Information key for first-time buyers

Buying your first home is an exciting time, but one that can be fraught with questions and emotions

Oak Bay realtor Eli Mavrikos recommends first-time homebuyers ensure they find professionals they can communicate well with throughout the purchase process.

Buying your first home is an exciting time, but one that can be fraught with questions and emotions.

Add today’s current hot market into the equation, and getting the information you need before you start the search is more than a good idea; it’s essential.

It starts with building a good relationship with your realtor, not only exploring what you’re looking for in a home, but also the myriad steps and costs that will come up during the process.

While for first-time buyers, “the biggest thing is coming up with the downpayment … it’s (also) understanding the process, understanding the amount of money down needed and potential cosigners – some have just a few years of income (history),” said Oak Bay realtor Eli Mavrikos, of the Mavrikos Collective with Pemberton Holmes.

And then there’s the other costs that accompany a home purchase. For example, in addition to the purchase price, home buyers will need to consider the legal fees (around $1,000) property inspection (about $400 to $500), the Property Transfer Tax (one per cent on the first $200,000 and two per cent on the balance) and for those with a downpayment of less than 20 per cent, a CMHC fee.

Earlier this month, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation released its 2015 First-Time Homebuyers Survey, coinciding with the fifth anniversary of Financial Literacy Month, recognizing that for most Canadians, buying their first home is the single, largest purchase they have ever made.

“CMHC’s survey results reiterate the central role that mortgage professionals play in providing first-time homebuyers with the information they need to manage their money and debt wisely,” said Jane Rooney, Canada’s Financial Literacy Leader.

“The more we understand the financial literacy needs of Canadians, the better we can be at providing the right information at the right time to help them build their financial knowledge, skills and confidence.”

In addition to the basic financials involved with buying a house, the older nature of homes in Oak Bay means many offers will also include a perimeter drain scope and oil tank inspection, to ensure the property is free of buried oil tanks. Asbestos is another issue that can arise during a home inspection. All areas are negotiable, but prospective buyers should be prepared.

“It’s really finding that comfort level for the buyer,” Mavrikos said. “Communication from Day 1 is huge for this and educating the buyer throughout the process.”

Because first-time buyers are often buying properties that need some work, Mavrikos suggests working with your mortgage professional to get the funds for the mortgage and improvements, allowing you to do some of the work now.

Be sure you have spoken to your bank or mortgage broker to obtain pre-approvals, and ensure there’s good communication between all involved as decisions in this market often need to be made quickly.

“In this market, if someone wants to see something you have to go that day, if you wait a day or two, it will be gone,” Mavrikos says.

At the end of the day, perspective is key. “Find that number your happy to lost it for and the number you’re happy to get it for,” and at the end of the day, “if it didn’t happen, it didn’t happen for a reason,” Mavrikos said.  “Emotions are pretty key. Try not to get too invested or emotional (about a particular home),” he added. “There’s many ways to get a positive transaction I find, and it’s not always price,” he said, pointing to factors such as adjustable possession dates and even being telling your story about being first-time home-buyers.

For more information on the First-Time Homebuyers survey visit cmhc.ca/FirstTimeBuyers

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

‘Seven baths in two days’: Homeless adjusting to life in hotels

Victoria passes motion to allow camping 24-7 in parks until June 25

Langford Fire calm mother and daughter after being trapped in elevator

Three-year-old girl given stuffed animal to calm nerves

Capital Regional District prepares to reopen regional campgrounds

Camping will look different at Island View, Sooke Potholes, Jordan River sites

Victoria traffic stop yields drugs, case full of weapons

Police seize firearms, swords and flares

Colwood hosts pandemic recovery roundtable discussion

Attendees must RSVP for virtual meeting on May 29 from 1 to 3 p.m.

B.C. legislature coming back June 22 as COVID-19 emergency hits record

Pandemic restrictions now longer than 2017 wildfire emergency

POLL: Do you agree with the provincial government’s decision to increase the minimum wage?

B.C.’s lowest-paid workers will be getting a few more dollars to try… Continue reading

B.C.’s essential grocery, hardware store employees should get pandemic pay: retail group

Only B.C.’s social, health and corrections workers are eligible for top-ups

Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto vying to be NHL hubs, but there’s a catch

The NHL unveiled a return-to-play plan that would feature 24 teams

As SD84 schools look to reopen, Kyuquot and Zeballos opt out

Schools in Tahsis and Gold River will open on June 1, with 30 per cent students expected to come in

B.C. sees 9 new COVID-19 cases, one death as officials watch for new cases amid Phase Two

Number of confirmed active cases is at 244, with 37 people in hospital

Illicit-drug deaths up in B.C. and remain highest in Canada: chief coroner

More than 4,700 people have died of overdoses since B.C. declared a public health emergency in early 2016

CMHC sees declines in home prices, sales, starts that will linger to end of 2022

CMHC said average housing prices could fall anywhere from nine to 18 per cent in its forecast

B.C. Paralympian named to Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame

Three-time world and Paralympic gold medalist Sonja Gaudet is part of 11-member class

Most Read