Buying your first home is an exciting step and first-time buyers are eager to skip right to house hunting before they are ready. To avoid disappointment, follow these steps to ensure you are ready and able to make a successful offer on your dream home when you find it.
You’re ready to buy a home. The first thing you need to do is start saving for a downpayment (appx 20% of the purchase price). This may seem like a daunting task but it’s not impossible. Look for ways to earn extra money (freelance, pick up overtime shifts), cut expenses, or invest your savings so that your money is working for you!
Build Your Credit Score
The higher your credit score the lower your interest rate will be so a healthy credit score is essential. Be sure you pay all of your bills on time, start paying off debt, keep credit card balances low and only apply for/close credit cards as absolutely necessary.
Calculate What You Can Afford
As a general rule, you want to spend less than 30% of your monthly income on housing. Calculate your currently monthly payments and what they will be once you purchase a home and compare to your monthly income.
Things to consider:
Income: What is your monthly income?
Debt: Add up your monthly payments (car, insurance, mortgage etc.)
Closing Costs: how much you will need at closing (adjustments, insurance, taxes, legal fees etc.)
Get Mortgage Pre-Approval
Mortgage brokers have access to products from multiples sources so they can shop around for the best deal on your behalf. They will review your income, expenses, and credit score to determine what size of loan you qualify for. Once you are pre-approved, you can shop with confidence for homes at or below your approved price-point.
What you will need to get pre-approved:
Proof of income
Proof of assets
Decide What You Want In A Home
Visit different neighbourhoods to narrow your search. Create a checklist and be realistic about what you can afford and what you are willing to compromise on.
Choose A Realtor
An experienced REALTOR can be a valuable source of expert advice and local market information. They will guide you through the process, and act as your advocate when negotiating and closing a deal.
START LOOKING FOR HOMES
Now the fun begins: you are ready to start looking at homes! Visit open houses and tour homes with your REALTOR.
Happy House Hunting!
The long and the short of it is that sales of single family homes in Nanaimo are down 20% compared to last year, and inventory has increased by 14% board-wide. We are seeing a higher volume of listings compared to sales and buyers are negotiating competitively and willing to walk away and wait for a good deal. As always, the key to a quick sale is correctly pricing your home. Well priced homes are selling and may even receive multiple offers.
Fun-frights are a much anticipated part of Halloween, but no one wants a fright when it comes to their child's safety. From candy to costumes, use these tips to help plan for a fun and safe Halloween night.
As summer drew to an end we saw a dip in sales, with 11% fewer sales than August 2018 and 9% fewer than July 2019. The VIREB housing market has transitioned towards a balanced market, with some areas trending towards a buyers market. Sellers are recognizing the change in the market and adjusting their pricing expectations.
The single biggest mistake you can make when marketing your home is pricing incorrectly. You only get one chance to make a great first impression so you want to ensure that you are pricing your home accurately.
Price too high and you risk your property sitting on the market too long and the market conditions changing. Overpricing also limits demand and reduces the number of buyers who view the home. Without viewings, you aren’t going to get a sale at any price so you need to set a price that is enticing enough to get buyers through the door and submit an offer.
Many clients ask: “Can I test the market at a high price and reduce if I don’t get any offers?” In theory, you can price your home at whatever price you like but that doesn’t mean there is a buyer out there willing to pay it. Research proves that overpriced homes sit on the market longer and actually sell for less than comparable homes that are priced at the correct market value from the start.
Get it right the first time! Before listing your home for sale, seek the opinion of a local real estate professional. Your real estate agent will research recent sold and listed properties, review features, neighbourhoods, and current market conditions in order to provide you with an accurate estimate of your homes market value. If you get multiple evaluations, keep in mind that no two appraisals will ever be exactly the same but they should be close.
Pricing your home correctly will help you to put your best foot forward and maximize your chances of getting a sale.
The Vancouver Island Real Estate Board has realeased their lastest stats for May 2019.
In summary, we continue to see a softening in the market. Current conditions are comparable to that of 2014 and it is expected that market conditions will continue into to fall. Weaker demand has resulted in a 22 percent increase in inventory of single family homes in the VIREB market compared to one year ago. Homes are moving more slowly but we are still seeing sales; and well priced properties are moving quickly.
To view the full report visit www.vireb.com
You’ve spent time personalizing your home and adding finishing touches to your space. But when it's time to sell it’s best to get back to the basics so you can showcase your home, not your things. This is the perfect time to start packing so go ahead and put away those cherished family photos, sports-themed posters, collections, awards, and antique china set. Your goal is to create a neutral space where buyers can visualize themselves moving in.
Create a clean visual for buyers by removing any unnecessary items. Focusing on functionality will help you decide what to keep and what to put away (photos, accessories, books, out-of-season clothing, and small appliances). Keeping the clutter to a bare minimum will help make spaces feel much bigger.
Patch any dents in the walls and apply a fresh coat of paint. If you’ve painted a room in the last few years, you can probably get away with a few quick touch ups rather than painting the entire room. You may also want to cover any brightly painted areas with an inviting neutral tone such as a cool grey or a warm beige.
Clean every surface until it shines! Presenting a clean home shows buyers you take care of your home. Wash the windows inside and out, clean the floors, pressure wash the driveway and don't forget to clean under sinks and appliances.
5. Make Small Upgrades
Make some small but impactful upgrades such as updating light fixtures or door handles. These updates can completely change the look of a room and can help increase the value of your home.
6. Add Curb Appeal
You can add a lot of curb appeal without investing a lot of money. A new door mat and a beautiful pot of flowers at the front door make a great first impression. If you’re feeling bold, try painting the front door red or navy blue.
7. Get Professional Help
Hire a handyman to fix leaky faucets, clean out the gutters, patch drywall, repair broken tiles and make other small repairs around the home. Buyers will notice if there is anything wrong so it’s a good idea to ensure everything is in good repair before listing your home.
8. Tidy Up Outside
Tidy up the yard by cutting the lawn, raking the leaves and weeding the garden. For a bigger impact on a budget, add fresh mulch and some brightly coloured flowers.
The speculation and vacancy tax is a key measure in tackling the housing crisis in major urban centres in British Columbia, where home prices and rents have skyrocketed out of reach for many British Columbians.
The provincial government is taking action because people who live and work in B.C. deserve an affordable place to call home.
The speculation and vacancy tax is a part of government's 30-Point Plan to make housing more affordable for people in our province.
This new annual tax is designed to:
- Target foreign and domestic speculators who own residences in B.C. but don’t pay taxes here
- Turn empty homes into good housing for people
- Raise revenue that will directly support affordable housing
How to Exempt Yourself
To claim your exemption, you must register your property by March 31, 2019 – and it’s easy to do, either by phone or online. The information you’ll need to register your property declaration will be mailed by mid-February to all owners of residential property within the taxable regions.
Contact us if you’re expecting a declaration letter from us and haven’t received one by late February.
Please note that if your property has more than one owner, even if the other owner is your spouse, a separate declaration must be made for each owner.
How the Tax Will Be Charged If You're Not Exempt
By levying the highest tax rate on foreign owners and satellite families (those who earn a majority of income outside the province and pay little to no income tax in B.C.), the speculation and vacancy tax is a way to make sure these property owners are paying their fair share in taxes.
The speculation and vacancy tax applies based on ownership as of December 31 each year.
Note: The speculation and vacancy tax is distinct from the empty homes tax in the City of Vancouver.
Read our answers to questions on the speculation and vacancy tax and learn about how to declare, the taxable regions and the available exemptions.
Subscribe to receive updates as new information about the speculation and vacancy tax becomes available.
We saw a 28% drop in the sales of single-family homes and a 32% increase in inventory compared to January 2018. As expected, the shift towards a more balanced market is resulting in modest price reductions and lower demand as many buyers take a "wait and see" approach. The balanced market conditions offers buyers more choice and room to negotiate. This is not to say that it is a bad time for sellers to be getting into the market; just that sellers will need to adjust their expectations to the current market conditions rather than the record-setting pace we've experienced over the last few years.
We are seeing a shift towards a more balanced market compared to the long-term sellers market we have experienced. Changes in government policy, the mortgage stress test, and the increase in interest rates have all impacted real estate markets across the country. Buyers are taking more time to observe these changes in the market and we have seen fewer multiple offers as a result.
That said, prices continue to rise in the VIREB market despite moderating sales. In October 2018, we saw 385 single family homes sold which was 11 percent higher than in September, yet 16 percent lower than October 2017. With a benchmark price of $508,200, prices have increased by 11 percent compared to one year ago. Overall inventory of single family homes is down 8 percent from September but up slightly from 2017 (1175 vs. 1138).