Make an Informed, SMART Real Estate Decision

Buying a house is often much more complicated than it initially appears. When buying a home, we must be cautious, diligent, and adhere to the principles of the famous proverb ‘Caveat Emptor’ – Buyer Beware.
Did you know that the Buyer alone is responsible for checking the quality and suitability of goods before a purchase is made? Because of this, the expression ‘what you don’t know won’t hurt you’ couldn’t be further from the truth.

The good news is that the MINT Home Team will help you navigate the entire buying process, ensuring you make an informed and smart real estate investment, and to avoid costly mistakes. Book your no-obligation appointment today.
To help you feel more in control and in the driver’s seat, we’ve identified some things to prepare for and keep in mind:

Maintenance Costs:

Many home Buyers get unwelcome surprises because they don’t consider the costs of ongoing care and maintenance, or uncover sizable repairs like a new roof or plumbing, after they move into their new home. The MINT Home Team will be your guide, ensuring you factor in all costs, and make an informed decision based upon your budget.

Oil Tanks:

It’s highly likely that any home built before the 1970’s has an on-property oil tank. Removing an oil tank is costly – anywhere from $15,000 to $150,000 +. It is critical that you address this potential expense and take it into consideration before making an offer. Our team has the necessary expertise in this area and will provide the right advice to help protect your interests.

Neighbourhood Characteristics:

Parks, neighbourhood amenities, noise, the possibility of future development, city zoning plans, crime levels, transportation access and a general sense of community are all aspects that affect your quality of life in your new neighbourhood. These factors, not to mention schools and civic facilities, will not only impact your enjoyment of the property, but may also affect its future resale value.

We are experts on the neighbourhoods we serve, ensuring you make an informed decision, and choose the perfect neighbourhood for you and your family.

Home Inspections:

Not all home inspectors are created equal and the industry is unregulated. A home inspection completed by an uninsured home inspector may be ineffective and could result in you buying a property without being fully aware of potential health, safety and/or structural issues. And your home insurance coverage could be impacted.

Issues that might negate possible insurance coverage of your home, or impact your ability to secure purchase financing, include: old wiring (knob and tube, aluminum), some types of plumbing, old roofing, poor drainage, some types of insulation and woodstoves not CSA approved.

With over 70 years of experience, our team has expertise in ensuring that the list of inspectors you choose from are highly qualified and uniquely suited to identifying any potential risks that may be present in the property.

Property Transfer Tax (PTT):

In addition to your down payment, a Buyer is also responsible for the Property Transfer Tax. This is calculated as:

1) 1% on first $200,000
2) 2% of the price between $200,000 – $2,000,000
3) 3% on the price between $2,000,000 – $3,000,000
4) 5% on the price over $3,000,000

GST on New Home Purchases:

GST is a 5% tax payable on the purchase price of newly constructed or substantially renovated residential homes. It is important that you are aware of how this tax will impact you. We stay on top of the most current legislation and payment schedules and will advise you on how this factors into the total cost of your purchase.

Foreign Buyers Tax:

A new 20% tax is added to the Property Transfer Tax when a purchaser, who is not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, purchases residential real estate property in Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Capital Regional District, Nanaimo Regional District and the Central Okanagan.

Empty Home Tax:

The Empty Homes Tax is also known as the Vacancy Tax. The rate of the Empty Homes Tax is 1% of a property’s assessed taxable value and applies to all owners of a Class 1 Residential property within the city of Vancouver. The Empty Homes Tax will be calculated each year based off the property’s assessed taxable value in the previous tax year.


If you are not a resident of Canada, you may experience difficulties obtaining a mortgage. You may be required to provide proof of a level of liquid assets. Our experienced realtors will let you know if it is an issue for you and will facilitate access to additional resources if required. If you expect this will be an issue for you, we would be pleased to put you into touch with a Vancouver-based specialist.

Closing Costs:

Expenses associated with legal fees, insurance, GST (if new), monthly soft costs like heat and electricity, as well as taxes, must be paid as part of the closing costs.

Ready for the next step? Book an appointment with one of our experts today. We will meet with you to review our customized Buyer’s Package, discuss your plans, and listen to all your needs.

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