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New Listing 310 12207 224 St, Maple Ridge

Centrally located with Mountain Views! Corner suite, spacious 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom boasting over 1000sqft. Open Kitchen, large dining room and living area with gas fireplace. Serene private covered patio with lots of sun. Well maintained building with a healthy contingency fund and no upcoming assessments. Pets allowed with height and size restrictions and no rentals allowed.

Open Houses Saturday June 17  and Sunday June 18 2-4pm or call to book your own private showing.

Listed by Maureen Seguin | Century 21 In Town Realty

Price: $309,000

Renting vs. Buying

It used to be that young couples would get married, buy a home and live there for the next 40 or 50 years. But times have changed. Home prices have skyrocketed in the past decade, making home ownership very difficult for some young people just starting out. It has also made some older homeowners more inclined to sell their now pricey homes and jump back into the world of rentals again, freeing up equity that they can use during their retirement years. Renting has become a much more affordable option for many – but just as there are downfalls to buying, there are disadvantages to renting too. So what should you do? What makes sense for you and your family?

The only way to answer that question with certainty is to know your personal finances  inside and out, and to do your research. A pros and cons list can be useful in this situation.

Buying a home – pros

  1. If we’ve learned anything over the past several years, it’s that homes can often be good investments.
  2. Possible rental income. If you choose, you can rent out a portion of your home to help cover monthly mortgage payments and other expenses. Your home can be a source of income.
  3. Your home, your choices. You can paint, wallpaper, decorate and landscape any way you like when the home belongs to you.
  4. Tax exemptions. As a homeowner, you may be eligible for certain tax benefits that renters are not.

Buying a home – cons

  1. It’s not wise to put all your eggs in the equity basket. You can’t guarantee that you’ll get more out of your house than you put into it, so banking on it to fund your retirement isn’t necessarily wise. You can increase the equity in your home by doing renovations and improvements, but it’s impossible to know how much of a difference that will make when it comes time to sell.
  2. Aside from the cost of a down payment, homes can be expensive to run and maintain. Consider moving costs, lawyer’s fees, mortgage payments, property taxes, house insurance, repairs and renovations, utilities, landscaping, snow removal, furniture and décor – and you’re looking at a lot of expenses, both upfront and ongoing, for the life of that home.
  3. When you buy a home, you’re committed to staying there for a good long while unless you want to go through the hassle and expense of moving again.

Renting pros

  1. In addition to maintenance and repairs that are usually taken care of by a landlord, it’s much easier and less expensive to pack up and move to a new place if and when the spirit moves you, or when circumstances require a change. Even if you have to break a lease to move, you can sometimes offset the cost by subletting your apartment for the remainder of the term if your landlord approves.
  2. It’s usually easier to be approved for rental than it is to get approval for a mortgage. Obviously you need to have a fairly decent credit history, but mortgage lenders usually have much higher standards.
  3. You may be able rent a house or apartment you’d never be able to afford to buy, allowing you to be in desirable neighborhoods that would otherwise be out of reach.

Renting cons

  1. While, as discussed, home equity isn’t something you should necessarily bank on, it can be an important investment that’s useful in your retirement years when you sell. Renting eliminates this potential. Everything you pay into your lease is gone.
  2. You may be at the mercy of your landlord as far as housing costs go. If you don’t live in a municipality with strict rent control, there’s no way of knowing how much your lease payments may increase from year to year, which makes it difficult to budget for other needs and wants.
  3. You never really know how long you’ll be able to stay in a rental property. There are usually protections in place to ensure that you can’t be evicted suddenly without cause, but it’s unlikely that you can guarantee that you will be able to stay in your place indefinitely. Landlords sometimes sell or opt to move back into homes or apartments they have been renting out.

Your decision to buy or rent is a personal one that hinges on so many different factors. Take your time making that decision, weighing out all the pros and cons based on your own unique situation, including your long-term goals, current life situation and finances. The worst thing you can do is rush into a situation because you’re feeling pressure. There will never be a “perfect” solution, but there will be one that suits you more than the other. It just takes time and thought to sort it out.

 

Steps in De-Cluttering the Bedroom!

Clutter can build up in a bedroom and make the room seem crowded. If your closet or dresser space is full, organize the room to accommodate new items. Impose a rule that no new piece of clothing goes into a bedroom closet or drawer unless an old piece is removed. To fully remove clutter and organize your bedroom, though, give it a deep cleaning and use the opportunity to get rid of as many things as you can.

Step 1: Remove any items from the bedroom that belong in other rooms. Do not use the bedroom as a storage space for things that belong elsewhere. Pick up any clothing, books or papers sitting on the floor. Identify a shelf, closet or drawer to store those items. If you lack a place to put them, add hooks, shelves or a small end table in the room to serve this purpose. Vacuum or wash the floor.

Step 2: Remove all items from table and dresser surfaces and shelves, then sort the items. Throw away unneeded items, such as tags and receipts for clothing. Identify a storage place for toiletries, such as a cabinet for makeup or hair products. Limit decorative jewelry boxes, photos, knickknacks and other items on display to just a few items. Use earring trees and necklace hangers to save space. Dust furniture surfaces, as well as the decorative items. Store, donate or sell the items you no longer use.

Step 3: Remove any clothes, books or other items on top of the bed, leaving only the usual bedding and pillows. Make a practice of not leaving laundry on the bed. Limit decorative pillows to simplify the room’s appearance. Purchase storage containers that can fit under the bed, and use them to store linens, seasonal clothes or family memorabilia.

Step 4: Remove the contents of each dresser drawer. Get rid of clothes you haven’t worn for six months or, in the case of seasonal clothes, items unused in over a year. Sort the clothes, and designate a drawer for each type of clothing. Fold the clothes neatly before returning them to the drawers. Recycle, donate or sell your unused clothing

Step 5: Pull everything out of the bedroom closet to get a fresh start. Recycle, donate or throw away clothing you no longer use. Hang seasonal clothes in garment bags, and move them to the back of the closet during the off-season. Shop for storage containers to fit your closet, such as closet organizers, shoe shelves, shelf dividers and belt and tie racks. Use suitcases to store blankets, and replace bulky hangers with sleeker styles. Use a hanger holder that has the option of extending from the wall or collapsing to save space.

Step 6: Make a habit of making your bed every day, putting dirty clothes in the laundry basket and storing clean clothes. Set a weekly schedule to vacuum the floor and to dust surfaces. Make a commitment to keeping your bedroom clean and organized.

Remember the bedroom is where you will spend 1/3 of your life- make it a room you want to be in.

9 Ways to Find the Perfect Tenant for your Investment Property

Have an investment property and need to find tenants? You’ll probably want to hire a real estate agent. In Vancouver, the rental market is very competitive right now, and if you use a real estate agent, you’ll likely get a better, more qualified tenant for your investment property.

1. Get income verified.

This is tricky because sometimes, in order to get the rental, some dishonest tenants write their own letter of employment. So, always ask for a pay stub no older than 30 days along with bank statements showing their pay deposits. If they are self-employed, notice of assessments for the last 2 years will do, or ask for bank statements showing their overall monthly cashflow.

2. Get a full credit report, not just their credit score.

Just getting a credit score number isn’t enough. Always get a full credit report done so you have a full understanding of how healthy a tenant’s finances are.

3. Get their ID verified

I always ask to see their driver’s license, and get a photocopy of it. Believe it or not, tenants try to fake their identity as part of the application process just to get into a rental unit.

4. Get 10 post dated cheques.

There’s nothing worse than having to chase down a tenant for rent each month. It’s annoying, and sometimes a tenant may even end up giving you a cheque once the rent is actually past due. It’s easier for everyone involved if you have all of the post-dated cheques written and signed up front.

5. Get references.

Aways ask for at least 3 references, and I call each one of them. You want to know how they were as a tenant, if they paid their rent on time, if they kept the property clean, and obeyed the rules that were set in place in the agreement, like not smoking and obeying any rules around having pets.

6. Look at their social profiles.

It might seem a little creepy, but someone’s social profile can tell you a lot about them and how they’ll treat the unit they’re renting. A professional profile on Linkedin with recommendations? Probably a qualified tenant. Hundreds of pictures of them partying? I’d continue to look elsewhere.

7. Get a pet deposit

If they have pets, then always get a pet deposit. Even if the pet is small, they can still do a lot of damage to floors and carpeting over a long period of time.

8. Get a security deposit for the key fob, if the unit is a condo.

People lose things, and it’s definitely possible that a tenant would lose a fob. They aren’t cheap to replace, so it’s best if you get a deposit in case it does get lost.

9. Get proof of tenant insurance.

I always want to know that the tenant has their content of the unit insured. Things can happen, and it’s important to know that everything is protected in case something does.

New Listing 8458 Quayside Court Vancouver

JUST LISTED + OPEN HOUSE! $849,000

Sunday May 28 2-4pm

8458 Quayside Court, Vancouver, BC

Renovated 4 bedroom townhouse in Fraserview and tucked away from all traffic. Short stroll to the Fraser River, Trails and parks, this home is a gem. Large kitchen with brand new appliances, separate dining room area, Spacious living room with gas fireplace that opens onto your private fenced in backyard. Upstairs has 2 queen sized bedrooms, a king sized master with 5 piece en-suite and huge closets. Peek-a-boo river views from master and kitchen patio. Downstairs offers the 4 bedroom, full bathroom and double car garage. Continue reading

5 Things First-Time Buyers Should Look For In A Home

There are few events more exciting than the first time you buy a home. You are going to graduate from a renter to an owner, with all the benefits that such a transition brings. But as with anything, because you are buying a home for the first time, it can be challenging to know exactly what you should be looking for in a home. Fortunately, while this may be your first time buying, plenty of others have gone before you, which means you can build on their insights when going about your own purchase.

A good neighbourhood.

While what defines a good neighbourhood will vary depending on the buyer, there is no denying the importance of buying in an area you will like living. No matter how inexpensive the home, if it is in a neighbourhood that will make you miserable, it is not going to be the right place for you. Young professionals often like neighbourhoods that are close to restaurants and nightlife, while new families may prefer quieter neighbourhoods where the kids can play outside. What you want out of your neighbourhood is just as important as what you want out of your home, so think carefully about where you conduct your home search. Here are some great tips for choosing a neighbourhood. Look over the list and see what makes the most sense for your stage of life.

A home you can be comfortable in – or can fix up to be comfortable in a reasonable amount of time.

If you are into doing your own home repairs and renovations, it can make a lot of sense to buy a fixer upper. You’ll save money upfront and you have the ability to improve the condition of the home on your own. However, many first-time home buyers make the mistake of thinking they will fix up a home, only to discover that they do not have the ability, motivation or finances to make the repairs necessary to get the home into the condition necessary to be comfortable. You are are making a big financial commitment with your purchase, so be certain you will be able to live comfortably with your choice before you make the leap. Some of the best first time home buyer advice is getting clear on what you want.

A home that fits your lifestyle and goals.

You are going to encounter a number of different options when you start home shopping and be faced continuously with trade-offs (unless you have an extremely high budget). You can afford a better location, but a smaller house. Or a bigger home, further out of town. One home may offer a bigger back yard, while another will have virtually no yard, but a balcony. No matter how hard you look, you are going to have to choose between options that are imperfect. That is why it is so important to clearly define your goals and aspirations for the home you buy. You need to know what is most important to you in a home because ultimately you will need to trade some less important things to get the ones that matter most to you.

A place you can see yourself living for at least five years.

Most experts agree that the minimum amount of time you should live in a newly purchased home, especially as a first-time buyer, is five years. It will usually take at least five years to make the purchase benefit you financially. Sell before then and you risk losing money – unless you happen to in a really hot market. One of the most common home buying mistakes is not purchasing a property that is suitable for longer term goals. Because you want to make smart financial choices, you need to be careful to find a home that you can reasonably expect to live in for a five-year period.

A home that is priced well within your budget.

If at all possible, you want to avoid spending every last cent you have on your first home. You want the home to be a source of happiness and security, not a lead weight that threatens to drown you financially. Ownership costs money – more than just the mortgage. Things break, maintenance must be done, and other costs will pop up that you need to be able to cover. By purchasing a home that is in the middle of your budget, or even on the lower end, you give yourself much more breathing room.