Purchasing property is one of the most rewarding experiences you can have. Whether you’re buying your first home, upgrading to fit your growing family, or even looking to buy from a commercial perspective, there’s no denying that Vancouver has some of the most stunning real estate to be found on the west coast. When it comes to moving forward with your intended property, you’ll be quick to find out that there’s quite a bit that goes into signing on the dotted line. From the initial hunt to closing the deal, there’s no shortage of details to cover and legal aspects to keep in mind. Partnering with a skilled legal team makes it easy to navigate the entire process with minimal complications, while also avoiding the many mishaps that can lead to costly delays and headaches. At Paperclip Law, we’re proud to help property buyers and sellers tackle real estate transactions throughout Vancouver and Squamish, BC. 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.
Before you begin viewing prospective homes, it’s crucial to be aware of a few factors that can directly influence your purchase. These factors include:
Market conditions: Market conditions, especially in a market as fast-moving and diverse as Vancouver’s, often play a large role in determining the price, closing rate, and several other aspects of purchasing a home.
Subject Conditions: Terms and conditions are never something that should be rushed. While you may need to move quickly to keep up with the market, failing to adequately evaluate your subject conditions can be a costly mistake. With a trusted legal team on your side, you can keep the pace without sacrificing your own protection.
Building Inspection: Regardless of how new a property is, having a qualified inspector examine it before signing any official purchase documents is essential. No one likes nasty surprises after the fact, and failure to do your due diligence can leave you stranded in the years to come.
If you’ve moved to the “serious” phase of the buying process and have a shortlist ready to go, you’ll want to consider the following:
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:
- 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 any time.
- Have not previously received a first time home buyer’s exemption or refund.
- 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)
When purchasing, you need to arrange property insurance prior to the Completion Date, with coverage beginning on the Completion Date. You can expedite the process of procuring insurance by shopping in advance and getting a rough idea of what rates each provider offers for certain types of homes.
Be Aware Of Any and ALL Costs
While there shouldn’t be any hidden costs associated with buying a home, there are several fees you need to be prepared for. These 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!