First Time Buyers Guide

As a first-time home buyer in Burquitlam, there’s a whole lot to learn. This is likely the biggest investment you’ve ever made – and the more you know, the better your decisions will be. So get comfortable, and prepare to learn how to buy a house or condo.


Get Pre-Qualified for a Mortgage

The first step to buying a house or condo in Burquitlam is finding out how much your bank is willing to lend you. When you pre-qualify for a mortgage, your lender will look at your income, your debts, your down payment and your credit history. The pre-approval should be in writing and will include a guaranteed interest rate (usually valid for 90 days). Pre-qualifying will ensure that you know how much mortgage you can get, which in turn will help you know what price range of homes you should be targeting in your search. It allows you to focus your house hunting efforts and eliminates the risk and uncertainty of financing once you find your perfect home.


Develop your Wish List

Knowing what you need and want in your home is critical. What are your must-haves, your nice-to-haves, and your no-way-absolutely-not’s? How many bedrooms do you need? What kind of outdoor space do you want? What about counter-tops, appliances, and floors? You can’t get what you want if you don’t know what you want. Of course, the location will be a big decision – what Burquitlam neighborhood makes you feel at home?


Picking your team

Buying a house or condo will likely be the biggest purchase you’ll ever make – but don’t worry; you don’t need to do it alone. You’ll want to start by picking a great local Real Estate Agent who works best for you. You’ll also need a lender to take you through your financing options, and a lawyer to help with the legal aspects of the purchase. There are thousands of professionals out there (of varying quality), so ask your friends and family for recommendations, do your research and don’t be afraid to interview multiple people.


House Shopping

Now that you’ve pre-qualified for a mortgage, narrowed down your search and picked a great Burquitlam Realtor to work with, it’s time to start looking at listings and houses. While browsing online is a good place to start, your real estate agent will send you professionally tailored listings listings that match your criteria from their experience with past buyers. House hunting will involve screening listings electronically, previewing properties online, and then finally going out to look at homes. This is your opportunity to get a feel for the different neighborhoods, refine your wish list, and ask questions. While a wish list is a good guideline, the truth of the matter is that most people get the right feeling when they walk into a home that fits them.


Make an Offer

Congratulations! Your house shopping efforts have paid off, and you’ve found the right home for you: it satisfies your wants/needs, it’s in your price range, and it feels right. The offer process is both exciting and nerve-wracking. We begin by drafting the Contract of Purchase and Sale (CPS). The CPS is a legally binding document which contains everything from the price you are prepared to pay, to the inclusions you want, to your ideal closing date (the date you take possession), to conditions that need to be met for the deal to go through. Once you’ve submitted your offer, the seller can accept it, reject it or sign back a counter offer. During these back-and-forth negotiations, you may need to compromise on small things, but a good realtor will work hard to get you what you want. And if you’re in a bidding war, make sure you ask about Bidding Wars and How to Win in Multiple Offers.



Conditions are requirements within the Contract of Purchase and Sale that must be met for the sale to go through. In your offer, you may have included a financing condition or a condition that allows your lawyer to review the legal details of the property, or a home inspection. And of course, you’ll need to submit a deposit–an amount up to 10% of the purchase price, which is held in trust until close. Once the conditions have been met, the agreement is firm, and now it’s just a matter of waiting for your closing date. And of course, Packing!


Close the Deal

You’re almost a homeowner! Closing is the point at which the ownership and possession of the property are transferred from the seller to you. It takes place once all the legal and financial obligations have been met. Closing the purchase will be a team effort: in addition to yourself, your Realtor, your lawyer and your lender will all be involved in helping close the deal. Contact Ambrose to know about closing costs.

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