Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Top 10 House Hunting Tips

From the RE/MAX Blog:

When looking for a place to call home, it’s easy to get sidetracked by thinking with your heart rather than your head. Although it takes less than seven seconds to make a first impression, a quick decision could lead to an unavoidable case of buyer’s remorse. In order to avoid this, we have listed a checklist for the top ten house hunting tips you need to know before you attend a viewing.
  1. Location: There are many things that can be changed, upgraded, or improved after you have purchased a home, but the location isn’t one of them. You need to think about the proximity to work, schools, and other attractions you frequently visit and also research any new developments or upcoming changes to the area in the future.
  2. Smells: While air fresheners and open windows can clear out certain scents, it’s important to pay attention in order to sniff out other potential issues. For example, if you notice a damp smell, it could mean the home has poor ventilation or issues with mold.
  3. Even Floors: Noticing a slanted floor is one of the major hints that there could be a large structural issue with the home. If you do notice something, you can ask your Agent to inquire with the owners or make note of it for the home inspection if you decide to go that far in the purchase process.
  4. Lighting: Natural lighting is something that is often overlooked in your house hunt, especially if you are viewing a home at night, or in the middle of winter. Think about how important natural lighting is to you, and plan your viewing times around when the lighting will be optimal.
  5. Shape & Size of Rooms: It is important to take a good look at the layout to make sure not only you but also your furniture can fit comfortably in the space.
  6. Parking: Is there enough space for everyone in your household to park or will this become an added expense? Additionally, if there is parking available, will your vehicle fit?
  7. Laundry: If there is laundry in the home, you need to make sure it is in an accessible location. If there is no laundry, is it in a convenient location you can easily get to with or without a car?
  8. Storage Space: Depending on how creative you can get with your storage, you will want to make sure that there is enough room to store your belongings without things becoming cluttered or unliveable.
  9. It looks perfect, but are you missing something? Professional staging can sometimes fool buyers into thinking a property is perfect while diverting their eyes away from potential issues. Don’t let the professional d├ęcor and scent of fresh baked cookies take your attention away from the things that matter.
  10. Assess the Kitchen and Bathrooms: The kitchen and bathroom are two of the most costly rooms in a home. Make sure you pay special attention to these rooms to avoid getting stuck with unwanted repairs or updates after purchasing the home.
While a home inspection will help advise you of any potential issues, it is still a good idea to pay attention to these things in the initial stages of your home search. This will also help ensure you don’t waste money on unnecessary home inspections."
Looking to buy a home in this hot market? We would love to help! We are passionate about real estate and are here to serve you in the North Okanagan, Shuswap and Thompson Valley

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Support RE/MAX Vernon on the Road to Relay For Life!

Everyone on our team has their own reasons for participating in the Canadian Cancer Society Relay For Life, but one thing we can all agree on is that it is unacceptable that 210 Canadians die from cancer every single day.
We have joined together to do something about it. We will walk to help save lives. The money we raise will fund Canada’s most promising cancer research and vital support services for people living with cancer and their families. 
We will go the distance at Relay For Life, but we need your support to get us there. Please give generously.

For more information on our brokerage and agents, visit www.TheRightAgents.com

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Deciding on the Right Neighborhood for Your Next Home? Our Okanagan Real Estate Agents Can Help!

When choosing the right neighborhood for your next home, its imperative that you keep these things in mind:

OMREB writes...

When buying a home, the neighbourhood you select will not only play a pivotal role in your family's life but will also affect the resale value of the property.
One person's ideal neighbourhood, however, may differ greatly from another's. Regardless, there are some needs and wants that generally do not change. The distance from your new home to schools, churches and shopping, for example, will not only affect how you and your family settle into your new home it will also draw or turn off a future prospective Buyer.
A good first step is to enlist the services of a REALTOR® who works in the area you are thinking of moving to. REALTORS® are familiar with the communities in which they work and can answer many of the questions that you will develop during your search.

Check the lifestyle
A home is part of a larger community and, frankly, some communities are more desirable than others. Some communities are geared more to young families, while others cater to older adults and still others to singles or to an eclectic mix of residents.
Never buy in an unfamiliar community or neighbourhood unless you have spent some time there both during the week and on a weekend, day and night. Drive and walk around. Talk to store owners and people you meet on the street. Ask what they think of the neighbourhood.
If there are vacant tracts of land where you plan to buy, check with local authorities to see what the proposed land use might be. The last thing most home owners want is the development of a mall or high-rise office building across the road from their newly-purchased, residential property.

Don't let particular features in a home that appeals to you override its location and potential subsequent resale value. When analyzing a potential property, ask yourself if you can imagine living  not just in this home  but in this neighbourhood for the long term.
Remember that someday you may have to sell your home to someone else and things that may not be important to you - such as distance to schools, shopping, doctors and work - may be important to other Buyers.

Location, location, location
In addition to finding the right neighbourhood, consider the other homes immediately around the particular property you are interested in. Are they well-maintained and worth the same as, or more than the home, you are considering?
Is the location a quiet area or a major traffic thoroughfare? What kind of privacy does the backyard provide? Does the yard get morning or afternoon sun? If there is no house behind the prospective property, who owns that property and how will it be developed?  Check zoning and proposed development applications with the local municipal or regional authority.
Homes located further away from the centre of an urban area are generally less expensive. Are you prepared to invest the time and money it takes to commute and how long of a commute are you prepared to commit to? Is there public transit and good access to major roads nearby?

If you have children in school, what kinds of schools and services are available? Special needs and French immersion programs may not be as easy to access in some neighbourhoods. Will your children have to be bussed to their school? If a school is close by, will they have to cross any major intersections?
Being too close to a school, on the other hand, may have some drawbacks - few owners want the noise and disturbance of being located right next door.
Finding malls, grocery and specialty stores in urban, residential areas is rarely a problem. But, in neighbourhoods further away from urban areas, you may need to drive to the nearest convenience store. And getting to the local grocery store, pharmacy and other support services may require an even longer trek.
It's great to be located near parks and recreational facilities, but few homeowners appreciate the tennis court lights beaming into their backyards. If the home you are considering backs onto such a property, drive around the area and see how often the baseball diamonds, soccer fields, swimming pools and skating rinks are being used and when.

More serious concerns may involve having such things as gas stations, an airport, railway tracks, commercial developments, major arteries and cemeteries very close by. Before making a decision, think of your lifestyle and how a particular location would enhance or detract from it.

Friday, 22 January 2016

Is There a Best Time to Sell Your House?

Property sells year round. It is mostly a function of supply and demand, as well as other economic factors. The time of year you choose to sell can make a difference in the amount of time it takes and the final selling price. Weather conditions are often a consideration in some provinces than in other parts of the country. Generally the real estate market picks up in the early spring.

During the summer, the market usually slows. The end of July and August are often the slowest months for real estate sales. The strong spring market often places upward pressure on interest rates, many prospective home buyers and REALTORS® take vacations during mid-summer.

After the summer slowdown, sales activity tends to pick up for a second, although less vigorous, season which usually lasts into November. The market then slows again as buyers, sellers and REALTORS® turn their attention to the holidays.

The supply of homes on the market diminish because sellers often wonder whether or not they should take their homes off the market for the holidays. There are still buyers in the market place, but now those buyers have fewer homes to choose from. Those homes on the market at that time have considerably less competition. Generally speaking, you'll have the best results if your house is available to show to prospective buyers continuously until it sells.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Real Estate Investing

"People from all backgrounds and all walks of life have found amazing success in the world of real estate investing. If you feel that you have what it takes to generate real profits in this way, but just need a bit of know-how, this article is for you. Keep on reading to get some terrific advice.

Before investing in real estate, try analyzing the market and researching thoroughly. It is best to compile information on at least 50 properties from your target area and put this into a spreadsheet. You should look at prices, anticipated rents and repair budgets. This will help you figure out which deals are the best.

Remember that real estate investing is all about the numbers. When you’re buying a home to live in, you may get emotional about the place, but there’s no room for that in investing. You need to keep your eye on the data and make your decisions with your head, not your heart.

Don’t invest in property that has not been personally inspected by a third-party or neutral professional. Also, never use an inspector offered by the seller. Always get your inspection from someone whom you personally trust.

Stick with a niche that you feel comfortable dealing with. You can successful invest if you focus on that market segment. No matter what type of investing, keeping with what you know will really help you succeed.

If you purchase a property and need to make repairs, be wary of any contractors who ask for money in advance. You should not have to pay before the work is done, and if you do, you run the risk of getting ripped off. At the very least, never pay the full amount ahead of time.

You never want to dig on a property regarding home improvement because there might be buried lines. In some places, it is illegal to do any kind of digging and you also don’t want to damage the property.

If you are thinking about purchasing real estate to rent, hiring someone to manage the property to help screen good solid tenants is a must. Applicants should have a good credit history since you are going to be relying on rental income to pay the bills. If not, you may start bleeding money."

Thursday, 17 December 2015

How To Have Successful Winter Open House

Selling your home during the winter? Here are some tips from the Trulia Blog to make it successful...

Get them inside without a slip
If there is any snow on the ground, pick up that shovel and start plowing. You want to make sure all the walkways from the street to your front door are completely cleared of snow. Make sure to de-ice as well. Nothing ruins a home tour experience for a buyer like a slip-and-slide into a snow mound on their way in.
Create a landing area
If you have an outdoor front porch, make sure it is cleared of snow and ice and kept as dry as possible. If guests enter directly into the house, make sure you have a rug or mat by the door so they can wipe their feet. Once inside, have an umbrella stand for those wet umbrellas, and a coat rack to hang bulky winter gear. You can also purchase some shoe covers so guests can cover their wet boot soles. Bonus: Your potential buyer will be thankful you took precautions to keep stains off their future carpet!
Make your house cozy and inviting

Make sure the heat is on and the house is just the right temperature during the event. The front door will be opening and closing, so you will want to allow for that continuing loss of heat. But don’t forget that people will have on heavy clothes and be walking around — don’t crank up the heat and make things too cozy.