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Resource Guide 2012 - 2013

Page 2 – Real Estate Resource Guide 2012


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Real Estate Resource Guide 2012 – Page 3


< T H E F O OT H I L L S INFORMATION CENTRE At the corner of Coast Meridian and David Avenue in Coquitlam

Page 4 – Real Estate Resource Guide 2012

Professionals on Your Side It’s important you have a team of professionals working for you when you buy a home. REALTOR® - Provides advice, has knowledge about the community & neighbourhood, helps you find the ideal home based on your needs/wants, negotiates the best deal for you, to write an offer of purchase, help arrange a home inspection. Mortgage Professional – Banks, credit unions. Mortgage brokers are the most commonly considered to lend money for a mortgage. You have a choice so find the right one for you. A great place to start is with the financial institution you have a relationship with but interview others so you can compare. Lawyer or Notary – To protect your legal interests, including reviewing contracts before you sign them, especially the Offer to Purchase. A lawyer or notary should be licensed to live or work in the area, understand real estate laws, regulations and restrictions, have reasonable fees and be able to explain things in a language you will understand. Insurance Broker – An insurance broker can help you with insurance, including property insurance. Home Inspector – A home inspector will evaluate the property you are considering buying. A home inspection is a visual assessment of the foundation, doors, windows, roof, exterior walls, electrical, plumbing, heating, attic, overall of the building and the lot, to name a few. Appraiser – An independent appraisal can tell you what the property is worth, before you make an offer. This ensures you are not paying too much. Your REALTOR® can help you find an appraiser.


Buying or selling a property can be complicated no matter what type of property. It’s also a significant financial transaction. Therefore, it’s important to get the best help you can. REALTORS® provide you with protection against misadventure and fraud. They stay current on information by participating in ongoing professional education programs. They make use of the MLS® property database to help you sell your property or find a new home. They have marketing and negotiating skills that will help you make the right purchasing or selling decision. Courtesy Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver

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REALTORS® are Professionals

Not all licensed or registered brokerages or real estate agents are REALTORS®. REALTOR® is a trademark identifying real estate licensees who are members of The Canadian Real Estate Association. All REALTORS® in BC are licensed and accountable to the Real Estate Council of BC, the provincial government’s regulatory real estate licensing agency. This agency administers the Real Estate Services Act, BC’s legislation governing real estate. REALTORS® are subject to a higher standard than the minimum required by the Real Estate Services Act. REALTORS® are members of real estate boards and are required to adhere to the Canadian Real Estate Association’s REALTOR® Code and Standards of Business Practice. Both the Real Estate Council of BC and the 12 BC real estate boards use a comprehensive investigatory and disciplinary process to deal with complaints. REALTORS® who are found to have breached either the legislation or REALTOR® Code are subject to sanctions by their board and/or the Council. REALTORS® are committed to continuing education and consistently refine and improve their skills and professional knowledge through participation in a mandatory Professional Development Program. Every two years, REALTORS® must complete a required number of course credits as a condition of continued membership in their Board. These courses are designed to keep REALTORS® up-to-date with new and changing information relating to real estate. As licensees, REALTORS® are also required by the Real Estate Council of BC to complete a re-licensing education program every two years. Courtesy of Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver

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Page 6 – Real Estate Resource Guide 2012

REALTORS® Can Help Save Buyers and Sellers Money

Whether an individual is a buyer or a seller, or doing both, his or her goal is to get the best financial deal on the home -- and often that means having a qualified REALTOR® working in his or her corner. Those entering the real estate realm may have misconceptions about what’s involved. Oftentimes, individuals think they can go it alone and save money in the process. However, not having a knowledgeable agent to navigate the process can end up costing more money in the long run. An agent is not there just to open up houses for viewing or to simply put a For Sale sign on the front lawn. REALTORS® guide the seller or buyer through a complicated process of legalities and emotional hurdles. Agents also negotiate for the buyer and seller to help them make important financial decisions. When sellers are interviewing REALTORS®, their primary focus is usually on the advertising that the agent will do. Advertising is important, but sellers need a strong negotiator to help get the best price and terms. Buyers should also look for agents who have strong negotiating skills and neighborhood knowledge to help them make the most of their purchasing power. Individuals can expect a REALTOR® to help them navigate a process that, to first-time buyers or sellers, can prove intimidating.

Buying a Home

1. Schedule a consultation to discuss what the buyer is looking for in a home. 2. The REALTOR® may suggest buyers speak with a mortgage consultant to figure out their buying power and obtain a mortgage pre-approval letter. 3. The agent will then look up home listings in a particular price range and help the buyers to view the homes. 4. When buyers find a home, the real estate agent will help them come up with a fair market price and write up the contract to present to the seller. 5. The agent will help the buyer negotiate on the final price with the seller. 6. The agent may be present during a home inspection, which is recommended. 7. The agent will then schedule the home appraisal. 8. He or she will then confirm the closing and be present at closing with the buyer and the attorney, if necessary.

5. He or she will write up a listing agreement and begin the process of marketing the home. 6. An open house for real estate brokers may be scheduled. 7. An open house for buyers will be scheduled. 8. The agent will field calls from other agents and notify the seller when a viewing request has been made. 9. Follow-up feedback can be offered, which may include information the agent receives by making calls to people who viewed the home or by tracking how many potential buyers viewed the home listing. 10. When an offer comes in, the agent will notify the sellers and advise them of the negotiation process. 11. The agent will be present during a home inspection. 12. The agent will likely be present at the home closing with the real estate attorneys. Individuals buying or selling a home can certainly do it by themselves, but REALTOR® have the knowledge and provide assistance through the myriad steps of the process, helping individuals to save time and Courtesy of Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver money. 

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Selling a Home

1. The real estate agent will meet with the sellers and evaluate the home and property. 2. He or she will do a market analysis to determine the best price to list the house based on the neighborhood and comparable sales. 3. The agent may make suggestions for repairs or improvements that can help make the home more attractive to buyers. 4. The real estate agent may present a marketing plan that indicates where the home will be advertised.

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Real Estate Resource Guide 2012 – Page 7

Using a Mortgage Professional There are generally two ways to get a mortgage in Canada: From a financial institution or from a licensed mortgage professional. While a financial institution offers products from their particular institution, licensed mortgage professionals send millions of dollars in mortgage business each year to Canada’s largest banks, credit unions, trust companies and financial institutions. Rather than lending money directly to you, brokers arrange transactions by finding a lender for their clients; therefore, offering choice and access to hundreds of mortgage products. As a result, clients benefit from the trust, confidence, and security of knowing they are getting the best mortgage for their needs. Whether you’re purchasing a home for the first time, taking out equity from your home for investment or pleasure, or your current mortgage is simply up for renewal, it’s important that you are making an educated buying decision with professional unbiased advice. Choice – Mortgage brokers can provide a wide range of mortgage products from various lenders to meet your specific financial needs. Advice – Mortgage brokers offer alternatives in selecting a mortgage product and other financial services that are best suited for your situation. Service – Mortgage brokers are available to meet you when & where it is most convenient. They manage the mortgage process to ensure

you have a positive experience. Savings – Mortgage brokers may save you money by providing, on average, lower interest rates. Mortgage brokers do not all have access to the same lenders, so the available mortgages vary from broker to broker. It’s important to shop around with more than one broker, just as you would with financial institutions. Compare rates and features of the mortgages to help make the right decision for you.

Buy or Sell First It’s the age-old question, do I sell my home before I buy, or do I buy my new home before I sell? It’s natural to want to buy your new home first so you have the security of knowing where you’ll be living. But there are advantages to selling first, buying later: ◆ You’ll know how much your house is worth, so you can be sure of how much you can spend. ◆ There’s a chance you won’t have to make your offer subject to financing. ◆ You might be able to arrange a long closing to give you time to look. ◆ It could be a stressful situation, but it’s also stressful to own two homes.

Page 8 – Real Estate Resource Guide 2012

10 Steps to Buying Your Home 1. Are you ready to buy – You should already have saved some of your down payment and should be good at managing debt like credit cards or loans. A mortgage is a financial responsibility that also requires constant upkeep. 2. Decide how much you can afford – Use this simple equation to consider what to expect after you’ve saved for your down payment. The cost of buying a home = one time costs (down payment, legal fees, inspection fees and taxes) + monthly costs (mortgage, utilities, maintenance, insurance and property taxes). 3. Decide what you want to buy – First decide where you want to live (urban, suburban, rural) and then decide which neighbourhood suits you best and what type of home (detached, attached or apartment) you want. Whether or not the property is new or resale may also affect your costs. 4. Find the right REALTOR®– There are many ways to find a real estate agent; drive through neighbourhoods that interest you and jot down names, go to open houses, look at advertising, ask friends and family for referrals. Interview two or three and pick the one you like best. 5. See what’s out there – REALTORS® run an incredible search tool called the Multiple Listings Service® (MLS®) which contains information on property listings. Your agent can

Buyers Or Sellers Market The real estate market is cyclical – which is why you may have heard the term, “real estate cycle.” Several key factors influence this cycle, including interest rates, employment growth, investment growth, construction and even immigration. All influence whether there is a buyer’s market or a seller’s market. A buyer’s market is when there are many more homes for sale than there are buyers. As a result, prices may drop over time as homeowners become eager to sell their property. A sellers market is when interest rates are low so there are many qualified buyers and not many homes for sale. Buyers must make quick decisions and face multiple offers on the home they have chosen to buy and prices can rise. To measure market activity, the Real Estate Board has a unique tool. It’s our Sales-to-Listings ratio that measures the balance between demand and supply. • a ratio of three sales for five listings means we are in a seller’s market. • a ratio of less than 7 sales for every 20 listings means we are in a buyer’s market. Courtesy Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver

send you listings that fit your criteria and together you can draw up a short list and visit them. 6. Sell your current home. 7. Add specialists to your team – Decide on a lender. A notary public or a lawyer will help you understand the many legal documents that come with buying your home. A home inspector can save you from unpleasant surprises when you move in. 8. Make an offer – REALTORS® are expertly trained and will prepare your offer for you and explain any terminology you don’t understand. 9. Arrange a mortgage – There are banks, credit unions and other lenders available for you. Talk to your financial institution and call around to others. Ask friends or family for referrals. REALTORS® are knowledgeable about mortgages and may refer you. 10. Close the deal and move in – Your offer has been accepted and your real estate agent and notary public or lawyer will do most of the closing work. Make sure you understand the conditions of the agreement that require immediate action on your part. Courtesy Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver

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Real Estate Resource Guide 2012 – Page 9

10 Steps to Selling Your Home 1. Decide when to sell – In real estate, timing can influence your home’s selling price. Factors like how quickly you need to sell, whether it’s a buyers or sellers market and seasonality all play a role in your home’s final selling price. 2. Find a REALTOR® who is right for you – The agent who helped you buy your home is a good place to start. They already know your home and they know you, so you’ll be saving time right from the start. Or look for names on For Sale signs in your neighbourhood or ask friends or family. Make sure to interview candidates and choose the one you like best. 3. Sign a listing agreement – This authorizes your agent and their brokerage to market and sell your home. It will define the legal relationship between you and the real estate brokerage and also set a time limit for your agent to sell your home. 4. Determine your home’s asking price – The right asking price will attract buyers and pay you a maximum return. Setting too low a price means you could miss out on thousands of dollars. Setting too high a price will scare away buyers. Your goal is to find fair market value. 5. Add some specialists to your team – Similar to when you bought your home, it’s essential to have a notary public or lawyer handle all the documents that change hands and make sure your interests are protected. 6. Prepare your home for sale – Now is the time to see your

home through a buyer’s eyes: get rid of clutter, clean and repair as much as you can, within reason. Remember, weigh the cost of all your home improvements versus the potential financial return. 7. Let your REALTOR® do what they do best – Your realtor will begin to market your home – For Sale sign, open houses, newspaper ads, a listing on MLS®, the internet and of course through your agent’s relationship with other agents. 8. Prepare your finances – Will the buyer “assume” your mortgage or are you “discharging” it. If you’re buying a new home, is your mortgage “portable”? What taxes are involved? These are important questions to ask your agent, your lender and your notary public or lawyer. 9. Receive an offer – Although REALTORS® will walk you through the process, be prepared for some stress. You will see every offer since it’s required that you see every offer submitted. You will have three options: accept, reject or counter offer. 10. Close the deal – You were successful and have drafted a legally binding agreement. Contact your lawyer or notary public, your lending institution and consult your REALTOR®. Immediately start satisfying any conditions of the agreement that require action on your part. On closing day, your lawyer or notary public will finalize all the details and give you a cheque for the net proceeds. Courtesy Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver



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Page 10 – Real Estate Resource Guide 2012

Boost Your Home Value and Sell Faster

Tackle pesky weeds on paths and driveway. Replace or paint rusty fixtures like the mailbox, railings, house number, and more. Paint the trim &/or exterior. Scrape and spot-paint problem areas. This might be a temporary fix, but even a touch up is better than peeling paint. A fresh coat of paint or new siding is always attractive to prospective buyers. If your home hasn’t had a new coat of paint in awhile that might make buyers feel the home is musty or old. Clean up around the outside. Clutter around the house will almost certainly repel buyers. Throw away any unnecessary things lying around or consider temporarily renting a storage unit.

Interior Fixes

It’s called “curb appeal,” that good impression people get of your home when they pull up in a car, or when walking by. They can be as impressed with exterior curb appeal as they are with a wellmaintained house on the inside. When it comes to residential property value, this book is indeed judged by its cover.

Exterior Fixes Exterior trouble areas include peeling paint; rotting wood on window frames; buckled roof shingles; overgrown shrubs; ignored lawns; and weeds growing through interlock paths, steps and the driveway. When it comes to first impressions just a few little tips and tricks can make a big difference quickly and pay dividends. Work on the yard. An appealing lawn is still a great way to catch a prospective buyer’s eye. When a home boasts a lush lawn and wellmanicured trees, it’s hard to ignore that For Sale sign out front. Add colour by planting some annuals in the front yard flowerbeds.

Homeowners thinking about selling have to do whatever they can to set their homes apart from the others available. Real estate experts call it “staging,” or presenting the home in the best light so that potential buyers can envision themselves moving right in. Just a few changes here and there can position a home to sell faster than the competition. Check the smell. A house can be perfect inside and out, but if it smells bad, buyers will likely be put off. Make sure there is no noticeable odor, such as pet smells, garbage, stale smoke, etc., to turn off others. Clear out. Make sure the interior looks as spacious as possible. This could mean taking out some furniture and temporarily putting it in storage. Be sure countertops in bathrooms and kitchens are free of clutter. And pack away knick-knacks that can collect dust. Cater to the lazy person. Potential buyers generally want to move in and simply unpack. They don’t want to make major repairs. Therefore, homeowners should do whatever repairs are possible, within reason. If that means tearing down dated wallpaper or replacing carpeting, it could mean a faster sale. A clean carpet might make a world of difference to a home’s inhabitants, but a new carpet will be more appealing to prospective buyers. Choose a

Continued on next page


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Real Estate Resource Guide 2012 – Page 11

Continued from previous page

neutral-toned carpet that will boast a more universal appeal. Do a deep cleaning. Whether a cleaning service is hired or the homeowner does it himself, tackling necessary cleaning projects could make the home shine. Now is the time to wash the windows, shampoo the carpets, regrout the bathrooms, and tackle all of those messes that could compromise a sale. Add a fresh coat of paint. If walls are bright colors or eclectic, it could pay to paint rooms in more neutral shades to appeal to the masses. Just be aware that some buyers are suspicious of paint, especially freshly painted ceilings. They may think a homeowner is trying to hide something, like water stains. Keep the home updated. While one doesn’t have to follow every trend, ensuring the home is ageless can make for a better sell. Some might feel outdated appliances indicate a homeowner who cared little about appearances and might begin to wonder if there are any additional areas that might have been neglected around the house. Up-to-date appliances in the kitchen and even new fixtures in the bathroom are aesthetically appealing and tend to excite buyers. Homeowners who aren’t immediately putting their

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property up for sale can gradually upgrade their appliances to lessen some of the financial toll such purchases take. Create “happy” spaces. Buyers don’t want to purchase a dark home that seems full of doom and gloom. Open the windows, turn on the lights, add lights to dark rooms and use light colors as room accents. Generally buyers want a bright and light home. Avoid provocation. One potential buyer could be an animal lover, another a political activist. No one can tell who will view the home. So don’t display personal items that might offend. Take down mounted deer heads and put away books that may seem offensive. It can be a good idea to store religious items as well. Clean out closets and cabinets: Partially empty closets and cabinets give the suggestion that the home is large and has plenty of storage space -- so much so that it doesn’t even all need to be used. Buyers who see jam-packed closets could wonder what’s up with storage. Selling a home in a tough market can be easier when homeowners take the steps needed to stage homes for a faster sale.

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Page 12 – Real Estate Resource Guide 2012

Create a Designer Look for your New Home

Interior designers have a knack for pulling together furniture and accessories to create rooms with widespread appeal. The key to creating a beautiful room is planning. You’ve invested a great deal of money in your new home so it may be worth it to consider an interior design consultation. Or you can get help from numerous experts in the community that can provide advice based on your own ideas, such as paint, flooring, window covering, furniture etc. Some things to help with the process: Measure the dimensions of the room and create a sketch of the area using graph paper or computer software. Be sure to plot any windows or doors on the drawing so that you will be aware of obstacles.

Homeowners unsure of what they want should browse through magazines or pictures on the Web for inspiration. Search for key phrases that describe your design style, such as Tuscan, farmhouse, country, colonial, etc. Then read up on the components of these styles that define it. This will help you select items that fit with the style. Once a particular style has been chosen, create a design board just like the professionals. Cut out swatches of fabric, select paint swatches, find magazine pictures that fit with your goal and arrange them on a piece of poster board. See how the items work together. If you are unsure of colours, see which shades were used in the inspiring picture and determine if it will coordinate with your home. When designing, identify or create a focal point in the room and build off of that. This may be a large window, fireplace, or even the entertainment center if it’s a family room. Place furniture around the focal point and then move outward.

It’s also important to keep scale in mind. Large walls or tall ceilings will create plenty of wall space. A small print or wall hanging will be lost in such an area. Be sure to choose furnishings and accessories that fit with the scale of the room. In other words, a huge sectional may overpower a small living room. If you’re investing in new furniture take the map of your room with you and review it with the expert at the store. When choosing colours, make sure they are cohesive. Research the colour wheel that artists use to help with designing the room. Some colours are complementary or opposites and still work together. Homeowners nervous about colour should choose a colour from fabric or furniture and use a few different shades of the same colour in the room. Select an accent colour that can be used on trim or as a spot of colour on a pillow or accessory. Again, don’t be afraid to consult an expert at the paint store. When plotting wall hangings or other decor, odd numbers often look more pleasing to the eye. Experiment with different sizes of framed artwork or different shaped accessories for visual appeal. For example, a few rectangular shaped items with a circular clock and a conical flower vase can mix it up in the room. This is where looking at magazine layouts can be extremely helpful. Many stores sell items that mimic the look of higherpriced items. When copying a designer room, select pieces that are similar, but not necessarily the same brands. Consider shopping at second-hand stores or antique shops for discounted pieces. With a little new fabric or stain, many items can look like new again. When designing, it never hurts to think outside of the box. Items that were intended for outside may work well inside as well. Hanging lanterns or plant stands could be put to use in a rustic room. Save some money by making some items yourself. For instance, if you cannot find a particular throw pillow or drapery that fits with your style, go to a fabric store and purchase fabric to make your own. Decorating doesn’t have to cost a fortune or look like you pieced odd items together. By following the guidelines of a designer room and selecting lower-priced items that mimic the shape and scale of similar accessories, it’s possible for any homeowner to create a room for less.

Real Estate Resource Guide 2012 – Page 13

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Page 14 – Real Estate Resource Guide 2012

Schools a Big Factor in Home Purchase There are many factors for buyers to consider when shopping for a home. From the number of bedrooms to the size of the backyard, prospective buyers have their priorities with what they’re looking for in a home. Parents to young children or couples planning to start a family should also consider the public and private school system. Although countertops and interior living areas may be foremost on the minds of house shoppers, individuals also have to take school districts into consideration when looking at homes, particularly if they’re concerned about giving their children the best education possible. According to research by The Wall Street Journal, buyers are willing to pay more for a property if it is in a good school district. That’s because even if they do not have children, buyers know that a good school district helps a home remain attractive. Not all schools are created equal, and some rank better in test scores and teacher-to-student ratios than others. These are essential factors to think about when looking at homes. If the home will be a stepping stone to another home in a few years, buyers want to ensure their home has the best chance for resale and a good school district is a factor future buyers may think about. Buyers also may want to make a trip to visit the area they’re considering during school hours to see for themselves the type of students and parents at the school. One also may want to set up a brief meeting with the principal to learn more about the ideals of the school and its goals. It’s also a good idea to look at the proximity of the school to the house. Students who live within a certain distance from the school may have to find their own transportation to and from school. Families that are interested in a host of extracurricular activities can also evaluate the area based on the sports or other opportunities offered to students. Having a picture of the school district in the area buyers are considering will help offer a better idea of the neighborhood and the people around whom they’ll be living. School districts are important to consider when buying a home, so much so that buyers are willing to pay a little more if it means having a good school in their area.

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10 Questions to Ask your REALTOR® 1. How long have you been a REALTOR®? 2. What is your average list-to-sales ratio? A good REALTOR® should hold a track record for how many properties they have listed to how many they have sold within a given time period. 3. How will your marketing plan meet my needs? In other words, How will you sell my home? Where and how often will you advertise? Do you have samples of past marketing efforts? 4. Will you provide references? 5. What separates you from your competition? 6. May I review documents that I will be asked to sign? 7. How will you help me find other professionals? 8. How much do you charge? 9. What kind of guarantee do you offer? 10. What haven’t I asked you that I need to know? Courtesy Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver

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Real Estate Resource Guide 2012 – Page 15

Home Checklist


Before you start looking for a new house, take a moment to figure out what you need or want. This will help your real estate agent narrow down the right houses to show you.



Large lot and yard

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Low maintenance yard Single family detached home Basement suite Town home Condominium One story Two stories Three stories Fenced back yard Deck or patio area Attached garage One car garage Two car garage Private driveway Aluminum siding Wood siding Brick exterior Recently painted woodwork


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One bedroom Two bedroom Three bedroom Four bedroom One bathroom Two bathrooms Three bathrooms Four bathrooms Closet in entry Separate dining room Fireplace in living room Separate family room Fireplace in family room Eat in kitchen Island kitchen Kitchen appliances with purchase Laundry room Master bedroom ensuite Main floor bathroom Carpeting Hardwood floors Large windows Basement

(incl. HST)

❒ ❒ ❒ ❒ ❒ ❒ ❒ ❒ ❒ ❒ ❒ ❒ ❒ ❒ ❒ ❒ ❒ ❒ ❒ ❒ ❒ ❒ ❒


❒ ❒ ❒ ❒ ❒ ❒ ❒ ❒ ❒ ❒ ❒ ❒ ❒ ❒ ❒ ❒ ❒ ❒ ❒ ❒ ❒ ❒ ❒

Page 16 – Real Estate Resource Guide 2012

House Hunting Checklist Buyers may look at dozens of houses before finding the right one. Here’s a checklist to guide you through the things to consider when house hunting. Keep notes on each house you see so you can compare.

Backyard privacy:______________________________________


Windows type & condition:_____________________________



Asking price:__________________________________________

Room sizes:___________________________________________

Annual property taxes:_________________________________

Number of bedrooms: _________________________________

Type of house:_________________________________________

Number of bathrooms: ________________________________

Neighbourhood type:__________________________________

Kitchen cabinet type & quantity:________________________

Neighbourhood condition:______________________________

Countertops type & condition:__________________________

Zoning restrictions:____________________________________

Floors type & condition:________________________________

Proximity to schools:___________________________________

Wall colours & condition:_______________________________

Proximity to main roads:_______________________________

Fireplace/wood burning stove:__________________________


Basement description:_________________________________

Lot size & shape:_______________________________________

Electrical wiring & outlets:______________________________

Size & condition of front & back yards:__________________

Lighting fixtures:______________________________________

Number of stories:_____________________________________

Plumbing condition:___________________________________


Heating type & condition:______________________________

Siding type & condition:________________________________

Hot water heater age & condition:_______________________

Overall condition of exterior:___________________________


Garage type & size: ____________________________________


Patio/deck type & condition: ____________________________ Roof type & condition:_________________________________

“The Sunshine Coast… clean air, clean water and where locking your front door is optional.” “Here is a small sampling of a few properties.” $995,000


1238 Sunnyside Road

This 3,800 square foot executive home sits on just under 2 acres in Gibsons with a detached 3 bay carriage house with one bedroom suite. Built as a Bed and Breakfast. (Call Menno at 1-604-865-1117 for details).

5336 Stamford Place

This exquisite home is 3,246 square feet and sits on a 1/2 acre lot in Selma Park. Great location at the end of a cul de sac.


637 Beach Ave, Gibsons

This charming ocean view home is walking distance to the quaint seaside village of Gibsons.


34-689 Park Rd

Why rent when you can own a 724 sq. ft. one bedroom condo in Gibsons. Bright and private.  Ground floor corner unit.

Call Mike Shannon for more information and a Sunshine Coast market update. It’s truly a great time to buy here in Lotusland.

Mike Shannon Royal LePage Sunshine Coast

117 - 1100 Sunshine Coast Highway, Gibsons Cell: 1-604-741-1912

Real Estate Resource Guide 2012 – Page 17 - 2011 Georgie Award Winner and 7-time Finalist

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Page 18 – Real Estate Resource Guide 2012

The Economics of Home Ownership: A Snapshot Are you financially prepared to own a home? Compared to home rentals, the ownership of a home is more expensive beyond that of its basic financial coverage, i.e. mortgage. The other additional financial costs which affect the true value of owning a home will include initial legal fees, transaction costs, opportunity costs to seek out the property, annual fees to the municipality for property taxation, water and sewer rates, GVRD taxations for transportation and parks and fees for property improvements that require building permits. As well, there are significant costs of finances and labour to maintain the building and site, including fencing, shrubbery, lawns, decks and patios, snow clearing, outbuildings/storage, walkways, driveways, utilities access and pests. Building improvements on the property will require routine and regular maintenance with associated financial and/or labour costs for deferred maintenance, repairs, and replacement of functionally obsolescent or worn features, such as the roof. Compared to a rental home, this time and cost is borne by the owner rather than being deferred to the Landlord. There are also costs associated with negative externalities, such as industrial odors, and long-term disagreeable neighbours, which may or may not be outweighed by positive externalities for children to play in a safe, secure area.

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By Bryan P. Furman, BA, Dipl. Urban Land Economics There are financial, time and opportunity costs associated with the disposal or sale of real property, as well as for its acquisition. There are opportunity costs for not having investments of owner’s time, talent, finances and travel distances used for other purposes or goods rather than utility of property ownership. These would not explain all of the costs of owning a home, but it also does not explain all of the benefits or inherent utility to owning a home on land in fee simple, such as pride of ownership, privacy and security, and residual value from increasing property values as the city expands with population growth and demand for housing over time. Property rights are not entrenched in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in Canada, but legal protections are established to ensure right of use, control and enjoyment of land to benefit the owner. When a home is purchased at today’s prices, it represents the present cost of a future value to that home, including potential rental income. Once the mortgage is paid out after its amortization period, these user costs have been gradually reduced to a point far less than the benefits or utility of ownership. Benefits now outweigh costs. As a property’s mortgage value decreases, the marginal rate of substitution also shifts to give the owner choice to either satisfy the household’s desire for other goods, or to increase land holdings. Initial costs of ownership are high but if the household budget constraint remains constant, financing costs will eventually decrease to create more utility for other goods. As household income increases, this will shift the budget line up and outward, providing a different level of utility. This cannot happen with land rental, as these usage costs will continually rise with public rental demand. That is, the Landlord will pass a portion of his increasing costs of ownership, or desire for market income, to the tenant in the form or rental increases. With rental properties, the value of all improvements and future benefits will accrue to the Landlord, not the Tenant.


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Real Estate Resource Guide 2012 – Page 19

Insurance for your Home

For most homeowners, a home is the largest asset they own, so it makes sense to protect it from things like fire, theft and liability to name a few. Make sure you take steps to insure your home effective on the earlier of either the completion date or the date that you pay the balance of the funds in trust. You may want to consider photographing and/or videotaping your home and its contents so you have a record for insurance purposes. If you’re unsure of what to record, your insurance provider can give you some direction. It’s recommended you keep these records in a safety deposit box. 1) Homeowners should get their home insurance from a licensed insurance broker. Insurance Brokers have the expertise to assist clients in meeting their needs. 2) Some things to consider when getting home insurance:

Get the Best Price for your House With sellers hoping to get the most possible for a home and buyers interested in spending the least, it’s sometimes a battle of wills when it comes to hashing out a confirmed price in the world of real estate. Sellers who wonder whether they’ll struggle to get a good offer can hedge their bets in the right direction by employing a few strategies. ◆ Use a REALTOR®: Some think they can sell their home just as well without an agent and save on commission. A REALTOR® is schooled in the process of negotiating the price of an offered home. Furthermore, REALTORS® know the average prices of similar homes and can help a seller price and market a property correctly. That may add up to a faster sale and a better offer. ◆ Price it competitively: Some sellers think the higher they price their home the more money they’ll get for it. The fact is, the longer an overpriced home sits on the market, the less appealing it will appear to buyers. ◆ Give people what they want: Buyers often prefer updated kitchens and bathrooms. Most buyers out there are not looking for “handyman specials.” They want a relatively turn-key property. A kitchen or bathroom that is an eyesore can repel potential buyers. Home shoppers may be more inclined to go closer to asking price if some of the bigger-ticket items are already completed. ◆ Don’t be an open book: If a buyer knows that time is of the essence or the home is “priced to sell,” he or she may sense that desperation. Sellers shouldn’t let on too much about their reasons for selling or make it seem like they’ll be in dire straights if the home doesn’t sell quickly. ◆ Don’t be afraid to counter-offer: A buyer who is excited to get an offer on a home in a slow market, but feels the offer is below value, should definitely counter-offer. While the buyer may not accept the counter, he or she may make another offer that is more to the seller’s liking.

a) Value of the home - insurance brokers have tools that take the information about the home such as square footage, number of stories, bathrooms, type of flooring, fireplaces, etc. that help determine the replacement value of the home rebuilding cost, not the selling value or tax assessment value. b) All companies have Special Limit of Insurance for the following: Unscheduled jewellery, books, tools and instruments pertaining to a business on premises, money (cash) including cash cards, watercraft with motor and accessories, collections such as coin, stamps, bicycles, just to name a few. c) Understand any Exclusions under the policy, in other words, what is not covered. 3)   The level of coverage that is appropriate is a Comprehensive Form. This is called All Risk Coverage. 4) There are ways to save money on house insurance: Have an alarm system installed, Mature Citizens Discount (usually starts at age 50), Senior Citizens Discount, Mortgage Free Discount, New Home Discount (up to 10 years of age), Claims Free Discount. Don’t forget if the value of your property increases your coverage as well. If you’ve upgraded or added contents, appliances or done a renovation, review the changes with your insurance provider to make sure you are covered.

We have prepared a special report called

The 10 Dumbest Mistakes Smart People Make when Buying or Selling a Home In this report we address some of the most costly mistakes that we have seen people make over the years, and some insightful tips on how to make sure you avoid them. If you’re going to be selling your house in the next six to 12 months, this report could save you thousands of dollars and help you sell your house much faster. To receive a free copy call or email us.

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Helping You Is What We Do

Page 20 – Real Estate Resource Guide 2012

Alexis Allen

Joe Apolonia

Cassandra Ariken

Leah Baynes-Bettger

Lisa Borsato

Brent Brown

Shirley Brown

Tania Carlisle

Iryna Chernykh

Carol Cook

Marlene Cornish

Carolyn Cowe

Marshall Cowe

Rowena Delicana

Adil Dinani

Tony Filippelli

Cindy Gering

Jeff Golding

Craig Guthrie

Scott Handyside

Douglas J Hansen

Tim Hill

Paul Jacinto

Deborah Leblanc

Leo LeBlanc

Liz Lirette

John & Carrie Massullo

Therese McIntyre

Jamie McMurray

Angela Mead

Bonnie Monk

Kevin Morneau

Hafez Panju

Darcee Proden

David Reimers

Helen Roozendaal

Jennifer Roycroft

Mohamed Sabry

Barrie Seaton

Michael Skinner

Kim & Marie Taverna

Avon Tougas

Ella Tumakova

Gina Wideen

Sigrid Wilcox

Glenn Yamada

Cora Toth - Manager

Chris Kayat - Owner

Kristy Kayat - Owner

Coquitlam 2185 Austin Ave. 604-939-6666 • Port Coquitlam 101 - 2264 Elgin Ave. 604-942-7300

www. royallepage. ca

Real Estate Resource Guide 2012 – Page 21

Buying, selling or staying: Getting the best value from your renovation

If you’re considering renovating, it can be tempting to choose to invest in the “pretty” upgrades, but when it comes time to sell your home, you may realize that those kinds of renovations aren’t the only ones that pay off. Updating your kitchen or bathroom can increase resale value, but investing in the systems that make your home comfortable and energy efficient will also have an excellent pay off in the long term through energy savings, and in the short term through the thousands of tax-free dollars available through current government grant programs. Windows and doors, insulation and heating and cooling systems are the three most important products your home needs to ensure the greatest comfort and energy savings, especially with today’s increasing energy costs. They ensure the greatest savings while you own your home, and are a great selling feature for future buyers looking to invest for the long-term. Replacing your old aluminum-frame windows with vinyl windows

Glossary of Terms

Amortization – The number of years it takes to repay the entire amount of a mortgage. Appraisal – An estimate of a property’s market value, used by lenders in determining the amount of the mortgage. Appreciation – The increase of a property’s value over time. Assessment – The value of a property, set by the local municipality, for the purposes of calculating property tax. Assumable Mortgage – A mortgage help on a property by the seller that can be taken over by the buyer, who then accepts responsibility for making the mortgage payments. Closed Mortgage – A mortgage that cannot be prepaid, renegotiated or refinanced during its term. Closing Costs – Expenses in addition to the purchase price for buying and selling a property. Closing Date – The date on which the title and keys to the property are transferred from the seller to the buyer, and the money is paid. Conventional Mortgage – A mortgage loan that does not exceed 80% of the lending value of the property. Counteroffer – One party’s written response to the other party’s offer during the negotiation of a real estate purchase between buyer and seller. Credit Report – A snapshot of your credit history and one of the main tools lenders use to decide whether or not to give you credit. Credit Score – A numeric rating that is a reflection of your financial health at a specific point in time indicaing the risk you represent to lenders. Debt Service Ration – The percentage of a borrower’s gross income that can be used for housing costs, including mortgage payment and taxes. Deposit – A payment made when you make an Offer to Purchase to show that you are a serious buyer. The deposit will form part of your down payment. Down Payment – The part of the purchase price of a property that the buyer pays in cash and does not finance with a mortgage. Equity – The difference between the price for which a property can be sold and the mortgage on the property. - A mortgage for which the interest rate does not change for the length of the mortgage term.

Continued on next page

will keep you cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, and save money on your energy bill. High-quality vinyl windows feature energy- and sound-abatement chambers, which reduce temperature and sound transfer between the inside and outside of your home. Having the ventilation system evaluated and upgraded if necessary can also help ensure that there are no problems with moisture or condensation, which promote mould and mildew in the home. Attic and basement insulation is another underrated champion of home energy-efficiency. Years ago when gas and electricity costs were substantially lower, the solution to a cold home was to simply turn the heat up. Unfortunately, the cost of “turning the heat up” has become a major expense for many homeowners today. In many cases, the solution is to simply upgrade your home’s basement and attic insulation. Insulation remains one of the best investments a homeowner can make and can help save as much as 30% on energy bills. And don’t forget your heating and cooling systems! A high-efficiency furnace or heat pump can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year in utility costs and create a much more comfortable home, no matter what the temperature is outside. Most high efficiency furnaces are smaller and quieter than the units they replace, and a heat pump can provide efficient heat in the winter as well as cooling in the summer instead of a traditional air conditioner. Whether you are buying, selling or staying, your home is your biggest investment – so renovate wisely. There’s no better payoff than a comfortable, cost-effective and energy-efficient home; one that buyers will see as a great long-term investment. Courtesy Ecowest Renovations


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PAGE 22 – Real Estate Resource Guide 2012

Glossary of Terms Continued from previous page

Foreclosure – A legal process by which the lender takes possession and ownership of a property when the borrower doesn’t meet the mortgage obligations. Gross Debt Service Ratio – A general rule is that your housing costs (mortgage payments, taxes, heating) should not be more than 32% of your gross monthly income. High Ratio Mortgage – A mortgage that exceeds 80% of the loan-tovalue ratio; must be insured by either the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation or a private insurer to protect the lender against default by the borrower who has less equity invested in the property. Interest – The cost of borrowing money. Interest Rate – The return the lender receives for advancing the mortgage funds required by the borrower to purchase a property. Joint Tenancy – A form of ownership in which two or more individuals (often spouses) have an equal share in he ownership of a property. Lien – Any legal claim against a property, filed to ensure payment of a debt. Listing Agreement – The contract between the listing broker and an owner, authorizing the REALTOR® to facilitate the sale or lease of a property. Listing Broker – The REALTOR® who signs a contract with an owner to sell the property Mortgage – A contract between a borrower and a lender. The borrower pledges a property as security to guarantee repayment of the mortgage debt. Mortgage Broker – A person or company having contacts with financial institutions or individuals wishing to invest in mortgages.

Mortgage Default Insurance – Government-backed or privately-backed insurance protecting the lender against the borrower’s default on their mortgage. Mortgage Payment – The regular installments made towards paying back the principal and interest on a mortgage. Mortgage Term – The length of time a lender will loan mortgage funds to a borrower. Most run from six months to five years, after which the borrower can repay the balance of the mortgage or renegotiate the mortgage for another term. Open Mortgage – A mortgage that can be prepaid or renegotiated at any time and in any amount without penalty. Pre-approved Mortgage – Tentatively approved by a financial institution for a specified amount, interest rate and monthly payment. Principal – The mortgage amount initially borrowed, or the portion still owing on the mortgage. Interest is calculated on the principal amount. Term – The period of time your mortgage agreement will be in effect. At the end of the term, you either pay off the mortgage in full, renew it or renegotiate it. Title Insurance – A lender, lawyer or notary may suggest you get insurance covering the loss caused by defects of title to the property. Title Search – A detailed examination of the ownership documents to ensure there are no liens or other encumbrances on the property and no questions regarding the seller’s ownership claim. Total Debt Service Ratio – The maximum percentage of a borrower’s income that a lender will consider for all debt repayment including a mortgage. Variable Rate Mortgage – A mortgage for which payments are fixed, but whose interest rate changes in relationship to fluctuating market interest rates. If rates go up, a larger portion of the payment goes to interest. If rates go down, a larger portion of the payment is applied to the principal.

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Real Estate Resource Guide 2012 – Page 23

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Call Today! 604-421-1010 1306-014A © 2012 Prudential Financial. Prudential Real Estate brokerage services are offered through the independently owned and operated network of broker member franchisees of Prudential Real Estate Affiliates, Inc., a Prudential Financial company. and Prudential are registered service marks of The Prudential Insurance Company of America and are used herein under license. Equal Housing Opportunity.

Resource Guide 2012 - 2013

September 21, 2012  

Section Z of the September 21, 2012 edition of the The Tri-City News

September 21, 2012  

Section Z of the September 21, 2012 edition of the The Tri-City News