Our latest ramblings.
Enjoy! We definitely have important things to say!
Our latest ramblings.
Enjoy! We definitely have important things to say!
The process to purchase a home can be overwhelming and exhausting. We have laid out the details in 10 simple steps for you. As a 1-Stop Real Estate Solution, we will take care of each step to help you find your dream home. Just sit back, and relax.
1. Determine How Much You Can Afford
We consider your down payment, income, existing debt, regular expenditures, and your other key financial information to help you determine an affordable monthly payment amount that is within your price range, and most importantly, within your budget.
2. Team Up With a Real Estate Agent
Our multi-service agency allows us to team up with you! We can help you search for you dream home by becoming your personal advisor, consultant, and negotiator. We will show you the best homes out there for you!
3. Make an Offer
When you’ve found a place that you’d like to call your own, we will help you draw up an Offer to Purchase to present to the seller. This legal document specifies the price, the closing date, and any conditions.
4. Retain a Lawyer
We have an in-house law firm association that can help you look over any offers to purchase before you submit the documents – especially if you find yourself in a bidding war.
5. Arrange the Home Inspection
Many buyers consider including a home inspection as one of the conditions on their Offer to Purchase. A professional inspection is a good way to uncover major problems with the home. If the home doesn’t pass the inspection, you can adjust or withdraw your conditional offer. See our blog post that tells you what to expect from a home inspection here.
6. Get the Mortgage Approved
With a copy of the signed Offer to Purchase and the necessary financial information, we’ll submit your application to the mortgage lender that we have selected. The lender will qualify the application and complete a valuation on the property you have purchased. Mortgage insurance gives you the ability to buy a home with a down payment of less than 20% of the purchase price.
7. Get Property Insurance
Apart from the mortgage, you’ll need to purchase property insurance that protects your home against fire and other damages. Once you have a policy in place, we’ll forward a copy to the lawyer.
8. Check the Legal Details
With the deal finalized, and the financing in place, the lawyer can now search the title and check whether there are any unpaid property taxes outstanding.
9. Complete the Paperwork
A few days before the deal is set to close, you’ll meet with the lawyer to review, sign, and get copies of all the documentation. At this time, you’ll also provide the remainder of your down payment, pay legal fees, and any additional costs such as, prepaid utility expenses for which the seller should be reimbursed, that are due on closing.
10. Pick Up the Keys
On the closing day, your lawyer and the seller’s lawyer will exchange documents and cheques. Your lawyer will also register your new home in your name. When these tasks are complete, you’ll get the deed and your keys to your new home, and you can officially move in. You just purchased a home! Congratulations!
Last Wednesday, the Bank of Canada, with Stephen Poloz as the new central bank governor, decided to leave the key borrowing rate where it has been since September 2010 at 1% and said that it will keep interest rates near record lows for some time to come.
This was also the first chance for Mr. Poloz to provide input to the bank’s quarterly Monetary Policy Report — a look at economic conditions and possible threats to growth forecasts, and a document that he helped launch at the BoC before leaving to later head Economic Development Canada, the Ottawa-based export credit agency.
In Wednesday’s report, the bank said Canada’s economy is “expected to be choppy in the near term.” It forecast growth of 1.8% this year, up from an estimate of 1.5% in its April report. But for the second quarter this year alone, the bank is forecasting slower growth of about 1% reflecting the impact of the flooding on Alberta and province-wide construction strike in Quebec.
To read the Bank of Canada’s new release and report, click here.
If you have any questions regarding the above, please give us a call to discuss.
The Vancouver housing market has seen its share of ups and downs. For those lucky to have purchased a number of years ago, your home has appreciated significantly but how can that equity help your bank account and not just on paper? For many in the city of Vancouver, the answer to that question is a laneway home.
A laneway home provides many benefits to the city, the tenant and the owner of the home. The city receives the added supply of rental units while preserving the existing streetscape and character of individual neighbourhoods. The renter can benefit by the opportunity to live in a detached, ground-orientated home in an area that may have been too pricey to rent a single family home. The owner of the laneway home would instantly add more space for elderly parents looking to downsize or adult children wanting to live independently but if rented, the income stream provided would help many owners with their monthly expenses. A quick look on the internet you can find rents from $1,000 to $2,500 depending on the square footage, number of bedrooms and location. Construction cost for a laneway home are in the $150 to $250 per square foot range. With these figures in mind consider the following.
A 500 Square foot Laneway home at $200 per square foot = $100,000.
Mortgaging $100,000 for 20 years at the rate of 3.55% = $581.20 per month
Rental income from laneway $1000 + per month
Sounds like a great idea and want to know the next steps? A phone call to a local Vancouver contractor who specializes in laneway additions and new home construction would be the next step. This call will help you find out whether your property is suited for this type of project, along with the associated cost and timeline. Once it has been determined that a laneway home is possible, speaking with a Mortgage Professional will help determine the best option to access the equity of your home to fund the construction.
With the right Vancouver contractor and your financing in place, let the laneway home construction begin!
By Miranda Gathercole – Langley Times
Running a business with your son may be next to impossible for some mothers, but for Cindy Faulkner it is the perfect situation.
She and her son Mike Donovan have collaborated together to create an all-in-one mortgage broker and real estate office, BrokerSmart.
Located in the Jeske Building on the corner of 200 Street and 72 Avenue, both Faulkner and Donovan are dual licensed realtors and mortgage brokers, and have created a network within the corporate building to provide clients with legal, life and home insurance services all under one roof.
They also run a sister company in the same office, Coastal Mortgages, to work with clients looking for mortgage broker services.
“It’s more convenient for our clients, they don’t have to drive around to all different places,” Faulkner said. “We do everything, which makes it so much easier.”
Instead of home buyers and sellers having to deal with a separate real estate agent, mortgage broker, lawyer, insurance agent and more, at BrokerSmart they only have to deal with one person.
“Lots of people find it really overwhelming,” said Donovan. “It can be pretty stressful trying to pull everything together, but we make the process much simpler. We are like the project managers for real estate.”
The two Walnut Grove residents also make the perfect team, balancing each other out through Donovan’s educational background and Faulkner’s experience working in the industry for more than 20 years.
Though sometimes it’s hard to put work aside when at Sunday family dinner, Faulkner says watching her son grow in business is a very rewarding experience.
“It’s family, I raised him so I know his ethics,” Faulkner said. “I know how he would handle certain situations and it gives me comfort because I know I can rely on him. I know I can trust him and the trust factor is huge.”
“If you can make it work, it’s the better way to go,” Donovan added.
A quality home inspection provides buyers with many benefits but buyers often have misconceptions or false expectations about what a home inspection will actually provide. This can lead to a less than ideal experience. The following points are what you should expect from a home inspection.
1. A home inspection is a visual examination of the home and operating systems at the time that the inspection is done, but it is not a warranty.
2. Items that are not included in a normal home inspection are the cosmetic or esthetic features and systems such as the telephone, cable TV, alarm systems or lawn sprinklers.
3. A home inspector cannot knock out the walls to see what is behind them and will typically not move furniture. He/she cannot see through foundation, floors or walls and can only observe what is visible.
4. Also not included in a standard home inspection are inspections of swimming pools, spas, fireplaces, outbuildings or the like, although they are available as specialty services or add-ons to a home inspection.
5. A home inspection will provide buyers with an in-depth understanding of the home.
A quality home inspection can last up to three to four hours depending on the size of the home, but the intelligence gained is worth every second of your time when it comes to deciding whether you want to proceed with the purchase.
There is a lot of important information provided in a good home inspection report which should be provided either in paper or electronic format for your records. A thorough home inspection report will provide peace of mind on the purchase, outline ongoing maintenance costs to enable budgeting for the future, point out major repairs – when they will most likely be needed, how much they will likely cost – and describe good preventive measures that can be taken to optimize the home to prevent expensive surprises.
Although the Vancouver housing market is still trending below historical averages, we are starting to see subtle changes in the market. There has been an increase in the sale-to-active listing ratio and a decrease in the average amount of days for a listing to sell. There is also a lot of activity around open houses throughout the lower mainland which bodes well for the spring real estate market. See the video below from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver on the stats for the month of February 2013
19978 72nd Ave. Unit 205
Langley, B.C. V2Y 1R7