Blog › Buying a home

How Your Credit Score Affects How Much House You'll Be Able To Buy...


credit score


Your credit score is now the most important factor in determining how much house you can buy, so if you are in the market for a new home, you need to understand how it affects you.

To make it easy for mortgage companies to determine the risk of lending to you, they are using a system called credit scoring (also called "FICO" scores).

When lenders look at your credit report, they can instantly see how much debt you have, how reliable you are with bill payments, and if you've had any credit problems within the last several years.

With your credit report, lenders get a "credit score" which takes all of this information and boils it down to a number. The higher the number, the less of a credit risk you are seen to be, and this is how lenders decide which types of loans you will be eligible for.

To be eligible for some types of loans, you require a minimum credit score without any exceptions. And credit scores fluctuate over time. In fact, the mere act of applying for credit can lower your credit score.

To maximize your credit score, you should avoid applying for any new credit cards or consumer loans.

Don't go to a big box retailer and take them up on the "No interest, no payments for one year" offer.

Avoid financing a new or used automobile. If possible pay down or pay off existing automobile loans and lines of credit prior to applying for a mortgage loan

That's why it's best to wait until after you've bought your home and moved in to go shopping for furniture and appliances. Buying things on credit prior to home purchase has the potential to hurt your credit score.

By understanding how lending institutions work, you can get the best credit score possible, which improves the odds that you can get the home of your dreams.

Buying a Strata Property


buying a strata property

When buying either a Condo or Townhouse take the time to understand the basics and the rules governing the many aspects of strata properties. Here are a few things to consider.

Be sure to review the Strata Property Disclosure Statement, the maintenance program, the contingency fund, the warranty program, and any other important documents relating to the purchase.

Review strata council minutes

Look at minutes for the past 24 months along with by-laws, financial statements, Annual General Meeting minutes, and engineering reports that may have been completed. Look for past problems, previous repairs, special assessments, and upcoming expenditures.

Depreciation reports

Strata corporations are required to obtain strata depreciation reports every three years unless they hold an annual 3/4 (three quarter) vote to exempt, or there are four, or fewer, strata lots.

A depreciation report helps strata corporations plan for the repair, maintenance and replacement of common property, limited common property and common assets.

The report must contain: 
 •   A physical inventory of the common property and assets. 
 •   Anticipated maintenance, repair and replacement costs for common expenses projected over 30 years. 
 •   A financial forecasting section with at least three cash flow funding models.

Depreciation reports helps strata corporations, including bare-land stratas, plan for the repair, maintenance and replacement of common property, limited common property and common assets over a 30-year period.
Depreciation reports provide useful information to strata lot owners, prospective purchasers, mortgage providers and insurance companies.

Ensure a maintenance program

Does the Strata you are considering have a solid preventative maintenance program in place?

Check the contingency fund

Since a portion of strata owners’ monthly maintenance fees must go into a 'contingency fund' to pay for extraordinary repairs, such as a new roof or exterior painting, it pays to know if the contingency fund is large enough to cover any upcoming expenses.

Review the Strata Property Condition Disclosure Statement

Completed by the Sellers this a checklist about the property's condition. You should carefully review it for any defects or potential problems. The statement can be legally incorporated into the Contract for Purchase and Sale.

Investigate the warranty program and builder’s background

Regardless of whether the condo is new or resale find out what type of warranty the building carries, noting the limits and duration of coverage.

Hire a professional home inspector

Make sure the home inspector has proper accreditation and carries errors and omissions insurance. Have them inspect the condition of the suite, common areas, and the overall building structure.

We specialize in Condo and Townhouse sales, give us a call.            


House-hunting Suggestions

house hunting suggestions a

If you’re thinking of purchasing a home, you’ve probably already started looking. You may have seen quite a few homes and the details are starting to become somewhat hazy and jumbled.

Do you remember which one had the ensuite bath and which one had an unfinished basement? How much storage space did the first choice on your list have? And what about property taxes and maintenance costs associated with each home? Can you remember how close the home was to local amenities like stores, schools, parks and the transit? Which one had the landscaping you liked best?

Compiling a house-hunting checklist, as you go through the homes is an excellent way of keeping track of features and drawbacks of each home. Every home buyer has different needs and your checklist should reflect the things in a home that are important to you.

Here are a few considerations when looking for your ideal home.

What is your impression of the exterior of the home, the lot size and shape, position of the house on the lot (facing north or south, east or west). Does it have, a detached garage and does it accommodate one or two cars? What condition is the landscaping? What type of siding does the home have and what kind of shape is it in? Have a good look at the roof and note its general condition and age. Does the home have a basement? Is there a mortgage helper? Is the suite legal? Have there been any renovations to the home? Were the renovations done with a permit?

How do you feel about the layout and room sizes. Is it adequate for your needs? How about window sizes. Does it have enough windows to give lots of natural light while maintaining your privacy? What type of flooring does it have and what is the condition of it. What is the condition of the paint and the window coverings?

The kitchen is an essential part of any home, so note its general size and whether it has adequate cabinet space. Is there a pantry or food preparation island? What condition are the countertops and sink in? What condition are the fridge, stove and dishwasher? Is the stove gas or electric and is the oven self-cleaning?

What size is the living room and how would your furniture fit? Is a fireplace important to you? Does it have a separate dining room? Is there a family room? Make note of the number and size of bathrooms and the condition of the fixtures. What about the master bedroom. Will your furniture fit? Is there an ensuite? Is there enough closet space? Are the other bedrooms in the home large enough?

Finding the right home is more than price and location. It is where you will be living, spending time with family and friends and becoming a part of your community. Making the right choice for yourself is important. We are experience Realtors and can help you find that ideal home based on your personal needs. Give us a call and we will help you find the right home.




Can I afford to buy?

can i afford to buy

Many people would like to start building equity in their own home, but are held back by concerns about cost. Media reports of housing prices can give a misleading impression about the cost of home-ownership. The media typically reports median or average prices without explaining the distribution of home prices behind those figures.

A median price is the price at which half the homes sold for more while half sold for less. That means that there are just as many homes that sold at a price lower than the median than those that sold at prices higher than the median price. The median price doesn’t give any indication of the spread of these prices. Many properties are sold at much lower – and higher, of course – prices than the median price.

An average price is the total dollar volume of homes sold for a particular period, divided by the number of units sold. Average prices are typically reported for the sales activity in a given area for a given month, quarter or year, and provide a snapshot of past activity. Average prices of properties sold in the past give only a limited indication of what housing inventory for sale is priced at today. An understanding of the housing in a particular community is needed to put average prices into perspective. For example, sales of a new sub-division or townhouse project of larger, upscale homes at higher prices will bring the overall average price up, giving the impression that all housing prices have risen, when in reality, prices for the other housing units in the community have not changed, or they may have even dropped.

A housing price index (HPI) tracks the price of a typical, or benchmark property. HPI statistics can often provide a new depth of interpretation to average and median statistics.

Low mortgage rates combined with affordability, location and selection have made Burnaby increasingly popular for buyers. We are experienced Burnaby Realtors® and know the community. If you are interested in buying can provide a knowledgeable market analysis and show you what is available within your budget.