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Real Estate Resource Guide 2012–2013 – 1

Run Date: September 26, 2012 Maple Ridge News (10.333" x 14") Full Colour EOR#4964



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4 – Real Estate Resource Guide 2012–2013

How realtors Help 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.


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.


1. The 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 neighbourhood. 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. 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

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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 attorneys. Individuals buying or selling a home can certainly do it by themselves, but Realtors ® have the knowledge and provide assistance through the myriad steps of the process, helping individuals to save time and money. ❚ Courtesy Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver

Bonnie Telep The advantage of using Bonnie Telep is that she offers her clients more options with access to hundreds of mortgage products. She works with all the major banks and credit unions in order to secure the best interest rate and product for your individual needs. The result is you have the security of knowing you are getting the best mortgage for your needs. Remember, the Bank works for the Bank, Bonnie works for you!

604-467-9300 Alan C. Thompson

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Real Estate Resource Guide 2012–2013 – 5

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Nathan Isherwood 604-250-8375 nathan.isherwood@

Nicole Jackson 604-467-5000 nicolejackson@

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Michelle Larose 604-828-6797

6 – Real Estate Resource Guide 2012–2013

Joel Lycan

Bob Quinnell

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Jim Quinnell


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Jeremy McCarthy 778-846-3200

Taryn McKay 604-467-5000

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11933 - 224th St., Maple Ridge Real Estate Resource Guide 2012–2013 – 7

A Suite Deal Having a suite in your home is one way to bring in some extra income, but the bylaws that regulate suites vary substantially from community to community. The history behind suite bylaws is quite different between Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, as are the current rules. Christine Carter, the director of planning for the District of Maple Ridge, said the district brought in its current suite bylaw in the late 1990s. “We were one of the first municipalities to allow secondary suites,” she said. That wasn’t an easy decision for the council of the day to make, she added, as there was a lot of opposition. “I remember when we were creating this bylaw initially, it was a huge public hearing. There were a lot of people that believed if we allowed secondary suites, the character of this community would be destroyed.” That’s subsided since then, and the district’s bylaw has generally held up. “I think it’s stood the test of time quite well,” she said. “From a planning perspective, we get very few calls about secondary suites.” Secondary suites in Maple Ridge are governed by section 402 (8) of the zoning bylaws, which lays down several important rules. Only one secondary suite is allowed per lot, and it must have a floor area between 37 and 90 square metres, but cannot exceed 40 per cent of the total area of the building. To have a suite, you need a minimum lot size of 557 square metres, and you must provide an extra parking space. Suites aren’t allowed in floodplains, and the property owner must live either in the main building or in the suite, which Carter said was a crucial provision in

g n i c Fen

getting the original bylaw passed. “The council of the day felt very strongly about that.” Carter said the other crucial consideration whether a house can have a secondary suite is what zone it’s located in.

Natalie Coburn. Photo by Colleen Flannagan.

There are old covenants prohibiting suites applying to some houses, but Carter said property owners can bring those in and have them discharged if their houses meet the requirements for suites and are in the proper zone. Carter said the district’s in the process of re-examining its suites bylaw, but she doesn’t expect major changes. “We’re not starting from scratch and rebooting it.” In Pitt Meadows, legal secondary suites for non-family members are a newer development, according to Natalie Coburn, from the city’s development services department.

“Suites became legal quite recently, in 2011, when we brought in our new zoning bylaws,” she said. Suites in Pitt Meadows are governed by Section 5.4 of the zoning bylaw. The city allows suites starting at 33 square metres of floor area and ranging up to 90 square metres. As in Maple Ridge, they can’t exceed 40 per cent of the building’s floor area, the property owner must live in either the main building or the secondary suite, and one parking space is required for the suite. Most home-based businesses are allowed in a secondary suite, but boarding or childcare uses are not. Many suites were built in Pitt Meadows before they were officially allowed, but Coburn said the city’s found success in getting the existing ones registered. Of course, there are still suites that are unregistered in both Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge. Carter said registering a suite is beneficial for both owners and tenants, though, as it provides security. “By registering it, you give the tenants some comfort,” she said. Carter said secondary suites are a crucial part of providing affordable housing. “For the bulk of the people in this community, really, it’s a reality.” • Details on suites in Maple Ridge can be found at assets/Default/Mayor~and~Council/ pdfs/Bylaws~and~Regulations/ bylaw_5680-1998.pdf. • In Pitt Meadows, an overview with links to the various specific documents is available at www. business/607/Secondary-Suites-andGarden-Suites.html. ❚❚ Andrew Bucholtz

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8 – Real Estate Resource Guide 2012–2013



Experience is the perhaps the most essential attribute of any successful realtor. Consistently ranking in the TOP 10% of realtors in the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV), I have sold hundreds of homes in a real estate career that first began in 1980. The best way to gain experience is through hard work so I’m a full-time realtor . . . and then some!

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Access Grants for Home Improvements It’s what you put in your house that truly makes it a home. From the antique table in the dinning room to the 60-inch plasma TV in the den, your home is defined by the extra care you take to create a welcoming atmosphere. While those added details give your home character, it’s what you do with the tool box that can add value to the equity in your residence. Eventually your roof will need to be re-shingled, your washing machine will break down, windows get drafty, and hot water tanks fail. While the bill to replace may hurt the pocket book, there are ways for residents of B.C. to reduce those costs. T h e L i v e S m a rt B . C . E ff i c i e n c y Incentive Program offers as much as $7,000 in rebates for home owners looking to upgrade their home. Insulation, furnaces, heat pumps, water heaters, boilers, air conditioners, and windows and doors can all be covered through the program. But like any program where you can access rebates from the government, you are going to have to follow the government’s rules. The first step: visit and


see if you qualify for the program. Basically, the current LiveSmart B.C. incentives are available to anyone who hasn’t previously accessed incentives through this program or the federal government’s ecoENERGY programs. Then homeowners must have an energy assessment performed by one of the federal government’s certified energy consultants. The consultant will evaluate the condition of your home, gauging the state of your insulation, heating elements, toilets, windows, doors, bathroom ceiling fans, and thermostats. A blower door test, measuring the air change per hour in your home, will also be conducted. Once upgrades have been completed, a second assessment is done. From there, your certified energy consultant will handle all the paperwork in applying for provincial incentives.

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There are also incentive programs available through B.C. Hydro and Fortis B.C. You can save as much as $70 per window through B.C. Hydro’s partnering with the LiveSmart program. Fortis B.C. is offering a rebate of as much as $800 to the first 2,000 applicants who install a furnace that has an efficiency rating of 95 per cent or higher. The program closes December 31, 2012. Fortis B.C. is also offering as much as $1,000 back to anyone who switches their old oil furnace to a gas one, again with an efficiency rating of 95 per cent or higher. One of the biggest consumers of energy in a home is the water heater, which eats up as much as 35 per cent of a home’s total energy use. If you replace your old water heater with a qualifying natural gas tankless model, Fortis B.C. is offering homeowners a rebate of up to $500. • Visit and Offers for more information.




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Real Estate Resource Guide 2012–2013 – 9

Changing Times Mortgage broker Bonnie Telep has seen plenty of ups and downs during her 30-year real estate career. But nothing along the ride has had quite the impact of the recent adjustment to new home financing rules brought in by the federal government. “This is a time of really big change,” says Telep, owner of Tri-Tel Mortgage in Maple Ridge. “I’m running into people who have to deal with this new reality every day.” The new reality is that buyer s applying for government-backed mortgages with less than 20 per cent down must now face a maximum amortization rate of 25 years instead of the 30-40 year amortizations that have become increasingly popular in the past decade. The federal government says the changes, which took affect in July, are to help homeowners save money by building equity in their homes. “Investing in a home is a great way to save,” Finance Minister Jim Flaherty stated in his summer announcement. “That’s the dream that mortgage

insurance was intended to support.” Under this plan, payments for a three per cent 25-year mortgage will cost $290 more a month than for a 30-year mortgage, according to the Greater Vancouver Real Estate Board. That’s where a good mortgage broker comes in, says Telep. Mortgage brokers are independent financial advisors who help buyers hunt out the best mortgage rate to suit them. They also assist buyers in securing refinancing approval to free up cash for other needs. To become accredited in B.C., brokers must complete a course through the UBC Sauder School of Business. They are then licensed by the Financial Institution Commission and become members of the Mortgage Brokers

Association of B.C. In-house mortgage specialists work for a specific bank and assist buyers when choosing options within a bank’s portfolio, while mortgage brokers are independent operators who shop around for their clients at a variety of financial institutions. “We work for the client, not the bank, and we fight for them,” she says. While she doesn’t work for specific banks, Telep notes that mortgage brokers do tend to negotiate with certain banks over time and brokers charge their fee to banks, not to clients. This approach helps build a trusting relationship between brokers and lenders and that means she can sometimes get people into homes when they may have otherwise been rejected. “I can say, ‘hey, I think he’s a good risk,’ even if he doesn’t look like it on paper,” she says. During the recent changes, she’s also seen an emerging role for brokers a s h o m e o w n e r s t r y t o n a v i ga t e through the new remortgaging limits. Traditionally, she has worked to help

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10 – Real Estate Resource Guide 2012–2013

homeowners use the equity in their homes to free up cash for other needs and use their low mortgage rate to help pay off their other debts. But that has changed. Borrowers can now only refinance to a maximum of 80 per cent of their mortgage, down from 85 per cent. If homeowners manage to get approved, they’ll have to lock into the shorter 25-year amortization. Telep’s concerned for those who have been hit hard by unemployment or domestic woes that make keeping their homes tough. Telep uses her mortgage broker skills to help homeowners create a plan to lower that debt load so they can once again make use of their home equity. For those hoping to get into the market, she advises to build up a good credit record by keeping credit card balances low and paying bills on time. “I can help give them a plan to start on a path,” she says. “If they can’t qualify, I can help them realize a way to make it happen.” And that’s why she got into the business in the first place, Telep recalls. She and her husband Ralph started Tri-Tel Realty in 1980 and Bonnie


Bonnie Telep of Tri-Tel Mortgage in Maple Ridge. Photo by Colleen Flannagan.

became a mortgage broker in 1997. A longtime volunteer in the community, it’s no surprise what keeps her in the mortgage game. “I really enjoy helping people get into a home,” she says. “The best part is seeing people again over the years and getting to know them.” Telep remains hopeful that buyers will adjust to the new changes and is optimistic that with a good downpayment

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and credit rating this is an ideal time to jump into the market. “It’s a darn good time to be looking for a house,” she says. “Prices are down. It’s a buyers market for sure.” • For more information on the changes that went into effect July 9 2012 go to new-rules-mortgage-finance-canada ❚❚ Lynn Easton

from your Local Expert


n 1924 Fuller Watson opened its doors as part of the Port Haney waterfront. The original store was an old fashioned ‘mercantile store that sold everything from furniture to food staples and hardware.

In 1932 Fuller Watson moved up the hill to the new Haney downtown business district and the store has been at the same location ever since. While the store has been in the same place for GE Profile Series appliances offer the best in contemporary design matched with the latest kitchen technologies. Every appliance displays a sleek, cosmopolitan and modern look that matchesalmost your a century, a lot has every last taste in the kitchen and home! changed inside and out. Heavy Duty Self Clean Oven RaCkS Porcelain enamel coated racks with 65% thicker tines and double crossbars that can easily support a 40-pound turkey.

One thing that hasn’t changed is the fact that this is a family business. The fourth generation of our family are now working full time at the store, part of a team of 20 employees from the sales floor to the warehouse. In a world of ‘big box’ retailers Fuller Watson continues to thrive and grow because of the foundation laid back in 1924. We’ve spent over 80 years building our reputation, and we will not compromise by selling anything that doesn’t meet our high standards.

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Real Estate Resource Guide 2012–2013 – 11 disclaimer...

BIKIC, JUGANA 604-761-5004

HARRISON, SCOTT 604-421-2220

Cummings, Roger 604-828-7643

HUBER, DICK 604-250-3977

Danz, Pamela 778-235-0549 pamela@pameladanz

HUBER, MIKE 604-839-8647

EXNER, BRENDA 604-603-8043

JENKINS, AL 604-838-8872

EXNER, HARVEY Managing Broker 604-467-3871

JENKINS, BRENDA 604-818-6961

EXNER, JASON 604-818-9851

JOHNSON, JOHN 604-727-5531

FRANKLIN, TRAVIS 604-351-0235

KNIGHT, THERESA 604-307-0700

FRASER, JAY 604-812-5425

KYLE, EVE 778-866-6683

12 – Real Estate Resource Guide 2012–2013

LE VAN, ALEX 604-218-9691

SMITH, JASON 778-227-5650

MCCALLUM, PAUL 778-551-1901

TELEP, DAVE 604-341-0783

MEADUS, SCOTT 604-313-5727

TELEP, LISA 604-970-2209

MITCHELL, GREG 604-512-1001

TENBRINK, RON 604-218-5244

MITCHELL, RON 604-617-9642

VANDERLEE, PETER 604-880-3275

PRINCE, MARGARET 604-862-4524

WARD, VICTORIA 778-838-9273

PROKOP, FRANZ 604-657-6350

YOURCHEK, JEWEL 604-813-5476

RAMIREZ, JULIE 778-385-3875

MAPLE RIDGE OFFICE 22718 Lougheed Highway 604-467-3871

Real Estate Resource Guide 2012–2013 – 13

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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

Open Versus Closed Mortgages

A mortgage term is the length of time your mortgage agreement will be in effect. At the end of each term you will need to renew or renegotiate your mortgage unless you are able to pay it off in full. Lenders frequently offer both open and closed mortgages.

Open Mortgages ❚  You can make prepayments at any time, or even pay off the mortgage in its entirety without having to pay any penalty. ❚  The interest rate on an open mortgage is usually higher, due to the flexibility of the term mortgage.

Closed Mortgages ❚  You cannot prepay, renegotiate or refinance during its term without paying a penalty. ❚  If you want to change your mortgage agreement during the term, you will usually have to pay a penalty. ❚  The interest rate on a closed mortgage is usually lower, given the reduced flexibility compared to an open mortgage. ❚❚ Courtesy Envision Financial, Ridge Meadows Branch

Mortgage Payment Tips Consider the following moneysaving steps when calculating your mortgage payments: By shortening your loan repayment or amortization period to 20 years from 25 years, you’ll pay your mortgage off five years sooner. You’ll pay higher monthly payments, but

you’ll build equity faster and you’ll pay less in interest over the long term. Apply for a prepayment option. If you receive one, you can directly pay down some of your principal before it’s due. Make sure to check for prepayment penalties. By paying biweekly instead of

monthly, you’ll make 26 payments in a year or 13 months instead of just 12 months and reduce your amortization to about 20 years from 25 years. ❚❚ Courtesy Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver

Real Estate Resource Guide 2012–2013 – 15

Knowing Where to Start with Investment Properties Investing in your future means doing homework today. For anyone considering purchasing property as a rental investment, keep in mind an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Investment properties can be a safe way to invest your money for the long term while getting an immediate return. According to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s Spring 2012 Rental Market Survey, the B.C. apartment vacancy rate was 3.4 per cent in April 2012. Vacancy rates for rentals with three or more bedrooms sat at 3.2 per  cent, a significant drop of 2.5 per cent from the year before. One of the key factors in purchasing a rental unit is knowing where to buy. The CMHC’s website ( covers a wide range of topics for potential renters and is a great place to start. Everything from rental agreements to statistics on average rental prices can be found. Knowing the rental market in your area is another key factor. Who do you plan on renting to? Are you looking for long-term renters? Then families are your best bet. If it’s students, then where you purchase is key. Are there bus and SkyTrain routes easily accessible? It’s all about location. Danny Gerbrandt, realtor at Royal LePage in Maple Ridge, says it’s important to look long-term when purchasing a property as an investment. He says fees in selling, like property transfer taxes, can eat away at profits. The key is to not over extend yourself, Gerbrandt added. “You want a place that you can carry for a few months if you lose your renters.

You don’t want to find yourself in a situation where you can’t pay your bills.” Gerbrandt says Maple Ridge is a great place to invest because the rent is more affordable than in places like downtown Vancouver. He says investors should avoid places with basement suites or carafes, which can be “susceptible to marijuana grow-ops.” In addition, he cautioned potential investors that strata properties can pose problems, with both their monthly fees and their tight regulations. Fred Armstrong, communications manager for the District of Maple Ridge, says before anyone considers buying a rental property, they should make sure it complies with municipal bylaws and meets building codes. He says becoming a landlord means you have to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty when sinks clog, toilets back up or washing machines die. But knowing your rights as a landlord is the first step in preventing headaches, and more importantly, costly bills. “There are specific zoning bylaws and building code requirements that have to be met. Before anyone signs anything, they should come down to the city to make sure what they plan to purchase meets those requirements,” says Armstrong. “The city can play a big role right at the beginning.” Armstrong also said issues like strata buildings can have more stringent bylaws in place and need to be fully researched before investing long term. “It doesn’t matter if it’s a building or

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16 – Real Estate Resource Guide 2012–2013

a strata, a lot of areas in the city don’t allow rental properties. You have to look into the zoning.” Once a place is researched and the property is purchased, next, you must understand your rights and obligations as a landlord.

It’s mandatory for landlords and tenants to conduct ingoing and outgoing inspections and complete reports to avoid losing security deposits, which can be no more than half a month’s rent. Whether its pets, smoking, late rent cheques or damage to the property, there is a right way and wrong way to go about finding solutions to problems. For investors, it’s about knowing where to start. ❚❚ Tim Fitzgerlad

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Office: 604.466.2838 Cell: 604.762.4212

Put my Experience to Work For You! With over 14 years working for clients throughout Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, and the Tri Cities, my goal is to make buying or selling a home effortless for you. As one of the most important transactions you’ll make in your life, I will provide genuine and professional advice and service to ensure your sale or purchase goes smoothly. Your home is your largest asset – you deserve the best representation when dealing with such a large-scale investment. If you’re thinking of buying or would like a free evaluation on your home or acreage style property, call me today!

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22308 Dewdney Trunk Rd., Maple Ridge, BC Each office independently owned & operated.

Real Estate Resource Guide 2012–2013 – 17

Renovating on a Budget Anyone who’s ever done it knows renovating a home can be a real pain. The aggravation of having your home torn up while the work is being done is only surpassed by the expense of it all. Keeping the cost down is a key consideration for anyone, and the savvy homeowner is constantly on the lookout for ways to bring costs down. Here are tips from local experts, offering ways to save money and time.

Painting Paint is far and away the easiest and least expensive, way to transform your home, says Tammy Diniz, owner of Bare Interiors, Maple Ridge’s Benjamin Moore paint retailer. 1. Use paint to transform your home, room by room. “A coat of paint completely transforms a room, and if you have a tight budget, it’s definitely the best way to get a new look because you don’t need a professional to do the job. You can change a room for under a hundred bucks,” says Diniz. 2. Don’t forget that you can paint more than the walls. Paint the flooring, the furniture, the trim, the cabinets, the tile. Be creative, says Diniz. There are lots of really great projects you can find online to give you ideas.

Lighting If you want to improve or update the lighting around your home, follow these tips from lighting designer Dayna Olson-Brooks of Maple Ridge Lighting. 1. Focus on priority areas, specifically main areas of your home that guests use – the main eating area, the foyer and the powder room. “These are the main visual areas that people see, so make them look good,” says Olson-Brooks. 2. Make sure the bulbs you use around the house are consistent, and that they are appropriate to the fixtures you have in your home. Our lighting designer says most people have mix-and-match bulbs in their home so the lighting tends to look off. For instance, using a blue-hued bulb in a brown-toned glass fixture is going to make the fixture look like there’s something wrong with it.

Upholstery & Drapes The problem with trying to save money on drapes and upholstery, says Doris Gagel of

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18 – Real Estate Resource Guide 2012–2013

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Gagel’s Custom Draperies & Upholstery, is that so much of the job revolves around the labor portion of the bill. 1. The way to save money on draperies, says Gagel, is to use less expensive fabrics, but make sure you have someone do the sewing that really knows what they’re doing. Sewn properly, even the cheapest fabrics can look like a million bucks, she adds. 2. Bring your budget when you talk to a potential upholster. If the budget is unreasonably low, a reputable professional will tell you, and discuss options. Keep in mind, Gagel admonishes, that you’re not going to get a whole couch re-upholstered properly using quality fabrics for much less than $1,500 to $2,000. If someone’s telling you they can do it for a lot less, you can be sure it won’t last nearly as long as you think it should.

FlOOring New flooring always makes a home more attractive and livable. Linda O’Shea from Maple Ridge Carpet One offers the following for budget-conscious renovators. 1. Pick products that you can install yourself. For instance, vinyl planking instead of linoleum is typically less expensive because you can buy the exact square footage you need without a lot of waste.

2. Be prepared to buy in-stock product rather than special order because the savings of bulk buying are then passed on to you. The downside is you don’t have as many choices, but you definitely save money.

eXteriOrs Don’t forget about the exterior of your home says Scott O’Dell, owner of the Haney Home Hardware store. 1. Stay on top of the “Honey-do” list, says Scott. Trim the hedges, prune the trees, fix those bits and pieces that need it. Most odd jobs around the house make the place look good, and for the most part are pretty inexpensive. It’s only when you leave them long enough that they become big-ticket items. 2. Invest in a good pressure washer (and whatever other yard equipment you need), but share the cost with a relative, your neighbour or a good friend. You know they’re going to borrow it anyway, so save some money on the purchase by splitting the cost. You’ll be able to buy better equipment so it will last longer and, because the co-purchaser is invested, they’ll be more likely to take care of it when they use it, which saves money down the road on replacements. ❚ Robert Price


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Real Estate Resource Guide 2012–2013 – 19

Each office independently owned and operated


AMBROSE, JANE 604-230-2676

BUYZE-KERR, LYNDY 604-466-2838

GAMBLING, HELEN 604-230-7311

AMBROSE, KEN 604-240-2547

CARLSON, DON 604-466-2838

HAMILTON, STEVE 604-467-8881

ANTALEK, RON 604-351-3261

CHADWICK, MATHEW 604-466-2838

HAMILTON, GLORIA 604-467-8881

ANTALEK, LOUISE 604-351-3259

CHIVERS, GLEN 604-420-9100

HARTT, RYAN 778-866-7478

BARTHELS, DIANA 604-657-6231

CRAIK, PAUL 604-230-3037

HENNESSEY, JUSTIN 604-805-4669

BARTHELS, GORDON 604-250-0594

DALE, JOHN 604-816-9604

HICKMAN, JAN 604-828-3445

BELL, TONY 604-671-7840


HILL, TRACY 604-644-7134

BHARWANI, ANIL 604-476-1111

DUNN, PENNY 604-818-8762

JEEVES, ROB 604-240-2629

BOROS, KELLY 604-762-4212

DUNN, WILLARD 640-818-8760

JOHNSON, ROB 604-880-2944

BUDD, FRANK 604-724-5567

DUSHOP, PETER 604-765-7934

JOHNSTON, BOB 604-727-3445

20 – Real Estate Resource Guide 2012–2013

Maple Ridge: 22308 Dewdney Trunk Road 604.466.2838 Pitt Meadows: #2-19126 Ford Road 604.459.2838

KEEGAN, COLLEEN 604-561-0054

PFEIFFER, ASHLEY 604-813 4421

WEAVER, JEFF 604-809-8788

KEENAN, ADRIAN 604-312-6488

R.P. LUKE 604-561-0053

WILLIAMS, JIM 604-463-2200

KEE, NEIL 778-800-9672

RUPPEL, TERRY 604-671-6055

WILSON, VICKI 604-341-3575

LUNSTED, CORY 604-209-9183

SHEPPARD, DEBBIE 604-312-3705

WOOD, RACHAEL 604-999-7448

MANYK, LORRAINE 604-828-8634

SMITH, TERRI 778-988-1224

WYANT, SANDRA 604-813-9447

MOUDATSOS, MARIA 778-388-6533


WEININGER, RAINER Manager/Owner 604-341-1995

NEUFELD, ART 604-657-6830

TEDFORD, MARGARET 604-258-8979

NEUFELD, NATHAN 778-834-1567

TENBRINK, DAN 604-762-4663

O’GRADY, JOHN 604-202-5117

TOORENBURGH, BETH 604-716-2384

PACHECO, GIOVANNI 604-626-9399

WAGNER, JULIE 604-818-4666

FRAIPONT, GARY Realtor/Owner 604-466-2838 BOUCHARD, MICHELE Owner 604-466-2838


Real Estate Resource Guide 2012–2013 – 21

Finding a Safe neighbourhood Looking for a new home is always a worrisome process because there are so many issues to consider. Is the house right for my family? What are local schools and public transportation like? Can I afford the place I have my eye on? There are so many questions, but one of the most important is what is the neighbourhood like? Is there any crime on the street? What are the neighbours like? Any drug houses or grow ops? Will my family be safe and secure in this new neighbourhood? Clint van Blanken, coordinator of crime prevention programs for Ridge Meadows RCMP, knows these questions are paramount to home buyers, so he offers the following tips for assessing whether the neighbourhood you’re considering is right for you. He also has some thoughts about making it safer once you’ve moved in. The first thing you can look for

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when you’re thinking about a specific neighbourhood, says van Blanken, is the presence of a Block Watch program for that area. Not every neighbourhood has one, much as he’d like them to, but if you see Block Watch signs in an area it means the neighbours look out for one another, and are attuned to what’s going on around them. “A Block Watch program helps create a sense of community,” he adds. “It means there are eyes and ears on the neighbourhood. If there isn’t one already in your neighbourhood, you should consider becoming a Block Watch captain. There’s no cost, it’s not all that time


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consuming, and there may even be financial benefits to having the program in your neighbourhood because some insurance companies offer a break to people living in Block Watch areas.” If you’re considering renting in an apartment complex, van Blanken says you should consider buildings that have been certified under the Crime Free Multi-Housing program, which is going to be ramped up again this fall. The multi-housing program is targeted at apartment blocks and involves a security assessment and other activities that lead to safer buildings because tenants are then required to include a crime and safety addendum to their lease. Again, there are potential financial benefits because buildings that are certified qualify for tax breaks, which are often passed on to tenants in the form of lower rents. It’s worth checking out, van Blanken says. Anyone considering a new neighbourhood, in general, says the crime prevention coordinator, should do some basic reconnaissance before buying or renting. Take a walk through the neighbourhood at different times of the day and see what takes place. Knock on the

doors of people already living in the area and ask them whether they consider the neighbourhood to be safe. This strategy is echoed by security professional Mike Morden, of ASC Professional Security Services, who notes it’s important to spend a bit of time in the area to “get a feel for it.” He notes grow ops are a big concern, but adds: “Some simple surveillance over several days will provide the information you need … the neighbourhood should look and feel safe. Spend some time there, talk to the neighbours, check with bylaws at the city, as well as your local police.” The big thing, says van Blanken, is for people to get to know their neighbours, and to talk with them about small issues before they become big problems. Van Blanken says people typically want the police or the municipality to take care of problems for them, but that they can save themselves a headache by being proactive before moving into an area, and by becoming involved after they arrive.


Ways to Create a Safe Community

1 Get to know your neighbours. 2 Talk to your neighbours when you see a problem developing and discuss options. 3 If a crime takes place in your neighbourhood, report it – Police can only target crime hot spots if they know about them, and non-reporting is a sure way to be overlooked. 4 Form a Block Watch unit in your area. 5 Take pride in your street – don’t let graffiti and garbage, for instance, show the criminals that people in your neighbourhood don’t care.

❚❚ Robert Prince


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The rising importance of a good credit score A credit score may not be a subject of everyday conversation, but it can have a large impact on your ability to buy a home. Jeff Knutson, the manager of the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows branch of Envision Financial, said credit scores are becoming critical even beyond that, as they’re no longer used just when you’re applying for a loan. “Credit scoring systems allow lenders to quickly evaluate a potential borrower ’s credit worthiness by looking at patterns of credit usage,” Knutson said. “Historically, credit scores were only used by lenders, but now we see employers, landlords, insurance

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Jeff Knutson of Envision Financial. Photo by Colleen Flannagan.

s c o r e s c a n d i ff e r slightly between agencies, but tend to follow the same principles. “There are several agencies in the marketplace, but the two most prominent are TransUnion and Equifax,” he said. “Each agency has its own system, which will make the scores vary somewhat, but they should generally be in the same range.” One important element in maintaining a good credit score is simply making payments quickly. That shouldn’t be overlooked, Knutson said. “Make your paym e n t s o n t i m e ,” he added. “Setting your bills to automatically come out of your bank account is an effective way to manage your payments.” Even if you make every payment on time, though, having large credit balances can still count against you. Knutson recommends having a substantial gap between what you owe and what you’re allowed to owe. “Keep your balance on your revolving credit [credit cards and lines of credit] below 50 per cent of the limits,” he said. “The more

room you have, the better you’re able to withstand emergencies.” The makeup of your credit portfolio can matter, too. “The type of credit you have can affect your score,” Knutson said. “A healthy balance between loans and revolving credit is good.” Knutson said one of the most crucial aspects of managing your credit score is simply keeping an eye on it, and doing so long before you need to. “Be proacti ve in your credit management,” he said. “Contact Equifax and TransUnion directly to obtain a copy of your bureau. Don’t let mistakes or fraud sideline you when you’re ready to make an important purchase.” He said the time lag involved in a credit score means dealing with issues early is critical. “Balances that show on your bureau are not in real time,” Knutson said. “This means if you make a payment to your credit card today, your bureau may not show this until the following month. If you’re applying for a loan and the payment is significant, be prepared to show proof to your lender.” • More information on credit scores and how to obtain a copy of your credit report is available at & ❚ Andrew Bucholtz

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Real Estate Resource Guide 2012–2013 – 25

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 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

Creating Clarity and Confidence in all your Real Estate Endeavors Bob and Amanda were both raised in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows and have enjoyed what these communities have to offer for many years. As a father/daughter team with backgrounds in Marketing Management and Urban Land Economics specializing in Real Estate Marketing and Real Estate Appraisal. We bring a new energy to every detail and our knowledge and passion for the real estate industry will help make your home sale or purchase a smooth and exciting process that will stay with you for years to come.

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604-619-2164 26 – Real Estate Resource Guide 2012–2013

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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203-22320 Lougheed Highway 604-463-7181

10 Steps for 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’s 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. Your agent 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. Yo u w e r e s u c cessful and have drafted a legally binding agreement. Contact your lawyer or notary public, your lending institution and consult y o u r R e a l t o r ®. 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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604.944.7677 Real Estate Resource Guide 2012–2013 – 27

other Costs to Buying a Home The price of the house you are buying is not the only cost you need to consider when deciding if you can afford to buy. There are other costs to consider: • • • • • • • •

Legal Fees Appraisal Fee Home Inspection Title Insurance Property Transfer Tax or Land Transfer Tax Water Tests/Septic Tests—depending on location Survey Certificates Prepaid Expenses • Property Tax—typically paid for the year so the seller is reimbursed the portion of the year that the buyer will occupy • Utility Bills • Strata/Condo Administration Costs to produce • Estoppel Certificate • Insurance Binder • Form A • HST/GST—new construction only ❚ Courtesy Envision Financial, Ridge Meadows Branch

Your 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. Location: ________________________________________________ Address: ________________________________________________ Asking price: ____________________________________________ Annual property taxes: __________________________________ Type of house: __________________________________________ Neighbourhood type: ____________________________________ Neighbourhood condition: _______________________________ Zoning restrictions: ______________________________________ Proximity to schools: ____________________________________ Proximity to main roads: _________________________________ Lot size and shape: ______________________________________ Size and condition of front and back yards: _______________ Number of stories: ______________________________________ Driveway: _______________________________________________ Siding type and condition: _______________________________ Overall condition of exterior: _____________________________ Garage type and size: ____________________________________ Backyard privacy: _______________________________________ Patio/deck type and condition: ___________________________ Roof type and condition: _________________________________



Windows type and condition: ____________________________ Room sizes: _____________________________________________

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Fireplace/wood burning stove: ___________________________ Basement description: ___________________________________ Electrical wiring and outlets: _____________________________ Lighting fixtures: ________________________________________

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28 – Real Estate Resource Guide 2012–2013

Plumbing condition: _____________________________________ Heating type and condition: ______________________________ Hot water heater age and condition: ______________________ Appliances: _____________________________________________ Insulation: ______________________________________________

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Maple Ridge lighting FLOOR & WINDOW COVERINGS Real Estate Resource Guide 2012–2013 – 29

30 – Real Estate Resource Guide 2012–2013













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September 26, 2012  

Section Z of the September 26, 2012 edition of the Maple Ridge News

September 26, 2012  

Section Z of the September 26, 2012 edition of the Maple Ridge News