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Own a Home in Your LifetimeWith the price of real estate continuing to rise year over year more than the rate of inflation, will you ever be able to get into the market? Over the last 20+ years, we have gone through several cycles with peaks and troughs. Each correction was followed by an increase which exceeded the previous high. First time buyers need to understand that the first purchase will not be the dream home. Remember when you bought your first car in high school? Expectations need to be realistic and sacrifices need to be made. Saving for the down payment may mean foregoing the daily mocha or lunches out. It may mean getting a used vehicle instead of financing or leasing a new sports car that depreciates and is not tax deductible. It may mean not replacing your...

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Why Realtors Are UsefulI’m of the generation that knows next to nothing about buying a home. In high school CAPP (career and personal planning) class we learned not to submit résumés on fluorescent pink paper (something, I’ve learned, they encourage in university co-op programs). In math class, we applied algebraic formulas to arbitrary scenarios about cement trucks or airplanes when we could have been applying them to mortgages, something we would realistically need in the future. I hear they’re changing this now and high school students are actually learning about banking and mortgages, things they’ll need later in life. For everyone in my generation, this series is for you.

I’m going to start with a potentially controversial topic: Why Realtors® are useful. I’ve...

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Sometimes it feels like these two terms – "common sense" and "home purchase" – don't really belong in the same area code. Buying a home is an emotional process, especially if it's your first time. AApartment Tower in Downtown Vancouvers hard as it is to peel back the layers of excitement and anxiety when searching for a property, a cool head and a healthy overdose of common sense will help keep you within your means and get you into a suitable home.

Common Sense: Go see the house before making any decisions.
I know. This one is pretty obvious. But there are people who see pictures on-line
or read a general description and are suddenly and irrevocably convinced the house is the perfect fit. On many occasions, it's not. Chances are the staging was incredible or the description was written...
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The increase in foreign investment and the recent changes in mortgage qualifications have not helped first time homebuyer in Vancouver.  In fact it feels more like a concerted effort on the part of the city to drive these young Canadians out of this market.  Even without the weight of tens of thousands of dollars of student debt, many young people simply cannot afford the price of a home in Vancouver.  Consider this fact from The Vancouver Sun’s Bob Ransford: today, the average cost of a home in Metro Vancouver is nearly ten times the median household income.  And the RBC is surprised that young Canadians are waiting another year before buying their first home.  Even for established two-income households, a mortgage of...

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While foreign investment has been a noticeable factor in pushing out young and first time homebuyers in Vancouver’s real estate market, there have been other more domestic factors as well.  Over the last year the government has made it systematically more difficult for people to purchase a home albeit to keep the threat of homeowners overextending themselves.

View of North Shore Mountains in Vancouver from Point Grey ListingIn the spring of 2010 mortgage lending rules changed, requiring all homebuyers to qualify for a standard five-year, fixed-rate mortgage.  With the highest rates compared to most mortgage options, five-year fixed-rate mortgages are the most secure but also the most difficult to qualify for. 

On July 1st 2010 the BC government rolled in the controversial Harmonized Sales Tax,...

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