Buying your first home is one of life’s milestones. Millennials would file buying a home under the adulting category next to tax season and weekly grocery shopping. You’ll always remember your first home. And it’s important to have good information at your disposal to help you make the right decision. Below we’ll teach you how to buy your first home in North Vancouver.
If the allure of the great outdoors is calling out to you, yet you still enjoy nights on the town, North Vancouver could be for you. Below we’ll highlight some of the best neighborhoods for first-time buyers; whether you’re single, a couple, or a family.
This article features the expert opinions of Pat Love, a realtor at EXP Realty and life-long resident of North Vancouver. She absolutely loves the area! Pat is a 25-year veteran of residential Vancouver real-estate. Her expertise and knowledge throughout the piece will help move you into the right North Vancouver neighborhood.
Finding Your Sweet Spot
“Every client I talk to, time and time again, says they chose North Vancouver because of the hiking, nature, skiing, and oceans” – Pat Love
Do you consider yourself a King or Queen or the outdoors?. Your life is built around staying active, exercising, and having fun. If this sounds like you then welcome to North Vancouver!
There are several neighborhoods and villages in the area, each with unique attractions and hot spots making North Vancouver an amazing place to live. Finding the North Vancouver area for you is the first step. Some residents value being closer to the ocean, while others want to be minutes away from downtown. One thing is certain: every North Vancouver neighborhood is photogenic. Here are a few neighborhoods you need to explore!
This is one of the most scenic spots in North Vancouver. With a focus on recreation, many residents and visitors hike the trails, shop in the village, and paddle or sail up the Indian Arm. This is a long narrow body of water surrounded by high cliffs. You might even get a chance to see some celebrities, as the area is popular with television and film crews. Downtown Deep Cove offers local eats such as Arm’s Reach Bistro, where you can help yourself to a Wagyu Flat-Iron steak. Then if you’re still feeling hungry head over to local neighborhood pub The Raven, which is famous for its pizza.
This community covers the largest area in the district. With the Seymour River to the west and Deep Cove to the East, Seymour is a family-oriented community with plenty of recreation opportunities. Residents are close to plenty of hiking trails and the Maplewood Mudflats Conservation. It’s also home to Mount Seymour Ski Resort and one of the best golf courses in Vancouver, The Seymour Golf & Country Club.
“Lower Lonsdale is up and coming, vibrant and appealing to the first time buyer age group. It’s ideal because it’s a beautiful place to live, and it’s close to the city, 5 minutes away from the downtown center”- Pat Love
Lower Lonsdale is one of Vancouver’s oldest and fastest-growing urban neighborhoods. The Shipyards District of Lower Lonsdale is quickly becoming a hub for many local shops, restaurants, food stores, and more. Lower Lonsdale is only a twelve-minute sea bus ride to downtown Vancouver, which is perfect for the working couple.
Don’t feel like you have to leave North Vancouver to satisfy your shopping needs. The Lonsdale Quay Market is the ultimate shopping experience featuring over eighty local vendors. If you’re searching for a particular place to eat, Restaurant Row has every palette covered. Lonsdale is perfect for the urban explorer rather than the hiking aficionado.
Edgemont vs Lynn Valley
“There are some comparisons between them, like a brand new house in Lynn Valley would be the same price as an old house in Edgemont” – Pat Love
Not to pit two communities against each other, but we couldn’t help but notice some similarities. However, there are far more luxury homes in Edgemont than Lynn Valley. They are two family-oriented neighborhoods. Lynn Valley is known for its mountain village charm. It has a vibrant residential and commercial core and is known for its great schools. While Edgemont is more popular for its high school, it is a well-established area for those looking for upscale homes and lifestyles.
“Edgemont is a very established area. It’s a cute village. They just built a fancy grocery store and they’re sprucing it up to become high-end.” – Pat Love
Think of Yourself
North Vancouver offers an array of neighborhoods sure to meet anyone’s needs. Finding a property in one of these neighborhoods depends on what stage of life you’re in. Active individuals, couples, and families can find a place for themselves in North Vancouver. If you are a single professional, or professional couple, Pat recommends the vibrant community of Lower Lonsdale.
The location is perfect, as it keeps you close to the downtown core of Vancouver. When buying your first property in Lower Lonsdale, it would be best to start looking at the older buildings and condominiums, as they are much more affordable. The popularity of Lower Lonsdale, with its young, hip, and trendy status, is driving up the property prices. But good deals can still be found in these older living spaces.
If you’re a family, you’ll likely want to find a community that’s a little less trendy, and more community and school-oriented like Lynn Valley, Edgemont, or Seymour. All of these communities still offer outdoor activities to keep the kids engaged, and even some fun for adults via skiing and golfing resorts. Lynn Valley offers a variety of modest family-oriented homes. For families wanting an upscale lifestyle, Edgemont is the North Vancouver neighborhood of choice.
When You’re Ready To Buy
The buying process in North Vancouver should be no different than anywhere else in Canada. If you need help finding great properties in suitable neighborhoods get into contact with a local realtor who knows all about North Vancouver. You want to find an agent who grew up in the area, like Pat.
The experience and expertise of local agents can make the buying process quick and easy. They know what properties and areas will make you happy, and they have enough knowledge of North Vancouver to quickly find you a new home. And they’ll walk you through the entire process, step by step.
Two Things To Be Cautious Of Before You Buy Your First Home In North Vancouver
After choosing a good real estate agent, your next task is to find a mortgage broker. If you can’t find a mortgage broker, your real estate agent should be able to refer you to one. Mortgage brokers are professionals who can help you calculate and prepare for every cost along your journey to buying a home in North Vancouver. They are the middlemen between you and the bank.
“When you’re starting to look to buy, always meet with a mortgage broker because they will tell you everything. They know all the programs that you’ll need. They know which banks will lend on first nations land. Don’t just go to your bank. It’s better to get someone who shops around who knows all of the criteria.” – Pat Love
The advantage of working with a mortgage broker is that they are real estate specific, and can give you information that pertains to your purchase that the bank can’t. For example, in North Vancouver, there is a lot of first nations land, and they know which banks will lend on such land. They will also inform you about the high property tax and land transfer fees before you buy your first home in North Vancouver, and they will help you prepare for them.
A mortgage broker offers you the best of both worlds as they have connections with multiple lenders and real-estate expertise. Some lenders only work exclusively with brokers who bring suitable clients to them. You cannot get in touch with these lenders without the help of a broker. In addition, brokers may be able to pen special mortgage rates from these lenders.
Set The Foundation
Once you have your sights set on a North Vancouver property, it’s important to discuss a professional home inspection with your agent. A home inspection can be a contingency in the contract, where a buyer will only purchase the home after the completion of a professional inspection. This makes you aware of any existing or foreseeable problems before you buy your first home in North Vancouver.
“First-time homebuyers should always keep the condition of their property in mind, so always get a professional home inspection” – Pat Love
Your real estate agent will set up and attend the home inspection with you. Look for information on the attic, bathrooms, basement, garage, plumbing, structure, and windows. Buying a house with no inspection is like purchasing a car without taking it for a test drive. After all, you’ll want to know how much money you’ll be putting into your home in the future and how to maintain the value of the property before selling.
No matter which North Vancouver neighborhood or property you choose as your first, it is important to work with professionals to help you through the process. And it all starts with finding a local North Vancouver real estate agent to meet your needs. After this step, you’ll find a property and location that is catered to you. And professional mortgage brokers and home inspectors will ensure you’re making an affordable and sound decision.