Whether you're considering buying a particular home, selling your current property – or both – a home inspection can help.
A home inspection is an inspection by a qualified professional who takes a close look at every aspect of a home – structure, wiring, plumbing, and more – and identifies issues you may not have noticed yourself. For example, a home inspection can reveal that a furnace will need to be replaced soon, or that there is a water leak into the basement that needs to be fixed.
You'll definitely want to get a professional home inspection before you buy a particular property. That's why most offers to purchase a home are conditional upon passing a home inspection. (The last thing you want is to buy your dream home only to discover that the wiring needs to be updated!)
You may also want to get a home inspection on your own home before you list it for sale. A certificate from a qualified professional that states that your home passed inspection will make your property more attractive to buyers.
Many reputable home inspectors are members of a professional industry association.
• Canada Association of Home & Property Inspectors.
• Professional Home and Property Inspectors of Canada.
• National Home Inspectors Certification Council.
It's important to note that certification or licensing is not a requirement in many jurisdictions. So select a home inspector carefully.
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver just released its August Stats. Sales remain just below the 10 year average for the month of August. Housing prices over the year remain quite stabel down just 1.3% compared to August 2012. Since the beginning of 2013 prices have actually increased 2.3%. This trend is expected to contunue through the last quarter of the year.
Over the past few months I have seen more properties selling very close to and even over the asking price. Indicating that market prices and sales are slowly improving. Sellers should be reminded that accurately pricing your property is paramount for a quick sale at the highest price.
There are so many horror stories about disreputable or incompetent home improvement contactors that television shows have been made about them. Unless you want to be a guest on one of those programs, take steps to ensure you find a good contractor.
Here are some tips that will help:
• Ask for references. Speak to the references.
• Get a detailed written estimate of the work to be done, and makesure you understand all the terms and conditions.
• Be wary of contractors who insist on large payments upfront. Thepayment plan should be reasonable and tied to work as completed.
• Ask if the contractor is a member of any professional associations.
• Don't deal with a contractor who offers you a no-tax, cash-only deal.
• Ask the contractor to get the appropriate permits before starting yourproject.
These tips won't guarantee you'll hire a reputable contractor, but they will increase the chances that you do.
There are several reasons why you may need to sell your home quickly. For example, a job change may require a speedy relocation to another city, or you may have purchased another property and don't want to be stuck too
long with two mortgages.
Here are some tips that can help get the sold sign on your front lawn sooner.
• Be realistic with price. If you set the listing price higher than the current market value of your home, then you're not going to get many, if any, viewers. You want the list price to be attractive, which means listing at the current market value.
• Get things fixed. You probably don't have time for a major renovation. So just make sure everything in your home is in good working order. Deal with any obvious maintenance issues, such as a leaking faucet or a gate hanging precariously on one hinge.
• Ensure your home shows well, inside and outside. Eliminate clutter. Trim hedges. Make sure every room has adequate lighting, especially the basement. Imagine that a special guest is visiting your home, then clean up and prepare accordingly.
• Be flexible with viewing times. You want as many potential buyers as possible to see your home. So don't restrict viewing times to just Saturdays. Make sure your home is as "available" as possible for showings. This may cause you and your family some inconvenience, but the reward will be selling your property sooner.
• Work with a good REALTOR®. Find an agent who understands the area and the local market well. He or she will be able to recommend a variety of strategies that will help sell your home faster, and for a
Of course, there's no way to guarantee that you'll sell your home within the time frame you want. But these tips will certainly increase the chances that you will.
Looking for a good REALTOR® who knows the area well? Call me today.
If you're listing your home for sale, then of course you’ll want to make the best impression possible on potential home buyers. But, just to have a little fun, say you don't want to sell your property. What could you do to discourage those who view your home?
Well, you could have your pets in the home during viewings. That will certainly make it uncomfortable for some buyers – especially those with pet allergies.
You could also leave personal items around, such as family pictures and trophies. That will make it more difficult for a buyer to imagine himself and his family living there. It might even make him feel a bit like an intruder!
Clutter in bedrooms, closets and other areas of the home will make those spaces feel less spacious than they really are, as well as make visitors feel uncomfortable.
If you really want to turn off a buyer, then put off doing any minor repairs. A dripping tap, flickering light, dent in the wall, or other maintenance issues are certain to gain a buyer's attention.
If all that doesn't shoo away a buyer from your home, then stick around during a viewing and follow him and his family from room to room. That will certainly make him feel uneasy.
Of course, we're just having a bit of fun here. When you put your home on the market, you want to sell it. It’s easy to avoid all the pitfalls described above and ensure potential buyers appreciate the full value of your home.
So when you’re preparing for a showing, think of ways you can make your property appear its best, and make the buyer feel welcomed and comfortable viewing it.
Want more ideas on how to sell your home quickly and for the best
price? Call today.
Happy to announce the sale by court order of my listing at 1450 East 7th. I had a total of three offers presented in court with the highest bid being $246,501.
When you’re looking for a new home, you want to find one in a great neighbourhood – or, at least, in a neighbourhood that is on the upswing. How can you tell if a particular area is improving? Here are some common
• Pride of ownership. Take a walk around the neighbourhood. Do you get a sense that people take good care of their homes? Are the lawns mowed? Is the landscaping trimmed? Are flowers planted? Homeowners are more
likely to look after their properties when they like where they are living.
• Home improvements. Are people investing in their homes? Are they getting their driveways re-done? Their windows replaced? Are there signs of home improvement projects? If so, this is a clear indication that homeowners like the area enough to invest in their properties.
• Real estate sales activity. Do homes tend to sell quickly in the area? Do they sell for a good price? If so, the neighbourhood is probably in demand. If people want to live there, it's a desirable area.
• Business investment. Are businesses investing in the surrounding area? Is there an increase in the number of upscale shops, health clubs, restaurants, and other commercial enterprises that often locate near desirable neighbourhoods?
• Community involvement. Are there signs that the community plays an active role in the look and lifestyle of the neighbourhood? Are there neighbourhood picnics, yard sales and other get-togethers? Check Facebook.com to see if the neighbourhood has a community page.
• City plans. Find out what plans the city has for the area. Will there be road improvements done in the near future? Are there any major construction projects on the schedule, such as a new school or community centre. Although such projects can be disruptive in the short term, they may improve the neighbourhood – and, as a result, boost the value of any home you buy – in the long-term.
Of course, the best way to find out the desirability of a neighbourhood is to
talk to a good REALTOR® who knows the area. Call today.
When you see a new home you like on the market, it's easy to get distracted by all the features you love – the wrap-around backyard deck or the spacious rec room with plenty of space for entertaining. You just need to make sure that in all that excitement you don’t overlook any expensive maintenance issues that could be just around the corner.
Nothing lasts forever. The major components of every home – from the furnace to the roof shingles – need to be replaced eventually. Knowing when such maintenance issues are likely to arise can help you make a
smarter decision about the home you're considering.
How do you do that?
When viewing a property, ask for the age of the major components of the home, such as the roof shingles, furnace, air conditioner, water heater, and appliances. Roof shingles may look merely weathered in spots – and you might think they have years of service left – when, in fact, they're due to be replaced in a year.
Also pay close attention to the backyard deck, fencing, flooring, and windows. Do any of those components look aged, worn, and in need of repair or replacement sometime soon?
Finally, don't forget to check the kitchen and bathrooms. Sinks, faucets, bathtubs, showers, and cabinetry have a life-span of about 10-15 years.
Of course, there are things you can't see, such as wiring, plumbing, venting, and other components of a property that may require maintenance soon. That's why it's so important to make any offer to purchase a home conditional on passing an inspection by a qualified home inspector.
Want more ideas on buying the right home for you? Call today.
When you’re shopping for a new home, you want to find a property that has all the features and characteristics you want. A large deck surrounded by picturesque landscaping ... a beautiful kitchen with gleaming marble countertops... a cozy finished basement with fireplace....
You should look for the ideal home. You deserve it! But some home buyers make the mistake of becoming fixated on finding the "perfect" property, and passing too quickly on those homes that don't quite measure up.
Why is that a mistake? Because some of those less-than-perfect properties have the potential of becoming your next dream home.
First of all, a home that is lacking some desirable features, such as a finished basement, will probably cost less. Those savings may be more than enough to cover any needed upgrade or renovation.
Secondly, if you look at a home in terms of its potential, rather than the features it happens to have now, there will be more properties available on the market for you to consider.
If you're determined to have a large wrap-around deck for entertaining, for example, don't cross homes that don't have this feature off your list. At least not yet. Instead, view these properties with an eye on potential. Is the backyard big enough to accommodate a large deck? How would a deck like that look if added to this particular property? How much would such a renovation cost?
There's no doubt about it. You want to find a home that has all the features and characteristics you want. If you work with a good REALTOR®, there is a good chance you'll find a property that has most of them.
But keep an open mind. Sometimes a "diamond in the rough" can – with an
upgrade or renovation – become a home you'll treasure for years.
January home sales remain below historical averages in Great Vancouver. "The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver reports that residential property sales in Great Vancouver reached 1,351 on the MLS in January 2013. This represents a 14.3 per cent decrease compared to the 1,577 sales recorded in January 2012....."
Home prices are down about 6 per cent from the peak reached in May 2012.
Why is it so important to know how much you can afford to spend on a home?
First, you don't want to buy a property and then find out, only after you’ve moved in, that you can't financially maintain it. That would mean having to resell it under stressful conditions.
Second, you don't want to settle for a property that's less than ideal, when you really could have afforded the "dream home" you've always wanted.
So how do you figure out how much you can afford to pay for your next home? The first step is to talk to a good REALTOR®. He or she will help you gain a clearer understanding of how much your current home will likely sell for in today's market. That amount, together with other financial resources you might have (such as savings), will determine your down payment. The next thing you’ll need to figure out is your mortgage. Your REALTOR® can help you find a lender who will take a variety of factors into account – income, credit rating, debts, expected down payment, etc. – to calculate the maximum amount of mortgage for which you qualify.
Say, through the proceeds of the sale of your home combined with your savings, your expected down payment is $500,000. If the lender authorizes a mortgage of $450,000, then you can afford a $950,000 home. Of course, that doesn't mean you'll need to spend that much. In fact, a home that meets your needs in terms of property type, features, and neighbourhood, may in fact cost you less. One thing is for sure. A good REALTOR® can work with whatever amount you can afford and show you homes on the market that most closely meet your needs.
Looking for a good REALTOR®? Call today.