Tips for First-time Buyers

Save a downpayment to buy a home this year. Here’s how!

Posted on August 3rd, 2017

You’re saving a down payment to buy your first home. Follow these steps and watch your down payment grow. 1. Are you celebrating a birthday? Consider setting up a down payment account. Then let mom, dad, grandma, older siblings, aunties and uncles, and anyone else who usually buys you gifts, write a cheque instead. 2. Have you accomplished something important like graduating from university or college? Let relatives and friends know and tell them about your down payment account. 3. Have you… Read more

What foreign property buyers need to know about taxes

Posted on June 1st, 2017

Property in the Lower Mainland continues to attract investors world-wide. So it’s important for REALTORS’® clients to understand Canada’s tax laws to help them better avoid mistakes and pitfalls. Here is a brief summary of information relevant to REALTORS® with clients who are foreign investors. Property Transfer Tax Home buyers in British Columbia pay a Property Transfer Tax (PTT) on the fair market value of a property at a rate of: 1% on the first $200,000 2% on the balance… Read more

BC to fund interest-free loan program for first-time buyers

Posted on December 20th, 2016

In the spirit of the holiday season, BC Premier Christy Clarke is giving first-time home buyers an unexpected and much-welcome gift. On December 15, 2016, Premier Clark announced a new initiative, the BC Home Owner Mortgage and Equity (HOME) Partnership program. The program, which begins accepting applications on January 16, 2016, will offer first time home buyers interest-free and payment-free down payment loans for the first five years. “This program will boost sales to first-time home buyers. Without question, they… Read more

‘Tis the season to save for a down payment

Posted on December 4th, 2016

Millennials – those in the 19-35 age range – have been slow to enter the home buying market. Underemployment, student loan debts, tight credit and the difficulty of saving for a down payment are some of the reasons. But with the giving season upon us, now could be a terrific time to let parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles know that you have created a down payment account and would appreciate a small gift deposited to it. In future years, you… Read more

15 ways to leave your mother

Posted on September 29th, 2016

15 steps to buying your first home Are you thinking about buying your first home?  Here are 15 steps to guide you through the process. The down payment. Right now, start saving towards a down payment, even if you can only afford to put $100 a week into an account. Here’s a list of creative ways to save your down payment as quickly as possible. Are you ready to buy? For some potential home buyers renting may make more sense… Read more

The Property Transfer Tax – know your exemptions

Posted on June 3rd, 2016

The Property Transfer Tax (PTT) is a provincial tax now charged at a rate of: 1% on the first $200,000, 2% on the portion of the fair market value greater than $200,000 and up to and including $2,000,000, and 3% on the portion of the fair market value greater than $2,000,000. Exemptions Resale homes – there is a PTT exemption for first-time buyers of resale homes priced up to $450,000 and a partial rebate on homes priced up $450,00 to $475,000…. Read more

28 grants and rebates for property buyers and owners

Posted on June 2nd, 2016

Top grants and rebates for property buyers and owners. (Here is a link to the 2-page pdf version) Home Buyers’ Plan Qualifying home buyers can withdraw up to $25,000 (couples can withdraw up to $50,000) from their RRSPs for a down payment. Home buyers who have repaid their RRSP may be eligible to use the program a second time. Canada Revenue Agency.  Learn more or to participate in the Home Buyers’ Plan or call 1.800.959.8287 GST/HST New Housing Rebate New… Read more

Is real estate still a great investment in Metro Vancouver?

Posted on March 27th, 2016

Is real estate still a good investment in Metro Vancouver? Just five years ago in 2011, the benchmark price of a detached home in Metro Vancouver was $848,645. An attached home’s benchmark price was $507,118 and an apartment condominium, $399,397, according to data from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. Today that same detached home has a benchmark price (for Metro Vancouver) of $1,305,600, an increase of 53.8%.  An attached home has a benchmark price of $569,600, an increase of… Read more

Choosing the right neighbourhood

Posted on November 1st, 2015

When buying a home, the location is just as important as the property in establishing long-term value. Royal Pacific REALTORS® agree – the first step in home-hunting should be narrowing your search to a specific neighbourhood. Start by assessing your lifestyle and your future plans. Ask yourself a few simple questions: Will you require a school or public transit to be close by? Do you value living near a park or community centre for leisure activities? What is the maximum… Read more

Building a laneway home? Understand the tax implications

Posted on August 31st, 2015

A laneway house is a small detached residential infill home that typically fronts onto the lane of a larger principal house. It’s important for property owners to understand their options before building a laneway house or buying a property with a laneway house. If your clients are looking for information about the tax implications of laneway houses, advise them about these scenarios outlined by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). 1. You own a principal residence and you hire a builder… Read more