Every homeowner wants to make sure they maximize their financial reward when selling their home. But how do you guarantee that you receive the maximum value for your house?
Here are two keys to ensure that you get the highest price possible.
1. Price it a LITTLE LOW
This may seem counterintuitive, but let’s look at this concept for a moment. Many homeowners think that pricing their homes a little OVER market value will leave them with room for negotiation. In actuality, this just dramatically lessens the demand for your house (see chart below).
Instead of the seller trying to ‘win’ the negotiation with one buyer, they should price it so that demand for the home is maximized. By doing this, the seller will not be fighting with a buyer over the price but may instead have multiple buyers fighting with each other over the house.
“First impressions are everything when selling your home. Studies have shown that the first two weeks on the market are the most crucial to your success. During these initial days, your home will be exposed to all active buyers.
If your price is perceived as too high, you will quickly lose this initial audience and find yourself relying only on the trickle of new buyers entering the market each day. Markets are dynamic, and your price has an expiration date. You have one chance to grab attention. Make sure your pricing helps you stand out on the shelf — in a positive way.”
2. Use a Real Estate Professional
Some sellers may believe that he or she will make more money without having to pay a real estate commission, but studies have shown that homes typically sell for more money when handled by a real estate professional.
Research by the National Association of Realtors (USA) in their 2018 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers revealed that, “the median selling price for all FSBO homes was $200,000 last year. However, homes that were sold with the assistance of an agent had a median selling price of $264,900 – nearly $65,000 more for the typical home sale.” This translates to the Canadian Market as well.
Price your house at or slightly below the current market value and hire a professional. This will guarantee that you maximize the money you get for your house.
Whether buying or selling, you’re involved in an intricate process requiring many specialists. One of these specialists might be a REALTOR®, who’s responsible for and comitted to making the transaction as easy as possible for you!
By now you should have received your 2019 Assessment Notice.
Here are the things to know about your assessment -
Your Assessment is BCA's estimate of your property’s value as of July 1, 2018, and for new construction or substantially renovated homes, the physical condition as of October 31, 2018.
BCA’s assessment and a REALTOR’S® assessment. Why the difference?
Both BCA assessors and Realtors calculate market value by analyzing sales of comparable homes within a local market, and look at factors that affect value such as size of home, view, location such as on a busy or quiet street, number of bedrooms, construction quality, floor level, and garage or parking stalls.
The main difference is the time the assessment is made. BC Assessment's value is as of July 1 of the preceding year. So, their valuation could be vastly different from current market value.
For property tax purposes only
Property taxation is determined by local and provincial taxing authorities after determining their budget needs and calculating property tax rates based on the assessment roll for their jurisdiction, and BC Assessment is the most equitable way of allocating taxes across the over 2 Million properties in the BCA Database.
If property details are incorrect, property owners are directed to complete and submit an e-valueBC Data Validation Form.
Deadline to appeal assessment is January 31, 2019
Disagree with your assessment? Do some homework first!
Compare your assessment with neighbouring properties;
Contact BCA at 1-866-valueBC (1-866-825-8322) and talk to staff who can make adjustments if there's an obvious error, for example if BCA included a complete renovation when there was merely a spruce-up.
Review information on the Property Assessment Appeal Board website on how to prepare for an appeal and then complete a Notice of Complaint (Appeal) Form. (Step 7)
And, you can always call us for an up to date market evaluation of your home ! We are here to help. 604-984-7253
1923 – 1959 Purcell Way is currently the home of approximately 90 apartments, built in 1973; physically the residential complex closest to Capilano University. Woodbridge Northwest has applied to redevelop this property, and propose 60 market townhome and 124 market condominium units, with a floor space ratio of 1.75. In addition, a student housing building on Capilano University's land would be built that would provide housing for about 60 students. Further, there are to be 303 parking spaces on site, plus student parking on Capilano University's land and a new amenity building that will be shared with this project and the existing building to the west.If the project proceeds, it will require rezoning, and a development permit for form and character of commercial, industrial, and multi-family development, plus energy and water conservation and greenhouse gas emission reductions. As of mid December, 2017, the application was presented to Council for Second and Third Reading.A useful link to the District of North Vancouver’s Official Community Plan can be found here.
While a B.C. real estate license is good anywhere in the province, there are some compelling reasons why you should use a local REALTOR® when buying or selling property.
It’s in your best interest to use an agent who knows the local real estate market and no one knows local real estate better then a local REALTOR®. Local real estate agents have extensive knowledge of the area and unique insight into local property values. They have expertise in the local market; and current issues and trends. They regularly attend local property tours, know the listing inventory and know their way around the area, can identify areas the market feels are more or less desirable, and can also save time when looking for a hard-to-find listing.
They are familiar with local issues (traffic patterns, services, utilities, creeks, hazards); they know what’s considered above the snow line and what’s considered below, they know about local permit areas and are familiar with local municipal requirements for building, renovating and secondary suites. Those with longevity in the business will be familiar with building eras and what to be aware of over time, including things like how homes were heated when first built (oil tanks?), what areas were before they were residential (industrial? Cottage country?).
A local area REALTOR® has cultivated relationships over time with their colleagues. After all, the essence of the MLS System is co-operation, and what better way than to get to know your local colleagues and work together with them for the benefit of the people we all serve? A good & familiar relationship based on trust & co-operation makes things go smoothly for all concerned.
In the case of Royal LePage Sussex, we have over 300 local agents and are the largest volume-producing firm on the North Shore. Why is that important? We network with these people daily. We have an internal “hotsheet” so we may hear of something coming to the market before it hits the MLS system, giving our buyers and sellers a little bit of an advantage in timing. We hear some of the actual stories & reasoning behind the numbers. We can share knowledge, feedback, ideas and expertise among this group in an environment of trust & mutual respect. We have the best administrative & management staff in the business. We are all here to help one another, and that helps us all better serve our clients.
A local area REALTOR® not only studies the market statistics, but lives them, and can make sense of them to put them in perspective for their clients. Is the data market-wide? Or is it pocket oriented? (ie.) sub-area specific? Are some areas performing better than others? Which parts of the local area have always sold well over time? Which ones have traditionally been a challenge to sell? When is the best time to sell or buy? …
An agent who lives and works in the local area can be on hand for inspections and appraisals. They are involved in their community and can put you in touch with service people you may have need of.
If a buyer is from out of town, they can even play a little bit of “Tour Guide” after the home touring part of their trip is over… ..and who knows, they might even turn out to be a neighbor!
Looking to buy or sell on the North Shore? Give us a call. Looking in other parts of B.C? We have a wide network of professionals who are experts in their respective communities and we would be happy to introduce you to the right person for you!
After such a beautiful summer, the weather is changing .... Let us help you prepare for the new season with some tips and advice in preparing your home and yard for colder weather. This weekend is the perfect opportunity to check a few items off your list!
#1 - Walk it Out
Take a walk around your property and make note of any signs of damage to the roof, siding or foundation. Be sure to schedule any repairs in the next couple of weeks!
#2 - Clear the Gutters
After the leaves have fallen, clear your gutters and downspouts of any leaves or debris that could otherwise lead to clogs. Clogged gutters can cause exterior damage, so installing leaf guards may be a good investment!
#3 - Stay Warm
Call a professional to inspect and clean your chimney annually to prevent dangerous chimney fires. Consider having a home heating inspection to ensure your furnace or gas fireplace is working properly. Also, replace the filter in your furnace.
#4 - Hoses and Sprinklers Away
For next month, remove garden hoses from outdoor faucets to prevent water from backing up, which can freeze, expand, and crack the faucet or pipes. Drain your irrigation system to avoid any broken pipes or sprinkler heads. A professional can assist if you're not sure how to get the job done properly.
#5 - Care for your Plants
Late fall is the best time to prune plants and trees - when the summer growth cycle is over. Your goals is to keep limbs and branches at least 3 feet from your house so that moisture won't drip onto roofing and siding, and to prevent damage to your home's exterior during strong winds.
#6 - Seal it Up
Grab a couple of tubes of color-matched exterior caulk ($10 - $15 per tube) and make a journey around your home's exterior, sealing up cracks between trim and siding, around window & door frames, and where pipes and wires enter your home. Preventing moisture from getting inside your walls is one of the least expensive and most important of your fall jobs. You'll also seal air leaks that waste energy!
Brook Lynn is a collection of 63 homes in a 4 to 5 storey wood frame building – offering 1, 2 & 3 bedrooms – at 467 Mountain Highway, developed by the Wanson Group (www.wanson.ca). At this point, we understand most suites will have 9’ ceilings – and the Penthouse level will offer 13’ ceilings. There are also parking stalls & storage lockers, although we don’t know yet if this applies to all homes. Get in to their smallest suite for as low as $299,900. Sales start soon – so if you would like more information, please CALL OUR OFFICE at 604-984-7253 and we’ll ensure you are well represented if you would like to register for updates. There are many benefits of having your own representation when you purchase a home - #1 is a dedicated sales professional working solely for you – and a close 2nd is knowing what questions to ask!
Remember, GST of 5% applies, and Property Transfer Tax will apply to all homes – unless you are a “First Time Buyer”, then there are potential exemptions for suites priced up to $500,000.
We bring this to you Courtesy of The BC Real Estate Association ...
After an initial upward adjustment in global interest rates following the US presidential election, bond markets have since adopted a wait and see approach to US economic policy. As a result, the yield on the benchmark five-year bond has stayed constant through the first quarter of the year. Consequently, Canadian mortgage rates have also remained relatively unchanged. However, we could see some upward movement in interest rates over the second half of 2017, due to a stronger Canadian economy and a large degree of policy incoherence in the United States. Indeed, for the first time in several years, US monetary and fiscal policy seem to be at cross purposes. The US Federal Reserve, seeing an economy close to its estimate for full employment, has signaled its intention to raise rates multiple times this year.
Home sales and listings trends are below long-term averages in the Metro Vancouver* housing market.
... This is due largely to reduced activity in the detached home market.
Residential property sales in the region totalled 1,523 in January 2017, a 39.5 per cent decrease from the 2,519 sales recorded in January 2016 and an 11.1 per cent decrease compared to December 2016 when 1,714 homes sold. Last month’s sales were 10.3 per cent below our 10-year January sales average.
“From a real estate perspective, it’s a lukewarm start to the year compared to 2016,” Dan Morrison, Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) president said. “While we saw near record-breaking sales at this time last year, home buyers and sellers are more reluctant to engage so far in 2017.”
As for most of the Lower Mainland, 2016 was more than a banner year in the North Vancouver real estate market – and toward the end of the year, we experienced significant changes to inventory & days on the market. North Vancouver inventory climbed from 120 Active Detached Listings in August, 2016 to 306 as of November 30th – and today, back down to 218. There is a slightly longer marketing period (stats show approximately 8 days on average in the early part of this year. October showed 16 days on average in North Vancouver – & today it’s an average of 23 days). Still quick, but less frenetic.
In a year where Buyers have been ‘beat up’ through the Spring, with huge demand and very little supply, and prices rising, plus the industry being under the microscope, the new 15% Foreign Buyer Tax, the recent US election, and the hit on mortgage qualifying for those with less than 20% down, it is not a huge surprise that the end of the year market was a little bumpy, and buyers were taking a bit of a breather. Nevertheless, people want to live here, 3 weeks on the market is still quick, and we find ourselves in a market still favoring sellers – and with Spring on the way, which is usually the best time to sell, conditions are favorable to Sellers now looking to make a move, particularly in the "under $1.6 Million" detached market.
Apartment sales are still going strong, with many cases of multiple offers, although again, less frantic than early 2016. Inventory in the apartment world is still incredibly low in North Vancouver - just 117 units listed. Same in the Townhome market - only 32 active listings.
While Sales have have slowed considerably since the Spring of 2016 (May / June was the peak – and the last three months have been at levels about 1/3 of Spring 2016), and there is no longer tremendous upward pressure on prices, there seems to be good balance in the market now and the phone is beginning to ring. Spring is always expected to show a greater number of transactions. If inventory remains low, we could be saying, “here we go again!”.
OK, so we promise this is the last post about Tax Assessments- but as we are still getting calls and emails, we thought we'd outline how to appeal, if you want to go down that road:
Since you’ve opened the envelope from your Municipality, you’re likely in good company with others who have experienced up to a 35% increase over last year’s Assessed Value.
If you don’t think the assessment is fair, or believe the new value is out of line with your neighbour’s house, you can ask for a reconsideration. It will take some time & a nominal fee. Deadline to appeal is January 31st.
The process itself is relatively simple – and you will have five minutes to appear before a panel of volunteers, who will generally deliberate for another 5 minutes – at the most.
Should you bother? We’ve helped clients do it before – and we can tell you that the system isn’t perfect. However, we have heard that about half of the appeals provide some reduction in assessed value, so it may be worth the effort. If You wish to appeal should know that you need to make a really good case for your argument.
Start by looking up your assessments on BCA's e-valueBC website. Details include a photo, a property description (land and buildings), the total assessed value, the previous year’s value, the legal description, and property ID. If property details are incorrect, you will be directed to complete and submit an e-valueBCData Validation Form.
Don’t just compare your online numbers to your neighbors - walk around your neighborhood & take photos. You are welcome to call us for some information on neighborhood sales so that we can help you state your case. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Will my taxes rise by the amount of the increase? No. While typically we should steel ourselves for a heftier bill, some taxes may actually fall if the increase is below the average for the community, OR if the Municipal Budget stays the same as the previous year (Laughing yet??).
Property owners received their 2017 assessment notices the first week of January.
In the Lower Mainland, increases of 30 to 50 per cent are typical for detached homes in Vancouver, the North Shore, Squamish, Burnaby, Tri-Cities, Richmond, and Surrey. Property owners with a significant increase received a warning assessment in early December 2016.
Commercial and industrial properties will likely see increases in the 15-40% range, according to Jason Grant, assessor, Greater Vancouver Region.
The 2017 Assessment Notice is BC Assessment’s (BCA) estimate of a property’s value as of July 1, 2016, and for new construction or substantially renovated homes, the physical condition as of October 31, 2016.
BCA is a publicly owned provincial Crown corporation responsible for determining and reporting property value estimates for the 2,017,364 properties in its database. This is an increase of 1% from 2016. BCA started producing the assessment roll in 1974.
BCA’s assessment and a REALTOR’S® assessment. Why the difference?
BCA’s assessment and the market value determined by a Realtor may be different. Why?
Both BCA assessors and Realtors calculate market value by analyzing sales of comparable homes within a local market, and look at factors that affect value such as size of home, view, location such as on a busy or quiet street, number of bedrooms, construction quality, floor level, and garage or parking stalls.
Where every lot and every home on a street are typically the same, both BCA’s value and a Realtor’s value will be similar during stable market conditions.
Differences occur in neighbourhoods where lots have been rezoned or are different shapes and sizes, where architecture and views are unique, and where owners have made changes that BCA hasn’t yet taken into account.
Property taxation is determined by local and provincial taxing authorities after determining their budget needs and calculating property tax rates based on the assessment roll for their jurisdiction.
Municipalities determine tax rates for each property class in the spring once the assessment roll is finalized. Changes in assessment over the year don’t automatically translate into the same percentage changes in property taxes for any particular class of property or for any individual property.
The Home Owner Grant is a provincial grant which reduces the amount of property tax an owner pays. To qualify you must be the registered owner, you must occupy the home as your principal residence, you must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada, and you must live in BC.
The grant is available to owners of properties assessed at up to $1.2 million.
Local governments are asking the provincial government to increase the grant thresholds because the value of so many properties in the Lower Mainland has risen and many owners are losing their grants because of the increased value of their homes.
When you view your assessment
Property owners can look up their assessments on BCA's e-valueBC website.
Details include a photo, a property description (land and buildings), the total assessed value, the previous year’s value, the legal description, and property ID.
If property details are incorrect, property owners are directed to complete and submit an e-valueBCData Validation Form.
Property owners can also compare neighbouring properties and sample sold properties to decide whether their property has been correctly assessed.
Deadline to appeal assessment is February 1, 2017
Property owners who disagree with their assessment should do homework by:
comparing their assessment with neighbouring properties; and
contacting BCA at 1-866-valueBC (1-866-825-8322) and talking to staff who can make adjustments if there's an obvious error, for example if BCA included a complete renovation when there was merely a spruce-up.
The deadline to file an appeal is February 1, 2017.
Each year less than 1% of BC property owners appeal their assessments.
Note: you can’t appeal your taxes. You can only appeal your assessment.
For information about BC Assessment and to access e-valueBC visit: www.bcassessment.ca or phone 1-866-valueBC (1-866-825-8322).
Sample Property Value Changes in our neighbourhoods
The District of Squamish saw the greatest increase in the Greater Vancouver assessment region with a 47% increase for a detached home. North Vancouver’s Lynn Valley and Burnaby’s Buckingham neighbourhoods were close behind, with detached homes increasing 46%.
Additional examples may be found in these BCA news releases for Greater Vancouver and Fraser Valley assessment regions.
Did you know?
Total value of real estate on the 2017 BC assessment roll is $1.67 trillion, an increase of 25% from 2016.
In BC, 88% of all properties are classified with some residential component (class 1), equating to $1.29 trillion.
Changes in property assessment reflect movement in the local real estate market and can vary greatly from property to property.
Real estate sales determine a property’s value which is reported annually by BCA.
BCA’s assessment roll provides the foundation for local and provincial taxing authorities to raise $7 billion in property taxes each year, which funds community services including the school system.
Increases to your Property Assessment - a rousing topic every January, and this year, not really a surprise that 2017 Assessments are considerably higher than they were in 2016. If you haven't yet received your 2017 Property Assessment, you will shortly. Whether buying, selling, or just home-owning, here are 5 important things to know:
(1) Property Assessments do NOT necessarily equal market value
(2) Just because your Assessment went up, doesn’t mean your TAXES will increase. And, if your taxes increase, it’s not just because your property assessment increased!
(3) BC Assessment uses a mass appraisal system, which calculates property value by evaluating prices for homes sold in each neighborhood and then applies the information to arrive at an assessed value. This information is typically obtained from MLS sales, NOT by visiting the properties in question. BC Assessment has approximately 650 full-time staff positions in 17 offices throughout the province. They can’t possibly visit every residence.
(4) The most important factor is the TIME at which a property is assessed. A 2017 assessment notice is BCA’s estimate of a property’s market value as of July 1, 2016, which is 6 month’s prior to you receiving your assessment. (and the reason why a REALTOR®’s market value can be different – as it reflects the current state of the market).
(5) BCA’s Market value assessment is for tax purposes only. It is widely considered to be the fairest system for distributing the property tax burden. As the real estate market can change very quickly, depending on an historical assessment (July assessment for next year’s tax purposes) to be an accurate indicator of market value can be erroneous.
Here are the median price increases in North Vancouver :
July 2015 - July 2016 Dec 2015 – Dec 2016
(Assessment period) (Year over year data)
Detached 22% ↑ 7% ↑
Attached 25% ↑ 6% ↑
Apartments 19% ↑ 26% ↑
Bonus #2 –
Here is a service that you may find helpful – available each New Year until March, where you can view details on a single property, compare neighbouring properties, and compare sales information. http://evaluebc.bcassessment.ca/
Effective on transactions entered into on October 1, 2016, or later, this tax is modeled closely on the provincial “Property Transfer Tax Act”. The PTT Law adopts the provincial rate of 1% on the first $200,000 of fair market value (purchase price), 2% of the fair market value that exceeds $200,000, but does not exceed $2Million, and 3% of the remaining fair market value.
The PTT Law adopts the same exemptions as are offered off-reserve, including exemptions for first time home buyers, and the recently added exemption on new construction (purchases under $750,000 are exempt).
It is important to note that there are transitional rules in place. For example, for those of you who purchased in the Spring at “Seymour Village” above Ravenwoods – which completes in 2017: There is no PTT on new residential property (a “pre-sale”) where the pre-sale agreement was entered into within one year of the PTT Law coming into force and where the home is finished and the sale completes within two years of the PTT Law coming into force. There is also no PTT on the sale of a residential property where the agreement of sale was executed before the PTT Law came into force and the sale completes within six months of the PTT Law coming into force.
With September almost to a close, there may be some rainy days ahead - and here is a project for "one of those rainy days" !
Warranties, Manuals and Receipts
These documents provide you with a proof of purchase date and determine service and parts guaranteed. In addition, the manuals usually provide care information so you can help ensure your household appliances are being properly maintained. You should keep your warranties, manuals and receipts for these items for as long as you own the appliances.
If you were ever to lose any of your possessions due to fire, burglary, or vandalism, having a home inventory can help you avoid a lot of heartache and make it easier when filing an insurance claim.
Start with a sheet a paper for each room in the house. Go around the room and list every item. Don’t forget the attic, basement or other storage places. For each item, write the original cost, purchase date, replacement cost, model number, brand name, where purchased, and a general description. Pop these into an Excel spreadsheet or use Google Spreadsheets (it's free!) so that you have an electronic copy.
Besides a written inventory, take photos or video of each room for visual documentation. It is also a good idea to arrange valuable collections, silver, jewelry, etc. and take close up photos.
Keep a copy in your home & electronic files (and perhaps one at the office, too!) and the originals in a fireproof safe or safe deposit box. Make sure you update your home inventory photos and list at least once a year.
Organizing your home files may take a considerable amount of time initially, but it will definitely be time well spent in the event you need the documents later on.
Home buyer competition is intense in today’s housing market, and multiple-offer situations have become commonplace.
These trends have everyone wondering who is buying homes in Metro Vancouver today?1 Are millenials being priced out? Are retirees downsizing? Are investors driving the market?
To shed some light on these questions, the Real Estate Board sends a home buyer demographic survey each month to members who represented a buyer in a sale over the previous 30-day period.
Between 150 and 200 REALTORS® regularly complete the survey. Analysis is based on an average of the last 12 months of responses.
“This feedback, while not scientific, gives us a deeper understanding of the trends in the marketplace,” says Dan Morrison, Board president. “We’ve conducted this poll over several years and some consistent themes have emerged.”
Home buyer trends (2015 - 2016 averages)
Since 2015, first-time home buyers have, on average, accounted for 32 per cent of Metro Vancouver home sales, according to the survey, and 21 per cent of home buyers are people moving from one property to another similar property in the region.
Speculation of real estate investor activity is much discussed in social and traditional media today. Our survey finds that nearly one in five homes sold to real estate investors last year, with domestic investors (15 per cent) making up the largest portion of these purchases. Foreign investors make up less than five per cent of all property sales in the region.
Home buyer demographic
Young families with children are active in today’s market. This group accounts for 34 per cent of all activity, and young couples with no children make up 18.5 per cent of all activity.
Retirees (eight per cent) and empty nesters (seven per cent) both represented less than 10 per cent of Metro Vancouver home sales according to the survey.
Home buyer residency
The clear majority of buyers, around 82 per cent, are already living in Metro Vancouver when they make their purchase. The next largest group of buyers migrate from other areas in BC and Canada. Roughly eight per cent of home buyers come from outside Canada, according to the survey.
On average, just over 60 per cent of buyers pay for their homes using traditional mortgages with at least a 25 per cent down payment. Cash purchases and high ratio mortgages make up the remaining 40 per cent in nearly equal proportions.
“While the volume of home sales has increased in recent months, the characteristics of people buying in our market remains relatively constant according to this monthly research,” Morrison says.
Areas covered by the REBGV include: Whistler, Sunshine Coast, Squamish, West Vancouver, North Vancouver, Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, Richmond, Port Moody, Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam, Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge, and South Delta.
Data collected from REBGV Market Survey, March 2015 - February 2016
Article courtesy of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver
Spring is a season of renewal. Birds are singing and the flowers are beginning to burst into bloom. The days are getting longer and people are getting outdoors again. So not surprisingly, real estate activity begins to swing into high gear. The weather is more cooperative and families are looking to move during the summer break.
If you are considering putting your home on the market, now's a good time to do some spring maintenance to make sure your home is in tip-top shape. Even if you aren't planning to sell your home, you should still add these tasks to your list to help preserve your home's value and help avoid major repairs later on.
Walk Around the Outside
Check for any damage caused by winter's cold weather. Look for those sagging or loose gutters, window frames or siding. Is your roof missing any shingles, or is there any water damage under the eaves? Promptly schedule repairs for those items you can't do yourself.
Over the fall and winter, leaves, mud and debris may have accumulated in your gutters. Check your gutters for clogging and damage and schedule an appointment for cleaning.
Walk around your yard as if you were a first-time visitor. What impression does your home make? Be sure to clear away fallen branches and leaves. Loosen the soil around perennials, plant annuals or a vegetable garden. Prune shrubs and trees.
If your water supply has been off for the winter, turn it back on. Test your automatic sprinkler system or connect your water hose and check for cracks and leaks. Replace old washers or sprinkler heads.
Don't forget the backyard! Is it time to condition your deck? Be sure to hammer in any loose nails, or replace them with galvanized deck screws. Replace any broken boards or rails. Consider renting a power washer to clean dirt and mildew from the wood, and then apply an all-weather sealer or stain. Then dust off that patio furniture you kept protected over the winter.
Repair any broken fence boards and paint or seal them as needed. Clean the pool if it has been covered all winter. Wash windows, screens and windowsills; repair any winter damage.
Take A Tour Inside
Start making a list of things to do in each room. Then dive in. Dust walls and ceilings to remove cobwebs and wash any grimy areas. Wash window curtains or remove drapes for dry cleaning. Deep clean rugs and carpets. Dust and polish wood or laminate floors.
Clean fan blades using mild soapy water. Check the A/C or Heat Pump unit for debris and obstructions; vacuum the main condenser coil on top of the unit. Check the operating condition of the furnace; remove and change filters.
Make sure all exhaust fans and vents are clean and clear. Don't forget to remove the lint buildup from the clothes dryer vent.
One often-overlooked area is the fireplace. Be sure to sweep ashes carefully into your fireplace's ash pit or into a dustpan.
Look around for clutter. Are there items you don't use any longer? If you are planning on moving, what items will you not need? Consider having a garage sale and then either donate or trash the remaining items.
And lastly, don't forget to replace batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Did you change them when you changed your clock for daylight savings time ? If not, change them now !
Although performing these spring chores may not be something you really want to do, they go a long way in maintaining and even enhancing the attractiveness, quality and VALUE of your home. Happy Spring!
The BC government introduced its 2016 budget February 16th, and there is some really good news here. The budget included a number of items intended to affect affordability and availability in the Lower Mainland’s housing market. Here’s a summary:
Property Transfer Tax (PTT)
• a New Housing exemption will apply to newly built homes or newly subdivided units priced up to $750,000, saving buyers up to $13,000; and
• a partial exemption will apply on newly built homes priced $750,000 to $800,000.
• a new 3% PTT rate will apply to the portion of a home sale that exceeds $2 million. For homes that sell for below $2 million, the PTT will continue to apply at a rate of 1% on the first $200,000 and 2% on the balance.
These changes will take effect on February 17, 2016.
Starting this summer, individuals and corporations buying property must disclose if they are Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada and if neither, their home country. These changes will provide information on the volume of foreign investment in BC.
Home Owner Grant
The Home Owner Grant threshold will increase to $1.2 million from $1.1 million for the 2016 tax year.
The province will invest $355 million to help the BC Housing Management Commission support more than 2,000 affordable housing units for residents with low-to-moderate incomes.
Posted on November 2, 2015 by Grant & Jasmine Botto
In today's highly competitive market, developers have had to (finally!) build quality homes at (relatively) attractive prices.
We are not easily impressed - we've been doing this a really long time, and sometimes we feel we've 'seen it all'. However, many of the newer projects in North Vancouver, and especially Lower Lonsdale are making waves for their good prices, good floor plans, good amenities, and overall good value.
It’s apparent that the buying public is impressed – there are just five homes left at the Anchor, a boutique community of 56 homes, in @LowerLonsdale. 7 stories, built to LEED Silver standards by Kamcon Construction – a local, family-owned company, and designed with lots of natural light, impressive decks, and favourite retailers conveniently located at ground level.
Owners will experience water views, city lights & sea air – and enjoy peace of mind with concrete construction and a ‘leave your car at home” walkable neighbourhood of shops and cafes. Waterfront Park, The Pier and Spirit Pacific Trail right in your backyard – plus, it’s just a 12 minute Seabus commute to downtown Vancouver.
Environmentally progressive features include a green roof and efficient hot water and heating supplied Lonsdale Energy Corporation. Design includes Caesar stone counters, stainless appliances, gas range & French Door fridges, Italian tile & 100% wool carpet. Some suites even offer oversioze terraces and 11' ceilings.
Building amenities include a Gym with commercial grade equipment, a Party Room with full kitchen & bath, but Tony Govic, Sales Rep at the Anchor says his "favorite building amenity is the 3,000 square foot Roof Top Deck, complete with BBQ, washroom & 360 degree views!"
Remaining homes available are well priced at about $650 per square foot, plus 5% GST. There are 2 x 1 bedrooms priced from $399,000 to $465,000, and 3 x 2 bedrooms, priced from $555,000 to $649,000 [parking & storage included].
Posted on October 29, 2015 by Grant & Jasmine Botto
There’s a fair amount of mis-information out there about what is considered ‘safe’ wiring in the home. Aluminum wiring, knob & tube, 60 amp service panels, upgrades without proper permits …
We have found a service that can tell you what needs to be done to make your home safe. They have advised that after over 5,000 inspections, knob & tube is generally never a problem, and neither is aluminum wiring, if properly connected. Most of the problems they encounter are from poor ‘handy man’ jobs, deteriorated wiring, improper connectors & unlawful upgrades.
POWERCHECK Electrical Safety Services is an impartial, third party inspection service. They only do inspections, and do not preform repair work. They will examine the electrical system in your home and provide you with an accurate Electrical Safety Assessment which will come in very handy when it comes time to insure your home.
Through a comprehensive analysis of the electrical system by an expert, the safety of the electrical system is determined. The home is then described as Low, Medium, High, or Extreme Risk. This provides an opportunity to easily understand the electrical safety of the home. If hazards are identified, they are clearly laid out in the report, so that an independent electrical contractor will know exactly what actions to take to make the house safe. All PowerCheck agents are Master Electricians (or equivalent) and/or retired Electrical Inspectors; all with decades of experience in home electrical systems.
The assessment itself takes about 90 minutes in the home. It consists of an 80-point examination and is non-invasive, and comes with an easy to understand safety report, sent to the home owner within one business day. This comes at a very reasonable cost: the standard rate for a single family home is $380, plus tax.
Want to have some peace of mind and make your home electrically safe? Visit their website at www.powercheck.ca
Posted on October 15, 2015 by Grant & Jasmine Botto
Buying or selling a home in today’s real estate market can be an emotional experience, but it needn't be a trying one.
In the video presented here, REBGV President Darcy McLeod takes a look at the housing statistics for September 2015. In particular, you will see how changes in the supply of homes for sale can impact the market.
The two factors that impact our market most are inventory, and interest rates. With inventory at less than HALF of what we normally see at this time of year, and today's best 5 year rate at 2.54% fuelling the fire of already amazing demand, it makes sellers nervous (if we sell, where will we go ?), and buyers frustrated (we're in Competition, AGAIN ?)
The good news is, we have solutions for you - with over 50 years' experience under our collective belts, we have helped our clients reach their goals in all types of market conditions.
Some basic strategies:
Be ready - we'll walk you through the best way to be organized and ready
for your purchase or sale, so that nothing is a surprise.
Start "Window Shopping" Now - get a comfort level with current inventory & prices, before you post the "For Sale" sign in your yard. You'll feel better having this information.
Leverage our Client Base - we don't just wait for MLS - we have over 700 families that we are in contact with that may have a home that matches your needs.
Consider Personal vs. Market Timing - there are lots of ways to 'massage' dates that are important to you, or the family you are buying from.
Have a "Plan B" - maybe there's an interim rental possibility if the next right home for you is just not out there yet.
When you've made the decision to sell your home or buy a new one, call us and we'll outline an effective plan that takes into consideration all of your needs and goals.
Take advantage of our experience and quality of service through each step of the transaction. Whether you are moving across town or across the country, you can expect the best from us.
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.