Published in New Home and Condo Guide, February 17, 2017 issue.
Whether you are planning on buying your first home, thinking of helping a millennial get a foot in the door, or a new-comer to Vancouver, there is one golden rule to follow: prepare before you purchase.
Helping homebuyers get started with the purchasing process, the Greater Vancouver Home Builders’ Association (GVHBA) Homebuyer Forum will offer market intelligence and essential info to prospective purchasers embarking on Vancouver’s challenging housing market. Escalating prices, changes in regulations and strong demand for available inventory – how and where does a homebuyer start? You can breakdown the buying process into three main steps.
1. Getting ready to buy.
Saving for a deposit to purchase a house is one piece of the puzzle, however understanding the complete cost involved in the complete buying process is where the experts can help. Getting pre-approved by a financial institution will answer a lot of questions, and help determine what you can afford.
2. Gather marketplace intelligence.
This stage is when it might seem easier just to talk with family and friends, or surf the internet, but I think the more people one talks with, and the more information one gathers, the more empowered one becomes. Speak with families who live in condos, talk with a variety of realtors, and financial institutions, understand what and how a strata operates, and learn about various communities outside of the neighbourhoods where you live and work. Explore neighbouring municipalities. This will help to empower yourself to buy smart.
3. Know what product is right for you
Once you know what you can afford, and have narrowed down where you want to buy it will be time to hit the streets. Before you start knocking on doors, you’ll want to consider the various types of housing. Wood frame typically are less expensive than concrete, and potentially lower in maintenance fees, however offer less sound barriers from neighbouring units. Do you mind elevators or is a front door important with small children and pets? As you look around, consider your daily routine and lifestyle. Make a list of must haves and wants. Talk to people who live in the buildings you are considering to get a good idea of amenities.
Considering the purchase of a home will be one of the biggest purchases in your lifetime, along with the sheer complexity of the Vancouver market, although it may be easy to surf the internet, I always recommend speaking directly with the experts. Presented by BC Housing, the GVHBA Homebuyer Forum is offered only one time each year. Scheduled for March 1 from 3 to 9 p.m. at the SFU Harbour Centre Campus, this is your chance to gain granular market information, not readily found on the internet, focused on purchasing a condo or townhome in Metro Vancouver, in one convenient location. Join the forums and connect with industry experts at the marketplace. Featuring resources and condo developments from across Metro Vancouver, the Homebuyer Forum is free to attend. Registration is required. Click here to register.