In order to help you find exactly what you want Maggie will review the below items with you and brings a history of hyper-local experience to the table.
Your search process will be made easier if you begin by sitting down, making a priority list and number them one to ten. If there are two of you then both of you should make a list and then amalgamate them. This will help you to focus on what is most important to you when looking for a property. Here are items that will be on your list
Price - what mortgage payment are you comfortable with?
Size - how many bedrooms do you need? Approximately what square footage? Number of levels? Basement?
Home characteristics - if you're buying a house, how many levels do you wish? how many bedrooms? is a basement necessary? what size lot? if you're buying a townhome, do you wish a duplex where you only have one neighbour or is a row of townhomes acceptable? if you're buying a condo, how many bedrooms? view? amenities? are pets and rentals important? or maybe you like lofts? hirise or lowrise? outdoor space? parking/locker?
New home or older home - new homes or more expensive. Older homes often need renovations. Are you prepared to renovate? Do you have the funds to do this or will the bank lend them to you? New homes are HST applicable.
Type of property- house, townhouse, duplex or condo?
Neighbourhood - determine your lifestyle and what kind of neighbourhood you're looking for. Is it well maintained? Does it have public amenities? What is the demographic - students, seniors, singles, families? Public transportation? Do you wish to be able to walk everywhere? Check out Walkscore.
Seller's or Buyer's Market - Timing is everything in real estate! Educate yourself about the market. Are you a buyer in a buyer's market or a buyer in a seller's market? This will determine how you position yourself in the market. In a Seller's market the demand exceeds the supply and you will have to make fast decisions, strong offers and maybe pay above list price. In a Buyer's market the supply exceeds the demand, you have more time to search for the right property and more time to make an offer and negotiate a good price.
The Vancouver Market - Our beautiful city is consistantly voted the Most Liveable City in the World! The market attracts investment from around the world and immigration into the City is strong. As an experienced realtor with decades of knowledge about the Vancouver real estate market, Maggie can advise you about neighbourhoods, property types and values.
Consult your bank or a mortgage broker to find out what you can afford. You will have to decide on the amortization period (time it takes to pay off the mortgage), the term (how long you contract with the lender at a specific rate) and the type of mortgage.
Conventional mortgages require 20% down. High ratio mortgage is when you have less than 20% down. If you have a low downpayment you will be required to have mortgage insurance, which is only available for proeprties under $1M. Longest amortization period is 25 years.
Fixed, variable and adjustable rate mortgages are based on interest rates.
Open or closed mortgages are based on payments.
Contact Mortgage Broker Alma Pasic for a pre-approved mortgage firstname.lastname@example.org or 604-729-4611
Freehold - you own the land and the house. You may do renovations to the property but must comply with the municipal bylaws and building codes. Most condos are also freehold but you cannot make changes to the exterior or common property of the strata (gym, lobby) and will be required to pay a monthly maintenance fee which maintains the common areas .
Leasehold - the land is owned by a Native Band or the City of Vancouver or the Gov't of Canada. Sometimes the Developer prepays the land lease for 99 years. Sometimes there's a monthly or annual land lease payment. The term of the lease varies. Financing is more difficult to obtain on leased land.
Cooperative - You purchase shares in a corporation and they lease you back the right to occuply a specific unit.
You will be required to remove all subject clauses and conditions from the contract by the subject removal date, in order for the deal to become firm and binding on both parties. The subject removal time is usually 5-7 days. Maggie will assist you in this process.
Once you and the seller reach an agreement, refer to Maggie's Buyer's Completion Guide to see what happens next.