I'm sure there are many people out there that are not aware of the full process of listing your home with a realtor. There are many steps that go into listing your home from measurements, photos, disclosures, advertising, etc. but one part of the equation that can assist many homes in getting sold is the Realtor Tour that takes place weekly for new homes.
When an agent lists your property, they have the option of putting it on "tour" for other Realtors to view. This is a service that we organize through our RE/MAX office and can be an excellent opportunity in showcasing your home to a variety of agents at one time. As they say, the first impression can often be the lasting one so having your home in tip top shape for the tour, can trigger other agents as well in finding a buyer for your unique abode. I find that this is a great opportunity for me as your Realtor to shine the light on all the benefits of owning this home.
This is just another great service that I as a real estate agent can help in the marketing of your home in the most effective way possible. If you would like to move forward and join the tour, just give me a call at (250) 305-7034 and will get you and your home moving in the right direction.
There are home buying errors that every buyer should try to avoid. For first time home buyers, it is even more important to be aware of the common missteps committed by home buyers so that their first step into homeownership will be a memorable one for all the right reasons.
The good news is that it is fairly easy to avoid these mistakes as long as the buyer keeps an open-mind and listens to feedback they receive. To be a happy and content homeowner, here are some things you should try to avoid.
1. Favoring looks over function.
As a first time home buyer, you will probably have a picture in your mind of what your house should look like which is great, as long as you can afford it. However, even if you have the money to go for a more expensive house, do not base your decision solely on aesthetics. The house may be affordable to you and looks exactly like your dream home, but for example is located in the wrong area, you could end up losing in the end. If the features of the house that add to its cost are of no use to you, opt for a lower-priced dwelling without the unnessary add-ons.
2. Choosing the wrong real estate agent.
The one who charges the lowest fee is not always the best one. The agent who smiles all the time and agrees with everything you say is not exactly the ideal person to provide you with a sound advice. Interview agents and base your decision on how extensive their knowledge of the market is. Conduct a background research and look at their past deals and past clients. You are hiring them to give you good advice and they should be honest with you in all aspects of the agreement. As my motto notes "It's a matter of trust" and you should feel that you can trust your agent to do the best possible job for you.
3. Spending all your money on the house.
Try not to spend all your money, including your savings, into your home. It is always good to leave some funds available for emergencies. Purchase the house and if you still have money left, that is a great time to take care of any improvements or upgrades you want. But if you need to touch your retirement money or borrow from others to upgrade the home to make it look like your dream house, think twice before going in that direction. Save for the upgrades and work on them later. They will still be there later on.
4. Moving forward without professional advice and services.
You should not spend all your money on the house but you should also not be holding back when it comes to spending money on things that matter for example, a professional house inspector, a real estate lawyer and a real estate agent to name a few. They may cost you money but they may also save you money in the long run especially if it is your first time to buy a house. You are not saving money by not paying their fees and possibly setting yourself up for a potential major loss. Home buying is all about knowing which expenses you should prioritize and which ones you can do without.
If you'd like more information on buying a property, give me a call at (250) 305-7034 and we'll start the ball rolling in the right direction for you.
I have listed a new property at 201 1427 DOG CREEK RD in Williams Lake.
Yahoo!! Come check this beautiful 2000 mobile situated at quiet end of the park. You'll have use of over 0.25 acre for your recreation pleasure. This unit has only been here since 2011 and is ready to move right in with quick occupancy. Nice open floor plan with vaulted ceilings and huge cathedral side window. All drapes to be included in sale. Low park fees is another bonus and no maintenance with this unit. Have a look!
In the real estate world, the digital camera and the digitized images has revolutionized real estate as well as many other industries. We have always had photos but it was the digital camera and digitized images that easily facilitated the direct broadcast of these images through the Internet. Prior to the digital camera, it was a time consuming process and most real estate listings that were posted consisted of only one image.
With the multiple images now being the norm and virtual tours able to be made up from those images, consumers can now select and just as importantly disqualify real estate property selections, leaving the consumer empowered with good data. The biggest feature of digitized images is that you can select the whole image or only a portion of the image and enhance, brighten or edit in order to bring the photo to its best view. With film cameras unless you were a photographer that developed your own film, the photo you took is the photo you got back when it was developed. You only saw the photo once it was developed so either you took several shots or hoped the first one was a keeper. There was usually no cropping or editing of the photos as we so easily do now with digital images and software or internet based editing programs.
With quality digital cameras now found in many devices such as cell phones, tablets, etc. the ease with which these captures are done has become almost second nature to people of all ages. For real estate, it has transformed our industry to be inviting and informative to consumers and professionals alike. As you scan the internet, you'll see how differently realtors use digital imagery to promote properties. To me, a picture is worth a thousand words and to you, it could mean selling your home. Give me a call at (250) 305-7034 to see how this digital technology can help to sell your home.
'Tis the season when buyers are coming out of hibernation and are looking for a home. Often this means buyers will be asking to look at homes for a second peek. "The second showing" generally means they like enough about the home and want to investigate further. But why aren't these second showings turning into offers? If it's just the carpet that you find dated, why don't buyers make an offer?
It appears that many homes that remain on the market even after a "second showing" are still not sold because they need "work". The term work means something different to all of us. I always thought of work to mean heavy cosmetics or a structural or mechanical overtaking but I am finding today that folks use the term work when a home needs a change of paint color, flooring or maybe even a fixture. Essentially anything that appears dated usually equals the term "work".
So if you find that you love all other factors or most other factors of the home, you make an offer taking the "work" into consideration. In most cases, an agent and a seller have already taken that into consideration when pricing a home but not necessarily.
We all have different decorating styles and tastes. A color that some may find old and ugly, many may find soothing and comforting! The thing that you find needs a change may not have appeared that way to the seller or the listing agent. And if presented correctly, they may agree with your argument!
So if you find that carpet dated, or the lights ugly, why don't you make an offer taking that into consideration. You may find that your dream home may be hiding under that shag carpet. Or a can of paint will turn that dreary room into your ideal office. If you put in a reasonable offer, you may just win the home and be able to make the changes that will suit your needs! Call me at 250-305-7034 if you want to see any listing on the market and see if we can make it yours.
I have listed a new property at 6170 CEDAR CREEK RD in Williams Lake.
This 5.38 acre treed property next to Quesnel Lake near Likely has it all. There is 2 rancher style homes which rent for up to $700 per month each and it is just a short drive to Mt Polley Mine. You are just seconds away from the boats launch and Cedar Point Park. The huge yard, decks and garden provide a great outdoor experience and the large shop is perfect for boat or toy storage in this recreation country with numerous hiking or biking trails from the property to trails beyond. Each home has approved woodstoves, newer hotwater tanks and separate septic systems. There is 2 creeks on the property with a gravity feed water system. With all the mining and recreation activity here, this is a great revenue and investment property.
I have listed a new property at 3582 PUNTZI LAKE RD in Williams Lake.
This magnificent waterfront property on Puntzi Lake has a moderate slope and is a renowned fishing lake for trout and kokanee. The 1.17 acre property is next door to a treed lot which provides great privacy. Original 750 sq ft home/cottagewith screened in deck could be moved to side of lot and used as a guest cottage as the new garage/workshop with loft/studio is nearing completion. There is a designated area ready for a new home and all services are already in with an excess of $100,000 in recent improvements. The new garage and workshop is 30x26 and has a separate 1 bedroom loft/studio with balcony and could be used as a temporary residence or guest suite. A chance to live the dream!
A pre-approval is one of the greatest assets a home buyer can get.
Pre-approval is a written assessment of your worthiness for a loan. When you seek pre-approval for a home loan, your lender will assess your ability to pay as well as your credit history in order to decide how much they are willing to lend you.
Although you can make an offer and go through to the start of property settlement without having pre-approval, most home buyers get pre-approval before they make an offer. Some home buyers even get pre-approval before they even start going to home opens so they know what can can afford before they start looking. The most upsetting event can be if you find a home you love but find out you do not qualify for that high of a mortgage.
The benefits to getting a pre-approved mortgage are:
1. You get a better choice of properties. When you visit an open house and talk to a real estate agent, by letting them know that you have pre-approval, you are making them aware that you are a serious buyer. Once a real estate agent knows you’re serious about buying, they’re likely to call you about potential properties before they’ve even hit the market, giving you a better choice of properties and potentially more negotiating room.
2. You get a better deal. To sellers, pre-approval is almost like a guarantee that the deal they strike with you won’t collapse. Sellers want certainty because if the buyer they choose can’t get finance, the seller will have to start marketing their property all over again. To them, this certainty is worth money. I’ve seen several deals where the seller has accepted a lower offer because that buyer had pre-approval and the higher offers didn’t so that was one less subject to get released.
3. You won’t waste time looking at homes you can’t afford. Getting pre-approval will give you a much better idea of what homes are within your price range so you’ll know in advance which properties are too pricey to waste your time on.
4. You won’t have your heart broken. Imagine falling in love with a property and even going so far as to make an offer on it – only to find out at that it’s out of your price range! Save yourself the disappointment of having a deal fall through by knowing in advance what you can (and can’t) afford.
If you’re planning to buy a home, get a pre-approved home loan from your chosen lender. The seller and real estate agent will thank you for it and you’ll be glad you did. If you would like to get some contacts for mortgage brokers call me at 250-305-7034.
There's nothing like a little warm weather and sunshine to make you go outside and think...Renovations! Spring is the most popular time of year for many to think about (and actually start) a home renovation project. Turn on the TV and you are surrounded by Do It Yourself (DIY) programs from building decks to renovating historic homes and all offering us advise on how we can do it ourselves.
Whether you want to just spruce up your home for your enjoyment or you are looking to put it on the market, DIY can have its advantages and disadvantages. If you are looking to sell, speak with your realtor before spending to see if the changes you are making will have positive impact when you go to sell or if there are other areas that would be more beneficial in increasing your home's worth.
When renovating, consider all of the factors and the most important being what you can and can't handle. Not all of us are home renovation experts. There is a certain feeling of satisfaction that you "did it yourself" but pride should not get in the way of doing the job properly. As Mike Holmes would say "Make it right" and sometimes that requires bringing in the experts to tackle some of the complicated renos. Don't be afraid to ask for help because knowledge is power. Bryan Baeumler from HGTV's Disaster DIY motto is design, destroy and rebuild but the most important is have a plan or destroying may cost you more than just rebuilding.
If you are looking to renovate to bring in income, you need to do your homework for your area. There are many different factors to what is considered a legal suite and before you spend the time and money, you want to know what the requirements are. This can make a huge difference when you go to sell your property. For Scott McGillivry from HGTV's Income Property what started out as a university project to help homeowners generate additional income by creating rentable rooms in their homes has turned into a successful business and has shown home owners all over the country the options they may have with their property.
So before you pick up that hammer, look at the big picture and your goals. And if you still aren't sure, pick up the phone and call me at 250-305-7034.
I have listed a new property at 69 770 11TH AVE N in Williams Lake.
Beautiful mobile home tucked away on private setting in desirable Fran Lee Mobile Home Park. Located at the end of the park in cul-de-sac, this home has an awesome backyard surrounded by large trees with privacy and wildlife. Open the frontdoor from the 8x16 covered deck for lounging and barbecuing and step into the large open front room with cathedral ceiling. Enjoy the bright natural sunlight from skylights throughout the large eat-in kitchen. Check out the 5pce bathroom with twin sinks, soaker tub plus separate shower with door to large master bedroom with wall to wall closet. You don't want to miss this opportunity at this price.
When you are buying a home, the home inspection is one of the more important parts of the process. If you don’t get a home inspection, you may pay for a house that has a leaky roof, poor wiring, termite and other pest damage, dangerous asbestos qualities in the air, a crumbling foundation, or more! After you’ve purchased the house, there is little you can do if you’ve waived your right to a home inspection. They’re absolutely necessary.
Even some people who get home inspections make huge mistakes in dealing with these findings. What do you do if your inspector finds a problem? What do you do if your inspector misses something huge? How you react is up to you but don’t make the following home inspection mistakes:
#1: Not Signing a Contract with your Home Inspector
When it comes to buying a home around the Cariboo/Chilcotin, you’ll more than likely need to work with an inspector who runs his own company. Always sign a contract. Home inspections usually cost up to $500, depending on the size of the home and the types of things the person is inspecting. Read the contract carefully so that you understand exactly what you are getting for your money. There are several companies available so do not hesitate to shop around and find who you feel comfortable with.
#2: Hiring an Inspector Affiliated with a Contractor
Inspection is a tricky business. If your home inspector is affiliated with a contractor of any kind, there’s the chance that his review of the home might be dishonest. He may say that your foundation needs work, for example, but in reality, that might be just to direct your business toward the contractor. Be very careful about who you hire and ask for recommendations and samples of their work before you put out any money.
#3: Not Understanding your Home Inspection
Make sure that the results you are given are easy to understand so that you can make a good choice about purchasing the house or not. If there is something that you don’t understand, ask the inspector to explain it to you.
In addition, the home’s current residents should completely understand the home inspection as well. This is especially important if you decide not to buy or are asking for a credit to fix a problem that was uncovered. Provide them with a copy of the inspection report, as well as the phone number and other contact information of the inspector.
Again, the biggest mistake you can make in regards to home inspections is to not get one at all. Current homeowners aren’t necessarily out to trick you into buying a property with a ton of problems. However, they’ve probably lived in the home for years or even decades in many cases. They may simply not know that there are any problems. By getting a home inspection, you’re protecting yourself and potentially avoiding making what could be a bad investment. Home inspections should be a part of every real estate transaction.
If you are one of the many sellers who took their house off the market last winter, intending to relist in the spring, it is almost that time again.
It's important you learn from your experience and look at some changes in your approach to selling. If you want different results, you need a different approach. You need to set your house apart from the competition. Here are a few different areas to look at:
- Make condition and presentation your priority. Often sellers will consult with their realtor on how they can make changes to have the best 1st impression for the buyers. The option of hiring a Professional Home Stager for advice can also assist with the most cost effective improvements.
- Prepack as much as possible. Clutter can distract the buyer from seeing the potential your home has for them.
- Clean, paint, and update. Paint is cost effective and can make the difference between listing and selling.
- Organize kitchen cabinets and all closets. The more organized your home appears, the better for buyers to see its potention and not that it is lacking storage space.
- Competitive price. Work with your realtor in analyzing the market to see if your price is competitive with other comparables in your area. This is a key area the gets your home noticed.
Usually with making positive changes you will have positive results.
I have listed a new property at 4248 PINEWOOD PL in Williams Lake.
Yahoo! Cute rancher style family home. Brightly lit living room has vaulted ceilings, skylights and a warm gas fireplace. Beautiful spacious bright country kitchen with stainless steel appliances and large dining room with bay window. Largemaster suite with ensuite jacuzzi tub. Large fenced backyard and good size deck for summer BBQ's and perfect for family gatherings. Backs onto crown land with trails galore for the outdoor enthusiast. This is a nice family home on a quiet cul-de-sac on a large lot just 15 minutes to town. Enjoy all this home has to offer today.
Usually spring is the busiest season of the year in the housing market in Canada. With spring on our doorstep, here are a few strategies for first time home buyers to help them find their ideal home while respecting their priorities financially.
Buying a home can be the most important financial decision in life and it is important to understand all the factors that must be taken into account to make a responsible decision to buy.
The first step is to determine the amount you are able to spend to buy a property, which means you must make an honest assessment of your household income and expenses. Once you have a clear idea of your financial situation, you are able to make a responsible decision about what you are able to pay, including your down payment, the monthly cost of your mortgage and other expenses such as utility bills and property taxes.
Here are a few different thing to assess before taking the plunge:
Assess your ability to pay.
There are two basic rules that first time home buyers must apply to determine what they are able to offer.
Firstly, the total expenses of housing, including mortgage payments, utility bills and property taxes, should not exceed one third of total household income.
In addition, the service of your total debt, including loans, payments on credit cards and lines of credit, should not exceed 40 percent of your income. If you are able to meet these parameters, then the purchase of a property can be an affordable option and realistic for you.
Accommulate a down payment
Depending on the amount of down payment, an "ordinary" mortgage is considered a down payment of 20 percent or more. Mortgages can be obtained though with a down payment of less than 20 percent.
If you are able to pay a larger down payment, this will help you pay less interest charges throughout the life of your mortgage.
If you have difficulty in raising a down payment from your savings, there are different options such as a tax-free withdrawal from your RRSP to add to your down payment. Your spouse or partner can do the same It is best to check with your lending broker as to the time frame for repayment of this type of withdrawal.
Choose the mortgage that fits your situation
Your mortgage must be in harmony with the rest of your financial priorities which can mean greater flexibility and greater security. Consider the following factors when choosing your mortgage:
Choose a shorter amortization period. By opting for an amortization period of 25 years rather than 30 years, you’ll save on interest costs and you free yourself of your mortgage faster.
Fixed rate or variable rate – The floating rate loans have proven to be a winning strategy in the long run, but the fixed-rate mortgages (currently at historically low levels) can predict with certainty the costs and promote peace of mind.
Apply for a pre-approved mortgage defines the amount you can reasonably afford to pay for your first home. Some of the benefits of a loan pre-approved:
The fixed rate that is offered is automatically granted and is guaranteed for 90 days, which gives you peace of mind if ever rates were to increase while you search of a property. Moreover, you also benefit from the situation if rates come down to, because you automatically get the lowest rate that is offered during the warranty period of 90 days.The term and amortization period of your loan, and an estimate of your monthly payments are determined at the time of approval of your application, so that you can use these figures when planning your budget.
It also gives you a good idea of the state of your finances. You have a better idea of the amount of loan you are eligible so you do not waste time visiting homes that you cannot afford.
With a pre-approved mortgage, it allows you to act quickly. If your mortgage application is pre-approved, you will be able to bid quickly when you finally find the home of your dreams.
If you are unsure where to start, do not hesitate to give me a call. We can meet and go through all the options that are available for you and start finding the home of your dreams.
Before making an offer on a home please know that when sellers say they are selling the home "as is"' it does not mean that you cannot have a home inspection. In fact you should always have a home inspected by a quailfied home inspector.
The purpose of the home inspection is to find out about material defects. If it is going to cost too much to repair and/or replace items mentioned by the home inspector, based on the contingency clause in your agreement of sale, you can decide whether you want to purchase the home or not. When the seller is selling "as is" it means that the seller is not going to do repairs. This is quite common in bank owned homes.
It is important to get a home inspection even when you are buying a home "as is". The sellers may have a number of reasons for selling "as is".
1. They may not have enough money to pay for repairs.
2. They may not know any handymen or contractors to get the work done.
3. They may be scared to have strangers come to the house to repair the items.
4. They may not want to be bothered with repairs and may not mind selling for less money. They may have listed accordingly.
5. It may be an inconvenience to repair or replace items that need it for a number of reasons including health issues, relocation etc.
If your contract states that you have the option to back out of the contract if you are not satisfied with the inspection report you can do so. You can also try to get the seller to either reduce the price or cover the cost for items mentioned in the inspection report.
Another misconception buyers have about "as is" sales is they think that they will get all the furniture in the house when they buy the house. Furniture is not part of real estate. Fixtures that are permanently installed are included but the furniture is not included unless it is mentioned in the listing and you should also note it in the agreement of sale that it should be included. All inclusions and exclusions should be spelled out. It is common for washer, dryer and refrigerator to be negotiable items, because they are not permanently attached they are not fixtures.
There have been sellers who have left all the junk in the basement saying it was sold "as is". You may have to buy a home in this condition if it is a foreclosed home.
It is important to work with a good agent and a good attorney when buying a home. Sellers must disclose known material defects even if they are selling "as is". Check with your agent or attorney about discosure laws.
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