Finding a Home in Vancouver for Expatriates
There are lots of ways to find a home in Vancouver. For rentals, most people go online and access the newspaper Classifieds, as well as online rental sites such as Craig’s List and Kijiji. These two methods are used by many Vancouver landlords to advertise vacancies. Another way landlords advertise is by simply placing a vacancy sign outside the property. This method is commonly used in the neighborhoods of Kits and the West End, and condos/apartments/houses are snapped up fast. This is why it pays to explore your neighborhood of choice on foot, as you can often procure a place you see and like on the spot. In Vancouver, most real estate agents handle properties for sale exclusively, although there may be a few that handle rentals as well, this would be uncommon.
For finding rentals:
The two major Vancouver newspapers, the Vancouver Sun and The Province, share the Classifieds network through Canada.com— http://canadaclassifieds.oodle.com/
- Kijiji— http://vancouver.kijiji.ca/
- Craigslist— http://vancouver.en.craigslist.ca/
- Rent BC/My Ideal Home— http://www.rentbc.com/
- Apartmentguide.ca— http://apartmentguide.ca/
- Rentsline.com— http://www.rentsline.com/
- Homerent.ca— http://www.homerent.ca/
For finding properties to purchase:
For purchasing a home, it is best to use a local real estate agent, particularly for those coming from out of the country (trying to do it all yourself is difficult when you’re not familiar with the system). Real estate agents earn commission from the sale of the property, and this percentage is already figured into the selling price, thus, in the end, buyers actually pay this commission, but painlessly.
Realty Link Online (http://www.realtylink.org/) is a local website that has a lot of useful and helpful information about the real estate system in BC. You can also search listings and open houses. According to Realty Link, the real estate agent should provide the following services:
- Help you decide on the type of property you want and can afford
- Help you find properties for sale and make appointments for you to see them
- Explain all of the forms used in a real estate transaction
- Help you prepare an offer to purchase
- Present your offer to the seller and negotiate on your behalf
- Recommend professionals such as notaries, lawyers and certified home inspectors
It is customary for the real estate agent to take you around to view prospective properties, and you should not have to worry about your own transportation. The real estate agent is there to cater to your needs and specific situation. If you sense that the agent is getting “tired” of showing you prospective properties or is less than completely helpful, don’t hesitate to find another agent. They are there to help you find the best possible property, no matter how long it takes.
- MLS — http://www.mls.ca/ (all the listings for available properties)
- Information for Foreign Buyers (Peter Nash Real Estate)— http://www.peternash.com/resources/foreignbuyers.htm