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Is Fraser Valley the next big market in the B.C. housing sector?

 

 

Latest numbers from the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) revealed that B.C.’s southwestern region has experienced significant home price growth in February, indicating a possible companion to the red-hot Vancouver market in the near future. Last week, the Board revealed that the benchmark price for a single-family property in the Valley increased by 20.4 per cent year-over-year and 0.4 per cent compared to January, hitting $859,300.

 

 

 

 

“This is the kind of February we like to see. Last year at this time, the incredible demand created a market that was difficult for consumers,”

according to FVREB president Gopal Sahota, as quoted by CBC News.

 

 

“Now, we have sales moving upward from the winter months at a typical, healthy pace and a growing inventory to support it,”
Sahota stated, adding that the numbers are so far showing a “return to normal historical sales numbers.” Apartment prices also rose sharply by 26 per cent compared to February 2016 and 1.8 per cent month-over-month, up to $267,000. Meanwhile, average townhome costs grew by 25 per cent year-over-year and 0.5 per cent since January, reaching $422,400. Recently, Finance Minister Bill Morneau assured that the federal government is still closely monitoring the Canadian housing market, amid seemingly inexorable price growth in Vancouver and Toronto. 

 

“We continue to be very focused on thinking about how we can manage what is peoples’ most significant investment. And we do watch the level of indebtedness, in particular around housing,” Morneau stated, adding that “strong underlying markets” continue to drive the two cities’ outsized performance.  “So in Toronto and Vancouver, unemployment is lower in those two places than it is in some other places. Incomes are higher. The economy is doing better. So there are underlying reasons for the housing markets to do better and we’ll continue to monitor, to work with provinces and municipalities who have an important role to play here to manage what we see [as] a challenge, but not one that isn’t manageable.”

 

 

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Photo: Andrew Hudson

The biggest challenge Canada faces in creating affordable housing is getting people to and from home and work.

 

"If you think housing prices are high now - just wait."  - Heino Molls, REMonline

 

 

"Census Canada figures show that Canada’s population has rocketed past 35 million. In fact, that number is going to be 36 million before the ink is dry on this most recent report and it will, without a doubt, be going at light speed past 40 million way before 2020. That means a huge boost in housing demand. It means that the privilege of living in a home in Canada, not to mention an actual house in Canada is going to come with a high cost. You think the cost of a house in Toronto, Vancouver or Ottawa is high now, just wait.


Do the math on your own. Not the math of the naysayers, the doom and gloom crowd, the people who will show you diagrams and charts with circles and arrows that pinpoint the exact time and date of the collapse of the real estate market. Rather look around, see what is going on and add it up for yourself.


We are facing many problems in our country. There is not enough time and space here to discuss all the challenges of health care, especially mental health care, as well as housing for the poor and marginalized people in our society. Another major challenge that should be mentioned in the same conversation as housing and property value is public transit.

Our governments are scrambling to build new transit ways and highways to accommodate all the people who will be travelling to and from our inner cities for business, health care, restaurants and entertainment.


How Much is YOUR Home Worth?

 

 


Our biggest problem is going to be building transit, not just within our cities but also from the towns and satellite communities that will have even higher population growth in the coming years. Communities like Chilliwack and Abbotsford in B.C. and cities like Kitchener-Waterloo not far from Toronto. The same for all other cities in the country. Transit is going to be our biggest problem.

 

Falling house prices. Yeah, not so much."

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Updated CMHC homebuying guide encourages long-term thinking

Feb. 28th, 2017

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., has updated its free guide to the process of buying a home, with an emphasis on encouraging Canadians to think long term about what kind of home they should buy — or whether they would be better off renting.

The national housing agency first released the guide, called Homebuying Step by Step, in 1998, but has updated it over the years. The latest version streamlines the document, splitting off workbook content and making it available online as a series of interactive printable checklists and questionnaires.


Homebuying - HudsonHomeTeam


The previous iteration of the guide received almost eight million unique page views in 2016 alone, according to CMHC.

The guide is meant for any prospective homebuyer, but first-time buyers could particularly benefit from reading it, said Ina Wielinga, a consultant at CMHC who updated the guide. She said the new version puts a greater focus on calculating the true cost of owning a home over time, emphasizing costs like taxes, utilities and repairs.

"This used to be peppered through the document, but we're bringing it up front because people often get focused on acquisition," said Wielinga.

The new guide also encourages readers to reflect on what kind of home suits their lifestyle, and whether or not homeownership is a better financial choice than renting.

"It's not just buying that house that's brick and mortar," said Wielinga. "There's a lifestyle that goes with it also."

By asking would-be homeowners to consider how a home will fit into their lives over the long term, Wielinga said, the guide could help users feel more confident about their purchase.

Key concepts to consider

The most confusing concept in the guide is also one of the most important ideas to understand before buying a home, according to Wielinga: calculating your gross debt service ratio (also known as the gross debt-to-income ratio) and total debt service ratio (also known as the total debt-to-income ratio).

Click on image below for your copy:


 


The CMHC guide for homebuyers is available for free online. (CMHC)

The gross debt service ratio includes total monthly housing costs, which CMHC says should be no more than 32 per cent of average gross monthly income. The total debt service ratio covers all monthly debt payments, including housing costs. CMHC recommends that ratio not exceed 40 per cent of average gross monthly income.

"You have to understand that, even if you're the best person in the world and you know you can afford it, you have to follow that kind of guideline," said Wielinga.

Financial axioms like these are often left unexplained to potential homebuyers, said Wielinga.

"Honestly, it's not talked about enough," she said. "I think when we do explain it to people, then they do get it."

 

Tighter rules

The rules for Canadian homebuyers have been changing quickly, especially as the government tries different policies to mitigate risk in the real estate market.

For that reason, the guide avoids getting into the details of certain aspects of homebuying, like calculating mortgage loan insurance. Instead, it refers readers to the CMHC website, where the details of mortgage rules can be quickly updated as the government changes them.

Lauren Haw, CEO of an online real estate brokerage, lauded CMHC for its interactive workbook for prospective homebuyers, although she's skeptical that many people will actually take the time to sit down and read the guide in full.

"People like to have it and hold it, but most first-time homebuyers don't seem to ingest the information in this format very well," said Haw. "Because even if you give them these documents, very few people are the personality type that will read it and really truly understand it."

Haw said real estate brokers often end up explaining these concepts to their clients as they go through the buying process.

​"If everybody would sit down and read one of these things, I think we'd have much more informed buyers," she said.

 

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When it comes to buying and selling homes, most contracts include a contingency that will allow buyers to back out or re-negotiate the sale based on issues found during a home inspection.

Selling a home can be stressful, to feel confident in the sale of your home check out these common home issues before listing.

We recommend a pre-sale home inspection – which may even sweeten your home sale by adding an element of transparency when you share the report with the buyers agent.

 Basement Moisture - HudsonHomeTeam

Basement Moisture

Regardless if your basement is beautifully finished or could have been the location for the latest big screen thriller, a major issue found in home inspections is moisture or seepage.

If your basement shows signs of moisture, leakage or has an air of dampness you may have an issue.  Call a trusted home inspector to get the lay of the land, or a contractor who specializes in basement repair.

The possibility of basement flooding will not appeal to even the savviest of ‘fixer upper’ home buyers.

 

Poor Workmanship - HudsonHomeTeamOutdated Roof

The hat for your home.  Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but if your roof is old you run the risk of facing major leaks during the next rainy season.

If left unattended, an old roof may lead to major damage of other existing home systems and property.  If your shingles are peeling and look old, you likely need a new roof – get on the phone and start calling local roofing companies.



Poor Workmanship

DIYers take heed!  There are (for example) building codes for things like your deck, car port, garage, retaining walls, plumbing, electrical and other home projects and systems.

Outdated Roof - HudsonHomeTeam

If you are going to tackle these projects yourself, make sure to do your research and learn what building code requirements exist in your city.  Better yet, have a professional come double check your work before you pat yourself on the back  – it could save you from property damage, personal injury, costly lawsuits, or the sale of your home.

 

 

 

 

Maintenance

All major components of your home do require maintenance.  Just as you get an oil change, replace brake pads, and rotate tires on your vehicle, your home needs regular attention and cleaning.

Be sure to pay attention to things like furnace and central air maintenance, cleaning dryer vents, water heaters, exhaust fan filers for your stove, check caulking in places like tubs and shower surrounds yearly.  Prevention is better than a cure – and it costs less!

 Checklist - HudsonHomeTeam


 

 

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(courtesy of peacearchnews.com)

Curry battle in Surrey: It's Indian vs. Thai in special event dubbed 'Mae Shanti' - White Rock News

 Chefs Vikram Vij (left) and Angus An. - submitted

Chefs Vikram Vij (left) and Angus An.

 

SURREY — The table is set for a curry battle in Surrey next month.

A culinary showdown of sorts will take place at South Surrey's My Shanti restaurant on Monday, March 13, featuring its owner/operator, Vikram Vij, and fellow award-winning chef Angus An, from Kitslano's celebrated eatery, Maenam.

This curry fight is Indian versus Thai.

 

How Much is My Home Worth Button
 

In a ticketed, $125-a-head event, the chefs will go head-to-head as they demonstrate the best cuisine of their native countries.

An and Vij will collaborate on canapés and dessert, but it is the main courses where they will duel it out over meat, seafood, rice and noodles, giving diners the chance to decide for themselves. With each course, diners will also enjoy wine pairings from B.C. wineries.


Another Reason We live in


         #SouthSurrey #WhiteRock



"This Asian curry showdown will take place over five courses where both Chefs and their teams will prepare dishes in the one-night-only 'Mae Shanti' kitchen to represent their respective countries," according to an event advisory.

Says Vij: “There are amazing curries in both Indian and Thai cuisine, and while the ingredients are sometimes similar, they retain distinctive flavours. We want to highlight those differences, while giving our diners the chance to compare the dishes.”

Adds An: “It’s not often I can showcase Thai cuisine right beside Indian curry. I’m looking forward to being able to illustrate the differences to diners as they savour every flavour.”

To reserve a table, email Namaste@myshanti.comwith the subject line “Mae Shanti.”

My Shanti is located at 15869 Croydon Dr., Surrey.

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In all the excitement and packing, buying & selling, many people forget to take care of some essential items before they move.  Don’t look past these 5 things you need to take care of, or it could cost you $$$.

moving -boxes -HudsonHomeTeam

  1. 1. Take care of all subscriptions: Magazines, memberships, recurring orders, gym memberships.  Get a head start on updating your address or cancelling memberships before charges mount on your credit card.  We suggest you take care of this at least 30 days prior to your move, as many gyms, clubs, and mail subscriptions require this much time for cancellation or updates.
  1. 2. Change your address at the post office: For a small fee Canada Post will allow you to register your new address to ensure all your mail finds its way to your new home.  Leaving bills or an outstanding balance behind, may impact your credit score, as well as lead to accumulated interest charges -–neither of which you are likely o want.
  1. 3. Call utility providers: Cable, internet, electricity, gas, etc…These are all services that you should be making contact BEFORE you move. Many of these services can pivot on a dime so not much notice is required, but we do recommend making contact at least 1 week prior to your move date.  Make a list of required utility providers & check it twice!  Or, you could wind up paying for someone else’s electric bill!

movingbycar - HudsonHomeTeam

4. Manage your motor vehicle insurance: If you are new to British Columbia here is what you need to know; ICBC allows up to 90 days to switch over your license, and 30 days to register, license and insure your vehicle.

If you are moving within the Province, you must update your address within 30 days of moving.  Your auto-insurance policy must always show your current home address and vehicle use, so do not forget to update this information!

5. Get a ‘To-Go’ box ready: Whether you are moving across the country, province, or just down the street, make sure that you have a go-to box ready. This should contain items you will need as soon as you get to your new home; cleaning products, toilet paper, garbage bags, paper towels, clean sheets, fresh towels, paper plates and eating utensils and maybe even a bottle of bubbly to celebrate.


Celebrate - HudsonHomeTeam


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Slimy Salesman

 

 

We felt it was important to share this post we read in a private Realtors Professional group.
There are plenty of those in our world who are willing to take advantage of anyone possible. And it's everywhere, not just in the Valley.
Understand, using a professional to market your home isn't just about the marketing, knowledge, negotiation skills and understanding of the transaction. It's also for the protection of the Principal (you).

Please read:

Well - this is officially a first for me. My seller had a knock on her door this afternoon. Outside was a couple offering to buy her home if she agreed to do it without me. She gave them my card and told them to call me if they wanted to buy it. They said - no, we want to work with you.... don't you want to sell your home? Don't you want to make more money? What if we paid you $50,000 more than you're asking? Thank goodness she told them to F* off and closed the door in their face. She was furious when she phoned me to tell me. They apparently got angry and left. The nerve of some people!!
UPDATE: Seller phoned the police and was told that they've had numerous reports of this happening over the holidays. It's sometimes a young couple. Sometimes 2 guys. All in the Aldergrove area. When talking to your sellers make sure to tell them to never let anyone in who isn't expected and with a Realtor... I always do and I'm sure glad I did this time!

The speculation, through the conversation in this thread, was that these people were potentially attempting to access the interior of this senior's home.


 

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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Registration begins Jan. 16 for children entering kindergarten in September 2017.

Children who turn five before Jan. 1, 2018 are eligible to start school in the fall.

 


Kindergarten children 2.jpg


Kindergarten registration must be done in-person at your neighbourhood school or school of preference (if space is available). For a map of school catchment boundaries, check here and for a list of all schools, check here.

The following documents are required at the school when registering:

* proof of birth date for the students (eg. birth certificate or passport)

* proof of guardianship (eg. birth certificate or other legal documentation)

* proof of citizenship (eg. birth certificate, passport, citizenship card, landed immigrant document, permanent resident card)

* proof of address (eg. rental agreement, utility bill, driver's license)

Please note that enrolment at several schools in Surrey is already at, or over, capacity and they are therefore unable to accept out-of-catchment registrations.

Specialty and choice programs are also available. Some (French Immersion, Intensive Fine Arts, Traditional and Montessori) require online/lottery application, which begins Jan. 30. For more information or to learn about information evenings being held in January 2017, check here.

Find #SouthSurrey & #WhiteRock homes by School Catchment:


 

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courtesy of Business Insider

It turns out homebuyers are really into barn doors.


Screen Shot 2016 04 13 at 8.26.06 AM

 

 


When Zillow looked at design features that sell homes at the best price and with the shortest listing time, that feature topped the list. 

Anything craftsman-style, like rectangular farmhouse sinks, also got homes off the market at a premium. 

 

Zillow Digs screened over 2 million listings for homes sold between January 2014 and March 2016 and looked for the keywords that had the best effect on how much more than the expected price and how much faster they sold.  

Here are the top 15 design features:

Outdoor kitchen


Outdoor kitchen

Percent of homes that sell for above expected values: 3.7%

How many days faster than expected the home sells: 19

 

Tankless water heater


Tankless water heater

Percent of homes that sell for above expected values: 4%

How many days faster than expected the home sells: 43

 


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Backsplash

 


Backsplash


Percent of homes that sell for above expected values: 4.1%

How many days faster than expected the home sells: 46

Granite


granite
Percent of homes that sell for above expected values: 4.1%

How many days faster than expected the home sells: 38

 

Stainless Steel

stainless-steel HudsonHomeTeam

Percent of homes that sell for above expected values: 4.2%

How many days faster than expected the home sells: 42

 

Heated floors


heated-floors HudsonHomeTeam
Percent of homes that sell for above expected values: 4.3%

How many days faster than expected the home sells: 28

 

Frameless shower


frameless-shower HudsonHomeTeam
Percent of homes that sell for above expected values: 4.6%

How many days faster than expected the home sells: 38

 

Pendant light

 


pendant-light HudsonHomeTeam


Percent of homes that sell for above expected values: 4.6%

How many days faster than expected the home sells: 48

 

Exposed brick

exposed-brick HudsonHomeTeam

Percent of homes that sell for above expected values: 4.9%

How many days faster than expected the home sells: 36

 

Craftsman

craftsman HudsonHomeTeam

Percent of homes that sell for above expected values: 5.4%

How many days faster than expected the home sells: 14

 

Quartz

quartz HudsonHomeTeam

 

Percent of homes that sell for above expected values: 6.0%

How many days faster than expected the home sells: 50

 

Subway tile

subway-tile hudsonHomeTeam

 

Percent of homes that sell for above expected values: 6.9%

How many days faster than expected the home sells: 63

 

Farmhouse sink

farmhouse-sink HudsonHomeTeam


Percent of homes that sell for above expected values: 7.9%

How many days faster than expected the home sells: 58

 

Shaker cabinet

shaker-cabinet HudsonHomeTeam

 

Percent of homes that sell for above expected values: 9.6%

How many days faster than expected the home sells: 45

 

Barn door

 


barn-door HudsonHomeTeam


Percent of homes that sell for above expected values: 13.4%

How many days faster than expected the home sells: 57

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Broker fears were confirmed Tuesday, with one big bank raising its prime rate less than a month following new mortgage rules.
TD Canada Trust announced in a note to brokers Tuesday that it is changing its mortgage rates, including increasing its prime rate to 2.85%.
The prime rate has been held at 2.70% for more than a year, according to the broker who shared the announcement with MortgageBrokerNews.ca on condition of anonymity.

485824532


 


“When a bank changes their ‘version’ of bank prime it also serves as an invitation for the other banks to join in and do the same,” the broker said. “Naturally if they all change the public is screwed and all the banks make more profit.
“You see by effectively changing the goal posts on the rate the bank can continue to say: ‘we are prime less 0.50% which is a good deal.’  So as you can see this a clever move if it works.”
See the new rate sheet below.



The announcement also confirms what one economist speculated – that big banks could influence the market by altering its posted rates.
The new mortgage rate stress test, which forces all holders of insured mortgages to qualify at the Bank of Canada’s benchmark five-year rate.
The Bank of Canada’s benchmark rate is closely tied to big bank posted rates. And that relationship could allow lenders to tinker with their posted rates in a bid to influence the BoC’s, thereby allowing them to also influence the ease with which homebuyers can qualify for an insured mortgage.

Contact us for advice and information

 


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“Another possible solution is that posted rates could fall, reducing the impacts of the stress tests. Since they are not set by the market, lenders could decide to lower them if, for example, they find that they are saying “no” to too much good business,” Will Dunning, chief economist of Mortgage Professionals Canada, wrote in a research paper entitled Slamming on the Brakes: Assessing the Impact of Changed Criteria for Mortgage Qualification. “The posted rates are set administratively by the lenders, based on their assessments of what is in their best interests, and their assessments could change.”

 

 

Courtesy of REPMAG.ca

 

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