Real Estate Information
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Making an Offer to Purchase
After you have found the home you want to buy with the help of The Axford Team, we will help you prepare an offer in the form of a Contract of Purchase and Sale to present to the seller. In this contract you will have to include the following information;
- Your legal name, the name of the seller, and the legal civic address of the property
- The price you are offering to pay
- Any items in or around the home that you think are included in the sale should be specifically stated in your offer. For example, window coverings and appliances.
- The deposit amount. Typically 5% of the purchase price due to be paid within a day of removing subjects.
- The date that you want to take possession of the home and start paying taxes and utility bills
- An expiry date and time that the offer is open for
- Other conditions may include a satisfactory home inspection report, a property appraisal, and lender approval of mortgage financing. These subject conditions will be written into the Contract of Purchase and Sale.
If the seller accepts your first offer, you move to the next step, the Subject Removal Period.
The seller may decide to counter your initial offer with one of their own in an effort to satisfy both parties needs. Our team is confident that we will prepare you with all relevant information that is available to allow you to make an informed purchasing decision.
Once your offer is accepted our experience will guide you through every step of the Subject Removal Period as well as the Closing and Possession day up until you move in!
Costs to be paid by the Seller;
Lawyer or Notary Fees and Expenses
- Attending to execution documents
Costs of clearing title, including;
- discharge fees charged by encumbrance holders
- prepayment penalties
Real Estate Commission
- GST on the commission NOT the purchase price.
Costs to be paid by the Buyer;
Lawyer or Notary Fees and Expenses
- searching title
- investigating title
- drafting documents
- Land Title Registration fees
- Survey Certificate (if required)
Costs of Mortgage including
- mortgage company's Lawyer/Notary
- appraisal (if applicable)
- Fire Insurance Premium
- Sales Tax (only on new homes)
Property Transfer Tax
- 2% on the first $100,000 and 1% on the balance of the Purchase Price
Home sales continue at below average pace
Home sale activity has trended below historical averages for a full year in the Greater Vancouver housing market.
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in Greater Vancouver reached 1,797 on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in February 2013. This represents a 29.4 per cent decrease compared to the 2,545 sales recorded in February 2012, and a 33 per cent increase compared to the 1,351 sales in January 2012.
Last month’s sales were the second lowest February total in the region since 2001 and 30.9 per cent below the 10-year sales average for the month.
“Sales in February followed recent trends and were below seasonal averages, though our members tell us they saw more traffic at open houses last month compared to the previous six to eight months, said Eugen Klein, REBGV president.
The sales-to-active-listings ratio currently sits at 12.2 per cent in Greater Vancouver, a two per cent increase from last month. This is the first time this ratio has been above 11 per cent since June 2012.
“With a two-point increase in our sales to active listings ratio and a reduction in the average number of days it’s taking to sell a home, February showed some subtle indications of a changing sentiment in the marketplace compared to recent months,” Klein said.
New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Greater Vancouver totalled 4,833 in February. This represents a 13 per cent decline compared to the 5,552 new listings reported in February 2012 and a 5.8 per cent decline from the 5,128 new listings in January. Last month’s new listing count was 4 per cent higher than the region’s 10-year new listing average for the month.
The total number of properties currently listed for sale on the Greater Vancouver MLS® is 14,789, a 5.2 per cent increase compared to February 2012 and an 11.6 per cent increase compared to January 2013.
Since reaching a peak in May of $625,100, the MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Greater Vancouver has declined 5.6 per cent to $590,400. This represents a 3.3 per cent decline compared to this time last year.
Sales of detached properties in February 2013 reached 704, a decrease of 36.1 per cent from the 1,101 detached sales recorded in February 2012, and a 49.8 per cent decrease from the 1,402 units sold in February 2011. The benchmark price for detached properties decreased 4.5 per cent from February 2012 to $901,500. Since reaching a peak in May 2012, the benchmark price of a detached property has declined 6.8 per cent.
Sales of apartment properties reached 760 in February 2013, a decline of 25.5 per cent compared to the 1,020 sales in February 2012, and a decrease of 37 per cent compared to the 1,206 sales in February 2011. The benchmark price of an apartment property decreased 3 per cent from February 2012 to $360,400. Since reaching a peak in May 2012, the benchmark price of an apartment property has declined 5.1 per cent.
Attached property sales in February 2013 totalled 333, a decline of 21.5 per cent compared to the 424 sales in February 2012, and a 31.9 per cent decrease from the 489 attached properties sold in February 2011. The benchmark price of an attached unit decreased 0.7 per cent between February 2012 and 2013 to $455,500. Since reaching a peak in April 2012, the benchmark price of an attached property has declined 6.5 per cent.
Research Government Programs
First-Time Home Buyers' Tax Credit
- The First-Time Home Buyers' Tax Credit is a $5,000 non-refundable income tax credit on a qualifying home. The credit provides up to $750 in tax relief to assist first-time buyers with purchase costs. For more information, check the Canada Revenue Agency's (CRA) website: www.cra-arc.gc.ca.
Home Buyers' Plan
- The Home Buyers' Plan is a one-time withdrawal up to $25,000 from a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) by first-time buyers to help purchase or build a home. Generally, you have to repay all withdrawals from your RRSP within 15 years. For more details visit the CRA at www.cra-arc.gc.ca.
CMHC Green Home Program
- The CMHC Green Home Program is when you use CMHC-Insured financing to buy or build an energy-efficient home or make energy-saving renovations, you may qualify for a premium refund of 10% on your mortgage default insurance and a premium refund for a longer amortization period (if applicable). Check out the CMHC's website for more information at www.cmhc.ca.
As always we will be helping you find any and all applicable rebate and grant programs available to best meet your individual needs.
Types of Home Ownership
- You own the land and house and are responsible for everything inside and outside of the home.
- You own your unit and share ownership of common spaces. The Strata Corporation is responsible for upkeep of the building and common interior elements, such as halls, elevators, parking garages and the grounds. You pay a monthly fee to the Strata to cover these common maintenance costs. The fees vary but can often include utilities. You may also have to buy or rent your parking space.
- Condos often have strict rules regarding noise, use of common areas and renovations to units. We will guide you through reading the Strata's Bylaws during the Subject Removal Period to make sure you understand and are comfortable with these rules.
- Similar to condos, but instead of owning your unit, you own shares in the entire building or complex with the other residents. Co-op residents pay for maintenance and repairs through monthly fees and are subject to the rules and regulations of the Co-op board.
- Be aware that if you decide to sell or rent your shares, the Co-op board has the right to reject your prospective buyer or tenant. We will guide you through reading the Co-op boards rules during the Subject Removal Period.
The CMHC's First Quarter Housing Outlook Report has just been released with some lukewarm news for British Columbian homeowners.
Resales: Resale transactions in 2013 are expected to reach 73,000 units, up from 67,637 sales in 2012. In 2014, resale transactions will increase further to 79,500 sales. Despite these gains, the level of sales over the forecast horizon will remain below the ten-year average of roughly 86,500 units. While employment and population growth would suggest a higher level of resale activity than projected, a number of factors are dampening sales. These factors include a reduced inventory of homes for sale as some sellers choose to let their listings expire rather than accept lower prices, and buyers take a wait-and-see attitude as existing home prices moderate in the Vancouver and Victoria housing markets.
Prices: Compared to an average MLS price of $514,836 in 2012, existing home prices are forecast to essentially hold steady in 2013 at $511,200 before rising to $524,000 in 2014. On a quarterly basis, resale home prices are forecast to grow at a rate consistent with overall consumer price inflation.
A little over 3400 homes traded hands through the Multiple Listing Service last month. On a seasonally adjusted basis this was a 2% increase over December but down nearly 14% when compared to a year ago. However, despite the moderate uptick in consumer demand last month, homes sales have remained relatively stable at a noticeably lower level since last August. That was when the latest (and expected last) tightening of mortgage credit was introduced by the Federal Government.
Continuing low mortgage interest rates and combined easing back of home prices in some areas is expected to trend home sales higher during the spring and summer months of this year. The ratio of listings to home sales has reached a balance market.However, there exists a backlog of existing homes to either sell or be pulled off the market before supply and demand can be considered in check.
In this sense, 2013 is likely going to be a transition year.
Courtesy BCREA Cameron Muir, Chief Economist
Mortgage Loan Insurance
Mortgage loan insurance helps protect lenders against mortgage default, and enables consumers to purchase homes with a minimum down payment of 5% - with interest rates comparable to those with a 20% down payment.
The CMHC Mortgage Loan Insurance premium is calculated as a percentage of the loan and is based on the size of your down payment. The higher the percentage of the total house price/value that you borrow, the higher percentage you will pay in insurance premiums. The cost for Mortgage Loan Insurance premiums is usually offset by the savings you get from lower interest rates and can be found through the link HERE.
Without mortgage insurance you may avoid the insurance premium but you'll typically pay much higher interest rates and additional administrative fees. At the end of the day, for the vast majority of borrowers, the cost of CMHC Mortgage Loan Insurance is more than fully offset by the savings achieved.
A 10% premium refund, and a premium refund for a longer amortization period (if applicable) may be available when CMHC Mortgage Loan Insurance is used to finance an Energy-Efficient Home.