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Welcome back to my 7 part home buyer's guide designed to teach you everything that you need to know about buying a home in Vancouver.

Whether you are purchasing your first home or your third, this series will help you to navigate the complexities and financial implications of your purchase.Part 1, Are You Financially Ready, can be found here. Parts 2 and 3, Consider your Mortgage Options and Mortgage Default Insurance, can be found here. This newsletter contains Part 4, Research Government Programs and Part 5, Finding a Home.

Part 4: Research Government Programs

The federal government has assistance programs to help homebuyers. Research government program requirements to see if you are eligible.

Government programs can change over time. For the most up-to-date information, refer to Service Canada’s website:www.servicecanada.gc.ca.

First-Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit

First-Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit — a $5,000 non-refundable income tax credit on a qualifying home. The credit provides up to $750 in tax relief to assist first-time buyers with purchase costs. For more information, check the Canada Revenue Agency’s (CRA) website: www.cra-arc.gc.ca.

Home Buyers’ Plan

Home Buyers’ Plan — a one-time withdrawal up to $25,000 from a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) by first-time buyers to help purchase or build a home. Generally, you have to repay all withdrawals from your RRSP within 15 years. For more details, visit CRA’s website at: www.cra-arc.gc.ca.

CMHC Green Home program

CMHC Green Home program — when you use CMHC-insured financing to buy or build an energy-efficient home or make energy-saving renovations, you may qualify for a premium refund of 10% on your mortgage default insurance and a premium refund for a longer amortization period (if applicable). Check outCMHC’s website for more information: www.cmhc.ca.

Part 5: Finding a Home

Finding your perfect home can be a long process. I will help identify the right type of home for you and continually research new listings in neighbourhoods that meet your needs.

Check out this webpage to see how I make the home buying process easier for you!

Where do you want to live?

• Urban, suburban or country?

• Will you need to commute? Do you need access to public transit? How much will commuting cost?

• Are there schools nearby? How will your children get there?

What type of home do you prefer?

• Single-family detached homes stand alone on their own lot.

• Single-family semi-detached homes are joined on one side to another home.

• Duplexes contain two single-family homes, one above the other.

• Row houses (townhouses) are several single-family units, located next to one another and joined by common walls.

• Other types of homes include stacked townhouses, link or carriage homes, condominiums and co-op apartments.

What are the types of ownership?
Freehold

You own the land and house and are responsible for everything inside and outside of the home.

Condominium ownership

You own your unit and share ownership of common spaces. The condominium association is responsible for upkeep of the building and common interior elements, such as halls, elevators, parking garages and the grounds. You pay a monthly fee to the condominium association to cover maintenance costs. The fee varies but can often include utilities, TV services and taxes. You may also have to buy or rent your parking space.

Condos often have strict rules regarding noise, use of common areas and renovations to units. Be aware of your condo’s rules before putting in an offer.

Co-operatives

Similar to condos but instead of owning your unit, you own shares in the entire building or complex with the other residents. Co-op residents pay for maintenance and repairs through monthly fees and are subject to the rules and regulations of the co-op board.

Be aware that if you decide to sell or rent your shares, the co-op board has the right to reject your prospective buyer or tenant. Read the co-op’s rules before making an offer.

For parts 6 and 7 of the series click here...

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