Home Buyer's Toolbox
When working with you to purchase real estate in the Okanagan,
it's essential that you understand the complete home buying
process before we start making appointments to view possible
real estate. As your consultants we are always working in your
best interests, and that means helping you decide if and
when buying a home is the right choice for you. The basic
steps when buying real estate are:
if buying NOW is right for you.
your mortgage pre-approved & evaluate your TOTAL
what you can afford.
Kelowna's real estate market.
your real estate agent(s).
- Location and Type of Home
the neighbourhoods you like.
type of home are you looking for?
Buyer's Check List
a home that meets your needs.
the value of that home.
complete moving checklist.
- Determine if Buying NOW
is Right For You - Do you currently own real
estate now? Why are you moving? When do you want to be
moved into your new home? Buying and selling can be a
stressful event in life, so you want to make sure that
now is the right time for you and your family.
- Get Your Mortgage Pre-Approved
& Evaluate Your TOTAL COSTS
- In order to be in a strong negotiating position you
want to make sure your finances are planned and approved
BEFORE you start looking. The fewer conditions on your
offer the better your position when negotiating price
You also want to take the time to review your total costs.
It is very important that you don't forget to include
closing costs when calculating how much you can afford.
Property Transfer Tax is calculated based on 1% of the
first 200,000 and 2% on anything above that. For example
- on a $400,000 house the Property Transfer Tax will be
$6,000. You may have legal
costs, appraisal costs, survey costs, insurance,
and GST if applicable.
Know your ideal price and your maximum price. We do not
want you to buy real estate only to find out that
the only thing you can afford in life is the mortgage
Click here to view a list of Real Estate Mortgage Brokers &
Banks in the Okanagan
- Decide What You
Can Afford - Figure out your monthly mortgage
payments and decide what you can afford and are comfortable
spending. Even though a bank may be comfortable lending
you a certain amount of money – you and your family
may not want to spend that much. Spend some time and figure
out what number you are comfortable with and determine
what price range your new home search is in.
Kelowna's Real Estate Market - Is
it a buyer's market or a seller's market? How long are
new homes in Kelowna sitting on the market vs older homes?
What are you peak purchasing months? What are your peak
selling months? Research like this will often determine
how quickly you will have to decide and offer on a home.
Will you be comfortable moving quickly if you find the
right house? Are houses selling way below asking or close
to asking? All of the answers to these questions may be
dependant on the neighbourhood in the Okanagan you would
like to buy in. It's our job to know or find out the answers
to these questions so that you can be properly informed BEFORE
you start looking.
Your Real Estate Agents - Especially in the Okanagan, it's important to choose agents who will listen
to your requirements and truly look out for your best
interests. You want to find someone who is competent,
timely, educated and has good communication skills. You
could be spending significant time with this person so
make sure you choose someone who you like, trust and get
here on in, let your Agents do their job and help find
you the perfect home. Oh and of course, make sure
you call us!
- Identify Neighbourhoods
You Like -
that you know how much you can afford – it’s
time to think about where you want to be in the Okanagan.
Kelowna real estate prices can vary significantly from
neighbourhood to neighbourhood. Be an informed buyer and
spend some time researching Kelowna and the Okanagan.
Here are a few points to consider prior to buying a new
home in Kelowna:
neighbourhood do you want to live in?
day care facilities, health facilities, and other amenities.
Availability of fire protection and emergency services.
Proximity to commercial and industrial activities.
Look at views, traffic, airport flight paths and other
Are there any parks or recreational areas in the neighbourhood?
out and drive around some Okanagan neighbourhoods and
get a feel for the community. Try to narrow down which
area you’d like to live in.
You Thought About What Type of Home You Are Interested
in? - Think
about the number of bedrooms and bathrooms. Do you want
a newer home or an older home? Are you prepared to fix
up an older home if required? Do you want open concept
or more distinct living spaces? Do you want a pool, garage,
yard? Does the new home have to have a master en-suite,
powder room on the main floor? Can it be 2 storey, split-level
or a rancher? All of these different criteria will help
narrow down the number of Kelowna homes you look at. Make
sure you discuss and figure out your “must haves”
vs. your “nice to haves”. Be sure to take
a very close look at the “must have” list
– you could be limiting your search if this list
is too long.
all of these requirements to us and we will go to work
- View Specific Homes
- The next step is for us to create a short list.
We will select a few homes in the Kelowna neighbourhood(s) you have chosen. Once we see your reactions to these homes we can narrow down the list to homes that will fit your requirements even further. It's amazing
how many criteria buyer's didn't even know they had. When you ask
them why they don't like a house when they see it - they
may say "we don't want a steep driveway because the kids
play basketball" or "we never want to be on a corner"
or "we only want a southern exposure", something that
they didn't think of when we were discussing criteria.
From here we can narrow down neighbourhoods and homes based on your new list of criteria.
- Pick a Home That Meets Your
Needs - Do
not over analyze! Some people can look and look and look
and look and never choose a home in the Okanagan. It's
very rare that you will find a house that fits 100% of
your criteria. Even those of us who have built a house,
didn't manage to build it with 100% of our criteria. You
want to find real estate that meets most of your requirements
and one that feels right. For each house that you visit,
try to envision your furniture in each of the rooms. How
would you arrange the family room? Where would your family
get together be? Can you see yourself hosting a BBQ in
the backyard? These are the kinds of questions you want
to ask yourself, you are trying to see if the house fits
- Analyze the Value
- Once we have the perfect
house, we need to do some more research and figure out
the value of the house to you as buyers. We will run some
comparable searches and find out what comparable real
estate in the area is selling for and come up with a value
range. You will decide what you want to pay for the house
and write up an offer. We will also decide if any conditions
are required to protect your best interests. For example,
usually an offer is subject a home
inspection. Changes in the Kelowna
Real Estate Market will often effect the strategy
used when writing up offers.
- Negotiate The Contract
- It's the real estate agent's job
to take care of your best interests. This means that when
we're negotiating the contract on your behalf we are 100%
committed to getting you the home you want, for the
price you want, under the conditions you want. Once an
offer is presented to the sellers they have 3 options;
Accept, Reject or Counter. We hope for the first option but quite
often the sellers will counter offer and we will help you
understand the information in their offer and the implications
of accepting it, rejecting it or countering back again.
The goal is always to negotiate a contract that is acceptable
to all parties. You never want to forget your end goal,
to buy a home in Kelowna. It is easy to get caught
up in negotiating just for the sake of negotiating!
- Closing and Moving
- Once the contract is firm and
all conditions have been removed we are nearing the final
stretch. Some of the terms that are negotiated on the
contract are closing and possession dates. These dates
determine the deadlines for communicating with your financial
lender , real estate
attorney, movers etc... We will follow-up with your attorney
and financial lender to ensure that all the proper paperwork
has been received.
- Moving with Children
- Often when you are thinking about moving with
children, you decide to move in the summer when they are
out of school. If you are moving to a new neighbourhood
in the Okanagan, it is important to think about how difficult
it may be for them to make new friends during the summer
holidays. Moving during the school year allows them to
instantly meet children in the classroom. This gives them
time to make a couple of friends their own age, who live
in the neighbourhood before the summer holidays.
- A Smooth
- Prepare a file to keep receipts of moving expenses,
you maybe able to claim some for tax purposes depending
on how far you are moving and why you are moving,
- Get written estimates from at least two moving companies,
- Go through everything and donate what you no longer
need to charity - moving cost is by weight so don't
take what you don't need,
- Get packing paper, boxes, pens, tape,
- Transfer the utilities out of your name,
- Change of address for Canada Post, newspapers, magazines,
clubs, organizations, doctors, friends and family, services,
- Order new cheques from the bank with your new address,
- Notify the outbound and inbound schools,
- If moving into our out of an apartment, book the elevator,
- Return all items you have borrowed and get back what
you have loaned,
- Plan and start early!
For a detailed moving check list, e-mail or call us and
we will send one right out to you.