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Victoria BC Community Blog

8 Key Questions to Ask Before Hiring a REALTOR® Tag: first time homebuyers

Whether you’re buying or selling, getting the right end result for your property needs is one of the most important life decisions someone can make. This makes it all the more vital that you go into the process with an understanding of exactly what you should be looking for in a REALTOR®, as they will be the key person to guide and advise you. Here are 8 key questions you should be asking any prospective REALTOR® before you begin the journey.

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10 Essential Tips for First-Time Homebuyers Tag: first time homebuyers

Buying a home is an exciting venture, but it's also a decision that requires careful consideration. Before starting it’s vital to be well-prepared, so here are 10 tips to guide you through the home buying process, ensuring that you make informed choices and find the perfect place to call your own.

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Taxes to Be Aware of When Buying a Home in BC Tag: first time homebuyers

Mini home, pen signing contract

For homeowners there are an array of costs and fees that go beyond the initial cost of purchase, including maintenance, repair, and renovation. But in this post, we’re going to focus on the administrative costs of the various federal, provincial, and municipal taxes you will need to be aware of. 

This is especially true for first time buyers who may not know what even needs to be considered, and having a handle on the closing costs and taxes, as well as future fees, will help you make an informed and knowledgeable decision about your future. To help you out, here is an overview of the relevant taxes prospective BC homeowners should be aware of.

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Should You Get a Condo or a House? Tag: first time homebuyers

condos on the waterfront

When it comes to making a choice about which is the right property for you there are so many criteria to consider and options available, that even the simplest starting points can seem daunting. But it’s important to have a clear idea of what you’re searching for before you start looking. If you’re just scanning every available property you’ll waste not only time, but you’re unlikely to find the one you want!

There are a number of choices that can help you narrow down your search, and one of the biggest is whether you’re looking to purchase a condo or a house. In this post we’ll cover some of the key differences between the two, and how you can go about figuring out if you should buy a condo or a house for your next move. 

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The Importance Of Home Inspections Tag: first time homebuyers

Home Inspection Report

When it comes to buying a home you want to leave no stone unturned—after all, this is the biggest and most important purchase you’ll be making, and there should be no doubt left in your mind that you’ve found the right home for you. 

This is where a home inspection comes into play. A pre-purchase inspection provides you with the opportunity to uncover details that won’t be apparent to the untrained eye, giving you insight into the future viability and structural soundness of the property, and bringing to light any potential problems or red flags. This not only gives you leverage when negotiating, but it can also help you make your final decision. 

Here are some of the reasons why home inspections are an important part of the home buying process, as well as how you should approach a home inspection as a part of your home buying journey. 

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Considerations When Deciding Between a House or Condo Tag: first time homebuyers

When choosing the type of property you want to purchase, you’ll be bombarded with many different choices. You need to consider a variety of factors, such as the size of the property, features like if you want your own yard or if a management company handles any of the outdoor/community upkeep, and the types of financing available to purchase the property.

With the increase in buildings being constructed, there is a varied choice of whether to purchase a house or a condo. Note that this blog is talking about a condo, and not an apartment, as technically an apartment is a rental unit, whereas while a condo exists in a building with other units, it is individually owned.

It’s not just the technical label, but there are lots of other technical and practical aspects to deciding between a house and a condo, which will be discussed here.

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Tips For First Time Home Buyers in BC Tag: first time homebuyers

An agent going over documents with a young woman

Buying a home can be stressful even for seasoned property owners. Purchasing your first home can be downright anxiety-inducing when you don't know where to start. I've met plenty of first-time buyers who were full of questions: Who do I contact first? What do I need to have ready? Can I even do this?

Trust a couple of real estate agents when we say: You can do it. Buying a home is a big deal, but like any other large project, it can be broken down into manageable chunks. Even if it turns out you can't purchase just yet — maybe you need to save up a bit more than you thought, or pay off some debt — you can put yourself in a position to be ready to go as soon as you have what you need.

I've taken the most common advice and answers we've given to first time home buyers in Victoria, and put them together into this series of tips. Whether you just need an idea of how the home buying process works, or want to get started right away, this should be a good springboard to get you going. If you have more detailed questions, feel free to contact us, and David and I will be happy to answer them.

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Moving Day: What To Remember Tag: first time homebuyers

A stylish kitchen filled with packed moving boxes. Credit to Thad Zajdowicz on Flickr.

When it's time to move, it always feels like there's a million things to do and not enough time to keep track of them, much less get them done. But if you start the process early enough, keep yourself organized, and have a checklist of items to follow, the process becomes much less overwhelming.

Here is a list of important items to cover before and during a move, including links to change of address forms and tips on how to pack.

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Co-Ownership: Home Buying With A Friend Tag: first time homebuyers

Two young hands with chipped nail polish locked in a pinky swear in front of a brick wall.

In today's competitive west coast real estate market, many solo young adults and students are having difficulty getting the funds for a down payment on a home, forcing them to rent or otherwise settle for less. Sometimes parents won't or can't assist their children with co-signs or payments. Sometimes those in casual relationships don't like the idea of sharing property value with someone they might not be together with in a few years.

Whatever the reason, more and more people are considering co-buying with good friends or family members. Unlike co-operatives, where buyers purchase shares in a corporation that owns the building, co-ownership lets buyers purchase a percentage of the property title and become "owners in common" of the same home.

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Homebuying With Kids Tag: first time homebuyers

Navy family members relax on their front lawn while movers deliver household goods to their new home on Ford Island. Credit US Navy.

Deciding on a new home can be a huge, frustrating project when you're new parents or your family has recently grown. How do you tell when your current home is too small for your kids? What will your kids need in a new home or neighbourhood, and how can you make it fit your budget? How do you tour houses when you have an infant or a toddler and no way to get a babysitter?

Psychologists say that involving kids of any age in the house selection and moving process will help them adjust to their new home better, faster, and happier — but it's not easy. As a real estate agent with children of my own, I've been around the block (literally) on both sides of the issue, and I've learned some tricks over the years that I hope will help other young families searching for a home in Victoria.

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