Tri-City Neighbourhood Profile: Port Moody

 

There are so many reasons to love Port Moody, it's quiet, right on the water, quaint, full of life, and a growing foodie haven. Port Moody has transformed itself over the years into a hub for young families and maturing couples. It's a great safe community to raise your children with fantastic schools and programs to entertain kids of all ages.

 

 

Why we love Port Moody:

 

Like stated in the first paragraph, Port Moody is a safe community. Children still play outside on sunny days and walk home from school, you'll always be greeted with a "hello" when walking your dog through Rocky Point, and you'll never have a shortage of cafes or restaurants to sit at and people watch. This lovely community is really becoming the most desirable neighbourhood to live in the tri-cities and the real estate prices show the demand.

 

Real Estate in Port Moody:

 

Port Moody has grown immensely with the additions of Klahanie, Suter Brook, The Station on St. Johns and of course Heritage Mountain. The rapid growth and quality developments have brought people from all over to this city. With the influx of people the demand for homes is greater then 5 years ago, and we are really seeing that demand raise housing prices to a record level. Townhomes in Klahanie range from $650,000 to $900,000, Houses on Heritage Mountain range from $1,000,000 to $2,500,000+. It's a craze that we don't see truly dying off. Port Moody is one of those neighbourhoods that you wont want to leave, it has it all for the suburbs. You are only 30 minutes to downtown (on days without traffic), you're close to West Coast Express, Close to Lakes (Buntzen, White Pine Beach) and the Ocean, You have restaurants, shopping within a 5 minute drive or walk, and you are close to Coquitlam Centre for all the rest of your needs. It's population will continue to expand so keep you eye on this gem of the tri-cities.

 

 

Places to Eat/Drink/See in Port Moody:

 

Our top places to explore in Port Moody are: Romer's Burgers, JJ Bean, Gallagher's Cafe, Caffe Diviano, Browns Social House, Nagano Sushi, Yellowdog Brewery, Parkside Brewery, Moody Ales, Twin Sails Brewery, Charlie & Carlos, Brew Street, Boat House, Rocky Point Ice Cream and The Burrard.

 

 

If you're in the city check out these parks: Rocky Point Park, Buntzen Lake, White Pine Beach, Belcarra.

 

 

If you are thinking of moving or selling in Port Moody, don't hesitate to give me a call!

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How the new foreigner tax is affecting Canadian homeowners

Article by REP 

 

 

 

Cardboard moving boxes are piled about the living room of an otherwise half-packed house nestled on a tree-lined residential street in a quiet Vancouver-area suburb _ a scene frozen in time that the home's owners blame on British Columbia's controversial new tax on foreign buyers.

 

The in-transition state of the home in Coquitlam has been the status quo ever since its owners learned the house's sale, which they understood was a done deal, was thrown into question by the tax.

 

The couple is at risk of losing an $80,000 deposit they made to purchase a smaller duplex further east in the city, and reneging on the real estate contract would also open them up to being sued. "We feel like we've been let down,'' Heather Nyberg told reporters Tuesday in the family's small backyard as the couple's two young children, aged one and three, played together in the grass. "I just feel really disappointed that our family and many, many others like ours are being affected by a poorly planned tax that's unfair because it's retroactive.''

 

The B.C. government has said the 15-per-cent tax is aimed at addressing skyrocketing real estate prices in Metro Vancouver, the province's most densely populated region. The levy came into effect Aug. 2, days after it was announced, sparking a frenzy of last-minute activity as buyers and sellers rushed to close deals.

 

The couple sold their home earlier this year, but the deal isn't slated to close until Sept. 15. Nyberg said the people who agreed to buy their property had originally provided a local address, but that shortly after the tax was announced she and her husband discovered they were based in China.

 

She said the buyers' real estate agent won't reveal whether the clients are foreign but has floated the idea of the couple helping to pay part of the 15-per-cent tax. The confusion has created additional uncertainty around the deal, Nyberg said.

 

Housing Minister Rich Coleman said in an email that the initial adjustment period may be difficult, but the tax will eventually reduce demand from foreign investors until supply catches up to local needs. "This transition period is expected to be short-lived, and over the long term the additional property-transfer tax will help to ensure British Columbians can continue to raise their families in Metro Vancouver communities,'' he said. Nyberg's husband Dan Zimmermann said the new law has put the couple under a lot of strain and uncertainty, which defeats the purpose of selling it in the first place. "All we wanted to do was reduce the stress and reduce the size of our mortgage, and all of that's been thrown up in the air now,'' he said, adding that the change was also designed to allow them to spend more time with their children. "We made the best decision with all the information we had at the time and that's all we can do.'' Nyberg said if the sale of the home they bought three years ago falls through, they would likely have to back out of buying the new property because they can't afford two mortgages.

 

"I've stopped packing. I don't want to move into a duplex then move back three days later. Until we get more information we can't really make a plan,'' Nyberg said. ``We are just really stressed out. "We'd been doing these weekly drive-bys of our new place so my son can get used to it. We're really excited to join a new community where there are more families.

 

We had been setting up our lives to move and now we don't know what's going on.'' Jodie Wickens, an Opposition NDP politician who represents the area in the legislature, said she receives dozens of calls and emails every day from people affected by the tax. "I think that families that entered into a contract with an understanding shouldn't be unfairly penalized,'' she said. "To be impacted by this bill in such a negative way is unfair and unnecessary. It's not putting British Columbians first at all. It's a reactionary way to deal with bad headlines.''

 

Read original article HERE 

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With a slight slow down in the market this summer the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver has indicated a 18.9 per cent decrease compared to July 2015 a 26.7 per cent decrease since June 2016. June 2016 was an extra hot month where 4,400 homes were sold. 

 

" This is the first time since January that home sales in the region have registered below 4,000 in a month. “After several months of record-breaking sales activity, home buyer demand returned to more historically normal levels in July,” Dan Morrison, REBGV president said.

 

Last month’s sales were 6.5 per cent above the 10-year sales average for the month. “Home sale activity showed some moderating signs in late June and this carried into July,” Morrison said. “We’ll wait and watch over the next few months to see if this marks the return of more normal market trends.”

 

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Metro Vancouver totalled 5,241 in July 2016. This represents a 2.5 per cent increase compared to the 5,112 units listed in July 2015 and a 10.8 per cent decrease compared to June 2016 when 5,875 properties were listed.

 

The total number of properties currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 8,351, a 27.4 per cent decline compared to July 2015 (11,505) and a 6.9 per cent increase compared to June 2016 (7,812). The sales-to-active listings ratio for July 2016 is 38.6 per cent.

 

Generally, analysts say that downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips below the 12 per cent mark, while home prices experience upward pressure when it reaches the 20 to 22 per cent range in a particular community for a sustained period of time." 

 

The Real Estate market in the tri-cities and Vancouver is still moving, but its just not moving with the same force it was just two months ago. This new Foreign Buyer Tax has put a hault on some projects and sales due to the unexpected extra monies owing. Real Estate is very much a rollercoaster ride but the silverlining is prices are staying steady which means you will sell for ask or over and you will be able to buy a home without paying $100,000+ over asking price. 

 

original article from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver - Link HERE 

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A News1130 Article was posted today regarding BC bringing in a 15% property transfer tax for forgein buyers in Vancouver.

 

Here is the story:

 

METRO VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The province will start singling out foreign buyers with a new 15 per cent property transfer tax as a way to cool demand for Metro Vancouver real estate.

 

The BC Liberals introduced legislation to make several changes during a special summer session in Victoria this week.

Foreign nationals and foreign-controlled companies will be hit with the levy.

 

The BC government says 15 per cent tax will amount to about $300,000 in tax on the sale of a $2-million home.

The size and footprint of the tax can be adjusted once we see how the tax affects the market.

 

The tax can be increased and decreased between 10 and 20 per cent. Regional districts outside of Metro Vancouver can be included if the tax pushes foreign buyers to other areas.

 

Finance Minister Mike de Jong says the specific motivation behind the tax is to decrease demand, but there’s going to be a bonus for people struggling to buy something affordable or find a place to rent. He says the cash collected under this tax will go into something they’re calling the Housing Priority Initiatives Fund for provincial housing and rental programs.

 

“Some of you will be thinking how much? We can’t say with certainty the proceeds of the additional property transfer tax are but we are resolved to keep the public informed and continue to release data.”

 

 

The property transfer tax for foreign buyers represents a departure from the BC Liberals’ position in the past.

The finance minister said just two months ago he has a “significant bias” against a punitive tax singling out foreign buyers. Premier Christy Clark shot down the idea when it was proposed by the creator of a petition on the subject last year.

 

Clark says they’re taking action based on data collected over the last few weeks.

 

“I have always said every suggestion that we’ve received is on the table. I’ve said that consistently and those have been suggestions from critics, from municipal governments, from academics and our job has been to take those suggestions and turn them into legislation.”

 

Clark adds the data they’ve been collecting over a less-than-two-month period has contributed to the change of heart.

 

The province changed the rules in May, requiring foreign buyers to declare their citizenship on the property transfer tax form.

 

Data gleaned from the forms between June 10th and July 14th shows foreign buyers spent about $1-billion residential real estate in BC and 86 per cent of that was spent in the Lower Mainland.

 

The tax kicks in next Tuesday.

 

The BC government’s legislation also includes changing the Vancouver charter to allow the municipality to tax vacant homes and changes recommended by an independent advisory group on real estate in Metro Vancouver.

 

Article taken off News1130, please follow this link for original story. 

http://www.news1130.com/2016/07/25/bc-brings-in-15-property-tax-for-foreign-buyers/

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Buying and Selling Real Estate in Tri-Cities such as Coquitlam Continues to Remain Active 

 

Modern Coquitlam House

 

Residential property sales in the region totalled 4,400 in June 2016, an increase of 0.6 per cent from the 4,375 sales recorded in June 2015 and a decrease of 7.7 per cent compared to May 2016 when 4,769 homes sold.

 

Last month’s sales were 28.1 per cent above the 10-year sales average for the month and rank as the highest selling June on record.

 

"While we're starting to see more properties coming onto the market in recent months, the imbalance between supply and demand continues to influence market conditions," Dan Morrison REBGV president said.

 

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Metro Vancouver totalled 5,875 in June 2016. This represents an increase of 1.2 per cent compared to the 5,803 units listed in June 2015 and a 6.6 per cent decrease compared to May 2016 when 6,289 properties were listed.

 

“Since March, we’ve seen more homes listed for sale in our market than in any other four-month period this decade,” Morrison said.

 

The total number of properties currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 7,812, a 35.9 per cent decline compared to June 2015 (12,181) and a 1.1 per cent increase compared to May 2016 (7,726).

 

The sales-to-active listings ratio for June 2016 is 56.3 per cent. While clearly indicative of a seller’s market, this is the lowest this measure has been since February.

 

Generally, analysts say that downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips below the 12 per cent mark, while home prices often experience upward pressure when it reaches the 20 to 22 per cent range in a particular community for a sustained period of time.

 

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $917,800. This represents a 32.1 per cent increase compared to June 2015.

 

Sales of detached properties in June 2016 reached 1,562, a decrease of 18.6 per cent from the 1,920 detached sales recorded in June 2015. The benchmark price for detached properties increased 38.7 per cent from June 2015 to $1,561,500.

 

Sales of apartment properties reached 2,108 in June 2016, an increase of 18.8 per cent compared to the 1,774 sales in June 2015.The benchmark price of an apartment property increased 25.3 per cent from June 2015 to $501,100.

 

Attached property sales in June 2016 totalled 730, an increase of 7.2 per cent compared to the 681 sales in June 2015. The benchmark price of an attached unit increased 28.1 per cent from June 2015 to $656,900.

 

Article taken from: Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver

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Setting the right list price for a home is a mystery for many sellers. How do you begin to determine what buyers are likely to pay for your property? Afterall, no two homes are exactly alike.

 

tara-matthews-house

 

Yet, setting the right price is crucial. You need to avoid the two price “tipping points” that, if crossed, can cause you a lot of problems.

The first tipping point is a price that’s low enough for buyers to begin

thinking something is wrong. They wonder, “Why is your price so low? What are you not telling us about your property?” But that’s not even the worst problem with this tipping point. If you do get offers at that low price, you’ll have a bigger issue – leaving thousands of dollars on the table.

 

The other tipping point is setting your price so high it discourages buyers from giving your listing a second look. When your price is that high, you’ll get few enquiries and even fewer people coming to see your property. Of course, you can lower your price later, if necessary. But experience shows that reduced prices make potential buyers skeptical. Most sellers who price high in the hopes of getting a windfall actually end up selling for much less than they would have if they had priced their properties correctly in the first place.

 

So what’s the right price to list your property? The answer is somewhere in-between those two tipping points.

 

Call today for help determining the right price for your property.

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Are you trying to weigh out the pros and cons of selling or renovating your Central Coquitlam home?

Central Coquitlam Home

Determining if you should buy a new home or fix up your current one isn't easy. In fact, the decision can be steeped in so much drama they make reality TV shows about it!

So if you're considering whether to move or improve, here are the three things to consider:

 

1. Will a renovation truly fix what you don't like about your property?

 

If you’re tired of a small kitchen, for example, it might not be possible, given the layout, to make it any bigger. On the other hand, if you’re craving a spacious rec room with a cosy fireplace then a renovation could make that happen. Of course, there are some things you may want that aren’t specific to your house, such as an easier commute or nearby park. Those are features you may only be able to get by moving.

 

2. How much will a renovation cost?

 

How does that compare to the cost of moving to a new home? It’s important to get accurate estimates of each so you can make a smart decision. This is where a good REALTOR® can help. Keep in mind that renovations have a habit of costing more than you originally anticipate. As mentioned earlier, the final result should be a home you want to stay in for quite some time.

 

3. Beware of compromising versus settling.

 

Whichever decision you make —renovate or sell — you can expect to have to make at least some compromises. That’s normal. For example, consider adding an extension to your house. That’s a major renovation. Is it the ideal way to get the extra room you want? Do the benefits of renovating outweigh the benefits of finding a new larger home designed to include the space you need?

 

Yes, it is a tough decision! If you're in the midst of trying to figure it out, Call Me Today and I can help you get the facts you need to make the best choice for you!

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About to put an offer on a Central Coquitlam home? Here's one thing you will want to make sure you have in your contract - the right to a home inspection!

Central Coquitlam Home Inspection


When you make an offer on a home, it’s a smart idea to have a professional home inspector check it out from top to bottom. This inspection will ensure that the property doesn’t have any unexpected “issues”. After all, you don’t want to buy a home only to discover that the roof needs to be replaced, immediately, for thousands of dollars.


That being said, you might question whether you really need to invest the few hundred dollars it costs for a professional home inspection. “The home we want to buy looks like it’s in very good shape,” you might be thinking. “I can’t see anything wrong with it.”

However, a professional home inspector can see things you can’t. When you view a property that’s on the market, you might be able to notice obvious issues, like a crack in the foundation or a dripping faucet. If you’re experienced with home maintenance, you might even notice roofing tiles that look like they’re overdue for replacement.

But you won’t pick up all the issues a home inspector can. A home inspector will, for example, use a special device to check for moisture build-up in the washrooms – which can be an indication of mould.

He or she will also inspect wiring to make sure everything is safe and compliant with the building code.


That’s not all.

Like a determined detective, a home inspector will investigate the property’s structure, electrical and plumbing systems, insulation, and other components — and then report the findings to you.

In the end, a professional home inspection gives you peace-of-mind and protects your investment. So getting one is highly recommended
— even for recently built homes.

At Team Tara Matthews, we have a list of trusted home inspectors that we would recommend for you. Looking for more ideas on making smart decisions when buying a Central Coquitlam home? Don't wait, call us today.
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Deciding what to price your home in Central Coquitlam? It can be tough. Team Tara Matthews has some insight for you on Home Pricing.

Central Coquitlam Home

As you're probalby aware, the list price you set for your home has an impact on how quickly it sells - and how much you earn on the sale.

What you may not realize is just how significant an impact is has. Consider the following examples:

 

Example 1:

You price your property well above it's current market value. As a result, many buyers don't bother to see it because it's outside of their search price range. Those who do see it are confused by the high price tag, (and may even be suspicious.) They may wonder, "What's going on?"

 

In this scenario, the home will likely languish on the market for weeks or even months. You might even have to lower the price dramatically to re-ignite interest.

 

Example 2:

You price you property just a couple of percentage points lower than what is necessary to gain the interest of qualified buyers. That might not seem like much of a problem. How much can a couple of percentage points matter?

 

Those points matter, a lot.

 

On a $400,000 property, pricing your home just 2% lower than necessary could cost you $8,000 on the sale. That's a serious amount of money!

 

So, as you can see, pricing your home right is serious business. Fortunately, you've come to the right place. A great Realtor® like myself at Team Tara Matthews knows how to set the price right. Contact me today!

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Are you in the market for purchasing a home in the Central Coquitlam area? Read about some tips below from the Realtors® at Team Tara Matthews.

Surprising Ways Buyers Find Homes
Do you ever wonder how most people find the homes they eventually buy?
You might imagine them driving by a “For Sale” sign or seeing a home for
sale in the newspaper and then calling to enquire.
Of course, many buyers find out about listed properties that way. But,
according to research by the National Association of Realtors, there are
many other sometimes surprising ways buyers find their next dream home.

Central Coquitlam Home


For example:
•88% of buyers find a home with
the help of a real estate agent.
•90% of buyers search online as part of the home buying process.
(Such as viewing a property’s profile on the agent’s website.)
•69% of buyers searching for a home using Google, use a specific
local term, such as “Whitbysouth homes for sale”.
•29-46% of buyers attend an Open House as part of their home
hunting activities.

 


Overall, the research shows that buyers are using a multitude of ways
combining online and offline methods to find homes.  

What does all this mean to you? If means that if you’re preparing your home
for sale, you need to ensure your marketing plan takes into account all the
ways buyers are finding properties so you can be sure that they will find
yours.

Looking for a REALTOR® in Central Coquitlam who knows how to market your home for
maximum exposure? Call Tara Matthews and Team today.

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Here are some helpful summer maintenance tips to keep your home in great shape. These tips are important when keeping a future sale in mind. A well maintained home keeps your future costs down and minimizes problems with potential home buyers.

Exterior:

Examine and repair caulking of the windows, stucco, and trim (to prevent water, dust, dirt and insects from entering your home)
Examine paint on siding, trim, and doors (paint is essential for protection and appearance)
Clean and remove debris from gutters if present
Examine roof for loose, cracked, or missing shingles/tiles and repair as necessary
Trim trees and shrubs away from home, including roof

Interior:


Examine and repair caulking at the windows for weatherization and insect control
Close the chimney damper to improve air conditioning efficiency
Clean and wax or oil cabinets to protect the finish
Examine and repair/replace (if needed) weather stripping on exterior doors and windows to reduce energy costs
Examine and repair bath tile grouting, if needed, to prevent moisture damage
Lubricate and adjust locks, hinges and latches
Examine window locks for proper operation and repair as needed
Adjust registers (balance flow) for cooling
Lubricate garage door roller shafts (not tracks) and tighten bolts
Examine cabinets, drawers, and hinges for proper alignment - tighten and adjust as necessary
Clean dryer vent duct and damper to remove any lint or obstructions
Have your a/c or heat pump, and/or evaporative cooler cleaned and serviced by a qualified technician
Replace heat pump or a/c filters

 

 

**Courtesy of 604Inspectors

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The term For Sale by Owner (FSBO) is quite self-explanatory. It describes the process in which an owner has made the decision to sell their own home. Homeowners usually decide to pursue this route in the hope of saving thousands of dollars in real estate commission. But is this initial commission saving actually a saving? There are myths and misconceptions about selling your own home.

Although it is possible to sell your own home and save on real estate commissions, there can be obstacles associated with this personal undertaking.

 

· Pricing/savings. Can the initial attraction of saving on commission mean underselling your home? Absolutely. I’ve seen it happen where the FSBO seller decides to price their home and negotiate an offer that is less than the amount they could have received by using a Realtor, and that’s after commission. Equipped with the Multiple Listing Service, a Realtor is able to accurately evaluate the fair market price and negotiate close to it.

 

· Hidden expenses. Unexpected costs may arise after the buyer’s home inspection. There may be deficiencies that need to be addressed immediately. These could be very expensive fixes that the FSBO seller may believe is their entire responsibility in order to complete the sale. Additional “out of pocket” expenses include marketing and higher legal fees. Although the FSBO seller is not paying any commission to a realtor to sell their property, if a realtor brings a buyer, that realtor will expect to be paid the buyer’s agent’s commission, or negotiate a flat fee arrangement.

 

· Screening and prequalifying potential purchasers. The inability to accurately determine whether a buyer can afford to purchase your home can cause the FSBO seller huge headaches. When a Realtor is involved with a sale, they are required to prequalify their buyers ensuring that they are viewing a home they can ultimately purchase.

 

· Bringing strangers into your home. This can be a major safety concern. When you are selling your home and using FSBO websites, you are extending an invitation not only to potential buyers but also to people that may have no intention of buying.

 

·Exposure. FSBO websites are available when selling your own home however most purchasers are unaware that these sites exist and when made aware can be fearful of them. The majority of buyers search MLS-based websites like Realtor.ca or REW.ca.

 

· Legal liability. Selling your home can be very complicated. Realtors are insured in the event that a lawsuit arises due to buyer’s dissatisfaction usually caused by misrepresentation and/or non-disclosure. If such issues come up, the FSBO seller would be personally liable. Fact: Even Realtors are not advised to sell their own properties as they are not protected by their insurance.

 

 

 

The term For Sale by Owner (FSBO) is quite self-explanatory. It describes the process in which an owner has made the decision to sell their own home. Homeowners usually decide to pursue this route in the hope of saving thousands of dollars in real estate commission. But is this initial commission saving actually a saving? There are myths and misconceptions about selling your own home.

Although it is possible to sell your own home and save on real estate commissions, there can be obstacles associated with this personal undertaking.

  • Pricing/savings. Can the initial attraction of saving on commission mean underselling your home? Absolutely. I’ve seen it happen where the FSBO seller decides to price their home and negotiate an offer that is less than the amount they could have received by using a Realtor, and that’s after commission. Equipped with the Multiple Listing Service, a Realtor is able to accurately evaluate the fair market price and negotiate close to it.
  • Hidden expenses. Unexpected costs may arise after the buyer’s home inspection. There may be deficiencies that need to be addressed immediately. These could be very expensive fixes that the FSBO seller may believe is their entire responsibility in order to complete the sale. Additional “out of pocket” expenses include marketing and higher legal fees. Although the FSBO seller is not paying any commission to a realtor to sell their property, if a realtor brings a buyer, that realtor will expect to be paid the buyer’s agent’s commission, or negotiate a flat fee arrangement.
  • Screening and prequalifying potential purchasers. The inability to accurately determine whether a buyer can afford to purchase your home can cause the FSBO seller huge headaches. When a Realtor is involved with a sale, they are required to prequalify their buyers ensuring that they are viewing a home they can ultimately purchase.
  • Bringing strangers into your home. This can be a major safety concern. When you are selling your home and using FSBO websites, you are extending an invitation not only to potential buyers but also to people that may have no intention of buying.
  • Exposure. FSBO websites are available when selling your own home however most purchasers are unaware that these sites exist and when made aware can be fearful of them. The majority of buyers search MLS-based websites like Realtor.ca or REW.ca.
  • Legal liability. Selling your home can be very complicated. Realtors are insured in the event that a lawsuit arises due to buyer’s dissatisfaction usually caused by misrepresentation and/or non-disclosure. If such issues come up, the FSBO seller would be personally liable. Fact: Even Realtors are not advised to sell their own properties as they are not protected by their insurance.
- See more at: http://www.rew.ca/news/sellers-series-pitfalls-of-the-for-sale-by-owner-route-1.1943017#sthash.JUWLegI5.dpuf
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Closing day is an exciting time. After all, you’re moving into your new home! However, it can be stressful as well. The last thing you need is to be confronted with something you don’t understand. So here is a quick list of common “closing day” terms.

 

•Disbursements

. This is the allocation of funds to the appropriate parties, such as the seller. Your lawyer will take care of this for you.

 

•Possession

. This is the moment on closing day when you are legally able to take possession of your new home. It’s usually when your REALTOR® or lawyer hands you the keys.

 

•Title

. This is a legal document that identifies the property and its owner.

 

•Closing costs

. These are expenses, excluding the selling cost of the property, that are due on closing day, such as legal fees, reimbursement for pre-paid utilities, utility deposits, insurance, and taxes.

 

•Closing adjustments.

These are expenses pre-paid by the seller that need to be reimbursed on closing.

 

There may be other terms you come across on closing day as well. Don’t worry, a good REALTOR® can help make the day go smoothly for you and your family.

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Usually when you list your home, you would prefer to sell it quickly. It’s like being the first one served at a crowded ice cream parlour. It’s satisfying. However, sometimes there’s more to it than that. There may be a truly urgent reason why you need to find a buyer for your property as soon as possible, such as a sudden job relocation. If that’s the case, it’s important to explain your situation to your REALTOR®, who will be able to put together an action plan for selling your home quickly and for the best price possible. During that conversation, ask what you can do to help the process along.

 

For example, you may be able to:

•Spread the word to your friends and other connections on Facebook.

•Canvass your neighbours and tell them about your listing.

•Stage your home so that it’s more attractive to prospective buyers.

 

When it comes to price, be prepared to be flexible. That doesn’t mean you must settle for a price far below your home’s market value. However, you do need to be prepared to accept a good offer rather than try to hold out for a great one. Also be open to as many viewings and open houses as possible. Having many prospective buyers come through your home within a short period of time may be a little inconvenient, but the payoff might be an offer!

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If you’re relaxing on a Caribbean beach, or enjoying a bus tour through historic Paris, the last thing you want to worry about is your home. Most people know the basics of keeping a home secure while away. Here are some additional tips that are easy to miss:

 

•Tell your kids not to boast about your fabulous vacation plans, especially on social media. The fewer who know that the house will be empty, the better.


•Ask a neighbour to pick up any mail and flyers dropped at your doorstep. But don’t rely on that alone. Also call the newspaper and post office to temporarily halt delivery.


•You can buy timers to automatically turn lights on and off. However, most will stop working if the power goes out and restart with the incorrect time when the power comes back on. That’s why you should keep at least a couple of lights turned on continuously, and not connected to timers.


•If you’re leaving in the evening, or before dawn, don’t forget to open the blinds. Closed blinds during the day are a dead giveaway that the owners are away.

 

Finally, experts recommend creating a home security checklist, so you don’t forget anything. That will give you peace of mind.

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By: ROYAL LEPAGE


TORONTO, October 10, 2013 – According to the Royal LePage House Price Survey released today, the average price of a home in Canada increased between 1.2 per cent and 4.1 per cent in the third quarter of 2013.

 

The survey showed a year-over-year average price increase of 3.7 per cent to $418,686 for standard two-storey homes, while detached bungalows rose 4.1 per cent to $381,811. During the same period, the average price for standard condominiums saw a more moderate increase, rising 1.2 per cent to $246,530. Sales volumes surged in a number of regions, as Canadians re-entered the housing market after sitting on the sidelines for more than a year – marking the end of the most significant housing market correction  since the 2008-2009 global recession.

 

“Canada experienced a significant housing market correction over the last four quarters that most in the nation missed entirely,” said Phil Soper, president and chief executive of Royal LePage.  “Many regions experienced dramatic slowdowns in the number of homes trading hands, but news of double-digit unit sales declines went largely unnoticed, over-shadowed by a macabre fascination with the prospect of a U.S.-style home price collapse, which of course never transpired. Our over-heated real estate market of 2011 and early 2012 drove some to the sidelines. Home price appreciation ground to a halt for a year – a necessary breather and predictable market response.”

 

According to the Royal LePage survey, St. John’s, Toronto, Winnipeg, Saskatoon and Calgary led the country in home price increases, while Vancouver posted year-over-year price gains across all three housing categories.

 

“Our housing market turned a corner in the third quarter. Buyers returned to the streets in droves, resulting in a sharp increase in home sales.  In many cities, there simply weren’t enough properties on the market to satisfy demand, which put upward pressure on prices for the first time in 2013,” continued Soper. “We expect this positive momentum to continue through the all-important spring market of 2014, buoyed by a combination of pent-up demand, increasing consumer confidence and continued low interest rates.”

 

Last month, a number of prominent financial institutions upgraded their projections on Canada’s future gross domestic product (GDP) growth. TD Bank raised its outlook for Canadian GDP growth for the third quarter to an annual rate of 2.3 per cent, while maintaining its forecast that full-year growth will be 1.7 per cent in 2013 and 2.4 per cent in 2014. RBC posted slightly higher GDP growth numbers for this year and next of 1.8 and 2.8 per cent, respectively. In the same month Statistics Canada reported that Canada’s economy created 59,000 jobs in August, approximately triple what most economists had forecast.

 

“Job growth begets consumer confidence. An emboldened citizen is more likely to enter into a major financial transaction. Following almost six years of turbulent times, economic fundamentals are pointing to an era of renewed  prosperity. The American economy is on an upward trajectory and businesses in Canada and around the world are finally loosening purse strings and investing in people for growth. This is vitally important for an exporting nation like ours. And as goes the Canadian economy, so goes the residential real estate sector,” explained Soper.

 

“Emerging headwinds for Canada’s real estate market include the demographic trend of simply having fewer people of home-buying age than in the 2000s, but this will be offset by immigration and social change.  Baby Boomers are living longer than their parents, extending that generations period of active real estate participation.   At the other end of the scale, single people, and in particular single women, are buying homes earlier and at a faster rate than ever before.”

 

Soper concluded, “while interest rates must of course rise from current historical lows, we anticipate the change to be modest in the medium term. As the country emerges from this extended correctional cycle, we believe the real estate market stimulus previously provided by low interest rates will be replaced by a strengthening labour market and true economic recovery.”

 

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May 16, 2013
By: Royal lePage


Consumers maintain optimism regarding Canadian recreational property market, according to Royal LePage survey


TORONTO, MAY 16 - According to a new survey released today by Royal LePage, interest rates factor hugely into the decisions of Canadian households when it comes to purchasing a recreational property.

 

The survey, which polled Canadians across the country who either currently own or intend to purchase a recreational property within the next five years, found that most (82 per cent) Canadians say interest rates will influence their decision to purchase a recreational property – and a majority (58 per cent) feel added urgency to buy a recreational property while interest rates are low.

 

Survey respondents demonstrated overall optimism regarding the Canadian recreational property market. When asked what they believe recreational property prices will do in the coming year, half (50 per cent) of respondents indicated that prices will increase and one-third (32 per cent) said they will stay the same. And of those planning to purchase a recreational property within the next five years, 76 per cent said they are more inclined to buy a property in Canada than in the U.S. or elsewhere.

 

“Despite financial and economic uncertainty, or perhaps because of it, we have found that the enduring value of recreational properties is widely-recognized by Canadians,” said Phil Soper, president and chief executive of Royal LePage Real Estate Services. “In contrast to our large urban centres, where home prices shot up in recent years before rapidly cooling in 2013, the recreational property market has remained remarkably stable and resilient.”

 

Soper continued, “I shy away from recommending real estate as an investment for the typical family. Shelter is, after all, primarily consumption. However in Canada today, where we see virtually no return on bonds and other forms of modest risk savings, it is reasonable to view recreational property in a new light. This prolonged low-interest environment supports purchase decisions based upon lifestyle and supported with a sound investment thesis.”

 

According to the survey, the majority of current recreational property owners plan to keep their properties long-term, with 60 per cent stating that they are somewhat or very unlikely to sell their property upon retirement. At the same time, almost two-thirds (64 per cent) are not planning to use their recreational home as their primary residence upon retirement. For those planning to purchase a recreational property for retirement, financial feasibility is among the most important factors they are looking for, with affordable purchase price (56 per cent) and reasonable maintenance costs (39 per cent) topping the list. Waterfront access (37 per cent), proximity to town (33 per cent) accessible medical facilities (26 per cent) and proximity to their primary residence (22 per cent) were also cited as important property attributes. 


Properties on a lake are by far the leading property type, with almost half (41 per cent) of those planning to buy indicating that this is their first choice, followed by a property in the mountains or woods (17 per cent) and a condominium in a recreational community (13 per cent). When asked what financial and/or lifestyle changes they would be willing make in order to purchase their dream recreational property, almost one-third (31 per cent) said they would rent their property out during the year. Other strategies include reduce discretionary spending (25 percent), downsize primary residence (24 per cent), purchase a fixer-upper (23 per cent) and purchase with friends/family (22 per cent).

 

“Canadians have long valued the ability to escape the city to spend time with friends and family,” said Soper. “A place to get away from the pressures of daily life seems to be more attractive now than ever. From coast to coast, Canada offers some of the world’s most spectacular landscapes and friendly communities.”

The survey was commissioned as part of the 2013 Royal LePage Recreational Property Report, an annual market analysis of recreational property prices, trends and activity in selected leisure markets across the country.

 

The chart below shows the typical price range for standard waterfront, land-access properties across Canada in 2013.

2013 Recreational Property Price Summary
Average Price Range by Province

For Standard Waterfront, Land Access Cottage

1,000 sq feet, 3 bedrooms, 100 foot lot

PROVINCE

AVERAGE PRICE RANGE 2013

Prince Edward Island

$120,000 – $300,000

Newfoundland

$150,000

New Brunswick

$175,000 – $180,000

Nova Scotia

$180,000

Quebec

$125,000 – $1,000,000

Ontario

$75,000 – $625,000

Manitoba

$300,000 – $370,000

Saskatchewan

$250,000 – $800,000

Alberta

$110,000 – $650,000

British Columbia

$290,000 – $2,000,000

NATIONAL AVERAGE

$177,500 – $625,500


Methodology
The survey was completed online from April 30 to May 9 using Leger Marketing’s online panel, LegerWeb, with a sample of 1,002 Canadians who currently own a recreational property or are looking to purchase a recreational property within the next five years.

A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of ±3.1%, 19 times out of 20.

 

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Published: Tuesday, 29 Oct 2013
By Reuters

 

U.S. single-family home prices rose in August and also posted their strongest annual gain in more than seven years, a closely watched survey showed on Tuesday. The S&P/Case Shiller composite index of 20 metropolitan areas rose 0.9 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis, beating economists' expectation of a 0.6 percent gain. Prices rose 0.6 percent in July. On a non-adjusted basis, prices rose 1.3 percent.

 

Compared to a year earlier, prices were up 12.8 percent, beating economists' expectations of 12.5 percent and marking the strongest gain since February 2006, when the increase was 13.8 percent. The August price gains came despite a rise that month in 30-year mortgage rates that slowed mortgage applications and refinancing activity.

 

The report suggested the housing sector continued to recover despite those headwinds. Home prices have been rising nationally since early 2012 and economists have singled out housing as one of the bright spots of the U.S. recovery. Prices in all 20 cities rose on a non-seasonally adjusted yearly basis, led by a 29.2 percent gain in Las Vegas and followed by a 25.4 percent increase in San Francisco.

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Aug 7th, 2013
By Real Estate Marketing Magazine


You may or may not be aware of this fact, but more people are choosing to use a real estate agent than ever before. In correlation to the increased demand for real estate agents is the so-called democratization of information – the opening of the web, a.k.a. the Google factor, and the general trend of consumers choosing how and when they purchase products. When you analyze the statistics surrounding Internet adoption and demand for real estate agents, an untold story unfolds.


Let’s start with the number of home buyers working with a Realtor, as published in a recent U.S. report issued on Realtor.org. In 2001 about 69 per cent of all home buyers worked with a real estate agent. Dramatically, by 2012 that number increased to 89 per cent, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). That’s a whopping 20 per cent increase.


That’s a good news story for Canadian real estate. After an onslaught of news about an uncertain economy over the last four years, along with a general opening up of information online, you would be forgiven for assuming that Realtors’ future in the marketplace might be at risk. The numbers are not reflecting that, and the story doesn’t stop there.


The increased demand for real estate agents may be related to a surprising factor. A growing demographic of home buyers is adopting the Internet and technology in their home-buying process. An analysis of the 2012 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers released by NAR found that home buyers using the Internet were more likely to work with a real estate agent. Twenty per cent more likely, to be exact. This is counter to a common assumption that the more access a home buyer has to information online, the less they will need to work with a real estate agent.


In reality, “91 per cent of home buyers who used the Internet to search for a home purchased through a real estate agent, as did 71 per cent of non-Internet users,” says the study. These latest statistics divulge an interesting outcome. With the ability to search for homes online Canadians have spoken through their actions. They like using the Internet to search for information about property and real estate agents when purchasing.


Perhaps the greatest value a real estate agent provides for the home buyer is a sense of security that they are making the right decision and that the deal is put together correctly. With the increase in accessible information online, it is likely home buyers are realizing just how much information is available and are recognizing the need for an expert in the purchasing process.


According to NAR, 87 per cent of buyers surveyed viewed real estate agents as a source of valuable information. Another study by Mustel Group Market Research found home buyers believe that the greatest value a real estate agent provides is dealing with the details and negotiating the best price.


One can conclude from all this that with the rise of technology, Canadian home buyers are embracing real estate agents. That’s not to say there isn’t uncertainty. But the numbers expose strong demand for real estate agents from the most promising of all consumers groups, the emerging home-buying demographic. Canada’s youngest home buyers using the Internet are also the most likely to work with a real estate agent. The future of Canada’s real estate agents is remarkably good.

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Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows were once again ranked at No. 2 in a list of top B.C. investment towns

 

July 30, 2013  Sylver McLaren, Maple Ridge Times

 

Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows landed in second place for the third time on the Real Estate Investment Network's (REIN) top British Columbia investment towns list.

 

It's an exciting announcement, said Sandy Blue, the manager of Strategic Economic Initatives at the District of Maple Ridge.

 

"I think it shows the ability to attract the investment we need. We are seeing significant interest from around the world now," Blue said. "It's a positive, optimistic time. It's great for us," she added. The 110-page report analyzes the current and future prospects for real estate investment opportunities in the province for the next decade.

 

"Both communities have been hampered by poor transportation infrastructure for decades, detracting people from moving to the area and keeping real estate prices low," said Don R. Campbell, one of the report authors and senior analyst

 

at REIN. "The completion of the Golden Ears Bridge between Langley and Maple Ridge in 2009 and the opening of the new Port Mann Bridge in 2012 has brought the one-time sleepy Fraser Valley farming communities closer to Vancouver. Real estate prices remain relatively low, for now. As more people begin to realize what these two growing communities have to offer, demand will increase and prices will rise."

 

With about 65 per cent of Maple Ridge residents currently commuting to other regions for work, REIN believes no area in British Columbia will be impacted more significantly by the completion of the Gateway Program.

 

In 2009, the new Golden Ears Bridge officially opened to traffic. The six-lane bridge is the first direct route from the communities of Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows to Langley and Surrey.

 

The transportation improvement has finally provided Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows with a direct link to Highway 1 and has reduced the time it takes to travel to Vancouver and the surrounding region, the report said. Between 2006 and 2011, the District of Maple Ridge recorded a population growth of 10.3 per cent while Pitt Meadows witnessed a population increase of 13.5 per cent, both significantly above the provincial average of seven per cent during the same time period.

 

The region's affordability and the transportation changes will drive more residents to the areas, driving up property values and rents, according to the report.

 

See more at: http://www.reincanada.com/RealEstateNewsView/tabid/72/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/339/Maple-Ridge-still-second-best-place-to-invest.aspx#sthash.JFJRvmMh.dpuf

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