know you’ll often be looking at home listings while out and about – so REW.ca also has host of cool smartphone- and tablet-friendly features. These are: Q Search for home listings in map view and list view.

Q Filter by neighbourhood, bedrooms, bathrooms and price with the easyuse selector tools. Advance filter for property type, square footage and age. Q Search homes near me: Using your device’s geolocation settings, the mobile site will show you homes in map or list view that are near your current location. Q Open houses near me: Using your geolocation settings, the site can also show you open houses in map or list view near your current location. Q Instant viewings: Call or email the listing agent of a property you are interested in directly from the listing page on your smartphone or tablet. Just don’t go see it without your own buyer’s agent! To access the site from your mobile device, just go to REW.ca – you’ll be directed automatically to the mobile site. Happy house hunting!


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CHOOSE THE IDEAL HOME How to view properties When you’re viewing prospective homes, there are some important things to bear in mind, explains local REALTOR® Barry Magee

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iewing properties is a very exciting experience. Naturally, you’ll be focusing on the home itself, the space, the location and whether those all work for you. You should have a list of needs and wants in terms of size, bedrooms, outdoor space and so on (see our helpful checklist on page 40). But while you’re looking for those things, it’s also important to be pick up on any red flags that could mean this is not your dream home. Here are some things to look out for. Condos When viewing a condo there is no shortage of information in the strata documents, but a visual inspection is always helpful as well. Make sure to check that the property has a rainscreened exterior. If there are lots of possessions in the home, take a closer look to see if signs of wear and tear are covered up. When a property is tenanted, ask the tenant if there is anything wrong with the unit.

ensure your inspector checks it out – and never put down a subject-free offer.

Townhomes With townhouses, one of the things to focus on is the condition of common areas, such as the fencing surrounding the units. This is a communal expense, and often reveals how the strata handles maintenance. Inside, clutter can make it hard to imagine yourself in a home, but it might also be a small window into the sellers’ lives. A lot of stuff could mean they are anxious to sell and upgrade to a larger property.

Open-house viewings If you are attending open houses, there are signs can you look out for as well. Is the owner at the open house? This might indicate a lack of trust with their agent. If the property is tenanted, is the tenant making a fuss about leaving at the start of the open house? Could be a sign of a difficult tenant that you’ll want to avoid dealing with. Are there many people coming by the open house? If not, this could mean the property is overpriced – but perhaps

you could make a low offer (see page 27). Focus your attention to the details, but also enjoy the emotion of finding a great home. It’s a wonderful experience, and should be fully enjoyed. Tempering the excitement with a critical eye can also be a very rewarding experience, and lead to a successful real estate purchase. CHECK OUT THE CHECKLIST! Go to page 40 in the Resources section for our checklist of “must-haves” vs “nice-tohaves” to take with you on viewings and help you make a decision

Detached houses If you’re lucky enough to be looking for a house, make sure the listing description matches the property, in terms of potentially illegal suites and additions. This is especially true with the Vancouver Special style of home, which often have two or three suites. Also, the style of roof is very important in a climate like ours, so 22

Barry Magee is a Vancouver-based REALTOR® with Macdonald Realty at 4387 Main Street, Vancouver. He has an extensive background in marketing, and brings a consultative approach to the table for his real estate clients. Contact him via his website www.livinginvancity.com


Resale or presale? The pros and cons Home buying is fraught with tricky decisions, and one is whether to buy an older resale home or a brand new one. Here’s the case for each

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hen you’re looking for a home to buy, one of the biggest decisions is whether to buy a resale home through the MLS® or whether to go to a developer’s sales centre and buy a brand new unit off plan. Both decisions have their advantages and disadvantages, and knowing what those are will help you make the right choice for you. Resale home

Pros Q Resale homes purchased through the MLS® tend to be cheaper per square foot than a new home – and there’s no GST to pay. Q Resale homes are already built, so you can go and view the exact home you will be living in – no nasty surprises about space, feel, views and so on. Q As the resale home is already built, there’s no waiting years to move into your new place. Q What you see is what you get – and a home inspector can inspect the unit thoroughly, in person, before you remove subjects. Cons Q A resale home has been lived in before – the unit’s fixtures and fittings will unlikely be brand new (unless it has just been renovated) and may wear out sooner. Q The building also won’t be brand new – and the older the building, the more wear and tear it will have, which means maintenance costs. Q You’ll have to pay Property Transfer Tax on the purchase – unless you are exempt (first-time buyer and purchase price is under $500,000). Presale home Pros Q You’ll get a brand new, never-beforelived-in unit that is (or should be) in topnotch condition and will be under a New Home Warranty.

Q New home developments usually have great amenities and will be in established or up-and-coming neighbourhoods. Q You could have the chance to customize your unit to your own tastes, or at least choose from colour and design options offered by the developer. Q If the home is under $750,000, you’ll be exempt from Property Transfer Tax. Cons Q New homes are desirable, which means they tends to cost more than resale homes per square foot – plus you have to pay GST. Q Your chosen home won’t be built yet, so there could be a long wait to move in – and even if the value drops in that time, you’ll still pay the contracted price (which is also true if values increase). Plus a lot

can change during that time and you need to be sure you can get a mortgage and a down payment for completion date. Q You might get a pretty good idea of the home you’ll be getting, but show suites and floorplans can sometimes seem quite different than your finished unit – especially in terms of intangibles like views and “feel”. Q There’s a lot of paperwork and other risk-mitigation factors to consider – you have to be sure you’re getting what you pay for. Whether you choose a resale or presale home, make sure you work with an A-team of real estate professionals – REALTOR®, lawyer and mortgage broker – to ensure you get exactly what you want and can afford. 23


Shay Moudahi shay@ homesonthesunshinecoast.com

604.989.9888 Barbie and Shay Master Medallion Team 2015 5 Years

Homes on The Sun

HomesOnTheSun

Tell us what you want and we

When working with Barbie and Shay, you will enjoy the conďŹ dence that stems from are looking for in a home or property. The strength of experience a That’s the difference you get with the Homes on We understand and are well versed on homes, land, and development projects but what we have come to know is that our business is really about people. It is the family that makes the home and the visionary that sees a simple parcel of land and knows how to turn it into something special. It is the people we work with that make Real Estate an adventure and something we wake up every day excited to pursue. What makes us different from others in our business is the exceptional level of service we offer and the analysis, guidance and negotiating skills we bring to the table - the very foundation of any Real Estate venture.

We look forward to meeting you! 604.741.1239 | SunshineCoastRealtors.ca

Macdonald Realty Ltd. This communication is not intended to cause or induce breach of an existing agency agreement.


Barbie Whitworth barbie@ homesonthesunshinecoast.com

604.741.1239

nshine Coast Team

nshineCoast.com

Barbie Whitworth Member of the 2016 President’s Club

e will show you how to get it!

m working with a team of skilled professionals, equipped to ďŹ nd exactly what you and a trusted name, backed by tradition and deep community ties. n the Sunshine Coast team of Macdonald Realty.

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6

MAKE AN OFFER

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aking the leap from checking out homes to actually making an offer can be nerve-wracking, but it doesn’t have to be – if you have all the pieces in place. Q First, of course, you should be working with a REALTOR® (see page 18) who understands the micro market where you want to buy and can advise on how much you should be paying. Q Presumably, you are already working with a mortgage broker – and when it comes to making an offer, your financing MUST be in order first. You need at least a five per cent deposit and pre-approval for a mortgage (see page 16). Q For an extra advantage, your REALTOR® can include a deposit cheque with your offer to prove to the seller that you have the funds. This tactic works. Your deposit will usually be around 10 per cent. Q Bidding wars are not happening in every neighbourhood, or for every type of property, but they are still happening – often for entry-level condos. However, in some areas and at some price points, there is room to negotiate without being outbid. Your offer must be based on market research and a full understanding of the financial factors in play – NOT speculation, friendly advice or sheer desperation. The help of a good agent is invaluable here. Q What about subjects? The basic fact is that offers with fewer subjects win. If you are buying a strata property, request all documents before offering, read them thoroughly and get answers to any questions you may have (see page 28). Never include a “subject to documents” clause, unless you can’t review them before offering. Q What about the inspection? While it’s always wise to get one, in hot markets, some people have skipped the inspection or had it done before they make the offer. Depending on your micro market, a preoffer inspection may still be the way to 26

Optimize your offer You can never be sure your offer on a home will be accepted, but follow these rules for your best chance, advises agent Lindsie Tomlinson go (see page 30). In other cases (especially in the detached housing market), a subject-to-inspection clause won’t kill an offer. Q Can you sign off on the Property Disclosure Statement and give the sellers the dates they want for completion and possession? For some sellers, closing dates can be more important than the highest offer, especially if they already have their new home in place.

Q Should you write a letter to the sellers? Absolutely! It can’t hurt. Sure, some people won’t consider anything but the bottom line, but I’ve seen more than one case where a heartfelt letter pushed the second-highest offer into the winning position because it tugged on the sellers’ heartstrings. Give it a try. After you’ve done all the above, just make your best offer that you’re comfortable with, and hope for the best. Good luck!

CHECK OUT THE CHECKLIST! Go to page 41 in the Resources section for our checklist on the all the factors to consider before you enter a home purchase contract

Lindsie Tomlinson is a Vancouver-based REALTOR® who specializes in helping first-time home buyers and growing families find the right home in the right neighbourhood. A Certified Negotiation Expert and regular contributor to REW.ca, Lindsie is a proud supporter of Backpack Buddies and the Children’s Miracle Network. She lives in East Vancouver with her husband and two sons, loves to travel, and is the author of a book on how to travel with baby.


The art of the lowball offer Is lowball-offering a legitimate buying strategy or a cheeky move that will get you laughed at by the seller? Local agent Barry Magee has advice

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common topic among real estate buyers is whether or not they should offer a price that is much lower than the listed price. It’s an interesting concept, but one that is not without its pitfalls. Submitting a lowball offer is one thing, but getting the offer accepted is another thing altogether. Let’s take a look at the different factors to consider. Understand the market In a market like Vancouver and the Lower Mainland we are often faced with an inevitable reality – people really like living here. Sellers are more than aware of this, and are primed to take full advantage. When making an offer, looking at comparable properties in the area that have sold going back as far as two years (or further) will give you a good understanding of what the seller is expecting. Maybe they’ve already priced it low to encourage multiple offers or a quick sale? If that’s the case, it’s likely they won’t even submit a counter offer. On the other hand, maybe it’s a slow market for that neighbourhood and property type and, as a buyer, you’re confident there isn’t too much competition from other buyers for that home. In this case, a lowball offer just might get accepted by a seller anxious to get out – and you’ve saved yourself a tonne of cash. As real estate agents, we are very much held to account by what the market will bear, and buyers and sellers are not immune to this either. Negotiations and other Starting with a low offer could be considered disrespectful or a bullying tactic. If that’s the case, why not submit another offer slightly higher if you don’t hear back from the seller? If the goal is to get the ball rolling on negotiations, being flexible can enhance the likelihood of this occurring.The #1 rule of real estate is to not take things personally.

If you plan on submitting an offer that is substantially lower than the listed price, make sure you offer the seller something in return. Maybe your offer is lower but you can put down a 50 per cent deposit, or close within two weeks? Your offer needs to be the cleanest it can be to persuade a seller to accept a price that is lower than any other offers presented (see page 26).

As a real estate agent in Vancouver, I personally prefer to avoid lowball offers. But a lot of agents, especially those who work with investors, are more comfortable with this strategy. It’s not my preferred way of doing business, but at the end of the day it’s always ultimately my client’s decision whether or not they want to submit or accept an offer that is substantially lower than the listed price.

Barry Magee is a Vancouver-based REALTOR® with Macdonald Realty at 4387 Main Street, Vancouver. He has an extensive background in marketing, and brings a consultative approach to the table for his real estate clients. Contact him via his website www.livinginvancity.com 27


7

DO YOUR DUE DILIGENCE How to read strata documents Buying a strata unit means ensuring the building or complex is well-run, with no scary issues outstanding. Follow these rules for peace of mind

I

f you’re buying a condo or other strata unit, you need to be sure that the building is well-maintained with a proactive strata corporation, and that there are no special assessments coming up – which could cost you thousands. Obtaining as many of the strata documents as possible, and taking the time to read them, is your best insurance against unexpected problems. Ideally, do this before making an offer – and certainly before removing subjects. Look through the following documents carefully: Q Form “B” – this discloses essential information about the unit and the building, including strata fees, the building’s contingency fund, projections of future deficits, any proceedings against the building or strata lot owner, and so on; Q Strata council minutes and minutes from the last annual general meeting or extraordinary general meeting held since the last AGM – go back at least two years and ideally five; Q Engineer’s report/depreciation report – this assesses the condition of the building and makes recommendations for maintenance and upgrades, plus their costs, over the course of future years, which will reveal what you can expect to pay for down the road; Q Property disclosure statement for a condominium – any pertinent information relating to the specific unit in question; Q Strata corporation’s financial statements; Q Copy of the building’s insurance policy and deductibles; Q Copy of the strata bylaws; Q Title search; and Q Strata plan. When reading the minutes, make a list of maintenance, emergencies, long-term planning decisions, insurance claims and funding decisions. Cross-reference these with what you see in the depreciation report, financial statements and so on. 28

All buildings have maintenance and repair issues to deal with, so the most important thing is that the strata council is on top of it. A red flag could be sterile strata minutes with little being addressed – it could be a sign the strata council is not taking care of its building. Special assessments All buildings will have special assessments at some point – this is a oneoff extra payment to pay for a major repair. If the condo you are hoping to buy has one in the pipe, find out everything you can about it. If it is levied before the completion

date, even if the work is to be done after the completion date, it should be stated in the contract of purchase and sale that the seller is responsible for paying the assessment. If the special assessment is levied after the completion date, the buyer will pay. This detail must be written into the contract of purchase and sale to ensure that there is no misunderstanding between the parties later. When buying a strata unit, read everything and if in doubt request more information. Five hours of your time could end up in you avoiding a $55,000 special levy.


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7

DO YOUR DUE DILIGENCE

When to hire a home inspector Home buyers should not leave it too late to find an inspector – otherwise you could be left scrambling, advises Sean Moss

F

or any home purchase, it’s essential to hire a home inspector to take a good look at the property before you remove subjects. The cost of a home inspector (a few hundred dollars per inspection) is something you need to factor into your home-buying budget – in fact, it’s best to budget for several home inspections, as you might not get the first home that you want. And remember, finding a good home inspector when you need them can be tricky business. It is best to find one early, rather than scrambling at the last minute because you have to close on a deal. So before you start making offers, set aside enough time to research the best inspector for your needs. The top inspectors will be busy and often booked up to a week or more in advance, especially during the busy season (spring and summer). In short, choose the inspector as soon as you can, as it will reduce a lot of stress. Your REALTOR® and mortgage broker may have recommendations, but only you should be the one to make the final decision on picking the home inspector. Take suggestions for friends and family, check online, and so on. What to ask Q Once you’ve selected one or more options, take some time to have a long chat with them on the phone. What is their training and background? Q How many years of experience do they have? Q What are their areas of expertise (someone who has mostly worked on detached houses might not be right for your condo inspection, for example) and geographical areas of specialist knowledge? Q What are their fees? Q What is their policy on you being present at the inspection? Q Are they open to taking calls and sharing advice with you after the inspection? 30

Q What kind of report do they provide? Is it given to you immediately after the inspection or later on? Do they include photos with their reports? Q Are they licensed and insured and do they belong to a professional association like CAHPI? Q Will they provide their standards of practice and contract before the inspection? Q Do they have cancellation policy? Q Do they have a client references or testimonials? Q Do they communicate clearly and effectively? Part of your A-team Most importantly, find someone who truly cares about protecting you, while providing the best value for their service. You can usually gauge this by how they react to your

interview questions. Hopefully the inspector will spend enough time with you over the phone to answer all of your questions. With home inspectors, as any other service provider, you normally get what you pay for. Anyone with the proper training will learn the skills to be a competent inspector. However, character, ethics and common sense (which cannot be taught in any classroom) are the key personality traits that will put any inspector to the test when you really need them. There are a number of good inspectors out there to choose from. Once you have found the inspector who fits best with your needs, work closely with them as you are presenting offers on properties, or thinking about doing so. They will be an invaluable part of your homebuying A-team, and could save you from making a big mistake in your purchase.

Sean Moss is a home inspector focusing primarily on residential properties with specialized knowledge in mold and building envelope science. Call Sean on 604-729-4261, visit his website www.homeinspectorsean.com and see his rating on review website HomeStars.


FAQs on removing financing subjects Not sure how financing conditions or mortgage appraisals work? Mortgage expert Atrina Kouroshnia explains all

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hile I once thought our local real estate market was our collective Kryptonite, I now feel like Vancouverites are all but immune to its wily ways. Afforded front row seats on what turned into a rollicking ride through 2016’s turbulent housing market, it failed to deter the resolute among us. That said, it’s no wonder many of you were left scratching your head and asking questions. From how to safely remove financing subjects after your offer is accepted to how mortgage appraisals work, here are some frequently asked Q&As.

Q: A:

How do I safely remove financing subjects after my offer is accepted?

Subjects refer to specific conditions you wish to fulfill before purchasing a home. This could be something as simple as documents from the strata to a full home inspection. Whatever your subjects are, it is imperative that you remember if your offer is accepted, once you remove those subjects you are entering into a legally binding agreement. Only when you have all the documents from the agents, as well as your signed appraisal looked over by your mortgage broker and lender, should you proceed. Your broker will communicate with you regularly during this process and, once all the lender’s conditions have been met, they will either send you a standard letter to inform you or let you know by phone or email. During the subject removal period and until your closing, consistency is key to make sure you actually get your mortgage at closing. Deleting savings, applying for new credit and switching jobs are some of the big things to avoid until the ink is dry.

Q: A:

When is it okay not to have a condition removed?

Only when you are absolutely sure that you can meet the condition. As an example, let’s say one of your conditions is that you must pay

off your visa. At the moment e the funds you don’t have equirement, to meet that requirement, but you’re 100 per cent certain that you u have oming liquid funds coming in (say, a tax return) and willl be able to fulfillll your obligation. n. e But if you have any doubt about meeting a condition, proceed with caution.

Q: A:

What happens s if my appraisal falls short?

When your our mortgage broker orders rders an appraisal (a valuation aluation of the home you are buying), ) iit will ill be b from f one off two sources: either an approved lender list or a blind system that the lender requires. After the appraisal is finished, the report will be sent to the lender who then decides whether or not the appraisal is accepted. If your appraisal comes in short of the mortgage amount, as the buyer it is your responsibility to ensure you have enough funds to complete the transaction. For example, let’s say the purchase price is $500K and you are getting a mortgage for 80 per cent of the value ($400K). Should the appraisal come in at $480K, the lender will only lend you 80 per cent of that amount, which is $384K. So now

you will have to find an additional $16,000 down payment in order to keep the same mortgage. If you don’t, you should not remove subjects.

CHECK OUT THE CHECKLIST! Go to page 42 in the Resources section for our essential checklist on what to remember when removing subjects on your home purchase

Atrina Kouroshnia is an independently licensed mortgage broker in Vancouver, BC. She specializes in helping residents invest in their future through the purchase of their first home, and brings a holistic approach to the table when finding her clients the best mortgage available. She believes in complete transparency and ensures that her clients understand every detail of the process and all of their options. You can contact Atrina through her website, mortgagebyatrina.com. 31


8

CLOSE YOUR PURCHASE

Eight steps to closing your home purchase The process up to completion can seem daunting – but just follow these steps and, with the right professional help, it can go very smoothly, explains lawyer Richard Bell

S

o, working with your real estate agent, you have found your ideal new home. Then, with assistance of your mortgage expert, you have arranged your mortgage – and, with the help of a home inspector, the subjects have been removed and it’s all systems go. What’s next? It’s time to hire a lawyer or notary public 32

to help with the legal process to finalize the purchase of the home. Here are the eight steps you will need to go through. Step 1: Retain the services of a lawyer or notary (see sidebar). Ask your other professional advisors for a referral or family and friends that have gone through

the process. Make sure you are hiring someone with experience in real estate closings. Most closings go smoothly but if something unexpected happens you want to make sure your lawyer or notary public has the necessary expertise. You should contact your lawyer or notary as early as possible in the process.


Step 2: Your lawyer or notary will need to gather information from you, including how you wish to hold title to the property. If you are buying with your spouse or partner, most couples hold title as “joint tenants,” which means that the couple jointly owns 100 per cent. Upon the death of one owner the property automatically passes to the survivor outside of their will. The other way to hold title to property is as “tenants-in-common” which means each owner owns a fixed percentage, which could be 50-50, 70-30 or any combination. Upon the death of one owner, the owner’s interest passes under their will. 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. This is a balance sheet of the transaction showing the total funds required to complete after accounting for the deposit and mortgage proceeds. And there may be adjustments for taxes, strata fees or rental income. Check out the checklist

on page 43 for a full list of all the closing costs you need to be prepared for.

to pick up funds and notifies you that the purchase has completed.

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 7: You receive the keys for your new home. Normally you receive the house keys directly from your real estate agent on the possession date as set out in the contract of purchase and sale.

Step 5: One to three days before closing is when you usually meet with your lawyer or notary to sign documents and deliver the balance of the down payment or equity. Step 6: Your lawyer or notary registers the transfer and mortgage documents, arranges for the seller’s lawyer or notary

Step 8: Move in and enjoy your new home – congratulations!

CHECK OUT THE CHECKLIST! Go to page 43 in the Resources section for our essential checklist on all the costs you can expect to pay when closing on your home purchase – don’t get caught by surprise!

Richard Bell is a Vancouver lawyer who specializes in real estate, wills and estate planning, probate, and immigration law. He is the co-founder of Bell Alliance Lawyers & Notaries Public and has been named Best Real Estate Lawyer in Canada by Canadian Real Estate Magazine. Contact him via his website at www.bellalliance.ca

Lawyer versus notary: who should you use? When closing the purchase on real estate in BC, buyers have the option of hiring either a real estate lawyer or a notary public for the transaction process. It’s a distinction that is unique to British Columbia – so which should you choose, and is there a difference in fees? Ron Usher, general counsel at the Society of Notaries Public of British Columbia, explains that the difference between lawyers and notaries is only in their training. Lawyers have to train for much longer than notaries, but that’s because they have to train in every area of the law – so that doesn’t mean they know more than a notary about real estate. Whereas notaries are independent, specialist legal professionals who have focused their training on non-contentious paperwork, often just on real estate conveyancing. Both are equally qualified to take on your home transaction. Usher points out that one profession is no better than the other and the fees are very similar because of extensive competition keeping prices in check (usually around $800 to $1,200 for

your home purchase). He add that it’s best just to find a professional who specializes in residential real estate and perhaps is recommended to you by someone you trust. “The selection process will be based

on the other ways you’d select a professional,” says Usher. “Is someone available to you? Do you like their attitude? Do you feel appreciated by them? But there is no separate standard for the advice given.”

33


9

MOVE INTO YOUR HOME Packing and moving like a pro Moving is one of life’s great stresses – so make it easy on yourself by following the journey through our infographic’s top tips

1. G et t i n g r e a d y t o p a c k Q  Different size cardboard boxes Q  Heavy-duty boxes and/or stackable crates with handles (try hiring some from a local supplier x) such as Frogbox)

Q  Packing tape Q  Packing materials such as bubble wrap

Q  Labels and marker pens

3 . Tr a n s p o r t i n g yo u r ite m s 2 . Pa c k i n g Q  Start with lesser-used items several weeks before the move, and end with more-used

Q  Keep everyday items in an open box so that you can keep using them until last minute pread Q  Put heavy items in small boxes and spread them out across multiple boxes

Q  Wrap fragile items even more carefully than you think you need to

Q  Label boxes as you go, and mark fragile items clearly

Q  If you have kids, let them pack their own toys but keep some close at hand

Q  Don’t pack things you will need, such as documentation, cellphone charger, purse, etc

Q  If some items are going into storage, pack them separately and label clearly

How big a vehicle will you need? Here’s an approximate guide to home size versus vehicle size (depending on how much stuff you have!)

Q  Small apartment (400-750 square feet) > Cargo van to 10-foot truck

Q  Medium apartment (750-1,200 square feet) > 12-foot truck

Q  Large apartment/medium townhouse (1,200-1,750 square feet) > 15-17-foot truck

Q  Large townhouse/medium house (1,750-2,500 square feet) > 20-foot truck

Q  Large house (2,500 square feetplus) > 26-foot moving truck


4 . H i r i n g a m ov i n g c o m p a ny ?

5. Get organized

Questions to ask a prospective moving company:

In addition to just packing and moving, there are a lot of administrative tasks to tackle. Well ahead of your moving date, you need to:

Q  What do they charge?

Q  Give your landlord notice, if you’ve been renting, and arrange for deep cleaning after move-out day

Fixed rate or per hour?

Q  Talk to your insurance agent about transferring

Q  Loading items or just driving?

coverage to your new home, and ask if your policy covers household items in transit

Q  Extra costs for packing your items? Q  Furniture disassembly/reassembly?

Q  Inform all the necessary companies and local services about your new address (including but not limited to doctor, dentist, kids’ school, employer, cell/cable/internet provider, energy providers, banks, subscriptions, memberships)

Q  Insurance coverage? Q  Association membership? Q  References/testimonials?

Q  Send out change-of-address information to family

Q  Security? (Especially if your items

and friends

will be stored overnight)

Q  Back up your computer and make a hard copy of important information

Q  Book a final appointment at the vet for any pets Q  Make arrangements for children or pets to be taken care of on moving day

Q  Plan out meals for when your fridge and cupboards are empty

6 . T h e B i g D ay Q  Make sure your neighbours and/or building managers know about your move Q  Get access to the elevator if you have one, in both old and new buildings Q  Make sure you have a parking spot available, close to the entry, at both old and new buildings

Q  If you’re using a moving company, keep a watch on what they are doing – just in case

Q  Keep your purse/wallet, cellphone and keys handy – including cash to tip the movers – and ensure essential items are with you and not packed

Q  Give a smile and a treat to movers and any volunteer helpers


10

MAKE IT YOUR OWN

W

hether you have purchased your first home, upgraded to a larger home or relocated to a new neighbourhood, moving into a new home is an exciting time. Think of it as an opportunity to create a home that speaks to your personality. Here are 10 easy and low-cost ways to make your new home your own. 1. The power of paint: Paint is arguably the easiest and most cost-effective way to refresh and update any room. Whether you like neutrals, colours inspired by nature or bold hues, paint offers endless options when it comes to giving your space a brand-new look. 2. Transform old flooring: Buy some inexpensive durable floor paint to add uniqueness to a room; or purchase peel and stick vinyl flooring that looks like real wood or tile; or update the floors with nice looking low-cost plywood. 3. Pillows and throws: Throw away the rules and mix and match. Blend a selection of pillows in various sizes, shapes,textures, big or small patterns and/or bold and subtle colours to add

1

Ten easy ways to transform your home A new home is never perfect right off the bat, and you may be broke after closing! Here are 10 low-cost tips to make it great 3

interest to your couch and ultimately your room. 4. Revamp existing kitchen cabinets: If the frames and doors are essentially sturdy, you can revamp dated and drab looking kitchen cabinets with a coat or two of paint and some new hardware – it will cost you a lot less than new cabinetry. 5. Cheap alternatives to art on walls: Showcase your cherished belongings – whether it’s a piece of art bought at a thrift store, framed photographs or antlers. Don’t be afraid to change it up often or with the seasons. Add, subtract and be whimsical. 6. Accessorize with nature’s bounty: Next time you go out to the beach or for a walk in the woods grab a bag or basket and fill it with driftwood, fallen twigs or branches. Then, fill your favourite vase or basket with Mother Nature’s bounty for a gorgeous display. 7. Shelving: You can create shelving from reclaimed and recycled materials,

5

36

perfect to display your personal mementos or favourite plants. You can add old pipes as anchors for a chic industrial look. Or add wallpaper on the inside back section to create interest. 8. Rethink and reuse what you have: It’s dubbed upcycling … if you have an old dresser gathering dust in your garage, take it out, sand it, paint it and add new hardware. Or take three old chairs and harness them together to create a stunning bench. 9. Transform your patio or balcony: A Baker’s rack filled with herb pots, an old table, a bird cage or a beautiful watering jug can all double as planters. Unusual items on a patio or balcony can add vibrancy. 10. Bargain outdoor flooring: Does the deck need a facelift? Outdoor decking doesn’t have to break the bank. There are several inexpensive, easy-to-install snapin recycled wood and lay-and-peel tiles in wood, plastic, faux stone and concrete. You could also lay down weatherproof matting.

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CHECKLIST 1

Documents needed for mortgage pre-approval All buyers

First time buyer?

Information on the property you are buying:

Confirmation of your down payment:

Q Q

Q Q Q Q

Purchase and sale agreement Full listing details from your REALTOR®

Employment and income verification:

Q Q Q Q Q Q

Copy of latest pay slip

Q

Other compensation (disability pension, rental income, etc.)

Gift letter if part of down payment is a gift Any withdrawal from RRSP under Home Buyer’s Plan Note that if you’re applying for a BC HOME loan to boost your down payment, you must be pre-approved first

T4(s) Letter of employment

Repeat buyer selling a home?

T1 General(s)

Confirmation of your down payment:

Notice(s) of Assessment (NOA)

Q Q

Other income – Legal agreements such as a spousal or child support payment

Other information that may be required

Q Q

Savings or investments statement for the last 90 days

Void cheque Name, address, telephone number of your solicitor/notary

Copy of sale agreement Savings or investments statement for the last 90 days

Information related to your existing property/properties:

Q Q Q Q

Recent mortgage statement Most recent property tax bill/statement Documents verifying heating costs and condo fees Legal description of your property (you can find this on your property tax statement or original purchase agreement) 39


CHECKLIST 2

Home hunting wants and needs Hunting for a home? Use this checklist as a master list to establish what you really need in your new home, and what would be nice to have. Circle and check the must-haves, check nice-to-haves, and cross off things you don’t want or need. Then compare your wants and needs with the features of each property you view. You can even go online and print out additional copies of this checklist to fill in every time you view a property, making your decision that much easier! Go to REW.ca/News and search for “Checklist Home Hunting” Basic requirements

Interior features

Budget range $ ________________ to $ ________________

Q  Open-concept living space Q  Hardwood floors Q  Granite counters/stainless-steel appliances Q  Laundry room/in-suite laundry Q  Finished basement Q  Accessible features Q  Energy efficiency Q  Central A/C Q  Fireplace

Minimum bedrooms Minimum bathrooms

Q 1 Q 2 Q 3 Q 4 Q 5+ Q 1 Q 2 Q 3 Q 4 Q 5+

Minimum size ______________ sq. ft.

Structural features Q  Garage (Min. doors: _______ ) Q  Single-storey/level Q  Multiple storeys Q  Basement Miscellaneous features Q  Quiet street Q  Cul-de-sac Q  Good schools Q  Walking neighbourhood Q  Safe neighbourhood Q  Nearby parks/green space Q  Nearby bars/restaurants Q  Convenient local shopping/stores Q  Good transit links/highway access Q  Waterfront Q  Views 40

Exterior features Q  Deck/patio/balcony Q  Porch/sunroom/solarium Q  Gardens/landscaping Q  Pool and/or hot tub Q  Fenced-in yard Q  Shed/workspace Other nice-to-haves/must-haves Q  ________________________________________________________ Q  ________________________________________________________ Q  ________________________________________________________ Q  ________________________________________________________


CHECKLIST 3

Pre-contract considerations Congratulations! You and your real estate agent have found the property you are looking for and you are interested in making an offer. The following checklist will help remind you of the details to consider before you sign the contract: Q

Did your real estate agent provide you with the comparative market analysis (CMA) so you can determine the fair market value of the property?

Q Q Q Q Q Q

What offer would you like to place? What down payment and/or deposit would you like to make? What completion date do you want? What pre-closing inspection date do you want? What possession date do you want? Are there other dates you would like to negotiate? Specify: ___________________________________________

Q Q

Q

Does the contract your real estate agent created contain all the subjects needed to protect you? (For example, subject to a building inspection, financing, review of the property disclosure statement, by-laws, minutes, etc.)

Q

If attachments or schedules form part of the contract, are these referenced in the main contract?

Q

Is the contract drafted to your specifications and particular situation?

Q

Did you get a receipt for the deposit and was it attached to the contract?

Q

Did you receive a counter-offer? If so, are you going to accept, reject, or make another counter-offer? (This process of counter-offers may continue until an agreement is reached.)

Q

Is your real estate agent keeping the lines of communication open between you and the seller during the negotiations?

Do you know what the price includes and doesn’t include? Are there items that you would like to negotiate that were not included in the purchase price (e.g., light fixtures, alarm system)? Specify:______________________________________________ ______________________________________________________

Now that an agreement has been reached, your agent will make sure the contract has been initialed, signed, and duly witnessed to ensure it is a legally binding contract.

Self-Counsel Press | This article is an edited excerpt from Home Buyers Guide for Canadians, published by and reprinted here courtesy of Self-Counsel Press. Self-Counsel Press is Canada’s leading publisher of do-it-yourself reference titles, authored by experts but written in clear, easily understood language. Self-Counsel Press books and e-books help others help themselves by providing timely, reliable information and guidance at an affordable price. Go to www.self-counsel.com 41


CHECKLIST 4

Subject removal Great news! Your offer has been accepted. Now your job is to remove the subject clauses within a specified period of time The following checklist will help you through the subject removal process:

Q  Have both you and the seller set out a time limit for the removal of subjects? Specify: __________________________ Q  What are the subjects you have listed? Q  Have you secured a building inspector? Q  Have you read the building inspector’s report? Q  Have you read the documents that were provided to you by the realtor? Check documents that are applicable to your situation:

S t r a t a u n it

D e t a c h e d d we l l i n g

Q  Form “B” or estoppel certificate Q  Registered strata plan, amendments, and resolutions

Q  Property disclosure statement Q  Title search Q  Survey certificate Q  Building inspection report Q  Have you secured your mortgage? Q  Have you verified the size of the dwelling, and are

dealing with changes to the common property

Q  Current by-laws and last two years’ minutes Q  Financial statements Q  Engineer’s report or building envelope report Q  Title search Q  Property disclosure statement (Strata Title Properties Act)

the room measurements approximate?

Q  Have you signed the Addendum stating that you will remove the subjects?

Q  Have you provided a bank draft or certified cheque made out to your real estate agency “in trust”?

Self-Counsel Press | This article is an edited excerpt from Home Buyers Guide for Canadians, published by and reprinted here courtesy of Self-Counsel Press. Self-Counsel Press is Canada’s leading publisher of do-it-yourself reference titles, authored by experts but written in clear, easily understood language. Self-Counsel Press books and e-books help others help themselves by providing timely, reliable information and guidance at an affordable price. Go to www.self-counsel.com 42


CHECKLIST 5

Costs of closing your purchase Many buyers – especially first-time buyers – fail to properly budget for all the costs associated with buying a home, beyond the down payment and mortgage. Here’s a full list of everything you will or might need to pay for Q Mortgage default insurance If you’re putting less than 20 per cent down, you’re required to buy CMHC mortgage default insurance, which you will pay off each month. Ask your mortgage broker how much extra that will cost you.

Q Mortgage life insurance This insurance will pay off the balance of your mortgage in the event of your death or inability to pay, and is highly advisable (but not mandatory). You can get it from your lender or shop around for a deal.

by searching the title, at the buyer’s expense.

Q Home inspection It’s essential to pay for a home inspection to check for major issues in the property you’re buying. The inspection usually costs $500 to $700.

Q Legal representation You will need to hire a lawyer or notary public to represent you and make sure the documentation is processed properly. For straightforward transactions, it’s between $800 and $1200.

Q Appraisal fee Some mortgage lenders will require an appraisal on the property, which could be at your expense, depending on the lender and your down payment.

Q Land survey fee Similar to the appraisal fee, some lenders might require you to have an up-to-date survey of the property. Again, this will be at your expense.

Q Title search You may also choose to do a title search, which ensures the seller is the actual owner and the property is unencumbered. This can be achieved

Q Property Transfer Tax In BC, this is one per cent on the first $200,000 and two per cent on the balance, up to $2 million. Any balance above that is three per cent. BC offers an exemption for firsttime buyers paying $500,000 or less for their home, and a discount for properties $500-$525K. Purchases of new homes are exempt up to $750,000, with conditions.

Q GST on new homes If you’re buying a new home (never lived in), it will be subject to goods and services tax, which here in BC is five

per cent. For new developments that were at least one-tenth constructed before April 1, 2013, there will also be a two per cent PST transitional tax. Some income tax rebates are available.

Q Strata move-in costs If you’re buying a condo, many strata corporations charge move-in fees through their bylaws, which usually range from $100 to $400.

Q Adjustment costs Any prepaid monthly living costs already paid by the vendor must be reimbursed when the buyer takes possession of the home. These can include property taxes, prepaid water, hydro or gas charges, strata fees, service contracts and so on – set aside several hundred dollars for this. You may also need to pay anywhere between $100 and $1,000 on interest adjustment costs to cover the interest on any gap between the closing date of the purchase and the first payment date of the mortgage.

Q Moving costs You’ll have to hire a moving company or rent a truck for your furniture. Don’t forget a tip for the movers, and treats for any volunteer helpers. 43


DIRECTORY for the

Home Buyer’s

Guide

Buying Advice Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors BC Directory to find a home inspector 1-855-224-7422 ¤ www.hiabc.ca

British Columbia Land Surveyors Find a land surveyor 250-655-7222 ¤ www.abcls.ca

EuroLine Windows Inc

Canada Revenue Agency

BC Government

Manufacturer of tilt & turn windows and doors 604-940-8485 ¤ www.euroline-windows.com Pg..............46

Government agency manages taxes and benefits 604-689-7536 ¤ www.cra-arc.gc.ca/

Government resource all about housing 604-660-2421 ¤ www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/housing-tenancy

Draft on Site

BC Government

On-site floor plan and building plan drafting services 604-876-3738 ¤ www.draftonsite.com Pg..............37

Government resource all about property taxes 604-660-2421 ¤ www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/taxes/property-taxes

Fire Busters

Insurance Broker Association of BC Insurance Broker Association of BC - Broker Directory for insurance (604) 606-8000 ¤ www.ibabc.org

Find an appraiser 613-234-6533 ¤ www.aicanada.ca/

Residential fire sprinkler contractor 604-599-4499 ¤ www.firebusters.com Pg..............46

Duxbury & Associates

Finances

General

Building inspection and consulting 604-524-2502 ¤ www.glennduxbury-inspections.com Pg..............19

RateHub

Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Appraisal Institute of Canada

Construction Greater Vancouver Home Builders’ Association Tips on buying, building and renovating your home 778-565-4288 ¤ www.gvhba.org

44

Resource of financial info with lots of rate comparisons 1-800-679-9622 ¤ www.ratehub.ca

Offers information and support for Canadian homebuyers 604-731-5733 ¤ www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca

RateSupermarket Resource of financial info with lots of rate comparisons 1-866-462-4779 ¤ www.ratesupermarket.ca

Service Canada Point of access to various services and benefits offered to Canadians n/a (varies by department) ¤ www.servicecanada.gc.ca

Vancouver Heritage Foundation Organization aimed at protecting heritage homes - there are grants available to owners/ buyers of heritage homes 604-264-9642 ¤ www.vancouverheritagefoundation.org

Legal Law Society of BC Lawyer lookup to ensure your lawyer is in good standing with the law society and to see how many years they have been practising 604-669-2533 ¤ www.lawsociety.bc.ca

BC Notaries Can find a notary by language, name, city or postal code 604-681-4516 ¤ www.notaries.bc.ca


Mortgage

Sean Miletich, Macdonald Realty Westmar

Shay Moudahi, Holywell Properties

Rod Hayes, Park Georgia Realty

Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals

Specializes in the Richmond area 604-315-1074 ¤ www.rew.ca/agents/74778/sean-miletich Pg..............13

Specializes in the Sunshine Coast area 604-989-9888 ¤ www.rew.ca/agents/57/shay-moudahi Pg..............25-26

Specializes in the Tri-cities area 604-941-3838 ¤ www.rew.ca/agents/1813/ Pg..............46

Search CAAMP’s list of members to find a qualified mortgage broker to help you find the right mortgage for you 1-888-442-4625 ¤ www.mortgageconsumer.org

Mortgage Broker Association of BC Resource of mortgage information as well as full directory of registered brokers 604-408-9989 ¤ www.mbabc.ca

Rob Pellegrino, RE/MAX Nyda Realty Realtors serving the Hope, BC 604-869-1290 ¤ www.rew.ca/agents/157/rob-pellegrino Pg..............37

Emma Co, Macdonald Realty Westmar Specializes in the Vancouver 604-618-3888 ¤ www.rew.ca/agents/3770/emma-c-co Pg..............21

Fran Miller, RE/MAX Top Perfromers

Candice Dyer, Sutton Group West Coast Realty

Financial Consumer Agency of Canada’s consumer resource to Mortgages 1-866-461-3222 ¤ www.fcac-acfc.gc.ca/Eng/forConsumers/topics/mortgages

Realtor serving the Gibsions, BC 604-741-2240 ¤ facebook.com/franmillerful Pg..............29

Specializes in the Sea-to-Sky Corridor 604-306-8911 ¤ www.rew.ca/agents/78192/ Pg..............2

Bridgestone Financing Pros

Sam Bagry, RE/MAX City Realty

Wendi Gustavson, Angell Hasman & Associates Realty Ltd.

Canadian Government

Alisa Aragon - Financing Expert 778-893-0525 ¤ www.financingpros.ca Pg..............38

Dominion Lending Centers Karen Hall - Mortgage Professional 604-936-7740 ¤ www.karenhall.ca Pg..............19

Paul Realtor serving the Lower Mainland 604-761-1664 ¤ www.rew.ca/agents/386/ Pg..............46

Samson Danniels, Rennie & Associates Realty Realtors serving the Lower Mainland 778-989-2454 ¤ www.rew.ca/agents/78113/ Pg..............9

Moving Canadian Association of Movers Can find movers by address and type of move 905.848.6579 ¤ www.mover.net

City of Vancouver Landfill info for disposal of unwanted items 311 ¤ http://vancouver.ca/home-property-development/ landfill-fees-and-charges.aspx

Angie Vazquez, Thornhill Real Estate Group Realtor serving the Lower Mainland 778-318-5900 ¤ www.rew.ca/agents/74101/ Pg..............19

Neeraj Sood, RE/MAX Little Oak Realty Specializes in the Surrey area 604-771-8265 ¤ www.rew.ca/agents/3231/ Pg..............3

Real Estate Boards Greater Vancouver Real Estate Board

Trish Murphy, Sutton Group - Seafair Realty

Find the latest real estate statistics of the Greater Vancouver Area 604-730-3000 ¤ www.rebgv.org

Specializes in the Tsawwassen & Ladner 604-312-7621 ¤ www.rew.ca/agents/49541/trisha-murphy Pg..............15

Fraser Valley Real Estate Board

Teri Steele, Sutton Group - Seafair Realty

Find the latest real estate statistics of the Fraser Valley Area 604-930-7600 ¤ www.fvreb.bc.ca

Realtor Faith Wilson, Faith Wilson Group Specializes in the Vancouver area 604-224-5277 ¤ www.rew.ca/agents/1173/faith-wilson Pg..............48

Specializes in the Tsawwassen & Ladner 604-897-2010 ¤ www.rew.ca/agents/49551/teri-steele Pg..............15

Barbie Whitworth, Holywell Properties Specializes in the Sunshine Coast area 604-741-1239 ¤ www.rew.ca/agents/56/ barbie-whitworth Pg..............25-26

Specializes in the North Shore area 604-649-8624 ¤ www.rew.ca/agents/6201/ Pg..............9

Rental BC Laws Residential Tenancy Act - laws that govern rentals ¤ www.bclaws.ca/civix/document/id/complete/ statreg/02078_01

Tenants BC A resource for landlords (and tenants) in BC 1-800-665-8779 ¤ www.tenantsbc.ca

Services Better Business Bureau Better Business Bureau to find reputable cleaning, painting, contracting etc. services ¤ www.bbb.org

Mindy McPherson, Top Producers Realty Ltd.

BC Hydro

Specializes in the Fraser Valley 604-826-1000 ¤ www.rew.ca/agents/73/mindy-mcpherson Pg..............4-5

are often available 604-224-9376 ¤ www.bchydro.com

Carolyn Hill, Macdonald Realty Whistler

FortisBC

Specializes in the Whistler area 604-907-0770 ¤ www.rew.ca/agents/68511/ Pg..............46

Crown corporation that manages electricity - rebates

Energy supplier of BC - rebates are often available 1-866-436-7847 ¤ www.fortisbc.com/

Dream Carpets Realtor serving the Lower Mainland 604-263-1144 604-263-1144 604-689-8226 ¤ www.dexterrealty.com Pg..............11

Where the builders buy Vancouver - 604-687-5888 Richmond - 604-273-7888 Surrey/Delta - 604-572-8788 ¤ www.dreamcarpets.ca/ Pg..............37

RE/MAX Sea to Sky Real Estate

Mcveigh Mechanical Ltd

Specializes in Squamish, Whistler or Pemberton Squamish 604-892-3571 Whistler 604-932-2300 Pemberton 604-894-6616 ¤ www.myseatosky.com Pg..............47

Plumbing, Heating, Gas Service and installation 604-271-8852 Pg..............46

Dexter Associates Realty

Lindsie Tomlinson, RE/MAX Crest Realty Specializes in Vancouver area 604-396-4433 ¤ www.rew.ca/agents/66981/lindsie-tomlinson Pg..............29

Edi Takahashi, Sutton WestCoast Realty Specializes in Whiter Rock & South Surrey area 778-840-7141 ¤ www.rew.ca/agents/42331/edith-takahashi Pg..............21

Strata Condominium Home Owners Association Nonprofit association serving BC’s strata owners since 1976 604-584-2462 ¤ www.choa.bc.ca/

Strata Law Free local resource all about strata law ¤ www.stratalaw.ca

45


PROFESSIONAL SERVICES DIRECTORY TEAM

Carolyn Hill Hayes

OLD MASTER MEDALLION CLUB GOLD MASTER MEDALLION

YOUR NEIGHBOURHOOD REALTOR SINCE 1987

PERSONAL REAL ESTATE CORPORATION

ASSOCIATE BROKER Delivering the Dream – Whistler

RECOMMENDED & REFERRED

Voted “BEST REALTOR” 2015 Pique Newspaper

WORKING FOR YOU • Trusted, active, involved Tri-City residents • Utilizing the best of new & traditional advertising for our clients

Direct:

604.907.0770

rodandrhea.com CALL TODAY FOR A MARKET EVALUATION:

604 •240 •1927

ABOVE THE CROWD! 20 Years experience combined

SAM BAGRY 604-761-1664

JIN BAGRY 604-644-0495

chill@whistlerbuyer.com

WWW.WHISTLERBUYER.COM

Residential Fire Sprinkler Installation > Full Installation & Design Services > Attractive Designs > Variety of Colours & Styles > 5 Year Limited Warranty

It’s like having a fi refighter in every room of your home

Top 1% of all Greater Vancouver Area Realtors Top 1% – 2014 and 2015 Presidentʼs Club I love referrals; please call me if you need to sell or buy a house with fast results

CALL US FOR A FREE HOME EVALUATION www.vancouver-homes-on-sale.com

The WOW factor you want – The PERFORMANCE you demand Windows

• Tilt & turn • Casement • Bay / bow • Specialty shapes

Doors

7887 114A Street, Delta, BC V4C 5L8

604.599.4499

Plumbing - Heating - Gas Service & Installation

• Single & French patio • Tilt & glide • Entry • Folding

Custom-made to your specifications Available with a wide range of options Choose our ThermoPlus™ PHC window system for Passive House performance Licensed - Insured - Bonded

604.940.8485 euroline-windows.com 46

• Hot Water Tank Replacement • Boiler Service & Replacement • Installation of new plumbing fi xtures • Drain Cleaning & Drain Tile Repair or Replacement • Re-pipes and Water Main Repair • Renovations of Kitchens and Baths • Home Purchaser Plumbing & Mechanical Inspections

604-644-4343

www.DispatchPlumbing.com


So you have decided to buy your next dream home?

To find the best home for your needs at the price you deserve what you need is a Realtor ÂŽ who:

HAS THE PLAN that will find and secure the home that best meets your needs backed by their specialized market knowledge, their bank of prospective sellers, their leading edge search technology and their experience at writing offers to promote & protect you!

HAS THE TEAM that will focus on listening to and helping you define your needs & wants in context of TODAY’s market; that has the expertise and successful experience to structure offers that promote & protect YOU!

IS COMMITED to you being totally informed such that you will make your buying decision with complete peace of mind! Witness our unique neighbourhood profiles at FaithWilsonGroup.com.

DELIVERS a proven track record of negotiation expertise and successful transactions, in a wide spectrum of property types across the Lower Mainland, along with a benchmark level of overall client satisfaction.

AND BOTTOM LINE Y O U R S AT I S FA C T I O N I S G U A R A N T E E D NOT HAPPY with your new home within the first 18 months? Then, we will relist it, resell it and not charge you our commission! *Some conditions apply

TO GET STARTED First, visit FaithWilsonGroup.com for extensive details about: Vancouver area neighbourhoods from dog parks to home pricing by property type; our 360 degree Performance Promise; our exclusive monthly Market Update research publications; our awards & achievements and much, much more. Then, call me at 604-224-5277 or 1-855-760-6886, or email me at info@faithwilsongroup.com

Profile for Real Estate Weekly

REW Home Buyer's Resource Guide 2017  

The annual REW Home Buyer’s Resource Guide is a comprehensive, step-by-step guide explaining the entire purchasing process

REW Home Buyer's Resource Guide 2017  

The annual REW Home Buyer’s Resource Guide is a comprehensive, step-by-step guide explaining the entire purchasing process

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