November 15, 2012
Shopping for a New Neighbourhood
Most people, who want to make a move, shop for a new home. They think about the number of bedrooms they want, the depth of the backyard, the quaintness of the recreation room, and the size of the kitchen.
There’s no doubt about it. Making sure that a house has all the features you need is important.
But when shopping for a new home, you should also pay close attention to the neighbourhood features.
You’ve probably heard the real estate industry phrase: Location, location, location. The neighbourhood you choose has a huge effect on your lifestyle and that of your family.
Think about the age of your kids, the activities your family members are involved in, your commute to work, where you like to shop, etc. Then make sure the neighbourhood you select for your next home supports your family’s lifestyle.
Shopping for a neighbourhood should go hand-in-hand with shopping for a new home. After all, you can renovate a kitchen, but you can’t make a nearby playground magically appear!
November 15, 2012
Using “Conditional Offers” to Your Best Advantage
You find a home that you’re interested in buying. But you have concerns. Is it in a good state of repair? Will you be able to secure the right financing? Can you sell your current home in time?
Any of these issues can prevent you from making a prompt offer and, as a result, cause you to lose the opportunity.
The solution? Make a conditional offer.
A conditional offer means just that. You offer to purchase the home so long as certain conditions, which you specify, are satisfied. Here are the most common examples:
- “Subject to financing“. You will buy the home if you’re able to arrange for a suitable mortgage.
- “Subject to inspection“. You will buy the home if it passes inspection by a qualified home inspector of your choice. If he or she finds that substantial repairs are required, you can either walk away from the deal or renegotiate.
- “Subject to selling my current home“. You will buy the home if you can sell your own home within a set period of time. For example: 45 days. A seller might agree to this if your home is competitively priced.
- “Subject to the repair of ____“. You will buy the home if the seller makes certain repairs, at his or her own expense. This can range from something relatively minor, such as fixing a crack in the foundation, to a major repair like replacing the roof shingles.
A conditional offer will protect you. However, there is always the risk that the seller will say “No.” If you’re in a competitive situation, for example, and another buyer’s offer is unconditional, you may lose the deal – even if your offer price is higher!
So you really need to use conditional offers strategically, in just the right way, under just the right circumstances.
November 15, 2012
Selling Your House Using the Other Three Senses
Most advice on how to prepare your house for sale involves how the property will look to a potential buyer. Appearance is, of course, very important if you want to sell a house quickly and for the best price. But there are three other senses you have to satisfy as well.
Hearing. Check for creaks in the floor, a rattling washer or dryer, or any other unpleasant noise. You may no longer notice these sounds, but potential buyers will.
Smelling. You might love the aroma of exotic cooking, but visitors may not. Also check for other obvious sources of odours: such as ashtrays, laundry hampers, garbage bins and toilets.
Touching. Make sure countertops, door handles, floors and other surfaces are free of dust and dirt. If potential buyers feel the need to wipe their hands after touching something, they won’t leave with a good impression. Appealing to all the senses helps to ensure that your house shows well. Want more proven ideas for making your home show better? Call today.
November 15, 2012
Home Financing Journal
From Lori Watson, Dominion Lending Centres
Selecting Your Best Mortgage Term
Choosing the mortgage term that’s right for you can be a challenging proposition for even the savviest of homebuyers, as terms typically range from six months up to 10 years.
By understanding mortgage terms and what they mean in dollars and sense, you can save the most money and choose the term that is best suited to your specific needs.
The first consideration when comparing various mortgage terms is to understand that a longer term generally means a higher corresponding interest rate. And, a shorter term generally means a lower corresponding interest rate. While this generalization may lead you to believe that a shorter term is always the preferred option, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes there are other factors – either in the financial markets or in your own life – that you’ll also have to take into consideration when selecting the length of your mortgage term.
If paying your mortgage each month places you close to the financial edge of your comfort zone, you may want to opt for a longer mortgage term, such as five or 10 years, so that you can ensure that you’ll be able to afford your mortgage payments should interest rates increase.
By the end of a five- or 10-year mortgage term, most buyers are in a better financial situation, have a lower outstanding principal balance and, should interest rates have risen throughout the course of your term, you will be able to afford higher mortgage payments.
If you’re shopping for a mortgage for an investment property, you’ll likely want to consider choosing a longer mortgage term – depending, of course, on your overall plan. This will allow you to know that the mortgage payments on the property will be steady for a long time and enable you to more accurately project your future income from the property.
As well, if you know you will not be staying in the same home for the next five or 10 years, opting for a shorter term can save you significant fees when it comes to early payout penalties.
Choosing the right mortgage term is a unique decision for each individual. By understanding your personal financial situation and your tolerance for risk, I can assist you in choosing the mortgage term that will work best for your situation.
As always, if you have any questions about paying off your mortgage faster or about your mortgage in general, I’m here to help!
November 15, 2012
Positive Signs for Fraser Valley Housing Market
For Immediate Release: November 2, 2012
SURREY, BC – The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) processed 1,053 sales on its Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in October, a decrease of 8 per cent compared to the 1,139 sales during October last year however, a 23 per cent increase compared to September.
Scott Olson is the president of the board. This is a marked improvement over September. Our sales increased at the same time as our inventory dropped improving our supply-demand conditions.
Although we remain in a buyer’s market, it moves us in the direction we want to go, which is closer to balance.
The number of new listings posted on the MLS® in October was on par with the same month last year and a decrease of 1 per cent compared to September with the result that the volume of active listings in Fraser Valley at the end of October remained unchanged compared to 2011 and 3 per cent fewer than in September.
Benchmark prices for residential property types are showing month-over-month decreases however, depending on the property type, still show positive gains year-over-year.
The benchmark price of a detached home in the Fraser Valley in October was $546,900, an increase of 2.5 per cent compared to October 2011, when it was $533,800; and a 0.5 per cent decrease compared to September when it was $549,500.
The benchmark price of townhouses decreased 2.2 per cent going from $303,900 in October 2011 to $297,100 last month. The benchmark price of apartments increased year-over-year by 2.9 per cent, going from $198,100 in October of last year to $203,900 in October 2012.
Over the last three months we’ve seen the impact of lower sales and higher selection on prices of typical homes in our region. In most communities and for most property types, prices have slowly decreased in small increments month-over-month.
This has had resulted in buyers having more time to make a decision and sellers working diligently with their REALTOR® to understand the market and set their prices accordingly. What’s happened in October is good news for both. Greater stability is always positive.
Economists at the British Columbia Real Estate Association have predicted sales in the Fraser Valley will rebound by 6 per cent in 2013 compared to 2012 while prices will remain flat.
November 15, 2012
Notable, Quotable… Quotes!
“…ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that.
Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
- Harold Whitman
“…one smile begins a friendship… one candle wipes out darkness…
one life can make a difference.”
- Author Unknown
“Buying a home requires extensive information; the more you know increases the chances that you’ll live there happily ever after.”
- Alan Perlis
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