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Buy a home

Whether you’re just thinking about buying a home, or if you’ve made the decision, it’s important to consider the many financial and personal decisions you'll need to make before giving your formal offer.

The important thing is that you make the decision that's right for you.

The property you eventually buy is more than just an investment—it's going to be your home, your own piece of the neighbourhood. So don't rush into it. Take the time to investigate all your options.

4 steps to take before you start looking for your new home:

  1. Talk with a Gulf & Fraser expert to get a solid understanding of your finances.
  2. Get pre-approved for a mortgage.
  3. List what you want in a home.
  4. Get a real estate agent.

Let us help you with the many decisions ahead so that when you sign your name to an offer, it's with the confidence that you've made the best choice possible.

"When you're looking at buying a home, make sure that you know your budget first, so you are looking at homes within your means."

Michelle, Mortgage Relationship Manager

Check if you qualify for first-time home buyer incentives.

Avoid the property transfer tax.

First-time home buyers in the Province of British Columbia are exempt from paying property transfer tax if the purchase price of the home is less than $500,000.​

According to the government's website, the property transfer tax rate is:

  • 1% on the first $200,000
  • 2% on the portion of the fair market value greater than $200,000 and up to and including $2,000,000
  • 3% on the portion of the fair market value greater than $2,000,000

Save for your down payment with the First Home Savings Account (FHSA)

The First Home Savings Account (FHSA) is a new government registered plan and tax-free way to help you save for your first home. When you contribute up to $8,000 per year, the amount invested is tax-deductible, like an RRSP. This means you can reduce your yearly taxable income by the amount you contribute. Learn more about the FHSA.

Increase your down payment by borrowing from your RRSP.

As a first-time home buyer you can take out up to $35,000 for a down payment from your RRSP (tax-free) under the Home Buyer’s Plan (HBP), as long as you repay it over the next 15 years.

Know where you’re at with your finances.

By looking at your current financial situation, you can determine the price range of homes available to you. One easy way to do this is to sit down with a Financial Advisor at Gulf & Fraser and talk it through. You don't need to be a member to get started! See more about our Smart Money PlanTM.

Get pre-approved for a mortgage.

It's a good idea to get pre-approved for a mortgage.

With a pre-approved mortgage, we check your credit and verify your documentation in order to approve a specific loan amount. A pre-approved mortgage is usually valid for a specified period, such as 90 days.

Pre-approval will not only define the price range of homes you can look at, it will save you from having to make conditional purchase offers to potential vendors. Getting pre-approved will also give you an advantage over competing purchasers when you make offers to vendors, since it will show you are taking things seriously enough to have looked into financing.

Big yard? Two bathrooms? Consider what is important to you.

When looking at potential homes, take the time to consider all of the factors that are important to you. It may be a good idea to make a list of "must haves" as well as a list of things that would be nice if they were available.

5 questions you need to ask about a home before you buy it:

  1. Does the physical layout of the home suit you and your family?
  2. Is the structure sound?
  3. What shape is the property in? Will it need landscaping or a new driveway?
  4. Is the home in the right location for you? Will it mean a long commute? Is the neighbourhood suitable for you and your family?
  5. Are the municipal or regional authorities planning changes to civic code, zoning or other by-laws that may affect the value or nature of the property in the future?

You may find it helpful at this stage to have a real estate agent who can keep you informed about these and other factors that might influence your decision.

Remember to take your time when buying a home.

It's better to wait a little longer for the home you want, rather than end up with a mortgage for a home you’re not truly happy with.

Get a mortgage that works with your life.

By looking at your current financial situation, you can determine the price range of homes available to you. Gulf & Fraser is here to work with you and guide you through the process, from making your financial plan, to owning a home. 

​​Gulf & Fraser has been helping people buy a home since the 1950s.

We offer competitive mortgage rates and we work with you to ensure you purchase a home that you can realistically afford.


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Smart Money Brochure


Smart Money Brochure


Get pre-approved for a mortgage with Gulf & Fraser


Make an informed decision


Meet a Gulf & Fraser Mortgage Relationship Manager

Michelle Angeles, Mortgage Relationship Manager

With 15 years of banking experience, Michelle can help you make an informed decision about your next home.