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HOME BUYERS

GUIDE 2014


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Abbotsford News 2014 – HOME BUYERS GUIDE


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FRESHEST LISTINGS IN THE VALLEY

BC and Canadian Real Estate websites to know Technology has been a driving force behind the transformation of many industries. Consumers today have access to scores of information that can help them find a property, a REALTOR® and connect all the dots in between. Purchasing a home will likely be the most important buying decision you’ll ever have to make so it is important to do your own research, understand your rights and find professionals that you are most comfortable working with. If you’re deciding whether to buy or sell a home, it’s critical that you understand and properly assess your personal and financial circumstances against current housing opportunities. The REALTORS® of Canada and other real estate professionals have provided a wealth of information online to help you understand what opportunities are out there for you and your family to consider.

www.realtor.ca

Formerly mls.ca, this is the most comprehensive and popular real estate listing website in the country. In 2008, the Canadian Real Estate

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Association rebranded and re-designed mls.ca to become realtor.ca. This change brought upgraded search functions and capabilities, which provide a streamlined experience for people using the site. If you’re looking for a property in BC, you can search by area or MLS® number. If you’re looking for a REALTOR®, you can search the province by name, company or area of specialty.

www.abbotsfordrealestatereview.com m Stay apprised of current real estate listings, open houses and recently sold properties by referring to the online version of the Real Estate Review, as published every Friday in The Abbotsford News. View the current and past issues listed by publication date, and all advertised websites are hyperlinked to allow browsers to click through and find out more about the realtors’ listings. On this site you will also find icons linking to relevant print publications published by The Abbotsford News. Watch h

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Abbotsford News 2014 – HOME BUYERS GUIDE

3


Websites for buying and selling homes continued from page 3 for this Spring Home Buyer’s Guide, and the Fall Real Estate Resource Guide, as they are published throughout the year. For listings in the Chilliwack area, look at www.chilliwackrealestatereview.com. www.rebgv.org A wide-ranging, one-stop website for real estate information. The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver’s website offers visitors a 360-degree look at local real estate, providing detailed MLS® statistics, monthly podcasts, consumer guidance and other information and links related to local real estate. On the site, you can track home prices in your area, search for a REALTOR®, read about government initiatives that impact local real estate, and learn about the

various cost-savings programs available for homebuyers and sellers. The site also features a wealth of consumer information related to buying and selling a home, from checklists and FAQ’s to market data and community profiles. One of the most important measures of home value in real estate is the MLS®Link Housing Price Index (HPI), and this website contains the latest HPI data as well as a comprehensive breakdown of home values across the region.

www.recbc.ca

A site for consumer protection and industry regulation. The Real Estate Council of British Columbia is the body responsible for licensing and regulating REALTORS® in BC. Their website is full of valuable consumer protection information, as

well as information on how to become a REALTOR®. One of the most important features of this site is the Complaints and Discipline section, which allows consumers to file complaints against REALTORS® and inform themselves about recent disciplinary decisions.

www.howrealtorshelp.ca

Built and maintained by the Canadian Real Estate Association, this site is filled with good information for those looking to buy and sell a home. The site offers information for buyers and sellers on a variety of topics and includes brief videos to illustrate examples. You can also find handy tools like checklists for buyers and sellers and mortgage calculators.

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Abbotsford News 2014 – HOME BUYERS GUIDE

As a first-time home buyer, I was nervous ... This is where Brenda excels: guiding you through the home buying process step-by-step from initial viewing until all the paperwork is finished. – First-time Home Buyer


First time home buyer tip for 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. 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. 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.

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

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Susan Pelzer - Sales Executive Susan Pelzer is the founder and coordinator of Susan Pelzer & Associates (Susan Pelzer Personal Real Estate Corporation). Since the start of her career in 1990 Susan has assisted more than 2,000 families meet their Real Estate needs. Susan’s love of people shows in the care and professionalism she gives to all of her clients. Her experience and dedication enables her to provide uncompromising service with a personal touch. Her team has been assembled based on integrity, care and work ethic. In December of 2008 Susan received an award for demonstrating professionalism, courteous service and high ethical standards from the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board. Susan Pelzer feels strongly about her affiliation with CMN and gives part of her commissions earned to the Children’s hospital, “Children are our future” is her philosophy. Susan is very proud to live in the beautiful city of Abbotsford and has done fund raising for many charities and individuals in her home town. Susan believes that buying or selling a home is a huge undertaking and wants her clients to feel well taken care of. Susan Pelzer and Associates have a large data base of clients and a close working relationship with Realtors all across North America. Susan Pelzer takes her responsibility to serve her past, present and future clients very seriously and strongly states that “Client satisfaction will always remain the #1 priority of this Team.”

Wendy Forcier - Buyer’s Agent Wendy grew up in Abbotsford and graduated from Abbotsford Secondary School. Wendy spent many years in Fort St. John, a small Northern BC community, where she began her Real Estate career. She moved back to Abbotsford in 1994 where she continued with Real Estate here in her home town. As a Buyer’s Representative, Wendy works very diligently to find her clients the perfect home; actually she prides herself on the diligent service she provides to her clients. She pursues her career with as much determination as she demonstrates in all facets of her life. Wendy has been involved in business, sales and management for over 20 years and with her knowledge of Real Estate and skills as a Top Negotiator it helps her provide professional dedicated service to her clients.

Erika Whittaker - Buyer’s Agent Erika has been working in the Real Estate industry for over 20 years, and has been part of Susan Pelzer & Associates for most of her Real Estate career. Erika works as a Buyer’s Agent and office administrator. Erika was born in Fernheim, Paraguay but has lived most of her life in Abbotsford and is dedicated to serving her community to the best of her ability. Erika says that it’s not just about doing a good job, it’s about making clients happy.

Tara Walker - Administrative Assistant Tara is the newest member of the Susan Pelzer Team, joining in 2012 as the team administrative assistant. She has 2 years of experience in real estate and a strong customer background. She was born and raised in the city of Vancouver but chose to raise her own family in the City in the Country. She has lived in Abbotsford for over 11 years now and wouldn’t change a thing. She loves the city and its strong family community. Tara says the nicest thing about working in real estate is assisting families and residents find their homes and happiness as I did 11 years ago.

it s...

susan pelzer & associates Personal Real Estate Corporation

RE/MAX Little Oak Realty www.susanpelzerandassociates.com 9-2630 Bourquin Cres, Abbotsford | 604-859-2341 | 1-800-668-8661 | susanpelzer@remax.net Each office independently owned and operated.

Abbotsford News 2014 – HOME BUYERS GUIDE

7


Secrets to a successful move Busy moving season is right around the corner so think ahead. Planning to move this summer? Summer is the busiest time of year for professional movers, but these tips will make your transition much smoother. ■ If you're planning to use a moving company keep in mind that they usually need plenty of notice (often at least six weeks). ■ Moving always takes much longer than you think so if you want to make changes to your new home (such as painting walls, putting in new carpet or refinishing wood floors) plan enough time to do it before you move in. That way, your furniture and belongings are not in the way. ■ There's no sense moving

things you don't need or want. Look through your house for rarely used items and discard anything that's beyond repair. Have a yard sale to get rid of the rest and plan to take unsold merchandise to the charity of your choice as soon as possible. ■ Make notes about your new house (room/door measurements and locations of electric/cable/phone outlets) so you'll have a good idea about where your belongings will go. Measure appliances to make sure they fit the space available and that you're able to get all your furniture through the doorways of your new house. ■ If the previous homeowners are taking their curtains and blinds, you'll want to measure windows in places you want privacy immediately (like bedrooms and bathrooms) and

More than just another pretty faced realtor.

buy curtains or blinds before you arrive. ■ Start arranging now for phone and utility hookups. Phone companies usually need a few days (or even a week+) to get you connected. Arrange for the type of internet connection you want and order extra phone jacks or cable outlets if you need them. Fill out a change of address form with the Post Office and if you have automatic debits on your bank accounts, alert your creditors if you're changing banks. ■ Gather packing material. Buying boxes and packing material can be expensive. Instead, ask grocery stores, electronics stores and office supply stores for their discarded boxes. Also, invest in a tape gun and start saving up newspapers (ask your friends for theirs too)

so you'll have plenty of packing material if you don't want to buy bubble wrap. ■ Be sure to pack a box of essentials (such as a telephone, some clothes, toiletries, medication and a few pots/ pans/dishes/utensils) to get you through the first couple of days. ■ If you're using a mover, be sure to pack any small, nonbreakable, valuable items (such as jewelry) separately so you can take it with you in your own car. Large valuable items, such as artwork or electronics, should be clearly noted on the mover's inventory form in case of damage during transit and make sure you buy insurance to cover any damage that may occur. ■ Clean as you pack. Unpacking is hard enough work without the added effort.

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The do’s and don’ts of purchasing a home What to consider when making the final decision. Do take the time to educate yourself about your own finances because you don’t want to pay more than the home is worth, nor do you want to take out a mortgage that’s more than you can afford. Be aware of these possible situations and consult a professional. Buying the first house you look at is kind of like marrying the first person you go on a date with - not necessarily a good idea. The general rule is to walk through at least three homes before you choose. Look at several houses before you buy and make sure to invest in a professional inspection. Sellers don’t always disclose the whole truth to potential buyers, or they might have done a band-aid job to cover up issues. Home inspectors can

look beyond the fresh coat of paint to find costly underlying problems that will save you time, money and houseinduced heartaches later on. A couple other smart things to do when home buying are to research the neighborhood and to buy based on needs, not wants. It’s crucial that you think about your long-term needs when buying a home so make a list of your needs and stick to it to avoid buyer’s remorse down the road. Since you have been informed on what do to, let’s reveal certain do nots in order to help you eliminate possible future regrets. Definitely do not buy a house for its decor. Look past a home’s decor and make sure the space will accommodate your lifestyle and furnishings. Are the spaces functional and efficient for your daily routine? Focus on

Selling properties in Abbotsford and surrounding areas for 23 years.

Jeff

the floor plan and the square footage to decide if a home is right for you. Lastly, don’t trust everything you read in a real estate ad. Be a savvy buyer and make sure you read between the lines and decode the clever phrases

sellers use to draw you in. For example, if an ad says a home is “cozy”, it’s probably very small. “As-is” means there’s likely a lot of work to be done. Learning the lingo will help you keep realistic expectations for showings.

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How to prepare your home for sale Take a look around your house. If you were a prospective buyer, would you be interested? Once you’ve made the decision to sell your home, by using the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), your realtor will calculate your home’s value within your market. As you will learn from your realtor, very few homes are ‘market-ready’ because, let’s face it, we live in our homes, and we don’t tip-toe around like we’re in a museum. Getting rid of clutter, doing a thorough cleaning, depersonalizing your

home and tidying up the outside of your home are great ways to prepare your home for sale. However, you need to weigh the cost of improvements versus the potential return. Will this make my home more desirable to buyers and will this increase the value of my home more than it costs me to do it are two questions your realtor will help you answer before you embark on significant renovations. Some repairs are absolutely vital, like a leaky roof or an unsafe electrical problem because it’s against the law to knowingly sell your home with a

material latent defect and not disclose it to the buyer. However, it’s not against the law to leave a visible defect un-repaired; it just may not be smart. But how do you know which home improvements will make your home’s value jump, and those that won’t? It’s well documented that the best return is reflected on remodeling the kitchen, bathrooms and landscaping the front yard. Basements and bedrooms can be a waste of time and money so make sure you work with your realtor to determine what is essential to complete and then set a home improvement budget.

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In love with two houses? Don’t let emotions cloud your judgment As you find yourself immersed in house-hunting mode, you may encounter a situation in which you’re torn between two houses. Sometimes the easiest thing to do is taking a pen and paper and outlining your family’s needs, your budget, and the pros and cons of each house. Making a final decision and determining which house to make an offer on shouldn’t be taken lightly. The decision should be made rationally and not guided by emotion. First of all, you’ll want to compare the neighbourhoods and schools. If the two final contenders are in different neighbourhoods, evaluate the pros and cons. How close are shopping malls, restaurants,

church, and other services? Are the streets maintained? How long will your commute to work be? And, if you have school-aged children, you definitely want to consider the reputation of the neighborhood schools. Feeling safe and secure are essential to a living environment so research or ask about crime in your specific neighbourhood. You might find theft or vandalism to be more prevalent in one area than another. Other smart things to take into consideration are the seller’s situations and the factor of appreciation. How long has each home been on the market? Usually the longer a house has been listed, the better chance the seller will accept an offer lower than the asking price. Why they’re selling? If it’s a job-related

move or a divorce, the seller likely wants to move out as quickly as possible, meaning you have a better shot at them accepting a lower price. If one neighbourhood shows an annual average six per cent increase and another is skyrocketing at 13 per cent, you may have your decision made. Some final suggestions would be to take a good hard look at the homes themselves. If you want a large, open back yard for the kids, or a first-floor

home office, be sure to include that on your list and then rate how each house measures up. Likewise, make a list of the cons associated with each house and determine how much of a negative impact each will have. As you carefully weigh all the factors, it might become clear that one house is more enticing than the other. Once you make a decision and an offer, you can take comfort in knowing you may still have a back-up if the deal falls apart.

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CENTURY 21 AGENTS ARE Geek out with CENTURY 21 Plugged into the local real estate market, thanks to a mobile site, iPhone app and neighbourhood websites, CENTURY 21 Sales Professionals are geeking out over the technology available to them, ensuring their clients receive the most innovative services.

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www.century21.ca/aceagencies Independently Owned and Operated. ®/™ trademarks owned by Century 21 Real Estate LLC used under license or authorized sub-license. © 2011 Century 21 Canada Limited Partnership ®™ Trademarks of AIR MILES International Trading B.V. Used under license by LoyaltyOne, Inc. and Century 21 Canada Limited Partnership.

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CENTURY BOLDER. 21 AGENTS ARE SMARTER. FASTER. # 2 – 33555 South Fraser Way, Abbotsford, B.C. V2S 2B7 Ph: 604-853-3374 or 1-877-857-1921

Plugged into the Fax: 604-853-2133 Email: c21admin@shaw.ca Ace Agencies Ltd. local real estate market, thanks to a mobile site, iPhone app and neighbourhood websites, CENTURY 21 Sales Professionals are geeking out over the technology available to them, ensuring their MARKET CONDITION: is it a good time to buy clients receive the most or sell? innovative services.

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Factors that might hurt a home’s value Nowadays, homeowners looking to sell their homes know it's not as easy to do so as it might have been a few years ago. A struggling economy has made it difficult for many homeowners to sell their homes for a price they're comfortable with. But the sagging economy is not the only thing that can make it difficult to sell a home. In fact, a host of other things, some obvious but some not so obvious, can hurt a home's value as well. A home's location is arguably its best or worst selling point. A home in a great location won't be as difficult to sell as a home in a bad neighborhood. But location goes beyond a neighborhood's reputation, especially in recent years. A home's appearance is another obvious variable that might affect its resale value. Homeowners might want their home to reflect their own individuality, but that's not going to help when the

time comes to sell the home. If the exterior paint is out of the ordinary, then it might be wise to choose a more traditional or conservative color before erecting the "For Sale" sign out front. Another thing to consider when selling a home is its size and style. A home that stands out on the block might be an attention-grabber, but that's not always attractive

to prospective buyers. For instance, a colonial sitting in the middle of a street filled with contemporary homes will stand out, but likely for all the wrong reasons. It will likely appear dated and out of place, which is something buyers might not want. In many ways, conformity is not considered an admirable trait. But when selling a home, conformity could make the

difference between a home selling quickly or remaining on the market for months if not years. For instance, homeowners trying to sell a two bedroom home in a neighborhood filled with three bedroom homes might notice their home's value is not as high as that of surrounding homes, regardless of the neighborhood or how similar the home's exterior is to surrounding homes. Older homes might have character and a sense of nostalgia, but appraisers take age into consideration when determining a home's value. And buyers tend to lean toward newer homes for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the feeling that newer homes have far more modern amenities than older homes. When it comes to a home's value, there are a host of things that could ultimately increase or decrease that value in the eyes of prospective buyers.

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Things to consider before downsizing Once their kids have left the nest, many men and women over 50 begin to consider downsizing their homes. Downsizing to a smaller home can be beneficial for a variety of reasons, including less home to clean and maintain, more affordable utility bills and lower property taxes. But the decision to downsize is rarely black and white. Perhaps the most difficult part of the decision of whether or not to downsize to a smaller home concerns the sentimental attachment many homeowners, especially those with children, have to their homes. The home might be too big for your current needs, but it also was the same place where your son took his first steps and where your daughter lost her first tooth. Saying goodbye to a place that was home to so many memories isn’t easy. But there’s more than just sentimental value to consider when deciding whether or not to downsize your home. Personal finances Your financial situation merits significant consideration when deciding if the time is right to downsize your home. If your retirement nest egg is not as substantial as you would like it to be, then it would seem as though downsizing to a smaller, more affordable home is a great opportunity for you to start catching up on your retirement savings. But that’s only true if your new home won’t incur any additional expenses that are already taken care of in your current home. For example, your current home may be fully furnished, while a new, smaller home may require you to buy all new furniture because your existing items simply won’t fit. The cost of such furnishings can be considerable. If you plan to move into a condominium, you can expect to pay monthly

homeowners association fees, and such fees are often substantial. So while the condo itself might be smaller, the additional expenses associated with the property may end up making it more expensive and prevent you from saving more money for retirement. Real estate market There are seller’s markets and there are buyer’s markets, and ideally you would like to sell your home in a seller’s market. But keep in mind that this might be the same market in which you hope to buy a new home. The nature of the real estate market depends on a host of factors, including geography. If the city or town where you currently live is in the midst of a seller’s market and you are planning on moving to a location where buyers have the upper hand, then now might be a great time to move. But if you currently live in a buyer’s market and hope to move to a seller’s market, then you may end up paying a steep price, even when downsizing to a smaller home. Things may even themselves out if you want to downsize to a smaller home within your current community, but do your homework nonetheless, researching the time of year when you’re most likely to get the most for your home and find the best deal on your next place. Space How much space do you really need? Once the kids have moved out, couples may feel like all of that extra space is going to waste. But that can be a knee-jerk reaction, and upon a more thorough examination of the space and your needs you may just find that you can put all of that extra square footage to good use after all. If you have always wanted your own art studio, then now might be the perfect time to make that a

reality. Always wanted a room devoted to home theater? Get to work on converting your basement from an allpurpose game room to your own private movie theater. If, after considering the space in

your home, you find that the extra square footage really is just upkeep you aren’t especially interested in doing, then you would no doubt like a cozier home that’s less of a responsibility to maintain.

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7 signs that you’re ready to buy a home Figuring out if you’re ready to buy a house can be a daunting task so here are some indications that you’re ready to take the buying plunge: 1. Are you familiar with the market? Pay attention to how much houses are listed for in your potential future neighborhoods and have a realistic view of how much a house will cost you. 2. Have the money for a down payment and closing costs. The down payment is a percentage of the value of the property and is usually determined by the type of mortgage you select. Closing costs include taxes, financing costs, items that must be prepaid and other settlement costs. Generally, buyers will receive an estimate of these costs from their lender after they apply for a mortgage.

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Abbotsford News 2014 – HOME BUYERS GUIDE

3. Know how much you can afford. As a general rule, your debt (credit card bills, car loans, housing expenses, alimony and child support) should not be more than about 30-40% of your income. Also, keep in mind that your income, debt and credit history go into determining how much you can borrow. 4. Know what additional expenses will come with owning a home. This includes homeowners’ insurance, utility bills, and maintenance costs (such as roofing, plumbing, heating and cooling). 5. Have your credit in good shape. Make sure you haven’t made any recent major purchases, particularly a vehicle. Potential lenders will view your credit history (how much debt you have, how many accounts you have

open, whether your payments are made on time, etc.) to determine whether they’ll give you a loan. And if you’ve made a recent major purchase you may have a harder time getting a loan. 6. You can make a long-term commitment. Are you ready to stay put for at least three to five years? Typically, that’s how long you’ll have to keep the house in order to recoup your buying and selling costs. If you sell before then, you may lose money on the deal. And if you do turn a profit, you’ll have to pay capital gains taxes if you lived in the house less than two years. The length of your stay becomes even more important now that home appreciation has slowed from its previous pace. If you don’t think you’d stay put for that long, you may be better off renting. 7. You are prepared to become your own landlord. Even if you can afford homeownership, don’t buy simply because you can. You need to make sure you’re ready to live the lifestyle. Owning a place comes with a fair share of new responsibilities, headaches and costs – not the least of which is becoming your own landlord. When you rent an apartment, you simply call the landlord if something breaks. With your own home, if it’s broke, you fix it – or you’ll have to pay someone else to fix it. Will you have the time, energy or desire to maintain the property? How about the money for all those little extras, such as buying your own lawn mower and hiring the occasional plumber? Make sure you know what you’re getting into.


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15 secrets of professional home stagers Inexpensive ways to make your home shine. As anyone in the real estate industry will tell you, it's important to make your home look its best when it comes time to show it. That first impression is everything and even if you're in a great market, it's still key to tidy up your home and prove that it's worth every penny you're asking for. If done well, staging makes a remarkable difference and

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until they're sparkling and clean your fireplace if you have one.

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5. Repair any loose shingles and paint/repair your gutters.

2. Embellish your door area with nice potted plants, a welcome mat and a fresh coat of paint on your door.

6. Remove all clutter (make sure kitchen and bathroom countertops are as clear as possible, try to keep toys organized in closets and shelves, and temporarily remove any excess knickknacks or family photos if you tend to have a lot).

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7. Hang fresh towels in the bathrooms and touch up your paint if your walls have a few rough spots. 8. Vacuum your floor each morning and you may also want to think about getting your carpets cleaned before potential buyers view your house. 9. Make sure all your facets are drip-free and replace any nonfunctioning bulbs in your light fixtures/vanities. 10. Thoroughly clean all

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Abbotsford News 2014 – HOME BUYERS GUIDE

12. Eliminate odors as much as possible (place potpourri in the bathrooms and use air fresheners). 13. Let the light in - open all your blinds and curtains. 14. If you have too much furniture, place some of it in storage. 15. Add some final touches, a couple of fresh bouquets of flowers and some nice potted plants in decorative containers can do wonders. Remember that everyone has their own style and that you're not trying to impress buyers with your particular brand of decor. Rather, you're trying to present a simple, clean, and attractive home that radiates potential for your home's next owners.


What you should consider when buying a home without a fence If you are thinking of buying or selling a house, and there isn’t a fenced yard, you may want to give it some thought before you make an offer on it. Fences serve many purposes on a property and can even add visual appeal and value to a home. A fence can effectively delineate property borders, serve as a safety barrier and keep pets and children from wandering into the street. Erecting a fence on a property usually increases the value of the home, putting it in line with similar properties nearby. However, this may only be the case if the fence is installed professionally and matches other fences throughout the neighborhood. Homeowners planning to install a fence should first secure a copy of their property surveys. A survey of the property is often conducted upon purchasing a home and/or when the land and home is being assessed. If you do not have a survey, you can hire a professional to conduct one. The survey will be handy because it clearly marks property lines. Depending on the local regulations, fences may need to be installed a certain number of inches or feet within the property line. Your municipality and building code office will be able to guide you further as to what is legal. Reputable fencing companies that work in the community should also have a good understanding of fencing regulations. A permit is typically needed to install a fence. Either your contractor or you will need to apply for the permit before construction can begin. It is best to follow the law so that the fence can be installed in a manner that is consistent with local

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regulations and will not be subject to potentially costly removal. As a courtesy, speak with your neighbors about your fencing plans. The fence will separate your properties from one another, and your neighbors may have certain feelings about what they want to look at. Even if a neighbor is not sharing the cost, it is a good idea to discuss fencing with your neighbors in an effort to reduce the likelihood of conflict down the road. Fences have been points of contention between neighbors, and you don’t want a previously amicable relationship to turn sour. In some instances, neighbors will be excited about the prospect of a fence and may want to share the cost. Fencing contractors may offer discounts for multi-home installations, so it pays to inquire with the neighbors for that reason alone. Homes with pools may need fences as a safety precaution. Be sure they fit the protocol. They may need self-latching/locking gates to prevent entry to the yard. A fence can be a good investment, but homeowners must take the appropriate legal measures and consider their neighbors before erecting any fences.

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10 red flags that should raise concern The importance of a home inspection revealed. According to HouseMaster, a major home inspection company with offices located in 30 cities across Canada, more than 40% of the previously owned homes on the market have had at least one serious defect. Concluding from their own observations from more than two million home inspections, HouseMaster says the most serious home defects to be on the lookout for are: 1. Cracked heater exchange 2. Failing air-conditioning compressor 3. Environmental hazards (such as water contamination, lead paint & underground storage tanks) 4. Moisture in the basement 5. Insect infestation (termites or carpenter ants) 6. Mixed plumbing 7. Aluminum wiring

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Abbotsford News 2014 – HOME BUYERS GUIDE

8. Horizontal foundation cracks 9. Undersized electrical system 10. Defective roofing (such as chimney settling or separation) It depends on the specific problem. Even though most of these problems can be repaired, they may be quite costly and this might cause you to contemplate whether or not you choose to buy the house. A home inspection usually costs between $250 and $400. Hire a qualified inspector and once you make an appointment keep in mind that it’s important for you to be there. As the home inspector examines the house, ask him or her to explain what problems may be encountered down the road, what signs to look for, and how to prevent them. Try to learn how things work and how to maintain them. By tagging along with the home inspection during these few hours, this could prevent headaches and save you time in the future.


WATERLEAF

Modern vibe with traditional sensibilities

t

hink Abbotsford is just fields of raspberries, retired farmers and agricultural trade shows? Think again. This “City in the Country” is one of the fastest growing communities in B.C., spurred by up-and-coming young professionals who are choosing Abbotsford as the place they want to live, work and do business. As the demographic changes, so do the real estate offerings. Homebuyers of all ages are talking about Waterleaf, now under construction in the Sumas Mountain community of Abbotsford. Its spacious oneand two-bedroom floor plans and Yaletowninspired decor have people talking. “People love the display suite,” says sales manager Janae Nicole. “They say, ‘thank goodness Abbotsford is getting with the times!’ The fireplace is really sleek and modern and buyers love the contemporary bathroom with walk-in shower and double sinks.” This fully loaded feature list comes standard! Nine foot ceilings, granite coutertops, ceiling height cabinetry, stainless

steel appliances, kitchen pantries, 50” linearelectric fireplaces, wide-plank laminate flooring, walk-in closets with organizers, soaker tubs, bedroom air conditioning, secure underground parking and storage. The same philosophy of not having any surprise upgrade costs or extra fees applies to the pricing as well. “It’s great that we are transparent with everything we do. The price for each condo is posted on the website for 24/7 access,’’ comments Nicole. “I hear from many purchasers that they were able to crunch the numbers and make their purchase decisions well into the evening hours.” Waterleaf is remarkable value for mountain view homes,” says Nicole. “It’s the smart buyers who know it’s well worth the wait. Buying during the construction stage not only gets them into the market at the lowest price, it also allows them to choose what floor they live on, choose their views and select the colour scheme.” Waterleaf is built by Myriad Pacific Development Group, a local company with more than 25 years experience

building multi-residential, commercial and institutional developments as well as resort communities. An outdoor swimming pool, hot tub and outdoor grill and patio are scheduled to open with the next phase of construction, and until then, those in Waterleaf ’s first phase will have the enjoyment of a fullyequipped gym as well as a private park for socializing pets. “Buyers can totally visualize how great their life is going to be here,” says Nicole. “They can cancel their gym memberships, work out at home and play by the pool.” Waterleaf is also proving popular among those wanting to downsize to one-level living or have the freedom to lock-and-go. Located close to Hwy #1, commuters can easily be on their way and, when home, enjoy the luxury of being walking distance to the Village for groceries or a bite to eat. Even parents and students find the location ideal – close to Mountain Elementary, Abbotsford School of Integrated Arts and University of the Fraser Valley.

Tour the display home at 36113 Waterleaf Place in Abbotsford, any day (except Fridays) from noon to 5pm. For more information visit thewaterleaf.ca or call 604.850.3694. Abbotsford News 2014 – HOME BUYERS GUIDE

23


REG NO ISTR W A ATI CCE ON PTI FOR NG PHA SE

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EAST ABBOTSFORD’S LUXURY CONDOS Priced from

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Near Save-On-Foods Whatcom.

24 Waterleaf, Abbotsford News 2014 – HOME GUIDE ©2013 Myriad Pacifi c Development Group. All BUYERS rights reserved. Managed and Marketed by Myriad Pacific Development Group Inc. This is not an offering for sale. Any such offering may only be made by disclosure statement E. & O.E.

April 30, 2014  

Section Y of the April 30, 2014 edition of the Abbotsford News

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