Rosemary Papp

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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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Source: Fraser Valley Real Estate Board

SURREY, BC – Propelled by significant activity in attached categories, March housing sales in the Fraser Valley reached their second highest point in ten years, trailing only last year’s extraordinary market levels.

The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board processed 2,213 sales of all property types on its Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in March, a decrease of 26.4 per cent compared to the 3,006 sales in March of last year, and a 58.5 per cent increase compared to the 1,396 sales in February 2017.

Of the 2,213 sales processed last month, 526 were townhouses and 638 were apartments, representing over half of the region’s total sales of all property types for the seventh straight month.

“Inventory levels aren’t where we’d like them to be, especially with demand picking up as we move deeper into the spring season,” said Gopal Sahota, Board President. “However, that being said, it’s great to see more buyers turning to our burgeoning apartment and townhome markets and taking some of the pressure off of detached homes.”

Last month the total active inventory for the Fraser Valley was 4,808 listings, the lowest level seen for a March in ten years. Active inventory increased by 3.5 per cent month-over-month, and decreased 12.3 per cent when compared to March 2016.

The Board received 3,072 new listings in March, a 41.5 per cent increase from February 2017, and a 24.3 per cent decrease compared to March 2016’s 4,057 new listings.

“We’ve never seen sales like this for our attached category homes. Whereas buyers may have had a more relaxed experience looking for a townhome a few years ago, things have certainly changed: competition is up, and listings are moving fast”, added Sahota.

“Talk to your REALTOR® to help you understand what’s happening in your community. The support of a local expert goes a long way when navigating a busy spring market here in the Valley.”

HPI® Benchmark Price Activity

  • Single Family Detached: At $869,000, the Benchmark price for a single family detached home in the Valley increased 1.1 per cent compared to February 2017, and increased 17.3 per cent compared to March 2016.
  • Townhomes: At $432,100 the Benchmark price for a townhome in the Fraser Valley increased 2.3 per cent compared to February 2017, and increased 25.5 per cent compared to March 2016.
  • Apartments: At $276,900, the Benchmark price for apartments/condos in the Fraser Valley increased 3.7 per cent compared to February 2017, and increased 27.5 per cent compared to March 2016.

Find the March Statistics Package here.


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Source: Fraser Valley Real Estate Board

SURREY, BC – The Fraser Valley housing market returned to more typical levels in February, with sales and new listing intake on-par with the 10-year average for the month.

The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board processed 1,396 sales of all property types on its Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in February, a decrease of 41.5 per cent compared to the record-breaking 2,387 sales in February of last year, and a 43 per cent increase compared to the 976 sales in January 2017. The 10-year average for February sales is currently 1,288 transactions.

Of the 1,396 sales processed last month, 369 were townhouses and 391 were apartments.

“This is the kind of February we like to see. Last year at this time, the incredible demand created a market that was difficult for consumers. Now, we have sales moving upward from the winter months at a typical, healthy pace and a growing inventory to support it,” said Gopal Sahota, Board President.

The Board received 2,171 new listings in February, a 0.3 per cent decrease from January 2017, and a 33.9 per cent decrease compared to February 2016’s 3,283 new listings.

For February the total active inventory in the Fraser Valley finished at 4,645 available listings, increasing by 5.5 per cent month-over-month, and decreasing 9.4 per cent when compared to February 2016.

“While the pace of the market has returned to more normal levels, pricing is still heavily impacted by the activity and demand seen throughout 2016. Understandably, this can create a challenging environment for consumers. If you’re struggling finding the right home or buyer, talk to a REALTOR® who can help guide you towards success in the market.”

For the Fraser Valley region, the average number of days to sell a single family detached home in February 2017 was 38 days, compared to 21 days in February 2016.

HPI® Benchmark Price Activity

  • Single Family Detached: At $859,300, the Benchmark price for a single family detached home in the Valley increased 0.4 per cent compared to January 2017, and increased 20.4 per cent compared to February 2016.
  • Townhomes: At $422,400 the Benchmark price for a townhome in the Fraser Valley increased 0.5 per cent compared to January 2017, and increased 25.2 per cent compared to February 2016.
  • Apartments: At $267,000, the Benchmark price for apartments/condos in the Fraser Valley increased 1.8 per cent compared to January 2017, and increased 26.5 per cent compared to February 2016.

Find the February Statistics Package here.


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Market forecasts are never easy, as the forecast for Canadian real estate is as varied as the individual characteristics of the many housing markets within Canada.

A report from PwC Canada and the Urban Land Institute reports that property owners are cautiously optimistic about the real estate market's outlook for 2017. The report forecasts a "year of stability" for the housing market, despite a slight drop in prices and a pullback in the Toronto and Vancouver markets.*

The Canadian Real Estate Association forecasts a slight decline in national sales for 2017. They expect transactions in British Columbia and Ontario to remain strong, but also anticipate they will fall short of 2016's record levels to some degree due to a lack of supply of single-family homes.

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) believes MLS® sales will soften from last year to between 489,500 and 509,700 in 2017 before settling in 2018 at between 488,100 and 511, 100. Likewise, the CMHC expects resale prices to come in at between $483,600 and $507,800 in 2017 and between $497,700 and $525,100 in 2018. Meanwhile, the CMHC anticipates mortgage rates to rise modestly from the posted 5-year mortgage rate to within a 4.4 to 5.2 percent range in 2017, and then to within a 4.5 to 5.7 percent range in 2018.**

Your local market forecast is the one you'll be most interested in receiving. Please call today for the latest real estate information in your specific region!

* www.pwc.com/ca/en/industries/emerging-trendsin- real-estate.html

** www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/odpub/ esub/61500/61500_2016_B02.pdf?fr=1478014289803


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When it comes to mortgage terminology, borrowers often confuse the definitions of the words "term" and "amortization". It's important to understand all of your mortgage components completely to appreciate how they can affect you both now and in the future.

The mortgage term is the block of time that a borrower commits to an agreed-upon mortgage rate and conditions with a particular mortgage lender. The mortgage amortization is the total number of years you're expecting it will take to completely pay off your mortgage. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)-insured loans have a maximum amortization of 25 years, while non-CMHC-insured loans can have a longer amortization depending on the lender.

A common mortgage in Canada has a five-year term with a 25-year amortization period. Some borrowers select a longer term – up to ten years for example – with a slightly higher interest rate if they expect to stay in their home for some time while others choose a three or four year term if they're anticipating a move within the foreseeable future, and want to avoid any prepayment penalties.

Before committing to a new loan or renewing your mortgage, let's take the time to compare different mortgage scenarios to find the one that fits both your short-term and long-term housing plans and budget. Simply pick up the phone and call to set up your no-obligation mortgage consultation!

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There's a new down payment rule now in effect, valid as of February 15, 2016, that increases the amount of the down payment necessary to buy a home selling for more than $500,000.

The minimum down payment on a home was previously a straight five percent of the purchase price, however as of December 2015 homebuyers must now apply a minimum of ten percent down on the portion of their purchase that's over $500,000.

The increase in down payment was most likely designed to cool down the hottest real estate markets in Canada that have average prices topping $500,000. For example, here's the difference in down payment for a $700,000 property:

5% down payment on first $500,000: $25,000

10% down payment on remaining $200,000: $20,000

Total minimum down payment on a $700,000 home: $45,000

The buyer in this example therefore needs to come up with an extra $10,000 for the down payment compared to the system before the change.

While first-time buyers will feel the pinch most, existing homeowners will typically already have that amount covered through their home equity. Questions about the new rule, or about your home financing in general? Simply pick up the phone and call – there's no obligation at all!

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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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Especially in hot markets, buyers can feel pressure to make snap decisions. Taking the time to view potential properties a second time can be invaluable in helping buyers avoid making a decision they'll regret.

First viewings tend to be emotional. Buyers are assessing whether the property feels right; many "fall in love" with what they see. A second viewing allows you time to process those emotions and figure out whether you could have a lasting relationship with this home, or if it was just infatuation at first sight.

First viewings also tend to be general, as buyers focus on the big picture: How big is the home? How many bedrooms are there? How many bathrooms? On a second viewing – when your emotions have cooled and you're able to look more critically – you'll no doubt notice things you missed the first time. Perhaps that second bathroom isn't a full bathroom, or you didn't realize how little storage space there is, for instance.

On the other hand, a second viewing may be just what it takes for a property to move from your "maybe" column to your "yes" column. Having had time to reconsider those things you weren't crazy about – and having seen what else is out there – you might just decide you can live without that kitchen island or you don't need that much storage space.

Lastly, a second viewing allows you to check out the area at a different time of the day or week. Were you first there on a weekend? If so, what's it like during rush hour? Was your first viewing during the day? What's the neighborhood like at night?

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Source: Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver

The government has announced, effective February 19, 2014, under the Property Transfer Tax (PTT) First-Time Home Buyers’ Exemption program, qualifying first-time buyers can buy a home worth up to $475,000. The previous threshold was $425,000.

The partial exemption continues and will apply to homes valued between $475,000 and $500,000.

With this change, the government estimates 1,700 additional first-time buyers will annually be eligible to save up to $7,500 in PTT when they buy their home.

The government estimates this measure will cost $8 million in lost tax revenue each year.

The Real Estate Board, together with BC Real Estate Association, has actively lobbied to make home ownership more affordable for first-time home buyers. This increase in the threshold clearly signals our efforts have paid off as in past years.

In 2008, as a result of industry lobbying, the provincial government increased the threshold to $425,000 from $375,000. 

In 2005, the government increased the threshold to $325,000 from $275,000.

The PTT is calculated at a rate of one per cent on the first $200,000 and two per cent on the remaining value of the purchase price.

Here is a link to the Budget.: http://www.bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2014/default.htm

For information, contact Harriet Permut, Manager, Government Relations at hpermut@rebgv.org

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RE/MAX Treeland Realty
#101 - 6337 198 Street
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