Buying a home is one of the biggest and most important investments you can make in your life. Of course, as this is quite a large and long-term investment, there are many factors to consider in order to make your house-buying experience an enjoyable and productive one. This applies to seasoned buyers as well as to first time home buyers.

Choosing a reputable realty firm and Realtor®

Real estate professionals such as Doris Bregolisse help you buy or sell your home. With the resources provided by her real estate brokerage, Macdonald Realty in Kelowna, Doris can help you every step of the way.

Although some people think that they don't need an agent to sell or find a new home, the job of a Realtor® encompasses more than just looking for a house that suits your needs.

  • Registered realtors have received extensive education regarding the many different facets of what is involved in the purchase or sale of a home so that they are familiar with the laws and trends related to real estate selling and buying experience in your area.
  • As your Realtor®, Doris will work in your best interest and will use her training and her office resources to help you negotiate the best possible price.
  • As your Realtor®, Doris will help you navigate the “red tape”, keep you posted about all the documents that you need, and make sure they are all in order before you move on to the next steps of the purchase process.
  • As your Realtor®, Doris will ensure that you receive the best help possible through a reputable mortgage broker who will guide you through all the steps necessary to obtain financing for your new home.

The many factors to consider when thinking about buying a home.

The following excerpt is from the BC Financial Services Authority website

Purchasing a home can be both exciting and frightening! You’ll not only have to live with your decision, but also live in it, so you don’t want to make any costly mistakes. Before you start looking for your “dream” home, organize yourself by considering a few basic questions:

  • What are my housing needs?
  • What are the choices?
  • What can I afford to spend?

Time spent answering these questions in advance may save you from frustration and disappointment during your search.

What’s out there?

To meet the many kinds of needs that people have, a number of different housing styles and types of ownership have developed over the years. Your individual requirements and your income level will govern the housing type which is most suitable for you at the present time.

  • Single Family, Detached Home – A detached home is one which has no common walls with any other residential structure, resting on its own land with front, rear, and side yards. It may be any size from a small, one-storey bungalow to a huge mansion.
  • Semi-Detached Home – A semi-detached home is two single family dwellings joined together by a common middle wall. It is sometimes called a “side-by-side” duplex.
  • Duplex – A duplex is two separate dwellings which are attached either side-by-side (a semi-detached home) or one unit above the other. It is important to note that this type of structure may be a strata titled property and therefore subject to the Strata Property Act.
  • Townhouse – In British Columbia, the term “townhouse” is usually used to describe one of a group of dwellings (most often two-storey) joined together by common walls, each with its own entrance from the outside.
  • Apartment – An apartment is one of several dwellings (most often single storey dwellings built one above the other) joined together by common walls, each having its entrance from a common hall. The overall building containing the apartments may be from three to 33 or more storeys.
  • Mobile or Manufactured Home – A manufactured home is a factory-built residential structure designed to be moved from one place to another, although wheels are not necessary. It is often placed on a rented space (called a “pad”) in a manufactured home park.

Types of Ownership

While there are a variety of housing ownership interests, the most common include the following:

  • Freehold – A freehold interest (also known as a fee simple) is the more precise term for what we ordinarily refer to as “ownership” of a home. The owner of the freehold interest has full use and control of the land and the buildings on it, subject to any rights of the Crown, local land-use bylaws, and any other restrictions in place at the time of purchase.
  • Strata Title – The strata title form of ownership is designed to provide exclusive use and ownership of a specific housing unit (the strata lot) which is contained in a larger property (the strata project), plus shared use and ownership of the common areas such as halls, grounds, garages, elevators, etc.
    • This type of ownership is used for duplexes, apartment blocks, townhouse complexes, warehouses, and many other types of buildings. In addition, some single family home developments may be part of a bare-land strata development. Because ownership of the common space is shared, the owners also share financial responsibility for its maintenance.
  • Leasehold – In some cases, you might purchase the right to use a residential property for a long, but limited, period of time. The owner of this right of use has a type of ownership called a leasehold interest. This type of ownership is used most often for townhouses or apartments built on city-owned land. It is also used occasionally for single detached homes on farm land, on First Nation reserves, and for apartments where the owner of the freehold interest of an entire apartment block sells leasehold interests in individual apartment units to other “owners.”
    • Leasehold interests are frequently set for periods of 99 years, but regardless of the length of the original term, you will only be able to purchase the remaining portion. Of course, the shorter the remaining portion, the less you, or the person who eventually purchases from you, will be willing to pay for the leasehold interest.
  • Cooperative – In the cooperative form of ownership, each owner owns a share in a company or cooperative association which, in turn, owns a property containing a number of housing units. Each shareholder is assigned one particular unit in which to reside.

What can I afford?

Once you understand the terminology and are familiar with the different kinds of housing available, the next most important step is to figure out how much you can afford, which will determine what kind of housing you can set your sights on. Click here to visit our Financing Information page for more information on the process.