Costs of Buying a Home in Vancouver

In my first meeting with every potential real estate buyer in Vancouver, I go through many details specially sorting out their budget. In addition to ask them about the style of the property, mortgage pre-approval steps, location and desired area, wants and must-haves, as their assigned Vancouver rREALTOR®, I'm also obligated to go over every step of real estate buying process, as well as all expenses and costs involved. In most cases, specially first time real estate buyers, only budget for their down-payment. It is important to highlight the facts and budget ahead of time for all costs involved in purchasing a real estate. Here are a short list of costs to be borne by The Buyers:

-        Lawyer and Notary expenses and fees
This cost includes, researching and reviewing title, drafting all documents and retrieving any required document from the city, municipality, or land title office. Lawyers offer various fees for their services. In addition there additional services they offer which it can be purchased such as title insurance. Also depending on each case complexity, fees can vary. It is a good idea to call 3 different lawyers and obtain their fees in detail.

-        Land Title registration fees

The Land Title Office, charges a fee for title registration. This service is offered through your chosen real estate lawyer's office and it is stated in their cost disclosure statement.
-        Obtaining survey certificate if required and not available from the seller.
This service also is covered by your lawyer for closing cost. In many cases, Survey certificate is digitally available in Land Title Office, but also can be purchased. Please consult with your lawyer to see if the survey certificate is required for your purchase.

-        Cost of financial institution and mortgage
This cost includes the cost of mortgage company lawyer or notary, appraisal fees if applicable, and Land Title registration fees. Depending on the financial institution, costs varies and some waive the cost.

-        Fire Insurance premium
This fee applies for any properties with wood burning fire whether as heating source or other purposes. In addition if your property has Poly-B plumbing, or electrical issues that are not in favor of most insurance companies, you still can insure the property through some home insurance companies with premium extra cost.

-        Sales Tax if applicable.
This tax mostly applies for commercial purchases, lot, or brand new developments. It is a good idea to consult with your accountant or lawyer if purchasing a property that requires sales tax. There are some exception depending on government requirement and you maybe eligible.

-        Provincial Property Tax Transfer Fees

The property transfer tax rate is:

  • 1% on the first $200,000,
  • 2% on the portion of the fair market value greater than $200,000 and up to and including $2,000,000,
  • 3% on the portion of the fair market value greater than $2,000,000, and
  • If the property is residential, a further 2% on the portion of the fair market value greater than $3,000,000 (effective February 21, 2018).

If the property is classified as residential and farm, or is residential mixed class (such as residential and commercial), you pay the further 2% tax on only the residential portion of the property.

 unless the Buyer qualifies for an exemption. This is also important to consult with your accountant or lawyer, as there are exceptions fo seniors, first time buyers, and some new development limitation.
-        Speculation Tax
Please refer to BC Government Site for more info
-        Vancouver 1% Empty Home Tax:
Please refer to City Of Vancouver Site for more info on this

-        Goods and Service taxes if applicable.
Property annual taxes are calculated by the lawyer and any taxes due payable or credits will be applied to the closing cost. Annual taxes fluctuate depending on assessed value and neighborhood growth. This taxes relate to nearby school, transition and municipal decisions.

-        Home Inspection
It is the Buyer’s responsibility to inspect the real estate property they are purchasing in Vancouver. The cost varies for each inspection company. I work with reputable and most recommended home inspection companies which I’d be happy to provide you with their referral. I always suggest to my clients to call minimum three different companies.

-        Moving 
Keep in mind in many cases for Condo and strata units, the buyer is responsible to inform the property manager and pay a moving fee and reserve an elevator. I always review the Rules and Bylaws of the strata units in detail for my clienst and inform them in advance for any additional charges. Moving companies also are not cheap and its best to call several reputable ones to obtain a quote. The cheaper companies doesn't necessarily means better. Always go wit the most recommended companies even if they cost a little higher to protect your furniture and assets.
-       Preparing the real estate property purchased.
Depending on the shape and state of the property purchased, buyers need to assign a budget for the work needed to bring the property up to their desired state. Sometimes it is a good idea, if purchasing a ran-down property, foreclosure, or AS/IS state property, in addition to full home inspection, to schedule a walk-through with a general contractor and obtaining a overall cost to upgrade and renovate prior to purchase. 
-       Property Management 
In case, if you're not planning to live in the property, want to use it as vocational purpose, or rental investment, hiring a property management cost should be among assigning budget.
-      Monthly recurring cost
Hydro, water, garbage pick up, strata fees (If applicable), cable and telephone, and most of all cost of maintaining a home. As an advisor and realtor in Vancouver area, i always recommend to my clients to open a bank account and place a reasonable amount of money for maintenance aside per month. In case of any unseen upcoming incident, you don't have to break your bank as you have been collecting emergency maintenance money for such a day.

?Purchasing a home is not a small transaction. Every real estate buyer wants to see return in their purchase and must be diligent on where the money goes. Always keep track of your expenses and making sure to calculate every cost to understand whether the house of your desire can be easily affordable and falls under your assigned budget.
I work with a reliable, reputable and professional team of lawyers, mortgage specialists, home inspection companies, real estate property management, and other needed professional that I’d be happy to provide their reference.
Call me direct 778-636-7707 or email me for any additional question.
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