First Time Home Buyer Q&A with David Crawford
Planning to purchase your first home? I chatted with David Crawford about how to get ready to make the right investment and current real estate trend in Vancouver.
David Crawford is a top performing RE/MAX realtor with 22 years of experience. Buying, selling, or investing in a home can be an emotional and complicated process. David works with clients to make buying and selling a home a pleasure. David has been recognized in the RE/MAX Hall of Fame, RE/MAX Platinum Club and RE/MAX 100% Club.
How to be prepared for home ownership?
Preparation is key when purchasing a new home. Having your affairs in order in advance of finding your dream home will make the process much smoother. Start by getting prequalified by a mortgage broker. I always advise my clients to use a licensed mortgage broker rather than going to the bank directly. Choose your broker prior to beginning your house hunt so when you find the one, you’re ready! Secondly, don’t make any large purchases while you are in the process of buying a home ie buying a new car, changing jobs or anything that will affect your credit score or your debt service ratio. Lastly, any buyers receiving gifted money must have it in an interest bearing account for a minimum of 90 days prior to the purchase of their new home. Get your down payment, wherever it may come from, in place early to avoid a last minute scramble.
What are the First-Time Home Buyer Programs and Tax Credits?
First time home buyers may be exempt from paying a provincial property transfer tax depending on the sale price of their purchase. My best advice is to find a licensed mortgage broker that you trust. They are experts and will get the job done efficiently. They will advise on all advantages to being a first home buyer and any credits you’re eligible for. They’ll ensure your subjects will be removed on the date negotiated. A licensed professional will ensure you’re getting the best rate and all eligible exemptions as a first home buyer.
More tips for first time home buyers can be found on my blog: http://davidcrawford.com/5-essential-tips-for-first-time-home-buyers/
What are the costs outside the loan?
There will be costs outside of the listed sale price of your home. Advice I give all of my buyers is to understand any extras included, or that you’d like included, in the sale. Appliances – washer, dryer, fridge, stove – are generally written into offers but ensure every appliance is accounted for. Additional sheds, fixtures, fittings and furnishings can be negotiated for. Ensure your wishes are clearly stated in your offer so you’re not left surprised when something is removed. I am seeing more sales lately where furnishings are included in the contract. It’s important to ensure the contract is clear and you know what you’re getting and where extra costs, like removals, may incur.
What are the closing cost?
There are closing costs beyond the selling price of a new home that must be considered, and paid. Property Transfer Tax is 1% on the first $200,000.00 and 2% on the balance of the purchase price. Funds set aside for legal fees should be approximately $850 to $1200. If you’re buying into a strata, it’s important to be prepared for monthly maintenance fees on top of regular mortgage payments. More details on property transfer tax: http://www.rebgv.org/property-transfer-tax
What is the current real estate trend in Vancouver?
Vancouver real estate is in a unique position. Trends are very specific to areas and to different types of products. In some neighborhoods the trends are to buy for land. Areas in East Vancouver are seeing buyers looking for larger lots with laneway housing options. On the west side of the city we’re seeing offshore money purchasing large plots of land. Condos downtown continue to increase in price per square foot for those interested in city living. The last few years we’ve see prices going up a significant amount and so far this trend isn’t showing signs of slowing down.
What are the pros and cons of choosing between a condo or townhouse or single attached house?
Generally a townhouse or a duplex is less expensive than a single family home and we’re quickly seeing these attached options becoming a hot commodity. They often have the square footage and outdoor space of a detached residence but without the price tag. However, townhouses and condos generally come with strata fees and taxes. This means monthly payments but less personal maintenance which suits many buyers.
Land is what costs the most amount of money when purchasing a property. With a condo purchase you don’t get a piece of land. With a townhouse, a moderate piece of land is yours and often a townhouse may include a garage. Those interested in land prefer a single detached property.
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