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The Key to

REALESTATE ESTATE Your complete guide to buying or selling real estate. Everything you need to know to help you make good decisions for your greatest asset.

real estate

The Chilliwack

review Progress




m o c . n o s e h t a m s a k lu

Alison Parvin ssistant eA Administrativ

604-795-2955 Dan Matheson






HomeLife Glenayre Realty Chilliwack Ltd.

n Scott Davidso he at ott@lukasm

on Lukas Mathes he at s@lukasm





Michelle Van To




ying u b sellin g g i n t s e v n i

put us to work for you... you’ll be glad you did.


Why choose Chilliwack



to invest?

When Chilliwack was named one of the 10 best places for real estate investment this year, it didn’t come as a big surprise to many who live here. As Chilliwack has grown and matured over the past several years, the amenities and quality of life have grown with it. This year the Real Estate Investment Network ranked Chilliwack as No. 8 in the province as the best place to invest. The organization, described as “Canada’s leading resource center for real estate investors,” cited economic stability, affordability, tax incentives, and a promising future. They weren’t the first to notice. This year Chilliwack’s population inched past 92,000 as more and more people discovered the benefits of living here. A key factor is affordability. The average price for a single family home in Chilliwack is $328,000. That compares with $462,000 in Abbotsford, $541,000 in

Langley, and $920,000 in Greater Vancouver. Another factor is the municipal tax rate. The residential and business tax multiplier at 2.12 is the lowest in the Lower Mainland. But there are other factors, like the climate. Chilliwack has the distinction of having the warmest average temperature of any Canadian city. Its location, meanwhile, places Chilliwack within easy reach of metropolitan Vancouver, while sitting at the edge of one of the most sought after natural landscapes in the world. Chilliwack offers world-class fishing, hiking and other outdoor pursuits. It truly is the gateway to ‘the great outdoors.’ Access to Metro Vancouver continues to improve, with the construction of the new Port Mann Bridge and the expansion of Highway 1. Within Chilliwack, the catalogue of civic amenities continues to

grow. Joining the 5,700-seat Prospera Centre (home to the Chilliwack Chiefs), and the Landing Leisure aquatic centre, is the new Chilliwack Cultural Centre. The $22 million facility features a 500-seat main theatre, complemented by a 250-seat studio centre, an art gallery and instruction space. Other new facilities include the Cheam Leisure Centre, and the new Sardis Library. The retail landscape is another area that continues to mature. In addition to the continued growth of Eagle Landing, the Chilliwack Mall and the Cottonwood Mall are both undergoing renovations and expansions. That growth reflects a stable economy, factored in part by the health of

Taking your home from “FOR SALE” to...

the local agricultural sector. But there are other reasons. Chilliwack is home to Stream Global Services, Soprema, Kal-Tire, IMW Industries, Rogers Foods and Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers. It’s also home to a vibrant education sector. The expansive 136-acre Canada Education Park is now home to the University of the Fraser Valley Chilliwack campus, Canada Border Services, the Justice Institute of BC, and the RCMP’s Pacific Regional Training Centre.

Photo courtesy Jenna Hauck

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Why pay commission to a REALTOR®? During a REALTORS® career they probably have heard many versions of these two questions: “Why should I pay a REALTOR® to sell my property?” and “What do I get in return for the commission I pay?” Many sellers believe that their REALTOR® puts a sign on the lawn, an ad in the newspaper and then waits for the property to sell. Generally, nothing could be further from the truth! When you hire a REALTOR®, you are hiring a licensed, trained professional to sell the most expensive asset acquired in a lifetime. When a seller signs a listing contract, the REALTOR® makes a commitment to help their client obtain the highest price, in the shortest time with minimum inconvenience. A good REALTOR® gives valuable advice, expert guidance, and great value. The REALTOR® provides objective and accurate information about current market value allowing the seller to select the appropriate listing price. In many cases they can offer expert advice on staging

the property for maximum appeal to potential buyers.

be expensive but it is part of the commitment of the REALTOR®.

When listing the property a REALTOR® is trained to represent the seller by making sure the property information is accurately and attractively presented to the marketplace. This includes careful compliance with provincial and federal regulations like the Personal Information Protection Act, the Real Estate Services Act and the FINTRAC money laundering requirements. The REALTOR® ensures that required disclosures are made at the appropriate times.

Much of the work of the REALTOR® is done behind the scenes. REALTORS® invest time and energy in activities like qualifying potential buyers, arranging and tracking showings by cooperating agents, obtaining and sharing feedback from other REALTORS®. Many sellers take comfort in knowing that their REALTOR® will handle all inquiries seriously and do their best to ensure that only serious qualified buyers will view the sellers property. This provides the seller a measure of safety and security.

Once a listing is signed the REALTOR® begins the obvious marketing process which includes putting the property on the Multiple Listing System, installing a sign, writing appealing print ads, creating feature sheets to leave at the property and holding open houses. In addition many REALTORS® feature the property on one or more internet websites, display mall kiosks and at open houses for other agents. Giving the property maximum exposure can

REALTORS® are also trained to provide accurate advice and valuable assistance when dealing with the significant complexities of tenant occupied properties, estate sales and foreclosure transactions. One of areas where the REALTOR® provides the greatest value is negotiation. Handling objections and tactfully representing the sellers best interest is an important skill which REALTORS® obtain through specialized training and

personal experience. Writing an enforceable contract and negotiating a legally binding agreement are important services which are often taken for granted by the general public until there is a problem. Then this great REALTOR® value quickly becomes evident. Another generally invisible service is managing the transaction after acceptance of the offer and during the buyer due diligence period. This consists of arranging inspections, scheduling appraisals, obtaining strata documents (if applicable) etc. Sometimes this also includes handling real estate turbulence which include things like appraisals lower than the sale price, problems discovered in a property inspection and other unexpected challenges. The experience and guidance of the REALTOR® and their broker can usually overcome these challenges. The final job of the REALTOR® is to do everything they can to ensure a smooth completion of the transaction. This includes continued pg. 5

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First time home buyers, continued from pg. 4

monitoring the conveyance process, confirming payment of the sale proceeds to the seller and a timely transfer of keys to the buyer. Selling a property is a significant transaction for most people and the complexities are sometimes not well understood until problems arise. A good REALTOR® has the training, expertise and experience to assist their client to achieve their desired results.

speedier down payments Home ownership is a big dream for many people, and is likely the single biggest investment most of us will make in our lives. While saving for a down payment can be challenging, you can save for a down payment a little quicker by following a few simple rules.

put money aside before you can spend it. Set up a regular, preauthorized transfer service that moves a specific amount of money from each pay cheque into a savings account. Making savings automatic is a simple and effective way to stay disciplined while saving for a down payment.

Probably the most amazing aspect of the tremendous value REALTORS® provide is Guaranteed Results. The seller pays nothing unless they receive an acceptable offer. There are very few other professional service providers who are prepared to demonstrate their confidence in their ability to produce results for their client.

First, examine your budget and set a savings goal. Make up a monthly budget, recording all your expenses to gain insight into where you spend your money. Also remember that in addition to your down payment you will need to save for the additional costs involved with a home purchase, which include land transfer tax, moving costs and legal fees.

There are many types of business models providing many levels of services. A seller should discuss their individual needs and desired service levels with their REALTOR® before signing a listing agreement.

Next, curb your spending and increase your savings. Even a small adjustment in your spending habits can go a long way toward helping you save a bigger down payment.

Finally, first time home buyers may be able to take advantage of the federal government’s Home Buyers’ Plan. Those who have been actively saving for their retirement can access up to $25,000 from their RRSPs to bump up their down payment when they purchase their first home. The RRSP funds must be paid back within 15 years, so it is important to factor this repayment into your monthly budget.

- Courtesy of Jim McCaughan - Past President BC Real Estate Association

One of the most effective – yet overlooked – strategies is to

DixieHay Congratulations...

you’re ready to buy your first home, or maybe move to a new one, or even downsize. So where do you start in choosing a Realtor® that will meet ALL your needs and expectations? You want to be sure that you are making a good choice. As your Realtor®, I listen. I work hard, and take pride in the job that I do for you. I care about my clients, and give the same top-notch service that I would expect myself. Doing a great job for you is my goal... it’s what I believe in. Make a good choice - call today to discuss your real estate needs.




CELL DIRECT: 604-799-4955 OFFICE: 604-795-2955 HomeLife Glenayre Realty Chilliwack Ltd. 8387 Young Road




Curb appeal

puts your home in big demand When selling a home, homeowners can employ a number of tactics to improve their home’s curb appeal. Curb appeal is similar to getting ready for a big date, only you’re not dressing yourself up to make a strong first impression, instead, you are dressing your home up to make a strong first impression on prospective buyers. Many buyers will form an opinion about the property before they even get out of their car. A home with strong curb appeal can entice buyers who are likely to believe that a home with a well-maintained exterior is likely to have an equally impressive interior. Homeowners who want the process of selling their home to go smoothly can improve the property’s curb appeal in a number of ways, many of which don’t necessitate a substantial home

improvement budget. The most effective way to improve curb appeal is to clean up the property. Many homeowners are savvy enough to remove toys and other items from the yard before showing a home, but cleaning up goes beyond removing clutter. Make sure all hedges are trimmed and remove weeds, and other debris from any flower beds. Lay mulch in the flower beds to catch a buyer’s eye. Edging is another easy and effective way to improve curb appeal. Edge your lawn and gardens around driveways, sidewalks and other walkways on the property. If the boundary between your driveway and lawn is not distinct, consider installing edging materials such as stone or bricks. Adding edging materials is not a very

difficult do-it-yourself project. Many homeowners grow accustomed to overgrown trees around their property and may not notice that low-hanging, branches are hiding the home from view. Buyers want to see the house, so trim any branches that hang too low or obscure your home. Clean the gutters thoroughly before putting your home up for sale and keep them clean throughout the selling process. If your property includes lots of trees, install guards to keep twigs and leaves out. Many homeowners enter their home through a side door or through their garage. If you fall into this category, keep in mind that prospective buyers will be entering through the front door, so make this area accessible.

Ensuring a home’s primary entryway is welcoming and wellgroomed is one way homeowners can improve curb appeal.

in and out of the home as smoothly as possible.

Clear any clutter, and overgrown shrubs away from the front door, and consider upgrading the door handle to a more modern feature. In addition, make sure the lock on the front door doesn’t stick, forcing the REALTOR® and buyers to immediately struggle before entering the home. You want buyers and their real estate agents to get

Make sure all plants, including flowers, are living. Dehydrated or dead plants and flowers are eyesores, and they will give buyers the impression that you didn’t pay much attention to your property. Make sure all plants are alive and thriving and replace those that aren’t.



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Greet buyers

10 questions to

ask your REALTOR If you have decided to sell your home, and you’re looking for a REALTOR® here are questions to help you decide who will best fit your needs. 1. How long have you been a REALTOR®? A new REALTOR® will have up-to-date training. Those in the business longer bring practical experience to the table. 2. What is your average list-to-sales ratio? A good REALTOR® should hold a track record for how many properties they have listed compared to how many they have sold within a given time period. 3. How will your marketing plan meet my needs? Specifically, how will you sell my home? Where and how often will you advertise? Do you have samples of your advertisements.


4. Will you provide references? Ask if you can talk to past clients. Then follow up and call them. 5. What percentage of the original asking price have your listings actually sold for? The higher the percentage, the closer the REALTORS® evaluation was to the current market value of their listings. 6. What type of documents will I be asked to sign? A good REALTOR® makes forms available to you before you are required to sign them. Ask to see the agency disclosure, listing agreement, and seller disclosure forms. 7. Do you have references for other professional services I may require? Ask for a written list of referring vendors such as mortgage lenders, home renovators, home inspectors,



notaries, lawyers, etc.

with a touch of glass

8. How much do you charge? You don’t have to ask if the fee is negotiable, since all real estate fees are negotiated.

The trend of using decorative glass to create dramatic entryways continues to grow. Adding a “touch of glass” with a new front entry door can be one of the most effective and economical ways to enhance a home’s curb appeal.

9. What kind of guarantee do you offer? If you sign a listing agreement with the REALTOR® and later find that you are unhappy with the agreement, will the REALTOR® let you cancel the agreement? 10. What separates you from your competition and what haven’t I asked you that I need to know? Pay close attention to how the REALTOR® answers, there is a lot involved in selling a home so choose a REALTOR® who will best fit your needs. – Courtesy of the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board

Beyond aesthetics, a new entry with decorative glass can add value to the home. Simply installing a new entryway door has been shown to increase the perceived value of a home by thousands of dollars. Manufacturers offer a wide array of choices for entryways incorporating decorative glass. These choices allow homeowners to create a custom look for the home while making a statement about the homeowner’s personal sense of style. Entryway systems that incorporate decorative glass also offer the added benefit of allowing more sunlight into the home without energy loss, making for a more attractive, more energy-efficient interior. Some of the most stunning designs are available in impact-rated versions that provide added home security as well as protection from severe weather conditions, such as high winds and heavy rain.


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Making your dreams reality


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The fast lane to

Tips to find

A low interest rate is often seen as the best way to save money on a mortgage and the quickest route to becoming mortgagefree.

Your home is the biggest ticket item you will ever purchase. It’s no wonder that people can take months, and sometimes even years, to find the perfect home. When you walk into a house that’s on the market, many times the homeowner or real estate agent has “staged” it to ensure that you focus on the home’s greatest assets and overlook its flaws. Your job is to look past all that to see if this house is right for you.

mortgage freedom the perfect home But that’s only one part of an effective strategy. Don’t focus all your time and energy on rate comparisons. It is equally important to look for a mortgage with flexible terms. The average Canadian homeowner will pay his or her mortgage off in approximately 15 years. Less than half (42 per cent) of homeowners are taking advantage of options that allow them to shave years off their mortgage and save on interest costs. Here are three tips to get you on your way to mortgage freedom: 1. Adopt a bi-weekly payment schedule A bi-weekly payment is often the easiest adjustment you can do to help you save on mortgage interest - especially if you line it up with your pay cheque. You end up making 26 smaller bi-

weekly payments a year, versus 12 large monthly payments resulting in interest cost savings as you pay down your principal faster. Bi-weekly payments will shave years off your mortgage. 2. Take advantage of prepayment privileges A flexible mortgage may include features such as doubling up a payment or putting down a lump sum at the end of the year. These additional payments are applied directly to your mortgage principal and will reduce your amortization period. Consider putting a work bonus, tax refund or extra savings towards your mortgage balance. 3. Round up your payment You can chip away at your mortgage without missing a beat by rounding-up your payment amount. For example, if your bi-weekly mortgage payment is $557, by rounding up your payment to $600, you could put an additional $1,000 per year towards the principal and be mortgage-free faster.


Before you ever step out of your current dwelling, make a list. Your list should include one column for “must haves” and another for “wants”, and which wants you can compromise on. If you know what you are looking for and what you can’t live without, it’s a lot easier to find it. Many people get caught up on the basic aesthetics of a home. The paint is not a big deal, countertops are also not a reason to choose a home, or cross it off your list. Worn carpeting can be ripped out and

replaced. These are all easy fixes. You should beware of the fixes that can break the bank. Will the roof need to be replaced? What about other big-ticket items like the heating and cooling system? Does the perimeter of the house slope toward it? That could mean flooding during heavy rain. And what about the structural integrity of the foundation? A good inspector will spot all the red flags and could keep you from making a costly mistake. There are things you can check on before you call in an inspector. If you want to know whether a floor is warping, just take a ball or a marble and roll it across the room. If it doesn’t roll straight across, it could signal issues with the foundation. Figure out what kind of layout you want for your house. Ask yourself what kind of floor plan you like. Those are the kinds of things that are costly to change. If the floor plan is right for you, the cosmetics will be a fairly easy and inexpensive fix.


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Renovating a rental property



can increase revenue One of the best things a landlord can do to protect their investment is to ensure their rental properties are in tip-top shape. When it comes to renovating a rental property, landlords can make a handful of small renovations that, while relatively inexpensive, enable them to earn substantially more money from each property over the long haul. Update the paint. If the rental property is empty when shown to prospective renters, any issues with the paint are very noticeable. If the paint is outdated or marked, update the walls with a fresh coat. Choose a light, neutral color to give the property a fresh, inviting look. Replace the carpeting. New carpeting is always attractive to potential tenants. Choose a

medium grade carpet with a neutral color, ideally beige or light brown, which can hide spills or stains and lay quality padding underneath. Such padding makes the carpet feel softer and of higher quality. Upgrade the appliances. Perhaps nothing evokes a stronger response from prospective renters than a property’s appliances. Outdated appliances make renters speculate as to what else might be outdated and if the building is well taken care of. On the other hand, newer appliances, give the impression, that a landlord won’t allow the building to grow dated or fall into disrepair. Choose appliances that are more basic so any eventual repairs won’t be too costly. Newer appliances enable landlords to charge more rent for a given property, and many

Relatively minor renovations to rental properties can earn landlords substantially more money over the course of a typical lease.

renters would agree that such properties are worth the extra money. Install new windows. Older buildings tend to have single pane drafty windows, which drives up utility costs as renters are forced to turn up the

thermostat during colder months. New windows can eliminate drafts and reduce utility costs, which landlords can use to their advantage when discussing the property with potential tenants. When it comes to

renovating a rental property, landlords can make a handful of small renovations that, while relatively inexpensive, enable them to earn substantially more money from each property over the long haul.

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Is it worth rewriting

your current mortgage interest rate? Many people over the last year have been looking into whether or not it is worth paying a penalty, and rewriting their current mortgage to take advantage of todays lower rates. Although recently, we have seen a slight increase in the longer mortgage term rates, the answer is still yes.

The slightly higher rates today are still significantly lower than the rates 4 or 5 years ago. It is definitely worth talking to your financial institution to see what your penalty would be, and whether or not you can save money by doing your mortgage renewal today rather than when your term is up. You can also secure todays mortgage rates, in

the event the interest rates are much higher when your mortgage reaches the end of it’s current term. Your financial institution will do the calculations for

you so you can make an informed decision regarding your current mortgage term and rate. - Courtesy of Vancity Credit Union

Entice buyers

with aromatic scents When a home smells good, it makes a favorable impression on buyers. This is exactly what home sellers want when they put their house on the market. The concept of ambient fragrances started to trickle into the real estate market years ago. Savvy real estate agents advised sellers to bake cookies or cinnamon rolls in the homes they were showing to create a comforting, deliciously scented atmosphere meant to entice buyers. The essential oils used in the practice of aromatherapy offer a more practical and potent way to use scent marketing to move buyers to feel

Using essential oils to craft your own bit of psychological scent marketing might provide a good return on a small investment. Aromatherapy may give you that muchneeded unique and surprising edge-up on the competition.

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good about a property. Tiny amounts of familiar, tempting aromas like cinnamon, clove, vanilla and orange, can fill a whole house with pleasant ambient fragrance. An added bonus is that essential oils are all-natural and distilled from plants. They are less likely to cause the adverse reactions that harsh synthetic fragrances can.

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Is condo living



for you?

You would like to invest in real estate and own your own home, but without the responsibilities of yard work and maintenance. So, you are looking into the purchase of a condo or townhouse. Condominium life is great with the right mix of age appropriate residents in a well-maintained complex. Condos and townhomes come in all shapes and sizes to suit families and singles alike, and are a very convenient lifestyle choice for first time buyers, busy professionals, frequent travelers and investors. Monthly strata fees will add to your expenses and there may be special assessments to be paid out of pocket along the way. Much the same as if you had to repaint your own house or replace the roof over time, these situations

arise in condominiums as well. With proper management, diligent budgeting and financial forecasting, the unplanned expenses could be few and far between, or not happen at all if the strata has built up a strong contingency fund for future repairs. Ultimately, the decision about whether or not a condo is right for you will come down to your willingness to cohabitate in close proximity to others, and be guided by a set of pre-determined strata bylaws and rules. Generally, most of the bylaws and rules are common sense guidelines for the betterment of all occupants, but each strata’s rules and bylaws can be quite different from one another as they may have been added to or customized overtime. Before you jump into

condo ownership, you will want to consult your personal pros and cons list. Admittedly, it is not for everyone, but the advantages of condo ownership and the sense of community it inspires is definitely winning over a growing legion of homeowners across the province. Along with the usual security features of condo living, some properties offer amenities and extra perks such as a pool and/or hot tub, fitness center, guest suite, social and recreation rooms, walking and biking trails, clubhouse facilities and more. Others are just simply conjoined housing. Generally speaking, the simpler the set up, the less expensive to maintain the property, and the lower the strata fees will be. Ask your REALTOR® about

things like reputation and neighborhood, and don’t overlook details that affect resale, such as critical history (leaky condo) pet, age or rental restrictions. After your offer has been accepted, your REALTOR® will provide you with the last 2 years of strata documents which should include financials, strata and AGM minutes, rules and bylaws etc. Read all the provided documentation.

Your REALTOR® can talk to the strata manager or strata council to clarify any further questions you may have regarding those documents. If the opportunity presents itself, be sure to ask residents if they are happy dwellers to get a good feel of the building or complex from their feedback. -Courtesy of Lisa Kalinski, The Chilliwack Condo Team

Do you want

your home to

stand out?

Sutton Group Showplace Realty Ltd.

8-13 KR

604-793-9900 Lisa







Get the advantage and list your Condo or Townhouse where everyone is looking... Your listing will be strategically placed front and centre on our homepage as a featured listing until it’s sold!





5 tips to take your home

from “for sale” to “sold” If you’ve been thinking about selling your home, there’s no time like the present. Your job is to set your home apart from all the others. So how do you get a leg-up on the competition? 1. Detach You may love the outdated recliner that was passed down from grandpa. You may also think that lime green and fuchsia are the foundation for a great color scheme. But others may not. Before you put it on the market, emotionally detach from your home. Look at it from the buyer’s point of view. Figure out what needs an update, a touch-up or an overhaul and then do it. 2. De-clutter You want to open up the space to make it feel larger. While it’s fine if your home has the “lived in” look, all the extra knickknacks should be put away. But do not shove all the extra stuff in your closets. People look in there, and a messy closet tells potential buyers that there won’t be enough room for their things either. The same goes for drawers

and cabinets. Tidy them up and organize them neatly. Make sure your belongings aren’t packed tightly because it will make the cabinets look smaller. Free up the space on your kitchen countertop. A coffee maker and toaster are fine. But put away the blender, stand-mixer and popcorn maker. 3. Go neutral Neutral colours allow house hunters to visualize what the space will look like with their belongings. Heavily saturated colors are overwhelming and don’t go over well with prospective home owners. If they dislike the colors, they will be put off by the space. 4. A little rehab and some heavy lifting Does the carpet need to be replaced? Is there hardwood you can refinish? Get the fresh coat of paint on the walls if they’re chipping or peeling. Move furniture away from walls. A big couch against a wall looks frumpy and is not aesthetically pleasing. And remove extra furniture. It’s good to see

I specialize in turning into

“For Sale”


Contact me directly to learn how I can help you reach your real estate objectives.

...moving forward!

Before potential buyers walk through your home - clean, then clean some more.

baseboards and corners, which gives the room a more open and spacious feel. 5. Before the doorbell rings Clean. Then clean some more. A dirty, dusty house is a huge turn-off. Don’t forget to clean the light fixtures on the ceiling. And after you’ve done all that, do a quick 15-minute spruce-up before potential buyers walk through

the door. Open the curtains and blinds. Let natural light in. It makes the home seem cheery and bright. Of course, make sure the windows are clean too. Keep fresh flowers in a vase. And don’t forget the smell. A fresh smelling home is a big plus. Open windows to air out the home. Don’t cook potentially pungent foods – like fish or garlic – before a showing.

Create more tthan han just curb appeal! eal!

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7 inexpensive ways

to update your home today

Buying a home can open up a bottomless pit of opportunities for projects and improvements. While some homeowners engage in different repairs and fix-ups out of necessity, others like to freshen-up their spaces out of personal preference instead of need. But even the most well-intentioned projects can be waylaid if budgets are tight. There are many ways to make updates and changes to a home that do not require a major overhaul or a large price tag. The following seven tricks will induce a wow factor without breaking the bank. 1. MOVE AROUND FURNITURE. You may be able to change the look of a room without spending any money at all. Interior designers know how to arrange furniture for maximum appeal, but the average homeowner can do it, too. Find a focal point in the room and angle the furniture toward it. Don’t make the focal point the television, however. Try changing the placement of chairs

and sofas. 2. ADD LIGHTING. Lighting at different levels in the room can create a vibrant impact. Many homeowners mistakenly put in a couple of table lamps and think that will be adequate. However, properly illuminating a room means varying the lighting to create different moods at different times. 3. ADD NEW CUSHIONS OR DRAPES. Changing a few aspects of a room can give it an entirely new look. If you want to add a splash of colour but don’t know what to do, think about incorporating some new throw pillows or change the curtains. An accessory here and there in a bright colour also can incorporate a new hue without it being overwhelming. 4. CHANGE KNOBS OR SMALL ACCENTS. Give a room a new look by focusing on the small details. Switch out cabinet knobs for something updated and modern. Take inventory of

wall outlets and light switches and think about selecting new ones that coordinate with your home decor. 5. USE PLANTS. Empty corners or spots you’re not certain how to fill may benefit from a plant. Plants are inexpensive ways to add instant colour and visual appeal to a room. A home with plants also feels more cozy. 6. HANG NEW WALL ART. It may be time to look at your photos and artwork and make a few adjustments. Finding new prints to hang could instantly change a room’s ambience. 7. TRY A NEW COAT OF PAINT. After you’ve exhausted other avenues, choosing a new paint colour may be the new look you desire. Painting is one of the least expensive yet most dramatic methods of changing a home’s interior. With dozens of hues to choose from, you will have scores of opportunities to explore fresh new colours for your home.


ince the 1950s, Dennis’ family has been synonymous with real estate excellence here in the Fraser Valley. Today, Dennis Muxlow is building upon his impressive family legacy by providing local home buyers and sellers with the ultimate in personal service and attention. Drawing on years of experience and an unwavering determination to achieve his clients’ goals, Dennis has what it takes to make your next move a complete success. Call him today to schedule a private consultation and to experience A Lasting Legacy in Fraser Valley Real Estate.

Office: 604-792-0077 Direct: 888-427-3496

Wheeler Cheam Realty

A Lasting Legacy in Fraser Valley Real Estate



5 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 garbage and graffiti for instance, show the criminals that people in your neighbourhood don’t care.




Common mistakes made when choosing

a home improvement contractor Consumer complaints and lawsuits regarding home improvements are definitely on the rise. A homeowner that does not do their homework before embarking on a project could find themselves with poor workmanship, inferior products, health and safety issues or even legal problems. So what’s a homeowner in need of a fix up to do? Start by reviewing the three most common mistakes people make when embarking on a home improvement project. Mistake #1: Buying Only on Price Your home is probably one of the most expensive items you own, so making improvements is not the place to budget shop. Make sure you are getting quality products,

professionally installed. A properly done home improvement should only have to be done once, and remember the old adage ‘you get what you pay for’. Mistake #2: Not looking at the Long Term Investment Benefits When your home improvement project is finally over, you should be getting more than an upgrade to your home; you should also see an increase in your home’s value. When you do it right you can reduce energy and maintenance costs and increase comfort and pride in your home. On the flip side a poorly executed project can lower the value of your home, have to be redone in several years and if there are safety issues, even put your family’s health at risk.

Mistake #3: Not Knowing How to Screen a Contractor When selecting a contractor to work with, it is important to get a sense of who they are, what products they use and how long they have been in business. There are four essential questions to ask during this screening process: • Who designs it? • Who builds it? • Who installs it? • Who guarantees it? When you don’t get the correct answers to these four questions you may end up with an inferior investment, expensive surprises, property damage or even lawsuits and liabilities. Ultimately, the answer you want is that there is a single source of accountability for your project. Having one company design,

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build, install and guarantee the product and the work, can save you time, money and hassles in the long run. Make sure you have a contractor relationship you can trust for the long-term. This longterm relationship starts with a quality product, professional installation

and includes a warranty from a company that has longevity and provides you with a sense that they will still be in business for years down the road. You should also ensure that your warranty is transferable, applies to all systems, applications and materials.

Offering: • Creative selling solutions • In-depth property analysis for buyers • Strategic marketing plan for sellers • Free real estate portfolio review for investors • An honest, straight forward approach for all your real estate needs.

mike noordam

RE/MAX Nyda Realty

Your Full-Time Professional REALTOR®

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Mortgage payments




SHANNON BOWDEN Buyers Agent 604.701.8998

“Rediscover Home”

Aspen Woods

understanding interest versus principal How is your mortgage payment split between interest and principal? For each mortgage payment you make, the money is first used to pay the interest on your mortgage loan. The remaining portion of your payment is then used to reduce the principal, which is the amount that you borrowed from the lender.

Aspen Woods

Priced from $389,000

is a new community in the desirable Eastern Hillsides area of Chilliwack ideally located with the perfect blend of nature, appealing architecture and a lifestyle enhanced by leisure activities. This stunning neighbourhood boasts gorgeous custom homes built by quality builders with a design for every lifestyle. Choose from ranchers, 2-storey basement-entry, or 2-storey with basement on quiet no-through drives, or quaint cul-de-sacs with beautiful mountain and valley views. Aspen Woods neighbours the esteemed Unity Christian School and shares a border with the acclaimed “The Falls” 18-Hole Championship Golf Course. These exceptional homes will provide you with excellent value for your money.

In the first years of the mortgage, most of the payment is usually required to cover interest costs. As a result the principal, or the amount that you owe, may decrease by only a small amount. As the mortgage balance decreases over time, more of your payment is used to pay off the principal. During a 25-year mortgage, depending on the interest rates

charged on your mortgage, the total amount of your payments could be double the amount that you originally borrowed or more. The key to saving money on your mortgage is to pay off the principal as fast as possible. If your household budget allows you to reduce the time you need to pay your mortgage in full, you could save thousands, and even tens of thousands of dollars in interest charges. There are various payment options that will help you pay off your mortgage faster. Talk to your lender to go over some of the options that may work for you. Source - Financial Consumer Agency of Canada



Take Annis Road Exit, #129. Stay straight on Hack Brown Road toward The Falls Golf Course. Continue past Unity Christian School and turn right into Aspen Woods.


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Who is responsible for

repairs during a home sale? Many questions arise during the home-buying process. Buyers looking at homes that require a good deal of TLC may wonder who is responsible for the home’s repairs, particularly if such repairs are needed to secure a certificate of occupancy. Depending on the situation, there is no clear-cut answer. There is no perfect home, and things that are acceptable to the current owner may not be acceptable to the buyer who is looking to become the next owner. The home-buying process is typically a careful cooperation between buyer and seller to find a middle ground. The buyer may have to make some concessions, as will the seller. Ultimately, it is this cooperation that often determines if the sale goes through or is terminated. Before any negotiations can begin regarding repairs, it is advisable for a buyer to have an independent inspector come out and look over the home and property. Most real estate agents will suggest this be done as a

first priority. An inspection will unveil any potential problems in a home and indicate things that the buyer may not be aware of, including items that do not meet with code or could be unsafe. An inspector also may point out problems that could cause a mortgage lender to give pause. This may mean the lender will deem problems unsafe and refuse to fund the mortgage until repairs are made.

The rules change when buying a home that is in foreclosure. A home that is in distress is typically in this situation because the current owners cannot afford to pay their mortgage, and thusly, are not able to afford repairs. Generally speaking, foreclosures are sold “as is” and may even specify that repairs and requirements for the certificate of occupancy are the buyer’s responsibility.

A copy of this inspection report should be sent to the buyer to review with their real estate agent. The buyer working with their real estate agent can petition for certain repairs to be made. Many sellers will make such repairs to ensure the purchase goes through, or they will accept a lower purchase price to compensate for the needed repairs, which the buyer will then make. Buyers might want to write clauses into the contract to protect their interests. This allows the buyer to forfeit the sale and walk away from the contract should an issue arise.

Buyers should know that, for a home that is not in foreclosure, there are some repairs that should ultimately be the responsibility of the seller. If these repairs are not made, there may be complications when it comes time to close the deal.

• leaky pipes • water penetration issues, including a bad roof • unsafe decking or handrails • wet basements or crawl spaces • insecure foundations or obvious structural damage • poorly functioning sewer lines or septic system It is always advisable for buyers to use a trusted real estate agent to guide them through the process of buying a home. REALTORS® can help buyers navigate through the important decisions that can affect the home they’ll be living in for years to come.

Such repairs include: • lenderrequired repairs that could impact home safety



BRYAN Bell 604-793-5757

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What you need to know

before you house hunt Determine how much of a down payment you can afford. This may come from existing savings, RRSP’s (first-time buyer) or gifted from a family member. This total cannot be less than five percent of the final purchase price of the house. Shop around for the best mortgage rates, terms and conditions. Sometimes the best rate isn’t the best mortgage. A homebuyer needs to know what the conditions of their mortgage will be, and what prepayment options they will have with that mortgage. You may also find that some institutions will offer you other free items such as legal packages and appraisals. Make sure that the rate isn’t lower if you don’t take the free package and if so, check what the ‘true’ cost of those savings are. It is a very competitive market,

and you are probably shopping for the largest investment you will ever make, so get the most for your money. Find out what you can afford by speaking with a financial institution before you start looking. The lender upon a full pre-qualification process, will let you know what they are willing to lend to you, and what those payments will be each month. Keep in mind it is important that you are comfortable with those payments and that they fit into your lifestyle and other monthly expenses. Remember home ownership is more involved than renting – you will have taxes, utilities, insurance and perhaps strata payments if applicable. Find how much you will pay in closing costs. Closing costs are charges

that you will pay over and above your down payment when it’s time to take over the new property. Common closing costs include legal fees, property transfer tax where applicable, property tax adjustment,

REALTORS® know the area better than anyone and can help you find a property that suits your needs in a location that will appreciate in the future.

home insurance. Most institutions will require confirmation that you have these funds along with your downpayment. Now that you know what you can afford, choose a reputable real estate agent in your area. Local

–Courtesy of Vancity Credit Union

Store Hours: Mon - Sat 9am - 6pm Sun 11am - 4pm Unit 116 - 44981 Commercial Court, Chilliwack, BC PH: 604-393-7242


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Recreational property sales bolstered by baby boomers Greater stability is returning to recreational markets as demand gains traction in major Canadian centers, according to a recent report by RE/MAX. The RE/MAX Recreational Property Report 2013 found that many markets have experienced a rebound in activity— set in motion by softer values and better selection—in recent months. Starting prices are down or unchanged in 77 per cent of markets examined in 2013, prompting renewed interest. As a result, recreational sales are projected to match and/or exceed 2012 levels by year-end in almost 70 per cent of centers. The shift can be attributed to six major factors: 1. Confidence is growing in overall economic performance. 2. Selection of recreational product is at its best level in recent years. 3. Prices have softened in many Canadian markets. 4. Paper wealth accumulated in

6. Increased foreign and out-ofprovince investment.

picture and growing consumer confidence levels, have served to bolster activity in this segment. A stronger U.S. economy has also contributed to the traction in the market for secondary homes in Western Canada, as higher values in sun destinations and—in some instances—challenging logistics prompt purchasers to once again consider Canadian options.

Some of that upward momentum is already evident in Western Canadian markets, the first to feel the effects of the downturn that began in 2009. Recreational property sales in 70 per cent of the markets examined in the Recreational Property Report are on par or ahead of year-ago levels. Greater political stability in British Columbia, and fewer purchasers looking south of the border have also served to bolster sales of recreational product from waterfront to mountain top.

Baby boomers continue to be the most active demographic in the recreational market, with a strong focus on ownership. Some are buying properties with an eye toward retirement (year-round living), while others are hoping to introduce the simpler lifestyle to younger generations. More mature boomers are opting for existing and proposed residential developments, offering all the comforts of home, but none of the upkeep.

The value in recreational housing markets across the country is virtually unprecedented. Softer prices, in combination with an overall brighter economic

Whether they’re buying for full-time usage or for family enjoyment, the desire to own a piece of paradise remains front and centre among baby boomers.

the stock market in recent years is making its way into recreational property markets. 5. Purchasers are bypassing tighter financing criteria through HELOCs (Home Equity Line of Credit) on their principle residence.

Neil Sulkers


This demographic continues to be the single most influential driver of recreational market trends, and they’re not that keen on compromise. Most are waiting for the right property to present itself—once it does, this savvy segment is prepared to act. Affordability remains top of mind with Canadian purchasers, with the RE/MAX Recreational Property Report identifying the $250,000 to $500,000 segment as strongest in terms of sales activity. Gains in the stock markets, realized in recent years, are also expected to have an impact on recreational markets moving forward. In the past, money made in the stock market has filtered into the real estate market. The improving economic climate is also a major factor in growing demand. Purchasers were quick to hop on the bandwagon for residential properties during the lull in 2009. 2013 could be the equivalent of that year in terms of purchasing recreational product.

With exposure to many banks, credit unions & trust companies... I can offer you the best mortgage option to suit your needs.

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RE/MAX Nyda Realty

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A carefully designed, exclusive new development backing the championship Falls Golf Course Resort has emerged from the picturesque rural hillsides of East Chilliwack. Sunridge on Ledgestone Place is the Upper Fraser Valley’s newest residential community, consisting of 65 premier lots available for purchase. Situated against the beautiful backdrop of the Mt. Cheam foothills, Sunridge offers the perfect setting for distinctive lifestyle homes. Naturally inspired and professionally planned by Kingma Bros. Developments Ltd, Sunridge gently cascades from the foothills of Mount Cheam, blending delicately with its surroundings. From its estate-like treed boulevard entry to its captivating views of lush fairways, fertile farmland or twinkling evening lights, it promises to please the most discriminating home buyer. “Residents will have the option to purchase a lot and


build their dream home or choose from several custom home designs from one of our trusted on-site builders,” said Sunridge sales representatives Scott Hrusik and Robert Lacerte of RE/MAX Nyda Realty Chilliwack. “With view lots starting at $159,900** owners and builders alike will benefit from pre-engineered home sites, saving both time and money.” Each lot has design and building guidelines, ensuring all homes will be built to high standards of quality, energy efficiency and natural beauty to protect buyers’ investments for years to come. Private, tranquil and picturesque, Sunridge on Ledgestone Place combines a perfect setting with easy proximity to a wide range of recreational activities including hiking to famous Bridal Falls, swimming, boating or dining in celebrated Harrison Hot Springs or world-class fishing in the nearby Vedder




or Fraser rivers. Whatever your lifestyle - a round of golf on a dramatic 18-hole golf course, meeting friends for lunch at the clubhouse, exploring a mecca of outdoor adventures or simply enjoying the comforts of gracious living in your new home, Sunridge will offer something for every lifestyle. Lot selection is limited so reserve yours by calling SCOTT HRUSIK or ROBERT LACERTE of RE/MAX Nyda Realty at 604-858-7179 or 1-800-830-7175 or visit the website at

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How to improve



Simple ways to

your credit score

soundproof a room

When you are buying a home, your credit rating (or score) is very important in the approval process as well as receiving the best interest rate available to you. Many buyers are unaware of their score – good or bad. A good first step is to check into your credit to make sure it is accurate, and secondly what your rating actually is. You can obtain your credit information on line, or through your financial institution. If you have had issues in the past which have affected your credit rating, here are a few ways to bring it up to a better standing.

Any day after that may result in a mark against your credit.

Advancements in technology have made it easier than ever before for homeowners to create a mini movie theater in the comfort of their own home. The affordability of home-theater systems and big-screen televisions, once deemed a luxury, has made it possible for everyone to enjoy theater-style entertainment at home.

Always make your monthly payments no matter how small

If you have never obtained a loan, or a credit card, you will need to find a way to establish credit

Many people think that if they make a larger payment then necessary in one month that they are not required to make a payment the following month – this could not be further from the truth – you must make a payment each and every month unless your balance owing is paid in full.

Do not go over the limit that has been set by your creditor This will automatically result in a credit score reduction (this also includes any interest that is being charged to your account). Keep credit seeking to a minimum Each time you fill out a credit application the creditor will do a credit check - multiple checks in a short period of time, may lower your credit score.

This can be done by either using a co-signer for a loan, securing a credit card with cash, or taking a credit card with a low limit until you have proven yourself as credit worthy. Contact a financial institution to discuss your options.

Always make your payments by the date required

– Courtesy of Vancity Credit Union




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But one thing that can put a damper on those hometheater plans is external noise. Movie theaters are completely soundproofed. Private homes, however, are not so soundproof, so homeowners must take it upon themselves to soundproof their homes to create the ultimate hometheater experience. The following are some of the ways homeowners can do just that. Add some layers of drywall. An extra layer or two to the

existing walls will block sound between neighboring rooms. If it’s noise from outside the home that’s ruining your home theater experience, then consider installing double-paned windows with acrylic frames. Such a job can be costly, so if it’s going to be a budget-buster, then sound-deadening drapes are a cheaper alternative that can also be effective. Decorate the room with sound-absorbent items. Furnishings with substantial cushioning, carpeting and fabric on the walls will each absorb sound, reducing the transfer of sound from room to room. Upstairs rooms should be carpeted to further reduce the transfer of sound. Soundproofing tile on ceilings is another effective way to reduce the transference of sound from room to room and keep external noise out of the home-theater room.

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Our promise to you... In order to assist in effecting the sale of your property, we will use reasonable efforts to market the property and promote your interests. Our services include: • Exposure on the Multiple Listing Service® • Cooperate with brokerages working with buyers • Advertising the property in local papers • “SeeVirtual” Virtual Tour with Professional Photography • Exposure on, REALTOR.CA and • Open Houses (if requested) • Marketing to fellow REALTORS® • Regular market updates • Proper logging and feedback on showings upon request • FOR SALE sign on property • Showing the property at agreed-upon times • Responding to inquiries in a timely manner • Keeping client fully informed • Reviewing, presenting and negotiating Contracts of Purchase and Sale on the client’s behalf • Assisting in the process involved in the transaction • 8-13 KR

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Things to consider when

building an in-law suite In-law suites are often created by converting an area in the house, such as the basement or even a garage, into a livable suite. Such suites can benefit elderly relatives who might have suddenly found themselves facing a drastic change in their lives, either physically, emotionally or financially. But inlaw suites can also benefit young homeowners not only financially, but also allowing them to spend more time with their parents and in turn, their parents can spend more time with their grandchildren. Before building an in-law suite in your home, you might want to heed the following tips. • Be certain it is legal. Making changes to your home will likely require a permit, particularly if your in-law suite will be an entirely new addition to your property and not just a strict room remodel. Contact your City zoning department to ensure the project is within your rights as a homeowner.

• Consider the health of your parents when making plans. Many in-law suites are occupied by aging relatives who might not be able to get up and down stairs as easily as they used to. That makes accessibility to the suite a top priority. Typically, it’s best to locate in-law suites on the main floor. • Don’t overlook privacy. Just because your parents or inlaws will be moving in doesn’t mean they don’t still value their privacy. Chances are, your relatives will initially feel as though they are invading your space and your privacy, so be sure the suite affords adequate privacy to all members of the household. It is best to build the suite so it has its own separate entrance from the rest of the home. The suite should also have its own full bathroom and, if possible, its own kitchen area. A second kitchen is also something to discuss with the zoning department, as some locales prohibit having two kitchens in a single residence.

• Tailor certain amenities to the elderly. If your parents are older, install safety items, such as grab bars in the shower and bathroom during the initial construction, so you won’t have to make changes down the road. Other safety features such as fire, smoke and carbon

monoxide detectors must also be installed. In-law suites are becoming more popular as a greater number of older adults are moving in with their adult children. Such suites can bring families closer together and prove beneficial for all parties involved.

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Are you pre-approved or

mortgage product are you pre-qualified? Did you know that there is a difference between being preapproved and pre-qualified for a mortgage by a lender? Most people think once they have been to their financial institution or broker, and discussed what they qualify for, that they are automatically approved once they find the home of their dreams.

Although the Federal Government has withdrawn many of the mortgage products that were available to consumers, the No Money Down product is still available. One example is the CMHC Flex Down Product where you can borrow the required 5% down for residential purchases. This product is intended for first time buyers who may lack a cash down payment but have a good credit history and sufficient income for the mortgage payment.

Most lenders in the initial appointment go over numbers based on information you tell them. In this initial appointment they will pre-approve you for what you can afford to buy based on your income, debts and down payment. With that said however, quite often this information does not match the final paperwork that is issued to the lender. If you are looking for the lender to solidify your pre-qualification you will need to bring in all the required documentation to confirm the information you have relayed.

The applicant must have a strong history of managing credit and good job stability. They must be able to service the mortgage debt as well as all other debts including the new loan/line of credit or credit card payments for the borrowed funds for the down payment. Be sure to talk to your financial institution to see if this is an option for you to purchase now, rather than later until you can save the down payment.

In most cases a lender requires a recent job letter confirming your wages or salary, along with a recent paystub and Revenue Canada Notice of Assessment. In

- Courtesy of Vancity Credit Union

For all your Mortgage needs... • New Home Purchase • Investment Properties • Renovations • Refinances • Debt Consolidation

the case of an applicant in business for themselves, the last full two years of tax returns with Notice of Assessments are required. Know what you owe so the lender does not discover unmentioned debt, which could change your borrowing situation when an actual credit report is requested. Also, bring in verification of where your down payment is coming from – if it is in your account, or in an RRSP, bring a recent statement to confirm. If it is coming from the sale of your existing home, bring a copy of your contract of sale and confirmation of the mortgage balance. Be aware that although you may be pre-qualified, the financial institution still needs to approve the property either through an internet appraisal system, or an on site appraisal, or if it is a high ratio mortgage, the high ratio company has the final say. So if you require financing, always make your contract of purchase and sale subject to financing to protect yourself. – Courtesy of Vancity Credit Union

A Total COMMITMENT to Your Goals “I believe success is all about committing yourself to the things you love and then doing them to the best of your ability. Having the opportunity to help people buy and sell real estate in this

Over 25 years Mortgage Lending Experience

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Cell: 604-316-4337

Cell: 604.703.8113 Toll Free: 1.866.703.8113

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Understanding condensation in your home

Windows can appear to be ‘sweating’ or leaking either inside or outside the home because there is moisture on the glass. While condensation may collect on the interior or exterior of energy-efficient windows, the units are really doing their job by helping serve as a barrier in the home. Windows do not cause condensation - they simply prevent the moisture in the home from escaping to the outside. If the inside glass surface on double, or triple-glazed windows show excessive moisture, you can be reasonably sure that the moisture is also collecting on your walls and ceilings. This means you should take steps to reduce the humidity level in your home by using exhaust fans and dehumidifiers. Where Does Condensation Come From? You’d be surprised how much water vapor homeowners create themselves on a daily basis. A family of four can add a half pint of water vapor every hour to

the home just through normal breathing and perspiration. And, if you take a five minute shower, you produce another half pint of water vapor. Even the simple act of cooking dinner can produce two and a half pints of water vapor. Invisible water vapor is everywhere in the home. The key is for homeowners to monitor the levels of moisture in their homes and then take steps to manage the humidity levels. What Can a Homeowner Do to Help Reduce Condensation? • Store firewood outside. Firewood can consist of up to 45 percent water, and • If your home is overly humid, or even well-seasoned firewood if you have a damp basement, generally has a 20 to 25 percent use a dehumidifier. moisture content. • Properly vent clothes dryers, • Open curtains and blinds to gas appliances and stoves. allow more air circulation around your windows. • Open a window in the bathroom. Worrisome Windows • Use kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans.

• Make sure your attic, basement and crawl spaces are well ventilated and free from obstructions.

Homeowners with the most cause for concern are those with older, less efficient windows. Know the difference between

condensation on the glass and between the glass panes of the window. If you are seeing moisture, fogging or cloudiness between the panes of glass in your window, this is a strong indication that the seal of your window has failed and it’s time to replace your window. While condensation on the interior or exterior of the glass is manageable, moisture between the glass needs swift attention by homeowners.

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On the move? Use these

packing tips Let’s face it - moving is hard. Along with the stress of leaving a familiar place and adapting to new surroundings, moving means packing, loading, transporting, unloading and unpacking everything you own - as well as everything you forgot you owned. A well-thought-out approach to boxing up belongings can help simplify the moving process and bring you one step closer to making your new house a home. Box it up. To be prepared for packing, seek out a large quantity of clean, sturdy containers in a variety of shapes and sizes. When selecting boxes, you may choose to purchase new ones, helping to ensure they can withstand the rigors of moving. You can also purchase dividers, which come in handy for packing glasses and other small, fragile items. Remember not to over-pack. Heavier items should be placed into smaller boxes to avoid too much strain on the box (and your back). Leave it. The easiest packing is not packing items you never use. Moving is the perfect time to clear the clutter out of your life. Decide what to keep and donate any items such as clothing and housewares that you will not use, or have not used in over a year. If you have

not used an item in the last year, you probably won’t use it in the future either. Mind the supplies. The right tools can go a long way toward easing the moving process. Pick up plenty of quality wrapping material, as well as strong packaging tape to help make boxing up your belongings a painless process. Organize and prioritize. Pack from room to room and label boxes based on contents, where the boxes will be unpacked in the new location, and also in priority for unpacking. Get help. Be organized to help the entire moving day run smoothly, so that your volunteers aren’t waiting around for a job to do. Providing tasty snacks and drinks is a thoughtful way to say thank you. Pack a survival kit. Moving can be exhausting, and an all-day move may not wrap up until late in the evening. Don’t spend your first night in your new home unpacking. Instead, pack a survival kit or an “Open Me First” box with essentials to get you through that first night. These simple tips can make moving day a lot less stressful and help you enjoy your new home faster and easier.



Are you ready for

home ownership? First-time buyers have a lot to consider as they forge into the world of home ownership – and many wonder where they should begin. Purchasing a home is often the biggest financial decision in a person’s life, so it’s important to take your time, set realistic goals, assess all the costs and get the right advice before you buy. Am I ready? A home purchase is an emotional and financial journey that marks a key milestone in life. Are you ready for the responsibilities and upkeep associated with owning a home? Do you have a stable income? Have you saved up enough for a down payment? Be honest with yourself about your current lifestyle to gauge your readiness and ability to put together a good down payment.

Can I afford it? While you may feel pressure if the market is competitive, to buy something, fight that feeling and buy only when you find a property that meets your needs and lifestyle within your price range. Review your household income and current debt and remember to budget for closing costs, land transfer fees, property tax and everyday expenses. Talk to your financial institution about a mortgage pre-approval so you know exactly how much you can borrow and afford. Who can help me? Your REALTOR® and your mortgage lender are the experts and your most valuable resource. They can help you get a sense of the market and financing options. Arming yourself with more information and planning ahead can help you confidently navigate this first time journey so you can find the home of your dreams.




Preparing your

children for a move Moving makes it to the top ten list of life’s most stressful events. When we feel more in control of a situation we can often feel less panicked. Now put yourself in the shoes of your children when the “we are selling the house!” announcement is made.  Kids are not generally the chief decision makers of the household (as it should be) and therefore have little control of this major change in their lives. This can make a move exceptionally hard for children, leaving them feeling powerless and resentful but there are a number of strategies that can help them feel secure and even excited about the process. First, sit down as a family before you call your REALTOR® in to assess your home and list it. Don’t surprise your son or daughter

one morning with a FOR SALE sign on the front lawn. At each child’s level of understanding, share with them why it’s time to move and let them ask all the questions they have. Ask them what their biggest fear or concern is regarding changing homes. In this way you can address each child’s individual emotions without having to assume how they are feeling. There are a number of children’s books on the topic that can help kids process and serve as conversation starters. Check out What About My Goldfish? By Jennifer Plecas. A word about timing. Many people tend to think that moving during the summer is best but many REALTORS® disagree. Moving during the school year has several advantages. The house is easier to keep

clean and showings are less complicated when the little ones are away for the majority of the day. More importantly, changing schools midyear means that Suzy will be the special new girl, generally assigned a buddy to help her fit in to the new environment, something that won’t happen on the first day of school in September. Next, include them in each step of the process. Introduce them to your family’s REALTOR®, and let the kids conduct the tour of their own rooms and plays areas pointing out all the best features of their spaces. If they are old enough, your agent can have a discussion with them about preparing and keeping their rooms ready for showings, even giving the kids checklists for showings including the staged pictures of

their rooms so that they can re-set the bedroom as shown. In our experience kids often love their staged rooms and take pride in keeping them neat. Then, get them excited about what moving to a new home will mean to them i.e. more yard to play in, their own room, or living closer to Grandma and Grandpa. Look at the MLS® listings online together and let them tell you the things that they like about the homes. This will build some anticipation and be a motivator for them to help out with the house while it’s on the market. If they are old enough, take them to open houses or the first home viewings. However, don’t tell them which home you have an offer on until the deal is firm. Kids can’t rationalize that ‘you could not come

together on the price’, or that the inspection failed, and you do not need to take them on that emotional roller coaster ride; it’s hard enough on adults! Once you have secured your new home, take them out to see it, show them their new rooms, bring paint chips, etc. Also, tour the neighbourhood, go play for awhile at a nearby park or schoolyard and let them get ramped up about the new digs. Moving as a family can be an enriching experience as long as we pay attention to every member’s needs. Throughout all of this, engage your REALTOR®’s help in making your children feel empowered and important, because they are! -Courtesy of Kelly Lerigny and Anita Lloyd

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Finding a safe neighbourhood

Block Watch / Grow Watch 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 home 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? Are there any drug houses or grow ops? Will my family be safe and secure in this new neighbourhood? These questions are paramount to home buyers. The first thing you can look for when you are thinking about a specific neighbourhood, is the presence of a Block Watch program for that area. Not every neighbourhood has one, 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. Block Watch Block Watch is a proactive program that encourages neighbours to join with other neighbours in reducing the likelihood of residential and property crime in their neighbourhoods. By working together, neighbours meet over a common goal – making their neighbourhoods a safer place to live and play. Be an active citizen and

help to reduce crime in your neighbourhood. Become a Block Watch Member. Crimes such as ‘Break and Enters’ can be prevented if criminals know that there are watchful neighbours!!! The Chilliwack Block Watch Program already boasts participation of over 18,000 residents and is active in every neighbourhood within the City! Do your part in preventing residential crime - become a member of Block Watch. Are you interested in bringing Block Watch to your neighborhood? It’s easy. Call Community Policing Services 604.393.3000. Grow Watch Chilliwack’s ‘Grow Watch’ is a 3 PHASE neighbourhood action plan designed to educate and help residents in being able to: • Identify Marihuana grow operations in their neighbourhoods

Chilliwack RCMP • Deter potential criminals from establishing Marihuana grow operations in ‘Grow Watch’ designated neighbourhoods. Phase 1 – Training Phase 2 - Neighbourhood Cooperation / Letter of Participation Phase 3 - Certification / Designation Once a neighbourhood reaches a participation rate of 80% and signed letters are forwarded to Community Policing Services, a sign will be erected under the existing Block Watch sign indicating that this neighbourhood is a Grow Watch Neighbourhood and that “Neighbours are Watching, Recording and Reporting.” Are you interested in bringing Grow Watch to your neighborhood? It’s easy!! Call Chilliwack Community Policing Services at 604.393.3000 . - Courtesy of Chilliwack Crime Prevention Services

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The truth about pets when selling your home Pets can present a real challenge when it comes to selling your home. Many people work and their pet remains home alone. For many pets, having strangers invading their space can be frightening for them causing abnormal behaviour responses. Dogs will bark or growl. Cats will hiss, swipe out, even attack or simply bolt leaving a trail of hair streaming behind them. Even caged pets or birds will become frightened and toss their bedding around. These responses can be disconcerting and distracting to buyers and stressful for the animals. REALTORS® over the years have experienced dog attacks, escaped pets and freaked out buyers. Frankly, based on these experiences, if a REALTOR® is not told in advance by the listing agent that the “owners are out, but the dog is in a crate in the garage” and there is barking or growling coming from inside a home when the door bell rings, a REALTOR® will most likely not show that home so as not to put themselves and especially their

clients at risk. There are a number of other considerations that have to be taken into account when you are selling a home as a pet owner. If you ignore these issues it could cost you literally thousand of dollars as the result of lower offers. Here are some recommendations: 1. Re-locate pets while your home is on the market Now don’t shoot the messenger, but this is the best scenario. If at all possible while your home is on the market ship Fifi off to a close friend or family member to care for until the home is sold. It will generally be the most humane thing you can do and will make having your home show ready and less stressful for you too. No ifs, ands, or buts—pets in homes on the market can interfere with showings and can prolong your time on the market. Longevity on the market translates into a lower price. 2. Remove Pets for Showings


Another option is to see if a neighbour would be willing to keep your furry friend at their home during the day while you are at work. There are lots of retired folks who may really enjoy the company, and may agree to help you out. Prospective buyers who see pets will be consciously looking and smelling for pet damage to woodwork, carpets, and walls; again not focusing on the positive features of your house. 3. Secure Your Pets If removing your pet is absolutely not feasible, at the very least have your pet in a crate during showings with a sign that asks people to not disturb them. Loose pets in a home can make people very nervous and puts a big responsibility on the buyer’s agent to manage the pet situation i.e. making sure the pet stays in the house, keeping the buyer’s attention on the viewing, and dealing with people’s fear of animals.

4. Remove the Evidence For some people, particularly those with allergies, just the fact that pets live in a home de-values it. So it is a good idea to de-pet your continued pg. 31

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home for showings by removing food dishes, pet toys and beds, leashes, pet food bags, etc. 5. Deep Clean & Repair Pet Damage Although pet owners in our love for our pets may overlook and ‘under-smell’ the evidence that we are sharing a home with furry animals, most buyers, even other pet owners, rarely do. If there is any damage caused by scratching or chewing of walls, doors and door frames, floors or carpets, it should go without saying that those repairs must be done. Pet odours and stains can be very insidious and it is usually a good idea to have carpets professionally cleaned prior to listing your home. If the cleaning is not successful consider replacing the carpet and underlay. You may even want to paint the wood underneath just to make sure that the smell does escape again. After that, daily vacuuming and dusting is highly recommended to keep hair and pet

dander at bay. If there is a litter box daily cleaning is a must. Do not use masking chemical fragrance products like fabric sprays, plug-in types or air freshener sprays as many people are highly allergic to them and it smells like a lavender wet dog instead of the usual odour. Also, don’t forget the yard. Repair any damage to lawns or gardens like holes or burnt spots on the grass and be religious about picking up the doggy doo. Deep cleaning applies to the pets too. Bathing and brushing them frequently while your home is on the market will keep your home smelling pet free and keep the loose hair at bay. Don’t forget to wash your pets bedding on bath day too! As much as we love our pets, sellers have to face the truth and consider the fact that they may be costing us much more than we think when it comes to selling our homes. - Courtesy of Kelly Lerigny & Anita Lloyd

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Mortgage insurance options Mortgage Life insurance

covered or excluded. Preexisting medical conditions are usually NOT covered. These terms and conditions of insurance are usually listed in the insurance certificate, so ask to see it before you apply so that you understand exactly what the insurance covers.

Mortgage life insurance pays the remaining balance on your mortgage to the lender in the event of your death. This can be helpful if you have dependents or a spouse who might like to stay in the home after your death, but who might not be able to continue making the same mortgage payments as before. Remember that your home can be sold to pay back the mortgage, so mortgage life insurance may not be necessary for everyone.

Cost of Insurance The cost of mortgage life or disability insurance, called the premium, depends on your mortgage amount and your age. Where can you get these products?

Mortgage Disability Insurance Mortgage disability insurance will make mortgage payments to your lender if you cannot work due to a severe injury or illness. Most disability insurance plans have a number of conditions attached to them, including a specific list of illnesses or injuries that are

You can buy mortgage life and disability insurance through your mortgage lender, or through another insurer or financial institution. It is a good idea to shop around to make sure you are getting the best insurance to meet your needs. Source - Financial Consumer Agency of Canada


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Window guards save

Pros and cons of

children’s lives

open floor plans

The advantages to open windows are many. But one particular disadvantage is the safety hazard open windows present to young children.

Open floor plans have evolved to be the floor plan of choice in new homes and current home renovations today. There are many supporters of the open floor plan, however, there are plenty of people who have never been enamored with having all of their rooms flowing into one. A home’s floor plan largely depends on the preference of the homeowner. Here are some of the pros and cons. Pro: Open floor plans can be safer for parents of young children. If the living spaces branch off from the kitchen, parents can keep an eye on children while preparing meals. Con: Privacy is reduced in a home with few walls. Although an open floor plan enables children to be seen from every angle, it also enables you to be seen -- and all of your belongings as well. Pro: Entertaining can be easier in a home with an open floor plan because you are not separated from your guests. An open space enables everyone to mingle and conversations to flow. Con: Those who like to host events

Many children are injured each year after falling out of windows. Two-thirds of these children are toddlers. Due to toddlers’ high center of gravity (a head that is particularly heavy), most topple over and land head-first, which can cause serious injuries and even death. Children are often insatiable in their curiosity and it is not farfetched to see children leaning up against windows and screens to get a better view of outdoors. A window screen can easily dislodge and provides no barrier from a fall. Homeowners of young children should add window protection to the list of safety gear they use to childproof a home. There are many varieties of window guards that provide a measure of security against falls, but can

be easily removed by an adult in the event the window needs to be used as an emergency evacuation point. There are also locks and latches that restrict how much a window can be opened. Even falls from ground-floor windows can cause injuries. In addition to the installation of window guards, there are other safety steps that help prevent window-related falls; * Keep furniture away from windows. Children can climb on the furniture and have better access to windows. * Routinely inspect the hardware and construction of the window to ensure it is secure. Periodically check the fit of a window guard to make sure it is properly installed. * Do not open windows wide in children’s rooms. A few inches is all that’s needed for fresh air. * Make sure children know they are not allowed to play next to open windows or to try to climb up to windows.

without showing guests all of their dirty dishes or secrets of the kitchen may dislike an open floor plan. Pro: Light can flow effectively through an open space. Light in and of itself can help a home feel more spacious. Con: While light can flow easily, so can sound. Noises through the house may be amplified with an open floor plan. Pro: Open floor plans allow for more family time together in one space. Con: People who are collectors or who have a lot of furniture or accent items may find that open floor plans do not work well with this type of design mantra. Pro: Because several rooms run into one another, color choices for walls and furnishings in a home with an open floor plan are usually limited and cohesive, making choices easier. Con: On the flip side, those who want to incorporate different color schemes and eclectic styles may have difficulty deciding on where to “end” rooms or how to co-mingle furniture.


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Schools a big factor

for home buyers Choosing the right location for your next home is an important decision, and often the schools in the neighbourhood can be a deciding factor. There are 28 schools within Chilliwack Public School District No. 33, including 19 elementary schools, five middle schools, three secondary schools and one elementary/middle school. In Chilliwack, three new schools have been constructed to replace older facilities. The newest, Chilliwack Secondary School, will welcome students this fall. The $52 million facility offers a state-ofthe-art learning environment and features a Neighbourhood Learning Centre, large student gathering spaces, a professional quality athletic field, an aboriginal cultural centre, and facilities to accommodate the Fraser Valley Distance Education school. Although built for 1,200 students it can expand up to 1,500 students if the need

arrises. Located on the same property as the old school at Portage and Young, the building is three stories, built to rigid environmental standards and offers ample light and wood accents. The community of Yarrow is also home to a new school. Students there celebrated the $14.9 million facility’s grand opening this spring, although the school welcomed its first students last fall. The 42,637 square foot building can accommodate 475 students from kindergarten to Grade 6. Part of this includes a Neighbourhood Learning Centre for the community at large to participate in recreational programs. The school also rents the multi-purpose room and gym for meetings and events. It, too, is built to strict environmental standards, boasts soaring windows and spectacular views, and offers some of the latest technological teaching aids.

The new school in Rosedale is the school district’s first to combine elementary and middle school programs in one building. The 81,000-square-foot facility, built on two levels, has a capacity for 510 students. It was built with input from the teaching staff, and is being welcomed in the neighbourhood as an important community centre. The three schools might be the newest buildings in Chilliwack, but the district is confident they won’t be the last. The district is looking for $56 million in new construction and facility upgrades over the next few years.

in the south end of town by building additions to Evans elementary, Sardis elementary, Watson elementary, and Promontory Heights elementary. Additions are also planned for Sardis secondary and G.W. Graham middle secondary. In addition to schools within the public system, Chilliwack also offers several private alternatives, like Mount Cheam Christian School, Unity Christian School, St. Mary’s Elementary School, Timothy Christian School and Highroad Academy.

Post-secondary options continue to grow. The University of Plans include construction of the Fraser Valley opened its two new schools in Chilliwack’s Chilliwack campus at Canada Eastern Hillsides. District Education Park. The facility, staff is recommending site which includes the Trades and acquisition and the eventual Technology Building and the construction of a kindergartento-Grade 6 school, as well as a newly announced BC School of kindergarten-to-Grade 9 facility. Agriculture, joins the Justice The school district is also hoping Institute of BC, Canada Border to eliminate portable classrooms Services and the RCMP’s Pacific at several elementary schools Regional Training Centre.


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Essential insurance tips

for first time home buyers From mortgage approval, to making an offer, to paying closing costs, buying your first home is both exciting and scary. At the top of this list, for example, is home insurance. Not only will insurance protect you should anything happen to your home or its contents, but it is also necessary to secure a mortgage. First time home buyers can become overwhelmed with all

the steps required to purchase a home and often need to make a quick decision about home insurance. But a quick decision might not be the right decision and first time buyers should be aware of the important choices they need to make. As a starting point, here are three concepts that firsttime home buyers should understand: All Perils vs. Named Perils. A named perils policy provides protection against hazards or events, such as fire or vandalism, which are specifically listed on your policy. Named perils policies are usually less expensive, but you run the risk of being struck by a calamity that isn’t on your list.

An all perils policy will cover you against everything expect perils that are specifically excluded in your policy. Check over your insurance policy to ensure that you have adequate coverage, and consider taking safeguards, such as installing a sump pump, to prevent disasters such as flooding which may not be included in your policy. Contents Insurance. Your insurance policy will likely cover more than just your home, it will cover your possessions as well. There are two typical types of coverage that apply to the contents of your home: actual cash value or replacement cost. The actual cash value coverage will reimburse you for how much your possessions were worth when they were lost or damaged. For quickly depreciating items such as TVs or computers, you may not receive enough money from your insurance claim to actually replace the item that was lost. Most of us have many items that depreciate quickly, so you should seriously only

consider a policy that covers the actual replacement cost of your possessions. Loss of Use. Make sure you understand the loss of use section of your insurance policy. It outlines the living expenses you’ll receive should you be forced to leave your home because of a disaster. It often will cover your increase in cost of living while you are displaced from your home. Every first time home buyer needs to understand their insurance policy to make sure it is right for them. And they should also understand the changes they can make to their home, such as installing an alarm system to lower their insurance premiums. Spending some time now to know how your policy protects you can save you headaches and confusion later should a disaster strike. Insurance brokers are experts and can explain and review all your insurance coverages and your needs.

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Top 10 grants and rebates for

property buyers and owners Home Buyers’ Plan 1 Qualifying home buyers can withdraw up to $25,000 (couples can withdraw up to $50,000) from their RRSPs for a down payment. Home buyers who have repaid their RRSP may be eligible to use the program a second time. GST Rebate on New Homes New home buyers can apply for a rebate of the federal portion of the HST (the 5% GST) if the purchase price is $350,000 or less. The rebate is equal to 36% of the GST to a maximum rebate of $6,300. There is a proportional GST rebate for new homes costing between $350,000 and $450,000. At $450,000 and above the rebate is nil. BC Property Transfer Tax (PTT) First-Time Home Buyers’ Program Qualifying first-time buyers may be exempt from paying the PTT of 1% on the first $200,000 and 2% on the remainder of the purchase price of a home priced up to $425,000. There is a proportional exemption for homes priced up to $450,000. At $450,000 and above the rebate is nil. First-Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit (HBTC) This federal non-refundable income tax credit is for qualifying buyers of detached, attached, apartment condominiums, mobile homes or shares in a cooperative housing corporation. The calculation: multiply the lowest personal income tax rate for the year (15% in 2011) x $5,000. For the 2012 tax year, the maximum credit is $750. BC Home Owner Grant Reduces property taxes for home owners with an assessed value of up to $1,295,000. The basic grant gives home owners: • a maximum reduction of $570 in property taxes on principal residences in the Capital, Greater Vancouver and Fraser Valley regional districts; • an additional grant of $200 to rural homeowners elsewhere in the province; and • an additional grant of $275 to seniors aged 65+, those who are permanently disabled and war veterans of certain wars. BC Property Tax Deferment Programs: - Property Tax Deferment Program for Seniors. Qualifying home






owners aged 55+ may be eligible to defer property taxes. - Financial Hardship Property Tax Deferment Program. Qualifying low-income home owners may be eligible to defer property taxes. - Property Tax Deferment Program for Families with Children. Qualifying low-income home owners who financially support children under age 18 may be eligible to defer property taxes. Canada Mortgage and Housing (CMHC) Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program (RRAP) Grants. This federal program provides financial aid to qualifying low-income home owners to repair substandard housing. Eligible repairs include heating, structural, electrical, plumbing and fire safety. Grants are available for seniors, persons with disabilities, owners of rental properties and owners creating secondary and garden suites. Home Adaptations for Independence (HAFI) A program jointly sponsored by the provincial and federal governments provides up to $20,000 to help eligible lowincome seniors and disabled home owners and landlords to finance modifications to their homes to make them accessible and safer. CMHC Mortgage Loan Insurance Premium Refund Provides home buyers with CMHC mortgage insurance, a 10% premium refund and possible extended amortization without surcharge when buyers purchase an energy efficient home or make energy saving renovations. Low Interest Renovation Loans Financial institutions offer ‘green’ loans for home owners making energy efficient upgrades. Vancity’s Bright Ideas personal loan offers home owners up to $20,000 at prime + 1% for up to 10 years for ‘green’ renovations. RBC’s Energy Saver loan offers 1% off the interest rate for a fixed rate installment loan over $5,000 or a $100 rebate on a home energy audit on a fixed rate installment loan over $5,000. For information visit your financial institution. - Courtesy of the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board






HomeLife... Higher Standards Higher Results HomeLife Glenayre Realty began its Chilliwack operations in 1992 as a one man office and has since grown to 80+ Realtors® making it the largest real estate firm in Chilliwack. HomeLife Realtors® are proudly responsible for over 30% of the Multiple Listing Sales (MLS) in Chilliwack and the Upper Fraser Valley real estate market. Our Realtors® specialize in all areas of the industry from home sales, to leasing, to industrial sales. With the uniqueness of the Chilliwack real estate market, HomeLife Realtors® have become among the best informed and most professional Realtors® in the province and are more than capable in handling any questions or concerns the public may have regarding our area. HomeLife Glenayre Realty Chilliwack Ltd. also has in-house mortgage services as well as property management to complement all aspects of real estate business. We are strategically located at the corner of Airport and Young Road, just minutes from the freeway.




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Sell faster and for more money by staging your home The term ‘staging’ is commonly heard these days but very often misunderstood. It was coined by a REALTOR® over 35 years ago and referenced the theatre where you set the ‘stage’ to give your audience an experience, to draw them into your story. When we stage a home for our sellers we are creating a story that will appeal to a target market of buyers. Much research has been done that proves staged homes sell more quickly and for more money than comparable homes that are not staged.

For a lot of our clients we recommend the rental of a storage locker, which allows you to move items like extra furniture, off-season clothing, seasonal items that you aren’t currently using such as Christmas decorations, boxes of books and knick-knacks off the property. This has the added benefit of making your move so much easier once your home sells and generally

The next step is deep cleaning. Buyers look at places inside your home that your dinner guests never will. Shower stalls, cupboards, window tracks and the like, will be examined by home shoppers and the cleanliness of these

areas greatly impacts their impression of a home. Buyers will low ball what they feel is a less-than-clean home. You can retain thousands of dollars if you are willing to go the effort of making your home Q-Tip clean. If you were selling your car you would detail it, so doesn’t it make sense to do even more when you are selling your most expensive asset? While you are packing and cleaning think about depersonalizing your space. Take down family portraits, kids art on the fridge, and your ball cap collection. To help you decide what should go or stay, envision a show home and the décor that you would see in one. Show homes are created to be inviting but not someones specific personality in order to create a product with wide appeal.

Staging is not decorating. Decorating is about embellishing a living space to reflect your personality while staging is the art of depersonalizing and enhancing your home so that your future buyer can visualize themselves as the next owners. The first step for every home is to de-clutter; to show off the space you actually have.

these items are the last to be unpacked so they can stay in the storage unit until you are settled into your new home.


Final step, to stage. Arrange continued pg. 37

The Team with Over 40 Years of Real Estate Sales Experience in Chilliwack


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604.858.7179 1-800-830-7175

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JC FIREPLACES & SPAS & CHILLIWACK HEATING 8915 Young Rd. S. (Corner Of Young & Railway)





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the exterior; your front & back yard and especially your front entrance. If this step is the one that intimidates you there are books on the topic, internet resources or the option to hire a professional stager. You can also choose to work with a REALTOR® who has staging experience. When offered, these services are generally

provided by agents free of charge to sellers. So to summarize, the steps are: de-clutter, de-dirt, depersonalize and then create a pleasing scene that will make a great impression on prospective buyers. It will mean more money in your pocket! - Courtesy of Kelly Lerigny and Anita Lloyd

DE-CLUTTERED furniture so that prospects can move easily throughout the home, look out windows and access patio doors. The arrangement of furniture and accessories should also create a focal point in each room that highlights it’s best features. For example, the fireplace in a room should be the focal point, not the TV (unless, of course it is a media room). Walk through your home like a

buyer, stand at the thresholds of each room and note your first impressions. Is there a dresser blocking your view of the bedroom or is there a blank wall straight in front of you that could use a piece of art? Adding accents of colour also really makes a home memorable; in a good way. And all of this is not limited to the interior. You must also take the same approach with



Chilliwack’s Home Decor Specialists

• Home Accessories • Custom Floral Design • Window Fashions • Residential/Commercial Consultation Services • Furnishings 9232 Young Rd., Chilliwack (Upstairs) • 604.792.7808




REALTORS® care locally Because REALTORS® Live, Work and Play in their communities they understand what makes a community function. The members of the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board support local charities and causes through their offices, through Real Estate Board initiatives or through the many local service clubs in which they belong. Preparing and serving Thanksgiving dinners, and donating to local housing-related charities and schools are some of the activities in which members enthusiastically participate. REALTORS® have initiated successful programs such as the REALTORSCare® Blanket Drive, the REALTORCare® Community Fair, Realty Watch, and supporting events with the REALTORCare® Tent. The REALTORSCare® Blanket Drive Way back in 1995, some caring REALTORS® in Vancouver observed the homeless situation in the city’s eastside and said to themselves, we’ve got to do something. They put out an appeal to their fellow colleagues for warm blankets and coats and collected 600 bags of donations specifically dedicated to Vancouver’s homeless in the downtown core.


That single act of kindness has blossomed into one of the largest annual collections of warm clothing and blankets, helping homeless people and the working poor in every single community in the Lower Mainland. Seventeen years later, thousands of REALTORS® from Whistler to Chilliwack have collected enough donations to help more than 166,000 people in need. Each year, more than 75 dedicated members actually pick-up and deliver all the donations, and well over 100 real estate offices in the Lower Mainland act as collection depots. The annual REALTORS Care® Drive now collects an astonishing 5,000 plus bags of warm, winter items on behalf of dozens of local charities. The REALTORSCare® Community Fair In November of 2011 the members of CADREB and their offices gathered together to put on a community event to raise funds for Chilliwack Community Services Olympic Legacy Housing. The building came from the 2010 Olympics Village and houses youth who need assistance in becoming self sustaining giving them a leg up on their future. Each Real Estate office provided a tent

and a fundraising activity, the event was created to have a family fun day event and show that REALTORS® care about their community. The event raised $5000 and CADREB had previously given $3500 to the housing project. The event was well attended by the community. In 2012 the funds raised from the event went to the Chilliwack Hospital and Health Care Foundation to support the work they do to promote healthy living in the community. Realty Watch  Realty Watch is a community crime prevention program operating across the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, from Whistler to Hope and every community in between. Over 14,000 REALTORS® assist police as extra “eyes and ears” in their communities. Realty Watch has two components: • REALTORS® observe and report to police any suspicious activity that they may happen upon in their dayto-day business • In emergency situations, REALTORS® respond to a police/ RCMP-activated fan-out to search for missing or abducted people, suspicious vehicles, or people with

medical conditions who may be in danger. The program is organized and run by REALTOR® volunteers from the Greater Vancouver, Fraser Valley and Chilliwack real estate boards. Realty Watch is a partner agency of Amber Alert. CADREB REALTORSCare® Tent   CADREB accepts tent applications from organizations that fit within the categories of community public service organizations, community not-for-profit arts, cultural, educational, recreational, social service organizations, and organizations serving CADREB’s communities in a focused manner. Currently, these communities include, Chilliwack, Hope, Harrison Hot Springs, Agassiz/Kent, Yarrow, and Cultus Lake. Events and organizations we have loaned the tent out for include: YMCA Healthy Kids Day, Fraser Valley Salmon Society, Cancer Fundraiser, Shelter Foundation (Royal Lepage Realty), Chilliwack Christmas Parade, Chilliwack Connect, Flightfest, Cultus Lake-Chilliwack Swim Club, Cornerstone Community Fun Day, and Cheam Elementary Carnival. - Courtesy of Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board

SEXSMITH TEAM Personal Real Estate Corporation

HomeLife Glenayre Realty Chilliwack Ltd.

Why work with our team? Experience! Over 40 years with the Chilliwack & District Real Estate Board.

Dedication! We are here for you 24/7. Integrity! Our teams foundation is built on honesty and trust. We offer full scale service, competitive rates, extensive marketing, and ALWAYS work in our client’s best interest.


You’ve ever made!

Linda & Clarke Sexsmith



Sarah Toop



8-13 KR

Call today - it will be the


“What’s good for the community... is good for REAL ESTATE”



50 Years

REALTORS® do much more than trade in real estate. They help British Columbians achieve the dream of home ownership — the foundation of a strong community. That is why Chilliwack and District REALTORS® support the Quality of Life principles. The goal of the Quality of Life approach is to recommend and support policies that enable people to get what they value most: jobs, homes and better communities. Quality of Life is based on five principles : • Ensuring economic vitality. The key to our quality of life is a strong economy, which creates jobs, expands the tax base, enhances and revitalizes communities. • Providing housing opportunities. We all want a safe, decent and affordable home near where we work, shop and play. We must ensure an attainable supply of housing including choices about design, cost and location. • Preserving the environment. REALTORS® recognize one of the important elements of quality of life is the environment: clean air and water, parks and open space. • Protecting property owners. A strong economy depends on preserving the investment people have made in real estate by protecting the ability to freely own, use, buy and sell real property. • Building better communities. Better communities are created in partnership with governments to ensure safe neighbourhoods and sufficiently fund the roads, water and sewer that form the framework for a community’s quality of life. For more information visit:

Celebrating 50 Years of Local REALTORS® Serving the Needs of Property Owners. 1964-2014

Dedicated to achieving the highest level of professionalism, service and impact within our community.

Your Community Real Estate Office

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Sutton Group - Showplace Realty Ltd.


Special Features - Key To Real Estate 2013/2014  


Special Features - Key To Real Estate 2013/2014