FREQUENTLY ASKED REAL ESTATE QUESTIONS


1. I’m thinking about buying my home. Where do I start?
Step 1 is to get pre-approved for a mortgage. A pre-approval lets you know how much you can spend and locks you in at the current interest rate for 90 days or more, allowing you to shop with confidence. This is especially important with mortgage rules and qualifications changing to influence the market and moderate risk it could impact your mortgage rate and ultimately, your home-buying power.  We have trusted mortgage people if you require a referral.
 
2. When is the best time of year price-wise to buy a home?
There really isn’t. Prices depend on a number of factors like supply, demand and other housing market conditions. These can vary greatly from city to city, and from one neighbourhood to the next. Rather than season, the number of days on market is the biggest indicator of your negotiating power. If the home was recently listed, the seller will have had less time to test the market and gauge buyers’ response to the price, and will be less likely to negotiate.
 
3. When is the best time of year to sell my home?
Like in question 2,  There really isn’t a best time. Prices depend on a number of factors like supply, demand and other housing market conditions. These can vary greatly from city to city, and from one neighbourhood to the next. Rather than season, the number of days on market is the biggest indicator of your negotiating power. If the home was recently listed, the buyer may not have had much time to test the market to compare other properties in the same price range, and will be less informed to negotiate.

4. How much will I need for closing costs?
Closing costs will typically range from 1.5% to 4% of the home’s purchase price. These include things like land transfer tax, legal and administrative fees and these costs are payable on closing, not rolled into your mortgage. Additional costs you can expect to pay for are home inspection and appraisal fee among other things. Make sure you budget for these costs! 
 
5. I've always been interested in an investment property?
Whether you’re thinking about resale value down the road, a quick reno-and-flip job, or for long-term rentability as a landlord, location is the golden rule of real estate.  Real Estate is a great way to add to your net worth and to potentially grow your passive income.  It can come with some risk so let's make sure you have as many facts as possible.  Vancouver-based real estate research and consulting firm Cutting Edge Research Inc. identified these factors for a solid investment property. Does the area experience population, income and employment growth? Will the area benefit from an economic or real estate ripple effect? Can the local infrastructure support the expected growth? Are there any major transportation improvements in the works? Is the area attractive to Baby Boomers’ lifestyle? Is there a short-term problem occurring that is likely to disappear in the future?
 
6. What does the new mortgage stress test mean?
The new mortgage rules require that all mortgage applicants qualify at a rate that’s higher than your contracted rate or the Bank of Canada’s five-year benchmark rate. This is to ensure that borrowers will be able to make their mortgage payments should interest rates increase.
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