A: In the end the price you can afford will be determined by 6 factors: Your income, the amount you have for the down payment, your oustanding debts, your credit history, the type of mortgage you select, and current interest rates. It is a good idea to get pre-approved for a mortgage before you start searching - this way there will be no surprises as to what price range you can buy in.
A: It makes good financial sense to put down as large a down payment as you can - the bigger the down payment, the less you will have to borrow, the smaller your monthy payment will be, and the lower your total cost of borrowing will be. A conventional mortgage calls for 25% of the purchase price down, but if this is not possible the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation has a first-time buyer's program that offers financing of up to 95% of the purchase price.
A: It is strongly recommended that you hire a professional Home Inspector to evaluate the condition of the home and to find the defects, if any, that may affect your decision. BC law also requires that the Seller provide a Property Disclosure Statement revealing everything known about their property including significant defects or malfuntions.
A: If possible, try to learn the Seller's motivation - do they need a quick closing or are they looking take their time and get top dollar?Investigae how much comparable homes have sold for in the area so that you can determine whether the home is priced right. These are things that your realtor is there to help you with. Unless the home is extremely overpriced, low-ball offers will often sour the deal and discourage sellers from negotiating at all.
A: If your utilities have been covered in your rent, this may be a new consideration for you. Your realtor will be able to help you get information on how much the utilities have historically been for the property you are interested in. All homes have property taxes based on a yearly assessment of the property's value. If the property is part of a strata, you will also have strata fees.
There is no such thing as a stupid question - contact me today and I will be happy to provide whatever information I can to help you with this important and exciting process.