Thinking of buying your first Maple Ridge home?

Free seminar in Surrey can give some good background information

f you’re thinking about taking the plunge into home ownership, maybe slide over to Surrey next month, April 3 in particular. Beginning at 7 p.m. that night the Greater Vancouver Home Builder’s Association will present its 18th annual free seminar for first-time home buyers.

“Basically, this is going to be home-buying 101,” said Peter Simpson, association president.

The event, which takes place at the Bell Performing Arts Centre,  6250 – 144th St., attracts people just starting the process of home buying and who don’t know the difference between a variable and fixed rate mortgage, he said.

This year, the session should prove particularly useful because it will focus on the B.C. First Time Home Buyers Bonus announced by the B.C. government in its 2012 budget.

That’s available only to people who’ve never owned a home before and is based on the buyers’ income and the price of the house. It applies to new home construction only and will be paid by the government based on five per cent of the home’s price up to a maximum of $10,000. However, the bonus is scaled back for incomes of more than $150,000.

Simpson says the bonus should have the desired effect.

“It’s going to help more people get into the market who maybe had to wait before.” He said it would take people a long time to save up $10,000 after taxes.

Simpson said more single  women now are buying homes.

“They’re not waiting for Mr. Right to sweep them off their feet.”

Simpson expects the housing market this year to remain stable.

The seminar doors open at 6 p.m., allowing attendees ample time to view builder displays and other home-related products and services.

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