Imagine you’ve dreamed of living in a particular neighbourhood, perhaps for years, and then, when you're finally ready to make a move, finding out that the area is competitive and buying there is definitely a challenge.
A disappointment? Not necessarily.
There is a lot you can do to buy into a popular neighbourhood, even in competitive offer situations.
Your first step is to start targeting that area now. Find out about property types, prices and trends. In particular, you’ll need to know what price range you should be thinking about, and making sure that it’s going to fit your budget. To do that, you might need to get a determination of the Fair Market Value of your current home.
Next, begin making preparations so you can get a jump on opportunities in that neighbourhood quickly. You don't want to see a great property come on the market and not be ready to make a move. So, get your current home in order so it’s ready for a quick listing.
If possible, make arrangements to get alerted to new listings as soon as they come on the market. Keep in mind that a new listing may not appear online for several days. By getting advance notice, you can be among the first buyers to see the home and have an early advantage over other buyers.
If it's likely there's going to be competing offers for the home you want, there are many strategies that can increase your chances of winning. These involve going in at the right price, minimizing conditions to the offer, presenting the offer appropriately, and negotiating effectively.
Is there a neighbourhood you want to get into? I can help make it happen. Call today.
Ideally, you would like buyers to wait until they’ve viewed your whole property before they judge it. However, the reality is, buyers start forming an impression of your home as soon as they see it from the curb. So, it pays to do everything you can to improve your property’s “curb appeal”.
Here are some ideas:
~You can improve the impact of your landscaping by trimming hedges, removing any unsightly weeds, and cutting the grass. Planting just a few fresh flowers can make a big impact.
~If your main entrance door is old, a fresh coat of paint will make it look like new. In some cases, the effect is significant.
~Remove any items that might distract the buyer from forming a good first impression. For example, garbage cans, stored items along the side of the property, etc.
~Make sure the curtains and blinds on your front windows are open during viewings. That will make your home look more friendly and appealing.
~If your driveway has grease stains and other blemishes, consider renting a power washer and giving the driveway a thorough cleaning.
~Clean your front windows. If possible, also clean the exterior panes.
~Finally, if possible, park your vehicles on the street and away from your home. Doing this will not only make your home look more inviting to buyers, it will give them a convenient place to park.
Most of these tips can be done in less than a day. Yet, they can make a big difference in your home’s curb appeal. They are worth the effort!
The weather has started to cool down, so now’s the time to start planning for the first frost and getting your garden ready for fall. Some things you should do to transition your garden into the fall season are listed below.
Clean out your garden.
Make sure your perennials are ready to come back swinging next year by trimming them down as they become dormant. This will save the root of the plant. You can also go ahead and remove any spent plants from the roots up. If your garden has a mix of perennials and annuals, keep track of your garden’s layout as you go to make it easier to plan your spring planting.
Plant cover crops.
A cover crop, also known as green manure, is an organic fertilizer. Cover crops maintain the richness of the soil and protect your soil through the winter, helping you create an even better garden come spring.
Organic fertilizers are becoming more and more popular. One of the best ways to get organic fertilizer is to create it yourself by composting. To compost, clean out your garden and add the plant debris to a compost pile, then mix it in with other compost material. Spread a good mix of compost over your garden in the fall to refurbish the soil and help protect the soil during the winter.
Now that the weather is cooling off, it’s a great time to spruce up your current home or to find a new house to make your own. Give me a call if you or someone you know has any questions about real estate!
There are many good reasons to put your property on the market. Some examples include a relocation, the kids leaving the nest, the need for something bigger or smaller, and the list goes on and on. However, there are also some less-than-obvious indicators that it may be time to sell. Consider the following:
1. Your Property is no longer a Good "Fit"
Your home may have been perfect for you when you bought it. But things change. Families grow. Needs evolve. For any number of reasons, your property may no longer be a good fit for you. If that's the case, it makes sense to at least take a look at what's available on the market. Who knows? Your next "perfect" home may be for sale right now — within your price range!
2. The Neighbourhood is Changing
You may have been in love with the neighbourhood when you first moved in. But, over time, the characteristics of any area can change. Those changes don’t necessarily mean the neighbourhood is getting worse. In fact, it may be changing in a positive way; perhaps becoming more urban. But, "more urban" may not be what you want. So take a look at the direction your neighbourhood is heading. Ask yourself, "Do I still want to be living here in two years?"
3. You're Ready for Your Dream Home
Remember when you purchased your current property? Did it have every feature you wanted? Was it your dream home? Or, did you have to compromise on a few things, such as the size of the kitchen? If you had to make some tough choices back then, it might be time for you to finally get the home of your dreams.
Those are just three indicators it may be time for you to make a move. Of course, there are many others. If you've been entertaining the idea of selling your property and finding your next dream home, give me a call. I can show you what's available on the market, and keep you informed of new listings that match what you're looking for. Contact me anytime AT 778.242.3616.
ENJOY THE DAY,
Property sales in the Fraser Valley remained strong in September, consistent with the near-record setting pace of the last six months.
The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board processed 1,727 sales, an increase of 22 per cent compared to 1,419 sales during September of last year. Last month’s sales were on par with September 2005 and second to September’s all-time high for sales in 1992.
Jorda Maisey is the Board’s President. “Sales remain brisk depending on the property type and location. We’re continuing to see many family homes that are priced right receive multiple offers and sell in a matter of days. People actively looking for a home will already know that in some communities, selection is very tight.
“In Langley where I live and work, we have less than two months supply of single family homes and townhomes, which means buyers and their REALTORS® have to be informed, prepared and have a strategy.”
In September, the total number of active listings in the Fraser Valley was 7,122. This represents a 4 per cent decrease compared to August and a 22 per cent decrease compared to September of last year. For September, this is the lowest inventory levels have been since 2006.
Maisey adds, “Where we have the best selection currently is within our Fraser Valley condo market. That market is currently in balanced conditions. In most communities, buyers have a healthy choice of both new and resale units and steady sales over the last few months have led to modest increases in prices, which is good news for sellers.”
The MLS® Home Price Index benchmark price of a detached home in September was $639,500, an increase of 12.2 per cent compared to September of last year when it was $569,800. The MLS® HPI benchmark price of Fraser Valley townhouses increased 3.1 per cent going from $299,600 in September of last year to $308,900 last month. The benchmark price of apartments was $197,500, an increase of 2.0 per cent compared to $193,600 in September 2014.
Maisey adds, “Our market this year has reflected consumers’ confidence in the economy and in the Fraser Valley. We have amongst the most affordable real estate in the Lower Mainland in some of the fastest-growing, dynamic communities in BC. It’s a smart place to invest.”
Please visit our Open House at 67 9525 204 ST in Langley.
Open House on Saturday, October 3, 2015 1:30 PM - 4:00 PM
Come see this clean, quiet, bright 3 bedroom townhouse today! This home was built by Parklane and is well situated in the complex-- does not back 96th or 204th--and does not face another townhouse unit so it gets tons of light. Access to the west facing fully fenced yard is right off the main floor so kids can play in safety. 3 playgrounds on site for added convenience. Kitchen boasts large picture window, large centre island, and tons of cabinet space. Located minutes away from Golden Ears Bridge, Hwy #1, recreational centres, shopping, Dorothy Peacock Elementary and Walnut Grove Sec. School. Bonus: 2 garage parking with extra parking on driveway! Tons of room for storage too! OPEN HOUSE: Sat. Sept 26 from 1:30-4pm.
The neighbor is doing it. Your friends are doing it. Lately it seems like everyone is doing it in Walnut Grove. Yes, it's true, many people are selling their homes for prices that exceed their asking price...and sometimes doing so before it even hits the market!
The statistics show that at the beginning of 2013 a three bedroom home between 2000-3800sqft sat on the market for an average of 101 days! Now, that very same home is selling on average in 6 days---so fast that ink on the listing contract isn't even dry yet!
What is going on in the Grove? Why are buyers competing and paying over $711,000.00 for a home in 2015 that they could have purchased for $544,000.00 in 2013? I believe there are a number of reasons--and it's not just because the people are nice (although they really are).
1. Public Schools--we're #1(...and 3, and 4)
According to the Fraser Institute, elementary schools in Walnut Grove occupy five out of the top ten spots! Alex Hope elementary school (located in the Forest Hills/ Manor Park area) holds the spot as the number one public elementary school in all of Langley! As a realtor who does much business in the Forest Hills/Manor Park area, I have had many buyers reveal that school ranking is one of their number one reasons for choosing a neighborhood.
2. Lot Size--typical lot sizes runs from 5000sqft to 8000sqft (although we do have some as larges as 10,000sqft and over!)
Who would have thought that a 5000sqft lot would be considered LARGE? Many new homes in neighboring areas are being built on lots of 3700sqft or less. If you're not outdoorsy, or don't have children or a large dog, then a smaller lot size might be absolutely perfect for you. If however you need room for a trampoline, or have a rambuctious canine or a child (or two) then the lot sizes in Walnut Grove are very appealing.
3. Walkability--leave the car at home
Walnut Grove is a well planned out community and most amenities are no more than a 15 minute walk away. Shopping, coffee shops, specialty food stores, indoor swimming pool, public library, meeting rooms, medical clinics and ice cream shops, parks, tennis courts and community gardens can all be found in Walnut Grove. And, if you're feeling especially enthusiastic, you can bike out to Derby Reach and sit by the Fraser River and watch the sun go down.
4. Proximity to Highway #1--Honey, start the car!
Walnut Grove is called a bedroom community. When I first read that I'll admit I was offended thinking that the article meant we were all sleepy! Not so, it means that the residents of this community typically commute to their jobs and then return to Walnut Grove to sleep (thus the term 'bedroom' community) so being only about five minutes to the highway is another appealing feature that is attracting buyers. Commuting into Vancouver is much quicker now since the new Port Mann bridge has been built and it's going to get even better with the recent announcement of a highway interchange from 216th. Details are sparse at this point as development and planning get underway but you can read a little about it here.
These are just a few of the things that make Walnut Grove a desirable place to live. There are also the benefits of cul de sacs; elements of privacy due to mature flora or creekbeds/forests; young families; and wonderful sports teams such as hockey, basketball, competitive swimming and soccer. It's a great place to call home and I feel such peace knowing that I've helped many people achieve their goals of home ownership in this community. Please have a look at the statistics below and if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at email@example.com.
Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed my blog...and please feel free to share it with someone who's looking for the perfect community to call HOME.
SURREY, BC – Sales on the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board’s Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in May remained at strong levels – the highest since 2007 – however, they softened slightly compared to April.
There were 1,969 MLS® sales processed in May, a decrease of 2 per cent compared to April, however an increase of 21 per cent compared to the 1,633 sales processed in May of last year.
Jorda Maisey is the Board’s President. “Home sales in the Fraser Valley maintained a strong pace in May; however, we noticed a slight shift in the market. In certain areas, we saw interest in higher-end detached homes pick up while demand for attached homes, which typically appeal to first-time buyers, decreased.
“The result is that the selection of apartments in the Fraser Valley improved in the last month creating greater opportunities for buyers. Inventory of detached homes and townhomes remains tight, keeping the market elevated.”
In May, the total number of active listings on the MLS® was 8,512, an increase of 1.5 per cent compared to April and a decrease of 14 per cent compared to May 2014. The volume of new listings decreased 7 per cent compared to April, and was also down 7 per cent compared to May of last year.
Maisey continues, “It may help consumers to understand that over half the housing inventory in the Fraser Valley is attached homes, either condos or townhomes, while 60 per cent of all home sales are for single family detached.
“What buyers and sellers are experiencing is effectively two markets: a sellers’ market for detached homes and townhomes and a balanced or buyers’ market depending on the location, for apartments. In either situation, you can benefit a tremendous amount from the experience and advice of your local REALTOR®.”
In May, the MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) benchmark price of a detached home was $603,100, an increase of 6.5 per cent compared to May 2014 when it was $566,400.
The benchmark price of townhouses in May was $303,100, an increase of 2 per cent compared to $297,300 in May 2014. The benchmark price of apartments decreased year-over-year by 2.8 per cent, going from $198,100 in May 2014, to $192,500 last month.
Find the May Statistics Package here.
It's so hot it's like we're only a mile from the sun!
Look at these numbers--80% of the homes listed in the Walnut Grove area are selling! What this graph isn't showing you is that those homes are also selling for top dollar (average price is about $650K for a three bedroom home) and on average in about 21 days. That number, being that it's an average, is skewed due to some higher priced homes that typically take a little longer to sell. As REALTOR®s we are finding that a typical benchmark home...3 bedrooms, den or games room, 5700sqft lot, 2200sqft home....is selling in 7 days or less! Most of the time the home you want is sold before it even hits the market--REALTOR®s network with one another and often we get to preview a home before other REALTOR®s do thereby giving our buyers a tremendous advantage. If you're in the market to find a home in the Walnut Grove area, do yourself a favor and employ the services of a REALTOR® to help you. It doesn't cost you any money but it's an invaluable service!!
STRONG SALES VOLUMES CONTINUE THROUGH APRIL
(Surrey, BC) – Property sales in the Fraser Valley soared in April compared to one year ago increasing by 37 percent.
There were 2,009 sales processed on the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in April, compared to 1,470 in April of last year. These volumes rank third highest of all time for the month with the next best April in 2004 and prior to that in 1991.
“April was a very active market,” says Jorda Maisey, Board President. “The low cost of borrowing continues to attract first-time buyers and families looking to either downsize or upsize as they take advantage of the equity they’ve built up in their existing homes.”
Though there was a 2 per cent increase in new listings processed in April, as compared to April 2014, the increase was not enough to balance out the market. Total active inventory on the MLS® at month’s end was 8,384 properties, the lowest for the month of April in eight years.
As Maisey explains, what sellers are most looking for is a single family detached home, “In some of our areas, sixty to seventy per cent of inventory is selling. Depending on the location, some detached homes are selling in a matter of days, not weeks, which is why if you’re a buyer it’s so important to work with a professional who knows your neighbourhood and is networked with other REALTORS®.”
With demand high and available product slim, the benchmark price of single family detached homes continues to increase in most areas. In April, the MLS® HPI benchmark price of a detached home was $595,600, an increase of 5.2 per cent compared to April 2014 when it was $566,000.
The benchmark price of townhouses in April was $300,400, an increase of 0.6 per cent compared to $298,700 in April 2014. The benchmark price of apartments decreased year-over-year by 2.6 per cent, going from $196,300 in April 2014, to $191,200 last month.
Maisey adds, “For apartment owners, take heart, the condominium market in the Fraser Valley is improving. We are starting to see more activity at open houses and an increase in the number of sales; however, that market remains firmly in balance with plenty of selection and prices still flat or declining in certain areas.”
Usually when you list your home you would prefer to sell it quickly. It's like being the first one served at a crowded gelato bar...it's satisfying!
However, sometimes there's more to it than that. There may be a truly urgent reason why you need to find a buyer for your property as soon as possible, such as a sudden job relocation.
If that's the case, it's important to explain your situation to your REALTOR®, who will be able to put together an action plan for selling your home quickly and for the best price possible.
During that conversation, ask what you can do to help the process along. For example, you may be able to:
- spread the word to your friends and other connections on Facebook
- canvass your neighbors and tell them about your listing
- stage your home so that it's more attractive to prosepctive buyers.
When it comes to price, be prepared to be flexible. That doesn't mean you must settle for a price far below your home's market value. However, you do need to be prepared to accept a good offer rather than try to hold out for a great one.
Also be open to as many viewings and open houses as possible. Having many prospective buyers come through your home within a short period of time may be a little inconvenient, but the payoff might be an offer!
Finally, work with your REALTOR®. A good REALTOR® will know the local market well and have many ideas for selling your property fast.
Looking for a good REALTOR® like that? Call today.
I have listed a new property at 21248 89A AVE in Langley.
Basement entry homes continue to be a favorite in Walnut Grove so get your hands on this 5 bedroom home today!! Weighing in at over 8000sqft this lot is HUGE and functional. Recent upgrades include roof, perimeter fencing, hot water tank,furnace, laminate flooring, carpet, and appliances. Long private driveway with extra parking at the approach will accommodate your RV or boat. Established neighbourhood has a great sense of community and is only minutes walk to James Kennedy FI Elementary, or WGSS. Close to all other amenities as well. This is the affordable home in a great neighbourhood that you've been looking for!
I have listed a new property at E307 8929 202 ST in Langley.
Quality built by Marcon this 1 bdrm and den condo located in the preferred E building of the Grove overlooks greenspace and a conveniently located gated footbridge leading to all amenities such as shopping, eateries, theatre, recreation andof course, Starbucks/Timmies. Open floor plan boasts the modern comforts of granite, s/s apps, laminate, large windows and covered balcony. Need access to transit? Park 'n Ride only 2 mins away. Got a car? 1 parking space plus easy access to Hwy 1. Got pets? 2 pets, cats or dogs, allowed w/no size restriction Come try on your new home today and see why the Grove is the perfect fit for your lifestyle!
I have sold a property at 21074 86 AVE in Langley.
Executive home in Manor Park! Drink in the sunshine and your cup of tea on one of your two porches, watch the kids play safely in the CDS, or send them off for a 2 min. walk to school(Alex Hope Elem). Meticulously maintained by orig. ownersyou'll find special touches like a granite island,Wolf gas stove, french door s/s fridge, real maple cabinets, and easy-care tile floor in the kitchen. Spacious family rm with ledgestone f/p and picture windows open onto professionally landscaped B/Y with waterfall pond. Upstairs find 4 bdrms and a loft perfect for gathering to study or play. Down you'll find a bdrm, rec room w/gas f/p, wet bar, and the ultimate 'power zone'--an indoor workshop! So many features...call for more info!
I have sold a property at 21406 86TH AVE in Langley.
Forest Hills beauty available NOW! Stunning curb appeal, a freshly painted exterior, a recently replaced roof (2008) and a large leveled backyard greet you as you drive up to this home. When you step inside you'll find rich dark laminateflooring, new carpeting, fresh paint throughout, new light fixtures, new kitchen countertops, new moulding and baseboards, a den and 3 large bedrooms! You have to see the master- - it's like your own personal suite with it's walk up ensuite and walk in closet. Tons of storage space and a great location round out the features of this home. The beauty should be YOURS!
I have sold a property at 21308 86TH AVE in Langley.
This Forest Hills, CUL DE SAC, home will knock your socks off! This 2500 sq ft home has almost too many features to list: vaulted ceilings, slate floor, s/s kitchen appliances, whisper quiet Miele dishwasher, gas stove, hide-away pantry, DEN on the main, 3 bedrooms AND GAMES ROOM up, laundry chute, custom cabinetry in garage, outbuilding with 4 person sauna/gym AND storage, air conditioning, built in vacuum, gas hook up for your BBQ, amazing curb appeal, and much more. This CUL DE SAC home boasting almost 7000 sq ft of yard will not last long, please call today for your personal viewing.
I have sold a property at 4 8675 WALNUT GROVE DR in Langley.
Rare listing! Cedar Creek in Walnut Grove! Tired of boxy, elevator style townhomes! Then check out this two storey, 1450 sq ft unit which features radiant in-floor heating with new high efficiency boiler (2008), new roof (2008), privacywall (2010), insulation upgrade to R50 (2010), exterior fencing (2010), laminate flooring on main (2008), kitchen appliances (2005), a spacious open layout and parking for 3 vehicles! Combine all these upgrades with a terrific location (only minutes from shopping, community centre, Alex Hope Elem. and Walnut Grove Sec, abundant natural lighting, and this great price and you've got the makings of the perfect home for you!
I have sold a property at 6419 188A ST in Surrey.
Come see this lovingly maintained 4 bdrm home located on a quiet no thru street in CHARTWELL. Bring your family into the HILLCREST school catchment and enjoy a beautiful backyard complete with playhouse/sandbox for the kids and a 20x14 wired shop for the hobbyist in your family. Vaulted ceilings, 2 gas f/p, 3 full baths, extra cabinetry in the kitchen, newer H/W tank, R/I central vac and a 4 ft crawl space are some of the features of this home. Mstr bdrm boasts a beautiful ensuite and W/I closet with organizers so well thought out it will make the lady of the home cry with joy. Spare bedroom is versatile with a Murphy bed and attached computer deck so that you can use it as an office AND a guest room.
I have sold a property at 21060 86TH AVE in Langley.
Beautiful Manor Park home on cul de sac of high quality homes! Enter this beautiful 5 bedroom, 4 bath, 2 den home to stunning hand scraped hardwood floor, a newly updaed staircase with iron railing, recently updated s/s kitchen appliances,new graphite kitchen sink, and a huge family room. Enjoy both informal and formal eating areas as well as a den on the main for your home office. Upstairs enjoy the three large bdrms with spa-like ensuite in the master. Entertain friends on your brand new deck overlooking a deep and private, SE facing backyard. Need more? Downstairs 2 bdrms, den, bar sink, cupboards and fridge. Don't miss this rare opportunity to own a cul de sac home in Manor Park!
There are many hidden sources of moisture in your home that can lead to serious problems, such as mould. To keep moisture levels in check consider these tips:
-Bathrooms are an obvious source of moisture build up. Contractor and TV personality Mike Holmes recommends keeping the fan going for at least half and hour after a shower.
-Check regularly for water infiltration around window and door sills, as well as other intakes into the home such as dryer vents and cable wiring.
-Determine the humidity level in your home. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, it should be 30%-60%. (keep in mind that humidity may vary greatly from room to room)
-Regularly inspect caulking around sinks, tubs and showers. Even a tiny break can cause water to leak gradually into the wall or floor, causing damage you may not notice for months.
-Clean up wet spills as soon as possible. On hardwood floors especially, water can seep through and become trapped.
-Repair leaking faucets, toilets and pipes immediately. A drip can quickly become a shower.
Being mindful of moisture today can help you avoid potentially high repair bills later on.
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