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Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Five Sure Signs It’s Time to Downsize

Five Sure Signs It’s Time to Downsize

If you, like many others, are considering downsizing for one reason or another, and you aren’t certain you are ready for such a bold move, there are a few things to consider. Perhaps you are holding on due to sentimentality, as this was the home in which you created many wonderful memories, or perhaps you are holding on for more practical reasons, and you hadn’t thought of downsizing before this, or how it could benefit you.
Here are five sure signs that you are definitely ready to downsize:
1. The Empty Nest.
Many homeowners bought large homes when their children were small, and after their children are grown and gone, they don’t need the space anymore. There may not be as many young families in need of large homes anymore, but the ones that are would be happy to use the same space as you did to make their memories.
2. There are rooms you only enter to clean.
When there are rooms that you only enter monthly to dust, rooms that haven’t been used or enjoyed in years, you are wasting your time, money and energy on that room — time, money and energy that could be better spent elsewhere.
3. You can’t believe how much that person just said your house could sell for.
If your friend or neighbour is selling their home, they may comment that they think your home would sell for far more money than you could have imagined, and with the markets lately, it’s likely that they are right. If you have even been considering downsizing, it is worth it to get a Realtor in to assess the potential value your home has.
4. You’d rather have… something else.
Something like a bungalow, or easier access to different areas of your city, etc.
That three storey Victorian you fell in love with years ago has served you well, but… three storeys means three sets of stairs. It is definitely time to downsize if you are already starting to dread what those stairs will feel like in 2, 5, or 10 years.
Perhaps your home was in the ideal location for you to get to work without partaking in rush hour traffic, or it was serviced by the school that you felt would be best for your children. If those considerations are no longer a priority for you, and the gym, church, or club you wanted to join in a different neighbourhood are, then perhaps downsizing and discussing a change of neighbourhood with your Realtor would be a good place to start.
5. Less work — both yardwork and housework.
You don’t use the swing set, your tiny dog is nowhere near as energetic as the bigger dogs you once had, and you don’t want to have to mow your huge lawn ever again, or shovel the snow out of that driveway yourself, either.
It’s time, isn’t it?
The costs involved in owning a large house are growing by the year, and the housing market is booming, but won’t be forever. Call a local Realtor today, even if you haven’t made your final decision on whether or not to downsize.
Above all, remember that while your large house is where you built all of your memories, a house is just a building. Those memories will go with you when you move to a more convenient home.

House for Sale – 6 Tips for a Quick Sale

House for Sale – 6 Tips for a Quick Sale

When you list your house for sale, you’d ideally want it to be a quick, easy, and smooth process with no hiccups. Many external factors influence how fast you can sell your house, including the market conditions, competition, and interest rates, these variables you can’t control. However, there are many things within your power that you can do to successfully sell your house much quicker.

Price it right

One of the most common mistake sellers making when they list their house for sale is to overprice their property, which can be a costly mistake. Any smart real estate agent will tell you that in the first 2 to 3 weeks you’ll get the most buyer traffic for your property. By overvaluing your house for more than it’s worth will put off many buyers, and leave your house lingering on the market for many more months to come.
Undervaluing also has it’s downside, find out how much similar homes in your area are going for, and get two or three private appraisals to give a indication of what your home is worth.

First impressions are vital

Before even walking into your house, buyers have already started judging your home the moment they drove onto your street. As the old saying goes you never get a second chance to make a good first impression. Brighten up your home by buying colorful plants and keep the hallway clutter free, this will be the first room they see in your house, make sure it gives off the right impression. The overall tone of your home should be warm and welcoming, you want to the buyer to visualize your home as their own.

Hide the ankle biters

Your pets may be the nicest and cutest animals in the world, and you may even think they’ll win the hearts of your potential buyers, wrong! Not everybody loves pets and having cats and dogs running around the house can put buyers off. Empty the litter trays to ensure your house doesn’t smell, and keep your pets in the garden when you have a house showing.

Always be ready for viewings

Extending from the previous point, it’s always important to have your property ready for a showing at any time when your house is for sale. Make sure there are no dishes in the sink, all the worktops are clutter-free, and the bathrooms are sparkling. It may be a little tiresome to constantly clean everything, but if will get your house sold.

Remove the curtains

As a general rule of thumb, if your drapes are older than 10 years, take them down now. Your house is for sale so privacy isn’t really that important, and the extra light will give your house a bigger feeling. Otherwise, always tie your drapes back as it makes rooms look cleaner and more appealing.

Bring out the paint rollers

Painting your home inside and out can really make a difference when it comes to selling your home. Stick to neutral colors such as white and cream, any rooms in your home that are of an unusual color, paint over them. You won’t be living here much longer and buyers prefer a clean canvas to work with, then having to adjust to the previous homeowners style.
Many factors need to be considered when you list your house for sale, it’s simply not enough to just list and expect it to be sold. Buyers are more picker than ever and their demands are high, by following some of the tips advised today can be the difference between selling your house in just a few months, to waiting for a year or more.

Real Estate Agent – Picking the Right One

Real Estate Agent – Picking the Right One

Picking the right real estate agent can be the difference between having a nice easy buying experience, or being a total catastrophe that will never make you want to look at another home again. But what exactly goes into picking an agent? This blog post will underline some key factors that you should consider before selecting your real estate agent.

How well do you communicate with each other?

Communication is the key to success in many relationships, including the one with your real estate agent. Be honest with what you need, ensure everything is out there in the open, and explain to them exactly what you want from them. Communicate your concerns and demands, as the better you can communicate, the better chance your real estate agent has to meet all your needs.

Don’t be afraid to turn agents away

Upon meeting with an agent, ask yourself if you feel comfortable talking to them? Do you feel any sort of connection or chemistry? Would you like to spend time with this person? If something seems off and you just don’t seem to click, walk away and keep on looking for another agent.
Ask most people and they’ll tell you that buying a home isn’t easy, there will be a lot of highs and lows as you try to find your perfect home. Your real estate agent will be along side you for all of it, and they’ll most likely learn about your personal life along the way. For these reasons it’s important to pick someone you trust and like, otherwise the whole experience is going to feel weird and off-putting.
Real estate agent

How well does the real estate agent know the local area?

Finding an agent who has worked in the local area for more than a few years is going to be detrimental to finding your new home. Knowledgeable real estate agents can tell you which suburbs to avoid, the ones which are ideal for starting a new family, and be able to answer any question you may have about the area.
Picking somebody who is unfamiliar with the local area is a waste of time, many times you will actually know more than them!

You need to relax

Good real estate agents have your best interest at heart, there will be times when they push your patience, but remain calm. For example, it could been a month or two and they’ve yet to pick out a home that you truly love, this may just be because the housing market is running slow and there’s not enough homes for sale. Buying a home should never be rushed as that’s when mistakes are made and future regrets are born. Take it easy and when the right house comes along, all that hard work and wait would have been worth it.
There is more than meets the eye to finding the right real estate agent, many times after helping a buyer find a home, I develop deep personal friendships that I have even to this day. Finding the right real estate agent is more than just picking someone to find you a house, they’ll be there to advise you during tough decisions, comfort you the lows, and smile with you during the highs.

First Time Home Buyer – 4 Tips

First Time Home Buyer – 4 Tips

Buying your first property can be a tricky process as a first time home buyer with no experience . Buying your first home is a big deal after all, it’s probably the most valuable item you’ll ever buy in your life, so you’d want to make sure you do everything right. Here are 4 tips that all first time home buyers should follow when shopping for their first home.

Create a budget

Too many buyers get lost in the excitement of buying a home, that they stop thinking logically and instead focus on finding the house of their dreams. This dream quickly shatters when they find out the home is worth way more than they can afford, leaving them often deflated.
Using your salary and any other earnings you make, figure out how much you can realistically afford to pay out each month for your mortgage. Don’t forget to factor in other living costs such as food, commuting, utilities, and all other home associated costs. Once your budget is complete, you’ll have a much better idea of what you can afford. Many first time home buyers make the mistake of not creating a budget, and only after purchasing their first home they start to realize they cannot afford it, and by then it’s all to late.
First time home buyer

Finding the right real estate agent

Researching online is a fantastic way to get clued up on what to look for when buying your first home, things to avoid, and what to prepare for. However, one thing it doesn’t provide you is experience, finding the right real estate agent who can find you property’s within your price range, in the right areas of town, and help you through the whole process is a critical. A great real estate agent who is familiar with the local area can help you to avoid common mistakes that first time home buyers usually make.

Do adequate research

Need a home near a school for your children? Maybe you need to commute to work everyday and need something close to the train station? Whatever your needs are, research, research, and then research some more! After getting the mortgage and signing the dotted line, the last thing you’d want to find out is that your new neighborhood has a high crime rate, or the closet public transport links are 25 minutes away.
According to a study done by Forbes, they estimated that approximately 15% of all home buyers wished they’d of done more research on the surrounding areas before making a purchase. Don’t be apart of that 15%!

Get pre-approved

Save yourself the headache and get pre-approved first, many home deals fall apart at the last minute because the buyer couldn’t find a lender to give them a loan. Go to various lenders such as national and regional banks, credit unions, and local lenders. Compare each loan and see which one is best for you, if you’re unsure what to make of these loans, feel free to give me a call or pop into my office, I am more than happy to help.
Once you’ve decided which loan provider to use, it’s time to get yourself pre-approved. Depending on the lender they may sometimes charge a fee to become pre-approved, so be sure to ask them about that before hand. Most pre-approvals tend to be valid for around 60-90 days, if you’re unable to find a home in that period, you may have to start the whole process again.
Being a first time home buyer will probably be one of the most difficult things you’ll ever do in your life, with so many procedures to go through, it’s no wonder most people dread the thought. With the tips provided today, I hope to make your first time buying experience a pleasant one.

Thursday, 7 August 2014


News Release: August 5, 2014

(Surrey, BC) – Continued demand for single family homes and townhomes resulted in the busiest July in five years for the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board. The Board’s Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) processed 1,615 sales in July, an increase of 11 per cent compared to the 1,456 sales in July last year and 1.4 per cent above the 10-year average for the month.
Ray Werger, President of the Board, says, “July’s steady activity is a continuation of what we’ve been seeing all year. Our market has fully recovered from last year’s slump and has returned to what we typically see in the Fraser Valley, which is a steady, consistent market.”
In July, the Board received 2,724 new listings, a decrease of 2 per cent compared to July 2013 taking the number of active listings in Fraser Valley to 9,636, a decrease of 8 per cent compared to the volume available in July 2013.
Werger says, “Although our sales were slightly above average for the month, the volume of new listings added to the MLS® was 7 per cent lower than what’s typical for July, so for certain property types and price ranges we’re actually seeing a shortage of listings creating a seller’s market for particular homes.
“When demand starts to exceed supply it puts upward pressure on prices and in areas such as White Rock/South Surrey, North Delta and Langley we’ve seen an increase in benchmark prices of single family detached homes ranging from 3 to 6.6 per cent over the last year. It’s a different story for condos. In most of our market, there’s excellent selection and prices lower than they were one year ago offering tremendous opportunities for buyers.”
In July, the benchmark price, as determined by the MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI), of a ‘typical’ single family detached home was $568,300, an increase of 3 per cent compared to July 2013 when it was $551,000.
The HPI benchmark price of Fraser Valley townhouses increased by 0.2 per cent; going from $297,800 in July 2013 to $298,500 in July 2014. The benchmark price of apartments was $194,700 last month, a decrease of 3.6 per cent compared to $202,000 in July of last year.
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The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board is an association of 2,774 real estate professionals who live and work in the BC communities of North Delta, Surrey, White Rock, Langley, Abbotsford, and Mission. The FVREB marked its 90-year anniversary in 2011.