Whether you are first time buyer, moving up market, downsizing, rightsizing or investing – I can help you achieve your goals.
My Complete Real Estate Solutions services allow me to uniquely help you by combining my licensed real estate trading services with my licensed mortgage financing services with the value added option of cash rebates after closing.*
When you are considering buying a home you are faced with a multitude of considerations. Below are some of the benefits and reasons people consider home ownership and some of the key considerations you need to consider when buying a home.
Pride Of Home Ownership
Pride of home ownership is the number one reason why Canadians desire their own home. There is no landlord looking over your shoulder. You are able to make home improvements knowing that any appreciation that results, will be to your benefit. Home ownership gives you and your family a sense of stability and security. It's making an investment in your future.
In Canada, especially in the last few years, homes have appreciated considerably and in doing so have added substantially to owners net worth. Unlike stocks and bonds, you get to live in your real estate investment. Also, in Canada your principal residence is exempt from capital gains taxes.
Mortgage Reduction Builds Equity
Each month, part of your monthly payment is applied to the principal balance of your home loan, which builds your equity. You can borrow against a home's equity for a variety of reasons such as home improvement, sending your kids to university or college, or starting a new business. Why pay-off your landlord’s property when you can own your own?
I have put together a wide range of reports and links to valuable 3rd party information for Buyers and Sellers. Visit the tabs marked "Reports: Buyers & Sellers" and also "Links: Communities, Schools and Buyer info”.
Are You Ready to Buy a Home?
First – do you have the financial resources? You will need some form of a down payment*. Depending on your situation and the cost of type of home this could be as little as five percent* of the purchase price of a home (plus some more for additional costs for closing), but ideally even more. *Note: For high income individuals with a great credit profiles it may be possible to obtain a mortgage with a borrowed down payments.
Are there other priorities in your life which require your savings (e.g. starting a new business)?
Downpayment and assistance with downpayment beyond your own savings can come from a variety of sources and programs depending on your credit profile and circumstances. Call me to discuss your situation or review my resources and report pages on this site.
Second – how long do you expect to stay in your new home? Moving can be expensive and disruptive plus if you will want to build some equity before having to relocate. Your financial situation (job, business, income) and personal life should be stable.
I am also licensed* to help you determine if you qualify for a mortgage and the rates and terms that suit your needs.
Being dual licensed a Realtor and an Independent Mortgage Broker I can shop around to get you the best rates and terms for your needs and circumstances. Additionally, if you can take advantage of my (combined) Complete Real Estate Solutions service package I can offer you a cash back rebate after closing*. Who couldn't use a some extra cash after buying a home!
Based on a needs analysis I can help you determine what monthly mortgage payment and the maximum mortgage you can manage. More importantly, I can provide advice on how to navigate the significant changes in government mandated mortgage qualification rules of the last few years. While mortgage rates remain low by historical standards, navigating the new mortgage qualification rules can be daunting.
One of the biggest mortgage qualifiaction changes is the use of "mortgage rate stress testing" by lenders for mortgage qualification for property purchases using less than 20% down payment or equity (high ratio mortgage) and, effective January ,1, 2018, for property purchases using a 20% or greater down payment or 20% or greater equity mortgage applications (low ratio or conventional mortages).
If you are a first time homebuyer I can help you access if you can or want to take advantage of the new BC Government Home Partnership loan**. Or if you have RRSP's saved you can consider the federal government’s Home Buyers’ Plan**.
Questions To Ask When Assessing Home Needs and Features:
- Type of property, single family detached or (Strata type property) condo/ townhouse/duplex? See Condo buyers guide below.
- Do you need several bedrooms, more than one bathroom, space for a home office, a two-car garage?
- Location, Location, Location. Very important when considering buying a property. See additional considerations below.
- Do you want air conditioning, storage or hobby space, a fireplace, a swimming pool? Do you have family members with special needs?
- Do you plan to have children? Downtown or suburbs? Proximity to recreation or work.
- Do you need a substantial backyard? Pets?
- Is there adequate storage space?
- Will any remodelling be required to make the home move-in ready for you?
- What service providers (cable, Internet, telephone, Satellite) are available in the area, and is the house completely wired for each? Can you hear me now – how good is the cell phone reception?
- How much are the yearly property taxes?
- How much do utilities run each month? Does the house use gas or electric for the furnace, water heater, and appliances?
- How old are the major appliances, and which are included with the house?
- Have there been any major repairs to the house, and if so, when were they completed? For example, how old is the roof? Has water ever damaged the basement or foundation?
- Ever had problems with insects, such as termites and spiders, or rodents?
- Older homes need to be carefully examined - Windows may need caulking or new sashes, bathroom tiles may need grouting, home may need rewiring (planning on a hot tub or sauna?), a new hot water heater, or a new furnace.
- Does the property have suite (s) for use as mortgage helper or in-law, guest accommodation?
- Can a suite be easily added if one is desired but the property does note have one?
- What are zoning, regulations, by-laws concerning tenancies (if existing) and renovations.
- What about zoning for additions or renovations with you might be considering (Coach or lane way or large addition to home)?
- How far will you be commuting and what is the traffic like? Factor in cost of fuel.
- Where will your children attend school and how will they commute?
- Are there recreational facilities and parks close by?
- Are you close to family and friends?
- Is safety or high crime an issue?
- Is the property close to an obstacle or negative influence? (i.e. an apartment building, shopping centre, school, radio tower, power lines, ShyTrain or railroad track, highway, airport or commercial project).
- Access to schools, work, recreation, shopping centres, public transportation, cultural attractions, libraries, churches and hospitals
- Adjacent undeveloped land - what is proposed for this or other green space?
- Heavy traffic can be noise nuisance and hazard for children?
- Distance from the unit to amenities, parking, walkways, roads, public transit?
- Does the neighbourhood reflect positively on the value of the condo and your lifestyle choice?
- Does this neighbourhood, for any reason, have a poor reputation?
- Is the future economic climate for the area good? Are businesses moving in? Is there government investment?
- Are people moving in or out of the neighbourhood? What is their age, income level, family size?
- Are there plans for this neighbourhood that you may be unaware of (i.e. a future highway, a commercial development or a new housing development) that will provide competition on resale?
- Noise and Privacy
- Proximity to highways, driveways, parking lots, playgrounds, trains.
- Proximity to elevators, garbage disposal, fire exits, heating and air conditioners.
- How well is the building soundproofed.
- Visit at different times/weekends to check noise levels and activity.
Note: I am licensed to provide Mortgage Broker services through Ask Marci About Mortgages Inc.- dba - Ask Marci Mortgage Architects
* Note certain conditions apply for cash back rebate after closing.
** Government programs, incentives and qualifications for these programs are subject to change.