Buying A New Home: Frequently Asked Questions
January 5, 2017
We understand that buying a new home can be both exciting and a little daunting. We’ve collected and answered some of the most frequently asked questions to help you get started.
1.0. General Questions
1.1. Where can I obtain more information on pricing and availability for a particular Mosaic home?
Visit Our Homes on our website to learn about our latest Mosaic communities. When you find a Mosaic community that’s a match for you, you can request more information online. You can also visit a Home Store or call our sales team to learn more. With information changing regularly, direct contact with our team is the best source of all things current.
1.2. I have never purchased a home prior to its construction (pre-sale). What do I need to know about a pre-sale?
There’s a few things unique to buying a pre-sale home.
The Disclosure Statement is an important document to review before buying a new home in a multi-family community. The Disclosure Statement is a comprehensive document provided by Mosaic that communicates specific details and information about the multi-family community and your new home. In short, a Disclosure Statement is designed to ensure there are no surprises after you’ve purchased your home.
Part of the new home purchase process includes entering into a purchase contract with Mosaic. At this time you also provide a deposit to secure your new home. This deposit is held in trust, typically with a lawyer, and used towards the purchase price of your home on closing once the home is complete.
1.3. What are advantages to buying a new home?
For starters, a new home is — new. From appliances to finish materials and all equipment, this will be the first time any component of your home will have been used. Think fresh, clean and easy to maintain as everything is brand new. Like a new car, your new home is reliable and is serviced by the manufacturer – in this case, Mosaic.
There’s also the added protection of Mosaic’s New Home Warranty. You’re covered if the unexpected occurs providing peace of mind when you buy new. More details on Mosaic’s New Home Warranty can be found on our Home Care page.
1.4. I’m buying my first home, ever. What do I need to know?
The First Time Home Buyers’ Program is a Provincial Government program that reduces or eliminates the amount of property transfer tax you pay when you purchase your first home. If you qualify for the program, you may be eligible for either a full or partial exemption from the property transfer tax. Learn more here.
The Provincial Government also offers the B.C. Home Owner Mortgage and Equity partnership. This partnership assists with the downpayment of your home. Take a look at the Housing Action Plan to see if you’re eligible to qualify for the program.
When buying a new home, you will pay a deposit(s) that is held in trust with a lawyer until your home is ready for move in. Once you move into your new Mosaic home, these deposits will be applied towards the purchase price of your home. These deposit amounts and payment timing is outlined in your purchase contract and communicated at the time you buy your new home.
1.5. How much tax do I pay on a new home purchase?
Tax applies to the purchase of a home. The amount of tax varies depending on a number of factors influenced by the type of home and cost of the home as well as your specific situation. You may be eligible for special grants or benefits from the government that change the amount of tax you pay on a new home purchase. Try using a tax calculator to help calculate things. A member of our sales team can also walk you through the process if you visit one of our Home Stores.
1.6 What does closing in escrow mean?
When buying a new home, you may encounter the term ‘closing in escrow’. Escrow will occur if one or more of the conditions in the purchase of your home have not been met. These conditions can include many different terms, ranging from unforeseen delays at the land title office to a delay in the transfer of funds. While these conditions are being met, a trusted third party is responsible for holding onto the money or documents in escrow.
Escrow has an important legal function in buying a new home, as they handle all vital documents involved in the close of your new home purchase, including insurance receipts, deposits and closing cost payments. Registering the mortgage and deed with the appropriate courts is also done by this closing agent. If you have additional questions about what closing in escrow means, feel free to visit one of our Home Stores to speak with our sales team.
2.1. What’s a strata?
Strata refers to a type of ownership that applies to most multi-family communities. Strata ownership homes are a popular housing choice for many reasons including the convenience of sharing a property manager, increased security, sharing of operating costs and strata communities often include great amenities. Millions of Canadians live in strata housing.
As an owner in strata housing, you will own your individual home, and together with your neighbours, own the shared spaces around your home often referred to as common property.
2.2. What do strata fees include?
The Disclosure Statement you’re provided when buying a new home within a strata corporation will include a strata budget that details strata fee costs. Strata governance, budgets and operations vary from community to community, however strata fees typically cover things like landscaping, regular maintenance, insurance, garbage disposal and the upkeep of shared amenity spaces like a clubhouse, gym or pool.
3.1. What kind of mortgage should I get when buying a new home? How do I know how much I can afford?
When buying a home, a mortgage is often used to help with financing the purchase. The total funds required to buy your new home are typically comprised of a down payment — funds you have saved or are gifted by family, and money loaned by a bank or other financial institution. There are two common types of mortgages — conventional and high-ratio.
A conventional mortgage applies when the amount of money borrowed does not exceed 80% of the value your home. For example, if you purchase a home that is valued at $400,000, your mortgage will not be more than $320,000 and your total down payment, is more than $80,000.
Your mortgage is high ratio when the amount borrowed is more than 80% of the value your home. In this scenario, you are required to have your mortgage insured. The one-time premium for this insurance varies based on the amount of your mortgage and the total mortgage-to-price ratio. Current mortgage insurance premium rates are available online from Genworth Canada and Canada Mortgage of Housing Corporation.
3.2. Where do I get a mortgage from?
There are numerous options to check out when shopping for a mortgage. Banks, trust companies and other financial institutions offer a variety of mortgage options to finance your new home purchase. You may want to start with your current bank or a mortgage broker. Be sure to speak to someone that specializes in residential mortgages as they will have the most up-to-date information to answer any of your questions. Our teams at any of our Home Stores can always recommend an independent mortgage advisor should that be helpful.
3.3. What does mortgage pre-approval mean?
A pre-approval mortgage is when a lender (bank, financial institution, etc.) pre-approve the maximum amount they will lend you.
When you receive a pre-approval mortgage you have a guaranteed mortgage rate for a set amount of time (usually for 90 days.) If mortgage rates go down during this period, you will get the benefit of a lower rate. If mortgage rates go up, your lower rate is locked in and will not change.
We recommend arranging a mortgage pre-approval as there are no costs or obligations to secure a pre-approval and this will put you in a better position to efficiently shop for a home that’s a fit for you.
4.0. For Mosaic Homeowners
4.1. How do I book a service appointment for my new home?
Visit the Home Care section of this website to request an appointment with one of our Home Care technicians. If you prefer to speak with our Home Care team via phone, please call 604.685.3888.
4.2. Where do I go for questions about my Mosaic home purchase?
If our Home Store for your community is still open, the team that assisted you with your home purchase is available daily in person at the Home Store or over the phone.
If our Home Store for your community is closed, please call our Sales Coordinator that we have introduced you to. While we complete the construction of your home we will stay in touch mostly through email, so please look out for our updates. If you’re missing our Sales Coordinator’s contact details, please call our main office at 604.685.3888 and let our team know your name, community and reason for your call, and we’ll connect you with the right person to assist you. You can also click on the webpage for your community to find out the current contact details for the team.
4.3. Why do walls in my new home need to be repaired?
New homes typically settle a little early in their life with building materials demonstrating very minor movement. This can result in some drywall cracks or nail head “pops”. To ensure your home continues to look new, Mosaic offers a one-time repair service to make your walls look great again. Ten or eleven months after moving in, book an appointment and we’ll visit your home to take care of any drywall cracks or pops.
4.4. Will you touch up my walls with new paint?
During your orientation process we will make sure your home’s paint looks great. From there, our homeowners often love the opportunity to personalize their home with their favourite colours and wall patterns. After move-in, we leave additional painting to you. Paint away to change your look. If you want to match any colours, we will provide a paint touch up kit with all the base colours you need to get back to the original design.
4.5. Are manufacturers’ warranties included with my purchase?
There are a number of pieces of equipment in your new home that are backed by the original manufacturer’s warranty. When permitted, we transfer the warranty to you when you complete the purchase of your new home. Check your Home Care book for details on the equipment and associated warranties.