Friday, January 30, 2015

You Were Asking: Insurance Issues




We’re seeing more conditions on insurance approval in offers lately.  Mostly for older properties where there may be some questions about older components still in existence in the home.  These typically will relate to wiring, a fuel tank, insulation or, even the state a property is in.  Contrary to what many believe, there really is no industry standard amongst insurance companies.  Each company can and does develop their own requirements.  So, often, you will be told to seek out various quotes for insurance, but, if you are comfortable with your existing insurer, it will be prudent to err on the side of caution and simply insert a clause that your offer on the home is subject to the approval of your insurance company.  One word of advice is that if you have been looking at older homes, educate yourself on the key factors your insurance company will want to know.  Often the realtor will get a call from a client AFTER the purchase asking questions about roof shingle type, fireplace, wiring, square footage, proximity of home to the nearest fire station, the list goes on.  If we have your particular insurance companies requirements ahead of the purchase, we will know what your insurance company wants and we can assist pre-offer in answering the questions.  It just heads off any concerns after you have bought.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

You Were Asking: Taking the Hassle Out of Selling



The Spring market is underway.  Time for all you sellers to make plans for your 2015 move!  Here is a list of tips to help you:
  1. Find a knowledgeable, honest and aggressive sales representative.
  2. Ensure you understand the Multiple Listing Contract and review an Agreement of Purchase and Sale Form before any offers come in.      
  3. Introduce your home to the market only when it is ready.  If your sales rep has advised small repairs and clean up, make a commitment to these items.
  4. Introduce your home to the market only when you and your family are ready.  It will be a lot easier if everyone is on board.
  5. Introduce your home to the market at the right price.  Know the effects of overpricing.
  6. Make yourself available.  Try not to put too many restrictions on showing times, if you do, likely the home won't be shown as often.  If you travel frequently, leave points of contact along with cell phone numbers and email addresses that you check frequently.  Don't think, they will wait if they want my house.  Committed buyers are just that, they will find another home.
  7. Don't allow buyers possession of your home before the sale has been finalized (this includes storage areas such as the garage).  If something should happen such as a fire, you will still be held liable for any damage.
  8. Enjoy your home!  Think of it this way, it'll be the cleanest and most organized it has ever been!

If we can help, give us a call!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

You Were Asking: Buying and Selling

It's quite natural to wish to sell high and buy low.  But, unless you are selling in a flourishing market and then awaiting market conditions to change to favour a buyer, that's not likely to happen.  You need to live somewhere in between and that means exploring your options, ie. staying with relatives, renting, obtaining a long closing on the sale of your home to allow for the time to purchase or, more conceivably, buying and selling in the same market.  

The hard thing to keep in mind is that your home is worth what a willing buyer wishes to pay.  That's so black and white.  Especially when your children grew up in the house.  When you just renovated and the homes you're now looking at need all that you just undertook. 

Here's the silver lining though.  You most likely will buy and sell in the same market.  So, if you lose at one end, you'll likely make it back up at the other.  Is real estate still a good investment?  Over the long term, yes.  Predominantly, you build equity over time.  House prices generally rise a bit more than inflation.  

Sellers, if you are waiting for the market to come to your price, recognize that most sellers are doing that.  So, when you put your buyer's hat on and head out to find your new home, you're still in the same market!

If we can help, give us a call?  Our Spring market starts up this month...January!

Friday, January 2, 2015

You Were Asking: The Year of Change?


Welcome all to our bright and fresh 2015!  As with any New Year, many of us boldly announce our strategy of change that will somehow miraculously cure what's ailing.  Whether it be tackling a new fitness regime, financial goal, or personal relationship strengthening, we all have something simmering below the surface that just needs tweaking.  Nothing like the turn of a calendar page to light the fire.  So, here is our list, 'Real Estate Style':

1.  Reach Financial Goals - Take a good, hard look at your cost of living expenses and be honest on where you might be able to cut back.  If there are two of you earning an income, is there any way you can live off one income to save one income.
2.  Cut up Credit Cards - What credit cards do you actually need?  If you are simply spreading around your debt load, concentrate on refining and consolidating debt.  Pay off debt with the highest interest rate. 
3.  Clean out your closets and storage areas and donate unwanted items to charity - The simple act of purging offers freedom and sets boundaries.  How much do we really need
4.  Take daily steps toward achieving a longer term goal - Change doesn't happen overnight, so, why do we expect major, positive outcomes from essentially doing the same thing year after year.  Change can be achieved by taking small, bite sized chunks out of a larger goal.
5.  Pay it Forward - Okay, this isn't so much about real estate, but, it is a feel good exercise for just about everyone.  The coolest thing is you can be creative every single day!  Bring your neighbour's garbage cans up from the curb.  Shovel the single Mom's driveway.  Bake an extra loaf of banana bread and drop to your elderly neighbour.  Random acts of kindness do wonders to change us!


Wishing you all a happy, healthy, 2015!  Enjoy your journey...