Rosemary Papp

With over 36 Years Local Experience to Serve You

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The New Year is within sight. If your New Year's resolution is to make a housing move in 2017, now's the time to start working on it!

Current homeowners need to know that because of a lack of housing inventory in many areas, their home may sell faster and perhaps for more money than they expect. But as all real estate is local, you'll want to get the latest updates on sales activity in your immediate area to get the best understanding of what to expect for your own real estate activities.

"National sales and price trends continue to be heavily influenced by a handful of places in Ontario and British Columbia and mask significant variations in local housing market trends and conditions across Canada," notes Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) President Cliff Iverson.

CREA Chief Economist Gregory Klump gave an example from this summer's real estate activity in western Canada: "Home sales continued to trend lower while price gains further accelerated in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia." He added, "This suggests that sales are being reined in by a lack of inventory and a further deterioration in affordability." Successful real estate transactions require the steady guidance of an experienced real estate sales professional. Please call today so we can review your current housing situation in relation to your plans for 2017.

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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: 

Location

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. 

View

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. 

Neighbourhood

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. 

Safe Driveway

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. 

Storage

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.


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If you're thinking about moving house you're certainly not alone – we're in the thick of one of the busiest moving months of the year!

Using data from the Canada Post Change of Address service, we can get a general idea of why people tend to move, how far they move and the timing of their move:

Reasons for moving: 22 percent of Canadians are moving because of work-related reasons while 20 percent are upgrading their home. Another 17 percent move for family reasons.

Where do people move? While the vast majority of Canadian families move within the same province, the trends show that 13 percent move to another province and four percent move outside the country. Among all movers, Atlantic Canadians are most likely (58 percent) to stay within the same city.

When do people move? Summer is generally the preferred time to move, with twice as many households moving in July as compared to January. Regionally, Westerners are most likely to move throughout the year while in Quebec, moves quadruple in July.

If you're just in the initial stages of planning to buy or sell a home, please call today for the latest real estate updates and moving tips!

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The "Fixed versus Variable Mortgage" quandary is a mortgage option for which there's no one right answer for everyone.

Although variable interest rates are typically lower than fixed mortgage rates, variable rate products are understood to be the more volatile of the two choices as rates could increase (or decrease) at any time without warning.

Here are some points to think through when considering your decision:

Your risk tolerance. Are you able to accept a fluctuating interest rate and still sleep at night? While variable mortgages have proved to be more financially beneficial in the long run over the past few years, this trend may or may not continue.

Your financial stability. Is your income and potential for increased earnings such that you could still comfortably cover your mortgage should rates increase through a variable mortgage?

Where you are in your home-buying history. A first-time homebuyer's budgeting experience is completely different from a long-time homeowner's. New homeowners may feel more comfortable foregoing the possible benefits of a variable mortgage for the stability of a five-year fixed-rate mortgage. This 'settling in' period can allow a new homeowner to find their financial equilibrium.

Please call today for more information on fixed and variable rate mortgages, and to find the best mortgage solution for your specific needs.

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A recent real estate consumer survey* has unveiled an unsettlingly low level of knowledge reported by today's homebuyers and sellers that has resulted in a feeling of post-transaction regret for many.

The survey reveals that 41 percent of surveyed homeowners and 45 percent of first-time homebuyers wish they had done something differently when buying or selling their home, for example:

  • Having a better grasp of the process (buying process: 26%; selling process 12%)
  • Seeing more houses (buying process: 21%)
  • Having a home inspection (buying process: 15%)
  • Understanding the contracts involved better (buying process: 14%; selling process: 9%)

Knowledge is power, and education about the buying and selling process surrounding one of the biggest financial decisions of your life is paramount to easing the stress and eliminating any uncertainties you may have about your real estate transaction. Before running the risk of any post-transaction regrets, sit down with your real estate representative to brush up on all the basics before taking the first step towards buying or selling a home.

Now that the busy spring season is here, you'll want to make sure you're on top of the latest real estate issues. Please call today so we can go through all your questions and concerns thoroughly, ensuring that when you're ready to make a move, you're confident about all your decisions.

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You know from first-hand experience that there's a whole lot to love about condo living. But it might be time for you to consider the switch to a house if:

  • You want to be the rule-maker. Condo rules and regulations are often credited with keeping the peace and fostering a sense of community among neighbors. But perhaps you're no longer content to simply follow the rules and want to be the one making them instead.
  • You want to control the purse strings. Condo fees are what make low-maintenance living possible for condo dwellers, however they are out of your control. Are you ready to start calling all the shots (and assuming all the responsibility) as to how, where and when money is spent on your home?
  • You want more privacy. Some like the sense of security and community close quarters provide, but sharing walls, floors and ceilings isn't for everyone. Are you tired of dealing with noisy neighbors? Or do you want to make more noise yourself without having to worry as much about disturbing others?
  • Your family is expanding. While condominiums are increasingly becoming family and pet friendly, you may be one of the many people who feel that a house is simply better suited for your growing family, whether that means a couple of kids or a couple of dogs.

Let's get together to talk through the different types of housing options in today's market and what would work best for your individual situation.

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Direct: 778-834-8021
Toll Free: 1-888-707-3577
Rosemary's Email: rosemary@homesinlangley.ca
RE/MAX Treeland Realty
#101 - 6337 198 Street
Langley BC V2Y 2E3
www.HomesinLangley.ca