October 26, 2022
The Botto Team
We have always found Benjamin Tal a voice of reason. In this article, he explains how “We simply borrowed activity from the future, and the future has arrived” – and does so in easy to understand terms.
For advice in these challenging times, always turn to the professionals – and not the 6 o’clock news.
Click Here to Read Full Article
October 13, 2022
The Botto Team
Big or small space, there is always a way to create a functional workspace.
As the pandemic rolled out, working from home became the norm for many. But, it can be difficult at times to find a place to feel productive and dedicated to your work.
No matter where you live, spare room or not, you can still carve out a space to call your home office.
5 ways to create your very own dedicated office space:
1.Change your living room layout
A lot of people find themselves working on dining room tables. However, you can actually utilize the space in a living room by just reconfiguring the layout to create something functional and aesthetic.
Push your sofa against the wall to make room for a small writer’s desk, or place a slim desk behind your sofa as you would use a console.
Try adding a corner desk so it’s tucked away, like a reading nook.
If there is a window, think about placing the desk in front of it, where you can take advantage of natural light.
Place some decorative baskets beside or below your desk to store computer equipment, files and supplies.
2. Use multi-functional furniture that doubles as a work surface
Consider using furniture that can be used in more ways than one. This saves space, money, and the stress of having to find a location for a desk.
Use a sideboard, buffet table or storage bench to store office supplies.
Place a mirror above a desk in your bedroom and have it double as a makeup table.
Get a mobile island that locks in your kitchen. You’ll have a countertop that doubles as deskspace, and you can move it in and out of the way when you are done.
3.Repurpose a closet
This idea is becoming ever so popular. It creates a functional space that can be hidden as needed. But, be warned… It may require some purging of your closet!
Using part or all of a closet or an armoire, add a narrow table or sturdy shelf (at desk level) that fits within.
Add shelving above with baskets for light materials, cables or files.
You can also choose a fold-down desk for an all-in-one storage solution and a larger desk space.
Pull up a chair during the work day. And, simply close the doors when you are done.
4.Divide the room
It can be distracting to see your bed while working, so add separation. If you can spare the space within an existing room in the house, simply add some division.
Add a folding room divider screen.
Hang curtains to create a fabric wall.
Install mid-sized bookcases to use as dividers that also double as storage on either side.
5.Clean up the shed or garage
At first thought this may not sound ideal. However with some purging and clean-up, conventional storage places make for beautiful office spaces. You just need to be mindful of what to keep, and add charming decor for motivation.
Purge and remove anything you haven’t used in a year.
Place all storage items within boxes, on shelves, or in garage-friendly cupboards.
Invest in some floor boards, turf or rug to lay down (you do not need to get it professionally done).
Install a desk and some lighting, and add a heater for when it’s cold.
September 30, 2022
When it comes to selling your house, you want it to look its best inside and out so it catches the attention of buyers. A real estate professional can help you decide what to do to make that happen.
Focus on tasks that can make it inviting, show it’s cared for, and boost your curb appeal.
Connect with a trusted real estate professional for advice on what you may want to do to get your house ready to sell this season.
September 16, 2022
The Botto Team
Mortgage pre-approval means a lender has reviewed your finances and, based on factors like your income, debt, and credit history, determined how much you’re qualified to borrow.Being pre-approved for a loan can give you clarity while planning your homebuying budget, confidence in your ability to secure a loan, and helps sellers know your offer is serious.Connect with a trusted professional to learn more and start your homebuying process today.
September 15, 2022
The Botto Team
In a market that’s shifting as fast as it is today, many homeowners wonder what, if anything, needs to be renovated before they sell their house. That’s where a trusted real estate professional comes in. They can help you think through today’s market conditions and how they impact what you should – and shouldn’t – do before selling your house.
Here are some considerations a professional will guide you through.
What You Need To Know About Your Local Market
Since the supply of homes for sale has increased so much this year, today’s buyers have more options than they had last year. That may mean you’re not able to ignore some of those repairs or cosmetic updates you could have skipped in previous months. As a recent article from realtor.com says:
“To stand out in the market, sellers should make their home attractive to buyers, which usually means some selective updates.”
The key word here is selective. Since it’s somewhat of a balanced market, focusing on a few key areas may be enough to make your house stand out from other options. And since inventory is still low overall, it’s also possible buyers may be willing to handle the renovations themselves once they move in. It all depends on buyer demand and the available inventory in your local area. For advice on what’s happening in your market and what to do to make your house show well, lean on a professional.
Not All Renovation Projects Are Equal
In addition to making sure your house makes a good first impression, you’ll also want to consider the return on your investment (ROI) for any renovations. According to the How to Value Your Renovations from the Appraisal institute of Canada, here are the projects that could net you the best return when you sell your house (see visual below):
Top 5 Renovations with the Highest Return on Investment
Kitchen - renovation or update with quality of materials and workmanship consistent with the area.
Bathroom - renovation or addition with quality of material and workmanship consistant with the home and the area.
Repainting Interior/Exterior - completed in tones with wide-ranging market appeal.
Updating Decor - Lighting and plumbing fixtures, countertops, replacing worn flooring (vinyl or carpets) or refinishing hardwood floors)
Decluttering - removing all excess items to showcase the features of your home.
Again, your real estate advisor is your best resource. When your agent comes to your home for a walk-thru and consultation, they’ll use their expertise to offer any insight into what you may need to repair, replace, or refinish. They also know what other sellers are doing before listing their homes and how buyers are reacting to those upgrades to help steer you in the right direction.
How To Draw Buyer Attention to the Upgrades You’ve Made
For any projects you’ve already completed or for those you plan to do before listing, make sure your real estate professional knows. They’re not just an advisor to help you decide where to focus your efforts, they’re also skilled at highlighting any upgrades in your listing. That way, potential buyers know about the features that may help sell them on the house.
No matter what, contact a local real estate professional for expert advice on what work needs to be done and how to make it as appealing as possible to future buyers. Every home is different, so a conversation with your agent is mission-critical to make sure you make the right moves when selling this season.
In today’s shifting market, it’s important to spend your time and money wisely when you’re getting ready to move. Let’s connect to find out where to focus your efforts before you sell.
September 12, 2022
The Botto Team
If you’re thinking of buying or selling a home, you’ll want a trusted real estate professional on your side for their industry experience and expert insights.
The right advisor utilizes the latest technology and can help you navigate today’s home pricing and market values, the contracts and fine print, and the negotiations you’ll face.
Partner with a trusted real estate professional so you have expert advice each step of the way.
August 31, 2022
The Botto Team
One of the top stories in recent real estate headlines was the intensity and frequency of bidding wars. With so many buyers looking to purchase a home and so few of them available for sale, fiercely competitive bidding wars became the norm during the pandemic – and it drove home prices up. If you tried to buy a house over the past two years, you probably experienced this firsthand and may have been outbid on several homes along the way.
But here’s the news you’ve been waiting for: data shows clear signs bidding wars are easing this year.
Many homes were seeing a high of 6 – 8 offers earlier this year. But the latest data shows that average was down to just shy of three offers per recently sold home. This shift is happening largely because rising mortgage rates moderated buyer demand and slowed home sales, resulting in a growing supply of homes on the market. Essentially, more choices for buyers.
What This Means for You
If you put your home search on pause because you were outbid last year or because you didn’t want to deal with the peak intensity of bidding wars, you can breathe a welcome sigh of relief. While it’s still a sellers’ market, an uptick in inventory gives you a window of opportunity to jump back in. You may still be competing with some buyers, but it likely won’t be anything like it was just a few short months ago.
If you put your plans on pause because of intense bidding wars in recent years, it may be time to kick off your home search. Today, bidding wars are easing and that may mean less competition for you as a buyer. If you’re serious about buying a home or making a move, partner with a trusted real estate professional to get started today.
August 26, 2022
The Botto Team
If you put off your home search at any point over the past two years, you may want to consider picking it back up based on today’s housing market conditions. Recent data shows the supply of homes for sale is increasing, giving buyers like you additional options.
But it’s important to keep in mind that while inventory is improving, in many segments, it’s still a sellers’ market. And that means you need to be prepared as you set out on your home search. Here are three tips for buying the home of your dreams today:
1. Understand How Mortgage Rates Impact Your Homebuying Power
Mortgage rates have increased significantly this year, and over the past few weeks, they’ve been fluctuating quite a bit. It’s important to stay up to date on what’s happening with rates and understand how they can impact your purchasing power when you’re thinking of buying a home. The chart below can help.
Let’s say your budget allows for a monthly mortgage payment in the $2,100-$2,200 range. The green in the chart indicates a payment within or below that range, while the red is a payment that exceeds it.
As the chart shows, even a small change in mortgage rates can have a big impact on your monthly payments. If rates rise, you could exceed your budget unless you pursue a lower home loan amount. If rates fall, your purchasing power may increase, which could give you additional options for your search.
2. Be Open to Exploring Different Options During Your Search
The supply of homes for sale is improving, which gives you more homes to choose from. But historically, supply is still low. That means as you search for homes, if you still don’t find something that meets your needs, it may be worth expanding your search.
A few things buyers can consider today - LOCATION. If there’s a location you’ve previously ruled out (like a particular area, for example) it may be worth taking another look.
TYPE - And if you’re able to, opening your search up to include other housing types, like newly built homes, condominiums, or townhomes can further increase your pool of options. Even as the inventory of homes for sale improves today, finding ways to cast a wider net during your search could help you find a hidden gem.
3. Work with a Local Real Estate Professional for Expert Guidance
Ultimately, you need to be prepared when you set out to buy a home. Jeff Ostrowski, Senior Mortgage Reporter for Bankrate, explains:
“Taking the leap to homeownership can provide a feeling of pride while boosting your long-term financial outlook, if you go in well-prepared and with your eyes open.”
No matter where you’re at in your homeownership journey, the best way to make sure you’re set up for success is to work with a real estate professional. If you’re just starting your search, a real estate professional can help you understand your local market and search for available homes. And when it’s time to make an offer, they’ll be an expert advisor and negotiator to help yours stand out above the rest.
Strategically planning your home search by understanding today’s mortgage rates, casting a wide net, and building a team of experts can be the keys to finding the home of your dreams. To make sure you have expert advice each step of the way, partner with a local real estate advisor.
August 8, 2022
The Botto Team
While the Bank of Canada is working hard to bring down inflation, the latest data shows the inflation rate is still going up. You no doubt are feeling the pinch on your wallet at the gas pump or the grocery store, but that news may also leave you wondering: should I still buy a home right now?
Greg McBride, Chief Financial Analyst at Bankrate, explains how inflation is affecting the housing market:
“Inflation will have a strong influence on where mortgage rates go in the months ahead. . . . Whenever inflation finally starts to ease, so will mortgage rates — but even then, home prices are still subject to demand and very tight supply.”
No one knows how long it’ll take to bring down inflation, and that means the future trajectory of mortgage rates is also unclear. While that uncertainty isn’t comfortable, here’s why both inflation and mortgage rates are important for you and your homeownership plans.
When you buy a home, the mortgage rate and the price of the home matter. Higher mortgage rates impact how much you’ll pay for your monthly mortgage payment – and that directly affects how much you can comfortably afford. And while there’s no denying it’s more expensive to buy and finance a home this year than it was last year, it doesn’t mean you should pause your search. Here’s why.
Homeownership Is Historically a Great Hedge Against Inflation
In an inflationary economy, prices rise across the board. Historically, homeownership is a great hedge against those rising costs because you can lock in what’s likely your largest monthly payment (your mortgage) for the duration of your loan. That helps stabilize some of your monthly expenses. Not to mention, as home prices continue to appreciate, your home’s value will too. That’s why Mark Cussen, Financial Writer at Investopedia, says:
“Real estate is one of the time-honored inflation hedges. It’s a tangible asset, and those tend to hold their value when inflation reigns, unlike paper assets. More specifically, as prices rise, so do property values.”
In a nutshell, your home search doesn’t have to go on hold because of rising inflation or higher mortgage rates. There’s more to consider when it comes to why you want to buy a home. In addition to shielding yourself from the impact of inflation and growing your wealth through ongoing price appreciation, there are other reasons to buy a home right now like addressing your changing needs and so much more.
Homeownership is one of the best decisions you can make in an inflationary economy. You get the benefit of the added security of owning your home in a time when experts are forecasting prices to continue to rise.
July 12, 2022
The Botto Team
If you’re selling a home this summer, hiring a professional is critical
It can be tempting, especially with how hot the housing market has been over the past two years, to consider selling your home on your own. But today’s market is at a turning point, making it more essential than ever to work with a real estate professional.
Not only will a trusted real estate advisor keep you updated and help you make the best decisions based on current market trends, but they’re also experts in managing the many aspects of selling your house.
Here are five key reasons why working with a real estate professional makes sense today.
1. A Professional Follows the Latest Market Trends
With higher mortgage rates, rising home prices and a growing number of homes for sale, today’s housing market is showing signs of a shift back toward more pre-pandemic levels. When conditions change, following the trends and staying on top of new information is crucial when you sell.
That makes working with an expert real estate advisor critical today. They know your local area and follow national trends too. More importantly, they’ll know what this data means for you, and as the market shifts, they’ll be able to help you navigate it and make your best decision.
2. A Professional Helps Maximize Your Pool of Buyers
Your agent’s role in bringing in buyers is important. Real estate professionals have a large variety of tools at their disposal, such as social media followers, agency resources, and the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) to ensure your house is viewed by the most buyers. Investopedia explains why it’s risky to sell on your own without the network an agent provides:
“You don’t have relationships with clients, other agents, or a real estate agency to bring the largest pool of potential buyers to your home. A smaller pool of potential buyers means less demand for your property, which can translate into waiting longer to sell your home and possibly not getting as much money as your house is worth.”
3. A Professional Understands the Fine Print
Today, more disclosures and regulations are mandatory when selling a house. That means the number of legal documents you’ll need to juggle is growing. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) explains it best, saying:
“Selling a home typically requires a variety of forms, reports, disclosures, and other legal and financial documents. . . . Also, there’s a lot of jargon involved in a real estate transaction; you want to work with a professional who can speak the language.”
A real estate professional knows exactly what needs to happen, what all the paperwork means, and how to work through it efficiently. They’ll help you review the documents and avoid any costly missteps that could occur if you try to handle them on your own.
4. A Professional Is a Trained Negotiator
If you sell without a professional, you’ll also be solely responsible for all the negotiations. That means you’ll have to coordinate with:
- The buyer, who wants the best deal possible
- The buyer’s agent, who will use their expertise to advocate for the buyer
- The inspection company, which works for the buyer and will almost always find concerns with the house
- The appraiser, who assesses the property’s value to protect the lender
Instead of going toe-to-toe with all these parties alone, lean on an expert. They’ll know what levers to pull, how to address everyone’s concerns, and when you may want to get a second opinion.
5. A Professional Knows How To Set the Right Price for Your House
If you sell your house on your own, you may over or undershoot your asking price. That could mean you’ll leave money on the table because you priced it too low or your house will sit on the market because you priced it too high. Pricing a house requires expertise.
“A great real estate agent will look at your home with an unbiased eye, providing you with the information you need to enhance marketability and maximize price.”
Real estate professionals know the ins and outs of how to price your house accurately and competitively. To do so, they compare your house to recently sold homes in your area and factor in the current condition of your home. These steps are key to making sure it’s set to move quickly while still getting you the highest possible final sale price.
Whether it’s following local and national trends and guiding you through a shifting market or pricing your house right, a real estate agent has essential insights you’ll want to rely on throughout the transaction. Don’t go at it alone. If you plan to sell, reach out to a local real estate professional so you have an expert on your side.
July 4, 2022
The Botto Team
Assessing the best return for your investment is paramount when undertaking home improvement projects. This means putting a priority on the jobs that are likely to be more valuable than others.
Summer is an ideal time to get outside and invest your time, money, and resources in a project that is going to pay back when it comes time to sell your home. We recommend investing in these top five outdoor home improvements:
1. Build a deck or patio. A deck or patio not only adds visual interest and enjoyment, it is also a way to add to the resale value of your home. There are many designs and approaches to consider so start with a trip to your local library to research ideas and choose an approach that fits your time and budget. Be sure to plan well ahead and to check your municipal building requirements as a building permit may be required for decks above a certain size and height.
2. Install a sprinkler system. On average, homeowners use 50 per cent more water than necessary on their lawns. This increases hydro bills and may subject your basement to seepage and your garden from damage from over watering.
Automatic lawn sprinkler systems are designed to allow proper irrigation through timing and even water distribution. Although there’s an initial cost of installation, you could save money in the long run.
3. Landscape your property. Landscaping is a great way to add visual interest to an outdoor living space. Whether planning a garden or building a pond, landscaping often results in a significant return on your investment. However, always consult a trained professional before tackling a landscaping project to ensure that your project has all the elements of a professional project.
4. Build or replace a fence. Defining the limits of your property is important for a variety of reasons, including privacy, security and safety. Considering your specific needs will help you to choose the right fence. Ultimately, the fence has to fit with how you use your yard. Do your research and consult with neighbours to determine if you can complete the project jointly.
5. Re-shingle a tired roof. A strong, durable roof is an essential component of your home’s overall health and functionality. If your roof is showing signs of wear, such as raised shingles or water seepage, choosing a qualified roofing contractor is a good first step. If you decide to do the job yourself, you’ll want to estimate the materials required accurately, consider disposal options for the old shingles, and ensure that you have plenty of hands available to make light work of a rigorous one-day job.
May 25, 2022
The Botto Team
Inspectors typically arrive about 30 minutes earlier than the scheduled time—so you might see them in your yard or outside your complex earlier than expected.
Clear all furniture, boxes, clothes, and other personal items that may block access to the furnace, water heater, electrical panels, attic access, crawlspaces, etc. Inspectors are unable to enter inaccessible areas.
Ensure that filters are clear in furnaces, air conditioners, vents, drains, etc., and clear out areas under sinks to be inspected.
If possible, avoid using your shower stalls on the day of inspection.
Have the house cleaned & presentable. In most cases, the prospective buyer will be attending the inspection and will feel better having another great impression of the property.
The fewer problems an inspector finds with the property, the better the property's overall image to the prospective buyer.
Inspectors require access to areas outside the home as well as the interior. Clear a path around the home, paying attention to branches and brush, moving trash cans & other blockages, especially in the winter. The inspector will want to see the foundation and things like outside electrical outlets & faucets. These extra efforts contribute in the overall appearance of your house, as well.
If there are pets in the home, please take them with you or have them secured away to avoid disruptions.
Inspections typically last about 3 - 4 hours and are primarily VISUAL. Inspectors will look at the roof, attic, & crawl space areas, plus they will remove the cover from the electrical panel.
It is best that you are absent during this process, as you would be for a showing. Typically, one of our team is in attendance, whenever possible.
May 24, 2022
The Botto Team
If recent headlines about rising inflation are making you wonder, if it's still a good time to buy a home, here is what the experts have to say.
Housing is an Asset That Typically Grows in Value
'If you have cash and are experiencing inflation, you want to think through where you can put your money so it does not lose value. Housing is commonly looked at as a good inflation hedge..."
~ Ali Wolf
Cheif Economist, Zonda
Your Mortgage Helps Stabilize Your Monthly Housing Costs
"A fixed-rate mortgage allows you to maintain the biggest portion of housing expenses at the same payment. Sure, property taxes will rise and other expenses may creep up, but your monthly housing payment remains the same. That's certainly not the case if you are renting"
~ James Royal
Senior Wealth Management Reporter, Bankrate
Buying Protects Your From Rising Rents
"Homeowners are shielded from mounting rental prices because their cost is fixed, regardless of what's happening in the market. Tangible assets like real estate get more valuable over time, which makes buying a home a good way to spend your money during inflationary times"
~ Natalie Camisi
Advisor Staff, Forbes
May 19, 2022
The Botto Team
When selling your home, nothing looks quite as good as a well-manicured front garden or beautifully decorated balcony. While many homeowners focus on the interiors of their homes, a property’s exterior can make all the difference, adding to its appeal and boosting its resale value.
And, a home’s exterior plays an important role in shaping a prospective purchasers’ decisions. As a first impression, these areas help set the tone and encourage buyers to visualize themselves owning the home.
An attractive exterior doesn’t have to break the bank. There are a number of ways you can create a stunning outside environment without much effort or money. Here are just a few tips to carry you through the selling season:
Clear the clutter. One of the easiest ways to make any outdoor space come to life is to keep it clean and tidy. This lets buyers visualize how they will make the space their own when it trades hands.
Easy container gardens. Planted containers can add a charming look and feel to entranceways and balconies. When picking pots, look for similar styles that vary in size for a nuanced appeal.
Drought-tolerant plants. Flowerbeds and plants are often a great way to add a splash of colour to any exterior. For maximum effect, choose an assortment of perennials and annuals that require less water and are able to withstand hot summer days.
Don’t forget to fertilize. Though sunlight and water are usually enough, periodically feeding your plants essential nutrients will promote lavish growth and ensure consistent flowering.
May 11, 2022
The Botto Team
If you’re working on a home improvement project – whether for you to enjoy, or in preparation to put your property on the market – you may be interested to know which renos will give you the most bang for your buck.
A kitchen renovation is the most worthwhile home improvement, and has the potential to increase the value of your property by 20%, according to a recent survey of Royal LePage experts.
“A kitchen is perceived as the gathering place and the heart of the home,” said Mike Heddle, broker and team leader, Royal LePage State Realty. “When a potential buyer views a home for the first time, the one thing that will stand out – for better or worse – is what the kitchen looked and felt like. They may not remember the size of the bedrooms or the colour of the walls, but they will remember the kitchen.”
Highlights from the national release:
Royal LePage professionals say, on average, bathroom renovations can increase the value of a home by 16%
Finished basements and basement apartments have the potential to increase a home’s value by 15%, according to survey results.
Outdoor entertaining space and landscaping have the potential to increase a property’s value by an average of 10%, according to respondents.
For Canadians looking for general guidance on where to invest in their home renovation projects, 87% of surveyed experts recommend interior renovations.
For more insights, read the full press release and check out the data chart.
May 4, 2022
The Botto Team
One of the biggest concerns for a homeowner looking to sell is the time they’ll have to put in before listing their house. If that’s the case for you, you should know – your home might be closer to list-ready than you think in today’s housing market. A survey of recent sellers from realtor.com finds that many were able to get their house ready in less than a month. It says:
“With many homeowners expecting a quick sale, and in many cases a lack of contingencies, the preparation process took less than a month for over 50% of home sellers this past year, with 20% completing it in less than two weeks.”
Those sellers expecting to sell quickly are following recent buyer trends. With mortgage rates and home prices rising, buyers in today’s market are serious about finding a home quickly. But with the limited number of homes for sale, there are very few options for those buyers to choose from. That means many may be willing to take on projects after they purchase.
Because of this, you may be able to focus on less time-consuming tasks before putting your house on the market. According to the survey mentioned above, some of the top things recent sellers completed before listing over the past year include landscaping, making minor cosmetic updates, and touching-up paint.
A Real Estate Advisor Will Help Streamline the Process and Keep You Focused
Of course, each situation is different and knowing what repairs or updates your house needs to stand out in your local area is critical. That’s where a trusted real estate professional comes in.
In a recent article, NextAdvisor explains:
“. . . Real estate can be hyper-local, and demand can vary from one neighborhood to the next. It’s a good idea to work with a local real estate professional to determine an ideal listing price and if any improvements or repairs need to be completed before putting your home on the market.”
Your trusted real estate advisor knows the ins and outs of the market in your specific area. They’ll help you identify the places where you should and shouldn’t spend your time and money – and that can enable you to list quickly.
If you’re ready to take advantage of the incredible conditions for sellers in today’s real estate market but are worried about the time it’ll take to get your home ready, you might be closer than you think. Partner with a local real estate advisor to see what you need to do before listing your house today.
April 20, 2022
The Botto Team
In the last few weeks, the Bank of Canada has raised its overnight rate +0.75% . While that news may have you questioning the timing of your home search, the truth is, timing has never been more important. Even though you may be tempted to put your plans on hold in hopes that prices or rates will fall, waiting will only cost you more. (READ MORE HERE) and, Mortgage rates are forecast to continue rising in the year ahead.
If you’re thinking of buying a home, here are a few things to keep in mind so you can succeed even as mortgage rates rise.
How Rising Mortgage Rates Impact You
Mortgage rates play a significant role in your home search. As rates go up, they impact how much you’ll pay in your monthly mortgage payment, which directly affects how much you can comfortably afford. So it is important to buy when RATES are LOW, not when PRICES are LOW.
With mortgage rates on the rise, you’ve likely seen your purchasing power impacted already. Instead of delaying your plans, today’s rates should motivate you to purchase now before rates increase more. Use that motivation to energize your search and plan your next steps accordingly.
The best way to prepare is to work with a trusted real estate advisor now. An agent can connect you with a trusted lender, help you adjust your search based on your budget, and make sure you’re ready to act quickly when it’s time to make an offer.
Serious buyers should approach rising rates as a motivating factor to buy sooner, not a reason to wait. Waiting will cost you more in the long run. Work with a real estate professional to understand your budget and how you can be prepared to buy your home before rates climb higher.
April 7, 2022
The Botto Team
Lots of things swirling in our industry at the moment. Here is a summary of the latest happenings:
INTEREST RATES ON THE RISE
The Bank of Canada recently increased its overnight policy rate by 25 basis points to 0.50 per cent, and on April 13, you can bet there is another hike coming. Want to know how to prepare for rising rates? Check out this short video that provides a great explanation:
“COOLING OFF PERIOD”
The NDP is going to legislate what it calls a “cooling off” period for homebuyers under the Property Law Act so they can walk away from the contract for any reason. It remains to be seen if this measure will actually address the heated market & help to bring prices down.
How will this impact YOU?
There is a recission period in the purchase of new Construction in BC. It has been in place for many years; the intention was to protect Buyers in a situation where the other side is a more sophisticated party to the sale – a large Developer, with their own sales staff, their own contracts, and no physical property to show. Clearly in this case there is more of a chance the Buyer is at a disadvantage.
In a typical residential real estate transaction, both sides are generally represented by real estate professionals, and there is more of a level playing field.
The notion of a Homebuyer’s Protection Period is good. Buyers DO need time for professional due diligence. Prices are at an all time high; this is not an insignificant decision.
For Sellers –
At this point, with the limited information we have, we can presume there is going to be some uncertainty for you – until this recission period is over, you are not going to make any solid plans.
For All –
There are many details missing at this point. How long is the cooling-off period? Will there be a penalty if you walk away & how much – and will this legislation change as the market shifts? EG. Would it be necessary in a market that ultimately favors Buyers, for example?.
Our BC Real Estate Association offered what we feel is a healthier solution. A five-business-day delay in accepting bids following a listing. This would adjust the process of homebuying, be of benefit to both buyers and sellers, and create less uncertainty.
More importantly for the consumer, our industry’s proposal has a better chance of ensuring due diligence is actually performed by the Buyer so that they can be protected, rather than just having the ability to walk away.
And a note on the timing of this legislation. We are in a time of increasing inflation. We are seeing interest rates rising, and inventory increasing. That is beginning to temper demand. It is likely that by year end that this policy may be unnecessary.
THE FEDERAL BUDGET
The Federal Budget 2022 was housing-focused, with a significant amount of funding going towards quickly creating new, and diverse housing.
The government plans to restrict foreign buyers and add a flipping tax on homes sold within 12 months of purchase.
First-time buyers will also get tax credit and access to a new, tax-free First Home Savings Account.
Check out the budget online: 2022 Federal Budget
March 24, 2022
The Botto Team
If you’re thinking about selling your house this spring, here are some things you’ll want to tackle before you list.
Spend your time on tasks that make it feel inviting, show it’s cared for, and boost your curb appeal.
To determine the full list of things you’ll want to tackle for your home, you need the opinion of a trusted expert. Partner with a real estate professional to help make sure your house shows well this season.
March 16, 2022
The Botto Team
Four things to know about heat pumps
Heat pumps are an energy-efficient way of transferring heat in and out of a home.
Here are four things you should know about heat pumps.
Heat pumps work like refrigerators
Refrigerators move heat energy from one place to another. A heat pump does this throughout a home, moving hot air out of the house in the summer and bringing warm air into the house in the winter. Air is heated and cooled through the evaporation and condensation cycles of a refrigerant.
This unique design makes it both a heating system and an air conditioner.
Choose the heat pump that’s right for your home
There are several different styles of heat pumps.
If you’re thinking about installing one, ask yourself:
- Should you use your home’s existing ducts or does it make more sense to use a ventless option?
- What options are better for smaller homes or homes with open layouts?
- Is your home located in a colder climate?
Costs and rebates
The cost of installing and maintaining heat pumps can vary significantly depending on several factors like the type of heat pump, the size of your home, and other design and installation considerations. Make sure you receive and compare multiple quotes.
Rebates are available. CleanBC Better Homes has a rebate search tool on their website that displays all available rebates for heat pump installations and more.
Environmental benefits inside and outside the home
Heat pumps usually offer airflow and dehumidification controls, and many offer enhanced filtration systems to clean the air inside your home from pollutants, dust, and allergens.
If your home is connected to BC’s electrical grid (as most are), a heat pump can help reduce your carbon footprint by about the same amount as not driving your car for approximately nine months. They use anywhere from a half to a third as much energy as electric baseboards or gas furnaces.
For more information, read CleanBC Better Homes heat pump information and FAQ page.
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