Market News

 

 

When you put your home up for sale, you want it to look its best to potential buyers. That’s why you clean, tidy and de-clutter every room.

 

Some sellers, however, miss the backyard. You need to pay just as much attention to that space as you do to the interior of your home. The backyard is as important a living space as the family room. To some buyers, even more.

 

Buyers want to see an attractive backyard space, with the grass cut and the hedges trimmed. The more neat and tidy you can make it, the better. Be sure to sweep walkways and wipe down patio furniture.

 

Also, watch out for the following things that buyers do not want to see:

 

  • Bags of garage and other waste.
  • Doggie do-do. (Be sure to stoop and scoop!)
  • Rakes and other tools piled in the corner.
  • Cluttered and disorganized storage sheds, pool huts and other backyard structures.
  • Weeds in the flower beds.
  • Items stored underneath the deck.
  • Hoses not stowed neatly.
  • Electrical outlets and water faucets that don’t work.

 

These are not difficult issues to fix. Doing so will positively impact the impression the buyer gets of your backyard.

 

Do you have a backyard that shows particularly well in the summer? Here’s a tip: Take pictures. Those photos will help buyers be able to appreciate how it looks should you list your home in the winter.

 

Want more tips on making your home show well so that it sells fast? Call today.

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When you’re thinking of selling your home and buying another, you face the inevitable question: Should I list my property first or buy my new home first?

 

Let’s take a look at both options.

 

If you attempt to buy a property before listing your home, you run into a couple of challenges.

 

First, sellers may not take you seriously as a potential buyer. After all, you haven’t put your own home up for sale. As far as they’re concerned, you might merely be testing the market.

 

Second, your property might not sell as quickly as you thought it would. If there is an early closing date on the home you purchased, you might end up owning, and paying a mortgage on both properties, at least until your home sells.

 

If, on the other hand, you list your property before buying a new home, sellers will know you’re serious. That puts you in a competitive position in the event of multiple offers.

 

Also, if your home sells quickly, you’ll have the peace-of-mind of knowing exactly how much of a new home you can afford. You’ll be able to shop with confidence.

 

Of course, like the first option, there is a chance that the closing dates won’t match and you’ll end up owning two properties for a period of time. However, solutions such as bridge financing are available to help.

 

So, there is no perfect answer. A lot depends on the state of the local market.

 

Looking for a good REALTOR® who can help you decide which is the best move for you? Call Scott today 604.338.6414

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

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House price

 

If you’re thinking of shopping for a new home, one of the first considerations
is price range. You want to know what you can reasonably afford.


How do you figure that out?


First of all, you need to determine the initial out-of-pocket costs you will
need to cover. There are often more costs associated with purchasing a
home than its actual price. You need to take into account such additional
expenses as moving costs, legal fees, and a home inspection, not to
mention the costs of prepping your current property for sale.


Experts say you should budget 5-10% above the purchase price for these
items. So if you can afford to spend $470K on a new home, you should be
shopping in the $425-445K range.


Another factor to consider are the potential proceeds from the sale of your
current home. Your REALTOR® can help you determine how much your
property will likely sell for in today’s market. Any existing mortgage will need
to be subtracted from that amount to determine how much cash will be left.


Of course, you should speak to a mortgage broker or lender who can
compute how much of a mortgage you qualify for. Remember, qualifying for
a big mortgage doesn’t necessarily mean you should have one. You also
need to consider your personal finances and desired lifestyle – and whether
or not having a large mortgage is a good idea for you.


Once you have gathered all of your information, you can add any potential
sale proceeds to the amount of mortgage you qualify for, add other sources
of cash available for this purpose and subtract 5-10% for initial expenses,
and you’ll have an idea of the price range you should be considering.


Finally, it’s important to take the time to decide what kind of home you want.
Do you want a large backyard with trees? A quiet, family-oriented
neighbourhood? Four bedrooms and a finished basement? Once you
decide what you want most in a new home, it becomes much easier to find
one that’s in your price range.

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mold

 

There are many hidden sources of moisture in your home that can lead to serious problems, such as mould. To keep moisture levels in check, consider these tips:

 

• Bathrooms are an obvious source of moisture build-up. Contractor and TV personality Mike Holmes recommends keeping the fan going for at least a half hour after a shower.

 

• Check regularly for water infiltration around window and door sills, as well as other intakes into the home, such as dryer vents and cable wiring.

 

• Determine the humidity level in your home. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, it should be 30-60%. (Keep in mind that humidity may vary greatly from room to room.)

 

• Regularly inspect caulking around sinks, tubs and showers. Even a tiny break can cause water to leak gradually into the wall or floor, causing damage you may not notice for months.

 

• Clean up wet spills as soon as possible. On hardwood floors especially, water can seep through and become trapped.

 

• Repair leaking faucets, toilets and pipes immediately. A drip can quickly become a shower. Being mindful of moisture today can help you avoid potentially high repair bills later on.

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You would have to visit your local pharmacy or science lab to rival the
number of potentially dangerous chemicals in the average home. You likely
store everything from fertilizers and acidic cleaners to gasoline and
corrosive drain openers.


Obviously, it makes sense to ensure that everyone in your home uses and
stores such items safely.


For example, laundry detergent packs – which have become popular
recently – are attractive to children. Keep them locked and out of sight. You
should do the same with all laundry products. Even exposure to fabric
softener pads can cause skin irritation to a child.


Always read and follow the labels on household chemical products. Use and
store them as directed.


Keep corrosives, such as harsh cleaners and drain openers, separate from
other chemicals and in a place where, should they leak, they will cause
minimal or no damage.


Also, never put a chemical in anything other than its original container. You
don’t want to take the chance that paint thinner stored in an old water bottle,
for example, is mistaken for water!


Finally, make sure you have the phone number to your local Poison Control
Center in a handy place, such as your fridge door. (You can find a list of
numbers at www.CAPCC.ca in Canada and www.AAPCC.org in the U.S.)

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When some people think about selling their home, they imagine all the things they will have to do: paint the kitchen, clean closets, prepare for viewings, find another home, arrange financing, start packing, etc. It can all seem very overwhelming very quickly.

 

In fact, the long to-do list you imagine you’ll have to deal with may dissuade you from making a move!

 

It doesn't have to be that way.

 

There are many ways to make selling your home and buying another relatively simple and easy.

 

Sure, there will be some work to do. You may need to prepare your property so that it looks appealing to potential buyers – cleaning, decluttering, doing some repairs, etc. Of course, you will also need to view some properties for sale in order to find your next dream home.

 

But those activities may not be as time-consuming or difficult as you had imagined. In fact, you and your family might actually enjoy the experience – and see it as an adventure.

 

The trick is to work with the right REALTOR®, someone who can guide you through the process, show you the shortcuts, and generally make things easier for you.

 

It's a little like baking your first cake from scratch. The task seems daunting, unless you have a master baker by your side to guide you step-by-step through the process. Then it's a lot easier, and even fun!

 

That's what a good REALTOR® can do for you. Looking for one? Call today 604.338.6414.

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home buyers

 

Buyers are more likely to make an offer on your home if they see a lot of things they love about it. So what do buyers love to see?

 

One of the main things they like to see is a lot of space. Of course, you can't change the size of your rooms, but there is a lot you can do to make small spaces in your home seem more spacious.

 

Buyers also love to see a clean and uncluttered home. Think of how inviting a hotel room looks at first glance, with everything neat and organized. Of course, your home isn't a hotel, but the more neat and attractive you can make each room, the better.

 

One thing buyers don't love to see is potential maintenance issues. So as much as possible, get things fixed or updated.

 

In fact, the more "finished" and "move in ready" your home looks, the more likely a buyer is to make an offer.

 

Don't forget the surrounding neighbourhood either. A buyer may not take the time to explore the area, so be sure to make a list of the most appealing features. You might want to take a picture of the brand new playground just down the street or print off a local map showing nearby shopping, theatre and other points of interest.

 

It's not about creating a false impression. Rather, it's about making your home look its best and drawing attention to its most enticing features.

 

Want more home selling tips? Call today.

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Child proof your home

 

If you have young children, or expect a visit from friends or relatives with
little ones in tow, it pays to ensure your home is free of hazards. The last
thing you want is an injury that could have easily been prevented.


Here are some basic childproofing tips.


• Remove everything that is toxic, hot or sharp, from within reach of a
child. (For example, the leaves of some types of house plants are
toxic.)


• If possible, keep children out of the kitchen while cooking.


• Install plug-in covers in electrical outlets. (These are inexpensive and
can be purchased at any hardware store.)


• Block or gate off areas where kids may fall.


• Remove "pulling down" hazards, such as a heavy plant that a child
can pull off a table.


• Make sure there are screens on all open windows.

 

•Finally, watch your pets. Even the most gentle dog or cat can act
unpredictably around children – especially if they're not used to them.

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Have you ever attended an "Open House" advertised in your area or in a
community you like? Most people have. Even if you're not serious about
moving, viewing a few properties in a neighbourhood you like is a great way
to get a sense of the market.


Who knows? You might stumble upon your next dream home!
To get the most out of an open house, follow these guidelines:
• Most open houses will have a handout available containing the list
price and other property information. Be sure to keep a copy.
• Don't just view the rooms. Explore the entire property, including the
backyard.
• Don't be shy about asking the listing agent (or whoever is hosting the
open house) questions about the property.
• Ask about the area. Are there schools nearby? Where is the nearest
park or playground located?
• Ask about potential required repairs and renovations. For example, if
the furnace is more than 15 years old, it may need to be replaced
soon.
• Walk around the neighbourhood. Try to get a sense of what it's like to
live there. If possible, chat with a neighbour.
Finally, if you become interested in the home, be sure to advise the listing
agent that your own REALTOR® will be following up. Otherwise, the listing
agent might assume that he or she will be representing you.


Looking for a good REALTOR® to have by your side? Call today.

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Many people order an espresso or reach for an energy drink when they need a boost. However, there are other foods that can give you a similar increase in energy and are, arguably, a lot healthier. Here are a few examples:

 

Coconut oil. It contains high quantities of medium chain fats, which are a quick source of energy.

 

Honey. It tastes sweet because it's a natural form of sugar. As we all know, sugar gives you a quick boost.

 

Iron containing foods. Lack of iron in your diet can leave you feeling sluggish. Adding more beans, spinach, and lentils to your diet – perhaps in salads – can help boost your iron levels. 

 

Nuts. Almonds, cashews and other nutrient-rich nuts are the ideal quick snack for an energy boost.

 

Dark chocolate. It’s great news for chocolate lovers, but keep the portions small.

 

Finally, not drinking enough water can also rob you of energy. In fact, water may be the best energy-boosting "food" of them all.

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If you're like most people, you go to see a doctor when you're not feeling well or have a health concern. However, you may also visit your doctor for a check-up, or to ask questions about healthy living.

 

In fact, consulting your doctor for anything health-related is a smart idea.

 

The same holds true when it comes to real estate.

 

Many people only call a REALTOR® when they're planning on selling their property or buying a new home, or both. While that's an important reason to speak to a REALTOR®, it's not the only reason.

 

Indeed, there are many good reasons for you to give a good REALTOR® a call. For example:

 

If you have a question about the state of the local real estate market. (Remember that it may be very different from what you hear on the news about the national market.)

 

If you want to get a sense of what homes are currently selling for in the area.

 

If you want to determine the current market value of your property.

 

If you want to find out how much homes cost in neighbourhoods you'd like to consider.

 

If you're thinking about the possibility of making a move, but you’re not sure if it’s the right time.

 

In other words, don't be afraid to contact a good REALTOR® when you have a question or need some advice about the real estate market.

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Electricity in the home is so commonplace that it's easy to forget how

dangerous it can be. According to the American Institute for Preventive

Medicine, an electrical shock can knock you unconscious, cause a serious

burn, or even stop your heartbeat.

 

Fortunately, there are some simple things you can do to reduce the risk.

 

• Install safety plugs in outlets that young children can reach.

 

• Never plug in anything with a frayed or otherwise damaged power

cord.

 

• Never use a plugged-in computer, hair dryer, or other electricallypowered

item near a filled sink or bathtub. This includes phones with

power cords.

 

• Never touch anything electrical with wet hands or while standing in

water. (Water is a remarkably efficient conductor of electricity.)

 

• Always turn off the appropriate breaker before doing any electrical

work, such as installing a new light fixture.

 

• When replacing a broken light bulb, turn off the breaker first.

Although the glass is broken, the filament may still be conducting

electricity.

 

Finally, unless you're an expert or an electrician, never do any major

electrical work on your own. Hire a professional.

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Unless you're a real estate expert, you probably look at the market and think
things are pretty confusing. Even a bit crazy! You hear news about “bubbles
bursting”, “higher or lower home sales in a particular month”, “new home
starts” that are up or down, and on and on it goes.
It’s a lot of news and a lot of jargon.
If you're thinking of selling your home within the next year or two, you will
want to understand what's happening in the market so you can make the
right decisions and get a clear sense of what to expect. So, how do you
make sense of it all?
That's where a good REALTOR® can help.
Even if you don't have any definite plans to move in the near future, a
REALTOR® who is an expert in the local marketplace can help you
understand what homes in a particular neighbourhood are selling for, and
what you can expect to get should you decide to list your property.
Getting to know a REALTOR® also means you’ll have a trusted expert to
talk to from time to time, when you have real estate-related questions.
You’ll have someone you can think of as "Your REALTOR®".
Plus, when the time comes to sell your property, you won't have to deal with
a stranger. Instead, you'll be able to work with a REALTOR® that you know
well -- and who knows YOU. Overall, that will make the buying and selling
process go more smoothly and more successfully.
Looking for a good REALTOR® who wants to get to know you? Call today!

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Many people only see a doctor when they're sick or have some other health concern. On the other hand, some people visit a doctor regularly for check-ups, to ask questions and get advice, and to maintain good health.

 

Which do you think is the better approach? Obviously, the second one!

 

The same thing is true when it comes to real estate. Even if you have no current plans to buy or sell a home, there are many reasons to talk to a REALTOR® regularly in order to maintain your good "real estate" health. For example, you can:

 

Get an assessment of the current market value of your home, so you can make an informed decision about whether to stay or move.

 

Ask about the state of the local real estate market (which may be vastly different than what you hear on the national news.)

 

Find out what homes are currently selling for in the area.

 

Learn what's currently available on the market, especially in neighbourhoods you would like to live in and that are within your budget.

 

Ask for a contractor recommendation.

 

In fact, it's a good idea to have a chat with your REALTOR® once or twice a year, even if it's just to say hello. 

 

You want to build a relationship with a good REALTOR® who understands (and cares about) you and your needs. That way, when it does come time for you to make a move, you're dealing with a REALTOR® you already know and trust.

 

Don't have a good REALTOR®? Call today!

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Thinking about installing wood floors? The first decision you need to make involves the type. According to the National Wood Flooring Association, there are four types:

 

  • Unfinished. This type requires you or your installer to sand and apply a finish. If you want a specific colour or style, or you're trying to match existing flooring, this might be the best option for you.

 

  • Factory finished. As the name suggests, this is flooring that has its finish applied in the factory. Although it is more expensive, factory finished flooring can be installed faster and can be walked upon immediately.

 

  • Solid. This is flooring that is made from a solid piece of wood, top to bottom. The advantage is that it can be sanded and refinished many times over the years, or even decades.

 

  • Engineered. This is flooring that is made of thin layers of wood pressed together. It can be engineered to be very durable and expand and contract less than solid flooring.

 

The type you choose depends on your needs. Talk to your dealer or contractor about your specific application.

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Vancouver, BC - Activity in the Greater Vancouver housing market continued to strengthen in March with both the number of homes sold and added to the region’s Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) reaching near record levels.  

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales of detached, attached and apartment properties in Greater Vancouver reached 4,080 in March 2011. This represents a 31.7 per cent increase compared to the 3,097 sales recorded in February 2011, an increase of 30.1 per cent compared to the 3,137 sales in March 2010 and an 80.1 per cent increase from the 2,265 home sales in March 2009. The all-time sales record for March occurred in 2004 when 4,371 transactions were recorded. 

“Our market has had a very strong start to the spring season,” Rosario Setticasi, REBGV president said. “With home sales above 4,000 and nearly 7,000 home listings added to the MLS® in March, it’s clear that home buyers and sellers view this as a good time to be active in their local housing market.”

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Greater Vancouver totalled 6,797 in March 2011. This represents a 3 per cent decline compared to March 2010 when 7,004 properties were listed for sale on the MLS®, an all-time record for March. Compared to February 2011, last month’s new listings total registered a 19.4 per cent increase.

At, 13,110, the total number of residential property listings on the MLS® increased 9.9 per cent in March compared to last month and declined 3 per cent from this time last year.

“Conditions favour sellers at the moment, but we’re seeing differences in home-price trends and overall activity depending on the region and property type,” Setticasi said.

The MLSLink® Housing Price Index (HPI) benchmark price for all residential properties in Greater Vancouver over the last 12 months has increased 5.4 per cent to $615,810 in March 2011 from $584,435 in March 2010.

Sales of detached properties on the MLS® in March 2011 reached 1,795, an increase of 34.4 per cent from the 1,336 detached sales recorded in March 2010, and a 100.1 per cent increase from the 897 units sold in March 2009. The benchmark price for detached properties increased 8.3 per cent from March 2010 to $866,806.

Sales of apartment properties reached 1,622 in March 2011, a 29.6 per cent increase compared to the 1,252 sales in March 2010, and an increase of 66.2 per cent compared to the 976 sales in March 2009. The benchmark price of an apartment property increased 2.1 per cent from March 2010 to $403,885.

Attached property sales in March 2011 totalled 663, a 20.8 per cent increase compared to the 549 sales in March 2010, and a 69.1 per cent increase from the 392 attached properties sold in March 2009. The benchmark price of an attached unit increased 3.6 per cent between March 2010 and 2011 to $511,039.

 

For more information please contact:
Craig Munn, Assistant Manager, Communications
Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver
Phone: (604) 730-3146
E-mail:
cmunn@rebgv.org

 

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Our Neighbourhoods

Delta, Vancouver
Ladner, Vancouver
Tsawwassen, Vancouver

Contact

Sutton Group Seafair Realty

1625 56th Street Delta
B.C. V4M 2B1

Cell 604-338-6414
Office 604-227-0026
Fax 1-866-347-5107

scott@realestateindelta.com