Is there an area you'd love to get into that's "hot"? In other words, an area where, as soon as a new home comes up for sale, buyers are clamouring to see it?
It can be intimidating to try to buy into a neighbourhood like that. On one hand, it's the type of area you'd love to call home. After all, there are good reasons why it's so popular! On the other hand, you might be discouraged by the competitiveness and prices.
If you want to live in that neighbourhood, there are a couple of things you can do that will increase your chances of success.
The first is to create a strategy. Most buyers rush to see a listing in a desirable area only when it shows up on MLS — or sometimes only when it's advertised. You'll have a better chance of getting into the neighbourhood if you are alerted the moment a property comes up for sale and you have pre-arranged financing. You’ll get to the head of the line and be ready to make a credible offer.
The second option is to consider targeting other neighbourhoods with similar characteristics. You may have long-dreamed of living in Prestigious Area A, yet there might be a Hidden Gem Area B that is just as good. Maybe it’s even better!
Ultimately, your goal is to find the home you want in a neighbourhood you like. The right strategy will get you there.
Contact me for more information.
Wouldn't it be nice if you had all the time in the world to find your next dream home? You could leisurely browse the current listings, select homes you'd like to see, schedule visits on dates that are most convenient for you, and make an offer on a property only after you've had plenty of time to consider all the alternatives.
Sure, that sometimes happens, but it's not typical. Often, people shopping for a home are on a timeline. Sometimes a very tight timeline.
So how do you find your next dream home when you don't have all the time in the world?
First, you need to develop a clear picture of the home you're looking to buy. How many bedrooms? What size of property? What type of structure (two story, back split, etc.)? Then, you need to list your preferences. These might include "large kitchen" or "main floor office".
Once you've completed that exercise, you'll have a more detailed profile of the type of property you want. That will make it easier to decide which of the listings on the market you want to see.
You should also narrow down the area in which you'd like to live. If you have three or four targeted areas, and only consider listings in those areas, your home search will be much faster.
What if you don't know the neighbourhoods well? Visit a few. Drive around. Explore. Get as much neighbourhood data as possible, such as demographics, recreational activities, parks, shopping, schools, etc. Then choose the neighbourhoods that fit your lifestyle.
Finally, the best way to find a new home on a tight schedule is to work with the right real estate agent — someone who, like me, is experienced in the local market.
Call me anytime. James Bailes 604.308.5376
A pantry is the ideal nook for storing extra food and other items ordinarily crammed into the kitchen. It’s also a nice design feature, as it harkens back to the days of country kitchens with spacious pantries.
You might be thinking, “That’s nice, but our home doesn’t have a pantry.”
That’s okay. These days, there are many ways to create a pantry in your home – even if it doesn’t have one! Here are just a few suggestions:
- Add shelves to the laundry room. If you have the space, this is the ideal place to create a mini-pantry.
- Purchase a portable pantry. There are many available on the market. Some are even disguised as cabinets you’d expect to see in living and dining rooms.
- Purchase a movable pantry. These units are on wheels and can slide in and out of the kitchen with ease. Some are short enough to slide conveniently under a kitchen table.
- Make use of an unused closet. These are rare in most homes, but if you have a closet that isn’t being used, it can easily be converted into a pantry.
As you can see, there are plenty of options available. You don’t necessarily need to build an extra room!
When considering which of two or more competing offers to accept for your home, there is no doubt price plays a huge role. After all, if Offer #1 is $10,000 higher than Offer #2, that’s an enticing difference that puts thousands of extra dollars in your pocket.
However, price isn’t the only thing you should think about when comparing multiple offers. There are other factors you need to consider as well.
For example, what conditions are in the offer? If Offer #1 is conditional upon the buyer selling his current property for a specific amount, then what if that doesn’t happen? You could end up with an offer that dies and be forced to list your home all over again.
In that circumstance, accepting the lower offer may be your best move.
There’s also financing to consider. Most buyers will attach a certificate from their mortgage lender to show that they can afford the home and will likely secure financing with little difficulty. If you get an offer where the ability of the buyer to get financing is in doubt, that’s a red flag.
The closing date is another important factor. Offer #1 might propose a closing date that’s perfect for you, while Offer #2 is four weeks later. If you’ve already purchased another home, you might require a month of bridge financing if you accept Offer #2. There’s nothing wrong with that per se, but the costs and additional hassle are factors you should consider.
As you can see, assessing competing offers isn’t as easy as it looks. Fortunately, as your REALTOR®, I will guide you toward making the right decision.
When you put your home up for sale, you want it to look its best to potential buyers. That’s why you clean, tidy and de-clutter every room.
Some sellers, however, miss the backyard. You need to pay just as much attention to that space as you do to the interior of your home. The backyard is as important a living space as the family room. To some buyers, even more.
Buyers want to see an attractive backyard space, with the grass cut and the hedges trimmed. The more neat and tidy you can make it, the better. Be sure to sweep walkways and wipe down patio furniture.
Also, watch out for the following things that buyers do not want to see:
Bags of garage and other waste.
Doggie do-do. (Be sure to stoop and scoop!)
Rakes and other tools piled in the corner.
Cluttered and disorganized storage sheds, pool huts and other backyard structures.
Weeds in the flower beds.
Items stored underneath the deck.
Hoses not stowed neatly.
Electrical outlets and water faucets that don’t work.
These are not difficult issues to fix. Doing so will positively impact the impression the buyer gets of your backyard.
Do you have a backyard that shows particularly well in the summer? Here’s a tip: Take pictures. Those photos will help buyers be able to appreciate how it looks should you list your home in the winter.
Want more tips on making your home show well so that it sells fast? Call today.
When some people think about selling their home, they imagine all the things they will have to do: paint the kitchen, clean closets, prepare for viewings, find another home, arrange financing, start packing, etc. It can all seem very overwhelming very quickly.
In fact, the long to-do list you imagine you’ll have to deal with may dissuade you from making a move!
It doesn't have to be that way.
There are many ways to make selling your home and buying another relatively simple and easy.
Sure, there will be some work to do. You may need to prepare your property so that it looks appealing to potential buyers – cleaning, decluttering, doing some repairs, etc. Of course, you will also need to view some properties for sale in order to find your next dream home.
But those activities may not be as time-consuming or difficult as you had imagined. In fact, you and your family might actually enjoy the experience – and see it as an adventure.
The trick is to work with the right REALTOR®, someone who can guide you through the process, show you the shortcuts, and generally make things easier for you.
It's a little like baking your first cake from scratch. The task seems daunting, unless you have a master baker by your side to guide you step-by-step through the process. Then it's a lot easier, and even fun!
That's what a good REALTOR® can do for you. Looking for one? Call James today 604.308.5376
Unless you're a real estate expert, you probably look at the market and think
things are pretty confusing. Even a bit crazy! You hear news about “bubbles
bursting”, “higher or lower home sales in a particular month”, “new home
starts” that are up or down, and on and on it goes.
It’s a lot of news and a lot of jargon.
If you're thinking of selling your home within the next year or two, you will
want to understand what's happening in the market so you can make the
right decisions and get a clear sense of what to expect. So, how do you
make sense of it all?
That's where a good REALTOR® can help.
Even if you don't have any definite plans to move in the near future, a
REALTOR® who is an expert in the local marketplace can help you
understand what homes in a particular neighbourhood are selling for, and
what you can expect to get should you decide to list your property.
Getting to know a REALTOR® also means you’ll have a trusted expert to
talk to from time to time, when you have real estate-related questions.
You’ll have someone you can think of as "Your REALTOR®".
Plus, when the time comes to sell your property, you won't have to deal with
a stranger. Instead, you'll be able to work with a REALTOR® that you know
well -- and who knows YOU. Overall, that will make the buying and selling
process go more smoothly and more successfully.
Looking for a good REALTOR® who wants to get to know you? Call today!
Many people only see a doctor when they're sick or have some other health concern. On the other hand, some people visit a doctor regularly for check-ups, to ask questions and get advice, and to maintain good health.
Which do you think is the better approach? Obviously, the second one!
The same thing is true when it comes to real estate. Even if you have no current plans to buy or sell a home, there are many reasons to talk to a REALTOR® regularly in order to maintain your good "real estate" health. For example, you can:
- Get an assessment of the current market value of your home, so you can make an informed decision about whether to stay or move.
- Ask about the state of the local real estate market (which may be vastly different than what you hear on the national news.)
- Find out what homes are currently selling for in the area.
- Learn what's currently available on the market, especially in neighbourhoods you would like to live in and that are within your budget.
- Ask for a contractor recommendation.
In fact, it's a good idea to have a chat with your REALTOR® once or twice a year, even if it's just to say hello.
You want to build a relationship with a good REALTOR® who understands (and cares about) you and your needs. That way, when it does come time for you to make a move, you're dealing with a REALTOR® you already know and trust.
Don't have a good REALTOR®? Call today!