5 Must-Know Tips for the First-Time Homebuyer

Buying a home for the first time can be an overwhelming, comprehensive and emotional process, with a number of factors to consider from budget to neighbourhoods and amenities. To help put your mind at ease, here are the top five things to know when kicking off your home search.

Get Qualified for a Mortgage

The first step when beginning your home search is getting qualified for a mortgage – this will tell you how much you can or cannot afford. Knowing what you can afford frames the rest of your search and helps you avoid wasting time looking at something that is over your budget.

Consider Presale and Resale

There are a few key differences when considering a presale condo, the largest being that since the home isn’t built yet, you won’t be able to move in right away. That means your mortgage doesn’t begin until the home is built. If you’re not in a rush to move in and need some time to save some extra cash, this can benefit you.

Think Ahead

Be sure that your first home will be suitable to your lifestyle for at least five years. If you’re considering a small space, think about where you’ll be in five years time – are you considering living together with a partner or starting a family? If so, you’ll want to make sure there’s ample space when that happens.

Hidden Fees: Closing Costs and Strata Fees

Hidden fees associated with closing costs are often overlooked. These include things such as mortgage insurance, appraisal fees, lawyer/notary fees, GST and Property Transfer Tax (PTT). These costs can vary depending on the type of home you choose.

First-Time Homebuyers’ Program

Qualified first-time homebuyers in British Columbia are exempt from Property Transfer Tax (PTT) as part of a program subsidized by the BC government. This program eliminates PTT for qualifying first-time homebuyers for up to the purchase price of up to $475,000 – this means sizeable savings of up to $9,500.

Looking for your first home? Our Rennie Advisors specialize in every neighbourhood across the Lower Mainland. View our advisors here or contact us at info@rennie.com.

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