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How to Buy a Home in the South Okanagan

Are you scouting for your dream home? We'll go over some key points to consider before buying your first or next home. But first, here's why South Okanagan is a good location and perfect choice!

Why the South Okanagan?

Those who have visited our towns and communities in the South Okanagan know this is a special place that stands apart from the rest of Canada. Between the endlessly flowing wine, breath-taking views, deep blue lakes, and long summer days, there are many reasons to buy a home in the South Okanagan. 

Purchasing a home is often the most significant investment people make in their lives. Buying and Selling Real Estate seems like a daunting task to many people, and that's why it's so important to choose the right real estate agent for you.

You and your Real Estate Agent can filter through the market to find properties that suit your needs and budget. This is a hot real estate market with a revolving door of supply, so please talk with me today to make your buying experience a stress-free one.

 

What Kinds of Homes are on the Market?

It's important to first ask yourself questions like, "What are my essential home needs?" "What properties are out available?" "What is my budget?" Then, you begin to form an idea of what kind of home will suit your needs. There are several types of homes in the South Okanagan, with various kinds of ownership.

 

Home Types

Single Family Home – A home that stands on its own, resting on its own land

 

Semi-Detached Home – Can also be referred to as a “duplex”, a semi-detached dwelling can be two units’ side-by-side or top-and-bottom, and it most often subject to the Strata Property Act.

 

Townhome – In BC, townhomes are described as several dwellings joined together by common walls, often forming a row

 

Apartment – An apartment is typically one unit that joined by several other units, side-by-side and top-and-bottom, form an apartment building with common areas

 

Mobile/Manufactured Homes – Specifically designed and built to move from one place to another, mobile homes generally rest on a pad in a mobile home park


 

Types of Ownership

Freehold – What we refer to as “ownership” of a home. Freehold interest allows you free use and to do as you please on your land and the properties on it, subject to local laws and regulations.

 

Strata Title – The Strata Property Act is designed to grant you ownership of a specific unit, then contained in the larger strata property. Duplexes, townhomes, apartments, and other types of property can be subject to the Strata Property Act. It is essential to know your financial responsibilities and obligations when buying a strata property.

 

Leasehold – Properties built on First Nation reserves or city-owned land may only allow you a leasehold interest in the property for a long, limited period. This period is typically set for 99 years from the original term, with the ability to purchase the remaining portion. Buying a leasehold property can seem confusing, so please call, and ask me about it.

 

Cooperative – Each owner owns “shares” in the cooperative, which allows them to be assigned particular units


 

What is Your Budget?

One of the more obvious points when searching for a property to buy is- what can you afford?

How do you determine your home-buying budget? What information do you need to crunch the numbers? 

 

We need to narrow down your price range. Let’s start with our fundamental financial analysis:

CASH SAVED Down-Payment

PLUS Borrowed Money / Mortgage

LESS Closing Costs

EQUALS Your Maximum Budget

 

Down-Payment

A good rule of thumb is to put as much down as possible when purchasing a home. Typically, you are required to make a down-payment of at least 5% - 10% of the home's purchase price.

 

Borrowed Money / Mortgage

These days, borrowing money to buy a home is a must for almost everyone. Mortgage brokers will require information about your personal finances to verify the loan amount you can qualify for, so scheduling a consultation is essential. Ask us for a referral!

 

Closing Costs

It's important to remember that several closing costs are associated with real estate transactions that need to be in the back of your mind when budgeting. 

Costs like property transfer taxes, legal fees, inspections/appraisals, moving expenses, and insurance will add up quickly, and you need to be sure they can be covered.

 

Many of these costs, if not all, will need to be accounted for:

 

Property Transfer Tax – PTT must be paid before any real estate can be legally transferred to a new owner in a transaction

 

GST – Newly constructed homes can be subject to GST; some rebates are available

 

Property Tax – Depending on when property taxes were paid for the year, there may be an amount of reimbursement required for closing.

 

Appraisal Fee – Appraisals are generally required of a home before your mortgage can be approved

 

Survey Fee – A Survey may also be required to establish the boundaries of the property and all the buildings within those boundaries.

 

Mortgage Application Fee – This fee varies between institutions 

 

Mortgage Default Insurance – To ensure that a lender will not lose any money if in case you can’t make your payments, lending institutions will require this type of insurance. This premium is

usually added to the loan amount and paid over the term.

 

Life & Disability Mortgage Insurance – This insurance will ensure that any outstanding mortgage payments will be paid if you become disabled or pass away

 

Fire & Liability Insurance – This insurance will ensure, in the event of a fire, that the lender receives the balance owing on the mortgage loan before any proceeds become available to you

 

Legal Fees – During the closing, a notary public or a lawyer is required to transfer the title of ownership from the seller to the buyer, which will cost you a fee to complete

 

Other Costs – home inspection, moving expenses, renovating, utilities

 

Enlist a Real Estate Agent to Help

Once we determine your needs, I will arrange for viewings, explain the pros and cons of each property, assist you in writing and presenting offers, and help you complete your purchase after the offer is accepted.

I can be the right agent at the right time, to help you buy real estate in the South Okanagan. Ask me anything about properties on the market, sources of financing, and how we can start your home-buying journey.

There are many details to consider when buying your home in the South Okanagan, and the only way to get ahead and find what you’re looking for is to get started!

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