Rosemary Papp

With over 36 Years Local Experience to Serve You

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Source: Remax

Moving up to your “forever home” is exciting. When you bought your first place, chances are you were young, strapped for cash and prepared – if not warned – to make some concessions. The move-up buyer typically has some savings and home equity to work with, making this next move feel less like a compromise and more a thoughtful selection.

But move-up buyers face their own set of challenges that call for a carefully considered strategy. Here are three options for the smart move-up buyer with a plan!

move up buyer advice 1

The “Sell First” strategy is ideal for the move-up buyer who can’t afford to pay two mortgages simultaneously. Selling your property first eliminates the risk of having to carry two mortgages if you don’t sell your existing home in time. It also reduces the chances of having to reduce your asking price in the interest of speeding up the sale. This is a good option for move-up buyers who are banking on the proceeds of their sale to fund their new (and likely more expensive) property. By selling first, you’ll know exactly how much money you have to purchase your next home.

move up buyer advice 2

If homes in your area of choice are selling faster than the ‘For Sale’ signs can hit the front lawn, the “buy first” strategy might be the way to go. By buying your new home before selling your old one, you won’t feel rushed into settling for a sub-par property, or having to seek alternative temporary housing options while you shop the market. This move-up buyer still lives in his or her existing home, allowing them time to shop around, and continue looking until they find that perfect place. This move-up buyer typically requires a bridge mortgage.

move up buyer advice 3

When all is said and done, this move-up buyer approach is the most ideal, but getting there is another story. Aligning your purchase and sale closing dates can be tricky. Remember that there are three dancers in this tango – you, the person you’re buying from, and the person you’re selling to. You’ll also have to move out and move in on the same day. In this scenario, time is your best friend and flexibility your saviour. This means you’ve planned ahead – you’re researched neighbourhoods, gotten pre-approved for a mortgage, and you’ve started the organizing and de-cluttering process before the big move.

The right move-up buyer strategy depends on a number of factors, such as your financial situation, current housing market conditions, your personal comfort level and your personality. Consider all these when making your decision. Plan ahead and work with a pro to ensure a smooth transaction on both sides of the bargaining table.

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Source: Remax

A recent survey of RE/MAX brokers and agents found that in 91 per cent of popular Canadian recreational property markets examined, retirees were the key factor driving activity. This includes established recreational regions such as Prince Edward County and Comox Valley. This is in stark contrast to last year’s findings, when retirees were a dominant driving force in only 55 per cent of markets examined.

The survey found that in British Columbia, Ontario and Atlantic Canada, more retirees and soon-to-be retirees are purchasing recreational properties outside of urban centres for use as retirement homes, increasingly blurring the line between recreational and residential properties.

  • Retirees are fueling demand: 91 per cent of regions surveyed reported that retirees drive demand for recreational properties
  • One in three survey respondents (33 per cent) say that they own or want to own a recreational property for investment purposes
  • Buyers are increasingly renting in urban centres such as Toronto and Vancouver while purchasing recreational properties
  • Other than affordable purchase price, waterfront rated as the most important feature to Canadians when considering spending time at a cottage or cabin, beating out reasonable maintenance costs

“Last year, we found that Baby Boomers and retirees were increasingly selling their homes in urban centres like Toronto and Vancouver,” says Elton Ash, Regional Executive Vice President, RE/MAX of Western Canada. “It’s clear that many put the equity they received from those sales into the purchase of a recreational property with the intention to retire in comfort and away from the city.”

Many of these individuals are engaging in more active forms of retirement, choosing to maintain physical fitness and emotional fulfillment by pursuing passion projects and leading lifestyles that involve farming, hiking and maintaining vineyards. This is particularly the case in regions such as South Okanagan, Wasaga Beach and Rideau Lakes.

Due to the strong US dollar, retirees in the Sylvan Lake and Lake Winnipeg regions are selling their snowbird properties south of the border and purchasing recreational homes for use as retirement properties as well.

In a separate survey conducted by Leger, six in 10 Canadians (58 per cent) enjoy recreational properties as places where they can relax and spend time with friends and family. However, the majority of Canadians (84 per cent) do not actually own recreational properties.

“Many Canadians want to live out the ‘Canadian Dream’ and spend time at the cottage or cabin but today, that doesn’t necessarily mean owning a recreational property outright,” says Christopher Alexander, Executive Vice President and Regional Director, RE/MAX INTEGRA Ontario-Atlantic Canada Region. “Many are choosing to rent recreational properties, often by pooling resources with friends and family, which speaks to recreational properties still being in high demand.”

In fact, one in three Canadians (33 per cent) say that they own or would want to own a recreational property for investment purposes. In Toronto specifically, the survey of RE/MAX brokers and agents found that in regions such as North Bay-Sunridge, Bancroft and the Bruce Peninsula, many owners of recreational properties actually rent their principal residences in Toronto, where they live most of the year. Using their recreational properties every so often while renting them out for the rest of the year, these individuals are renting a principal residence where they live while buying where they play.

In Leger’s survey, more than half of Canadians (54 per cent) who own a recreational property, or are considering buying one, identify savings as their source of funding. Twenty per cent would use a loan, 20 per cent would rely on home equity and only 11 per cent would rely on inheritance.

The survey also found that other than affordable purchase price, Canadians who own or would consider owning a recreational property named waterfront access (55 per cent), reasonable maintenance costs (54 per cent) and proximity to town (43 per cent) as the most important factors when purchasing. The survey of RE/MAX brokers and agents, waterfront access was considered the most in-demand amenity in most regions, overall.



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Source: Fraser Valley Real Estate Board

SURREY, BC – The Fraser Valley housing market kicked-off summer with a further increase to overall inventory and a downturn in sales across all major residential property types.

The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board processed 1,452 sales of all property types on its Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in June, a decrease of 43.5 per cent compared to the 2,571 sales in June of last year, and a 17.4 per cent decrease compared to the 1,758 sales in May 2018.

Of the 1,452 sales processed last month 364 were townhouses and 392 were apartments, together representing 52 per cent of all transactions in June.

Active inventory for the Fraser Valley finished at 7,141 listings last month, increasing 6 per cent month-over-month and 30.1 per cent year-over-year.

“Demand is shifting back towards typical levels for our region, and market activity is reflecting that,” John Barbisan, President of the Board, said. “This has given our inventory a much-needed chance to recover and move the Valley towards a more balanced real estate landscape.”

The Board received 3,140 new listings in June, a 20.8 per cent decrease from May 2018’s 3,965 new listings, and a 15.3 per cent decrease compared to June 2017.

“One thing that isn’t changing quickly is pricing; prices are still increasing but we continue to see a gradual slowdown in upwards movement,” Barbisan continued. “If home prices are keeping you back from selling or starting to look for a new home, talk to a REALTOR® who can provide a comprehensive view of communities you’re interested in and what opportunities are available there.”

For the Fraser Valley region the average number of days to sell an apartment in June was 21, and 19 for townhomes. Single family detached homes remained on the market for an average of 26 days before selling.

HPI® Benchmark Price Activity

  • Single Family Detached: At $1,018,900, the Benchmark price for a single family detached home in the Valley decreased 0.2 per cent compared to May 2018, and increased 9 per cent compared to June 2017.
  • Townhomes: At $558,000, the Benchmark price for a townhome in the Fraser Valley increased 0.5 per cent compared to May 2018, and increased 19.5 per cent compared to June 2017.
  • Apartments: At $453,500, the Benchmark price for apartments/condos in the Fraser Valley increased 0.1 per cent compared to May 2018, and increased 39.4 per cent compared to June 2017.

Find the June Statistics Package here.


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Source: RE/MAX

Activity in Fraser Valley’s housing market was driven primarily by first-time homebuyers.

Condos have seen the most activity in the region due to low inventory levels, affordability and new developments in the area. The OSFI stress test rules and rising interest rates have had the most impact on sale price and activity in the region.

 
 
 


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Source: Duxbury & Associates

QUESTION: I have a question about our new house, which is about 55 years old. We are just making an offer to purchase it. It is in the Vancouver Fairview Slopes area.

We were not made aware by the seller and did not notice at the time that the home has a definite slope in it. The main floor tilts to one side. After we realized this, we contacted the sellers and were told that their agent said everyone who looked at this house should have been made aware of it which, unfortunately, was not the case with us.

We really like the location and the layout, but have found the slope to be a source of frustration. We are just curious as to what, if anything, can be done about this. It would appear to us that anything to fix this could be extensive and expensive, but we really have no idea at all what the cause of this might be.

We don’t know how to proceed, or if we should just leave it and when the time comes that we sell it, just hope for the best. Any thoughts or insights into this would be appreciated.

ANSWER: I will certainly provide my thoughts on your issue, but I must warn, you may not like the response. As you have stated, it is unfortunate that you did not notice the sloped floors in the home before making your offer, as you are now forced to live with it. You are correct that repairs may be undertaken at considerable cost to lessen the slope, but there may also be some less-costly remediation you can do to minimize the problem.

It still never ceases to amaze me, with all the information available in countless forms, that some home buyers are unaware of the potential pitfalls of what is likely the largest purchase of their lives.

Once you sign on the dotted line of an offer to purchase a home, you are bound to the terms of that contract if accepted. If you have some specific conditions in that offer that have to be satisfied by either the seller or yourself, then there may be some wiggle room to change your mind if these conditions cannot be met.

One of these conditions should certainly be a home inspection completed to your satisfaction by an independent, professional property inspector. Without the condition to have the home checked out in great detail for visible defects by an experienced inspector, you are only relying on your own observations in the very brief time you could look at the home. Often, that time is less than 1 hour, where you are primarily looking at suitability of the home for your lifestyle and how clean it is. Your brief look will likely focus on the kitchen, bathrooms and other amenities, but not necessarily the structure or mechanical components.

The slope you have described would have been identified at the time of the home inspection and you could have decided then if it would have been enough of a deterrent to prevent you from completing the purchase. You may still have made the decision to buy the house, but at least you would have been aware of the sloping floor – as well as the other issues with the home. That would have allowed you to weigh the positive and negative features of the home and make an informed, rather than hurried, decision.

SOLUTION: Now that this “lecture” is over, we can address the sloping floor of this home. It is somewhat unusual to have a very noticeable slope in a home, but not uncommon due to shifting soil conditions. The earth moves continually, more or less like the surface of the water.

With many houses that have settled, if all in one direction, there may be little concern other than the noticeably sloping floors. As long as portions of the house have not moved at different rates, known as differential settlement, then the slope may only be an inconvenience. Yes, it may cause some doors to rub and furniture and appliances to sit awkwardly, but hundreds of older homes have these same issues.

It is very common in older areas to see homes that have settled several inches, often to the front street or to one side, that are otherwise in liveable condition.

The one thing you may be able to do, without major structural repairs to the home, is to adjust the posts/columns holding up the main beam(s) in the basement, by replacing with adjustable metal columns – teleposts. As homes settle, these metal columns can create significant “bumps” in the middle of the floors. This may be due not only to the settlement at the perimeter foundation, but also some heaving of the footings under these posts.

When this occurs, it can often make the sloping of the floors appear to be more dramatic – due to the unevenness caused by the upward forces of the posts and beams.

The solution is to call an experienced general contractor or foundation specialist to slowly and very carefully adjust the teleposts, as needed. This can be a relatively easy task if your home has a simple design with a single beam, or can be very difficult if you have a finished basement with multiple posts and beams. Ensure anyone you hire has many years of experience in this area and does proper measurements and calculations to determine which posts need to be adjusted and by how much. Also, commercial General Liability and Errors & Omissions insurance, plus a good reputation and a valid business license.

There are clues that can indicate structural problems in a house: floors out of level, windows and doors sticking, bouncy floors, or floors that sag in certain spots. And not all structural problems are such a big deal. But if all the floors in the house slope to the middle, that says something serious. This is not a quick fix and for a first-time homeowner with a limited budget and not much experience with houses, I’d stay away.

There are lots of reasons that might cause sloping floors in a home. There might be foundation issues or problems with sinking. The sill beam or floor joists might be rotted out or have been eaten by carpenter ants.

But one of the most common issue is people cutting through the structure to run plumbing or wiring or duct work. Or, someone has removed supporting structure underneath to create an open-concept design (or to accommodate a Grow-Op).

Professionals can cut joists to run piping or wiring, but it’s got to be done properly, without weakening them. I suspect someone might have removed critical support. But, without seeing it, I obviously can’t be sure. You need to bring in professionals who can assess the house’s structure.

Structural problems can be fixed. With houses, pretty much anything can be done; it’s just a matter of skill, experience, time and of course, money. Joists that have been cut and compromised can be replaced or repaired (sistered). You can jack up the whole house to replace a rotten sill beam. A crumbling foundation can be excavated and repaired. But these are big, expensive jobs. You’d better be sure the low price for your “fixer-upper” makes up for the cost of the fix.

CONCLUSION: For the most part, pointing out a floor slope in a home more than just a few years old is not the responsibility of a vendor or a realtor, unless you specifically request this information.

As long as nothing was deliberately done to cover up this condition, it is your job to inspect the property as thoroughly as you want before you make an offer to purchase. Without the assistance of your home inspector or professional structural engineer, you are relying on your own very limited expertise and time to make this evaluation.

As you have stated, you can now only “hope for the best” and perhaps make some necessary telepost adjustment to minimize the sloping of the floors in your home.

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Source: Fraser Valley Real Estate Board

SURREY, BC – The Fraser Valley stepped towards a more balanced market in May, with both sales and overall inventory reaching their highest points for the year.

The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board processed 1,758 sales of all property types on its Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in May, a decrease of 35.1 per cent compared to the 2,707 sales in May of last year, and a 2.9 per cent increase compared to the 1,708 sales in April 2018.

Of the 1,758 sales processed last month 417 were townhouses and 516 were apartments, together representing 53 per cent of all transactions in May.

Active inventory for the Fraser Valley finished at 6,736 listings last month, the highest level since September 2015, increasing 18.9 per cent month-over-month and 29.5 per cent when compared to May 2017.

“This is the most inventory we’ve had in over two years,” said John Barbisan, Board President. “Now that the pace of our market has begun to settle, we’re seeing more opportunities for buyers and less pressure to make fast decisions.”

The Board received 3,965 new listings in April, a 15.6 per cent increase from April 2018’s 3,429 new listings, and a 6.8 per cent increase compared to May 2017.

“Sales continue to be strong and there’s plenty of potential for sellers if they understand the market and price effectively. Consult your local REALTOR® for informed perspective on what’s happening in your community and what your best options are.”

For the Fraser Valley region the average number of days to sell an apartment in May was 15, and 16 for townhomes. Single family detached homes remained on the market for an average of 24 days before selling.

HPI® Benchmark Price Activity

  • Single Family Detached: At $1,020,800, the Benchmark price for a single family detached home in the Valley increased 1.1 per cent compared to April 2018, and increased 11.6 per cent compared to May 2017.
  • Townhomes: At $555,500, the Benchmark price for a townhome in the Fraser Valley increased 1 per cent compared to April 2018, and increased 20.6 per cent compared to May 2017.
  • Apartments: At $452,900, the Benchmark price for apartments/condos in the Fraser Valley increased 1.2 per cent compared to April 2018, and increased 42.4 per cent compared to May 2017.

Find the May Statistics Package here.

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Source: REBGV

Lenders, including banks and credit unions, regularly turn down mortgage applications from potential home buyers, even those with large down payments.

The reasons vary. The home buyer may be a self-employed entrepreneur and their earnings appear as a low income on a bank statement. The home buyer may be a new immigrant without a credit rating, or they may have a bad credit rating which they’re trying to improve.

The buyer may also have problems meeting the new stress test which requires federally regulated lenders to ensure borrowers can meet the greater of the Bank of Canada’s five-year benchmark rate or the contractual mortgage rate plus two per cent.

This is where alternative lenders can help with mortgage financing, according to Ajay Soni, president of the Canadian Mortgage Brokers Association, past president of the Mortgage Brokers Association of BC and a mortgage broker for 30 years.

In BC, mortgage financing generates between $40 and $50 billion in activity.

“Approximately $3 billion of this is in residential mortgages and another $2 billion in the development and construction side,” said Soni.

Canada-wide, alternative lenders account for 2.5 per cent of the lending market according to a report by CIBC, a rate that has doubled since 2012.

Loaning to riskier borrowers comes with a price tag.

Mortgage rates from an alternative lender are typically higher and vary depending on whether the borrower is getting a bridge mortgage, a second mortgage or third mortgage, or whether they’re refinancing to renovate a property or consolidate debt.

Benefits to borrowers include the opportunity to build or repair credit, or have greater flexibility in structuring loan and payment terms.

Potential home buyers looking for a mortgage should make sure they’re prescreened and prequalified.

As in all matters, buyers should beware.

Alternative lenders aren’t regulated by the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions, an independent federal government agency responsible for supervising Canada’s banks and federally incorporated trust, loan, and insurance companies.

Instead, in BC alternative lenders are regulated by the Financial Institutions Commission. 

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Source: Fraser Valley Real Estate Board

SURREY, BC – Buyer activity in the Fraser Valley stayed coy throughout April despite a bump in inventory across all three major residential types.

The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board processed 1,708 sales of all property types on its Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in April, a decrease of 23.4 per cent compared to the 2,230 sales in April of last year, and a 2.6 per cent increase compared to the 1,664 sales in March 2018.

Of the 1,708 sales processed last month 413 were townhouses and 498 were apartments, together representing 53 per cent of all transactions in April.

Active inventory for the Fraser Valley finished at 5,667 listings last month, increasing 18.2 per cent month-over-month, and 15.3 per cent when compared to April 2017.

“While it’s great to see the increase in inventory we were looking for, both buyers and sellers remain careful as pricing continues to climb,” said John Barbisan, Board President.

The Board received 3,429 new listings in April, a 19.7 per cent increase from March 2018’s 2,865 new listings, and a 16.2 per cent increase compared to April 2017.

“This isn’t the same spring market we saw each of the last two years, but listings that are selling are still going fast. If you’re considering buying or transitioning from a strata to a detached home, be prepared to move quickly, and talk to a REALTOR® who can support you through the whole process.”

For the Fraser Valley region the average number of days to sell an apartment in April was 14, and 16 for townhomes. Single-family detached homes remained on the market for an average of 26 days before selling.

HPI® Benchmark Price Activity

  • Single Family Detached: At $1,009,200, the Benchmark price for a single-family detached home in the Valley increased 0.8 per cent compared to March 2018, and increased 13.5 per cent compared to April 2017.
  • Townhomes: At $549,900, the Benchmark price for a townhome in the Fraser Valley increased 1.5 per cent compared to March 2018, and increased 23 per cent compared to April 2017.
  • Apartments: At $447,500, the Benchmark price for apartments/condos in the Fraser Valley increased 1.6 per cent compared to March 2018, and increased 45.8 per cent compared to April 2017.

Find the April Statistics Package here.

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Source: REBGV

Are you thinking of selling your home? Before your REALTOR® begins showing your home, you will want to make sure it’s in tip-top condition. An attractive, well-kept home generally has a better chance of selling a little faster.

Minor exterior and interior improvements

Updates can add value to your home without requiring a large renovation bill. Think back to what first attracted you to your home; now determine how best to highlight and improve your home’s best features.

Here are a few ideas to help you perk up your home’s appearance. Consult with your Realtor to see what types of improvements make the most sense.

Start with the outside

  • An inviting exterior ensures that potential buyers will inspect the interior 
  • Keep lawns and gardens well maintained
  • Ensure garage and porch areas are free of clutter and refuse
  • Repair loose siding or pavement
  • Replace any damaged roof shingles, eaves troughs or cracked windows
  • Wash windows, gutters, mailbox and doors
  • Secure loose shutters or awnings

The inside story 
You can do a lot to improve the inside of your home without spending a great deal of money. Two primary areas to keep in mind are the kitchen and bathroom.

  • Ensure kitchen and bathrooms are sparkling clean;
  • Repair dripping facets and showerheads;
  • Steam clean or replace carpets if necessary;
  • Thoroughly clean every room in the house, removing all clutter;
  • Repaint dingy walls or kitchen cabinets with a neutral colour;
  • Replace worn or outdated countertops and cracked light-switch plates; and
  • Remove any items (like chandeliers) that won't be included in the sale of the home.

Remember, the more effort put into the initial clean up, the easier it will be to keep your home looking its best for visits from your REALTOR® with prospective buyers. As well, keep in mind that rooms that are too cluttered will give the impression that they're much smaller than their true size. Try to create a feeling of spaciousness when conducting your spruce-up.

Pre-showing checklist

  • As a courtesy to buyers, leave the house while the Realtor is conducting a showing
  • Keep pets out of the way – preferably out of your house during the showing
  • Ensure that every room is tidy, well aired and adequately lit
  • Don't keep money, jewellery and small valuables in plain sight during a showing
  • Open drapes to maximize natural light
  • Keep all stairways and hallways clear
  • Use finishing touches like fresh flowers and candles

By following these relatively simple tips, you'll feel proud of your home and potential purchasers are sure to appreciate its beauty.

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Source: Fraser Valley Real Estate Board

SURREY, BC – While sales reached slightly above the ten-year average for the month, a lack of sufficient inventory in the Fraser Valley continued to put pressure on homebuyers in March.

The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board processed 1,664 sales of all property types on its Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in March, a decrease of 24.8 per cent compared to the 2,213 sales in March of last year, and a 20.1 per cent increase compared to the 1,385 sales in February 2018. The ten-year average for sales in the Fraser Valley in March is 1,658 transactions.

Of the 1,664 sales processed last month, 410 were townhouses and 460 were apartments, together representing 52 per cent of all transactions in March.

Active inventory for the Fraser Valley finished at 4,796 listings last month, increasing 10.5 per cent month-over-month, and decreasing 0.2 per cent when compared to March 2017.

“We continue to see demand capped-off due to an inadequate amount of supply,” said John Barbisan, Board President. “March is typically when we see our market kick into gear, but we need to see higher levels of new listings coming in and greater overall inventory if we want more homebuyers to find success in the Valley.”

The Board received 2,865 new listings in March, a 24.9 per cent increase from February 2018’s 2,293 new listings and a 6.7 per cent decrease compared to March 2017.

“On the plus side, despite a tighter market pricing has remained relatively stable for our region. Talk to your REALTOR® who can help show you the best options at the price level you’re looking for.”

For the Fraser Valley region the average number of days to sell an apartment in March was 13, and 16 for townhomes. Single family detached homes remained on the market for an average of 30 days before selling.

HPI® Benchmark Price Activity

  • Single Family Detached: At $1,001,400, the Benchmark price for a single family detached home in the Valley increased 0.9 per cent compared to February 2018, and increased 15.2 per cent compared to March 2017.
  • Townhomes: At $541,800, the Benchmark price for a townhome in the Fraser Valley increased 2 per cent compared to February 2018, and increased 24.9 per cent compared to March 2017.
  • Apartments: At $440,400, the Benchmark price for apartments/condos in the Fraser Valley increased 4.3 per cent compared to February 2018, and increased 48 per cent compared to March 2017.

Find the March Statistics Package here.


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Source: RE/MAX

If you are a homeowner and you decide to enter the market, you’re faced with a difficult question: Especially if you’ve never sold your home before.

Do you buy your next home before selling? Or do you sell your current home before buying?

We reached out to our RE/MAX Influencers—a panel consisting of RE/MAX Sales Associates from throughout Canada—to find out their opinion on whether homeowners who are re-entering the market should buy first or sell first.

It all depends

The majority of our RE/MAX Influencers agreed that each situation is unique, and several factors need to be looked at to determine the answer of that question. For example: What are the current market conditions? And are you financially capable of carrying two properties with ease?

“It absolutely depends on the market situation,” says Justus Smith, RE/MAX Crown Real Estate (East). “If the client is selling in a hot seller’s market, then they would likely want to find their next home first and buy it. However, if they are selling in a buyer’s market, it’s better to get their property sold before venturing out to purchase another home.”

Pros of buying first

By buying first, homeowners are less rushed to find the right home, so they can spend time making sure the new house fits as many of their needs as possible.

“The ideal situation is to purchase a home and then sell your current property,” says Sarah Leib, RE/MAX River City.

“Buying without having to sell first allows buyers to find the right home at their own pace,” adds Shauna Bailey, RE/MAX Crown Real Estate North.

Although buying first has some advantages, this situation isn’t financially feasible for everyone. There may be a possibility to add in a sale of home condition to the offer; however, competing offers without that condition will likely be more desirable.

“Buyers should consult with their lender to discuss the possibility to arrange interim financing; therefore, enabling them to make an offer without this condition—provided they qualify—with the intention of ultimately selling their current home once they confirm the new purchase,” says Glen Darough, RE/MAX RHC Realty.

Pros of selling first

Many aren’t able to afford the cost of carrying two properties, and trying to do so may cause significant stress.

“The risk of having to discount your home to create a quick sale just isn’t a pleasant experience,” says Eric Steinbach, RE/MAX Kelowna. “(Clients) can negotiate a better purchase price being strong on finance.”

“It really depends how comfortable my clients are to have the possibility to have to bridge finance or carry two mortgages. I always suggest to sell first, but there are a lot of buyers out there who are scared they won’t find what they are looking for,” says Elio Parente, RE/MAX City Realty.

Rosemary can guide you through your unique situation and help determine whether buying first or selling first is the right decision for you.

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Source: RE/MAX

We’ve been told not to judge a book by its cover, but first impressions usually impact our decision-making, whether we care to admit it or not.

Therefore, a well-staged home typically has a better chance of selling at a higher price than one that hasn’t been staged.

We reached out to our RE/MAX Influencers—a panel consisting of RE/MAX Sales Associates from throughout Canada—to discover why sellers shouldn’t have “stage fright” when it comes to selling their home.

Faster sale, higher price

Our Influencers agreed that effective staging will help sellers get the deal done quicker, for a higher price.

“I guarantee sellers that, while I don’t know the exact amount they will receive as a result of staging, I know they will get more than their money back and they will sell their home in a shorter period of time than they would without staging,” said one RE/MAX Influencer.

A buyer can tap into his/her imagination when a home is shown in its best light. When potential buyers can see themselves living in your home, they will be motivated to make a reasonable offer.

The ‘Wow’ factor

Simply put: Homes look their best when they are staged.

Staged homes are also depersonalized, which is important because buyers don’t want to feel like they’re purchasing somebody else’s home. They want it to feel as though it’s theirs.

Stagers understand how to professionally present homes to appeal to the emotions of the broader spectrum of prospective purchasers. Photographs of a staged home are also more likely to garner increased interest online.  

Visualization

When potential buyers walk into a home, they’re thinking beyond what their eyes are showing them. They’re visualizing themselves living in the space. Is the home an ideal place for their children to grow up? Does the house have what they need to enjoy retirement?

Personal clutter can often hinder these visions, which is not ideal for the seller. A professional stager will take an objective look at the property and make sure prospective purchasers will be able to see themselves in the space.

A positive first impression

First impressions are incredibly important. On many occasions, buyers will form their opinions by the time they’ve taken a few steps into your home. A bad smell, a crooked frame or a bit of dirt on the floor can be the difference between whether or not you get an offer.

Great books deserve stunning covers; great homes deserve to be staged.

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Source: Fraser Valley Real Estate Board

SURREY, BC – Despite slight increases in both active and new inventory in the Valley, overall supply in February remained well below the ten-year average for the month historically.

The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board processed 1,385 sales of all property types on its Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in February, a decrease of 0.8 per cent compared to the 1,396 sales in February of last year, and a 14.5 per cent increase compared to the 1,210 sales in January 2018.

Of the 1,385 sales processed last month, 336 were townhouses and 379 were apartments, together representing 52 per cent of all transactions in February.

“Attached apartment inventory, in particular, has struggled to keep up with the shift in demand we saw prominently throughout last year,” said John Barbisan, Board President. “Without sufficient supply, it has become increasingly challenging for buyers looking to enter the market at that level.”

Active inventory for the Fraser Valley finished at 4,340 listings last month, increasing 9.5 per cent month-over-month, and decreasing 6.6 per cent when compared to February 2017. The 10-year average for February active inventory is 7,487 units.

The Board received 2,293 new listings in February, a 9.6 per cent increase from January 2018’s 2,092 new listings, and a 5.6 per cent increase compared to February 2017.

“With the sales-to-actives ratio for townhomes and apartments at 67 per cent and 75 per cent respectively, sellers can expect interest if they price their homes effectively. Talk to your REALTOR® who can evaluate your local market and find the right price point for success.”

For the Fraser Valley region the average number of days to sell an apartment in February was 13, and 16 for townhomes. Single family detached homes remained on the market for an average of 38 days before selling.

HPI® Benchmark Price Activity

  • Single Family Detached: At $992,100, the Benchmark price for a single family detached home in the Valley increased 1 per cent compared to January 2018, and increased 15.7 per cent compared to February 2017.
  • Townhomes: At $531,000 the Benchmark price for a townhome in the Fraser Valley increased 2.2 per cent compared to January 2018, and increased 25.4 per cent compared to February 2017.
  • Apartments: At $422,300, the Benchmark price for apartments/condos in the Fraser Valley increased 4.5 per cent compared to January 2018, and increased 46.7 per cent compared to February 2017.

Find the February Statistics Package here.

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Source: Fraser Valley Real Estate Board

SURREY, BC – Fraser Valley housing market activity in January continued on the momentum seen throughout 2017 with year-over-year increases seen for both sales and pricing.

The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board processed 1,210 sales of all property types on its Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in January, an increase of 24 per cent compared to the 976 sales in January of last year, and a 10 per cent decrease compared to the 1,344 sales in December 2017. This was the third highest sales total for a January in the Board’s history, behind only 2016 (1,338) and 1992 (1,270).

Of the 1,210 sales processed last month, 281 were townhouses and 338 were apartments, together representing 51 per cent of all transactions in January.

“This will be the third consecutive year of heightened market activity for our region, and we’re starting 2018 exactly where we left off – gradually rising prices, tight inventory, and the dominance of attached home sales,” said Gopal Sahota, Board President.

Active inventory for the Fraser Valley finished at 3,962 listings last month, increasing 3.8 per cent month-over-month, and decreasing 10 per cent when compared to January 2017. January’s sales-to-active listing ratio was 31 per cent.

The Board received 2,092 new listings in January, a 63.8 per cent increase from December 2017’s 1,277 new listings, and a 3.9 per cent decrease compared to January 2017.

“Generally, pricing continues to be heavily impacted by ongoing demand and a lack of incoming inventory,” continued Sahota. “While conditions may differ depending on property type and area, it remains a complex real estate environment overall where a thorough understanding of the market and knowing what you’re looking for can make all the difference.”

For the Fraser Valley region the average number of days to sell an apartment in January was 19, and 24 for townhomes. Single family detached homes remained on the market for an average of 46 days before selling.

HPI® Benchmark Price Activity

  • Single Family Detached: At $982,700, the Benchmark price for a single family detached home in the Valley increased 0.6 per cent compared to December 2017, and increased 15.1 per cent compared to January 2017.
  • Townhomes: At $519,400 the Benchmark price for a townhome in the Fraser Valley increased 1.2 per cent compared to December 2017, and increased 23.4 per cent compared to January 2017.
  • Apartments: At $404,100, the Benchmark price for apartments/condos in the Fraser Valley increased 4 per cent compared to December 2017, and increased 44.1 per cent compared to January 2017.

Find the January Statistics Package here.

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Source: RE/MAX Canada

Low inventory in Fraser Valley was the driving force behind price appreciation in the region in 2017 as demand continued to outpace supply. There are currently two months of inventory on the market and this is expected to remain consistent in 2018, as there is limited new inventory expected to enter the market. This is partially due to Agriculture Land Reserves, focused on farmland and fisheries, which limit residential real estate development opportunities in the surrounding region. The luxury segment of the market remains stable, with the typical upper-end property selling for between $2 million and $4 million.

Read the full Fraser Valley Report here

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Source: Fraser Valley Real Estate Board

SURREY, BC – The Fraser Valley housing market had its second highest selling year on record in 2017, with total MLS® transactions and dollar volume sold behind only 2016’s unprecedented level of activity.

The Board’s Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) processed 22,338 sales in 2017, 7.3 per cent less than the record of 23,974 sales set in 2016. The total dollar volume of MLS® sales was $15.7 billion, coming out slightly beneath 2016’s record setting total dollar volume of $16.2 billion.

Of the total transactions for the year, 5,198 were townhouses sold and 6,183 were apartments, together representing over half of overall market activity for the region. This was also the highest total annual sales for apartments in the Board’s history.

“Much of the market’s momentum through 2017 came from the incredible shift in demand to attached-style homes, particularly in our larger communities,” remarked Gopal Sahota, President of the Board.

“While prices continued to see slight gains month-to-month, a lot of our attached inventory remained affordable and an excellent option for consumers of all types.”

For inventory, a total of 32,651 new listings were received by the Board’s MLS® system, the third highest in the Board’s history after 2016 (34,768) and 2008 (35,651).

Last month the Board processed 1,344 sales, the second-most transactions for a December on record in the Fraser Valley. December inventory finished at 3,818 active units, with a total of 1,277 new listings entering the market throughout the month.

Sahota adds, “All year, supply levels remained below where we’d like them to be, and that has put a tight grip on inventory and pressure on the pace of the market. This is still a challenging market for many consumers.

“However, if you have your finances in order, and the support of a local REALTOR® who fits your needs, you’ll be in the best position to make a move in 2018 and find success.”

HPI® Benchmark Price Activity

  • Single Family Detached: At $976,400, the Benchmark price for a single family detached home in the Valley increased 0.4 per cent compared to November 2017, and increased 14.2 per cent compared to December 2016.
  • Townhomes: At $513,100, the Benchmark price for a townhouse in the Valley increased 1.5 per cent compared to November 2017, and increased 23 per cent compared to December 2016.
  • Apartments: At $388,600, the Benchmark price for an apartment in the Valley increased 3.2 per cent compared to November 2017, and increased 40.5 per cent compared to December 2016.

Find the December Statistics Package here.

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Source: Fraser Valley Real Estate Board

SURREY, BC – Demand for Fraser Valley properties persisted through November, once again bolstered by strong attached sales across the region.

The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board processed 1,743 sales of all property types on its Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in November, an increase of 39.8 per cent compared to the 1,247 sales in November of last year, and a 3.1 per cent decrease compared to the 1,799 sales in October 2017. This will mark the second highest sales total for a November in the Board’s history.

Attached sales represented 53% of all market activity for the month, with apartment sales totaling 496 and townhomes at 426.

“Our attached market feels like our detached market used to,” Gopal Sahota, Fraser Valley Real Estate Board President remarked. “With our townhome and apartment inventory here, you have the same wide spectrum for pricing and supply that’s helping buyers of all types find success in the Valley.”

Last month the total active inventory for the Fraser Valley was 5,129 listings. Active inventory decreased by 6.5 per cent month-over-month, and decreased 8.4 per cent when compared to November 2016.

The Board received 2,324 new listings in November, a 6.3 per cent decrease from October 2017, and a 29.7 per cent increase compared to November 2016’s 1,792 new listings.

“As you can imagine, attached listings are moving fast and often facing multiple offer situations,” continued Sahota. “Talk to a REALTOR® if you’re ready to buy, and they can help give you the best chance at the homes you want.”

For the Fraser Valley region the average number of days to sell an apartment in November was 17, and 21 for townhomes. Single family detached homes remained on the market for an average of 31 days before selling.

HPI® Benchmark Price Activity

  • Single Family Detached: At $972,700, the Benchmark price for a single family detached home in the Valley increased 0.1 per cent compared to October 2017, and increased 13.2 per cent compared to November 2016.
  • Townhomes: At $505,700, the Benchmark price for a townhome in the Fraser Valley increased 0.6 per cent compared to October 2017, and increased 19 per cent compared to November 2016.
  • Apartments: At $376,700, the Benchmark price for apartments/condos in the Fraser Valley increased 2 per cent compared to October 2017, and increased 36.6 per cent compared to November 2016.

Find the November Statistics Package here.

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Source: Fraser Valley Real Estate Board

SURREY, BC – Ongoing demand for properties in the Fraser Valley saw overall sales reach the second highest point for an October in the Board’s history.

The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board processed 1,799 sales of all property types on its Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in October, an increase of 23 per cent compared to the 1,463 sales in October of last year, and an 11.1 per cent increase compared to the 1,619 sales in September 2017.

Attached sales represented 56% of all market activity for the month, with apartment sales totaling 591 and townhomes at 418.

“The divide between our attached and detached markets continues to widen,” Gopal Sahota, Fraser Valley Real Estate Board president said. “Apartment activity was notably strong in October with a sales-to-actives ratio of 105 per cent, meaning that apartments are selling as fast as we can list them.”

Last month the total active inventory for the Fraser Valley was 5,483 listings. Active inventory decreased by 6.3 per cent month-over-month, and decreased 9.1 per cent when compared to October 2016.

The Board received 2,479 new listings in October, a 13 per cent decrease from September 2017, and a 12.8 per cent increase compared to October 2016’s 2,197 new listings.

“Your real estate experience in the Valley is going to be very different depending on what you’re looking for or selling,” continued Sahota. “Regardless, with the help of a professional REALTOR® you can understand exactly what’s happening in your market and find success.”

For the Fraser Valley region the average number of days to sell an apartment in October was 18 days, and 19 days for townhomes. Single family detached homes remained on market for an average of 31 days before selling.

HPI® Benchmark Price Activity

  • Single Family Detached: At $971,900, the Benchmark price for a single family detached home in the Valley decreased 0.3 per cent compared to September 2017, and increased 11.8 per cent compared to October 2016.
  • Townhomes: At $502,800 the Benchmark price for a townhome in the Fraser Valley increased 0.8 per cent compared to September 2017, and increased 18.4 per cent compared to October 2016.
  • Apartments: At $369,400, the Benchmark price for apartments/condos in the Fraser Valley increased 3.1 per cent compared to September 2017, and increased 36.4 per cent compared to October 2016.

Find the October Statistics Package here.

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Source: Fraser Valley Real Estate Board

SURREY, BC – Residential property sales in the Fraser Valley remained strong in September, with both attached and detached homes performing well throughout the region.

The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board processed 1,619 sales of all property types on its Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in September, an increase of 24.1 per cent compared to the 1,305 sales in September of last year, and a 13.8 per cent decrease compared to the 1,879 sales in August 2017. This was the fifth highest sales total for a September in the Board’s history.

Of the total sales processed 392 were townhouses and 470 were apartments, together representing 53% of market activity in September.

“Often we see summer demand continue as far as October, so it’s not unusual to have another strong month before the seasonal cool down,” said Board President Gopal Sahota. “What’s unusual this year is that attached inventory sales are still driving the market despite the increased competition we’re seeing there.”

Last month the total active inventory for the Fraser Valley was 5,854 listings. Active inventory increased by 2.5 per cent month-over-month, and decreased 8.8 per cent when compared to September 2016.

The Board received 2,848 new listings in September, an 8.2 per cent decrease from August 2017, and a 5.1 per cent increase compared to September 2016’s 2,709 new listings.

“It’s also interesting to observe the return to a balanced market for detached homes here in the Valley,” continued Sahota. “While pricing remains stable, competition for houses has simmered and listings are staying on market longer. If you were waiting to make a move or upgrade, now might be a good time to talk to your REALTOR® and see what’s out there.”

For the Fraser Valley region the average number of days to sell an apartment in September was 19 days, and 18 days for townhomes. Single family detached homes remained on market for an average of 29 days before selling.

HPI® Benchmark Price Activity

  • Single Family Detached: At $974,500, the Benchmark price for a single family detached home in the Valley decreased 0.2 per cent compared to August 2017, and increased 11.2 per cent compared to September 2016.
  • Townhomes: At $498,900 the Benchmark price for a townhome in the Fraser Valley increased 1.4 per cent compared to August 2017, and increased 17.7 per cent compared to September 2016.
  • Apartments: At $358,200, the Benchmark price for apartments/condos in the Fraser Valley increased 2.5 per cent compared to August 2017, and increased 35.2 per cent compared to September 2016.

Find the September Statistics Package here.


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Source: Fraser Valley Real Estate Board

SURREY, BC – Persistent and growing demand for townhomes and apartments in the Fraser Valley led to the second strongest August historically in terms of sales.

The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board processed 1,879 sales of all property types on its Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in August, an increase of 10.9 per cent compared to the 1,694 sales in August of last year, and a 3 per cent decrease compared to the 1,937 sales in July 2017.

Of the total sales processed 470 were townhouses and 548 were apartments, together representing 54% of market activity in August.

“It’s not surprising to see demand like this still so late into the summer; the Fraser Valley has never been a better place to live than it is now,” said Board President Gopal Sahota. “Our communities are thriving, and there are still affordable options throughout our region. Also, it doesn’t hurt that removing the bridge tolls gives us even greater access to the Lower Mainland.”

Last month the total active inventory for the Fraser Valley was 5,712 listings. Active inventory decreased by 4.3 per cent month-over-month, and decreased 6.4 per cent when compared to August 2016.

The Board received 2,633 new listings in August, a 20.2 per cent decrease from July 2017, and a 7.3 per cent decrease compared to August 2016’s 2,840 new listings.

“Anyone whose looking for a townhome or apartment will have to move quickly – units are selling faster than they ever have here,” continued Sahota. “Talk to your REALTOR® for the best advice on how to prepare yourself and succeed in a competitive market like this one.”

For the Fraser Valley region the average number of days to sell an apartment in August was 17 days, notable when compared to 26 at this time last year. Townhomes sold in an average of 16 days, and single family detached took 25.

HPI® Benchmark Price Activity

  •  Single Family Detached: At $976,000, the Benchmark price for a single family detached home in the Valley increased 1 per cent compared to July 2017, and increased 10.2 per cent compared to August 2016.
  • Townhomes: At $491,900 the Benchmark price for a townhome in the Fraser Valley increased 1.2 per cent compared to July 2017, and increased 16.6 per cent compared to August 2016.
  • Apartments: At $349,300, the Benchmark price for apartments/condos in the Fraser Valley increased 2.4 per cent compared to July 2017, and increased 32.8 per cent compared to August 2016.

Find the August Statistics Package here.

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