A little bit of help for home buyers

With so many diverse factors to take into consideration when buying a new home, it is no surprise first-time home buyers need a little help de-mystifying the process. What home type is best matched to wants, needs and financial resources? What location is preferable? What are the mortgage options? How does the provincial property transfer tax exemption for first-time home buyers work? What are the rules associated with B.C.’s newly announced $10,000 first-time new home buyers bonus? How much can be withdrawn tax-free from RRSPs? How about legal considerations, closing costs and home warranties? What’s involved with condo pre-sales? Those and other key questions will be covered by a panel of experts at the 18th annual seminar for first-time homebuyers, presented by the Greater Vancouver Home Builders’ Association (GVHBA) on Tuesday, April 3 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Bell Performing Arts Centre (6250 144 St.) in Surrey. The seminar is free. Speakers are Robyn Adamache, senior market analyst, Canada Mortgage & Housing Corp.; Wendy Acheson, vice president and registrar, Homeowner Protection Office, branch of BC Housing; Narrinder Dhanoya-Bhangu, vice president, Pacific region, Genworth Financial Canada; Inde Sumal, vice-president of residential mortgages, BC region, RBC Royal Bank; Eugen Klein, president, Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver; Tom Reeves, assistant vice-president, National Home Warranty; and Aaron Lightman, associate, Farris & Company LLP. Seminar moderator is Shayne Ramsay, chief executive officer of BC Housing. “Our experts will help first-time buyers consider all available options and important issues before they take that critical first step onto the property ladder,” said GVHBA President and CEO Peter Simpson. “Real estate continues to be a hot topic in this region, so seminar attendance is expected to be as many or greater than the 750 young people who attended last year’s event. Doors open at 6 p.m., allowing attendees ample time to view builder displays and other home-related products and services,” he said. Pre-registration is required. Register online at or call 778-565-4288 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday. Registrations will also be accepted via voicemail during evenings and weekends. There is ample free onsite parking, and public transit is right at the corner. Although the seminar is free, attendees are asked to bring a food item for the Surrey Food Bank.
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