Now that 2020 is done and you have had time to reflect on the year that was, you’re likely thinking about what 2021 holds for you!
If making a move is in your plans, there are a few things you may want to do before you start the process of house hunting.
3 Things To-Do Right Now:
1. Meet with your lender or mortgage broker to discuss your plans and determine your budget & price range and get that pre-approval in place! And while interest rates are so favourable you may want to get yours locked in now!
Also, if you own a home currently you will need to know if a purchase is conditional on the sale of your home or if you can bridge finance for a period of time.
2. Start thinking about your “must haves’ and your priorities in a new home.
-Is it location….because of proximity to work schools, daycare or near friends & family?
-Or is the layout o the home because you are both working at home now and have kids homeschooling so you all need your own space? Or do you have small children and need 4 bedrooms all on the same level?
-Or is it the yard and the ability to create an outdoor oasis because you may not be travelling as much?
-Is a 3 car garage a must because you have a car fanatic in the family…or because you have teenagers who will be driving soon?
Whatever it is, that’s the jumping off point when we start our list of great options for you to view!
3. If you have a home currently that you will need to sell, start tackling the list of to-do’s now so you are you prepared to list when the time comes.
It may be as simple as decluttering & touching up some paint …or there may be some bigger things that need to be attended to before the space is “show ready”!
If you’re not sure where to start check out our Two Part Blog on Preparing your Home for Sale …..or just ask us, we’re here to help!
If you’re buying a house and trying to decide if you should have a home inspection done, we can make it really easy for you – the short answer is YES….in almost every single situation.
In some cases, a buyer will forgo a home inspection in order to make their offer more appealing to the seller, but that is a big gamble. You might get the house, but you might also end up with unexpected costly issues to deal with.
When you don’t have a home inspection you’re relying on the seller to disclose everything that may be wrong with the house and that’s risky because some sellers just won’t do it, while others genuinely may not know.
Having an impartial expert come in and evaluate the house is the best way to get an honest, informed opinion.
And having said that, getting a home inspection is not a guarantee that you’ll uncover every single problem.
1. What a Home Inspection IS:
When you request a home inspection as a buyer, there are 3 things you’re hoping to accomplish:
Identify any major problems with the house and get an idea of what’s involved in remedying those major issues. In all likelihood you are not buying a new house…..you’re buying a house that may have been built a half century ago and renovated periodically over time. Very few homes are in perfect condition and you need to know what to anticipate in the future.
This is an introduction to your future home so that you know how to maintain it. If you’re a First Time Home Buyer this will be especially important for you – owning a house can be a lot of work and properly maintaining it is the best way to protect your investment.
One of the biggest benefits of a home inspection is that it prepares you for the house – what needs to be fixed immediately, in 2 years, in 5 years, etc. Most home inspectors spend the time to give you important maintenance tips (like telling you where the water main shut off valve is located). Your home inspector will provide you a written summary of their inspection & a guide full of useful information about caring for your home.
2. What a Home Inspection IS NOT:
Home inspectors conduct visual inspections – they don’t look behind the walls and under the floors (and yes, sometimes strange things are happening there). They are generally specialists in all areas and often recommend further inspections, when they suspect there could other issues. Home inspectors are not generally looking for compliance with the building codes beyond obvious things like electrical or proper railings, etc.
The Home Inspection Process
A home inspection for most houses takes about 3 hours, depending on the size, age and condition of the home. The inspector will go through the house on their own, room by room ,and look for major issues; they will also assess the attic, the roof and the home’s exterior too. They’ll take photos along the way which will form part of the written report you will receive after the inspection.
What Happens if you Uncover Some issues?
Sometimes, home inspections uncover unexpected stuff – for example, shingles that needs replacing, electrical wiring that needs to updated or a sewer line that requires cleaning. …or worse occasionally. You may need to decide if you want to take on the major fixes or walk away from the house. And we may need to revisit the price accepted on your offer. In most cases, the big issues are already known and have been factored into the asking price, but in some situations, you may need to go back to the Seller and re-negotiate the price based on what you now know. Although a home inspection should not be used as a tool for renegotiating price or to nickel and dime the little stuff that you uncover.
As REALTORS®, our job his to help you navigate that process!
Just a final note on the process! Home inspection companies will generally require homebuyers to sign a waiver of liability, in their standard contracts, clearly indicating the limitations of the inspection. If something is missed, generally the only remedy is a refund of the cost of the inspection.
We work regularly with a number of great qualified home inspectors in Regina and can refer you to one that is right for you!
Here is a list of certified home inspectors in the YQR area:
Whether your plan was to buy your first home or sell your old one, those plans will have been put on hold by coronavirus unless it’s a necessary move, leaving you with the feeling that there’s nothing you can do except sit and wait…
However, now that you have time on your hands you can take some practical steps now that will save time and give you a jump on the process when life returns to something closer to normal — and when your time to tackle those projects is once again in short supply.
Top tips for buyers:
1. Go Virtual
You may not be able to easily view homes physically right now but an online search is valuable research!
Most listings have great professional photos or video tours that will allow to view the home virtually to decide whether it is a possibility or an absolute No!
Check out our App where you can browse properties and mark & save your favourites ….and we can see what you’re liking as well so we can also send you recommendations based on your favourites!
2. Prepare your mortgage pre-approval
Your mortgage broker can help you virtually to get your pre-approval done now and get your mortgage rate locked in for 120 days ….so when things normalize you are ready to hit the ground running!
Top tips for sellers:
1. Finish any DIY jobs
Home improvement stores like Home Depot are still open so you can pick up supplies for those small projects that you can tackle now like:
Replace broken tiles or touching up grout, paint touch-ups, touch-up watermarks on ceilings, fix or replace that leaky tap, replace bath & shower caulking, etc.
2. Neaten up your Yard
Once the weather warms up a bit you can start cleaning up your shed, garage, and those pots that didn’t all quite get cleaned up before the snow fell last year!
Box up or bin the contents of the garage or garden shed so you can get a jump on that process before you get your hime on the market.
3. Tackle those exterior projects
First impressions count and an easy way to amp up curb appeal is to give your front door a fresh coat of paint. When weather permits take on those exterior tasks including:
clearing your eaves, cleaning your windows(by the way there are window cleaning companies still working), and spray down your driveway to remove all of that winter dust & dirt.
Those projects all take time — and right now that’s the one you thing have more of!
We’re here to help you and answer any questions you may have about the market and how that may affect you whether you are buying or selling.
If you are thinking of buying a home for the first time or if you have been out of the market for awhile, there are a lot of things to consider before you start home shopping!
Here is our list of to-do’s to get the process started:
Get pre-approved and decide on budget!
Book an appointment with your lender or mortgage broker to discuss your plans before you even start seriously viewing properties. There is nothing worse than falling in love with a house only to find out that it doesn’t fit your budget.
Knowing the price point of properties you are pre-approved for helps us to narrow the search so we are showing you homes that will fall into the right range.
Your lender will need your employment/salary info and the full picture of your financial situation so they can best advise you as far as price range. Having all of the paper work done in advance will save you time & make the final approval process run more smoothly when it comes time for an offer. They will also guide you as far as the amount of your down payment and what is required for your mortgage.
Know the Costs Involved
There is more to consider than just the purchase price of a home. You need to factor in property taxes, utilities, and condo fees where applicable. Your monthly costs are important to know to determine not just how much you can afford, meaning your pre-approved budget, but how much you are comfortable allocating to home expenses.
There are also costs that go along with making the purchase including your home inspections, legal fees, and land titles transfer fees and the deposit portion of your down payment. With the possible exception of property taxes depending on how you pay those, these expenses are all out of pocket, meaning you have to have the cash accessible as they can’t be rolled into your mortgage.
There are a number of great apps that can help you calculate those expenses so you have an idea of the numbers in advance.
Create your “wants & needs” list
Make a list of what things you want in your next home and what areas appeal to you. Do you love entertaining and the space must have a gourmet kitchen & open concept living spaces? Do you have school age children and the school district is of the utmost importance? Do you have pets and a fenced yard or access to park space/walking paths is a must? Is it number of bedrooms/bathrooms that are most important….or a master bedroom with separate ensuite bath perhaps? Do you want to be able to walk or bike to work so proximity is a priority? Whatever the things are that matter to you most are the starting point for the house hunting process and that all helps us to choose the best possibilities to begin with. Your time is valuable so we ant to be sure that we are choosing the best houses to fit your wants and needs. Of course some compromise is inevitable but we want to help you find the home that checks off the most boxes!
Why Hire a Realtor®?
Because we understand the local market and have the tools and knowledge to guide you through the process, from the first home viewing to the day you take possession of your new home. We negotiate with the sellers agent on your behalf and liaison with your lender, lawyer, home inspectors, appraisers etc and make your home purchase as seamless as possible for you. Simply put we are your advocate!
If you are ready to start looking for your first home, your dream home or even just looking to make a change we are here to help you make the right move.
If you have questions about anything real estate, whether it’s buying, selling or looking to build a new home we have answers!
There are a lot of moving parts in the purchase of a home and assembling a good team that you are happy working with is really important! Of course finding an agent to work with to help you find that home is the first thing you may think about but the “team” also consists of a Mortgage Broker, Home inspector and a real estate Lawyer. We can help guide you through that process and refer you to great qualified people in those industries as well, and we will talk about that in Part II of this blog.
So first, choosing your real estate agent! The whole point of working with a real estate agent is to have a knowledgeable professional represent your interests throughout the home-buying process, from identifying possible homes to closing the deal. So you want to find an agent who has your priorities and best interests at heart.
What things should you consider when you are choosing your agent?
Compatibility: Is the agent someone you would enjoy working with? You’re not looking for a new best friend, but you’ll spend a lot of time with your agent as you view homes, discuss strategy, fill out paperwork, and the myriad of other activities involved in finding & buying the right …or “right for now” home.
Understanding: It’s important that your agent “gets” what you’re looking for in a home. Otherwise, you’ll both waste your time looking at properties that aren’t a good fit for you…that being said it usually takes looking at a few homes to narrow down your preferences and really get a feel for what you are liking…or not!
Availability: Look for an agent who’ll work with your schedule. You don’t want to find yourself missing opportunities because you can never find a common time to meet. That is one of the benefits we offer as a team….sometimes you get both of us but if one isn’t available the other one is. We like to say you get 2 for 1 when you choose the W2 team!
Trustworthiness: Your agent has what we call a “fiduciary duty” to you; that means your relationship is based on trust and confidence. You need to work with someone you trust to deal with you fairly, to keep your confidential information….well confidential. And to represent you with both honesty and integrity...that should go without saying.
We would also add to this list that you should feel that your agent will work well in communicating with both the seller of a property when required and the seller’s agent through the process of negotiating a purchase on your behalf. Having good communication skills and a positive working relationship with all parties involved will be helpful in producing a good end result!
We thoroughly enjoy the process of working with our clients to find the perfect home and we want them to know that we are there to help no matter how long it takes or how many houses we need to see until we find the right one. That’s what you need to feel when you choose your agent!
If you are starting the process of looking for a home or condo in the Regina area, and have questions, whether it is new or resale, we are here to help you make the right move.
Whether you’re buying or selling a home, it’s important to understand from the outset how professional representation can help you at every step of the process.
Buying or selling a home is a major financial (and emotional) undertaking and
your REALTOR® is more than just a "salesperson".....we act on your behalf as your advocate, providing you with professional advice and guidance.
While the Internet has opened up a world of information not previously available to consumers, the data on listings available for sale, while interesting, is only relevant in context in our local market. In a competitive market, whether you are buying or selling, you need the most current information about what has sold or is currently for sale, any pertinent changes in pricing, as well as any addiotnal information we have about specific properties beyond the listing details.
The way to ensure you have that information is by enlisting the help of a REALTOR®.
Buying a Home:
As a buyer, there are many advantages to having a REALTOR® work with you:
We simplify the process of finding you the perfect place by matching up properties that fit with your criteria & arrange all property showings. As buying or selling your home is a very personal transaction, many people tend to feel more comfortable using an agent as a liaison rather than having to deal face to face with potential buyers or sellers. The best part is it doesn't cost you, the buyer, anything to have a REALTOR® work on your behalf as buyer’s agent is compensated via a percentage of the seller’s brokerage commission.
Once we find the right property for you, we will develop a negotiation strategy based on our industry knowledge and experience, facilitate all the contracts and paperwork, as well as negotiate the purchase on your behalf including price, possession, inclusions & any conditions to the purchase.
We can recommend industry professionals, such as mortgage brokers, certified home inspectors, real estate lawyers, insurance agents, movers, & even proven contractors for any projects that need to be addressed. We will be with you through your home inspection and will help guide you through that process as well.
We also work closely with all parties involved in your home purchase & ensure that all documents are provided to your Lender & Lawyer.
Selling a Home:
When you're selling your home, you gain access to the most qualified buyers by being listed on the Multiple Listing Service. Whether you are buying or selling a home, MLS® is your best tool. By having your listing as part of the MLS® system you instantly have all of the REALTORS® in the city considering your property for their qualified buyers as well as national exposure to potential buyers relocating to the Regina area.
That is really the key....getting it in front of the highest number of people who are actively looking for a property with the same characteristics as yours, in your price range and neighbourhood.
We are your liaison with other local real estate agents to help promote your property & to work together to help affect a great end result for you!
One of the most important things we do is to help you price your home correctly through our experience and understanding of the market & comparable sales.
Great marketing of your property starts with professional photos & video tours. We will arrange that for you and we will help to advise you & give you our recommendations to ensure that your home & yard are photo ready and engaging to potential to buyers.
Because today's home buyers and sellers are so much better informed than in the past, our expertise and ability to communicate that, are becoming much more important. Our profession and the service we provide is evolving and we are becoming as much a "guide" through the process as a "salesperson".
We are your personal representative when you are buying or selling a home and we will be with you every step of the way!
We look forward to working with you & if you have questions about anything real estate, we are here to help! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Did you know that divorce ranks as life’s second most stressful event?
Decisions over what to do with the family home and who is going where, create some of the most challenging conversations between couples who are parting ways.
Beyond the emotional ties to a family home, shared real estate comes with its own legal issues that need to be sorted out before the dust can settle, and you can both move on. It’s certainly more complicated than simply dividing up the furniture, TV’s and wall art.
However, with 38% of all Canadian marriages ending in divorce, you’re not alone in this and there are industry experts, who have been there too and understand the emotions & the difficult decisions to be made.
We are here to help you navigate the process and answer all of the questions you may have, and while it will likely never be easy, we believe that working with a team who has experience will make it less challenging for you. Or ideally, that’s our goal for you!
We have years of experience working with clients going through this super stressful time in their lives and our job as REALTORS® is to be a neutral 3rd party with the clear & simple goal in mind, of helping you move on with your lives.
Through our video series, W2 Talks: Divorce & Real Estate, we’re tackling some of the questions you may have, with help from professionals in the field, including a mortgage broker & family law attorney.
The Legal Aspect:
No matter who you contact first in the process, ultimately the financial details of your separation will dictate how you move forward, so a formal separation agreement will be paramount. To discuss the legal aspect of Separation/Divorce and how that impacts your decisions regarding your family home & what options you have, we were joined by
Foster Weisgerber, McDougall Gauley LLP, who shares his thoughts on where you should start.
When it comes to deciding what your next move is, there will be lots of questions….can I purchase another property right away, what can I afford….where do I even start with financing a new home? It’s usually the case that one or both spouses want to keep the house, but the real question is if either one of them can afford to do so on their own.
Of course, there are lots of good reasons to keep the family home if possible:
You have children and want to maintain the stability of the home.
The house is in an ideal location and near your work, family, and friends.
The market conditions aren’t ideal to sell.
You bought the house recently and haven’t had time to build equity.
The financial feasibility of that decision will come down to your specific situation and that’s where your lawyer & mortgage broker will help to guide you.
Mortgage & Financing:
When the time comes, the sale of your home or the purchase of a new home requires teamwork between your REALTOR® and your mortgage expert/lender. To help answer those questions and more, we were joined by Candice Carr from TMG: The Mortgage Group.
Our Closing Thoughts
Whether we, as REALTORS®, are your first point of contact or somewhere later in your process, we will be here with you through every step to help find you a new space to call home …and we will help to ensure you have access to all of the information & guidance you need as you move onto a new chapter in your life!
If you have any questions, general or specific to your situation, and would like to reach out for more information regarding your options, you can confidentially contact any of us with the details below, and your information will remain private.
If you would like to reach out to Foster for more information:
We were recently discussing pricing with a client and heard the words we have heard many times before……
” I would like to list my home at this amount and we need this amount out of it".
If only it were that simple, we would make it happen exactly that way! Unfortunately our job is to be objective and to provide the best advice we can to help put you in the best position to sell your home, not just to tell you what you want to hear.
It's so important to work with a REALTOR® that you trust has your best interests in mind and then to work together as a team to get the best result for you!
The process of determining a list price for a property requires consideration of a number of factors including:
1. Recent comparables (Active listings but more importantly recent Sales)
2. Market conditions
3. Specific Location (Neighbourhood, Large lot, Backing Greenspace, Proximity to Schools & Services, etc)
4. Condition and Features of the property
While we are always mindful of what a client needs or wants to see from the sale of their home, that can’t be the primary factor in pricing, but rather the deciding factor as to whether or not you want to sell at any given time. And keep in mind that your agent wants you to get the highest number possible for your home as well!
This is where it’s helpful to understand the process and trust the guidance your agent is giving you in regards to pricing.
Market Value is, simply put, what someone is willing to pay for a property on any given day, but overpricing can result in potential buyers overlooking the property completely because it falls outside their range. So rather than presenting an offer and finding some middle ground, they may eliminate it from their list of possibilities altogether.
So when is the best time to buy or sell…..whenever you need to or decide it’s time for a change! You never know who might be looking for a house or condo exactly like yours today and people move at all times of the year.
Of course, if you are a buyer today, there are lots of options for you!
If you need help determining the value of your home or if you would like to see what is in the market that might be of interest to you as a buyer, we’re here to help!
For any questions feel free to email us at email@example.com
Karin & Jen
Your Proven #YQR Real Estate Team
JC REALTY REGINA || 2241 Albert Street || Regina, SK
The New Year brings thoughts of change and whether you are purchasing a new home that requires extensive renovations or you just have a room in your existing home that could use an update, good planning helps to keep you focused and may also help you avoid costly mistakes. Yes we have all likely purchased that piece of furniture because it was fabulous and we had to have it….only to find it was not really comfortable or really didn’t fit in the room! Oops ;-)
This article from Houzz has some great tips to help you in the process and might just inspire you to action!
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