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Buyer’s Tools

Things you should know before buying your first home in BC.

Purchasing a property involves multiple decisions. Finding the perfect home isn’t easy, and getting a mortgage loan can be a complex process. That’s why working with the right professionals can make that journey enjoyable, simple and fun.

Read HofVan’s real estate guide below and learn the simple way to buy a home — the process can be easier and less expensive than if you undertake this task on your own.


Apply for your mortgage pre-approval.

Your first step is to get pre-approved with a mortgage broker, which involves getting an idea of what you can afford. When you’re pre-approved, it means a lender has reviewed your credit history, verified your assets and employment, and has pre-approved your loan before you find a home to purchase. Pre-approval gives you substantial leverage: sellers immediately see you as a serious buyer. Not only will you know the exact price range you can afford, but you’ll also be able to negotiate a better deal, and move more quickly when you see a home you like.

Define your needs versus wants.

Determine the area in which you’d like to live and the style of home you prefer. Everyone has a picture of their ideal home, but it’s important to define your “needs” versus “wants” in order to work within your budget.

Find the perfect home.

Location is everything. When purchasing a new home, check out the neighbourhood. Ask yourself these questions: What amenities does the area offer? Are there schools, parks, restaurants and shopping within reach? Consider visiting schools in the area if you have children. Is public transportation close by? All of these factors will influence the way you experience your new home. HofVan will help you find the perfect home and acquaint you with the neighbourhood before the purchase.

Additional Resources

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Don’t just take our word for it.

"We are lucky (and smart) enough to have had Heather as our agent on two sales and two purchases so far. In between searches, she talked us through our occasional temptations to sell our condo and made recommendations on renovations. When it was the right time to trade in our tiny condo for a townhouse, she sprang into action. We had a quick turnaround in getting our place ready to stage and when we listed, Heather had everything ready (including professional photos and measurements and strata docs) for any interested buyers. She helped us keep our showings to a minimum (we have a toddler) and set us up for multiple offers. A week after listing, we received seven offers and $36K over our asking price, thanks to Heather’s time and effort. We’re ecstatic!"

R.S.HofVan Client

"I would like to thank Heather for helping me through the purchase and sale of my first property. She was there every step of the way, answering my questions and providing advice. Thanks to Heather, it was a smooth and efficient process. She truly cares about her client’s satisfaction and will go above and beyond. Heather is definitely the BEST REALTOR® in the city and I would highly recommend her to anyone navigating the crazy Vancouver real estate market!"

J.V.B.HofVan Client

"Heather did a fantastic job of selling our rental property. We were amazed at how quick it was — it sold in five days and at a great price. She is a very cheerful, controlled, conscientious, professional and positive person. We will recommend her to our family, friends and to anyone else looking for a real estate agent. Heather works with you – we never felt pressured or rushed. When she was with us she focused on us at all times. We recommend Heather with no reservations whatsoever. We will definitely use her excellent services again in the future."

S.D.S.HofVan Client

"I worked with Heather for the first time a couple of years ago when I purchased my property. This time around she and Brandon helped me sell the property. Heather is the most hard working professional I’ve ever worked with. She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience, and pays great attention to detail. I will not hesitate to work with her and Brandon again, or recommend them to anyone who needs help buying or selling properties."

Y.L.HofVan Client

"Heather more than fulfilled our expectations. We owned our Burnaby home for more than forty years, and were emotionally attached to it. Heather dealt with any issues in a caring and professional manner — especially when my husband was very apprehensive about the whole process. She walked him through every concern with late-night phone calls and coffee shop meetings! I would recommend Heather to anyone looking to buy or sell their home, as her professionalism and warm personality make it a pleasure to work with her."

S.D.HofVan Client

"Heather sold my mother's house after her passing. Throughout the process she was helpful and considerate; there was significant emotion involved. The advice she gave for preparing the house for sale was practical and informative. Her enthusiasm and hard work were really appreciated. Heather’s professionalism and honesty made working with her so easy. I have no hesitation in recommending her as a real estate agent."

R.K.HofVan Client

"My mother worked with Heather to sell her condo near UBC. She was so delighted to finally find someone she could count on to represent her best interests. Heather used her highly professional skills to sell my mother’s property within two weeks of the listing date. If you want a REALTOR® who is articulate and caring, has integrity, will advocate in your best interests, address your concerns, and will go above and beyond to serve you, Heather Mah is the one."

W.C.HofVan Client

"Integrity, honesty, and professionalism — if you value these three characteristics in a person, then you’ve found the right agent. We were very fortunate and blessed to have Heather and her son, Brandon, by our side during our experience purchasing a home. As young and inexperienced first-time home buyers, we had no idea what to expect in the rapid, crazy Lower Mainland condo market of 2018, where prices were going up by tens of thousands dollars per month! Heather’s expertise and insights were highly valuable. She helped us set realistic expectations and provided us with tips and guidance along the way. She taught us what to look for in the surroundings, buildings, and units, as well as what were the critical documents and contents to read. She always put our interests first. On multiple occasions, Heather was late for family events because she really wanted to show us the condos so we didn’t miss the opportunity. Heather and Brandon’s honesty, integrity, and professionalism make them role models in their profession."

L.Y.HofVan Client

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