Buyer Guide for Vancouver Homes
Welcome to the best online resource for buying a home in Vancouver, BC. Whether you're a a first time purchaser looking at condos or upgrading to a family home, North Shore Realty's comprehensive guide will provide you with all of the answers you need.
1. Get Pre-Qualified
What can you afford and what mortgage payments do you feel comfortable with? Sometimes these are two very different answers but they are the most important questions to ask of yourself. They are also your first steps to home ownership. Here are some benefits to getting pre-qualified:
Affordability: know what price range you should be looking at. Avoid disappointment and use our mortgage calculator to test the waters. That south west facing penthouse may look fabulous, but do you really want to viewing properties that are above your price point?
Lock-in: While interest rates remain relatively low, a slight increase will certainly effect your monthly payment. Locking in ensures you'll get the lowest rate over the next 3 months. Why not guarantee the lowest possible payment?
Get Serious: When you find the home of your dreams, be prepared! Sellers and their REALTORS® won't entertain offers from buyers who haven't been pre-approved.
2. Get Educated
Research is the key to making any good decision but when it comes to the most significant purchase in your life, education is paramount! Here are some good places to start:
First-Time Buyers: If you're new to this process there are many things you need to be aware of. Do you know exactly what owning a condo means to you? Maybe more than you'd think! Check out our First-Time Buyer Guide so you know what to expect throughout the home buying process and learn how to avoid beginner mistakes.
Location: Learn about the areas and surrounding homes, before you invest! Check out our comprehensive community pages for detailed neighbourhood information, average house prices, stats, photos and community listings. You can rollover the main area pages for North Vancouver, West Vancouver and Vancouver for a complete list of communities in each area.
Home Search: Our powerful home search will give you access detailed property information, allow you to save your favorites and set up searches to receive new listing notifications that match your specific criteria.
Relocation: If you are new to Vancouver and the North Shore, be sure to understand the differences of home ownership between provinces. For example, did you know that BC is the only province to legally use the term strata instead of condo? Or if you are an international buyer, we can help you buy property in Vancouver, even if you're in another country.
3. Get Representation
While it is possible to purchase a home on your own, it's not to your advantage. There is so much more to hiring a buyer's agent than scheduling access to properties. The homes buying process proves to be more challenging than most people expect. Here are our top reasons why you need a buyer's agent:
Representation: Unless you are buying a property that is for sale by owner, the seller has professional representation on their side. By negotiating directly with the sellers agent you are putting yourself at a serious disadvantage since their agent is legally bound to share everything you tell them in order to get the best deal for their client. Do you really want the seller to get the best price and terms?
Read more about common pitfalls experienced by people that don't have their own Buyer Representation.
Information: The only way to determine the correct price of a home is to analyze the prices at which similar homes recently sold in the same neighbourhood. While there are a variety of online resources for finding homes for sale, there are no consumer websites that provide home sales data in Vancouver. This information is only available to REALTORS® through their membership with the local Multiple Listing Service. Do you really want to pay more for a property than what it is actually worth?
Experience: When you have an experienced Buyer's Agent working for you their main focus is to keep you from making a mistake. The knowledge they gain from working with so many clients throughout their career is invaluable when it comes to helping you chose the right home, on the right street, in the right community. This experience also comes into play when they are negotiating on your behalf as they often have intimate knowledge similar homes that have recently sold. Once you are under contract to purchase a home, your buyer's agent will help you locate a great inspector, negotiate repairs with the seller, get estimates from trustworthy contractors and obtain financing from the best lenders.
4. Get Moving!
Once you have been pre-qualified by a lender, narrowed down your home search and retained a buyer's agent its time to get in the car and go look at some homes. For most people, this is the fun part, and it should be. Buying a home is most important purchase most people make in their lifetime. Having an experienced professional in your corner will save you time, give you peace of mind and very likely save you a great deal of money.
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