Stephanie Peat DFH Real Estate - Sidney

Office 250-656-0131 | EMAIL info@stephaniepeat.ca |

 

 

Finding the perfect home doesn't happen in one day. It takes careful planning and lots of work. Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to simplify the process.  

1. Things to Consider Before Starting Your Search

What Features Do You Need?

Do you need an extra bathroom, a garage, a fenced backyard, or lower utility bills? Do you want a fireplace, a short drive to work, or maybe minimal yard work? Once your list is complete, decide what’s most important to you.

What’s the Ideal Location?

Where you live obviously affects your life

style; it’s also one of the most significant influences on the value of your home. Your choice of location may be somewhat limited by the price you can afford. Even so, make sure to consider such things as distance to work, schools, shopping and entertainment.

What Kind of Home?

What type of property do you want? A single-family detached home is attractive to many people because it typically provides more living space and land. On the other hand, a condominium may be a more appropriate choice for you, with an emphasis on maintenance-free living. Determine what type of home best suits your desired lifestyle and budget.

What’s Your Budget?

How much do you want to spend? Just as importantly, how much do you have to spend? Note there are numerous additional expenses (detailed below) that you’ll pay to complete the purchase of a home.

2. Choosing a REALTOR®

A REALTOR® can help you answer all of these questions and help you navigate through what can be a complicated business transaction. Start by finding REALTORS® in your city by using CREA’s handy search tool. Then, talk to some of them and compare their services. It’s important that you’re comfortable and confident with the agent you choose.

3. Searching For a Home

A REALTOR® will use various tools to try and find properties that meet your specifications. The most important is a local Board’s MLS® (Multiple Listing Service®) System. Your REALTOR® can quickly search through numerous properties available for sale in specific areas to find suitable listings; that is, houses that best match your needs, choice of neighbourhoods and price range. You can also view listings in Board MLS® Systems that are advertised on the national REALTOR.ca web site.

4. Seeing Houses

When you select a property and decide to visit a house, there are many things to consider. Does it have all the features you want? Is the neighbourhood what you expected? Try to picture your favorite furnishings in a room. Remember all of the technical considerations, including:

  • What type of wiring does the house have?
  • What about power outlets? Different appliances use different types.
  • What type of heating system does it use? Heating costs can vary drastically by type.
  • Have the roof and foundation been well maintained?
  • What condition are the windows in?
  • What about the plumbing?

There are numerous other things to consider as well. If you don't have time or don't feel comfortable doing it, home inspection services are available for a reasonable fee. Having a qualified home inspector look at the house is always a good idea. The older the home, the greater the need for professional inspection.

5. Making an Offer

Once you find a house you want to make your home, your REALTOR® can help you develop an offer. In the offer, you should specify how much you're willing to pay. State when the offer expires and suggest a closing date for the transaction. You can also propose some condi

tions on the offer. Some common types of conditions are:

  • Getting a suitable mortgage (include the amount, interest rates and any other figures you feel important);
  • Selling your current home (the seller may continue to look for a buyer, but will give you the right of first refusal);
  • The seller providing a current survey, or a "real property report," showing that there are no encroachments on the property;
  • The seller having title to the property (your lawyer will check this out when she conducts a title search to see if there are any liens on the property, easements, rights of way or height restrictions);
  • If there’s a septic system, the seller having a health inspection certificate, stating that the system meets local standards;
  • An inspection by a qualified engineer, should you have any doubts about the home's safety and construction; and
  • Any inclusions of appliances and other items - basically, what stays and what goes.

You will need to present a deposit along with your offer. An appropriate deposit will show your good faith to the seller. Note that the seller's agent, if they are represented by one, is bound by law to bring all offers to the seller's attention.

6. If Your Offer is Accepted

After your offer is accepted and all conditions met, the offer becomes binding on both sides. If you later refuse to honour the agreement, you may lose your deposit or might be sued for damages. Before signing, make sure you understand and agree with all terms of the offer.

Before the property can formally change hands, there are still a few things to do. Be prepared to furnish proof to your lender that you’ve insured your new house. On or before closing day, both side’s lawyers will arrange to transfer title of the property from the seller to you. The mortgage money will be transferred to your lawyer's trust account, and then to the seller, and your lawyer will bill you all additional expenses such as land transfer taxes or outstanding legal fees.

At this time, be sure to check with your lawyer that everything is as stated in the offer-to-purchase. 

Once you're satisfied and the keys to the front door are in your hands, there's nothing else to say, except welcome home!

Extra Expenses

No matter what type of home or property you're buying, plan on some extra expenses. 

  • A land transfer tax (a sales tax on property) in certain provinces
  • A mortgage broker's fee
  • An appraisal fee
  • Surveying costs (if the seller couldn't come up with a current survey)
  • A high-ratio mortgage insurance premium
  • An interest adjustment. (Mortgages are normally calculated from the first of each month. If your closing date is the same as the beginning of your mortgage, there will be no adjustment. However, if your closing date is July and you move in on June 15, those last 15 days are the interest adjustment period. Your lender will expect you to cover the cost of the interest during that time.)
  • Reimbursement to seller for the unused portion of any prepaid property taxes or utility bills
  • Legal fees, and, if applicable, REALTOR® fees

(The comments contained on this page are for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice.)

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There are many reasons why the air quality in your home may not be at its best. A faulty furnace or an aged carpet are just two potential culprits. Until you get those issues addressed, how do you make your indoor air healthier — today?

 

Here are some ideas:

 

  1. Check the furnace filter. This is one of the most overlooked maintenance items in the home. Any furnace repair person can tell you stories about filters they’ve seen caked in dust. Make sure those aren’t yours. Air passes through those filters before circulating throughout your home. Replacing a filter takes less than five minutes.
  2. Clean the drains. Drains are a surprisingly common source of odour in the home. Most people only clean them when they’re clogged, but they should be flushed thoroughly with a good-quality cleaner at least once a season.
  3.  Turn on the bathroom fan. Not only do bathroom fans remove odour, they also reduce moisture build-up. About 50% of air pollutants originate from some type of moisture; mould being the worst. Professionals recommend you keep the bathroom fan on for at least 30 minutes after a shower.
  4.  Clean your doormat. Even if your doormat doesn’t smell, it can be a source of air pollutants. When people wipe their shoes, they transfer pesticides and other outside ground pollutants from their shoes to your mat.

 

Of course, you can always open a window. That’s the most popular way to freshen the air, and it works.

 

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Say you’re viewing a home and are impressed with how it looks. The walls are freshly painted. Everything seems bright and new. You’re considering making an offer.

 

Then, while standing on a mat in the kitchen, you hear a squeak below your feet. You lift the mat and see that some tiles are broken. Obviously the mat was there to, literally, cover up that defect.

 

A few broken tiles are not a big deal. But now you’re thinking, “What else might be wrong with this house?”

 

There’s no reason to worry that every home will have maintenance issues hidden from view. However, it’s smart to do your due diligence to ensure the home you’re considering is truly as good as it looks.

 

One way is to have a professional home inspector check out the property as a condition of your purchase offer. He or she will inspect the home from top to bottom, inside and out, and point out any issues you should address.

 

It’s also smart to ask questions. Find out the age of certain features, such as the roof, furnace, and appliances. Ask about any recent renovations, and determine whether they were done by a professional or by the homeowner.

 

Most importantly, work with a good REALTOR® who can provide you with information on the property that you would have difficulty getting on your own. Your REALTOR® has a stake in making sure you buy a home with your eyes wide open — knowing all the potential maintenance issues you’re likely to encounter.

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August 4, 2015, Victoria BC – The Victoria Real Estate Board today released its report on Multiple Listing Service® real estate activity in the Victoria area for July 2015. A total of 796 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this July, compared to the 681 properties sold in the same month last year.


“We’ve certainly seen the busy spring market continue into the summer months,” Victoria Real Estate Board President Guy Crozier says. “The theme of declining listings and increased sales volume is consistent through July, and we're seeing the market go through its typical summer cycle. Sales dropped a little from the spring as we would expect, but are still up a very healthy 16.9% over last year.”


The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core this time last year was $564,300. The benchmark value for the same home this month has increased by 6.3% to $599,800.


There were 3,942 active listings for sale on the Multiple Listing Service® at the end of July, 13.7% fewer than the 4,570 active listings in July 2014.


“Consumer confidence remains very strong and shows no sign of falling off in the coming months. Interest rates continue to be very favourable; many buyers are taking advantage and making a move,” adds President Crozier. “If you are thinking about buying or selling a home, connect with your local REALTOR® for detailed information on the Victoria and area housing market.”


More information on the July 2015 report and the Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index is available from the Victoria Real Estate Board, at vreb.org.

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