BUYERS

Congratulations and welcome to your new Home!

This phrase is at the very core of why I have made real estate my career in Whistler. To share in the excitement and happiness my clients have when they receive the keys to their home is a very rewarding feeling for me.  It means I have done my job to the best of my ability and it is on this that I have built my reputation.  It’s given me the opportunity to welcome some wonderful new friends to our community.

But before we go into all the different property types and latest listings; before I explain the steps and costs involved in buying property; before I introduce you to lenders and notaries, the most important part of my job is to take time to listen; to listen and learn what your needs and goals are for a purchase.

By listening, I gain a deeper understanding of how we can satisfy those needs and reach your goals. Whether you are a first time home buyer, moving from your current home to something bigger (or smaller) or are looking to capitalize on the current investment market, my role is to make the buying process easy for you.

Why use a Buyer’s agent?  My goal as your Buyer’s agent is to work for you to secure the best possible price with the most favourable terms within a time frame that works for you.  I check our local listing system, the WLS, daily for new listings. I also know of homes that are listed privately and homes that sellers are thinking about listing, but have not yet come to market.  I will be available for you so that all your questions are answered with competence and speed.

When searching for your Whistler home, it’s important to consider the following factors: What features do you require in a home to satisfy your lifestyle now? Five years from now? Will your needs change? What’s your budget?

In the past year I have helped people just like you take advantage of some excellent purchases. With low interest rates and sellers ready to move, now is the perfect time to buy, and Whistler continues to be a great place to call home.

Please use the form below to contact me with what you are looking for and let’s start discussing how we can make Whistler home for you.


* = Required Field

Property Types

Whistler and Pemberton are very unique in that there are several different property types available for purchase in these areas. The list below provides a broad overview of these.  Please contact me if you have any questions on these and we can determine the best type of property for you.

STANDARD RESIDENTIAL ZONED PROPERTY

Standard residential properties are predominantly found in the subdivisions surrounding Whistler and Pemberton. These can be condo’s, townhomes, duplexes and single family homes. Some may contain revenue generating rental suites and the zoning for these homes allows for monthly rental and/or full owner use.

NIGHTLY RENTAL ZONED PROPERTY

Nightly rental properties in Whistler are comprised of 2 types: Phase I and Phase II

PHASE I

Phase I properties offer the greatest use flexibility. They offer the option of nightly, weekly, monthly rentals and/or full owner use. Owners who decide to use their phase I property for nightly rentals have the option to self manage the property (marketing, bookings and cleaning) or can choose to utilize a property management company to handle some or all of these. The majority of Phase I properties can be found in Whistler Village, the Benchlands on Blackcomb and Creekside base. Phase I properties can be either Condos or Townhouses.

PHASE II

Phase II properties typically constitute the hotel style of property we find in the Village. While these too are freehold, full ownership properties, there is a restriction on the number of days an owner can use their unit. When an owner is not using their unit, it is placed in a nightly rental pool to generate revenue and is managed by an on-site rental company. Phase II properties include the Delta Whistler Village Suites, the Westin, Pan Pacific, Cascade Lodge and Four Seasons.

FRACTIONAL PROPERTY

Fraction or Shared ownership encompasses timeshare through to 1/4 share ownership. Timeshare gives an owner 1 week a year (typically the same week every year) and 1/4 share offers 1 week a month. 1/4 share is based on a rotational schedule which will guarantees an owner a Christmas or New Year’s week once every four years. When not being used for personal use an owner may rent their week out. Fractional ownership offers a good foot in the door to the local Whistler market with the potential to generate revenue.

As you can see, there are a variety of property types to choose from. Contact me to learn more about the one that would work best for you.

New to Canada, Non-Permanent Resident & Non-Resident

A new-to-Canada applicant is someone who has obtained permanent resident status or landed immigrant status within the last 36 months. Employment, income and taxes are all earned & declared in Canada.

A non-permanent resident is someone who is living, working and filing taxes in Canada with all the appropriate & necessary work visa documentation in place. These applicants may be here with an intention to apply for permanent resident or landed immigrant status in the future, or they are temporarily re-located to Canada for a specific period of time for work purposes.

A non-resident is someone who is earning their income and filing their taxes outside of Canada. As long as the income is being declared outside of Canada, applicants are viewed as non-resident without exception.

Available financing & paperwork needed for new-to Canada & non-permanent residents:

Up to 95% financing is available for new-to-Canada applicants with CMHC insurance.

Confirmation of permanent resident or landed immigrant status.

Other documents as outlined below.

  • Up to 90% financing is available for non-permanent residents with CMHC mortgage insurance.
  • Although CMHC allows a fully gifted down payment, many banks do not. Plan to have at least 10% of the purchase price as verifiable from your own resources.
  • Bank statements, family gift letter(s), RRSP and/or any investment statements to confirm the source of down payment funds. A 90-day history will likely be required.
  • Valid work permit(s).
  • – Employment letter(s) confirming length of time employed, position, and salary. Letters must confirm that applicants are past any probationary period + current paystubs. Minimum employment time should be at least 3 months.
  • For credit reference, a combination of 1 or all of the items below may be required:
  • Banker’s reference letter confirming how long clients of the bank and if all dealings satisfactory.
  • Credit report from country of origin.
  •  Canadian Equifax credit report.
  • Six months of bank statements from primary account.

For the CMHC information sheet for Newcomers & Non-Permanent Residents, click here.

Available financing & paperwork needed for non-residents:

  • US residents only may be eligible for up to 80% financing depending on the value and type of property being purchased. Applications must be fully qualifying.
  • Qualifying applications under this program need to have a purchase contract that has fully witnessed signatures.
  • For all other non-residents, maximum 65%. The maximum loan amount could be reduced to 50% depending on the type of property and value.
  • Last 2 year’s income tax returns.
  • Verification of down payment and/or other liquid assets.
  • ID via passport and driver’s licence.
  • Credit reference documents, as noted above.

Please note that upon review of any application and for bank approval and/or qualification, more documentation may be requested.

Buying Steps

The process of buying real estate in Whistler is pretty straight forward. Below is the step by step process we will take that will result in a successful home purchase:

Listening

Listening and discussing why a purchase in Whistler is right for you and finding out what benefits or features you want for your home are the first and probably most important steps for us to take. After living here for almost 20yrs, I have an intimate knowledge of the local market and can use this to better assist you in reaching your goals.

Mortgage Pre-Approval

If you are looking for lending for the purchase of your property, the assistance of a Mortgage Specialist will be needed. They will walk you through the application process which includes a credit check, review of your employment history, and how much you are have for a down-payment. They can then discuss what you can qualify for, what your monthly mortgage payments will be and any rebates or tax credits that exist.

While it’s tempting to want to go out and see what homes are out there, once you are pre-approved, you can focus on what homes are in your range.

Showing you real estate

You are pre-approved and now the fun begins! You may already have some properties that you are interested in and by using your goals we discussed earlier; I will be able to give you some additional properties that I feel may be of interest – comparables; both active and sold. We will sit down and go through all current listings of all the Brokerages that have what you are looking for. I usually throw in a couple of alternate options to give us a good selection and from there we narrow it down. Once we have a good short-list of properties, we can head out to view. During viewings I will ask you for feedback – could you see yourself living in this home? What would you chnage if it was yours?
As we narrow it down we will find a property that fits your needs. Sometimes there are compromises involved but the feedback I recieve from clients who purchase with me is “we would buy this place all over again”.  My clients are all pleased to own a home in Whistler.

Presenting the Offer

So, we found “The ONE”. Let’s make sure we keep it from another interested Buyer. In order to purchase a property we will first submit an offer. With the offer comes some paperwork including the Contract of Purchase and Sale. An offer does not mean you are committed to purchase the property, it means you have expressed an interest in purchasing and now want to do your due diligence. In drafting the paperwork I make sure the purchase of the property passes some tests before it’s ultimately yours. To protect you as Purchaser, we will include some Subjects and Conditions that the seller or their agent and the property will need to meet. These can include passing a Building inspection, clearing title, obtaining financing or review documents held by the strata or municipality. We will discuss together your offer amount, Subject’s and confirm when you want to move in.

Negotiation

We submit your offer to the Property Owner through thier Agent. They will review the offer and then provide us with a response. They may accept it, reject it, inform us if there are any other offers or counter our offer with one of their own. The counter offer can reflect a new price, different move-in dates, or inclusions or exclusions (Art work or furniture). Our ultimate goal is to reach an accepted offer together.

Offer “Accepted”

Good news! We have an accepted offer. You and the seller have agreed to the same terms of the offer and have a conditional Contract of Purchase and Sale in place. Part of our Contract was to include some subjects to protect you. This is now the time that we do our due diligence and satisfy all the subjects we included in the offer.

Subject Removal

Once you are satisfied with the outcome of our questions and inquiries about the property, we can remove the subjects and the offer becomes a firm and binding unconditional contract.

Deposit Due

Once the offer goes firm your deposit is due. I like to make it due 3 business days after the removal of all Subjects. The deposit is approximately 5% of the purchase price and can be in the form of a Bank Draft or Wire transfer. The deposit is held “In Trust” in the Sutton Group WestCoast Realty Whistler trust account and will be applied to full sale price upon completion.

Signing Date

A couple of days before the completion date you will need to sign the documents that transfer the title and register the mortgage. You will want to arrange a time with you Lawyer or Notary and Mortgage Broker a week or so before, so that you are not rushing at the end. If you are out of province, we will need to allow time for your local notary or lawyer to witness you signing the conveyancing forms and time to courrier the completed documents to them and back to B.C. again.

Completion Date

This is the day the transaction completes. The property Title is registered in your name and the Seller receives the proceeds of trhe sales. All your insurance and service/utilities need to be arrange to start on this day.

Possession Date

“Congratulations and welcome to your new home!” This is the day you get to move in! It is usually scheduled for Noon. I will meet with you to give you keys and review to make sure everything went smoothly.

Staying in touch

As you settle in, I want to know that you are enjoying your home. By touching base I can to check that everything is going well and your feedback lets me assist other clients in making a purchase that is right for them. I want you to know that I am always available to answer any questions you have; whether it is the next day or next year. Please call me for advice, if you have friends needing assistance with a property purchase, for a market update or just to say “Hello”!

Follow the links below to view information brochures on buying a property:

First-time Buyers pamphlet

Conveyancing steps – Strata property

Purchasing Costs

In addition to the purchase price of your home, home ownership carries a few more expenses. Although a ball park figure, you can expect to spend an additional 3% – 4% of the purchase price on closing costs.

PRE-PURCHASE COSTS

Deposit. The biggest pre-purchase cost that you should allow for is the deposit. The deposit can be due after acceptance or after subject removal. While the amount can vary, 5% of the purchase price is a good figure to work with. The deposit can make up part if not all of your down-payment.

Home Inspection. Home inspection costs will vary on the size of the home but will typically range from $150 – $500. Having a home inspection as a subject clause is money well spent and can often save you money in the long run as it will pinpoint maintenance areas of the home that need to be addressed and figured into the final sale price.

Appraisal. While not all lenders will require an appraisal it is prudent to allow for $250 for such a service.

PURCHASE COSTS

Down-payment. Conventional mortgages can require up to 20% down-payment. If a high-ratio third party mortgage is available this may be reduced to as little as 5%

Property Transfer Tax. In BC buyers are responsible for the Property Transfer Tax or PPT. The current amount for this is 1% on the first $200,000.00 and 2% on the remainder. Under the First Time Home Buyers Program, eligible purchasers can claim an exemption from the PPT.

Legal/Notary fees. To transfer and convey the Title of the property you will require the services of a Lawyer or Notary. These fees can range from $1,000 – $1,500.

House Insurance. Most mortgage lenders will require you to have a home insurance policy in place by your closing date. Insurance policies vary in cost.

ADDITIONAL COSTS

GST. Applicable to new home purchases and converting commercial nightly rental property to used residential.

Moving costs. Will vary depending on the distance and amount to be moved. A professional moving company can make you move much easier for around $1000.

Adjustments for prepaid property tax and Strata fees. If you are moving to a strata property or bare land strata there may be monthly or yearly contributions to the strata management. Typically this goes to common area maintenance, contingency fund, snow clearing & landscaping.

Repairs and Improvements. These should be taken into consideration for when negotiating a final sale price but are ongoing expenses that should be accounted for.

Utility and Service hook up. Contact the respective utility company to determine cost if applicable.

Ongoing Costs

The following is a summary of ongoing costs that may apply to your Whistler real estate purchase:

Property Tax. A municipal tax that is due yearly and based on the assessed value of your property.

Strata Fees. If you own in a strata (apartment/condo/townhome) complex or are part of a bare land strata there may be monthly or yearly fees to be paid to the Strata Corporation for management fees. These include on going common area maintenance (roof repair and exterior painting) and insurance, contingency funding for future repair/replacement of exterior siding or roof, snow removal, landscaping and utilities (where applicable).

Tourism Whistler fees. If you own a Tourist Accommodation zoned property (Phase I or Phase II), you will be required to contribute an annual fee to Tourism Whistler who market and promote the resort to the world. The fee is based on the number of people the property can occupy. The smaller the unit, the less the TW fee. Please click here to see a 2013 Tourism Whistler fee schedule.

Home Insurance. Property owners should carry property insurance for single family homes and strata properties. While strata corporations carry insurance for common area property, it is the responsibility of the individual unit owner to carry insurance for the belongings in their respective unit.

Rental Management fees. If you own a Phase I nightly rental property you can choose to self manage or have a rental management company manage the property for you. Fees can vary from as little as $1200/yr to 43% of your gross income. Typically the higher the amount the less you have to do.

Utilities and Services. Hydro, gas, phone, internet and cable may be applicable costs borne by you.