Scratching your head over buying your first home?

Dozens of factors go in to buying a first home, leaving some consumers in confusion. But help is on the way, thanks to a special seminar that will help help de-mystifying the process.

What home type is best matched to wants, needs and financial resources? What are the mortgage options? How does the provincial property transfer tax exemption for first-time home buyers work? How much can be withdrawn tax-free from RRSPs? How about legal considerations, closing costs and home warranties?

Those and other key questions will be covered by a panel of experts at the 19th Annual Seminar for First-time Home Buyers, presented by the Greater Vancouver Home Builders' Association (GVHBA) on Tuesday, March 19 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Bell Performing Arts Centre, 6250 144 Street, Surrey.  The exhibit area, featuring new-home builders and home-related products and services is open from 6 – 7 p.m.

Speakers are Robyn Adamache, senior market analyst, Canada Mortgage & Housing Corp.; Narrinder Dhanoya-Bhangu, vice-president, Pacific region, Genworth Financial Canada; Bill Macklem, president, Dominion Macklem Mortgages; Sandra Wyant, president-elect, Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver; Tom Reeves, assistant vice-president, National Home Warranty; Michael Liu, Energy Solutions Manager, FortisBC; and Gregory van Popta, partner, McQuarrie Hunter LLP;. Seminar moderator is Shayne Ramsay, chief executive officer of BC Housing.

"With interest rates still incredibly low and builders offering many new-home product choices, this is a great time for first-time buyers to consider taking that critical first step onto the property ladder,” said GVHBA CEO Bob de Wit.

"Real estate continues to be a hot topic in Metro Vancouver, so seminar attendance is expected to be as many, or greater than, the 750 people who attended last year’s event.  This is a one-stop information shop for first-time home buyers, so anyone considering buying a home should come to this free seminar," he said.

The seminar is free but pre-registration is required. Register online at or call 778-565-4288 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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