11 Essential First Time Home Buyer TIPS

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Are you a first-time homebuyer?

If yes, you’ll want to read this article.

As a first-time homebuyer, it’s easy to make mistakes along the way. Everyone does.

However, these mistakes can prove costly. If you’d like to avoid them, here are 11 tips that first-time homebuyers can consider when purchasing their home..

Here are 10 tips for first-time homebuyers in BC, Canada:

1 – Determine your budget

Before you start looking at homes, it’s important to know what you can afford.

Factor in your down payment, closing costs, monthly mortgage payments, property taxes, and other expenses.  See the next point and learn how to determine these costs.

2 – Get pre-approved for a mortgage

This will give you a better idea of what you can afford and will make you a more attractive buyer to sellers.

How?  Call a professional mortgage broker.  Huber Mortgage specializes working with First Time Home Buyers.  Contact HERE

I’ll help you organize all your application documents, show you exactly how much you can afford to offer on your home, determine your down payment, monthly mortgage costs and get your mortgage approved!

3 – Consider your needs vs. wants

Make a list of your must-haves (e.g. number of bedrooms, location) and your nice-to-haves (e.g. updated kitchen, pool).

Be prepared to compromise on your nice-to-haves and expect to find new things that you like as you shop for homes.

4 – Work with a reputable real estate agent

An experienced agent can guide you through the process and help you find homes that meet your needs and budget.  This is really important as a buyer as well as for the mortgage broker who will arrange your mortgage financing.

In Canada, real estate agents working with buyers are a free service.  The seller pays both the buyer and seller agent once their home sells!

A great agent will find you a fantastic home AND ensure that the property is in a suitable condition for you to get a mortgage approval.  (Hint: lenders look at your financial situation but they also look carefully at the property’s condition before approving your mortgage).

I only work with reputable real estate agents and can refer you to the best.

5 – Research neighborhoods

Do some research on the neighborhoods you’re interested in. Look at crime rates, schools, public transportation, and other factors that are important to you.

6 – Attend realtor open houses

This will give you a better idea of what you can expect in your price range and in different neighborhoods.

7 – Get a home inspection

A home inspection can uncover any issues with the property before you make an offer. This can save you money and headaches down the road.

To understand more about why this step is so important, see my blog on this topic – Click HERE

8 – Don’t rush

Buying a home is a big decision. Don’t feel pressured to make an offer on the first home you see.

Take your time and make sure you’re comfortable with your decision.

9 – Consider closing costs

In addition to your down payment and mortgage payments, there are other costs associated with buying a home, such as legal fees, title insurance, and property transfer tax (see tip 11).

10 – Be prepared for the unexpected

Unexpected expenses can arise during the home buying process, so make sure you have some extra funds set aside just in case.

Discuss this item with your mortgage broker to discover a variety of sources for down payment and other closing funds.

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11 – The BC Property Transfer Tax (PTT)

The PTT is a tax (expensive money grab by the government) that is payable by anyone who purchases or acquires an interest in a property in British Columbia, Canada.

The PTT is calculated as a percentage of the fair market value of the property being transferred.

  • 1% on the first $200,000
  • 2% on $200,001 – $2,000,000
  • 3% anything over $3,000,000

For first-time homebuyers, the BC government offers a partial exemption from the PTT. The exemption is available to individuals who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents and who have never owned a property anywhere in the world.

As of 2021, the exemption applies to properties with a fair market value of up to $500,000. For properties with a fair market value between $500,000 and $525,000, a partial exemption is available. The amount of the exemption decreases as the fair market value of the property increases and is completely phased out for properties with a fair market value over $525,000.

To claim the exemption, the buyer must be a first-time homebuyer, the property must be used as the buyer’s principal residence, and the buyer must move into the property within 92 days of the registration date.

It’s important to note that the PTT exemption is not automatic and must be claimed by the buyer or their legal representative at the time of registration. If the exemption is not claimed, the full PTT is payable.

Overall, the PTT exemption for first-time homebuyers in BC is a helpful program that can provide some financial relief to those looking to purchase their first home.

Conclusions and Further Thoughts

Please First Time Home Buyers!  Reach out and ask me questions before trying to purchase your first property.  My services can help you understand the process and get you better prepared to negotiate your best deal.

For more information, please check out my First Time Home Buyer eBook below!

First Time Home Buyer eBook – HERE



PS – One of my hobbies is blogging about mortgages, debt and government policy.  During the day I’m a MORTGAGE BROKER in Kelowna, BC!

Check out the Huber Mortgage Home Buyers Guide HERE

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