A newly built home; a clean oven, scuff-free floors, pristine countertops. Oh and that new home smell, it’s hard to resist! If you're a first time home buyer, wanting to downsize or have considered taking advantage of the new strata rules allowing for rentals then a presale condo or townhouse in the Fraser Valley might be right for you.

The process IS different and can be daunting. Let’s walk through everything to expect.


Purchasing a pre-sale is not the purchase of an existing physical property, but rather a contract for the right to receive, and an obligation to pay for, a finished unit at a point in the future.


Presale Condos and Townhouses Abbotsford and Fraser Valley-The Mortgage Process

The Pre-Approval Process

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is standard for any purchase. Where it differs is the time between the approval and when you start making payments.  It could be years, and interest rates and your financial situation could change.  What happens if things DO change and how will this affect your mortgage qualifications?

You’ll need to know this from your lender. RBC offers firm approvals for clients purchasing presales with completion dates as distant as three years. This means that as the completion date draws near there is no need for updated employment/income, credit checks, etc. This may not be the case with all lenders, and the “what-ifs” need to be known.  More info from RBC here.

Presale Condos and Townhouses Abbotsford and Fraser Valley-The Payment Process

The Payment Process

Developers set the amount required as a down payment, it’s not uncommon to see 5%. They may require more, and there may be a payment schedule set up to raise that amount over time to 10% or even 20%.

As stated above, you absolutely should get pre-approved for a mortgage before signing your contract even though you will not need your mortgage nor need to make payments on that mortgage until you take possession.

If you're an "I'll worry about it later" person, you're putting your down payment at risk and could be liable for damages to be paid to the developer.

 Presale Condos and Townhouses Abbotsford and Fraser Valley-The Contract

The Contract

Contracts for purchase from a developer differ from the norm. Usually as a buyer your realtor will draft an offer with conditions that benefit you; the buyer. In a presale, the contract for purchase is more often than not written by lawyers working for the developer and they favour their interests. 

Best practise to really understand what is in the contract and get a realtor to negotiate on your behalf. What happens if the project gets delayed? Or doesn’t complete? Rare but a possibility, your contract will have information on the developers rights of termination.

Presale Condos and Townhouses Abbotsford and Fraser Valley-The Assignment Rules

The Assignment Rules

As you are purchasing something that you may not take possession of for years, you might think: "ok well, if life changes I can sell before that".  When you are buying a presale, there will be language in the contract stating the rules around selling, or “assigning” your presale.  Assignments may be prohibited, allowed only with developer approval and may come with penalties.

Presale Condos and Townhouses Abbotsford and Fraser Valley-The Developers Disclosure Statement

The Disclosure Statement

This is legally required for the developer to provide to buyers and it’s important to you. Understanding this statement is key to understanding what you are buying. This statement can be lengthy and complex; so what’s in it?

  • Information about the developers background and experience
  • How your deposit is handled
  • Strata information and budgets
  • Construction and warranties
  • Where everything will be: parking, storage, the unit, the site and phasing map
  • Entitlements and utilities
  • Your legal right to rescind the contract in the 7 days after signing
  • Permitted uses in the development

Presale Condos and Townhouses Abbotsford and Fraser Valley-The Deficiency Statement

The Must Do

Once the developer has received an occupancy permit from the city, you will receive a notice of completion and date for you to attend the walkthrough. This is your first time to see your new home, and your time to check for any flaws.

Is the paint job complete? Do the appliances, faucets and showers all work? Do the doors and windows open and close smoothly? You need to come armed with a checklist and a few tools to document any deficiencies so you can to address them with the developer immediately.

Presale Condos and Townhouses Abbotsford and Fraser Valley-Taxes and Exemptions


Property Transfer Tax: For presale of $750,000 and under (and on a sliding scale for a partial exemption up to $800,000) for a home you plan on living in as your principal residence; you are exempt from paying the P.T.T. This can be a significant savings in closing costs as P.T.T is 1% on the first $200,000, and 2% on the remainder up to 2 million of the purchase price (and it goes up even more from there).

G.S.T.: 5% is due upon completion for all new homes in B.C. If your purchase is under $450,000 you may be eligible for a partial rebate.

Presale Condos and Townhouses Abbotsford and Fraser Valley-Is it worth it to buy presale

NEW. You can’t say it enough, new is amazing. And a presale is a great investment if you know what you’re getting into. There is a reason the government enacted a 7 day rescission period for buyers; you must read and understand everything and oh it is a lot!

If you are selling a home to move into your presale, timing could get very tricky as changes to the building schedule can occur.

Get a Realtor. This is not an exhaustive list of all the ins and outs and a realtor is legally required to act in your best interest. Did we mention we are free when purchasing a property? We are paid a portion of the commission from the seller, so there is no cost to you. And one thing we do well is contracts.

If you have questions or comments, say hello and Grow with Us.

Steve & Selena

For a video of us discussing the new Strata Rules in BC click here.

Call or text us
Steve: 604-302-3882
Selena: 236-258-6606 

Local Experts based in Abbostford


Is NOW the best time to invest in real estate?

There is a lot of fear in the market due to the raises in interest rates: no one wants to buyand no one wants to sell because no one wants to buy.  

BUT IS THIS FEAR FOUNDED IN REALITY? We crunched the numbers to find out.

We took one house in East Abbotsford, one townhouse in Central Abbotsford and one condo in West Abbotsford that sold last February before the Bank of Canada started raising interest rates. The market was moving then. Was it better to buy then? Home prices HAVE fallen. What would these properties cost you now?  We analyzed the data, found the prices we would list them for today, calculated interest rates to figure out what you would be paying for that property TODAY.

Using these parameters: 

  • Interest rates THEN: 3.19%, 5yr fixed.
  • Interest rates NOW: 5.54% 5yr fixed.
  • 25yr amortization.
  • 20% down payment.

Here we go!


WHAT A DIFFERENCE A YEAR CAN MAKE! There is a lot of opportunity in the market right now and opportunities general don't last long, people get smart, start to buy and prices start to rise.  Interest rates are temporary, but a wise investment is forever. Take it from this old guy who knows a thing or two about investing:

"Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful.”

- Warren Buffett

If you have questions we'd love to hear from you.  Reach out and say hello!

Steve & Selena

Grow with Us / Local Experts / Abbotsford Homes For Sale 


Assessed Value, Insured Value, Market Value.  It’s the same home, yet these numbers are most likely all different. 

WHY? The difference lies in the purpose of each number. 

 The assessed value of a property is determined by the local government (we’ll use city herein) for the purpose of calculating property taxes. Similar but less in depth to a realtors market analysis; assessments are done in July and by the time homeowners receive them in January, they would seemingly be out of date. But this doesn’t matter. The PURPOSE of this value is to provide the city the money it needs to fund local services such as schools, roads, and emergency services.

 How much you pay in property taxes is calculated by the mill rate; the money needed by the city divided by the combined assessed value of all the properties in that class, in that city. Whether or not your personal taxes go up or down largely depends on whether your personal property rose above or dropped below the average property value.

 The insured value of a property is the amount for which the property is insured, typically for the purpose of protecting it in the event of damage or loss. This value may be different from the assessed or market value of a property because the PURPOSE of this value is to determine the cost of replacing the home should it be destroyed, based on current construction and materials costs.

Unlike market value and assessed value, insurable value does not factor in the cost of the land, but rather calculates the amount required to completely reconstruct your home.

The market value of a property is the estimated amount for which a property should sell on the date of valuation between a willing buyer and a willing seller (factoring in that it’s an arm's length transaction after proper marketing and with both parties having reasonable knowledge of the relevant facts. Oof, that’s a mouthful). The PURPOSE of this value is to assist in listing the asset for sale at an appropriate price to facilitate a successful sale.

Market values are dynamic in nature because they depend on an assortment of factors including supply and demand and can change rapidly.

If you have any questions about your home's value, reach out and say hello; we'd love to hear from you.

Selena & Steve


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We aim to write content that is is engaging and of value to home buyers and sellers alike.  If you would like to hear more about a certain topic, we'd love to hear from you! 

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