The Home Buyer’s Plan

What is the home buyer’s plan? How does it benefit you?

The Home Buyer’s Plan gives you the ability to purchase a qualifying home using your RRSP account. This will enable you to buy a home much faster but allowing you to withdraw up to $25,000.

Here are some of the many rules of the Home Buyer’s Plan:

  • The funds in your RRSP account must be in there for a minimum of 91 days
  • You may not use locked-in RRSPs
  • The funds can be used for other things, not just the down payment, such as furniture, moving expenses, and legal costs
  • You can replenish your RRSP over the next 15 year time period or sooner if you wish
  • And/or you can add the amount ($25,000 divided by 15 = $1,667) to your income each year and be taxed on it and not replenish your RRSP
  • You can use the program again after 5 years of the RRSPs being repaid
  • Both spouses are eligible to withdraw up to $25,000 each, at the same time
  • One family – one principle residence: if you marry someone who has already used the plan and you move into their home, you are no longer eligible to use the program
  • As a first-time home buyer, you are eligible to make a tax-free withdrawal of up to $25,000

This is just one option of many mortgage insured programs. The Home Buyer’s Plan allows you to purchase a qualifying home much quicker.

If you have any questions regarding the above, please give us a call at 604-588-4466 or email us at


Requirements for Selling a New Home

Planning on building, renovating or selling? Below outlines the requirements to selling a new home under the Homeowner Protection Act.

The Homeowner Protection Act (HPA) is activated to ensure the necessary requirements are met before any person is able to build, sell or offer to sell a new home.

selling a new home

Source: Google Images

The HPA defines a ‘new home’ as:

  • a building, or portion of a building, that is newly constructed or current in the process of being constructed intended for residential occupancy
  • a home that is being substantially renovated

The HPA considers a home to be substantially renovated when if after renovations are complete, 25% or less of the home’s original structure is remaining.

At BrokerSmart, we are here to assist in confirming with the builder and/or the owner that theyare meeting the requirements of the HPA.

Residential Builders are required to be registered under the Homeowner Protection Office (HPO). Warranty insurance from a third-party must be confirmed prior to the start date of building.

Owner-builders must me eligibility requirements, pay a fee, and obtain an Owner-Builder Authorization from the HPO because construction begins. The builders must occupy the home for at least a year, after obtaining the occupancy permit. They are not allowed to sell or rent the home in that first year.

There is a few exceptions for owner-builders compared to residential builders, but they are required to meet specific requirements.

For more information on the requirements for selling a new home, please click here.

If you have any questions regarding the above, please give us a call at 604-588-4466 or email us at and we would be happy to assist you.

The Difference Between a Notary and a Lawyer

A notary and a lawyer are two terms that are sometimes used interchangeably in the industry because they have the same bottom line – provide legal service for your real estate transaction. Below outlines the difference between a notary and a lawyer.

difference between a notary and a lawyer

Source: Google Images


Both notaries and lawyers are able to provide you with the necessary documentation for your transaction. For those people who find themselves in more complicated transactions with the potential of something going wrong, lawyers are able to represent you in court but a notary cannot do so. Notaries are also not allowed to represent you in any kind of disputes.

Legal Advice

Lawyers are allowed to assist you and give you advice on a legal matter, whereas notaries cannot. For example, if you require legal advice on where your property line lies because you think your neighbour’s garden is crossing the boundary, a notary cannot provide that advice for you. The legal power notaries have is to register and sign off on the appropriate documents.


It is very important to use legal representation to review the contracts of your transaction. We are committed to providing you with the legal representative, a notary or a lawyer, that best suits your needs in your situation.

If you have any questions regarding the above, please give us a call at 604-588-4466 or email us at

FVREB June Statistics

This past June marks the strongest June in the last four years for the Fraser Valley housing market. The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) found in the June Statistics report that sales are increasing as demand shifts for single family homes and townhomes. Below outlines the key stats and benchmark prices:

FVREB June Statistics

Source: Google Images

Key Stats

  • Sales: 1,668 – an increase of 26% compared to June 2013
  • New Listings: 2,974 – an increase of 13% compared to June 2013
  • Active Listings: 9,853 – a decline of 6% compared to June 2013

Benchmark Prices

  • Single Family Detached Home: $568,600 – an increase of 3% compared to June 2013
  • Townhome: $297,800 – a decline of 0.3% compared to June 2013
  • Apartment:$197,000 – a decline of 2.7% compared to June 2013

Ray Werger, President of FVREB, says, “Recent news reports indicate that consumer optimism about real estate is at its highest level in a number of years and we’re experiencing that at the ground level. Over the last three months, we’ve seen a surge in demand specifically for single family homes and townhomes in most of our communities. Our number one buyer is families with children and they’re taking advantage of ultra-low interest rates combined with more affordable, stable prices in the Fraser Valley.”

To view the full FVREB June Statistics report, click here.

If you have any questions regarding the above, please give us a call at 604-588-4466 or email us at

REBGV June Statistics

The Greater Vancouver housing market is currently seeing an increase in buyer demand as prices of homes continue to be on the rise. The Real Estate Board of Vancouver (REBGV) have released their June Statistics.

REBGV June Statistics

Source: Google Images

Key Stats:

  • Total Sales: 3,406 – an increase of 28.9% compared to June 2013
  • Sales-to-Active Ratio: 21.3% – this measurement is the highest it has been since June 2011
  • New Listings: 5,339 – an increase of 9.5% compared to June 2013 and a decline of 10.1% compared to May 2014
  • Total Properties Listed for Sale: 16,011 – a decline of 7.4% compared to June 2013

Benchmark Prices:

  • All Residential Properties: $628,000 – an increase of 4.4% compared to June 2013
  • Detached Properties: $976,700 – an increase of 6.2% compared to June 2013
  • Apartment Properties: $378,000 – an increase of 2.4% compared to June 2013
  • Attached Properties: $471,200 – an increase of 3.1% compared to June 2013

Ray Harris, President of REBGV, states, “Over the last three years, we’ve seen changes in demand yet home prices at the regional level have maintained relative stability. While these numbers provide high level trends, it’s important to know that changes in prices always vary depending on neighbourhood and property type. Consult your local REALTOR® for information on trends in your area of choice.”

“Competition amongst home buyers today is as strong as it’s been in the region since 2011,” Harris said.

To view the full REBGV June Statisitics report, click here.

If you have any questions regarding the above or are in need of trend information in your area of choice, please give us a call at 604-588-4466 or email us at