Many American millennials choose renting over buying, but with rental costs high, it may be time to reassess if it's really worth delaying homeownership much longer.

"Rents have grown at roughly twice the pace of wages" since 2000, according to Zillow research. The same report notes home buyer benefits such as "mortgage interest rates near historic lows and home values that remain below their pre-recession peaks in most areas."

And while you may doubt your ability to afford a house of your own, chances are if you're making at least an entry-level salary and have decent credit, a condo isn't outside your grasp. An affordability calculator can help you determine the condo price you can afford.

Committing to a place can be nerve-racking, but it doesn't have to be. Here are five reasons why you may want to invest in a condo sooner rather than later.


You can probably still live in your favorite neighborhood


It tends to be more manageable to afford living in your city's most popular neighborhoods if you buy a condo instead of a single-family home. In downtown areas or college neighborhoods, condos can be a nice alternative to high-priced single-family homes.


You'll save money


Chances are you're actually paying more in rent right now than you would pay for a mortgage and homeowners association (HOA) fees combined. Sure, your future condo will likely be a bit smaller than a single-family home, but your monthly payments will be smaller, too. (Less space to heat and cool means lower utility bills.)

And generally, you'll pay less on maintenance and upkeep with owning a condo than if you purchased a house. Of course, you'll want to factor HOA fees into your mortgage payments, but HOAs usually cover external repairs, some recreational amenities, and sometimes even water.


You'll save time


With condo living, you'll probably have access to grassy areas on the property to host a cookout and walk Fido - without having to spend your weekends mowing grass and trimming hedges.

And living on a community property means you won't have to deal with shoveling snow, either. Another perk? Any external issues should be covered by your HOA, so you probably won't have many weekend maintenance projects.


You'll make new friends


While owning a house has its appeal, chances are the most affordable options are single-family homes in the suburbs - likely a bit of a drive from your favorite urban hangouts. But if you live near a university or in an urban area, your condo neighbors will likely include many young professionals, grad students, and young families.

The condo complex's management team will probably throw community events periodically as well, so meeting new friends is almost a given.


You'll have a solid future investment


If you intend to live in your condo for just a few years, check with the HOA to see if you're allowed to rent out your place. Some HOAs don't allow this, so you'll want to get all the details before ever putting down an offer. If the HOA allows you to rent out your future condo, then once you grow out of your sweet little home you can rent it out and save that extra cash.

If you're curious about your possible condo options, start browsing and check out a few this weekend. Renting may be convenient, but the advantages of having a condo of your own likely outweigh any benefits you gain as a renter.

Read full post

Buying a home in Greater Vancouver & BC

PAGE INDEX: Offers to Purchase | Completion | Completion Costs

Offers to Purchase

When someone offers to buy your home, they will prepare a written offer on a standard form known as the Contract of Purchase and Sale. Your REALTOR® must present you with all written offers and if you receive several at one time, you are under no obligation to accept one over the other.

When you receive an offer, you can accept it, refuse it, or make a counter-offer to the buyers, with the changes you want.

An offer usually contains subject clauses that the buyer needs to remove by a specific date. A subject clause is a special condition that must be met before the sale can take place. For example, a buyer may want to have a certified home inspection done before they commit to the sale. Once the subjects are removed and you've signed the offer, it becomes legally binding.

[Top of Page]


The Contract of Purchase and Sale will specify a completion day for the sale. On this day, legal ownership of the home will transfer from you to the buyer.

Before the completion day you should hire a lawyer or notary public to handle the completion procedures. Your REALTOR® will be able to recommend some lawyers or notaries. The lawyer/notary will:

  • Ensure that your mortgage has been properly discharged.
  • Arrange for you to sign papers transferring title.
  • Confirm that all payments you are responsible for have been made.
  • Give you a cheque for the balance .

[Top of Page]

Completion Costs

Although you will receive a payment upon the sale of your home, there are still some costs you need to be prepared to pay. They include:

  • The REALTOR®'s commission.
  • Legal fees.
  • Any penalties for paying off your mortgage early.
  • GST on the commission and legal fees.
  • Your portion of the property taxes.

[Top of Page]

Read full post
The data relating to real estate on this website comes in part from the MLS® Reciprocity program of either the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV), the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) or the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board (CADREB). Real estate listings held by participating real estate firms are marked with the MLS® logo and detailed information about the listing includes the name of the listing agent. This representation is based in whole or part on data generated by either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB which assumes no responsibility for its accuracy. The materials contained on this page may not be reproduced without the express written consent of either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB.