New Listing 2161 Mary Hill Rd, Port Coquitlam

Beautiful, Bright and Spacious, this family home is a gem! East facing living room with vaulted ceilings, large windows, fireplace and adjoining dining room. Updated Kitchen with new stainless steel appliances and neighbouring family room with fireplace. Fully fenced west facing yard that backs onto Central Elementary School. Lower level consists of a 2 bedroom suite with long term tenants, a spacious laundry room and another bedroom/office. Updated include; New flooring, New hot water tank, new roof, new blinds, new upstairs bathrooms and pot lights throughout the upstairs. First showing at Open house; Saturday July 8th 12-2pm and Sunday July 9th 2:30-4:30pm.

Link to Virtual Tour:

Listed by Maureen Seguin Personal Real Estate Corporation Century 21 In Town Realty

New Listing – 110 1948 Coquitlam Ave

Bright and Spacious ground floor suite priced for under $200,000!! This home boasts an efficient floor plan with a beautiful updated kitchen, King- sized bedroom & a large sunny north facing patio. Freshly painted and MOVE in Ready!! EXCELLENT investment/holding property as there are no restrictions on rentals. Close to shopping, west coast express and the new evergreen line.

Open House Saturday 230- 430pm and Sunday 12-2pm.

Listed by Maureen Seguin Personal Real Estate Corporation Century 21 In Town Realty

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.


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.

New Listing 303 2425 Shaughnessy St, Port Coquitlam

Most Affordable Condo in Poco, priced under $160,000. Top Floor, Sunny Eastern Exposure with Mountain Views!! King-sized bedroom with in-suite laundry, 1 LARGE storage locker and covered parking spot. Building is well cared for and has recently updated the roof and boiler system. Less than 5 minutes to West Coast Express, Groceries, Restaurants, Schools, Coquitlam River, Coquitlam Centre and Skytrain. No RENTALS & PETS allowed.

Listed by Maureen Seguin Personal Real Estate Corporation

Century 21 In Town Realty

Is It wise for you to downsize?

Downsizing is something that a lot of people consider later in life. When you’re younger and have a family at home, buying a large home with a backyard makes sense, but later on, for various reasons, selling your home and downsizing to something smaller might make sense for you. If you’re thinking about it, here are some things to consider to determine if it’s wise for you to downsize.

Why are you really moving?

To figure out what the best downsizing decision is for you, the first step is to really think about why you’re thinking about moving and downsizing in the first place. Is it because you want to travel more? Is it because your current house is too big with too many empty rooms? Is it because you no longer want to do the upkeep of mowing the lawn or shovelling the snow? Once you can answer the ‘why’, you can figure out the ‘what’.

What kind of life do you want to live?

Downsizing, in a way, is a chance to start over, so it makes sense to think about what kind of life you want to live. Before, you may have needed to live closer to the city because you need to commute or have easy access to city amenities, but now, you may not need to think about those things. Maybe you’ve always wanted to live on a beach near the lake, or maybe you’ve always thought about moving to one of those cute small town. Well, now’s your chance.

Think about the costs involved.

There are costs involved with selling, and there are cost involved with buying, but it goes even further than that. If you sell your home, and then buy a new one for the same price, you of course won’t have any extra cash; you’ll just be changing your lifestyle (which could be exactly what you want). And if you purchase something less expensive, then you’ll have extra cash on hand to put towards other things. There are also the other costs of selling to think about, like real estate agent fees, lawyers fees, etc. In short, you need to think about the costs so you can plan out what’s best for you.

Have you considered renting?

Once you know no longer need to worry about equity and saving for retirement, it might make sense to rent. If you’ve built a lot of equity in your home, you might want to think about cashing in and selling your home, and then renting so that you can use that extra money for travelling and ticking some things off of your bucket list. Renting can give you the opportunity to do that. In addition to using the extra cash from the sale of your home to enjoy life, you also won’t need to worry about having money set aside for the things that come along with owning a home, like roof repairs, etc.

Everyone is different.

It’s true. Everyone is different, and each person’s circumstances is different, so what works for one person might not work for another. The important thing to know is that if you’re thinking about downsizing, don’t rush into it. Take the time to think about what kind of lifestyle you want to live so you can make the best decision for you.

Why I say it’s a great time to buy

Don’t wait to buy real estate, buy real estate and wait

If you’re on the fence about buying – keep in mind that the longer you wait, home prices will rise, mortgage rules change and all that rent you’re paying is really helping your landlord pay off their mortgage faster!

Buy where you can afford and rent where you want to live

If you can’t afford the neighbourhood of your choice, buy an investment in an area you can afford. As your tenants pay down your mortgage, you’ll build the equity you need to be able to purchase in the area you desire.

Best time to buy is when you can afford to

Mortgage rates at the moment are FANTASTIC and soon will go up! It’s not good to just buy because it’s cheap too – Do your homework and if you can afford to financially then jump in and make a real estate splash.

Don’t list your home for more than it’s worth (and other pricing problems)

In a hot market or a cold one, pricing your home accurately is always important. Under-pricing a property to attract multiple offers has been a successful strategy in the past, but even that appears to be turning buyers’ stomachs in the current climate. It seems my job these days is the complete opposite: talking clients out of over-pricing their homes. I get these same questions and comments every time I sit down with sellers:

“Another agent said it was worth more.”

It’s no secret that a lot of agents will “buy” listings by quoting the highest price, but if four agents said your home was worth $600,000-ish, and one agent said $700,000, that should concern, not excite, you. Beware of the realtor who wants your listing at any cost. He’s just going to rope you into a six-month listing, and hope you gradually decrease the price.

“Let’s try it at our price for a month or so first.”

The highest price you’ll get as a seller is within one to five days of listing your home, not 30 days later. I know I can get the full asking price, or more, if I can sell the property within that short timeframe. All the work should be done ahead of the listing, so the property will sell ASAP. After a house or condo unit spends a full month on the market unsold, you’ll attract low-ball offers from buyers still looking at your stale listing.

“People always offer less than asking anyway!”

Not always, and not if it’s in that initial one-to-five day period when you have all the leverage as a seller. And if the property is over-priced, they’re not going to make any offer, let alone one that is less than asking.

“Nobody knows the value of my home better than I do.”

Selling your home is an emotional experience that can leave a homeowner vulnerable, especially when your own bias causes you to over-inflate the value of your house.

“We’ll include all the furniture to get our price.”

This is a last resort. The depreciation on furniture and household products is massive. Your five-year-old couch that you paid $1,800 for is probably now only worth $300, sorry to say. That 42-inch Panasonic flat screen TV cost $1,400 in 2008, but technology has changed and you can get a better one today for half the price. Furnishing a house or condo is something today’s buyers look forward to. Most of them wouldn’t take your furniture for free, let alone pay for it.

“My neighbour’s house sold in two days for over asking!”

Right: your neighbour’s house, not your house. These are two different products, with different lot sizes, bedroom/bathrooms, sizes, styles, and upgrades. You can compare the two houses, so long as you contrast as well.

“We need to get at least this much out of our house.”

N-e-e-d is one of the worst words in real estate. Hey, I “need” a date with Ryan Reynolds, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to get it. People’s “needs” are typically more of a “want,” and ultimately a need or a want doesn’t change the fair market value for a given property.

“A higher price will make buyers think it’s worth more.”

I understand the thinking here. But buyers in Metro Vancouver are far too savvy to be fooled by that pricing nonsense. They all have access to sales histories in condominium buildings and on neighbourhood streets, and charging $25 for a $20 bill is never going to fly.

I’m a competitive agent by nature, and I get excited by the prospect of netting my clients extra couple of thousand for their properties. But even I can’t get somebody 120 per cent of fair market value, no matter how badly they want it.