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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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