When Buying Your Home, Take Into Consideration Where You Work.

If you’re entering into the real estate market for the first time, you’ll hear the old adage: location, location, location. That’s three of the key factors. So, if the neighborhood is nice, with parks, good schools, retail stores nearby, and close to the highway, it’s a good location. But what also makes it a good location is how close it is to your work. 

These days many people are telecommuting, which allows them to work from home and save gas. If that’s the case, a 45-minute or hour-plus drive, one-way to the office, might not be too intimidating because you’re not going to have to do it every day. 

If you are buying far from your place of work, you should take your extended commute into consideration. With rising gas prices and increasing traffic, an extra long commute to work can hurt your pocketbook.

Sometimes the allure of rural areas with typically less expensive housing prices is so strong that buyers forget to consider how long they’ll be on the road before they’re home at night with their families. They also don’t factor in the gas costs that add up fast and can amount to hundreds of dollars in expenses each month. 

If you do purchase a home with a long commute, talk to your company about possible commuting subsidies, arrange a carpool, or try to work remotely more frequently to reduce the back and forth commute.

You can also ask your work to adjust your hours so that you can come in and leave at times when you’ll miss rush hours. This way you’re not just burning gas while sitting in tight, slow-moving traffic. 

So when you are shopping for a home and there is a long commute involved, spend a little time weighing the pros and cons. It’s very important to do a little research. 

Planning to purchase a new home? Have any real estate related questions? Get in touch with us.  Call us on 604 913 1000, contact us  or follow us on Facebook!

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Important and Unavoidable Costs To Consider When Buying Your Home.

Planning to purchase a home is not just taking a realistic look at your budget to see how expensive a home you can afford, and how much the monthly mortgage and property tax payment will be.

There are more expenses involved than these property costs and if you don’t factor them in your planning, you can seriously overrun your budget and run into some unwarranted financial problems.

Here are some of the important home-buying expenses you should keep in mind first and foremost:

Costs directly involved in buying your home:

1) Realtor fees
2) Home inspection fees
3) Lawyers fees

Moving costs

1) Packing
2) Storing
3) Transportation

Utility costs

1) Setting up electricity, gas and water
2) Transferring your telephone line

Buying new items for the home

1) New furniture and fittings
2) New appliances

Renovations in the new home

1) Painting walls
2) Replacing flooring
3) Landscaping
4) Plumbing updates
5) Electrical updates

Other costs

1) Higher insurance costs – if you are moving to a larger home, or from a rental unit

Purchasing real estate is a great investment. Whether it’s a detached home, a townhome or a condo, we’ll help you find the perfect fit in the right community for you! Please contact us and one of our experienced real estate advisors will be happy to assist you!



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Hardwood Floors Have A Considerable Advantage When Selling Your Home.

If you are selling a home with hardwood floors, you will be pleased to know that according to American based ERA Real Estate, 82% of homebuyers look for homes that have this feature. Hardwood floors are proving to be very popular, and one of the main renos new homebuyers perform is to remove existing carpets and install hardwood floors after they have bought the property.

So if you decide to have hardwood floors installed, here are some helpful tips on choosing the right kind: 

  • If a hardwood floor is going in a high-traffic area, it will need to be strong and durable to prevent wear and tear. Red oak is a good choice for high-traffic areas.
  • The type of wood you should get depends on which rooms will have hardwood floors. For living room floors that are even with the ground outside and bedroom floors that are above that level, you can go with solid hardwood. If you’re having a hardwood floor installed in a basement, though, you’d be better off with engineered hardwood.
  • Your subfloor type makes a big difference in the type of wood you can get. For example, a concrete subfloor would need engineered hardwood, while plywood can have solid or engineered wood. 

Why do people like hardwood floors? 

  • If you suffer from allergies, hardwood flooring is an excellent choice for as wood floors don’t give pollen, animal dander, or mold any place to hide and thrive. 
  • A little sweeping and a little mopping with wood floor products, and your hardwood floor will keep looking nice for a long time to come. 
  • Wood floors last a long time and add value to a home, whereas carpet will look old and used in just a few years. There is no substitute for solid hardwood floors, giving any room in your house natural warmth and beauty.
  • Not only is hardwood more pleasant to walk on, it is naturally warm as wood is an excellent insulator. 

The disadvantages are:

  • Hardwood flooring is highly vulnerable to moisture and humidity. Even a little amount of moisture can deteriorate the wood.
  • The high cost makes it less affordable. Installation can be quite labor intensive and expensive.
  • A hardwood floor can be noisy, so it would have to be covered by rugs to muffle the sound. 

If you want to improve the look, durability and value of your home or apartment, hardwood floors are a definite way to go.  

Need more help preparing your home for selling? Why not contact us; our real estate professionals would be happy to help you!



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So Now I’ve Listed My Home – What Happens Next?

You have made that crucial decision to sell your home. You are excited. Knowing what to expect when your house goes up for sale can be half the battle of getting through the transaction. The whole process can be an emotionally challenging time, so you must be prepared.

Here’s a look at what you can expect once you sign a listing agreement:


The first thing your realtor will do is likely place your home on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). This notifies all other agents in the area that your home is for sale.

Then, a “For Sale” sign will appear which will officially declare to your neighborhood that your home is up for sale.

A lockbox will be attached to your home allowing realtors access to your home when you are not in. If you don’t have one, it may be detrimental to you as other realtors will not take much interest in your place as it may be difficult trying to get access.

Open House

Your realtor will want to have a couple of open houses as soon as possible, which is why it’s not recommended to list your house until everything is ready for a good showing. This means you’ll likely be swamped with last-minute touch-ups and clean-ups to get things ready.

The realtor will likely have a brokers’ open house, which is during the week, so area agents, hopefully with clients looking to buy, can see the property. Next, traditionally on a Sunday will be the public open house.

It is best if you are not present during open houses, because buyers want the freedom to look in closets and make their personal comments. That’s difficult for most people to do if you are present. When potential buyers come for a viewing, try to step outside while they tour your house and let your professional realtor do what he/she is good at.


You should get the most interest during the first two to three weeks your house is listed. Anyone looking for a house similar to the one you’re selling will rush to see your home. Don’t get too concerned when the interest dies down.

If you have buyers come back a second or third time it usually means they are seriously considering your home and you’ll want your agent to keep in contact with their agent. Never ignore an offer, even if you consider it below your minimum.  Remember an offer can give you a chance to negotiate.

After 6 weeks

After 6 weeks if your home has not had any serious interest, you are either in a difficult market or you need to meet with your agent and re think your sales strategy.

This is crucial, because you may be tired of keeping the house clean, the initial excitement of the listing may have worn off and you may be irritated at just another person having a cursory look at your home.

At this stage you need to consider price and any physical changes or improvements that could enhance the home.

Thinking of listing your home? We have been in the real estate business for over 25 years and have successfully sold hundreds of millions of dollars of real estate. Contact us if you have any questions.

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How to Sell Your Home This Fall.

Generally speaking, fall often signals a slowing down in the real estate business. While steady home sales are expected to continue through the year, there are some regions that will likely slowly shift from a sellers market to a moderate or buyers market. So if you’re selling, you’ll want to do everything you can to make you house look its best. 

Keep the following fall tips in mind as you set out to put your home on the market and add your home sale to this year’s statistics:

Outside – Make sure your home has curb appeal, as you want to give the prospective buyer a great first impression.

  • Clear all the leaves off your property.
  • Cut your lawn, prune your shrubs and bushes.
  • Trim the trees so branches don’t get knocked down by the wind and cause unwarranted damage.
  • Ensure that your gutters have been cleaned and drain properly.
  • Make sure you have a good doormat so visitors can wipe their feet properly at the door.

Inside – Keeping the inside of the house clean is just as important as the outside.

  • Make sure your home feels warm and cozy – set the thermometer at a comfortable temperature.
  • Clear your home from clutter and keep all the rooms clean and tidy.
  • Place a nice fall centerpiece on your dining room table – decorate your home with festive fall embellishments.
  • Keep your windows clean from dirt and grime.
  • Let as much light in as possible. The extra light will help illuminate the houses’ interior.

Thinking of selling your home? We have a lot of experience in selling homes. Our real estate advisors understand the business and know how to negotiate the best possible outcome for their clients.  Contact us by email or call us on 604 695 1000.



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Does a Pool Increase the Value of your Home?

Although owning a home with a pool may sound glamorous, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you will attract more buyers and a higher price. In fact in some instances a pool may be a negative factor. 

In a warmer climate area, the pool would be a significant asset, as the pool would be used more often. In colder climate areas, a pool would not feature prominently due to the weather. However, an indoor pool would be more attractive.

Here are a few other considerations to keep in mind if you have a pool or are thinking of getting one to add value to your home:

  • You may run into a buyer who was not considering a pool, but may be willing to buy a home that has one.
  • Pools take up a lot of yard space and are expensive to maintain – keeping in mind cleaning costs, heating costs and higher insurance.
  • Buyers with young kids may have the fear that their kids can accidentally fall into the pool and drown.
  • Experts say the biggest market for pools consists of buyers who skew toward middle age with teenage children.
  • In ground pools are better investments than above ground pools. So if you want to add a pool, chose either a granite or vinyl in ground one.
  • Above ground pools cost a fraction of what it costs to build an in ground pool, and have become increasingly easy to install and maintain.

If you have a home with a pool and need help selling it or if you are looking for a home with a pool, contact us and we certainly be able to help you.






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Having Problems With Deciding Between 2 Houses? Our Guide Will Help You Decide.

Over the years, we have come across clients who are torn between 2 houses when they are house hunting. 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.

The best way to resolve this very difficult predicament is to take pen to paper and weigh the pros and cons of each home, outlining your family’s needs and budget.

What are important factors to compare?

1) Schools – if you have school aged children, you must take into account the reputation of the neighborhood schools. Other factors include the length of the commute, if you are looking at elementary schools, does the school feed into the high school you are considering?  There are a lot of on line resources available, and visiting the schools wouldn’t be a bad idea.

2) Crime – Check with the local law enforcement on crimes in both neighborhoods. You may find break-ins and vandalism more prevalent in one area than another.

3) The neighborhood – Evaluate how close you are to shopping centres, the highway, restaurants, etc. If you have young children, you may want close proximity to parks.  You may want to drive around and note how well are the lawns maintained. Well-maintained lawns may have a positive impact on the property values of the neighborhood.

4) Appreciation – Your real estate professional will be able to give you stats on the annual average percent increase of homes in each neighborhood. If prices in one neighborhood are dropping and in another are rising, you may have your decision made.

5) The house itself – Make a list of what attributes you would want in your ideal house. Then take each house and rate how it measures up to each attribute on your list.

As you carefully weigh all the factors, it might become clear that one house is more enticing than the other. Or, you may find the houses are still equally appealing. If that is the case, be sure you look at the homes more than once. You may notice something you didn’t the first time around – something that could sway you one way or the other.

If you are planning to purchase a new home, or sell your existing home, get in touch with us.  We have been in the real estate business for over 25 years.  Call us on 604 913 1000, contact us or follow us on Facebook.

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Ready to Own A Home? These Signs Will Indicate That You Are.

Buying a home will probably be the most important purchase of your life. If you are a first time home-buyer, it can be a daunting task, especially if you are not prepared.

Below are signs that indicate whether you are ready or not. You are ready if :

1)     You know how much you can afford to pay towards your monthly mortgage. As a general guide, your monthly mortgage payment should be less than or equal to a percentage of your income, usually about a quarter of your gross monthly income.

2)     You have enough to cover the down payment and closing costs. You have saved a percentage of the value of the property for the down payment  – at least 20% for a conventional mortgage and less than 20% for a high-ratio mortgage.

3)     You are familiar with the expenses associated with owning a home. Owning a home is not only about paying the monthly mortgage. There are other important expenses such as insurance, utility bills and maintenance costs.

4)     Your credit is in good standing. Lenders will always look at your credit history – how much debt you owe, how many credit cards you have, the frequency of your payments, etc., and based on this information, they will either approve or reject your loan application.

5)     You have been paying attention to the market. You must have a realistic view of what properties are out there and what you can afford.

6)     You haven’t made any recent major purchases. For example, if you have just bought an expensive car, the amount you will be approved for may be lowered, making it difficult to get the home you want.

7)     You have a reliable source of income. Buying a home is a long-term financial commitment, so you’ll need consistent cash flow to cover those monthly payments — not to mention the extra expenses that come with homeownership.

If you are in the market as a first time buyer, talk to one of our experienced Real Estate Advisors. We can guide you through all the important steps as you prepare to become your own landlord. Please call us on 604 913 1000, contact us  or follow us on Facebook.

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A Great Strategy For Bargain Hunters.

As a rule of thumb, if you are looking to buy a home, you can probably get a better deal in the winter months. The winter season usually has a fewer units on the market, and those that are in the market, need to be sold.

Typically, there are less people looking to buy a home in the winter than in the summer. Looking for a home in the cold weather can be somewhat inconvenient and there are not many open houses to view in the cold wet weather. Also potential sellers with kids don’t want to move to a new location in the middle of the school year, so they wait for the spring months.

With fewer buyers, you can be sure that the competition is not as fierce and the chances that the home you are interested in will have multiple offers is diminished. Depending on its reasonableness, your offer is less likely to be rejected in the winter months than in the summer months.

Remember that with less property transactions to deal with, lenders usually have fewer loans to process, less paper work and less stress. This may result in a more smoother approval process.

The best week to buy a home is during the Christmas week:

• Generally speaking, people are in good spirits, celebrating. • There aren’t as many people looking at homes during Christmas week. • People are more generous and many do come down on price. • Prices are typically at a 12-month low in December.

If a home is on the market during the Christmas period, you can bet that the seller is definitely serious about negotiating and selling the home. He or she may be more flexible in negotiating the terms of an offer and may agree to a number of concessions that would not be typically done in the summer months.

To learn more about Virani Real Estate Advisors or to discuss a property sale or purchase, email us at admin@thevlist.com, visit one of our offices, or call 604-913 1000 .

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Home Inspection 101

If you are buying a resale home and don’t want to inherit the sellers headaches, a home inspection by a professional should be given serious consideration.  If a home inspection is ordered, your offer to purchase is usually conditional on you being satisfied with the inspection so that if the inspection is not satisfactory, there is no deal. Today, more and more purchasers are coming to understand the wisdom of a thorough home inspection prior to committing to its purchase.

There are several ways to find a professional home inspector in your area. For example, you can:

• Ask your real estate agent for names – this is probably the best way as your realtor will have a list of  tried and tested professionals that have been previously used. • Ask friends and family who have used a home inspector in the past . • Contact a home inspection association for a list of qualified inspectors in your area . • Go online to association Web sites  – a very popular way as you can read reviews, both good and bad. • Check the local phone directory. • Ask someone in the construction or housing industry • Contact your local real estate board for references

Once you have found a home inspector, you have to ask the following important questions:

• Ask if they belong to a professionally recognized organization. • Ask about their training-they should have taken courses related to this field. • Verify that they are full-time inspectors with significant experience (versus performing inspections to supplement other fields of business). • Ask for references with contact details. Make sure you call at least 3 references to see if they were satisfied. • Use only inspectors who will give you a written report of their findings. • Ask how much time the inspection will take and how much it will cost. A thorough inspection should last at least three hours, depending on the size of the property. • Ask about their limitation of liability agreement. This will let you know what they are and are not liable for if something was missed or an oversight occurred.

What is inspected?


• Foundation walls, basement floor, posts and beams • Waterproofing, moisture penetration, wood rot, etc. • Electrical service and wiring • Plumbing supply, waste drainage and fixtures • Heating, air conditioning (summer only) and ventilation • Floors, walls, ceilings, doors and windows • Attic insulation and ventilation


• Slope, grading and drainage of the property • Foundation and exterior walls • Porches and decks • Windows, doors, headers and sills • Fascia, soffits and eaves troughs • Roof, flashings, vents and chimneys • Garage, carport and outbuildings

Remember that a professional home inspection does not include appraisals, exact quotations for repairs, noncompliance with building code requirements, and is not intended to provide guarantees or warranties. Knowing what to expect will help you make an informed decision about the value of your home as well as the costs of future upkeep.

If you are contemplating buying  or selling a home, why not get in touch with us for some useful advice?  Call us on 604 913 1000, contact us  by email or follow us on Facebook.

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