If it’s been a while since you last moved, you might be wondering how much you'll need to spend on your next home. That's an important question to answer, even if you're just at the "thinking about it" stage and haven't decided whether or not you'll look for a new property.


After all, knowing your budget might influence your decision.


How should you determine your budget?


The first step is to calculate the maximum you can spend. This involves adding the money you'll get from the sale of your current property after repaying your outstanding mortgage, to any other funds you have available to invest plus the maximum amount of mortgage you qualify to receive.


Of course, just because you may qualify for a large mortgage doesn't mean you want those bigger payments. So, the second step is to think about your needs. What features are a must in your next home? For example, you might want four bedrooms and anything less would be a deal-breaker.


Make a "must-have list". That list can by used to find a baseline of properties on the market — and then find their average asking price. This will give you an idea of what it would cost to find a home that meets your must-have list.


The third step is to go beyond needs and consider the features you want. These might not be deal-breakers, but you'd sure love to have them in your next home. They could be a large deck, a location in a desirable neighbourhood, a big country kitchen, etc.


Ask yourself how much you would be willing to pay for those desirable features. $20,000? $50,000?


Once you've gone through these steps, you'll have the information you need to match your needs and wants to what's available on the market — and you’ll know how much you might expect to pay for your next home.
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When you sell, you’ll probably want to get the best possible price for your property. Who wouldn’t? Unfortunately, there are many ways to inadvertently leave money on the table – sometimes thousands of dollars.


How do you avoid that possibility? Just remember the 4 Ps:


  • Prep. Do everything you can to prepare your home so that it looks great to buyers. Clean, declutter, fix, make improvements. Home staging can also help. In fact, effectively staged homes have been shown to sell for up to 5% more than comparable unstaged properties.
  • Price. Set the right asking price. That’s crucial. If it's too low, you'll attract only deal-hunters — and you might end up getting less than you should. If the asking price is too high, however, you'll discourage those buyers who might otherwise be interested and willing to make a good offer. Be careful with pricing!
  • Promotion. There may be qualified buyers out there who would be eager to see your property. But, they need to find out about your listing and the great features of your home first! Reaching these buyers requires more than merely profiling the listing on the MLS. Homes that sell for top dollar often have strong marketing — directed to the right buyers.
  • Proposal. Once an offer comes in, there may be an opportunity to negotiate with the buyer to maximize the final price you get. This requires deep knowledge of the local market as well as street-smart negotiation skills. If done effectively, these negotiations can help put more money in your pocket.

These four Ps are easy to remember, but sometimes not so easy to implement! That's why working with a great real estate agent is so important. Contact me to get the conversation started.

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Here's a surprising statistic. Less than 30% of window replacements are the result of the old windows being worn, broken or otherwise in need of replacement.


Clearly, there are other good reasons to consider new windows!


One of the most popular motivations is cosmetic. Brand new windows have a huge impact on the overall look of a home, both on the inside and the outside. New windows can improve curb appeal — an important element when you sell a home. From the inside, new windows can dramatically improve the look of a room.


Another reason to replace windows is to address energy costs. Modern windows are packed with technologies that lower heating/cooling bills. From low-e/argon to special spacer bars to high-insulating construction, these technologies can provide savings you'll notice, especially if you're replacing very old windows.


A third reason is window style and characteristics. Simply put, you may not like your current windows! You may want more glass and less frame to enhance your view. Maybe your windows pull up (vertical sliders) when you'd rather have them open like a door (casements). Perhaps you'd like fancy blinds in-between the panes of glass. Replacing windows lets you get exactly the look and features you want.


Will new windows boost the resale value of your home? They might, at least a little. But there's one thing for certain: upgraded windows definitely make your home look more appealing to buyers.

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If you're thinking about buying a new home, you may be considering purchasing in a new development.

       

How does that compare to purchasing a resale property?

       

Buying a newly-built home has some advantages. Depending on the development, you may have leeway in the style of the home and the lot you choose. Also, when the home is built, you'll be moving into a place where everything is brand new!

       

On the downside, however, you may be forced to make a decision based purely on marketing brochures and floor plans. Unless there's a model home just like the one you want, you'll be buying sight unseen. Also, there may be unpredictable construction delays — an unpleasant experience if you've already sold your current property.

       

Of course, buying a resale home may also have a downside. For example, the house might need work, such as a new roof. What you see is pretty much what you get. And, that’s true for the floor plan too. You can't ask for the living room to be five feet wider, unless you decide to renovate.

       

On the other hand, a big advantage of a resale home is moving into a neighbourhood that is already there for you to see and explore. Unlike in a new development, you can get a very clear idea of what it’s going to be like to live there.    

       

Plus, you get to see the house too!

       

Regardless of which way you go, I can help you make the best decision and find the home that's perfect for you. Call today.

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On moving day, you'll have a big task. You’ll need to get your possessions from your old property to your new one — ideally without delays or damage! Surprisingly, many people underestimate the time and costs involved in doing that. Careful planning and budgeting are crucial to ensuring moving day goes smoothly.

You basically have three options:

  1. Hire a moving company to handle everything.
  2. Hire a truck and crew, while doing some of the work yourself. (For example, you can pack and help with loading.)
  3. Do it all yourself by renting a moving van and getting friends and family to help.

If you're going with option one, get quotations as early in the buying/selling process as possible. Services, costs and quality vary widely among full-service moving companies.

If you're going to do some or all of the move yourself, the best place to start is by making a list of what you'll need. In addition to renting a moving van, or hiring a truck and crew, there are many supplies you may require. For example, you’ll need boxes, protective fill and/or wrapping (i.e. bubble wrap), markers for labeling boxes, packing tape, and more.

You may decide to rely on friends to help load the truck on moving day. That's fine. Just be sure you have enough people to do the job within a reasonable timeframe, and confirm everyone's attendance at least a couple of days before.

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Ideally you should have a week or two available before you list your property in order to stage your home and make it look its best for buyers. But, what if you listed quickly and within hours of the For Sale sign going up a buyer wants to view your property?


In that scenario, you need to do some quick "staging" to get your home ready. Let's assume your property is already clean and tidy. Here are some other things you can do.


  • Open the curtains, even at night. This will make each room seem brighter, more appealing and more spacious.
  • Pull out some boxes or storage bins. Put away personal knick-knacks (like that bowling trophy) and other personal items to reduce clutter on shelves and countertops.
  • Clear countertops in the kitchen and bathrooms. Put the old toaster oven out-of-sight.
  • Make sure lighting throughout the house is bright and comfortable. In darker areas, plug in a lamp.
  • Clear away as much as you can in the foyer. Make that space look open, uncluttered and welcoming.
  • Move cars out of the driveway. Give the buyer a convenient place to park!
  • Make the beds. Fluff pillows on sofas.
  • Clear away as many items as possible from the closet floors (such as shoes.)
  • Open a window and air out the kitchen, especially if you just finished cooking.
  • Make sure your pet is in a crate or, if possible, out for a walk. Not everyone loves pets.


These staging tips take only a few minutes each, but can make a big difference in the impression your home makes on a buyer.


Want more home selling advice? Call today.

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Imagine going to a restaurant with your family for dinner. You're planning on ordering a nice pasta and salad. Your heart is set on it. But, after you go to the trouble of driving there and getting a table, you discover that pasta is not on the menu.


That’s disappointing!


Of course, it’s only a meal. You can go somewhere else next time. But, what if the same scenario played out once you had moved into a new neighbourhood? Imagine you were counting on public transit being in easy walking distance, but discovered the nearest stop is four blocks away. Argh!


That's why it's important to ensure a neighbourhood has the characteristics you want — before you make an offer on a home you like.


Think about what you want most in a neighbourhood. Consider work, commuting, schools, playgrounds, noise level, walking and cycling, hobbies, shopping, entertainment, etc.


If there is a neighbourhood feature that is very important to you, check it out for yourself. For example, if easy access to a main highway is desirable for commuting, take the route for a test drive.


You can get a lot of information on a neighbourhood through the listed property's description and MLS listing.


Want more in-depth insights into an area you're considering? I have that information. Call today.

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For some people, the thought of listing their home for sale is stressful. They worry about all the things they have to do — and all the things that might go wrong.


Luckily, it doesn't have to be that way. Here are some tips for making your home sale go smoothly:


  • Give yourself time to prepare. If you're thinking of selling six months from now, start preparing your property now. Do any necessary staging, and get it looking its best. Avoid doing these tasks at the last minute.
  • Set the right price. Pricing your property too high will likely result in few, if any, buyers coming to see it. You might end up having to lower your price later, causing your home to linger even longer on the market. That's stress you don't need!
  • Have a flexible viewing schedule. If you make it too difficult for buyers to see your property, they might lose interest or simply choose to buy another home. Be as flexible as possible when a buyer wants to view your property.
  • Plan get-away activities. When a buyer comes for a scheduled viewing, don't be home. Instead, plan some fun activities for your family. Think: playground, shopping, cycling, the zoo, etc.
  • Accept the ups and downs. Prospective buyers might say they love your home and plan to make an offer. Then you don't hear from them again! It happens! Accept the inevitable ups and downs of selling your home.  
  • Get help with repairs. You'll probably have things that need to be fixed around the home, like a dripping faucet that needs repair or a room that needs painting. If possible, hire a professional to do some of that work.
  • Finally, work with a great real estate agent. That will make the biggest difference in ensuring your move goes smoothly and stress-free.


Looking for a real estate agent like that? Call me!

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Imagine you've found the perfect home. You love it. You've made an offer that's been accepted. So far so good! The only catch? You've wisely made the offer conditional on passing a professional home inspection.


What happens if that home inspection reveals a major issue?


First, you should know that, depending on the age of the property, a home inspection will typically turn up at least a few areas of concern. The inspector might find loose insulation in the attic that is thinning out or roofing shingles that will need replacing in two or three years.


Issues like those are not usually deal-breakers.


However, if the home inspector finds a major issue — such as old wiring that's worn and presents a safety concern — then you're facing a potentially high cost of repair should the deal go through.


In a situation like that, as your real estate agent, I will address the issue with the seller, usually through the seller's agent. Since neither of you will want to lose the deal, the seller often agrees to get the repair done at his own expense or, have some or all of the estimated repair cost deducted from the sale price.


Will the deal be in jeopardy? Usually not. In most cases, if you have a real estate agent like me working in your best interests, it all works out.

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When you're having a garage sale, one of the toughest tasks is pricing your items. If you put a price tag on your old golf clubs that’s too high, no one will buy them. If you make the price too low, they might sell quickly, but you’ll spend the rest of the day wondering if you could have gotten more!

 

It's similar to selling your home — except with your home, the stakes are much higher. You want to price your property to sell, but you don’t want to leave any money on the table.

 

How do you accomplish that?

 

Setting the right list price for your home requires a combination of skilled calculation and industry savvy.

 

Let's start with the "calculation" part...

 

When you work with me, I'll review recently sold properties that are similar to yours in type, size, features and location. Then, using that data, we’ll calculate a range that represents your property's "current market value."

 

For example, consider a spacious 15-year-old bungalow in a nice neighbourhood. If similar homes in the area have sold for $475,000-$550,000 in the last six months, then it's obvious that your home should sell in that range too. A list price above or below that range would be in the danger zone.

 

But skilled calculation is only half the task.

 

Setting your list price also requires expertise in the local market, combined with good old-fashioned gut instinct. That instinct comes from being on the front lines of many property transactions.

 

That's why working with a good real estate salesperson is so important, when you’re deciding on the list price for your home.

 

Want to discuss selling your home? Call me.

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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.