Information on Buying Whistler Real Estate
Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions people face during their lives. When you are ready to purchase, the best decision you can make is to choose a knowledgeable agent to help you find the home of your dreams.
The Buying Process
Once you have made the decision to purchase a home, there are some important things that you need to consider:
- What you can afford – Purchasing a home involves both one-time costs (including your down payment) and monthly expenses (including mortgage payments, legal fees, taxes and insurance).
- The market conditions – The real estate market is always changing and understanding the market will help you understand your position as a buyer.
As your buyer's agent, your representative will take the time to understand what you are looking for and help answer any questions you may have about the current market conditions.
Here is a brief summery of the buying process:
- The Selection Process
The first step is to decide what kind of property you would like to purchase and to narrow down the list of properties to those that suite your needs.
- Viewing Properties
Once you and your realtor have narrowed down your search, you will head out on "tour" to view the properties. After which, you may want to write an offer on your dream property or you may wish to return to the drawing board.
- Making an Offer
Once you have made the decision to buy, your agent will help you write up an offer to purchase. Once all parties have signed, this will become a written, enforceable contract.
This is where your realtor will assist you in getting the best possible price for your property.
- Accepted Offer
Once your offer to purchase has been accepted and both you and the "seller" have agreed to a price, your agent will assist you in everything from home inspections to ensuring that you are comfortable with the financing.
- Firm Deal and Completion
Once all subject conditions have been removed and the purchase transaction has been competed, the property is officially yours.
This is the day you will receive the keys to your new home.
There are costs associated with buying any home, and buying a home in Whistler is no exception. Here is a brief summary of the costs associated with buying a home.
These may include the mortgage companies lawyer or notary fees, appraisal fee (if applicable) and land title registration fees.
- Property Transfer Tax
This is a Provincial Government Tax that applies to all transfers of real estate and is payable on the completion date. The rate of the tax is 1% on the first $200,000 of the purchase price and 2% on the balance. There are some exemptions of this tax for first time buyers.
- Goods and Services Tax (GST)
This is a 5% tax that applies to the purchase of new construction and on the resale of accommodations that have been rented out for short term or nightly rental. The payment of the GST can be deferred if the new purchaser intends to use the accommodation for short term or nightly rental at least 90% of the time and she/he becomes a GST registrant. See the 'Finance & Taxation' page for more information on the GST.
- Tourism Whistler Assessment Fees
These are quarterly fees payable to Tourism Whistler and are calculated based on the number of bed units (one bedroom equals two bed units) in the accommodation. If you are using the accommodation for personal use only and it is not available for rental more than 14 days a year, you may apply to pay a lower rate of this fee.
Buyers are required to arrange insurance on single family residential accommodations, and liability and contents insurance on strata-titled properties.
- Strata Fees
Of special concern to condominium and townhouse purchasers, there will be monthly maintenance charges, and the Strata Corporation is also entitled to levy special assessments for extraordinary expenses if necessary.
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