Step-by-Step Guide To Real Estate Investing In British Columbia

Buying real estate isn’t just a way to diversify your portfolio—it’s a chance to develop quality housing and invest in your community. As an experienced real estate advisor, I have helped numerous clients enter the real estate market and purchase their first properties. Here’s my step-by-step guide to real estate investing in British Columbia.

1. Have a Sizeable Down Payment

To keep your monthly mortgage payments affordable, saving for a down payment is essential. 5% of the sale price is a good starting point, especially for properties under $500,000. For a larger home with a heftier price tag, it’s recommended to put at least 20% down. If you’re investing in a secondary property, there may be restrictions on the size of your down payment. Typically, secondary investment properties require at least 20% down. Keep in mind that your down payment may be reduced if you or your immediate family will be living there rent-free.

2. Demonstrate a Stable Income and Credit Rating

Showing your mortgage lender that you have a stable income is a big part of securing your loan. A good credit rating is also important because it demonstrates to the bank that you have a good track record for making timely payments on money owed.

3. Determine How Much House You Can Afford

Look beyond the mortgage payment and consider other expenses like insurance, property taxes, and utilities. In Canada, it’s recommended that no more than 30% of your gross income go towards housing. This is an excellent metric to use to determine what you can afford.

4. Decide on the Location

To find a neighbourhood that suits your lifestyle, drive around and spend time in your top-choice communities. Consider your options for schools, transportation, and amenities—as well as commute times to the office and proximity to social activities.

5. Budget for Legal Expenses and Closing Fees

Ensure you leave room in your budget for your property transfer tax, property survey, home inspection, home and property appraisals, title insurance, government registration fees, and contract fees.

6. Apply for Mortgage Pre-Approval

In a competitive market, pre-approval allows your real estate advisor to confidently approach the seller’s realtor and negotiate showings and offers. Pre-approval can be obtained through your bank or mortgage broker.

7. Hire a Real Estate Advisor

An experienced real estate advisor will help you find properties that match your budget and needs. Once you select a property, your real estate advisor will negotiate your offer and submit the necessary paperwork to close the deal.

8. Determine Your Housing Needs and Look for Properties

Before you start looking at properties, it’s essential to assess your needs. Consider specifics like the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, number of floors, and if you need a garage—details that will allow your realtor to arrange showings for matching properties. 

9. Choose a Home and Submit an Offer

When you find a property that checks all of your boxes, it’s time to submit an offer. Your real estate advisor will present the offer to the seller’s realtor. If your offer isn’t accepted, stay positive! There are plenty of opportunities to invest on South Vancouver Island.

10. Finalize Your Purchase and Pay Closing Costs

During this final stage, you will sign paperwork to transfer the property and pay the purchase price and closing fees. Keep in mind that there is typically a 30 to 120-day buffer between the date you finalize your purchase and the date you take possession.  

Are You Looking To Invest in Real Estate?

As an experienced real estate advisor, I understand the real estate market in Victoria, Cowichan Valley, and the South Island’s Westshore communities. I work with clients to help them realize their goals for property ownership—no matter their budget! Reach out today to learn how I can help you make the most of your investment.