The Buying Process
Once you have made the decision to buy a property in Squamish, there are some important things that you need to consider:
What you can afford – Purchasing a home involves both one-time costs (including your down payment) and monthly expenses (including mortgage payments, legal fees, taxes, and insurance).
The market conditions – The real estate market is always changing and understanding the market will help you understand your position as a buyer.
As your buyer’s agent, your representative will take the time to understand what you are looking for and help answer any questions you may have about the current market conditions.
Here is a summary of the buying process:
- The Selection Process: The first step is to decide what kind of property you would like to purchase and to narrow down the list of properties to those that suite your needs.
- Viewing Properties: Once you and your realtor have narrowed down your search, you will head out on “tour” to view the properties. After which, you may want to write an offer on your dream property, or you may wish to return to the drawing board.
- Making an Offer: Once you have made the decision to buy, your agent will help you write up an offer to purchase. There are four possible outcomes from the seller in response to your offer: Acceptance, Counter Offer, Multiple Offers, Competing Offers. Your agent will talk to you about what these outcomes will mean to you and what steps you need to take to achieve your goal. Once all parties have signed, this will become a written, enforceable contract.
- Negotiation: This is where your realtor will assist you in getting the best possible price for your property.
- Accepted Offer: Once your offer to purchase has been accepted and both you and the “seller” have agreed to a price, your agent will assist you in everything from home inspections to ensuring that you are comfortable with the financing.
- Firm Deal: A deal becomes firm once all subject conditions have been removed.
- Completion: Once the purchase transaction has been competed, the property is officially yours.
- Getting Ready for Completion and Your Move: Finding a lawyer, finalizing insurance, arranging for movers, connecting your new home to hydro, gas, and other services, etc. Your Black Tusk Realty agent will be able to provide you with a complete check list of items to help you make your new home purchase and moving as smooth as possible.
- Possession: This is the day you will receive the keys to your new home.
There are costs associated with buying any home and buying a home in Squamish is no exception. Here is a summary of the costs associated with buying a home.
- Mortgage: These may include the mortgage companies, lawyer, or notary fees, appraisal fee (if applicable) and land title registration fees.
- Property Transfer Tax : This is a Provincial Government Tax that applies to all transfers of real estate and is payable on the completion date. The rate of the tax is 1% on the first $200,000 of the purchase price, 2% on the next $1,800,000 of the purchase price, and 3% of the purchase price that exceeds $2,000,0000. There are some exemptions for first-time home buyers.
- Goods and Services Tax (GST): This is a 5% tax that applies to the purchase of new construction and on the resale of accommodations that have been rented out for short term or nightly rental. The payment of the GST can be deferred if the new purchaser intends to use the accommodation for short term or nightly rental at least 90% of the time and she/he becomes a GST registrant. See the ‘Finance & Taxation‘ page for more information on the GST.
- Insurance: Buyers are required to arrange insurance on single family residential accommodations, and liability and contents insurance on strata-titled properties.
- Strata Fees: Of special concern to condominium and townhouse purchasers, there will be monthly maintenance charges, and the Strata Corporation is also entitled to levy special assessments for extraordinary expenses if necessary.
- Municipal Taxes: Municipal taxes may be added to your mortgage payment. If they are not, you should factor in that cost monthly or annually.