1) Is your work secure for a few years? Do you know you want to be spending time in the community where you are looking to purchase? Selling a home in a short period of time can be costly (depending on market conditions) when you factor in legal fees, property transfer tax, commissions etc. In Whistler people often know quickly that this is the place they want to call home. With the rents we pay here, it's usually beneficial to become an owner.
2) Are you financially able to purchase on your own or should you have a partner? There are definite pros and cons to each opportunity. Whether it's as a couple in a relationship or buyer's who are friends or family, be sure to discuss a 5 to 7-year plan for the property. What makes a property a home? Do you plan on having kids or potentially moving on to climb the ladder at work? Have a lawyer draw up a partnership agreement to that covers off how to handle the property in the event of a dispute between owners.
3) How will you manage to be in a lease for your current accommodation and potentially buying a home? In Whistler, we're lucky that there will be a lineup of people who would be willing to take over your rental home. Do be sure to go through the proper channels in finding a new tenant. Approval from the landlord is necessary or the new tenant may be forced to move out and you are responsible financially for any damages.
4) If you haven't already, go talk to a mortgage broker. They can determine what you are approved for in terms of a purchase price. I recommend a broker over the loan officer in your bank. Different banks have different guidelines for both the buyer and the property. A particular bank may look more favourably on your unique application. Some banks may take into account rental income you may be able to generate while others will not.
5) Maintain your credit score. Once you've been pre-approved and in particular, written a contract, don't go get a car loan. Maintain or better your report by not increasing any debt and paying your bills on time and in full.
6) You're going to have an intimate relationship with your Realtor throughout the home buying process. Talk to a few and find someone you feel comfortable with. It can be a frustrating, emotionally charged and lengthy process which should be handled professionally. Look at the agent's experience and how long they have been selling real estate and working in the area you want to buy in. Read references from their past clients. It doesn't mean you can't work with a relative or friend but in most cases, this is not to your advantage. You want someone who can ground you and has a depth of experience in market cycles. This is the biggest investment of your life.
7) The internet brings a whole new way of looking for a property to purchase that never existed before. From the comfort of your couch, you can browse neighbourhoods, complexes and interiors of homes on the market. Photos can be deceptive. They may make a property look more attractive or not. Be open to looking at properties your agent chooses not just what you've picked.
8) The deal... there's no shortcut or quick route. You may get lucky but typically it means looking at a lot of homes online and in person. This is the only way you'll "know" the deal when you see it.
9) Is it the right home? Ask yourself if you can afford it? That's more than the purchase price. Does it need any work? What are the insurance premiums and property taxes? In most Whistler cases, you are buying strata which entail monthly fees and special assessments. How much is the hydro, cable and internet etc. Does it meet your needs? Do you see the potential?
I have been selling homes in Whistler and Pemberton for 30 years. I'd love to assist with your purchase in Sea to Sky country.