How To Get Your Dream Home, Even If It Is Not Listed.

Have you ever driven through a neighbourhood and suddenly seen a home that you have fallen in love with? But as luck would have it, the home is not for sale.

While the majority of us drive away, feeling sad, there are others who are determined to make that home theirs, whether it is for sale or not.

And often, with the help of the right real estate advisor, they will do just that!

For a real estate professional, this is equivalent to a sales “cold call” – the clients point out the home they like, and the realtor plays a sort of matchmaker, contacting the homeowners to see if they are willing to sell.

While some owners will not even consider a sale, there are others who may, if they get the right incentive – price! The idea of selling the home may have been discussed, but the process had not been started. There could also be a chance that the home may have been on the market previously.

So if you are interested in a home that has not been put on the market, this is what you can do:

  1. Do a thorough research on the property and the owner. Public records, real estate listings of houses in the neighbourhood, or even old real estate listings in the area can give you a decent idea of the value.
  2.  If you decide you’re serious about approaching the owner, your best bet is to ask your realtor to do so on your behalf. It will show the owner you’re seriously interested. A good idea would be to send to the owner, via your realtor, a handwritten letter, expressing why you’re interested. It will help personalize the process.
  3. If the owner shows interest in selling, work fast to make the deal before he/she changes his/her mind.

Remember you may end up paying more than the market price if the house isn’t officially up for sale. It has to be a home that has left a lasting impression on you if you decide to buy.

Are you interested in buying a home? Please contact us. We can advise you on a property purchase or a valuation. Our experienced Real Estate professionals have a wealth of knowledge and experience in these fields.

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How You Can Help Your Agent Sell Your Home More Quickly

Your real estate advisor works passionately to ensure that your home is sold for the best possible price in the least possible time. However, you as the seller, have a very important role to play – you have to prepare your home for the sale as your agent cannot do this for you.

Your real estate professional will tell you that you have only one chance to make a first impression. According to popular real estate surveys, more than 60% of buyers know that the property is for them, the minute they walk in the door. 

You have to make sure that considerable effort is put into making that first impression a favorable one.  

So what can you do? Simple basic things such as: 

  • Make sure you cut the lawn and remove the leaves and debris near the front door.
  • If your front door looks slightly old and worn, give it a fresh coat of paint that is color coordinated with the trim.
  • De-clutter the foyer and make it a “grand” entrance.
  • Placing a mirror over a hall table reflects light and gives your entrance a finished look.
  • Remove excess furniture and clutter from the living room.
  • Use neutral paint colors in the common areas and brighten dark corners.
  • Kitchens are instrumental in deciding whether your home will be sold or not – update your appliances. If you can’t, then make a good first impression with uncluttered, neat and sparkling clean counters.
  • In the bathroom, new fluffy towels and accessories may help visitors overlook the dated vanity. 

Obviously there is much more you can do than this, but these are tips that generally work. While your home is being listed, always make sure that it is kept clean and tidy. Your real estate professional will do his/her best in trying to sell your home and you need to do your part to ensure this is made possible.

 

We’re not in the real-estate business – we’re in the experience business. Allow us to help change the quality and direction of your life. Contact us is you have any real estate related inquiries.

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Why Your Renovation Should Be Structural and Not Cosmetic.

Whenever someone talks about a renovation, typically images of hardwood floors and granite countertops are conjured up. But according to many home improvement experts, you should be more concerned about renovating the structure of your home than the style.

 

If you have the following problems outlined below, you should be directing your renovation dollars towards them rather than finishing the basement or adding a sunroom, as these problems could eventually escalate into major headaches. 

Leaking basement: Never ignore leaks, even the smallest ones. If water is getting in from the outside you have a potential disaster in the making. By stopping the leaks, fixing any cracks in the foundation, and properly insulating the basement, you will be conquering the “damp basement syndrome.” 

Sagging roof: Your roof repair should be first and foremost of any repair work undertaken in your home. Look for signs of cracked and worn shingles, sagging areas, mold or rot. If your roof is in need of repair, don’t cut corners with a cheap fix. Use a reputable company that will give you a solid warranty. Remember a well repaired and maintained roof will add value to your home. 

Heat loss:  Any renovation that improves the energy efficiency of your home is a worthwhile investment. Greening your home can also make your home very attractive when selling. You can also recover a large part of your investment with the energy savings.  An energy efficient home guarantees low utility bills.  

So if you have some money saved for a renovation or remodel, direct these dollars towards important repairs – granite countertops can wait! 

Do you have any property related issues? Please contact us. We can advise you on a property purchase/sale, a valuation or even a renovation. Our real estate professionals are always ready to help or advise you. 

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Here’s Some Real Estate Trivia You May Find Useful and Interesting!

  1. The square footage of a house is measured from the outside walls of the house and only includes living area that is above grade. Some realtors may list the square footage of the entire house – both above and below grade – by using terms like “total finished living area”.
  2. CMHC stands for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and is a Government of Canada organization to assist with the purchase of homes and the repair of existing homes.
  3. The definition of “first time buyer” according to CMHC – which allows you to buy with 5% down – has been expanded to include purchasers who have been relocated for job reasons, purchasers who have either split with a spouse or ended a joint family ownership.
  4. A bathroom with a door to the master bedroom as well as a door to the main house is called a “semi-ensuite”.
  5. Amortization is the process of paying off the principal of a loan in incremental payments that gradually chip away at the principal.
  6. A Lis Pendens is a notice that is recorded on the title of a property in the land registry office that says that there is pending court action involving the property
  7. MLS is a trademark – just like Tim Hortons. Only real estate boards are licenced to use the MLS trademark. Nobody else can.
  8. An “SPP” offer is part of the term used by real estate agents to refer to an offer that is conditional upon the sale of the purchaser’s property.
  9. Most SPP offers have an “escape clause” which allows another offer to bump the SPP offer. On the other hand, an SPP offer does not necessarily have to have an escape clause if all parties to the transaction agree.
  10. Negligent Misrepresentation – If a realtor innocently misrepresents the facts about a property and should have known the true facts – based upon his assumed expertise – then that realtor can be sued and held liable for the error.
  11. When shopping for a house, getting pre-approved for a loan is ideal. Although pre-qualification is free, it’s very unofficial and often unreliable. Pre-approval means a lender has looked into your credit and financial situation more closely and will make you look like a serious buyer to the seller.
  12. It is legal for a real estate company to have a fixed commission policy for it’s sales people, but it is illegal for real estate companies to get together with other real estate companies to set fixed commission rates. This violates the Competition Act.

To learn more about Virani Real Estate Advisors or to discuss the purchase or sale of a property, fill out this  form, visit one of our offices, or call 604-913-1000.

 

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The “Fixer-Upper” May Not Be The Bargain It Promises To Be.

 TV shows that magically transform a run down home into a sparkling jewel are all the rage today. In half an hour you will see a home that was once a run down piece of junk, blossom into a much-desired dream home. But unless you are aware of exactly what is involved in transforming the property, you could be in for a rude awakening. 

The discounted price of a fixer-upper in a good neighborhood is a very attractive prospect, especially for young first time buyers who have a lot of ideas, energy and spare money from the money they have potentially saved.

Many times, these buyers have no idea what the repairs will cost.  What may look like a home in need of cosmetic work may actually require major repairs to the roof, expensive electrical and plumbing upgrades, and possibly even some structural work.

If you are one of the few that has the means and ability to do much of the repair work yourself, then the purchase makes sense, but how many of us have the time to do this, especially with our busy careers and family? Do you want to spend your precious week-ends and spare time working on your home?

A home like this is only a bargain if you can do much of the work yourself and are aware of the process that is required to make the home your dream home. So, no matter how tempting the purchase price may be, you must decide whether you want to spend the next few years slaving away on a project that may require more resources than you imagined, or spend the extra money and buy a home you can comfortably live in on the onset.

Do you have any property related issues? Please contact us. We can advise you on a property purchase, a valuation or even a renovation. Our experienced Real Estate professionals are keen to impart their knowledge and expertise.

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Why School Districts Matter to Many Buyers and Sellers in the Real Estate Market.

Did you know that homes in good school districts are more desirable and fetch higher prices than homes in lower tiered school districts? Recently, realtor.com did a survey of around 1,000 prospective home buyers, and made the following observations: 

  • Over 90% of the prospective buyers considered school district boundaries as an important factor in their search for a new home.
  • 20% would pay 6-10 percent above their budget for a better school district.
  • 10% would pay up to 20 percent above budget.
  • 20% would give up at least a bedroom or a garage to live in a better school district.
  • Over 30% said that they would downsize to a smaller home if the school in the area were better. 

Advantages:

  • Homes in good school districts usually maintain their value even in a soft real estate market. You will have a better chance of selling your home if it’s near good schools.
  • A good school is a major factor that helps define a neighborhood as a good location.
  • For families, buying into a good school district can save the cost of private school tuition. 

Disadvantages:

  • Homes in better school districts tend to be more expensive.
  • Property taxes may be higher and much of that money will be allotted right back to the school. 

If the house you plan to sell is located in a highly coveted school district, do everything in your power to highlight that fact in all of your real estate marketing materials. Many potential buyers are the parents of children currently in the school system, so be sure to get the word out among neighbors and local friends.

 

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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The Death of The Dining Room?

Many families are still enjoying dinners together, but chances are they’re not taking place in those formal dining rooms of years gone by.

Instead, you’re likely to find families eating at large kitchen islands, desks in multi-functioning offices, on terraces, or in outdoor kitchens. In fact, any place equipped with a table and chairs (or bench) can host dinnertime.

So where are dining rooms today? Don’t feel sorry for them – they haven’t been abandoned completely. They’re just being used for other purposes.

Homeowners in pursuit of useful square footage are turning dining rooms into living areas or workspaces, particularly in cities and square-footage challenged homes. Interior designers are turning existing dining rooms into multi-function rooms, like lounges or bars or combinations of both.

Many new homes are avoiding the dining room altogether.  In fact, formal dining rooms are being reincarnated architecturally.  Architects and contractors are creating rooms that can quickly be “flipped” into dining areas, like offices where desks or shelving unit components fold down into dining tables, or living rooms where the coffee table extends and rises to seat six or more people in total comfort.

The traditional dining room may be gone, but it’s been reborn as a space where people can tailor their homes to their lifestyles. And maybe, like the kitchen that returned to its roots as the heart of the home, it’s an idea whose time has come.

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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Homeownership Revisited – Why It Makes Sense To Own A Home.

According to the Financial Post, more than 70% of Canadian households now own their home.  Even young people have caught the housing bug. Statistics Canada says much of the increase in home ownership — the number was 68.4% in 2006 — has been from young people buying condos.

House prices have continually increased over the last few decades resulting in some amazing gains for many homeowners. 

So what are the advantages of owning a home in Canada? 

1. Home ownership is the single largest source of savings for Canadian households.

2. Your payments build equity (as opposed to renting, where your money goes to the building owner).

3. Unlike other investments that can be volatile, when you buy a home the increase in its value is relatively steady. The average price of a house for sale on the Canadian real estate market has increased every year since 1998.

4. The return on investment for a house can be substantial. In Canada, there has not been a recorded 10-year period where average house prices have not increased.

5. Homeowners can use the equity in their homes as security for other loans.

6. Buying a home and building equity is the first step on the property ladder. It gets you into the housing market, keeps you in touch with increasing house prices, and puts you in a good position to trade up to bigger and better homes as your circumstances allow. 

7. If the home is a principal residence, it can be sold without any capital gains tax. 

If you are contemplating buying a home, get in touch with us for some useful advice.  We can guide you within your budget and lifestyle. Call us on 604 913 1000, contact us  or follow us on Facebook.

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Here Are Some Great Ways To Become Mortgage Free

A large number of homeowners get weighed down by the number of years left on their mortgage. The historically low interest rates have been a boon as many individuals who, once upon a time were tenants, have now become homeowners. Getting low interest rates is crucial, but there is a lot more you can do to ensure you can become mortgage free even sooner.
Here are some great tips to do this: 

  1. If you shorten your amortization period, you can build equity faster and take years
    off your mortgage. So if possible, budget for higher monthly payments.
  2. Make bi-weekly payments that match with your pay periods. This will increase the number of payments made in the year and take years off your mortgage term.
  3.  Many mortgages allow a lump sum payment in any one calendar year, and if you don’t use it, you will lose it! Even if you don’t have a sizeable amount to contribute, make sure you make that extra payment, no matter how small, as this could pay huge dividends later.
  4. If your salary increases, increase your mortgage payments to match. You probably wont feel the strain, unless you budget for a big ticket item such as  a car or a boat with your extra salary.  Remember your equity is increasing and interest decreasing with every extra dollar you put into your mortgage.
  5. When it is time to renew your mortgage, make sure you shop around for a better term. You may think that you get a favorable rate just because you are an existing customer of the bank or institution, but that’s not always the case. Make sure you negotiate and shop around. 

Through our affiliation with various Financial Institutions, you can access a full range of financial options for your home. Get the mortgage that’s right for you with the best rates and start saving money.  

Complete and submit this form. A Mortgage Specialist will contact you at your convenience. 

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Waterfront Living: The Advantages and Disadvantages

Waterfront living is a lifelong dream for many people. Living near the water has many advantages as well as disadvantages, so you should be prepared if you want to find out if it is the right lifestyle for you.

Advantages:

1) Houses near the water are always in limited supply and they are more desirable, hence they will retain their value longer and may be considered as a good investment.
2) There is a level of peace and tranquility that you cannot find anywhere else. The sounds, the smells, the air all bring you a peaceful level of calm.
3) You can have some spectacular views regardless of the weather.
4) Waterfront homes offer you a higher level of privacy. Rather than staring at another home, you have beautiful sunsets and sunrises. You can also rest assured that new properties will not pop up overnight, or in close proximity.
5) You are close to many water activities, which can be a lot of fun and lead to a healthier lifestyle.

Disadvantages:
1) There is increased exposure to natural risk, as sea levels can rise, storm surges can erode shorelines, and properties are more susceptible to wind damage.
2) Insurance premiums are typically higher and in some cases, expensive flood insurance may be required.
3) Waterfront homes may require more maintenance due to the humidity, dampness and salty air that can impact the exterior of the homes.
4) Water can also be a breeding ground for insects and other animals, which can be a nuisance.
5) If you don’t own the land at the edge of your property, the public may have legal access to your shoreline. This can impact your privacy and your home can be vulnerable to theft and vandalism.

To learn more about Virani Real Estate Advisors or to discuss a property, fill in this  form, visit one of our offices, or call 604-913-1000.

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