Vancouver Property Type and Buyer Motivation

If you are at the early stages of thinking and planning to purchase a real estate, it is important to know all the steps involved. As an experienced realtor in Vancouver, it is my duty to all clients to inform them and guide them through their purchase, even if they haven’t decided to work with me yet. 
This is an important part of my job, when meeting with a prospect buyer, regardless of their motivation and reason to purchase in Vancouver.
Purchasing a real estate requires extensive search, research and information gathering, which, truly can be daunting. 
In this article I will cover the property and buyer type and next step in another article I will state every steps and guidance to purchasing a real estate.

Type and category of properties for sale in Vancouver vary from Single Family Detached (SFD), Strata Duplex Unit, Condo, Townhouse, or revenue property. Let’s not phase out empty lot to build your dream house. 
Determining what property interests you the most, also depend on affordability and location. 
Detached house:

This type of property has a “freehold” title meaning the land has not been divided and shared. Depending on the lot size and municipal zoning, it is important to review the title for covenants, schemes, bylaws, restriction and zoning application. Although I have discussed this in detailed in other article, but I feel it is crucial to mention this again in here as well. Not every Detached house, has a “freehold” title. This is a common assumption that a real estate investor or buyer makes. In our Province, there exist many detached house with “freehold/strata” title. Meaning the original lot had been divided between two properties and based on the development time, some easement, covenant and mostly bylaws restriction exist. To make you more aware, there are also detached homes with “freehold” only title that have covenant and scheme registered against their title. In general if interested in a detached home, ask yourself why and what are your motivation. As an example, if you’re thinking of having some chicken pets, studying the title of the property is extremely important. 
Duplex Properties:
These properties have “freehold/strata” title and are very similar to townhouses. Duplexes contains of two units attached in one lot and each have its own title separately registered. They are commonly known as ½ duplex. These properties, have bylaws and may have certain restrictions in age, pets and rentals. Depending on the original development and the strata rules registered for these type properties, it also may have monthly strata fees to cover certain costs like insurance, yard maintenance, garbage pickup and possibly repairs.
In Vancouver ½ duplex properties are very common and in high demand because of its lower price points.
Condominium units are in high demand in Vancouver specially in and around the city. Depending on the buyer’s motivation and lifestyle, condos can be a great advantage. They have no yards to maintain, mostly have amenities such as pool, gym, storage locker, covered parking, balcony, and possibly good views.
Condo’s title can be “freehold/strata” or “leasehold/strata”. Having a leasehold/strata condo title is common in our province, but buyers must be cautious as most are not desirable to finance although coming with an attractive lower and affordable price point. Every condo and apartment complex residence, has bylaws and rules assigned by their strata counsel and have monthly and annual meetings. It is required to review all these documents for any restrictions on age, pets and rentals, as well as any rules assigned. 
Some of condos for sale in Vancouver have age restriction, and re only allow 18 plus of age. In regards to pet some have certain requirement such as weight, type and kind. As for investors who wish to lease their condo, it is an important step to review rental restriction whether the strata allow daily (transient), monthly, annually, or not at all. 
Let me also turn your attention to Form B and Form F when purchasing strata property. These two forms are prepared by the strata president and provide the units, monthly strata fees, parking, storage assignment and also any money owed by the unit.
An experienced realtor can help the buyers to determine and research all information required as many of these form can be misleading. 
Parking and or storage can be “Limited Common Property” or “Common Property”. This overlooked issue, can create tremendous problem for buyers. Assume a buyer during a showing, looking at the current parking spot location and find it suitable for her vehicle access and since this was one her deal breaker, she purchases this unit, assuming that she is going to park in the same parking spot. However, if the parking spot is “Common Property”, it gets assigned by strata. Meaning, the parking spot that she viewed may change due to many factors as strata see fits. They may have a waiting list or other request for that spot. This can be frustrating for buyers as if she knew this fact, she would have made a conditional offer base on getting the same spot, or wouldn’t even have purchased that unit.
A “Limited Common Property” states that the parking or storages have been assigned by the developer at the development time and are transferrable by sale of the unit. Even though, it is important to always investigate these facts and mention this information when making an offer to purchase.

Townhouse properties are very similar to condos in regards to research and information on Form B & F, Title, Strata documents, rules & bylaws reviews and restrictions. Townhouses are in a high demand for their price point and have many advantages for families. They usually have front or backyard that is quite attractive for a family and pet owners, offer 3 bedrooms in contrary to a common condo unit, that is mostly 2 bedroom units (except the ones with den or rare 3 bedrooms), and even an attached parking.
Townhouses may be attached on both or on one side, however they also rarely come detached. 
Some are gated and private with amenities for the entire complex. 
As you see above, each property type above require tremendous research to determine their usage.
Now that we reviewed the property types for sale in Vancouver, in it a good idea to see the various motivation to buy a property.
First time real estate buyers:
Many first timers can enter the real estate market by searching for properties online or off-line. Don't forget the importance of having a knowledgeable Realtor in Vancouver. Vancouver realtors can provide beneficial assistance to help make your home search much easier. 
First time buyer’s motivation to buy varies from entering the real estate market and own instead of renting. Extending family and starting a new lifestyle. Investment in real estate. First time real estate buyers are the most vulnerable and it is their realtor responsibility to guild and educate extensively. It is also important to plan all budgeting and costs associated with owning and purchasing a real estate and clarify for their affordability purpose.
Real Estate Investors:
Looking for investment property. These buyers are in search for cash flow and capital gain. Most are sophisticated and familiar with all steps of buying process. But it is the realtor’s responsibility not to assume their knowledge and provide additional valuable knowledge. This category require experienced local realtor to be aware of the market, knows what to research and aware of future market potential trends. In Vancouver there are non-resident investors (out of province or even out of country) that require further guidance in regards to legality and taxes.
Real estate Downsize or up-sizers:
This category either downsizing or have a growing family from their existing real estate needs. Their real estate agent and representative must provide extreme value and information in regards to market, taxes, and legality. These type of buyers also must sell their existing property and are familiar with buying steps. Should they buy first and then sell or whether sell their existing home first, depends on their financial situation. The ideal situation is to buy first for two reasons:
A) They don’t rush to buy
It is very helpful and to the benefit of every real estate buyer not to rush and do the due diligence.
B) They don’t rush to sell
It is a perfect situation when the sellers can prepare their existing home for exposure.
However, in most cases, financially carrying two properties is a burden.

Real estate re-locaters:
A) Employee relocation
When a company moves its employees, they require to a quick networker realtor in Vancouver to find them a desirable house within the proximity of their employment. 
B) Non-residents
A non-resident purchaser is very similar to a first time buyer regardless of their past purchase experience elsewhere. 
Within our current date and age of technology, every buyer have access to many online resources to search for properties for sale in Vancouver. As an experienced realtor in Vancouver, what makes me valuable is information & research, network and negotiation. What makes me from a real estate agent into a valuable realtor is that I’m knowledgeable about the area trends, upcoming and history of listings, skilled in property information and research, gathering valuable data, and competent on extreme negotiation, and have global and local networks for my clients. Searching for that “one of a kind’ property is not the pillar of real estate purchase, but is having an expert realtor on your side.
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