Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Prices of Vancouver Houses for Sale Stable for 2014, Economists Say

How do prices of good Vancouver houses for sale stay stable? According to Robert Shiller of The New York Times, inflation is a major but only one indicator. Today’s home, according to Shiller, may cost around $50,000 more in 10 years; but that’s just the nominal dollars speaking. Taking inflation into account (real dollars), there may not be much of a change in value.

Overall, price stability can be good news for buyers of good houses for sale in Vancouver and other places. Construction and technology also affect price stability for real estate, constantly building homes to meet demand. Demand and supply will work its magic as usual, as Multiple Listing Systems like RE/MAX Crest Realty Westside deals with buyers and sellers alike.

Monday, 24 February 2014

Deciding between Brand New or Resale when Buying a Vancouver Condo

When going for the brand new option, buyers have to clarify if the condominium for sale is in the pre-construction phase. In such cases, buyers will have to rely on their visualisation skills to get a clear picture of what their condominium will look like once completed. Sellers will go through the floor plans and model suites with prospective buyers, but there is no guarantee that the final product will come out exactly as was shown to them.

When buying existing Vancouver condos for sale at reasonable prices, the rule “what you see is what you get” often applies. Another thing, buyers don’t have to guess or visualise what the condo will look like. Another advantage of resale condos is that it almost allows for immediate occupancy—no waiting necessary.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Do-It-Yourself Home Inspection

Real estate insiders encourage homebuyers to hire a professional home inspector before committing to any purchase. Buyers on a tight budget can, however, opt to conduct the inspection on their own. Here are some tips for a successful DIY home inspection: 

Take a look at the garden. This part may seem superficial at first, but nothing spoils the beauty of a home quite like a yard that resembles a giant litter box. Buyers should also factor in the cost of hiring a landscape specialist to turn the garden from drab to fab. 

Check the roof and siding. No existing home has immaculate roofing and siding. A few worn-out shingles and small patches of peeling paint are to be expected when the roof and siding are examined up-close. However, when the extent of damage is readily apparent from a single glance, one may need to think twice about buying the home. On the other hand, new roof and siding can significantly jack up the price. 

Look out for cracks on walls and ceilings. Cracks on this areas can mean that the foundation of the home is already giving way. These flaws can render any home unsafe during times of extreme weathers. Water stains on the walls and ceilings may serve as indications that the roofing system is already compromised.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Vancouver Houses for Sale—Overcoming the First-time Homebuyer Hump

Evaluate your budget

“The first step in buying a new home should be to take a look at what you can afford and how you are going to pay for it,” says Green. A good start would be to ensure that your monthly housing costs stay at or below 32 percent of your gross monthly income. Add to that, it’s also best to ensure that your entire monthly debt load (which includes your mortgage, utility bills, and credit card payments) shouldn’t go over 40 percent of your gross monthly income.

Find a good mortgage broker

Choosing the right mortgage is not as simple as choosing the one with the cheapest rate. Mortgage brokers have access to the right lenders, and can exert influence and chase benefits in a way that may be too difficult to handle yourself. “Over 25 per cent of Canadians used a mortgage broker for their last transaction, and about 47 per cent of all first-time home buyers used a mortgage broker,” adds Green.

Get preapproved

It’s important to get a pre-approved mortgage from your chosen lender. This will help you identify the price range of the homes you should be looking at and ensure that you can afford your purchase. “The pre-approval process consists of three quick and easy steps,” says Green. “Once this is done, your file will be sent for a pre-approval to the lenders that offer the best rate and product to suit your needs.”

Follow the tips above so you can avoid the various pitfalls homebuyers are likely to encounter. Don’t forget to team up with a reliable real estate company like RE/MAX Crest Realty Westside that can spare you from a lot of unnecessary stress and anxiety when considering prime Vancouver houses for sale.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Cunning Ways to Make Small Spaces Look Big

Not long ago, The Globe and Mail asked: “Can you live in a condo space as big as two parking spaces?” The answer, surprisingly, could never be more optimistic: “Why not?” Yet a condo unit 11 metres deep and 5 metres wide, which translates to 55 square metres, is a bit too small by Canadian standards. 

Such a compact space falls short of the average floor space requirement in Canada, which is 72 square meters as of 2009. However, that doesn’t stop condo developers from building units the size of a bedroom. After all, certain design innovations make it possible to live in a smaller space without sacrificing comfort. 

 For instance, condo residents can opt for foldable sofas and tables that can be pulled out as needed and stored in strategic compartments when not in use. Certain condo units in and around the Vancouver area now have this feature. Appliances have also grown more compact throughout the years. Bulky TV sets and blenders have since given way to wall-mounted LED TVs and handheld food processors, thus, eating up less space without compromising performance. 

These appliances are also more energy efficient than their predecessors. Yet arguably the most notable thing about compact condos is the integration of various spaces. Kitchens, for instance, can now seamlessly connect to the dining area and living room, which is the ideal arrangement for those who prefer to dine and watch TV at the same time.

Vancouver Condo Units For Sale—Condo Living is Where the Action Is

Why buy a condo?

Condos are a perfect fit for people on the go, particularly up-and-coming professionals who want to be where all the action is. The benefits of buying a condo include not having to worry about exterior upkeep, as well as access to well-maintained common amenities like a gym or a pool. However, keep in mind that buying a condo is a lot different than buying a house.

Two important tips for buying a condo

The first thing you must remember when buying a condo is that you have exclusive right to what’s inside the unit, while all exterior areas are owned in common with other condo owners. The second thing is that you can’t remodel at will, a fact which is often stated in a condo’s CC&Rs (Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions). Be sure to obtain a copy of this document before you purchase a condo.

To find the right Vancouver condo for sale, trusted real estate companies like RE/MAX Crest Realty Westside are your best online resources.