First-time Homebuyer – Things you need to know


First Time Homebuyers Moving Into New Home

Before you get started with shopping and falling in love with your perfect first BC home, there is some fine print to get through. Some of it is unpleasant, but some of it will make you happier than a kid on Christmas!

1. Provincial Property Transfer Tax (PPT)

This can be a big one folks – the PPT can sneak up unsuspectingly and ruin your day – but not after you read this!  In BC, the PPT applies to all real estate transactions with a select few exceptions.  Luckily, as a first-time homebuyer, you can take advantage of one of these exceptions.  If you are a first-time homebuyer purchasing a home under $450,000 there are rebates available that relieve of that particular concern.  If your first home is over $450,000, you may be responsible for a part or all the PPT.  The other exception is on new-build properties.  New construction is exempt from PPT for prices up to $750,000 for all buyers, first time or not.  Note:  The PPT must be paid upfront, so you cannot usually roll it into your mortgage

2. GST

Speaking of new builds, always be aware that any new build in BC will be subject to federal sales tax.  Yes, our old friend GST pops up everywhere, and the property is no exception.   In British Columbia, most listed new-build prices do not include GST, so it’s always safe to assume that you will need to add that 5% to the price.  Luckily lenders and banks allow you to include GST in your mortgage, so you won’t have to come up with that 5% out of pocket!  Once again though there is some relief if your purchase price is below $400,000 – partial rebates are available in these cases.  Cha-ching!

3. BC HOME Partnership

The provincial government has recently introduced a $700,000,000 program to help first time home buyers with their down payments (full info here:  Basically, the government will help loan you the amount of your down payment, to a maximum of $37,500.  The only catch is you need to have already saved your down payment, and then you can apply to have that amount loaned to you by the province.  As you can imagine, there is lots of fine print and the program isn’t ideal for everybody, but worth looking into!

4. Choosing your team! 

Buying a property is a big investment! Like all big investments, you’re going to want some help along the way.  You need good people on your team.

 – Realtor

Choosing a great realtor is important.  A great Kelowna realtor isn’t just one who can get you a good price.  Education on the market, supporting you through the process, and post-purchase follow up is so important.  Some Kelowna real estate agents even specialize in working with first time home buyers.  Choose wisely!  Check out to find someone amazing.

Mortgage Broker

Especially for first time home buyers, we always recommend getting an opinion from a broker instead of applying only at your bank branch.  Mortgage brokers have access to dozens of lenders and types of financing options.  Getting the lowest rate isn’t the only thing to consider – there are so many other things to consider, and a high-quality mortgage broker will be worth their weight in gold.

Usually real estate transactions are smooth from a legal perspective, but we always recommend obtaining the services of an experienced real estate lawyer.  There are a lot of things that happen behind the scenes during a purchase or sale, so get someone who can handle it all!
Home Inspector

Home inspections are great insurance against unseen issues with a property.  There are a lot of moving parts in a home, from heating systems, plumbing, irrigation, roofing – the list goes on.  Hiring a quality home inspector who is familiar with the specific considerations of your neighborhood is some of the best money you’ll ever spend.


There’s some stuff to get you started if you are looking for your first Kelowna Home. The best option is really to call us for all the juicy information – there are lots to know and we’d love to chat. Our team at Quincy Vrecko and Associates are dedicated to finding you the right home for the right price. Contact us today – 778-780-2860!