Pre-approvals. Essential tips for buying your home.

Do you really need a pre-approval letter before you start to look at properties? 

The short answer is YES. 

Shopping for a home may be exciting and fun, but serious homebuyers need to start the process in a lender's office, not at an open house. Most realtors expect that a purchaser is qualified before they begin the process of viewing properties and sellers are more willing to negotiate with those who prove that they can obtain financing.

Potential buyers need five essential things: proof of assets and income, good credit, employment verification, and other banks/broker required documentation to be pre-approved for a mortgage. 

There are many benefits to having a pre-approval before you start your house hunt, knowing your budget help to narrow down your property search and keeps you in good financial health, it locks you into great mortgage interest rates that won't fluctuate even if you take your time to purchase and when you see your dream home you can act on it quickly, which is essential in a hot market! 

If you are in the market for a new property or are looking for a recommendation to a local Fort St John mortgage specialist to secure your pre-approval with, let's connect! I am more than happy to answer any questions that you may have. Let's make your real estate goals into reality. 

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What percentage is a downpayement on land in BC?

When you’re buying a house on land, you generally have to put at least 5 percent down (with a high-ratio loan), or 20 percent or more if you want a loan without mortgage insurance. When you’re taking out a land loan in BC, expect to put between 25 and 50 percent down. The difference depends on the policies of the lender, the piece of land in question and the uses that you have in mind for the land. There are different ways to purchase land if you don’t have the required down payment. If you currently own other prime real estate in Canada with lots of equity, it can be added to the loan as collateral to either reduce or eliminate the need for a down payment.

Here are some helpful questions about the land to consider before you decide to seriously consider an offer:

  • Do the local and provincial entities already provide services to the land, such as trash and recycling pickup, high speed Internet, a wired land telephone line, or mail delivery?
  • Do such issues as soil contamination cause a problem for the use of the land?
  • Is the city or province considering rezoning the land, or any part of it?
  • Are there any restrictive covenants in place that would affect your ability to do what you want with the land?
  • Does the land have a proven water source? If it does, how deep does it go into the ground?
  • Is there already a system for removing wastewater from the property? If you needed to put in a septic system, could you?
  • Is the title clear on the property? If not, is there a clear list of liens that are already in place?
  • Do any easements exist on the property that would allow your potential neighbors, utilities and other entities onto any part of the land?

If you have any questions about whether the piece of land that you are considering is a good investment for you or about the process of making an offer on farmland, recreational properties or ranches in and around Fort St John or Northern BC please feel most welcome to call me (250) 262-6441 or visit for my rural property listings.