Luxury Real Estate Vancouver Blog | VANCITY Living › Real Estate Tips

For Buyers


Save The Date! 5 Important Dates To Know

For first-time home buyers, the amount of things to keep track of can be overwhelming. Purchasing a home is a big decision, and with it comes a slew of paperwork, meetings, arrangements for address changes, and much more. Hopefully, you are in contact with a great real estate agent that knows all the ins and outs of the process, and is willing to help you out every step of the way. However, there are still some key dates that you should be aware of before you begin the process of purchasing a home.

This is the date when the subjects of your offer are removed and the deal is considered firm. On this date, you must also pay the deposit, which is typically 5% of the purchase price and is in the form of a bank draft. Once the deal is firm, you are legally obligated to go ahead with the purchase.

This is the date that legal ownership and monies are exchanged between the old owner and you. You are now on title, which means you are the legal owner of the property.

This is the date on which the buyer assumes full responsibility for property taxes, strata fees where applica­ble, hydro and gas bills, etc. The lawyer or notary public will also use this date to split the costs proportionally between the buyer and seller. Notably, the Adjustment Date is typically the same day as the Possession Date.

This is the date you get the keys and gain possession of the property. This is usually the same day as the Completion Date, or 1 to 3 days after.

One tip is to ensure your home insurance is dated from your Completion Date, not your Possession Date. This is because once the title is transferred and under your name, you are liable for the property – regardless of whether you have moved in or not. This is especially important if there is a significant gap between the Completion Date and Possession Date.

Feeling a bit overwhelmed? Feel free to reach out to us! With years of experience in Vancouver real estate, and a team of four knowledgeable REALTORS®, we are confident that we can answer any questions you may have.

the VANCITYliving Team

For Buyers

7 Costs Every First-Time Buyer Should Know

For the unprepared first-time buyer, the amount of costs involved in a real estate transaction will undoubtedly be a (bad) surprise. In order to avoid unexpected bad news, it is important to research beforehand and budget for all costs. Below are some common costs associated with buying real estate in Vancouver. Notably, we have provided ranges for certain costs, which are based on our experience of buying and selling real estate in Vancouver for over a decade.

You will be responsible for the costs of moving. This includes packing sup­plies, movers, vehicle rentals, and ancillary expenses (food, hotels, etc.) On average, a Canadian home buyer may spend approximately $1,325 on moving costs1.

When a residence is purchased, a Property Transfer Tax (PTT) is applied. The tax is calculated at 1% on the first $200,000, 2% on the portion up to $2 million, and 3% on the portion above 2 million. Notably, there is an additional 15% tax for foreign buyers. However if you are a first-time buyer, you may be eligible for a PTT exemption under the First-Time Home Buyers’ Program. 

For more information on PTT, click HERE
For more information on the First-Time Home Buyer’s Program, click HERE

If you get a high-ratio mortgage you will have to buy mortgage loan insur­ance from CMHC or a private company. Consult your mortgage broker for details.

Before your lender approves your mortgage, you may be required to have an appraisal done. The fee ranges from $250 to $350. Your lender may also require a survey of the property. If the seller did not provide you with one, you will have to pay to have one done.

Most REALTORS® recommend that you get a home inspection by a certified home inspector. It will cost you from $400 to $550 for a smaller property. Large properties may cost more.

Lawyers/Notaries fees for closing the sale range according to the complex­ity of the deal, but they should range from $1000 to $1500. There are also disbursements to the Land Title Office of approximately $300. Your lawyer/notary will arrange the payment.

Once you move in, you will likely invest in your home to make it more personable. This includes furniture, cleaning, painting, minor renovations, repairs, lawncare, landscaping, and changing locks. Remember, you will also be responsible for paying for any title insurance policy premiums, and pro-rated amounts for your share of any prepaid costs, such as utility bills and property taxes. This will be arranged by your lawyer/notary.

Of course, additional fees may apply depending on the specific nature of your real estate transaction. However, these are the key common costs associated with purchasing a property in Vancouver.

Feeling a bit overwhelmed? Feel free to reach out to us! With years of experience in Vancouver real estate, and a team of four knowledgeable REALTORS®, we are confident that we can answer any questions you may have.

the VANCITYliving Team

If you're a first-time home buyer, you may be eligible for BC's new loan program. Read about it HERE.

1ltus Group Economic Consulting, “Economic Impacts of MLS® Home Sales and Purchases in Canada and the Provinces,” The Canadian Real Estate Association, last modified May 14, 2015

Moving Tips

Moving out? Moving in?  Here are best 5 tips that will make it a smooth move.

1. Get rid of unwanted items – make room for new things in your life: De clutter is the most important step. Go through your closets, cupboards and storage.  Call Recycling BC hot line 604-732-9253  ( ) to learn where is the nearest location to recycle & donate! They can tell you which organization can pick up donations items including furniture.

2. Elevator: Check with the building manager when can you use the elevator for your moving day; make sure to reserve the elevator on both sides.

3. Scheduled your moving day and Reserve parking spot for the moving truck. In Vancouver, apply to reserve meter spaces at least 3 days prior to your move: 
4. Back up computer files, pack important documents like passports and MSP cards in a labeled bag or box to carry in your private car- make sure you know where that bag is all the time.
5. Finally, leave all the keys to your old house in one spot (storage locker, doors in the house, garage door...) arrange all the manuals and documents related to the place you are leaving in one spot for the new owner. 


This was provided by Limor Friedman, owner of Vancouver In The box.  

Vancouver In The Box, provides fast and efficient packing services for your move. Call or email to arrange a free in home estimate: 


Beware of Leaky Oil Tanks

The Risk of Oil Tanks

Underground heating oil tanks are very common in Vancouver and MUST be removed when selling as required by the City of Vancouver. Many of these tanks were decommissioned years or even decades ago and if decommissioned without proper care could potentially be leaking heating oil into the surrounding soil, underground streams, and neighbouring properties. 

The risks associated with both selling a home with a known/unknown underground oil tank as well as the risks of purchasing a home or building lot with one can have massive financial consequences. We are experienced with both selling homes containing underground oil tanks and also purchasing homes for clients and ensuring they are protected from future remediation costs. 

Contact us today to find out how to protect your investment. Whether you're thinking of selling today or years in the future, a quick phone call could save you hundreds of thousands of dollars in remediation costs. We're here to help! The following images were taken from a property we sold. 

Shawn Anderson 778.229.6461 and/or Mike Rampf 604.616.0115

Oil Tank Removal 1

Oil Tank Removal 2

Summer Maintenance Checklist

Summer Maintenance Checklist

With summer's kickoff on the way, it's time to get your home in top shape for the months ahead. Whatever your weather, taking some time to take care of your home will help to ensure a worry-free, comfortable summer.

-    Inspect siding for cracks and make any needed repairs.
-    If paint is peeling, cracking, or chipped, repair and repaint now to limit damage to the underlying materials.
-    Repair any damaged caulking around windows and doors.
-    Remove window screens and clean with a soft brush and soapy water. Repair any holes or tears before reinstalling.
-    Have air conditioning units serviced to ensure good operation. Promote good air circulation around the unit by keeping shrubs and plants trimmed.
-    Clear debris from gutters and eaves to allow rainwater to drain properly
-    Seal cracks in the driveway and keep walkways clear of debris and overgrown plants
-Test irrigation/sprinkler systems and replace any broken sprinkler heads or emitters. Check for proper water coverage and adjust if necessary.
-    Power wash decks and patios and seal surfaces as appropriate.
- Vacuum refrigerator coils to help maintain energy efficiency.
-    Empty dehumidifier pans and clean hoses according to the manufacturer's instructions.
-    If possible, take area rugs outside and hang them over a deck or porch rail to air out.
-    Adjust ceiling fans for proper balance.
- Change filters in window-mounted air conditioning units.
-    Switch heavy bedding out for lightweight summer fabrics. Have the winter bedding cleaned before storing.
-    Close the chimney flue to prevent insects from entering and to help keep cool air in.
-    Repot houseplants to give their roots a fresh start for the summer.
-    Check door and cabinet hinges and lubricate any that stick or squeak.
-    Open windows on cooler days to keep fresh air flowing throughout the home.

Thanks for that Wayne DeJong