November 30, 2016
Are you fed up with the style or design of your bathroom? Join the flood of homeowners who are throwing in the towel on their old bathrooms!
According to a recent survey of homeowners who started a bathroom renovation in 2015-2016*, a full 46 percent said they took on the project because they simply "couldn't stand" their old bathroom anymore, while 38 percent said it was always in the plans, they just previously didn't have the means to do it. On a practical level, 29 percent were prompted to renovate when their old bathroom deteriorated or broke down, while 19 percent chose to renovate as they had recently purchased their home and wanted to make the bathroom "their own."
So what are people doing to their bathrooms, and how much are they spending to get there?
More than four in five homeowners replaced major bathroom features such as showers, flooring, countertops and sinks in their master bathrooms. Even though 75 percent of survey respondents maintained the size of their bathrooms, a full 68 percent of them went for some more shower power by increasing the size of their shower.
When planning your bathroom reno, be honest about what you visually covet versus what you will actually use. For example, a deep, freestanding claw-foot bathtub is something to drool over in a renovating magazine, but on a practical level you might find yourself relating more to the 56 percent of survey respondents who said they never soak in a bathtub or to the 20 percent who say they only make the time once or twice a month. Is the expense and space a bathtub takes up worth it for you, or would a larger shower be more utilized and appreciated?
Continuing on a practical train of thought, "good lighting" was a priority for 46 percent of homeowners looking to make a change to their bathrooms, followed by "easy to clean and disinfect" by 43 percent and "easy to store and find things" by 42 percent. "Easy for more than one person to be in," at 39 percent, explained the popularity of renovations like double sinks and dual showers, and at 73 percent, the number of people who included at least one walled-off area within the master bathroom — for the shower, toilet area or vanity/make-up area, for example. Be honest with what you want compared to what you need versus how much money you're willing to dedicate to the project. The survey showed that 23 percent of homeowners budgeted $5,000 to $10,000 for their bathroom renovation, while 34 percent of homeowners budgeted $10,000 to $25,000 and 19 percent budgeted $25,000 to $50,000.
What you plan to spend and what the project actually ends up costing can be two completely different amounts. Make sure you sit down with a building specialist, general contractor, bathroom remodeler, plumber, electrician and/or other professionals to create a renovation plan that takes into account the many options available to create the practical yet stylish and beautiful bathroom of your dreams.
November 25, 2016
New property listed in Walnut Grove, Langley
I have listed a new property at 101 9080 198 ST in Langley.
Priced to impress! Act quickly on this 2 BR home situated in park like setting. This Jersey plan features bright, open kitchen with adjoining eating area, living/diningroom with vaulted ceiling and gas fireplace, Mbdrm offers private access to full bath. Also featured, detached garage with 220 wiring, separate garden/storage, covered patio and fenced yard. Amenities include clubhouse, social activities, off leash pooch park, RV parking. This gated community is for those 55+ and 1 small pet, direct access to shops and transit. Call soon or this good buy will soon be good bye!
November 23, 2016
Managing Your Mortgage
Mortgage-in-arrears studies track the number of households that have not made a mortgage payment in three or more months. The latest figures show that of the almost 4.7 million mortgages in Canada, just 13,000 of them — 0.28 percent of mortgage holders with Canada's largest banks — are 90 days in arrears. This figure has been consistent throughout the last 20 years, riding out fluctuations in unemployment, interest rates and an up-and-down Canadian dollar.
The Canadian government has a conservative approach to household borrowing, instituting changes over the past few years that necessitate larger down payments and shorter mortgage amortization periods. Today's homebuyer must have a down payment of at least five percent, with the portion of the home price between $500,000 and $999,999 requiring a minimum down payment of ten percent. And because government-backed mortgage insurance is available only for homes with a purchase price of less than $1 million, borrowers buying homes at or above $1 million will need a down payment of at least 20 percent if their financing is coming from a federally regulated financial institution.
Home loans must be paid off sooner than before, too. Homeowners were once able to stretch their payments out over a period of up to 40 years; the current maximum amortization period for a high-ratio mortgage is now 25 years.
How comfortable are you with your loan arrangement? Please call today to discuss your existing mortgage versus your future financial goals.
November 10, 2016
9 Things To Look For When Touring A Home
Don’t get overwhelmed right out of the gate when starting your home search; peruse your options with confidence, knowing you are comparing apples to apples as much as possible.
Are you in the market for a new house? These 9 items top the list of things to consider whenever you tour a home:
Keep in mind all the places you need to go, and how far away they are from this current house location. Calculate the distance to your work, schools, groceries stores, and favourite nightlife spots. Wherever you frequent the most, such as your job commute or gym, should be your top location priority. Also, see how close you are to gas stations and freeways. These aren’t always considered, and it can be a pain to have to drive a long distance just to get to the airport or to fuel up.
If this is important to you, stop a few minutes at each window in the home you’re touring to check out the view. Take note of the direction the windows are facing to see if you’ll get that brilliant sunrise or sunset everyday. Also, check out how close you are to your neighbours, and see if they can easily look into a room.
Before you step into a potential home to tour, drive around the neighbourhood a little. Take a look at how people landscape their yard, if they have kids playing in the street, and if a block ends on a busy intersection. This is especially important if you have young kids that will be playing a lot outside. Your neighbourhood also plays a huge role in your home’s overall value.
This might seem like a small detail, but a poorly designed driveway can cause some serious stress. Make sure all your family cars can comfortably drive on it to easily access the garage. Some homes have a pillar dividing two or more spots, which can lead some larger vehicles unable to maneuver inside. Also, make sure you don’t have anything blocking your line of sight when you back out, such as tall shrubs or blind corners.
Size and Floor Plan
Pick up a floor plan while you tour a home, and revisit it and keep the house’s layout fresh in your memory. Imagine yourself walking between each room, and note any troublesome areas. Consider the overall space of each room, and know that a larger space will require you to run your heater longer, add more furniture, but will be perfect for a larger sized family. Measure your current furniture to get an idea of where you would put things like couches, beds, dressers, and any other bulky items. Some furniture might not fit, so make sure you factor these purchases into your budget.
Room Count: Beds and Baths
Consider your family’s needs, and if you will eventually need an extra bathroom or bedroom after a few years. Smaller homes can actually benefit a bigger family since they will be easier to clean, plus they transition well once all the kids have moved out. Take into consideration what you currently have now, and ask yourself if this amount of rooms truly meets your needs.
Ideal Kitchen Layout
Do you enjoy cooking? You’ll want to make sure your kitchen flows well, and that all the appliances you need are easy to access. When you’re touring the kitchen, walk through a typical dinner preparation, from cutting board counter height to oven door clearance space; it should all be tested. Ask your REALTOR® what appliances will stay in the kitchen so you can budget for the missing ones, such as a fridge.
Ask your REALTOR® to show you homes with varying layouts so you can experience how each one might work for your unique cooking needs.
Open every single closet while you tour. Take detailed notes of each storage space on your floor plan of the home, then see if it will work for your needs. When people move, usually they like to de-clutter, but there will still be some items you’ll need to store in your new home. Bring a tape measure with you so you can get exact measurements.
Windows and Finishes
Having natural lighting in each room will cut down on your energy bill drastically. See where each window is placed throughout the home to get an idea of how much sunlight you’ll be getting. Ask your REALTOR® how old the windows are, and if they might need to be replaced. Also, notice the finishes in each room such as the hardware style, molding, and focal points - like a fireplace. These can be changed out or disguised, but it’s best to find a place that already meets your expectations. Bring a camera or use the one on your smart phone to snap some photos of the details that drew you in, then file them with each house’s paperwork for future reference.
It might sound like a lot of prep work to do before touring a home, as well as a lot to think about during the showing, but this will ultimately make your final decision much simpler. You don’t want to miss out on a charming home if you can’t make up your mind, so make it easy on yourself by sufficiently preparing ahead of time, and you’ll be guaranteed to find a perfect home that meets all your needs.
*This article is syndicated and licensed from Realtor.GetWrittn.com.
November 2, 2016
Sales increase slightly as inventory hits 10-year low for the month of October
Source: Fraser Valley Real Estate Board
SURREY, BC – The Fraser Valley real estate market remained active through October, with sales breaking slightly higher than the 10-year historical average for the month.
The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board processed 1,463 sales of all property types on its Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in October, a decrease of 17.4 per cent compared to the 1,772 sales in October of last year, and a 12.1 per cent increase compared to the 1,305 sales in September 2016.
Of the 1,463 sales processed last month, 389 were townhouses and 400 were apartments, representing a significant portion of October’s market activity. Townhome transactions increased 10.2 per cent when compared to last year, and apartment sales reached even higher levels seeing a 56.3 per cent gain.
“Sales activity was healthy in October, especially in the townhome and apartment categories. With prices beginning to level-off, it appears that buyers are becoming more motivated to explore the Valley’s available inventory,” said Charles Wiebe, Board President.
Last month the total active inventory for the Fraser Valley was 6,035 listings, the lowest level seen for an October in ten years. Active inventory decreased by 6 per cent month-over-month, and decreased 7.7 per cent when compared to October 2015.
The Board received 2,197 new listings in October, an 18.9 per cent decrease from September 2016, and a 1.9 per cent increase compared to October 2015’s 2,155 new listings.
“It seems that there’s no bad time to sell a home in 2016 as demand for Fraser Valley real estate remains strong. Talk to your REALTOR® if you’re looking to make a move before the end of the year, and they can get you where you need to be.”
For the Fraser Valley region, the average number of days to sell a single family detached home in October 2016 was 31 days, compared to 36 days in October 2015.
The MLS® HPI benchmark price of a Fraser Valley single family detached home in October was $872,100, an increase of 34.3 per cent compared to October 2015 when it was $649,200.
The benchmark price of Fraser Valley townhomes in October was $421,300, an increase of 34.3 per cent compared to October 2015’s benchmark price of $313,700. The benchmark price for an apartment in the Fraser Valley increased 25.2 per cent year-over-year, from $203,100 in October 2015 to $254,300 in October of this year.
Find the October Statistics Package here.
November 2, 2016
I have sold a property at 102 9080 198 ST in Langley
I have sold a property at 102 9080 198 ST in Langley.
Rarely available! Act quickly on this spacious and nicely maintained rancher situated in park like setting! Features of this Mackenzie plan include open kitchen and nook, triple skylites, garden window, cozy familyroom, cross hall living and diningroom. Master BR features Jack & Jill closets, large ensuite bath with double walk in shower and waterheads, roomy 2nd BR is perfect for guest use or den, laundry room (with doggy door!) opens to covered deck & fenced yard. Updates include roof, hardwood flooring, light fixtures, detached storage. Amenities feature clubhouse, off leash pooch park, social activities. This gated community is for those 55+ and 1 small pet, pad rent includes water, sewer & use of common property.
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