7 Steps to Buying a Home in British Columbia

Whether you’re purchasing a home in Vancouver, Kelowna, Victoria, or somewhere else in the province, there are a lot of steps in the homebuying process. Here’s what to expect on your homebuying journey.

By Emily Southey | 4 minute read

Sep 27

Whether if you intend to buy a home in North Vancouver, Campbell River, or Prince George, you should be prepared to provide lots of information and documentation.

To ensure your home purchase goes smoothly, it’s important to know what to expect from the homebuying process. From how much money you should save up before putting an offer in on a home to getting pre-approved for a mortgage and signing on the dotted line, here are seven steps to buying a home in any city in B.C., from Chilliwack to Port Moody.


1. Save enough money for the downpayment 

First, if you want to buy a home anywhere in B.C., whether you’re looking in an expensive city like Vancouver or somewhere more affordable like Nanaimo or Courtenay, you will need to save up enough money for a down payment. Canada has strict rules surrounding how much buyers are required to put down toward a home. Minimum down payments are listed according to the purchase price of the home. They typically range between 5% and 20% of the purchase price. Please note that if you make a down payment that is less than 20%, you will likely need to budget for mortgage default insurance, as your lender (if applicable) will require you to buy this coverage. 

It is also worth noting that the Federal Government of Canada has several incentives that first-time homebuyers can take advantage of to make it easier to save up enough money for a down payment and ultimately buy a home. Examples of these incentives include the Tax-Free Home Savings Account, the First-Time Home Buyers Tax Credit, and the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive.


2. Prepare the necessary paperwork 

Whether if you intend to buy a home in North Vancouver, Campbell River, or Prince George, you should be prepared to provide lots of information and documentation. This documentation will need to be presented to your mortgage lender, as well as at the time the offer is made, so it’s best to start gathering the necessary information before the house hunting process begins. A REALTOR® can go into greater detail about what information is important for you to have, but generally speaking, you should gather the following documents:

  • Proof of employment, e.g. a T4, pay stub, notice of assessment, or letter from your employer
  • Proof of income and assets, e.g. a bank statement detailing your savings and investments 
  • Void cheque
  • A signed letter from a friend or family member if they are helping you pay for your home 

3. Get pre-approved for a mortgage  

Step number three is to get pre-approved for a mortgage. This step is crucial as it’s the only way to know exactly how much home you can afford to buy. Otherwise, you would be house hunting blind, which could easily lead to you falling in love with an overpriced home. Getting pre-approved for a mortgage involves reaching out to one or more banks and mortgage lenders and having them assess your documents. You can compare the different mortgages you are pre-approved for to determine not only how much money you can afford to spend on your home purchase but also which mortgage lenders offer the best rates. 

We put the real back in real estate.

Join Wahi today and find out how easy it is to get real estate in Canada.

4. Find a REALTOR®  

Next, if you decide that you want the help of a REALTOR®, now is the time to hire one. A REALTOR® will help with the entire house hunting process, including scheduling showings, making an offer, and negotiating on your behalf. Research REALTORS® in your area with proven track records and lots of experience. 


5. Start house hunting  

Once you’ve hired a REALTOR®, you can start looking at homes and scheduling showings. You can also attend open houses. Be prepared to act fast and make an offer on something you love and can afford, especially if you’re searching in a hot market.


6. Make an offer  

Have you found the house you love? Whether it’s a little bungalow in White Rock or a three-bedroom, single-family home in Coquitlam, if you’ve done a home inspection to rule out any major deficiencies, it’s time to make an offer. Your REALTOR® will help you draw up an attractive offer that includes your offer price, preferred closing date, offer expiry date, and any contingencies you want included. Wait for the seller to respond to your offer — they may reject it, accept it, or counter it — and plan your next move accordingly.


7. Make it official  

Once you’ve submitted an offer and the seller has accepted it, it’s time to sign on the dotted line. This means that both parties sign the purchase agreement, which can take several days, and make the deal official.

Emily Southey

Wahi Writer

Become a Real
Estate Know-It-All

Get the weekly email that will give you everything you need to be a real estate rockstar. Stay informed and get so in the know.

Yes, I want to get the latest real estate news, insights, home value
estimates emailed to my inbox. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Get so in the Know

On everything real estate.

From the latest Canadian housing market trends and stories, to insider tips and tricks.

By clicking “subscribe”, you agree to receive emails from Wahi. You always have the option to unsubscribe at any time, see our privacy policy for more details.