Let’s face it− buying your first home is a major life decision. And although this crazy market may have us feeling’ like we’ve got to do it overnight– There’s a hell lot of planning and research that happens for months, if not years. So, chances are you already know about the key considerations− your financial health, market research, requirement-feature analysis, etc. But there are three crucial aspects of home-buying not many people will tell you about, mostly because they aren’t as familiar with real estate law themselves. So, we called in the big guns, aka, CBM Lawyers.
Whether you’ve ever needed to use their services or not, CBM Lawyers has been a constant in their community being one of the largest full service law firms offering timely, and detailed legal advice. For the past 40 years, CBM Lawyers has been providing diligent legal solutions to their community in Fraser Valley, British Columbia.
The real estate lawyers at CBM gave us the top 3 things that every first-time home buyer absolutely needs to know.
1. There is such a thing as Property Transfer Tax
Yes, a transfer tax! Canadian homeowners and buyers have to pay what is called a Canadian Property Transfer Tax. The tax rate is 1% of the first $200,000 sold and increases to 2% thereafter. But here is the good news− there’s a program that exempts you from the tax AND you could be eligible for this program. Knowing when you can receive an exemption can save you some serious bucks.
Note to self: save yourself the extra work and get help from property law experts at CBM Lawyers.
2. There will most likely be some additional fees associated with homeownership
Besides the down payment and the monthly mortgage, there are a few additional charges that you ought to consider. There are one-time costs like inspection, move-in fees, potential repair and renovations. And then there are recurring charges like strata costs, property taxes, maintenance and utilities. These can amount anywhere between 1-3% of the purchase price of the home. Collectively these charges can raise your overall cost of living by quite a wide margin.
3. Pre-approval is the first step of the process
You’d be surprised by how often people bid prematurely assuming that their mortgage is “almost” done. The problem: almost done is still not a guarantee that your amount will get approved. Before having your heart set on The Home, make sure you have a written approval or confirmation from your bank or credit union. A pre-approval can save you a lot of hassle and disappointment.
There you have it. These were the three must-knows for first-time home buyers. If you need some advice on the matter, we suggest you talk to the pros at CBM Lawyers. Here’s a link to their website, in case you need more info about them or their practice.