Buyers

7 Things That Can Go Wrong If You Hire The Wrong Real Estate Agent

Buying a home is the biggest investment you’ll likely ever make, and it has all sorts of implications for your personal and financial future. This is why it’s so important to work with the right agent.

Too many people don’t realize just how much can go wrong if they make the wrong hire. There are some very serious problems that can arise if you accidentally work with the wrong person to buy or sell a home. Here are some of them:

1. Not listening

A professional real estate agent (or any other professional for that matter) will take Continue reading

Should you buy or should you rent?

Should you buy a home, or should you rent one? It’s a question that many people struggle with when it comes to making a real estate decision.

You may think it just comes down to money: if you have enough money, buy a home, but thinking about it in more detail is a much better way to approach it. Here are a few things you should consider:

Where Are You in Life?

By looking at where you currently are in life, or where you want to be, you can get a better idea of what’s a better fit for you real estate-wise. If you’re travelling a lot, then renting can be a much better option. In that situation, renting a condo is Continue reading

KEYS TO FINDING A GOOD DEAL ON A HOME

You probably know how to find good deals on clothes, flights, and maybe even a used car. But a house? That’s uncharted territory. Fear not, future homeowner…

COVER YOUR BASES

Finding your home sweet home is a process that begins with a mortgage pre approval. Getting pre-approved for a mortgage puts you at an advantage because it means that the lender is confident you can make the necessary payments. Use your realtor as a resource to establish what your loan options are and then connect with a lender that fits you.

Continue reading

Is your Real Estate Agent working for you?

Is your realtor working hard enough so that your house gets the exposure that it needs to attract buyers that are looking. It’s important that you know exactly what your realtor is doing to advertise your home. Don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions afterall this is your home and the goal is to have it SOLD.

The Best Way to Approach This Topic with Your Realtor

No one wants to feel as though someone is bossing him or her but you did hire your Realtor to do a job. That job is to work on getting your house the exposure it needs to sell. If you have a Realtor who isn’t putting the effort that he or she needs to, you are the one who remains stuck in a home you can’t sell.

The best way to approach your Realtor about what methods he or she is using to advertise your home is by making suggestions to open up discussion. For example, you could say you heard that some of your neighbors had luck with an open house. See what your Realtor’s reaction is and then use that as a lead into, “What else can we do to increase our exposure?” By not using the word, “you” you avoid finger pointing and bossiness. Instead, you are implying that it’s a team and it takes some of the pressure off the situation.

If you don’t get anywhere with this approach. You may just have to come out and say, “What types of methods of advertisements have you used for my home?” If your Realtor answers by saying that he or she has placed it in real estate books and magazines, ask to see them. You can mention that you would like to keep some for a keepsake, pass out to friends and family and/or to do some advertising on your own.

If Your Realtor isn’t Working for You

Check your contract for a way out so you can find another Realtor that will do a job that you are satisfied with. If you are unable to get out of contract with your Realtor, contact the realty office to speak to his or her supervisor. Keep in mind that this might spoil your relationship you have with your Realtor, so only do this as a last resort. The best way is to handle it with the Realtor and work together because you both have a common goal…selling your home.

Co-Owning Your Way to Vancouver Home Ownership

It’s no secret; buying a home in the Vancouver can be really expensive and it doesn’t seem to be getting any cheaper, but if you’re a young, first-time homebuyer, that doesn’t mean that homeownership should be, or is, out of the question for you.

Have you considered co-ownership? Buying a home with friends or family is a fantastic way to go about purchasing a home. Co-owning a home isn’t a new concept; people have always been able to do it, but because of higher real estate prices, it’s becoming a more popular solution for people. If you’ve never considered it before, here are a few reasons why you should:

Life Will Be Less Expensive

You’ll be splitting everything between the number of people you own the home with. So that means cheaper monthly costs for utilities, cable, property taxes, and of course, mortgage payments. If an unexpected repair comes up, or if you decide to take on a home renovation project, you’ll be saving money there too. If you’re a little creative, there are other ways you can save money as well. For example, maybe you’re buying with someone that can help you out with babysitting or shared meal expenses.

A Bigger Home, In a Better Neighbourhood

Want to buy one of those newly built, ultra modern homes in an up-and-coming area? Didn’t think it would be possible for you to afford it anymore? By purchasing a home with more people, you’ll probably be able to put down a bigger downpayment and afford a larger mortgage payment each month. That means, a home that you didn’t think you could buy is suddenly back within reach!

It Only Needs to be Temporary

Just because you buy a home with your best friend, cousin, or even your parents, it doesn’t mean you have to live with them in this situation forever. Co-owning is a fantastic way to get into the real estate market as a first time homebuyer. If you make a smart investment when you buy the home, it could be worth a lot more in a few years. If you plan to sell at that time, then you can cash in on the equity you’ve built, split it with everyone involved, and use that as a downpayment for a home that you own on your own.

Is Co-Ownership For You?

Buying a home with other people isn’t for everyone. There are certainly a few risks when it comes to co-owning a home, and you’ll want to be very selective about who you purchase with. But if you can handle it, it’s a smart way to get into the real estate market.

BC budget includes new real estate taxes and spending commitments

Housing was the dominant issue in yesterday’s provincial budget.

The government released a 30-point housing strategy aimed at reducing housing demand, curbing tax fraud, building affordable housing, and increasing security for renters.

New tax measures include increasing property taxes and property transfer taxes on residential properties valued above $3 million, expanding the foreign buyer tax, and implementing a housing speculation tax.

“We welcome the provincial government’s commitment to address money laundering concerns and increase the supply of affordable, social, and rental housing in our province,” Jill Oudil, Board president said. “We’re concerned, however, about the series of tax measures announced today. The budget introduces new taxes, hints at future taxes, and hikes existing taxes on housing. Taxes don’t make homes more affordable.”

Below is a summary of the key real estate measures announced today. There’s considerable information to go through. We’re analyzing each item to understand the implications to you and your clients and will report back with more information and analysis in future communications.

Affordable housing

  • The province is investing $6 billion in affordable housing to create 114,000 homes over the next 10 years.
  • The province will enhance local government capacity to build and retain affordable housing.
  • The province will require developers to collect and report comprehensive information about the assignment of pre-sale condo purchases.
  • The province intends to track beneficial ownership information.
  • The province will collect additional information to increase transparency and strengthen enforcement in real estate.

Tax measures

Speculation tax

  • The province will implement a new speculation tax on residential properties, targeting foreign and domestic homeowners who don’t pay income tax in BC. This includes those who leave homes vacant.
  • The tax will apply to the Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Capital, and Nanaimo Regional districts and in the municipalities of Kelowna and West Kelowna.
  • In 2018, the tax rate will be $5 per $1,000 of assessed value. In 2019, the tax rate will rise to $20 per $1,000 of assessed value.
  • The province will administer the tax and will collect data to enforce it including, social insurance numbers, household information, and world-wide income information.

Foreign buyer tax

  • Effective Feb. 21, 2018, the foreign buyer tax will increase to 20 per cent from 15 per cent and will be extended to the Fraser Valley, Capital, Nanaimo, and Central Okanagan Regional Districts.
  • If the property is located in the Capital Regional District, Fraser Valley Regional District, Regional District of Central Okanagan, or Nanaimo Regional District, and the property transfer is registered on or after February 21, 2018, there are transitional rules available here.

Property Transfer Tax

Effective Feb. 21, 2018, the Property Transfer Tax on residential properties above $3 million will increase to five per cent from three per cent.

Provincial School Tax

Beginning in 2019, the provincial school tax will increase on most residential properties in excess of $3 million.

Database on pre-sale condo assignments

The province will require developers to collect and report comprehensive information about the assignment of pre-sale condo purchases. The information will be reported to a designated government office and shared with federal and provincial tax authorities to ensure taxes are paid.

 

Clarity of property ownership

Compelling access to MLS®

The province plans to enable tax administrators to compel access to information relevant to property transfers, such as information held in a MLS® database. (We’re asking government for clarification.)

Beneficial land ownership registry

The province will require additional information about beneficial ownership on the PTT form.

Administered by the LTSA, the information will be publicly available and shared with federal and provincial tax and law enforcement authorities. Legislation will be introduced to require BC corporations to hold accurate and up to date information on beneficial owners in their own record offices available to law enforcement, tax and other authorities.

Task force on money laundering and tax evasion

The province will work with the federal government to formalize a multi-agency working group on tax evasion, money laundering and housing.

 

Read the Homes for BC 30-point plan for housing affordability

 

Read the Budget 2018 Speech

Do you have a Good Buyer’s Agent?

What Makes a Good Buyer’s Agent?

Do you have a good buyers agent? A good buyer’s agent should be able to guide you in getting pre -qualified for a mortgage. Knowing all your options about how to get a mortgage is vital. Whether you choose to go to your bank or to a mortgage broker, a good agent should be able to offer a 2nd opinion of another mortgage specialist to get you your best results. At the end of the day, you want to be working with a lender that you trust, feel comfortable with and will communicate with you each step of the way.

A good buyers agent is someone who is dedicated and patient in explaining to you the process of how to buy a home. This agent should be knowledgeable educated and have solid resources to help you on your way.

A Buyers agent is responsible to find properties that meet your needs and requirements that may include location, price and specifics such as size and extras the home must have. It’s important to choose an agent who specializes in the area that you are looking for therefore you have someone who truly understands what you want.

Once you have an accepted offer, an inspection usually comes next. It goes without saying that a good buyer’s agent is at the home inspection the entire time the home inspector is there. A buyer’s agent should go over the inspector’s report and explains every detail to you.

Throughout the process a good buyer’s agent is in constant contact with the lender and you. It is so important to be aware of each step in the process and make sure that everything is taking place in a timely manner. There is nothing worse than finding out in those last days that somebody dropped the ball and the closing won’t take place on time.

These are things that a good buyer’s agent does for you. This is what makes working with a buyer’s agent so important!

5 THINGS TO THROW OUT FOR A CLUTTER-FREE START TO 2018

The start of a new year is the ideal time to make changes at home. One common New Year’s resolution is to cut the clutter, helping you have a fresh start in 2018. Make room in your life for new experiences this year. Out with the old, in with the new, as it were.

Here are 5 items to toss out for a clutter-free start to 2018.

Unused Toiletries

For whatever reason, we often end up with half-used and unwanted toiletries. Instead of letting them take over your bathroom, toss them all and reorganize the ones you actually use. A good rule of thumb is to toss out anything you haven’t used in the last month. To avoid feeling wasteful, offer unopened products to friends and family.

Old Towels and Linen

While you’re in the bathroom, get rid of another item that seems to accumulate over time. Throw away worn-out towels and bed linen. Animal shelters are often grateful for old towels, too.

Cookbooks

Cookbooks are often bulky and it’s rare to find one where you use more than a few of the recipes. To save space, photocopy the recipes that you do use and get rid of those giant tomes.

Sports Equipment

In the first burst of enthusiasm for a new sport, it is tempting to get all kitted out. But when that enthusiasm fades, sports equipment is often left gathering dust and taking up space.

Boxes and Packaging

It’s always tempting to keep the packaging from TVs, stereos, appliances and more. Sure, you think, it will come in handy if you want to resell the item, but the reality is it’s just clutter.

5 Real Estate Resolutions for 2019

It’s a new year, and as we say goodbye to 2017 and welcome in 2018, that also means a new beginning. For some people, that new beginning includes setting goals, like losing a few pounds or quitting some bad habits; but it’s also an opportunity for you to consider setting some goals around the real estate market. Here are 5 real estate resolutions for you to accomplish in 2018:

5. Build Your Real Estate Portfolio:

2017 brought a lot of changes to the real estate market, most notably, price adjustments and rule changes. If you’re a seller, that may not have worked out in your favour, but as a buyer, that means opportunities. If you have some equity saved, you should consider using it to purchase an investment property. My opinion is that even if you just break even with your rental income, it’s a solid investment for you to make.

Continue reading