First-Time Home Buyers Guide – Vancouver Edition

So, you think you’re ready to purchase your very first home, how exciting! Whether you’re looking to buy a house, condo, townhome, or otherwise, we’ve assembled a comprehensive guide to help you figure out where to start, and what your next steps should be.

Without further ado, here’s everything you need to know about buying your first home in Vancouver, BC (and a few tips and tricks as well)!

Step 1: Ask Yourself: Are You Ready For Home Ownership?

Are you ready to buy?

This might seem a little obvious, and we’re not trying to talk you out of it, but buying your first home is one of the largest, most important, and most exciting purchases in your life. It’s important to us as your real estate agents that it’s sustainable and successful too.

Owning a home may be your dream, but you have to ensure you’re financially and mentally ready for the commitment and responsibilities that come with it. You’re going to be responsible for maintenance, repairs, mortgage payments, strata fees, property taxes, and so on. Now is the time to take a critical and realistic look at your finances to determine if this is your best move.

If you can confidently answer ‘yes’ to the question above, then let’s proceed.

Step 2: Find Out How Much You Can Afford

A pre-approval will help you decide exactly how much you can afford.

It’s important that you don’t start looking at the listings until you have a clear idea of your budget. This will save you from setting impossible expectations early in the process, leading to disappointment if you find out you can’t afford the homes you’ve been looking at.

Unless you’ve been pinching pennies from a very young age, and have very generous savings, it’s like you’re going to need a mortgage to afford a home. You’ll need to get in touch with a bank or mortgage broker to find out if you’ll be approved for a mortgage, and if so, how large of a mortgage you can get. If you don’t currently have a mortgage broker, we’ll be happy to give you a referral.

Step 3: Hire A Vancouver Real Estate Agent

Let a professional help you through the whole process, from start to finish.

Did you know that as a home buyer, working with a real estate agent comes at no additional cost to you? Set up an appointment with one of our Vancouver real estate agents to get personalized attention during your home search. They can help you determine where your dollar will go the farthest, and when you find a property you love, they’ll step in to negotiate with the seller.

Step 4: Where And What Are You Going To Buy?

Location, location, location!

Now that you know exactly what you can afford to spend, it’s time for the fun part: shopping for a home. Our state-of-the-art website makes searching for the perfect home faster and easier than it’s ever been. It’s updated every 15 minutes to ensure you’re getting the freshest listings possible.

Register for an account  with this site to unlock unlimited access to all of the Vancouver MLS® listings. Plus, you can:

  • Create custom searches to match your exact preferences.
  • Save your custom searches for the next time you visit the site
  • Receive email notifications the moment a listing matching your preferences hits the market

Step 5: Place An Offer!

It’s Time To Seal The Deal!

When you’ve found the property you’re ready to call home, we can prepare the paperwork and review it with you before it’s submitted. Once you’ve expressed interested in the property, the selling agent must disclose everything to you in writing about the property. The seller can reject or counter your offer, so it’s important to be excited, but keep in mind that anything can happen at this stage.

When assembling the Contact of Purchase and Sale, you’ll also decide what you’re willing to put down as a good faith deposit as an expression of your sincerity to buy the property. This typically is simply placed in a separate account and not paid to the seller immediately.

Your real estate agent will also recommend including a professional home inspection as part of the terms and conditions of the purchase. This is in your best interest and can help make any undesirable issues with the home well-known to you before the deal is finalized.

Step 6: Do The Final Walkthrough

It's time to tour the home, one more time. 

Take one final walk through the home with your agent to ensure everything agreed upon in the term and conditions has been met. Assuming all goes well (and it usually does), the next time you’ll be in the home again will likely be procession day.

From the first interview that determines your requirements to the moment that you receive the keys, we can help you with the complicated process of buying a home. Don't hesitate to contact us to find out more about how we can make the home buying process easier!