Buying a new home can be one of the most exciting (and stressful!) experiences of your adult life, especially in a market as dynamic and diverse as Vancouver’s. From the initial searching phase to finding the right fit and signing on the dotted line, there’s no shortage of details to cover and legal aspects to keep in mind. Partnering with an experienced legal team makes it easy to navigate the entire process, allowing you to purchase and enjoy your new property with confidence. At Paperclip Law, we’re proud to help property buyers and sellers tackle real estate transactions. Whether it’s your first time purchasing a home, or you simply need some brushing up on your real estate know-how, our team is here to make finding your next home a breeze! If you’re in the market for a new residence and need some pointers, below is a quick guide of what you need to know and expect when purchasing a new property within British Columbia.

Taking Care Of The Basics

Before you dive headfirst into property viewings, it’s important to make sure you’re aware of a few basic factors and how they will influence your purchase. Keep in mind that buying a home is an extremely important decision, and you should never feel rushed into making a choice before you have all the relevant information! Factors you’ll want to keep in mind as you go through the initial phases of searching include:

Market conditions: Like it or not, market conditions often play a much larger role than we think about how much time you have to cover legal aspects of home purchases.

Subject Conditions: Take your time when going through terms and conditions and ensure that everything is in place prior to signing any contracts. While market conditions may force you to move a little quicker than expected, ensuring your legal team can sort through documentation and has your best interest in mind can save you years of headaches after the fact.

Building Inspection: Seriously considering a thorough inspection with a qualified inspector, no matter how new the home may be.

Preparing To Buy

If you’ve moved to the “serious” phase of the buying process and have narrowed your viewings from window shopping down to a shortlist of potential residences, it’s time take the following into account:

Qualifying For the First Time Home Buyer’s Program

In order to qualify for the First Time Home Buyer’s Program, you need to meet the following criteria:

Buyer Requirements:

  • Canadian citizen or permanent resident living in BC for 12 consecutive months immediately before completion date, or have filed 2 income tax returns as a BC resident during the 6 years prior to the completion date.
  • Have never owned a principal residence anywhere else in the world at anytime.
  • Have not previously received a first time home buyer’s exemption or refund.

Property Requirements:

  • Purchase price must be less than $500k for a full exception or $525K for a partial exception.
  • Property must be solely for use as your principal residence.
  • Land must be less than 0.5 hectares (1.24 acres)

Insurance

When purchasing, you need to arrange property insurance prior to the Completion Date, with coverage beginning on the Completion Date.

Be Aware Of Costs

While there shouldn’t be any hidden costs associated with buying a home, it’s important to know what to expect. Fees include:

  • Property transfer tax
  • GST (where applicable)
  • Prorated property tax and strata fees
  • Title insurance or survey certificates (if required)
  • Insurance binder
  • Legal fees

If you’re ready to sign on the dotted line for your dream home, Paperclip Law is here to help. Contact us today to learn more!