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Your complete resource guide for EVERYTHING Real Estate.

the key to

• Big City Amenities • Mortgage Terms • Refinancing • Why a Realtor • Preparing to Sell • Improvement Rebates


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Key to Real Estate

Big City Amenities, Small Town Affordability

Real estate is a very good value in the Alberni Valley. In particular, people moving from Vancouver, Victoria or other relatively high-priced communities find this area to be a bargain. But buying a home in Port Alberni is about much more than price. It is about the lifestyle. It’s a little more relaxed in the Valley, families flourish and neighbours look out for one another. Looking for a home with a great view? A place on the lake? Walking distance to everything? The Alberni Valley has it all and is a great place to live with big city amenities and small town friendliness. Valley residents like to get outside and enjoy the beauty of their surroundings.   A long history of support for organized sports and recreation, arts and culture, festivals and other entertainment interests are available in the Valley and surrounding areas. A system of local parks and trails and a full complement of facilities are maintained for the public to enjoy including two ice rinks, a curling rink, lawn bowling, tennis courts, a pool facility, track, and sports fields. Nearly every sport is offered and enjoyed here and there is no shortage of local theatre, music, art and dance.

2015 Assessed Value of Single-Family Dwellings Port Alberni

$175,700

Duncan

$245,100

Ucluelet

$245,600

Cumberland

$274,000

Campbell River

$275,400

Parksville

$305,700

Courtenay

$318,800

Comox

$323,900

Qualicum Beach

$377,400

Tofino

$463,400

The area has a full spectrum of health services including a modern regional hospital, intermediate and extended health care facilities; as well facilities and services for seniors and people requiring special medical needs.   A new high school is the crown of the local education offerings as well two post-secondary facilities and both public and private schools and preschools for children. The city of Port Alberni maintains a complete program of essential services. Up-to-date services include fire protection, safety, emergency preparedness, transit, waterworks, sewage and waste management. The history of Port Alberni is linked to the forest industry; however in recent years tourism, post-secondary education, the arts, agriculture and high tech industries have played an increasingly important role in the economy. This diversified economy helps to protect the value of existing homeowners from potential tax assessment fluctuations, while providing a level of security that encourages new entrants into the local real estate market. Port Alberni is not just the most affordable comunity on Vancouver Island it is also the Heart of Vancouver Island and a great place to live.

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ort Alberni is Vancouver Island’s most affordable community. We could write hundreds of words about our amenities and location. But the numbers really do the talking. See the BC Assessment Authority’s table of statistics below comparing housing prices on Vancouver Island. In February 2015 the average sale price for a single family dwelling home in the Valley was just $213,500.


Key to Real Estate

Is today the right time to buy a home or not?

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his question arises on a near daily basis within our social circles... Answer: Today is the right day assuming one has found the specific property that works for them on all levels. If the conversation is about a property which one plans to own for at least the next few years, then yes, the right time to buy is today. Over a 7-10 year horizon the day-to-day, even the monthto-month gyrations of the market will tend to resemble those of a small yo-yo on a large escalator. Yes there are some ups and downs but the lows often do not drop below the second last high. This is true of nearly any major urban 25 year chart of Real Estate Values. There are some key considerations that will dictate not only the continued value, but perhaps more importantly your own ability to stay put for that magic 7-10 year timeframe: • Home location • Layout • Age • Size • Recreational amenities • Schools • Distance from workplace • Potential basement suite revenue • The list goes on… Getting all of these variables aligned is something that takes dedication on the part of the both the buyer and Realtor. The hunt itself can easily consume a few weeks or more, and for some may result in dozens of viewings. This is more than enough to juggle without also trying to ‘time the market’ on that perfect home. Speaking of timing; consider allowing for a small overlap during which you have access to both the current residence as well as the new one. Being able to install new flooring throughout, complete interior painting, or upgrade kitchens and bathrooms, without having to live in the middle of the disruption is well worth an extra month of rent or the marginal costs of bridge financing. The

costs involved are surprisingly lower than most clients expect. Keep in mind during your search that the MLS #’s are an imperfect indicator of what is happening today in the market, as in literally ‘today’. MLS data reflects purchase contracts that were negotiated 30, 60, 90 or even 120 days prior to the completion date which was itself in the previous months report. In other words, by the time the MLS data indicates a trend one way or another, said trend has in fact been in motion for as long as 6 months and could be either reversing or ramping up further. Where then to get the most accurate data? Talk to frontline folks, Realtors, Brokers, Appraisers, etc. for a better handle on up-to-the-minute trends. Ask an Industry Expert. Short term fluctuations in values and/or interest rates are themselves not the key factors in many peoples decision to buy. Instead it is finding that perfect combination of all the factors that create a home within a community and the realisation that homeowners win in the long run by owning, not by sitting on the sidelines. It is all about finding a place you can call home for the duration. To be able to plant roots and become a part of a community. Home ownership will undeniably continue to be a part of living the Canadian dream. Perhaps the (short term) timing will feel imperfect, as it did for presale buyers in 2007, whose completion dates were set for Spring 2009. However, a few years later most will be glad that they bought when they did. In fact many were smiling again as soon as the Spring of 2010. Home ownership remains the one true forced savings plan. It is one of the best investments we make socially as it provides an individual and/or a family with a certain sense of security, stability and community. article courtesy of: Rabinder Dhillon, BA, AMP


Key to Real Estate

Remodeling insurance can protect homeowners

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any steps are involved in a successful home remodeling project. A common mistake made by homeowners is failing to consult with a homeowners' insurance agent before beginning a major home overhaul. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners advises reviewing your home insurance policy before any significant work is done on your home. The right amount of coverage will protect your assets both during construction and afterward when your home is worth more. One in four remodeling projects will increase the value of a home by more than 25 percent, so there's a good chance you will need to increase your coverage to compensate for renovations done on the home. If you have added an extension or installed an inground pool, you may have raised the value of your property enough to necessitate an insurance policy change. Begin by talking with your insurance company and explain the scope of the planned renovations. Inquire whether you will need to update or amend your current insurance policy to protect yourself financially during the renovation. This is particularly important for those who will be doing the work themselves or asking a friend or family member for help. While many contractors have business and general liability

insurance to protect themselves if a worker is injured, homeowners may need sufficient liability protection in the event a non-contractor gets hurt working on your home. Failure to ask about insurance coverage before starting the renovations puts you at risk. If you will be using contractors and subcontractors, be sure that they are insured and bonded. Should they damage your home or be injured during the renovation, their insurance will cover any resulting expenses. However, if they are not insured or bonded, you may be held liable through your own insurance policy or you may have to pay out of pocket. Keep all receipts and document the progress of the renovation. This way you can request a new appraisal of the property and secure adequate insurance coverage. Certain improvements may make you eligible for discounts. For example, a new heating system, energy efficient appliances or an alarm system may qualify you for rebates or lower premiums. Homeowners may think they have covered all of their bases when preparing for a home renovation project. However, it also is essential to consider insurance needs before you begin work and then again when the project has been completed.

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Key to Real Estate

Determine the best time to refinance a mortgage

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efinancing a mortgage is advantageous to homeowners for a variety of reasons. The primary reasons people refinance their mortgages are to reduce their monthly payments or free up equity to use toward home improvements or other necessities.

finances are simply not there to cover the closing costs, refinancing may not be an option.

*Credit rating: If your credit rating is better now than it was when you initially earned your home loan, then this might be a good time to refinance. Not only will a Lenders will frequently advertise that person benefit from a low market rate, the Interest rates are not the "now"#is the time to refinance, but people interest rate may be even lower because only factor homeowners must lenders look more fondly on you now than may want to get all of the facts before making their decisions. they did years ago. Lenders often base their consider when deciding assessments of borrower reliability and whether or not to refinance A low interest rate is not reason alone to stability on those potential borrowers' refinance. Conventional wisdom has long their mortgages. credit scores, so a strong credit score suggested that borrowers wait to refinance makes you look better in the eyes of until interest rates drop 2 percent below their lenders. Borrowers with poor credit ratings current rate. While a low interest rate is important, there are sev- may not benefit from refinancing. eral other factors to consider. *Income: A person's debt-to-income ratio is another factor in * Closing costs: Refinancing a home is an expensive determining mortgage interest rates and approval. A positive undertaking. While it can effectively shave $100 or more off change in income status as well as reduction in debt could make your monthly payments, there is a financial outlay during it a good time to refinance. the process, which includes closing costs. A person can expect to pay anywhere from 2 to 5 percent of the loan's value *Adjustable rate mortgages: Many people opted for adjustin closing costs when refinancing. Lenders used to enable some able rate mortgages when buying homes years ago. Over time, to roll the cost of the closing into the mortgage, but stringent their monthly payments may have increased considerably, makrules have changed the way many banks now do business. If the ing it nearly impossible to afford a home. Refinancing for a fixedrate mortgage, regardless of the current interest rate, will likely ease some of your financial burden.

MAKE THE MOST OF TODAY. AND START THINKING ABOUT TOMORROW.

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Cheryl Maclean* C.R. Maclean Insurance & Financial Services Ltd. Tel: 250-723-3224 cheryl.maclean@sunlife.com www.sunlife.ca/cheryl.maclean 3748 Meares Drive Port Alberni, BC V9Y 5H5

Life’s brighter under the sun 1 Only advisors who hold CFP® (Certified Financial Planner), CH.F.C. (Chartered Financial Consultant), F.Pl. (Financial Planner in Quebec), or equivalent designations are certified as financial planners. *Mutual funds offered by Sun Life Financial Investment Services (Canada) Inc. Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada is a member of the Sun Life Financial group of companies. © Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada, 2015.

*Home value: A higher home value means more equity in the home. This money can be used to pay down debt or for home improvements that further improve the value of the home and property. It is important to speak with a real estate professional to determine if home values have spiked in a particular neighborhood and to gain an accurate appraisal of the home. This will help determine if refinancing is frugal. *Interest rates: Lower interest rates often motivate homeowners to refinance, as a lower interest rate can save homeowners a substantial amount of money over the course of their loans. However, refinancing too soon (within 4 years of the original home loan) may put homeowners in a negative light. Lenders may see borrowers who refinance too soon or too frequently as risky borrowers who cannot successfully manage their money. *Prepayment penalties: Certain mortgages have prepayment penalties built in. Should a person pay off the mortgage too early, usually within two to five years, 2 to 4 percent of the home's loan value must be paid out. Refinancing counts as paying off one loan and opening up another. Penalties could deter a person from refinancing too soon. Determining the best time to refinance your home mortgage takes effort on the part of the borrower and information about market trends. By doing one's homework and being aware of certain factors, a person can save money by refinancing a home loan.


Key to Real Estate

Mortgage terms to know...

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uying a home is simultaneously exciting and stressful. Owning a home is still a dream for many people, but firsttime buyers often find that their unfamiliarity with the home buying process is a source of stress. Part of that stress stems from the terminology associated with home mortgages. Many terms may raise an eyebrow among firsttime buyers, so the following are a few mortgage terms buyers can familiarize themselves with to facilitate the process of buying their own homes. • Closing costs: Buying a home is expensive, and part of that expense is the closing costs. Any time a real estate transaction occurs, that transaction is accompanied by certain expenses, which are known as the closing costs. Closing costs may include attorney fees, loan origination fees, title insurance and escrow payments. Buyers can sometimes negotiate with the seller so the seller will agree to pay the closing costs, or the costs can be shared by the buyer and the seller. But buyers may also pay the closing costs in their entirety on their own. • Escrow: Escrow is a bond, deed, document or money kept in the custody of a third party until a real estate transaction has been completed. In addition, escrow accounts are used to hold the property tax and insurance fees that are collected via your monthly mortgage payment.

typically prefer a fixed-rate mortgage because they know exactly what they will be paying for their home each month. An adjustable rate mortgage, often referred to as an ARM loan, is one that typically comes with a lower interest rate than a fixed-rate mortgage, but that lower rate is usually only locked in for a relatively brief period of time, such as one year. Once that initial time period is over, the interest rate will then increase and may increase several times thereafter over the life of the loan. • PMI: PMI, which stands for private mortgage insurance, must be purchased by home buyers who are financing more than 80 percent of their homes. The standard down payment when purchasing a home is 20 percent, but some buyers cannot afford such a down payment. As a result, the lender then mandates that such buyers purchase PMI, which protects the lenders if the borrower defaults on the loan. The cost of PMI will be added to your mortgage payment, and once you have 20 percent equity in your home you can cancel PMI, at which time your monthly mortgage payment will decrease. • Title insurance: Title insurance is a tool that protects both the buyer and the seller against legal issues that may arise as a result of the home’s title. Title insurance protects buyers and the lender from the possibility that the seller was not legally permitted to transfer ownership of the property to the buyer. Title insurance may also protect sellers from any issues that may arise that threaten his or her ability to sell the home.

• Fixed-rate mortgage: A fixed-rate mortgage, unlike an adjustable rate mortgage, is one in which the interest rate on the mortgage remains the same for the life of the loan. Buyers

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Primary mortgage insurance, or PMI, protects lendrnatives & Services in the event that borrowers default on their primary dviceersmortage & Services by ceasing to make payments, resulting in homes

ending up in foreclosure. But all borrowers do not have to pay PMI. Typically, home buyers must make a 20 percent down payment on a home when they buy it. However, some borrowers are unable to put down 20 percent. In such instances, the lender will require they cPcT?[P]]X]V pay PMI. This is because the lender views a borrower who 0cc^a]Th cannot make an initial 20 percent down payment as a ]bUTab riskier investment, and lenders charge PMI in an effort to protect themselves should the borrower prove worthy Tb of their skepticism. PMI will be factored into the monthly mortgage payment, but borrowers should know they cPaXP[BTaeXRTb do not have to continue paying PMI once they have paid enough toward the principal amount of the loan. For most, this means once they have paid 20 percent of the principal, then they can ask that the monthly PMI payment be removed. Many borrowers are unaware of ;82 this or even forget to ask, but it's within their rights as borrowers and can save a substantial amount of money over the course of the mortgage loan.

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4679 Elizabeth St 250.723-9747 dorothy@dclarkstone.ca

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Key to Real Estate

Selling Your Home

A step-by-step guide to help you sell your home.

Decide when to sell: In real estate, timing can influence your home’s selling price. Factors like how quickly you need to sell, whether it’s a buyer's or seller's market and seasonality all plays a role in your home’s final selling price. Find a REALTOR® who is right for you: The REALTOR® who helped you buy your home is a good place to start. They already know your home and they know you, so you’ll be saving time right from the start. Or look for names on “For Sale” signs in your neighbourhood or ask your friends and family. Make sure to interview two or three candidates and choose the one you like best. See more on page 15 Sign a Listing Agreement: This authorizes your REALTOR® and their brokerage to market and sell your home. It will define the legal relationship between you and the real estate brokerage and also set a time limit for your REALTOR® to sell your home. Determine your home’s asking price: The right asking price will attract buyers and pay you a maximum return. Setting too low a price means you could miss out on thousands of dollars. Setting too high a price will scare away buyers. Your goal is to find fair market value. Add some specialists to your team: Similar to when you bought your home, it’s essential to have a notary public or a lawyer handle all the various documents that change hands and make sure your best interests are being protected at all times. Prepare your home for sale: First impressions matter. Now is the time to see your home through a buyer’s eyes: get rid of

the clutter, clean and repair as much as you can, within reason. Remember, weigh the cost of all your improvements versus the potential financial return. Let your REALTOR® do what they do best: Your home has never looked so good and now it’s time for your REALTOR® to market it to potential buyers. This happens with a “For Sale” sign, open houses, newspaper ads, a listing on the MLS®, the internet, and, of course, through your REALTORS®’ relationship with other REALTORS®. Prepare your finances: Will the buyer “assume” your mortgage or are you “discharging” it? If you’re buying a new home, is your mortgage “portable”? What taxes are involved? These are all important questions to ask your REALTOR® your mortgage lender and your notary public or lawyer. Receive an offer: Although your REALTOR® will walk you through the process, be prepared for some stress. You will see every offer since it’s required that your REALTOR® show you every offer that’s submitted. You will have three options: you can accept, you can reject or you can “sign back” or “counter”. Ask your REALTOR® what these terms mean. Happy negotiating! Close the deal: You were successful and have drafted a legally binding agreement. Are you done? Not quite yet. Contact your lawyer or notary public, contact your lending institution and consult your REALTOR®. Immediately start satisfying any conditions of the agreement that require action on your part. On closing day, your lawyer or notary public will finalize all the details and give you a cheque for the net proceeds. Story courtesy VIREB


Key to Real Estate

Preparing Your Home for Sale

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hen selling your home, it's more than purchase price and location that will make or break a deal. How your home looks is also very important.

Your REALTOR® can give you an objective opinion of what you need to do. REALTORS® have the experience and knowledge that can help identify problem areas or suggest improvements. In most cases, REALTORS® will not suggest major renovations. A few minor repairs here and there and a thorough cleaning are usually all that are required.

Cleaning up the homestead:

Almost all buyers are on the lookout for one thing -- a clean home. Many will walk away if a home looks uncared for, or make an offer much lower than the listing price.

Home Improvement Rebates Story courtesy VIREB

BC Hydro PowerSmart Rebates AKA Home Energy Rebate Offer (HERO) *Requires Energy Assessment Insulation Rebates* • Up to $1200 for exterior wall insulation • Up to $1600 for basement insulation • Up to $600 for attic insulation Draftproofing* • Up to $500 for draftproofing upgrades • $25 for Energystar bathroom fan (up to 2) Space Heating* • $800 for a ductless heat pump (electrically heated homes) Additional Rebates • Home Energy Monitor Program • Home Energy Rebates for Low Income Families Program 250.720.1930 • Enerchoice Fireplace Program • Lighting Program; • Energy Conservation Assistance Program • Power Smart New Home Building Program • BONUS: Complete 3 or more eligible upgrades and receive an additional $750 CMHC (Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation) • Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program (RRAP) - Up to $16,000 for septic system, well upgrades, other plumbing repairs - Rental unit upgrades for low-income tenants Alberni Clayoquot Regional District • $300 Woodstove Replacement Rebate Fortis BC Rebates • Space Heating Rebates for EnerChoice fireplace • Up to $1000 off Gas Hot Water Heater Rebates • $1000 Switch to Natural Gas Rebate • $300 off Natural Gas Fireplace Rebate

Ensure your home is spotless and free of clutter. The two most important rooms in a buyer's mind are the kitchen and the bathroom. Pay particular attention to these areas -- they should sparkle and shine.

Making repairs:

Some things must be repaired if there are problems. A leaky roof, electrical problems, furnaces, water heaters and plumbing all must be fixed before a sale. Other things just need attention. These can include leaky faucets, holes in window screens and any broken glass, etc. If some of your walls are too dirty to come clean, you may wish to consider a paint job. Carpets and rugs should also be clean and in good repair.

Outside and In:

Take a close look at your yard. If it’s spring or summer, prune the trees and shrubs, and keep the lawn neat. If it’s fall, rake the leaves regularly. And in the winter, make sure walks and driveways are kept clear of snow and ice.

To renovate or not to renovate:

Most renovations do not translate into an increase in selling price of more than the cost of the renovations themselves. Painting, wallpapering and modest landscape improvements usually recover their costs, but major projects such as new patios, decks

Cell: 250.720.1930 | TF: 1.844.723.5478 Office: 250.723.5478 | Fax: 250.723.2736 #1-4505 Victoria Quay Port Alberni BC V9Y 6G2

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Key to Real Estate

Property tax primer

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very property in British Columbia is assessed by the BC Assessment Authority annually and assigned an assessed value. This value is then used by local governments to determine what property owners will pay in property taxes. Here is important information for property owners on property taxes.

Property Assessments

Assessors with the BC Assessment Authority determine the market value of land and improvements and enter those values on the assessment roll. For 95 per cent of all properties on the Roll, assessed value is the market value as of July 1. BC Assessment determines property value with an extensive database that is periodically updated with information gathered through appraisal inspections. Municipal and provincial agencies inform BC Assessment of land title changes, building permit approvals and zoning adjustments. BC Assessment also considers a property’s unique characteristics, including location, size, layout, shape, age, finish, quality, carports, garages, sundecks and condition of buildings. All these variables are considered when valuing each property. Property values may change from year to year as a result of real estate market forces and these forces vary by property type and location. If a property was upgraded, the value will likely increase. Property owners usually receive tax asssessment notices in the mail in early January. This amount does not represent property taxes for the coming year. But it is the value that your property taxes will be based upon. Property assessments can be appealed until January 31. Local governments, like the City of Port Alberni set the mill rate for property taxes during their annual budget process. The mill rate determines how much tax property owners will pay per $1,000 of assessed value. Tax notices for the rural areas outside the City are issued by Service BC. They can provide information on the amount of taxes owing on rural properties. For more information on property assessments, visit bcassessment.ca

Home Owners Grant

Since 1957, the BC Government has helped reduce the amount of property taxes you pay to your local government. To be eligible for the grant, the property owner must be: A Canadian citizen or landed immigrant and reside in British Columbia. The registered owner or eligible occupant of the home and living in the home as your principal residence. The grant doesn’t apply to summer cottages, second homes or rental properties.

Spouses who live together, who are married or live together in a marriage-like relationship, including same-sex partners, can qualify for a grant on one residence in the province in a calendar year. Spouses who live apart can each claim a grant on their principal residence if they have a written separation agreement or a court order recognizing the separation. Eligible home owners must apply for their grant each year before their tax due date. If you own a property with others, decide which owner will pay the taxes so you don’t pay twice. If, for example, there are three owners living in a dwelling as a principal residence, only one Home Owner Grant can be claimed.

Learn more

Your best source of information on how your taxes are determined, how and where to pay your property taxes and how your taxes are at work in the city, is Port Alberni City Hall on Argyle Street. Or visit their website at portalberni.ca. If you live in the rural areas, visit the Alberni Clayoquot Regional District office around the corner from city hall on 5th Avenue or their website at acrd.bc.ca.

Five Misconceptions About Property Taxes 1. You can appeal property taxes: No. You can appeal your assessment, not your taxes. You annually receive your assessment the first week of January and must appeal by January 31. 2. An appeal will change the market value: The market value may not correlate to the assessed value. BC Assessment typically assesses properties as of the previous July 1. A REALTOR® valuing a home now – 11 months later – may find the market has changed, the home has had an addition or the street has been re-zoned, all of which affect value. 3. If you just bought a home, the previous owners are liable for outstanding taxes: No. When you buy a property you become liable for all outstanding taxes. 4. New home owners can claim the Home Owner Grant: No. New home owners cannot claim the Home Owner Grant if the seller paid the taxes or if the new home owner claimed a grant on another property. 5. If you’ve been eligible for the Home Owner Grant and didn’t claim it, you can make a back claim: No, you cannot make a back claim on the Home Owner Grant. The Grant must be used the year it is offered. Information courtesy BC Assessment Authority and VIREB


Key to Real Estate

What to look for in investment properties Historically, the appreciation rate for real estate is very strong. Even when the housing market declines, long-term investors in real estate know that property values tend to rebound rather quickly, rewarding patient investors. The following are just a few considerations prospective investors should contemplate before buying an investment property. Location Many people are familiar with the real estate industry axiom, “location, location, location!” When buying an investment property, location is everything. Properties in safe neighborhoods that boast good schools and offer easy access to public transportation tend to make great investment properties. Décor Décor is another thing to consider when looking for an investment property. If you don’t plan to reside in the property, your opinion of the décor should not carry much weight. When viewing a property, try to imagine how much it might appeal to prospective tenants. Quirky properties typically do not appeal to as many prospec-

tive tenants as properties whose décor are similar to other homes in the area. Condition Some investors want a fixer-upper, while others prefer turnkey properties that won’t require any elbow grease. The former type of property likely won’t cost as much as a fully renovated property, but those cost savings might be lost when it’s time to renovate. Find a property that’s in the type of condition you’re comfortable with. If you decide to go with a fixer-upper, learn the cost of your potential projects before submitting an offer. Cost Before making an offer on a property, research rents in the area and the cost of insurance in that particular neighborhood. You want a property that essentially pays for itself, so make sure the rent you’re likely to collect is enough to cover your monthly costs, including the mortgage on the property, insurance and the costs associated with managing and maintaining the property. Real estate investors often reap great rewards when selling their properties. But it’s still important for potential investors to

KEY DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES IN PORT ALBERNI ARE SHOWN ON THE CITY’S WEBSITE AT: http://www.portalberni.ca/development-opportunities

Want to know more about them?

Call or text Pat Deakin at 250.720.9117


Key to Real Estate

What is MLS®?

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he Multiple Listing Service® is a co-operative marketing system that maximizes exposure of properties for sale. It is a central registry of properties used by REALTORS® to match buyers with properties for sale. Most homes sold in Canada are sold via the MLS® systems operated by real estate boards across the country. The MLS® system includes a sophisticated computer database of properties indexed by price, location, type of home, number of bedrooms, amenities and so forth. The VIREB MLS® maintains information on between 48007000 active listings of property for sale on the Island, and typically receives 77 new listings every day. Listings range from undeveloped lots to business opportunities or special properties. Listings are updated throughout the day.

Why does it work?

The strength of the MLS® system rests in the quality and accuracy of the information. Government, economists, financial institutions, appraisers and others all rely on MLS® data. This is because REALTORS® who submit the listing information, and MLS® staff at real estate boards who conduct quality control, are trained and educated in the complexities of real estate.

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REALTORS® know how to describe a property accurately and what information must be disclosed in an MLS® listing. For instance, if there is a restriction on the use of a property, something called an easement, this information must appear in the MLS® listing. Also, the MLS® connects buyers and sellers. If the MLS® system did not exist, sellers would have to choose an individual real estate brokerage to list their home and only that brokerage would have the information about it and the ability to show and sell it. If the MLS® system did not exist, buyers would have to go from REALTOR® to REALTOR® to view the listings of each individual brokerage. Many alternate systems and services exist to buy and sell homes and they all compete for customers. The MLS® is the REALTOR® option.

How does MLS® benefit consumers?

A large part of the REALTORS® job lies in finding properties that meet a buyer's needs. Using the MLS®, a REALTOR® can search the database for homes that suit budgets, location preferences and family requirements, and quickly put together a short list of suitable homes. This way a buyer can decide what home they want to see, what their options are and what types of properties the market has to offer. For sellers, the MLS®, matches your property with as many qualified, motivated buyers as possible. The MLS® exposes your property to people most likely to purchase it and makes sure you won't waste your time showing your home to those who are not truly interested. When you make the decision to sell ensure you ask your REALTOR® about an MLS® listing. The MLS® will ensure wide exposure of your home to a broad range of interested people.

What about REALTOR.ca?

The public website www.realtor.ca is not the MLS® system. Local MLS® systems are owned and operated by local real estate boards, for use by REALTORS®. Realtor.ca is an advertising vehicle that gives consumers direct access to information about MLS® listings. The website is provided by REALTORS® across Canada to help market properties on behalf of their clients. The home listing information on www.realtor.ca streams from the MLS® but does not contain the full collection of information on the system. Story courtesy VIREB

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Check out their testimonials at my website Cathybraiden.com

Did you know I’m a Certified Canadian Staging Professional?

BEFORE:

Why Stage Your Home?

AFTER:

STAGED HOMES:

• Sell faster • Sell for more money • Show better in photos and marketing promotions • Attract more buyers, and more offers • Eliminate buyers chipping away at the asking price

MID ISLAND REALTY

Independently Owned & Operated

4994 Argyle Street, Port Alberni, B.C.

Call: 723-5666 cathy@cathybraiden.com www.cathybraiden.com


Make the Right Move!

with Chris & Alease Arcus OF COAST REALTY GROUP â&#x20AC;&#x153;We take pride in our work. We will ensure that your property gets the exposure it needs to create market demand. When it comes to buyers, we will not rest until we have a sold sign in the yard of the new investment.â&#x20AC;? - Chris & Alease Arcus

Buying a home? Your satisfaction is our top priority. Understanding your wants and needs help us find your dream home. We will take the time to help you understand the current market conditions and explain the different sub areas of Port Alberni and the Alberni Valley to ensure you make the right move. Our focus is quality, not quantity.

Selling your home? We will get your home sold for top dollar and in a timely manner. Our online and offline marketing programs give us the edge needed to listing to 30 additional websites.

Toll Free 1-888-723-1800 24 hrs. 1-250-723-1800

cell: 250-731-7733 email: alease@arcusrealtors.com

Best Location in Town with Great Parking!! 4213 Princess Rd. 250-731-6637 ALEASE & CHRIS cell: email: chris@arcusrealtors.com

6894410

make this possible; coastrealty.com is syndicated and exposes your


Key to Real Estate

Why use a REALTOR®?

R

EALTORS® are trained professionals who bring a wealth of experience and resources to their clients, whether that client is looking to buy their first home or is a seasoned seller. Expert knowledge of the communities in which they work, the ability to accurately price and market properties, and experience in negotiating buying and selling prices are just a few of the things you can expect from a licensed REALTOR®. Consider some of the advantages of using a REALTOR® when buying or selling:

When Buying A REALTOR® has the knowledge, experience and resources to find properties in your price range and homes that match your individual needs. You can get information on schools, transportation and other services in different neighbourhoods, and access the MLS® service, which provides up-to- date details on a wide variety of properties in the markets you are exploring. A REALTOR® can help you understand property financing, taxes, insurance and the steps you'll have to take to complete a real estate transaction.

A selling price will be established in consultation with you that will appeal to buyers interested in your type of home and neighbourhood. A REALTOR® will assess your home and provide you with tips on how to highlight its best features and make it more appealing. A marketing plan for your home will be developed to help it sell quickly at or near the asking price. In addition to MLS® listing and advertising in the newspapers and other media, most plans will include a number of open houses. A REALTOR® will save you time by separating the lookers from the buyers and ensuring that only serious buyers visit your home. When an offer is received, a REALTOR® will use their knowledge and experience to negotiate an agreement on your behalf and according to your instructions. If you accept an offer, the REALTOR® will participate in drawing up a legally binding contract that protects your interests, ensures any conditions to a binding agreement are fulfilled, and that all your questions and concerns are dealt with to your complete satisfaction. Story courtesy VIREB

You can save substantial time by allowing the REALTOR® to "preview" properties that fit your budget and expectations. This way, you may only have to visit a handful of homes to make a wise and informed selection. A REALTOR® will explain the various financing alternatives available and provide up-to-date information on interest rates and mortgage options. They will act as a mediator to off-set potential conflicts between you and a seller. A REALTOR® will draw up an offer to purchase and assist with all details required to make a successful transaction, including when to bring in other professionals (lawyer, lender, home inspector, insurance broker and others).

#1-4505 Victoria Quay Port Alberni BC V9Y 6G2 Cell: 250.730.0863 Office: 250.723.LIST (5478) Fax: 250.723.2736 Email: kat@albernirealtor.com Web: albernirealtor.com

When Selling A REALTOR® is an expert in effective advertising and will cover all the costs as part of their service to you.

Phone: 1.844.723.5478 Cell: 250.720.6804

Your home will receive far-reaching market exposure through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS®)

Office: 250.723.LIST (5478) Fax: 250.723.2736 Email: sonjasutton@shaw.com

You can depend on their support every step of the way.

Web: sonjasutton.com

A REALTOR® will provide you with a full explanation of the selling process and what to expect from the beginning.

#1-4505 Victoria Quay Port Alberni BC V9Y 6G2 Port Alberni-Pacific Rim Realty


DAVE KOSZEGI REALTOR® Team Leader

Personal Real Estate Corp.

dave@daveteam.ca

Vicky Seredick REALTOR® vicky@daveteam.ca

JOHN CLARK john@daveteam.ca REALTOR®

Whether you’re at home or on the go, our websites make finding your dream home easy ...from any of your devices!

visit our sites today, and find your perfect home:

6891912

midislandhomes.com | sproatlakehomes.com | daveteam.ca

OF NANAIMO

Each Office Independently Owned and Operated

Direct: 250-723-SOLD

March 31, 2015  

Section Z of the March 31, 2015 edition of the Alberni Valley News

March 31, 2015  

Section Z of the March 31, 2015 edition of the Alberni Valley News