Home Buying Information

We’re here to help – every step of the way.

At Dawson + Sawyer we strive to make your home buying experience simple, smart and rewarding. This section is filled with, common questions and answers to assist you with the home buying process.

Please feel free to contact us or visit one of our presentation centres to discuss the home buying process further.

Have the BEST day ever!

Here is your step-by-step guide to buying a home.

FIND YOUR PERFECT HOME

• Come visit our presentation centre. Our staff will help explain the features of our homes, pricing and availability. When you find the perfect home we will help you write a contract.
• We can include a “subject to financing” clause, which gives you the opportunity to ensure you are in a good financial position to make a purchase. You pay nothing at this time.
• If you have a home you need to sell before you can purchase you may also write the contract “subject to the sale” of your home. Depending on the specific project, this may be an option.

SPEAK WITH YOUR MORTGAGE ADVISOR

• You now have about 7 days to get your mortgage approved so you can remove the “subject to financing” clause. We can help ensure that you get a great mortgage rate.
• Our Mortgage Advisor is on site most days to answer any questions.

READ THE PROPERTY DISCLOSURE STATEMENT

• A Disclosure Statement is detailed information about the project. It will list any rules or regulations of the strata, common areas, rental properties, age restrictions, services and amenities.
• The disclosure statement will be provided upon writing your contract. Our staff is happy to review the disclosure statement with you and answer any of your questions.

REMOVE ANY SUBJECT CONDITIONS AND PAY YOUR DEPOSIT

• Once you have your financing in order it is time to remove subjects and provide your non-refundable deposit cheque to our staff.
• All deposits are held in an independent stakeholders trust account and are protected.
SHOW OFF!
• Come by and visit the sales centre to show friends and family what you’ve bought!

NEW HOME ORIENTATION

• Approximately 2 – 3 weeks prior to your completion date, you will be contacted to schedule your New Home Orientation.
• The New Home Orientation is your opportunity to meet with the builder and go through your new home. Normally this is done 7-10 days before your completion date. You will learn how everything in your new home works directly from the builder.
• You will be provided with instructions and contact information for our Customer Service Team who will address any questions or concerns after your completion date. It is very important to us that you are completely satisfied with your new home.

MEET WITH YOUR LAWYER OR NOTARY

• 2 – 3 weeks prior to your completion date. When purchasing a home you always have a lawyer or notary represent you to make sure the transaction runs smoothly. They collect the deposit, remaining down payment, property purchase tax if applicable, mortgage proceeds from the lender, and register you at the land title office as the owner of your new home.
• Note: Choose your lawyer as soon as possible and let our staff and your mortgage advisor know. These professionals are your team and they will be working together on your behalf to ensure everything runs smoothly on your completion date!

COMPLETION DATE

• The transaction is made, the funds change hands and you are registered on title as the owner of the property.

POSSESSION DATE

• Typically, the date after your completion date is your possession date. You will receive your keys from the builder and can move into your new home!

NOW IT’S TIME TO ENJOY YOUR NEW HOME!

WHAT IS GST?

• 5% GST is the Federal Goods & Services Tax (GST).
• All new homes sales are subject to GST. You may be eligible to take advantage of a new housing rebate that we will help you with.
• Visit one of our presentation centres for specific GST information on the home you are considering.

WHAT IS PROPERTY PURCHASE TAX?

• Property Transfer Tax is no longer paid on New Homes up to $750,000! Must be your primary residence, live in the home for 1 year and be a Resident of Canada.
• Property Purchase Tax is a land registration tax that is paid to the provincial government. You pay this tax every time you purchase a new home in B.C. unless you´re eligible for an exemption.
• The Property Purchase Tax rate is 1% on the first $200,000 of the value of the property, plus 2% on the value over $200,000. Do I Qualify?
• Let your lawyer know if you are a first time home buyer so they can help you apply for the exemption.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PROPERTY PURCHASE TAX & PROPERTY TAX?

• Property Purchase Tax is paid when you buy a home.
• Property Tax is assessed and paid on an annual basis for services received from the local government. You will receive a bill once or twice a year depending on the municipality. You can pay the lump sum owed or you can ask your lender or city to collect monthly from you for this.

WHAT IS THE HOMEOWNER GRANT?

• The Homeowner Grant is available to help reduce the amount of property taxes paid to the municipality. You are eligible if you are a permanent resident of Canada and occupy your home as your principal residence. Information regarding the Homeowner Grant is mailed along with your property tax bill. Click here for more information.

WHEN IS MY FIRST MORTGAGE PAYMENT?

• Your mortgage payments start after your completion date. If you have a contract on a pre-construction home, you do not have to make payments until your home is ready and ownership has transferred to you.
Do I have to pay a Mortgage Advisor, Banker or Broker to put a mortgage together for me?
• No. Generally mortgage advisors, bankers and brokers are paid by the lender and not the client. If you are dealing with a private lender, have a specialized deal or challenging credit, there may be a fee so always ask.

WHAT ARE MY MORTGAGE OPTIONS?

• Depending on your down payment, you may have a conventional mortgage or a high-ratio mortgage.
• A conventional mortgage is a mortgage loan that is equal to, or less than, 80% of the purchase price including GST. For a conventional mortgage, the down payment is at least 20% of the purchase price.
• If your down payment is less than 20% of the purchase price you will typically need a high-ratio mortgage. A high-ratio mortgage usually requires mortgage loan insurance. Your lender will normally add the mortgage loan insurance premium to your mortgage so you do not have to pay this premium up front on closing.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN “MORTGAGE TERM” AND “AMORTIZATION”

• The mortgage term is the length of time of your mortgage agreement. The mortgage term can be from six months up to ten years. A longer term (for example, five years) lets you plan ahead. It also protects you from interest rate increases.
• Amortization is the length of time the entire mortgage debt will be repaid. The maximum amortization is now 25 years for a high-ratio mortgage. The longer the amortization, the lower your scheduled mortgage payments, but the more interest you pay in the long run. If each mortgage term is five years, and the mortgage is amortized over 20 years, you will have to renegotiate the mortgage four times (every five years).

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A FIXED OR VARIABLE INTEREST RATE?

• Mortgage interest rates are either fixed or variable.
• A fixed interest rate is a locked-in rate that will not increase for the term of the mortgage.
• A variable rate fluctuates based on the Bank of Canada Prime Rate.

When I purchase a new home does it come with a warranty?

Every new Dawson + Sawyer home is protected by the Travelers 2/5/10 Warranty Program.
The warranty includes the following coverage:

• 2 year materials & labour warranty
• 5 year building envelope warranty
• 10 year structural defects warranty

Here’s more information from Travelers Warranty Program.

Can I withdraw from my RRSP for my downpayment?

• The Home Buyer’s Plan (HBP) is a program that allows you to withdraw up to $25,000 from your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP’s) to buy a home without paying income tax on the withdrawal.

A few things you need to know:

• Your RRSP contributions must remain in the RRSP for at least 90 days before you can withdraw them under the HBP program.
• You have to repay all withdrawals to your RRSP’s within 15 years.
• Generally, you will not be allowed to withdraw funds from a locked-in RRSP or group RRSP.
• You have to intend to occupy the qualifying home as your principal place of residence no later than one year after buying.
• You have to be considered a first-time homebuyer.
• You are not considered a first-time homebuyer if you or your spouse owned a home that you occupied as your principal residence during the period beginning Jan 1 of the fourth year before the year of withdrawal and 31 days before your withdrawal. Essentially if you have already owned, you have to rent for 4 years before you are able to use the HBP program again.

Click here to find out more.

Do I need a Realtor to purchase from a new development?

• Absolutely not. Our expert staff is there to help you at every step. Should you wish to bring a Realtor along, we’ll be certain to provide them with all the information they need to assist you.
• Negotiation – we pride ourselves on offering our buyers the same price, options, and promotions whether our buyers have a Realtor or not.

I am a Realtor. What do I need to know?

• When you arrive with your clients, please register them and leave a business card with your information.
• We are available 12 – 5 daily except Fridays if you have any questions. Call us or come by any time!

What is a Strata?

• A strata is responsible for managing the common property and common assets of the completed development for the benefit of the owners. The owners of each home within the development are members of the strata.

What is a Strata Council?

• The strata council is a group of elected owners who oversee the day-to-day running of the property and the strata’s affairs.
• If you’re interested in volunteering your time to the strata council then be sure to attend your strata meetings for specific instructions.

What is typically included in Strata Fees?

• Generally strata fees include maintenance of common property, which is usually everything not within your home. It will cover items such as insurance for the building and common areas, landscaping, garbage pickup and snow removal. Be sure to check the disclosure statement to see what is included in your strata fees. Our staff will be happy to go over this with you.
• A percentage of your strata fee will also be set aside into a contingency fund for future repairs and long-term maintenance.

Mortgage Calculator

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*These amounts are not exact and may differ for each Surrey Townhome. The Calculator is for entertainment purposes only and is not to be relied upon for making actual payment, GST calculations or determinations.