Rosemary Papp

With over 36 Years Local Experience to Serve You

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Source: Remax

As a potential new home owner, we’re here to remind you of the importance of doing your homework to help make the most of your real estate investment. By following these top mortgage application tips, you will be one step closer to making a good investment and having your dream home become a reality.

Do Your Credit Report Homework

Before you start applying for your mortgage, be proactive and get a copy of your credit report. Once you have it, thoroughly check for errors and other items which may need to be addressed. Since your ability to get a desired mortgage rate largely depends on the information contained in your credit report, it’s important for you to ensure that all the information is correct.

Get Organized

Prepare the necessary documents in advance. This will save you time and ensure a smooth application process. Depending on the type of mortgage you’re applying for and your employment situation, various documents may be necessary. Use this TD checklist to identify some of the paperwork you may need to begin collecting.

Get the Stamp of Pre-approval

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage helps you understand how much you can borrow before going through the mortgage application process. This is an important step as it will influence your decision on the upper price limit of your house purchase, and will provide some realistic boundaries before diving head first into the process.

Consider the Future

Your mortgage should be planned in accordance with your future. Your plans may change, but the end goal should always be to reduce financial risks. Think about how long you’re planning on staying in the house, whether or not you should consider saving for a larger down payment, and how much of a risk you are willing to take.

Inform Yourself

It’s important to be well informed prior to applying for a mortgage. Understanding the options and procedures involved with buying real estate will be hugely beneficial to your plans and finances. Your mortgage is a long-term commitment, and like all big decisions, it needs to be researched and well thought out ahead of time.


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Source: Fraser Valley Real Estate Board


SURREY, BC – Market activity declined further in August with sales dropping to their lowest level this year.

The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board processed 1,155 sales of all property types on its Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in August, a decrease of 38.5 per cent compared to the 1,879 sales in August of last year, and a 10.5 per cent decrease compared to the 1,290 sales in July 2018.

Sales of attached homes continued to represent over fifty per cent of all activity in the Fraser Valley this month, with 294 townhouses and 318 apartments selling in August.

“With demand slowing down and prices staying put, both buyers and sellers can expect to see an easing of competition with less multiple offer situations,” said John Barbisan, President of the Board. “Right now, effective pricing is key and will be the determining factor for a successful transaction.”

Active inventory for the Fraser Valley in July finished at 7,339 listings, decreasing 0.8 per cent month-over-month and increasing 28.5 per cent year-over-year.

2,575 new listings were received by the Board in August, an 11.8 per cent decrease from July 2018’s 2,921 new listings, and a 2.2 per cent decrease compared to August 2017’s intake.

“Our market continues to open up the further we get into the year, and that means you can make more considered, informed decisions if you’re looking to jump in,” continued Barbisan. “The best first step you can take is talking to a local REALTOR® who can help you determine your options and a plan forward.”

For the Fraser Valley region, the average number of days to sell an apartment and a townhome in August was 27. Single family detached homes remained on the market for an average of 35 days before selling.

HPI® Benchmark Price Activity

  • Single Family Detached: At $1,008,700, the Benchmark price for a single family detached home in the Fraser Valley decreased 0.9 per cent compared to July 2018 and increased 2.9 per cent compared to August 2017.
  • Townhomes: At $548,300 the Benchmark price for a townhome in the Fraser Valley in the Fraser Valley decreased 1.7 per cent compared to July 2018 and increased 11.5 per cent compared to August 2017.
  • Apartments: At $443,200, the Benchmark price for apartments/condos in the Fraser Valley decreased 1.6 per cent compared to July 2018 and increased 26.9 per cent compared to August 2017.

Find the August Statistics Package here.

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Source: BCREA

Vancouver, BC – August 13, 2018. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 7,055 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) across the province in July, a 23.9 per cent decrease from the same month last year. The average MLS® residential price in BC was $695,990, down 0.4 per cent from July 2017. Total sales dollar volume was $4.9 billion, a 24.2 per cent decline from July 2017.

“The BC housing market continues to grapple with the sharp decline in affordability caused by tough new mortgage qualification rules,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “However, less frenetic housing demand has created more balanced market conditions in many regions, leading to fewer multiple offers and more choice for consumers.”

Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume was down 18.9 per cent to $37 billion, compared with the same period in 2017. Residential unit sales decreased 20.6 per cent to 50,926 units, while the average MLS® residential price was up 2.1 per cent to $725,639.


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Source: Remax

Buying a home is a big investment – likely the largest one you will ever make. The cost to buy a home should be carefully considered to avoid the risk of financial difficulty in the future.

Since this decision has a large impact on your wallet, we want to take some time to explore the many costs associated with buying a home. Doing your homework and knowing the average cost of these services in your neighbourhood will help you choose a home within a realistic price range.

Deposit: Depending on your location and the price of a home, you may need to put a deposit on a home as a security measure to ensure you don’t lose it to another interested buyer. If you are required to pay a deposit, it will become part of your down payment once you have purchased the home.

Down Payment: In Canada, the minimum amount you need to put down on a home is 5%. While this is realistic for most first time home buyers, having a down payment of 20% or more will help buyers avoid paying Mortgage Loan Insurance.

Land Transfer Tax: When you buy a home, you are required to pay a land transfer tax to the province upon closing. This tax is normally based on the amount paid for the land, as well as the remaining amount on any mortgage or debt assumed as part of the arrangement to buy the land. Cost will vary depending on your municipality, the size of the land and other factors.  Alberta, Saskatchewan, and parts of Nova Scotia do not have Land Transfer Tax at all, while other provinces use a tiered system.

Appraisal Fee: An appraisal will normally cost between $200 and $300 but can vary depending on your location. This will help prevent you from borrowing more than you need to, and will prevent lenders from giving you too much.

Home Inspection: A home inspection is a necessary step in your home buying process and will normally cost an average of $350 depending on the size, age, and condition of the home. This helps ensure there are no unexpected maintenance or home improvement costs upon purchasing the home.

Property Insurance: While property insurance is likely already something you have factored into your budget, it’s important to do your research and find a reasonable quote that will ensure you are covered should anything unexpected happen.

Mortgage Insurance: There is mortgage life insurance, which is designed to protect the repayment of a mortgage if anything were to happen to you. There is also mortgage loan insurance if your down payment is less than 20% of the total house cost. Premiums for this type of insurance range from 0.5% to 3% and increase if you are self employed.

Lawyer Fees: The fee you will be charged by your lawyer will vary depending on the person representing you and must be paid upon closing. Ask your real estate agent for advice as they likely have a preferred trusted lawyer they can refer you to.

Title Insurance: Title insurance is a one-time-fee that provides protection from losses related to the properties title or ownership. Learn more about what it is in this blog post.

Property Taxes: The cost for property taxes is expressed as a dollar rate for every $1,000 estimated to be the market value of your property.

Maintenance and Energy Costs: Potentially your largest ongoing homeowner expense, these costs include lawn care/ yard work, professional services, additions/upgrades and the cost of keeping the house running year-round. You can use our monthly home budget planner to help map out all of these costs.

Moving Expenses: It’s easy to forget about the small things when moving, but it’s important to remember they can add up quickly! Consider the cost for phone, electricity, and other utility installations and don’t forget about movers, a moving truck and feeding your friends who are helping out!

Now that you have a better idea of the cost to buy a home, it’s time to hit the books to find out how much these services will cost in your area. Make a list, create a budget, and get started!

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Source: Fraser Valley Real Estate Board

SURREY, BC – Overall housing supply continued to grow in July as sales dropped to their lowest point this year since January.

The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board processed 1,290 sales of all property types on its Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in July, a decrease of 33.4 per cent compared to the 1,937 sales in July of last year, and a 11.2 per cent decrease compared to the 1,452 sales in June 2018.

Of the 1,290 sales processed last month 346 were townhouses and 337 were apartments, together representing 53 per cent of all transactions in July.

Active inventory for the Fraser Valley in July finished at 7,399 listings, increasing 3.6 per cent month-over-month and 23.9 per cent year-over-year.

“Despite a much healthier level of inventory, demand continues to be influenced by pricing and market barriers such as the mortgage stress test and rising interest rates,” remarked Board President John Barbisan. “On top of that, summer is busy for people and usually a slow season for real estate.”

2,921 new listings were received by the Board in July, a 7 per cent decrease from June 2018’s 3,140 new listings, and a 11.5 per cent decrease compared to July 2017’s intake.

“A slower market like this one is an excellent opportunity for buyers to explore their options and enjoy a more relaxed purchasing environment,” continued Barbisan. “If you’re looking, talk to your REALTOR® who can help you get a full view on everything available that fits your needs.”

For the Fraser Valley region, the average number of days to sell an apartment in July was 21, and 24 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 $1,017,400, the Benchmark price for a single family detached home in the Fraser Valley decreased 0.1 per cent compared to June 2018 and increased 5.3 per cent compared to July 2017.
  • Townhomes: At $557,500, the Benchmark price for a townhome in the Fraser Valley in the Fraser Valley decreased 0.1 per cent compared to June 2018 and increased 14.7 per cent compared to July 2017.
  • Apartments: At $450,400, the Benchmark price for apartments/condos in the Fraser Valley decreased 0.7 per cent compared to June 2018 and increased 32 per cent compared to July 2017.

Find the July Statistics Package here.

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Source: Remax

It’s a question that most Canadians will ask themselves at one point or another in their lifetime. Those who choose to rent often wonder if they’re wasting money. Those who buy may wonder whether or not their investment will be worth it in the long run.

Though it’s clear home ownership offers many benefits, the decision to buy or rent is a personal choice that should be based on several factors.

4 Factors to consider

1) Market Conditions – What is the price of real estate in your local market? It’s important to understand the market conditions and how they may affect prices before you decide to buy or rent.

2) Job Stability – Do you have a stable job and roots within your community? If your plan is to continue living in your community for the foreseeable future, home ownership may be the best option for you.

3) Time of life – What stage of life are you in? If you have a family, home ownership can provide a stable living situation without some of the uncertainties that are associated with renting.

4) Down payment – Do you have enough money saved up for an adequate down payment?

3 Benefits of home ownership

1) Financial investment – Your monthly mortgage payment creates equity for you, not your landlord.

2) Quality of life – Owning a home can provide a sense of stability and control that you don’t often get from renting. There is a great feeling about coming home to a place that you own.

3) Do what you want – When you own your own home, there’s no need to get approval before you paint a wall or hang a piece of art. You can choose what minor and major renovations you make to the place you live in.

How RE/MAX can help

RE/MAX Agents are experienced professionals who can help you out if you’ve decided that home ownership is the next step for you. Their expertise can help you find the house most suitable for your needs. 



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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: 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: RE/MAX

A home is the biggest purchase most of us will ever make, so it’s only natural to feel a little intimidated by the negotiation process. This is particularly the case for first-time buyers. Here are some tips to help you approach the negotiation process that will help you minimize stress, stay within your budget and get the best price for your new home.

GET TO KNOW YOUR MARKET

Becoming familiar with the types of properties available in your price range is an important first step. With the help of a real estate professional, you’ll also want to begin exploring neighbourhoods you’re interested in, the types of properties available in those neighbourhoods and their prices. Make note of the difference between listing and sale prices and how factors such as size, location, amenities, proximity to schools, and the age and condition of the home affect price.

Familiarity with the market will help you understand the value of the properties on the market and put you in a stronger negotiating position. While online listings are a good place to start, most buyers should expect to look at 10 to 15 homes in person before they make the decision to put in an offer.

STAY NEUTRAL

Buying your first—or even second or third—home comes with a lot of excitement and becoming emotionally attached can be easy. When looking at potential options, it often doesn’t take long to start imagining your new life there. However, it’s important that buyers do not act overly enthusiastic, particularly when the seller is home. This can put your REALTOR® at a disadvantage when negotiating for the best price. The best approach is to keep your demeanor neutral, take notes, and keep your thoughts and questions for a private conversation with your real estate agent.

FOCUS ON VALUE

When considering making an offer, many buyers assume that the asking price will be different from the selling price. In certain markets, buyers may expect the property to be listed higher than what it will sell for, while in hot markets, the opposite applies.

Rather than focusing on the listing price, focus on the value of the property. If the property is priced properly, the best strategy is to offer the listing price. If the property is not priced properly, make an offer that reflects the property’s true value. The best way to assess this is by getting to know the market and discussing your options with your REALTOR®.

A common mistake some buyers make is to put in a low offer, just to see if the seller is receptive to it. The result is often that the seller doesn’t take the offer seriously, either coming back with the original listing price or not responding at all.

Remember that just as your REALTOR® is advising you, there is also a real estate professional advising the seller on the home’s value.

THINK BEYOND PRICE

Don’t forget that price is not the only point of negotiation –terms are negotiable too. Everything from the move-in date, to home repairs, to which appliances are included in the sale, is up for negotiation.

STICK TO YOUR BUDGET

Firmly establish a budget and stick to it. In markets where demand is high and inventory low, it can be tempting to increase your budget, especially if you have put in several offers without being successful. However, it’s important to stay within a budget that you will be comfortable with for the next several years. Make your best offer and don’t budge. Home buying can be emotional, but try to keep a cool head by reassuring yourself that there will always be another house out there.

WHAT’S MY BUDGET?

When starting the search for a new home, it is important to establish a budget that you will be comfortable living within for several years. There are several handy tools to help you calculate your housing budget and plan your monthly expenses. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s Household Budget Calculator allows you to compare your income with your expenses and debt payments and see what kind of mortgage you can comfortably afford, and the RE/MAX Monthly Home Budget Planner helps you gain a better understanding of all the costs associated with home ownership.

No one knows the negotiation process better than Rosemary.

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Source: RE/MAX

There are many things to consider when looking for the right home; one of those considerations should be sustainability.  A sustainable home is not only better for the environment, but it can also save you a significant amount of money in the long run.

We asked our RE/MAX Influencers—a panel consisting of RE/MAX Sales Associates throughout Canada—what sustainable features are the most important to look for when buying a sustainable home.  They responded with features that will help you conserve resources and save costs on heat, water, and electricity.

“Buyers need to determine what space heating system is in place, this is the highest monthly cost and best ROI for a homeowner. Depending on the climate, heat pumps are the best but high efficiency gas furnaces are likely the best choice,” says Rob Grey, RE/MAX of Nanaimo (founder of Real Estate Energy Efficiency Program (REEP).

“They also need to see what level of insulation is installed as this compliments space heating and is one of the least expensive improvements in single family energy efficiency.”

Grey adds it’s very important to check if the home has had an energy assessment (EnerGuide rating), which is an extensive examination by a certified energy advisor who calculates the energy performance of a home, and is LEED certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design).

LEED certification provides independent, third-party verification that a building was built using strategies aimed at achieving high performance in key areas, such as: water savings, energy efficiency, material selection, and indoor environmental quality.

Windows

More than half of our influencers mentioned the importance of windows when it comes to energy efficiency. The quality of windows installed in a house greatly impact heat conservation. New double or triple pane, argon-filled windows provide extra insulation and better noise reduction for your home.

Properly insulated windows are a must for keeping heat from escaping during the cold winter months. However, the orientation of the windows to the sun should also be considered, as south-facing windows allow radiant heat from sunlight to enter the home each day.

Heating

Tied for second place along with water-saving features, a home’s heat source and heat conservation are also very important. A high-efficiency furnace, automated climate control, high value insulation, and heat recovery ventilation are must-haves among others.

South-facing windows, geothermal systems, and active solar energy systems are great sustainable features for heating a home. A geothermal system utilizes the stable ground temperature to regulate a home’s temperature, whereas an active solar energy system gathers heat from the sun.

Water

It is very important to conserve our freshwater supply. Sustainable homes utilize features that minimize water usage. Features like low-flow toilets, sinks, and showerheads, automated sprinklers, rain collectors, and xeriscaping go a long way in water conservation.

Solar

One-third of our Influencers spoke about the importance of utilizing the sun’s rays when considering sustainability. Solar panels, solar water heating, and orientation to the sun for natural heating are all ways we can effectively utilize solar energy.

Electricity

It can be difficult at times to keep up with advancements in technology. Our influencers suggest looking for LED lighting and programmable energy-efficient appliances in a sustainable home.  If the home is equipped with a solar panel array, ask for a comparison of the home’s electric generation and consumption.  Is there a charging outlet in the garage for a potential future electric car?

***

Are you searching for the home that is in a great location and is the perfect style for you? Rosemary can help you with your search.

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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: 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 – 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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