Man, when things happen in the “new condo construction” world, they happen fast.
It doesn’t help that despite having to solicit the services of “experts” to make this thing happen (mortgage advisors, lawyers, etc.) they all expect us to tell them what exactly is going on. I suppose that in any other real-estate transaction, “us” would generally be a Realtor, but there isn’t one in this situation, since we’re buying directly from the developer.
Suffice to say, there has been no hand-holding through the process.
So it’s been a stressful couple of days.
We scheduled an inspection of the unit for yesterday morning, and in between scheduling and the actual inspection we were informed that our closing date is going to be January 2nd.
Yesterday ended up being a complete clusterfuck of dealing with the inspection (nothing major is wrong, a couple fixes and some finishing work – should be easypeasy), dealing with the lawyer, booking a moving time and booking movers.
The biggest thing complicating matters right now is the fact that the GST has gone down twice since we initially signed our agreement to purchase.
And nobody ever asked when, exactly, we signed our contract (or apparently even looked at the contract). You’d think they would – it’s a pretty important date, since it determines how much GST we pay out of pocket.
We finally spent a few hours last night looking up the legislation ourselves, and found that we do pay the 7% out of pocket (thankfully we had initially budgeted for that anyhow), and can fill in a short form to send to the CRA to get 1% back to make it equal to 6%. We’ll actually come out ahead on this one, since if you qualify for the New Homebuyer’s GST Rebate (which we don’t, since our home – like most in Vancouver – is well above the $450,000 threshold), they reduce the amount of your Transitional Period GST Rebate.
Another thing about “New Homebuyer” this and “GST Rebate” that: there are a number of programs for New Homebuyers to save GST, Property Transfer tax and to withdraw funds from one’s RRSP without penalty. There are also GST rebate programs for both new homebuyers, and any homebuyers completing a purchase bridging transitional periods around a reduction. Every. Single. Professional, without exception, has confused the programs with each other and told us we qualify for either none or all of them. Which isn’t true.
You’d think that the purchase of new property in Vancouver wouldn’t be such a challenge for those whose job is it to broker the sales of property in Vancouver, since so much of the real estate in the city is brand new construction. Apparently it is.
Also, while everyone and their dog has said that GST is going down to 5% January 1st, I can’t find anything that says the bill to approve the reduction has gone further than approval by the House of Commons (no approval from the Senate, no Royal Assent) – though if it does happen, everything we’ve found suggests we can fill out yet another form to get another 1% back from the CRA.
But! After some insane crazy-making research and a mostly sleepless night, I think we’re pretty much set.
And speaking of sets, I’ve created one with some of the pictures we took during the inspection. That’s our new kitchen and part of the living area, and you can check the rest of the place out on my flickr stream.