Tips for Buying
Calculating what you can afford:1) The Down Payment
If you have a down payment of 25% or more, you may qualify for a conventional mortgage loan which does not require mortgage loan insurance. A minimum down payment of 5% is required for a high ratio mortgage and you'll have to pay to insure the mortgage.
2) Maintenance Costs
You may want to start a separate maintenance fund, particularly if you're buying an older home. You can do this by setting aside $500-$1000 and adding to it regularly.
3) Renovation Costs
Renovations will always take longer than expected, along with costs.
4) The Tax
There is 5% GST to new housing, and as of July 1, 2010 so does HST (7%). However, you may be eligible for a rebate of maximum of 2.5% to home that costs less than $450,000. Resale housing GST does not apply. Unless the home has been substantially renovated, applying the tax as if it were a new home.
In B.C. there is a PTT on all real estate, which is 1% to $100,000 and 2% on the remainder. This is due when you pay your funds to the lawyer. New property is also HST (7%) applicable. First time buyers have an exemption if they meet certain criteria.
5) Appraisal Fee
If your loan is not insured, your lender may require a property appraisal at YOUR expense. This cost will be provided by the Financial Institution.
6) Property Taxes
Your realtor will calculate this amount to you.
7) Survey Fee
Your lender will require an up-to-date survey. If the Seller does not have one, you may have to pay to have one done. Houses only.
8) Property Insurance
This covers the replacement value of the structure of your home and its contents, this is also a Third Party liability for condos.
9) Service Charges
You will be charged a fee for new services and utilities.
10) Lawyer’s Fees
Lawyers will review the Offer to Purchase contract, search the Land Title, draw up mortgage documents and tend to the closing details. Fees will be at least $1000-$1500 plus Land Titles disbursements. Get a quote from a Notary Public or Lawyer.
11) Condominium Fees
When purchasing a unit in a strata, Condominium Fees will be charged monthly. The property manager will provide you with a Form B, stating the fee.
12)Home Inspection Fee
Home inspection fees are around $400.
And of course, the technicalities...
- What type of wiring does the house have?
- What about power outlets? Different appliances use different types.
- What type of heating system does it use?
- What about the roof and foundation?
- What conditions are the windows in?
- What about the plumbing?
If you don't have time or don't feel comfortable doing it, a home inspection service is available for a reasonable cost. Having a qualified home inspector look into the house is always a good idea. The older the home, the greater the need for professional inspection.
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