Continued low mortgage interest rates offered by the bank of Canada are the topic of discussion in a recent report from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. 

 

Why are rates remaining low? See below for an exert from the report from the REBGV:

 

"On September 3, 2014, the Bank of Canada announced that it was holding its trend-setting overnight lending rate at one per cent. The overnight rate has not moved in four years. It’s likely that it will remain where it is for some time yet. Why?


1. Inflation is on target

2. Uncertainty remains high

3. Canadian exports need help from the currency exchange rate

4. Higher exports have not yet translated into stronger investment or hiring

...With these reasons in mind, interest rates are unlikely to rise in the near future. One notable change in language in the September 3 announcement was the removal of any references to a soft landing in the housing market. The Bank said that the housing market has in fact remained stronger than previously anticipated and that risks associated with household imbalances have “not diminished.”"


For more information & to read the whole report, click here.


Do you have questions about the local market & how these low mortgage rates can affect you? Contact me with your questions and I'll be happy to help you understand how low mortgage rates can benefit you as a buyer or seller.


Image Source: Greg Michie

 

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Whether you're wanting to list your home and want it to appeal to buyers or are looking at older homes in need of some updates, a simple project that can make a big impact is changing the look of the fireplace(s).

 

Since people tend to spend a lot of time in family rooms- especially all cozied up in the Fall & Winter months- changing the look of a fireplace can elevate the look of the room.

 

I loved this simple update from The House of Smiths which requires only basic materials and skill. Doesn't the new surround make a big difference? From dates to fresh & contemporary- I'd love this in my home!

 

 

 

Sometimes even painting an older brick or wood fireplace surround can make a big difference on a limited budget. Painting the fireplace surround white and changing up   decor can help make rooms feel lighter and more modern- this is great when you want to appeal to buyers.



 

For tips & advice on how to achieve these looks, check out the original post here.


Do you have an older home you'd like to sell? Or are you on a hunt for an older home in need of some TLC? As a lover of renovating and house flipping I would love to help you. Contact me today!

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According to the recent report from the FVREB, the local market experienced the strongest August since 2011.

 

More than 1,300 sales were processed in August, a 3% increase over the same month last year.

 

According to Ray Werger, president of the Board, “As usual, we saw a typical summer slowdown in August compared to July, however like every month so far in 2014, August sales were higher than last year. It’s the continuation of the story we’ve seen all year; a return to a normal, balanced market.”

 

Here are a few of the report highlights:

 

- Single family homes continue to outpace sales of townhouses and condos

 

- Many first time home buyers are skipping condos as a first- time home purchase and proceeding directly to townhomes and other larger properties

 

- The benchmark price for detached homes in August was $569,800; for townhouses it was $298,200

 

To view the full report, click here.

 

Are you a first time home buyer? What do you hope for as your first home purchase? Or are you a seasoned home buyer looking to move up the property ladder? I can help you find the area that's right for you and get you a home you'll be excited about. Contact me today!

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Are you thinking about selling this Fall? It's important to make sure your house is ready inside and out. If you want to sell your home fast and for the price you would like, consider trying these tips (for the full article, click here).

 

Keep the Exterior Clean

Two words: curb appeal. You want your home to appeal to potential buyers and make a great first impression. Having the outside of your home clean & tidy is the best place to start.

 

Embrace the Fall Selling Season

One of the advantages of  selling in the Fall is the anticipation of the upcoming holidays, including Haloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Adding seasonal touches can make your house feel like home and help buyers see themselves living there.

 

Price Accordingly 

Working with a realtor to price your home properly is one of the best ways to help it sell fast. By pricing your home competitively based on the season and other similar homes in the area will help set a reasonable price that will make you happy and appeal to buyers. 

 

Get Serious About Selling in the Fall

 Selling in the Fall presents different challenges than selling in the Spring and Summer months when the weather is warmer and sunnier. Choose a realtor with a proven track record and one that you feel you will work well with. Request references to solidify your choice.


If you would like to list your home for sale this Fall and need help getting it ready and pricing it right, contact me today- I'd love to be the person to help you sell your home! 


Image Source: Country Living

 

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Can you feel it? The cozy weather is coming! I love adding touches of Fall to my home to add a seasonal touch- who can resist all of the beautiful Autmun colours? Incorporating Fall into your decor doesn't have to be expensive or fussy, simply gather a few items such as candles, mini pumpkins, branches & leaves, and some vases to create some beautiful DIY arrangements. 

 

If you're planning to list your home for sale in the Fall, adding seasonal touches- without going over the top- can help make your house feel homey and welcoming to potential buyers (add a subtle seasonal scent with apple cinnamon or pumpkin spice candles or air freshener). See below for some inspiration.

 

Add a welcoming touch with lanterns filled with mini pumpkins & candles (try Homesense for budget- friendly options)

 

Collect branches & arrange in a favourite vase for big impact that costs pennies 

 

 

A vase filled with nuts & cranberries from the grocery store make great filler for a candle holder 

 

 Another fun idea using nature as your inspiration: simply spray paint branches & leaves and arrange in a vase to add a seasonal touch

 

 Use a dollar store wreath as the base for a candle arrangement and top with nuts or other seaaonl items 

 

If you would like some home staging advice to help make your home more attractive to potential buyers, or don't know where to start to get your home sale- ready, I'm happy to answer your questions and give you the advice you need to help sell your home fast. Contact me today!

 

 

Image Sources:

Images 1-4: The Kissters 

Image 5: Live Laugh Rowe

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When you list your home for sale in the Fall, making a first good impression with buyers poses different challenges than in the Spring & Summer when your garden is lush and there's lots of sunshine. While most of the colour and green foliage may have faded, you can still add seasonal curb appeal to make your home stand out amongst the competition. 

 

 

Here are a few tips for adding curb appeal in the Fall:

 

1. Keep your lawn tidy

While fallen leaves are a beautiful part of Fall, make sure you rake them up before they begin to rot and damage the grass below them. Keeping your grass healthy and green makes a much better impression than patchy & brown turf.

 

2. Freshen up flower beds

Remove dead or dying annuals that are past their prime and make your gaden look unkempt. If you have space you would like to fill, consider adding potted plants that can withstand cooler temperatures or decorative features such as rocks or paving stones. There are plenty of inexpensive options out there.

 

3. Add seasonal touches

Adding potted plants along a driveway, walkway or at the entryway adds a warm & welcoming touch. Potted mums are a popular inexpensive option in the Fall. You can also add decorative pumpkins & squash to create a vignette or a Fall- inspired wreath to your door.


If you would like to list your home and need some advice to get it ready or have questions about listing in the Fall, contact me and I'll be happy to answer your questions and help you sell your home fast.

 

Image Source: Pinterest

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It's important to know what you're getting yourself into when you buy a home or property. Not everything is disclosed in the property title and it can be as important to have the land & property inspected that you're buying as it is the home (see this example in an article from the REBGV). It can save you a lot of time, money, and trouble simply to take this extra step.

 

So, if you're considering buying property, make sure you do your due dilligence. See below for some valuable information from the REBGV:

 

What is registered on the property title?


The legal description of a property, including:
• the parcel identification (PID);
• taxation authority;
• registered owner and their address;
• the title number;
• the previous title number;
• legal notations against the property (may include heritage);
• charges, liens and interests (under-surface rights, rights of ways, covenants, judgments);
• whether a duplicate title has been ordered and by whom, and
• transfers and pending applications.

 

What is not registered on the property title?


• Archaeological sites.
• Former grow ops and illegal drug labs.
• Heritage designations (not always on title).
• Highway entitlements.
• Stigmatized property.
• Streamside issues – if there are fish-bearing ditches or creeks on the property.
• Underground fuel storage tanks.

 

How can you discover the facts about a property?


- Ask the owner.
- Visit the local government (municipal) website where you will find a range of information, for example: 
        • Richmond provides a road map of designated heritage buildings and homes, and includes photos. (Note: there is no 
          available universal public registry of homes previously used as grow ops and illegal drug labs.)
        • The City of Vancouver confirms if a property has been used as a grow op or illegal drug lab to anyone phoning 
          604.871.6231. The City does not provide the owner’s name in keeping with privacy legislation.
        • West Vancouver provides a list of properties known to have underground storage tanks.  Visit: 
          www.westvancouver.ca and search Fuel Storage Tank Program. Scroll to More Information and see Fuel/ Oil Tank 
          Records Search.


If you don’t find what you need online, phone your local government or go in person. Depending on the municipality, there may be comprehensive data.

• There is a BC Heritage Sites Inventory. Information about its properties comes from local governments, so start there
  first.
• Check the BC Archaeological Site Inventory at 
  www.for.gov.bc.ca/archaeology/accessing_archaeological_data/index.htm.You can also phone: 250 953-3338.
• Search the BC Government’s Contaminated Sites Registry which lists some contaminated sites. It is available through 
  www.bconline.gov.bc.ca.(Go to Products). There is a charge to access the database.


This demonstrates just one of the many reasons it is good to work with a realtor. If you have questions about a home or property you re thinking about buying, contact me and I'll be glad to answer all of your questions.

 

Source: Finding the Truth About Property, REBGV

 

Image Source: Stimulrealty

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Even though Summer is thought of as the busy season in the real estate market, the Fall is often busy as well. For those looking to relocate before the rush of the holidays, it's a good time to get settled. If you're thinking about selling in the Fall, see the tips below to help your home appeal to buyers and get it sold fast.

1. Hire Professional Services

The best place to start is to hire a realtor. With their wealth of knowledge and experience, a realtor will know the current market conditions and be able to help you through the process. Since the Fall can be a busy time for families with kids starting the school year, having a realtor market and show your home can help for a quicker sale.
 
It's also a good idea to  hire an inspector to look at your home before puttin git on the market to ensure no major repairs or replacements are needed. Since buyers will likely have this completed on their own, you can save yourself from having to negotiate a lower price by taking care of these things ahead of time.

2. Minimize Seasonal Decor

It's easy to get carried away with Fall decorations; your best bet is to stick with neutral seasonal decor. For example, instead of putting up Halloween decorations, go for a subtle look with pumpkins or a wreath. This will appeal to a broader group of potential buyers, as not everyone celebrates Fall holidays. This could be a great time to showcase how cozy your home is by lighting a fireplace or putting out unlit candles.

3. Improve Curb Appeal

At this time of year, you may have to complete a little more maintenance outside of your home. This includes raking excess leaves and ensuring your grass stays green, even when the temperature gets cooler. It's easy for your yard to become worse for wear after a hot Summer, so be sure to water as needed and trim back overgrown trees and shrubbery. Ignoring necessary upkeep can make your home look run down. Curb appeal is importnat as it is the first impression prospective buyers have of your home.

4. Price to Sell

If you're trying to sell your home before the holidays, you may want to be prepared to price it for less than other properties listed for sale in the area. This doesn't necessarily mean you will get less than your home is worth, but a low price could result in receiving multiple offers, allowing you to pick the highest bid. While you can research housing market trends, your real estate agent can prove helpful in knowing which moves to make when coming up with a price and considering offers.

5. Time It Right

While buying another home while your property is on the market can result in paying two mortgages, you shouldn't wait to begin your home search until you receive the first offer. Instead, you can get pre-approved for a mortgage loan and make an offer after you have received a substantial offer on your current home.
 
Derived from 5 Tips for Selling in the Fall, GL Homes If you are thinking about seeling your home this Fal and want to learn what it's worth and how to price it to sell it quickly, contact me and I'll be happy to guide you through the process.

Image Source: Songbird Blog

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According to the recent market report from the FVREB, there was an 11% increase in sales over July last year and a 1.4% above the 10 yea average.

 

President of the Board, Ray Werger had this to say:

 

“July’s steady activity is a continuation of what we’ve been seeing all year. Our market has fully recovered from last year’s slump and has returned to what we typically see in the Fraser Valley, which is a steady, consistent market... we’re actually seeing a shortage of listings creating a seller’s market for particular homes."


In July the benchmark price determined by the MLS HPI of a 'typical' single family detached home was $568,300; for Townhouses it is $298, 500; for apartments it was $194,700.

 

To view the full report, click here.


Do you have questions about what a seller's market means for you? Think this is the time to sell? Contact me to help you sell your home fast & take that next step on the property ladder!

 

Image Source: Rew.ca

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Have you heard of the MLS HPI (Home Price Index)? It's a great tool that measures house price trends in the Greater Vancouver area and other major markets in Canada. 


Developed by 5 of Canada's largest real estat boards (Greater Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal), it measures the change in price of housing features.

 

 

Other HPI facts:

- It measures pure price changee (inflation or deflation)

- It measures the price of a 'typical' property

- It uses lot size, age, number of rooms, etc to provide accurate information

- Simply enter the area you are interested in, the type of property (residential, detached, etc), and date

to determine the HPI for the property type in the area you are interested in

 

Click here to check out the HPI.

 

If you are trying to figure out what you can afford in the areas you love, or want to know what your home is worth, get in touch and I'll be happy to answer your questions!


Image Sources:

MLS HPI Logo- FVREB

Bedroom- Pinterest

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The data relating to real estate on this website comes in part from the MLS® Reciprocity program of either the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV), the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) or the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board (CADREB). Real estate listings held by participating real estate firms are marked with the MLS® logo and detailed information about the listing includes the name of the listing agent. This representation is based in whole or part on data generated by either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB which assumes no responsibility for its accuracy. The materials contained on this page may not be reproduced without the express written consent of either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB.