Buying Your Home

Helping you buy your home

Tips for Buying a House in Vancouver

When looking to buy a home – it may seem like a simple idea, but it’s actually much more complicated than one might anticipate. Home Buyers are always under the guide of “Caveat Emptor” or “Buyer Beware” - believe us when we say that what you don’t know, can hurt you in the long run. These are just a few of the many items that our REALTORS® will help you navigate to make a safe, informed and wise real estate investment.

Maintenance Costs

  • Many buyers get in trouble because they don’t take into consideration the costs of ongoing care and maintenance of their home.
  • Our REALTORS® provide you a guide to ensure that you are considering the big picture and make an informed decision based on your budget.

Oil Tanks

  • Any home that was built before the 1970s has a high likelihood of having an oil tank on property. Removal can cost $15,000 – $150,000 so it is critical that you are certain that this is not an issue once you take possession of your new home.
  • Our REALTORS® have the expertise to advise you on whether this is a potential risk with the property you are considering and make sure you are protected.

Quality of Neighborhood

  • Crime levels, traffic noise, future development, city zoning plans, amenities, transportation access and general sense of community can dramatically impact not only your current enjoyment of your property, but also your future resale value.
  • We pride ourselves on staying on top of all of the neighborhoods we serve to ensure that you are aware of all of these factors in advance of making your purchase.

Home Inspections

  • Not all home inspectors are created equal. An insufficient home inspection from an uninsured home inspector could result in making a purchase decision without being fully aware of the health, safety and/or structural issues that might be present in the home.
  • Issues that might negate possible insurance coverage of your home include: old wiring (knob and tube, aluminum), some types of plumbing, old roofing, poor drainage, some types of insulation and woodstoves or fireplaces not CSA approved.
  • With over 40 years of experience, our team has expertise in ensuring that the list of inspectors you choose from are highly qualified and uniquely suited to identifying the potential risks that may be present in the property before you commit to the purchase.

Property Transfer Tax (PTT)

  • In addition to your down payment, you also need to have cash available for the PTT. This is calculated as 1% on the first $200,000 and 2% on the balance.
  • Your Realtor will ensure that you have considered this and all costs related to the purchase of your house so that you can factor it into your decision.

HST on New Home Purchases

  • HST is a 12% tax that applies to all new home purchases until April 2013. It is important that you are aware of how this tax will impact you.
  • We stay on top of the most current legislation, payment schedules etc and can advise you on how this factors into the total cost of your purchase.


  • If you are not a resident of Canada, you may experience difficulties in obtaining a mortgage. You may require you to prove you have a certain amount of liquid assets.
  • Our experienced REALTORS® will let you know if this may be an issue for you and direct you to the appropriate resources.
  • If you anticipate that this may be an issue, we would be happy to put you in touch with a specialist here in Vancouver.

Closing Costs

  • Legal fees,
  • Insurance,
  • HST (if new),
  • Monthly soft costs (ie heat, electricity, etc) &
  • Taxes.

REALTOR® Fees for Buyers

  • It is customary in British Columbia for the Seller to pay the Buyer’s Agent in addition to the Listing Agent. This means that in many situations the Seller would cover our fee.
  • Some Buyers are tempted to try to go directly to the Seller to avoid REALTOR® fees, but it is absolutely in your best interest to have a professional looking out for your best interest in the sale (as per all of the above knowledge). Purchasing a home is a major investment and ignorance to certain situations you were not aware of does not alleviate you of the responsibility or cost to correct the issue.
Contact Us

Vancouver REALTORS®

We offer 40+ years of micro-market knowledge and strategic insight that will ensure our clients are able to make an informed real estate investment decision in Greater Vancouver. With so much spectacular diversity in Vancouver, it is imperative that our clients are paired up with one of our local specialists in North Vancouver, West Vancouver, Downtown, Vancouver Westside or Eastside. The market expertise and knowledge that we provide comes from an intimate knowledge of and passion for the neighbourhoods in which we serve.