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!


Happy Home Shopping! 


Karin & Jen

Your Proven Regina Real Estate Team





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Here are some tips to help you prepare your home for sale: 


Setting the right price and making a great first impression are essential in attracting buyers, but what else should you be doing to prepare for selling your home? Here are some great tips to give you the best chance at selling more quickly and with the best result!


1.     Decide on a listing date and make a plan of attack:

Decide when you would like to have your house on the market and then make a list of things that need to be done prior to listing (we have listed some of those items below). Then set a reasonable time to complete those tasks!  Let your REALTOR® know what your goal date is and they can help keep you on track by checking in on progress!


2.     Have a second set of eyes & an objective opinion:

You know that project that has never been quite completed….the paint that was never touched up? We have a tendency to overlook imperfections in our own homes because we are so used to seeing them every day.


However, prospective buyers will see every little thing that needs to be done! Invite a friend or your REALTOR® over and have them give you honest & objective feedback about your house – inside and out. They may notice things you've never even thought of.  Those items will become your to-do list before listing your house.

Remember, you want buyers to focus on all the great features of your home and not the little things that are un-done.  


3.    Treat your home like an asset:


Selling your home can be a very emotional process and you need to be fully committed to selling. Once you’ve decided you’re all in, start thinking of your home as an asset....a business transaction. 


We understand how important your home is to you, and we are here to make sure you stay on track with your goal!


Part of the business of selling also means working to accommodate showings. We know, it's not always convenient to show your home, but you will want to work around the schedule of potential buyers, as much as possible. 


Remember, the ultimate goal is to have as few showings as possible! In a perfect world, one of those first prospective buyers will put in an offer so you sell quickly. All of the work and preparation you do in advance of listing & showings, will pay off!


4.     Declutter:

Have you seen those pictures of living rooms in magazines…..they look fantastic, don't they? There's a couch, a chair, a couple of tables, window treatments, and just minimal décor items on tables and the walls. 


Now take a look around your home. It might be your living room or your bedroom… how much stuff does your space have in it compared to the picture in the magazine?  We recommend taking photos on your phone and seeing what you see theough that persepective …we get so used to living in our space we don’t realize what it really looks like to others.

We’re not saying your home needs to look like a show home, but rather the premise is to simplify. You want to showcase your house, not your stuff.  


For every piece of furniture, ask yourself if it adds to the overall feeling over your home or not. If it doesn't, eliminate it if possible. Think of it as pre-move purging....everything in your home is being removed at some point anyway, so you're really just getting a head start.


Now is the time to consider a garage sale or any of the online apps that can help you sell those items before listing your home!




5.     To Stage or not to Stage:

There's a good chance that your furniture has been arranged the same way for a long time. And that's fine – it could absolutely be the best way to showcase your home. But there might be a different way to style your house that you've never thought of.  


If you have rooms that don’t seem to have a defined purpose, give them one….home office, home gym etc.  There are lots of great local professionals who can come in a for a few hours and give you a plan using your own things, and eliminating those items that don’t service a purpose.


When it comes to "staging" for showings, think of fresh white towels and throw rugs in your bathrooms. Keep them in the closet, and when you have a showing throw your old ones in the hamper and put the new ones out. Consider putting fresh flowers out as well.  We know people aren’t buying your things but a home that shows well makes a difference to a potential buyer….it really does!! 



6.     Paint:

Freshly painted rooms look fresh & clean. Every little mark or scratch that have added up over the years will disappear, and your walls will once again look like new. Stick to neutral colors that have mass appeal!

Do you have kids who have their bedrooms painted with bold crazy colors? Yes, unfortunately it’s time for those colours to go.  

Remember this is not just your home anymore, it's an asset… and even though paint is the easiest thing to change, potential buyers are mentally keeping track of the things they will need to do when they move in, and sometimes they just can’t look past peacock blue….no matter how much you love it! Wink

Also – while you're painting, consider different window treatments in some of the main rooms. They don't need to be expensive, even nice 2″ white blinds will go a long way to freshen up a room.



7.     Curb Appeal Matters:

You only get one shot at a first impression! Have you ever been excited to see a home based on photos but the reality when you pull up in front is completely different? The lawn doesn’t look great, the paint on the trim is peeling, siding is missing etc. That first impression sets the tone for what is beyond the front door, so it really does matter! Take the time to touch up the trim, paint the front door, garage door and stain the deck & fence if necessary, replace sod, add flowers to the front step, get fresh mulch for flower beds, and wash the windows…the view from the inside out matters as well.  It’s worth taking the time on a couple of weekends to take care of the details outside because that’s what creates interest to see the inside! Like it or not people really do judge a book by its’ cover.




8.     Plan for showing requests:

When that text comes for a showing, we know it is both exciting and anxiety causing! It seems like the timing is always terrible….your house is a mess, and you only have an hour to make it presentable and get the family out.  We get it! SmileThis is why you need to have a plan!  At this point, hopefully you've already de-cluttered and everything should have a place to get it out of site. For you own sanity, furniture and decor should be kept staged as much as possible at all times now…we know sometimes that is easier said than done but having a goal is a good thing!  So now what is left to do?  Before you go to bed at night or leave for work in the morning…….


- Clean all dishes and put them away, or at least in the dishwasher!


- Make your beds…and throw those cute toss cushions on for effect Wink


- Put all clothes in dressers, on hangers or in covered hampers. Try not to have clothes in the washer or dryer, those strangers in your house are likely to open the washer and dryer.


- Vacuum or swiffer your floors.


- Wipe down all counters, sinks and appliances.


- Have clean unused linens on hand. Keep them folded up in a chest or dresser, and pull them out to place in the kitchen and bathrooms when you have a showing scheduled.


- Make sure your home smells great always...it really has an impact on buyers!


- Turn on nice ambient music if you are home prior to showings.


- Tuck everything that isn’t pretty on the counters into a basket and under the sink in the kitchen and baths. 10.   Plan to be out of the house about 30 minutes before the requested showing time ...and take Fido with you if possible! If an appointment is scheduled for 11:00am for example, prepare for them to be running 15 minutes ahead, or behind, and schedule accordingly. Allow 30 minutes for showings when planning your schedule.


Note: Just before listing, consider hiring professional cleaners to come in and do a complete deep clean and then you just have to do daily maintenance while the home is listed.



9.     Price right from the start!:

When a house is first listed, it will have its highest level of interest during those first few weeks so it’s important to price strategically. Sellers often think they should start high and reduce if it doesn’t sell, but that can result in a slower sale, and sometimes for a lower price.  Pricing too high can send a signal that you are not serious about selling. 

When your home is new on the market you want to generate as much buzz and enthusiasm as possible.


If you follow the steps above, have great photos, and price appropriately, you will definitely get that buzz!


One last note:

Try to be flexible with showings and do your best to prepare for them and make them work! We know it’s not always convenient but remember the goal is to sell your home sooner than later. 




If you have questions about the value of your home or the selling process in general, we are here to help! Contact us for more information at  info@w2realtyteam.com 



Karin & Jen  

Your Proven Regina Real Estate Team 


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Ready to file your 2019 tax return? If you sold your home last year or are planning to sell in 2020, we want to make sure you understand the rules about reporting the sale of your home!


What are the tax rules about principal residences?

The new rules were introduced in October 2016 and they changed the reporting requirements concerning the sale of your principal residence. 

Before 2016, if you sold your principal residence, you did not have to report the sale on your income tax return, but now it is a requirement.


What do I need to do as a homeowner?

The good news is that you still don’t have to pay capital gains taxes when you sell your principal residence (provided you’re a Canadian resident and otherwise satisfy certain requirements under the new rules). But now, you need to include some details about the sale of your home on your tax return. 


You’ll need to provide the year you purchased your principal residence, address and sale price.


The form to use is included in your tax package (Schedule 3 of your tax return). There has also been a change to the way non-residents calculate the length of time they’ve owned their principal residence.



What is a principal residence?

According to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), a “principal residence” is any residence ordinarily inhabited by you or a family member in the applicable year. 

There’s no need to live in the property for the entire year, and even short periods of time during the year (like vacations) can meet theh criteria. Your principal residence doesn’t even have to be in Canada, but only one dwelling can be a principal residence at a time, and you can decide which dwelling it will be.


If you sell a property that you haven’t designated as your principal residence, you must report half of any capital gains from the sale and pay tax on them.


So why are there new rules anyway?

The new rules were designed to close a loophole. In theory, the change to the way property owners calculate the number of years they owned a property should hypothetically reduce the number of foreign investors and "house-flippers" who previously avoided paying capital gains taxes on the sale of residential real estate by claiming their properties as their principal residences. 


The reporting requirements also let the CRA monitor compliance with the rules, to ensure that only those entitled to the “PRE” Principal Residence Exemption, can use it. 



What happens if I don’t report?

If you don’t, you may be liable for capital gains on the sale, plus late charges and interest. The penalty is $100 per month for each month you’re late, to a maximum of $8,000. 


So the bottom line is, when you sell your principal residence you will need report it on your tax filing for that tax year.  


Here is a link to CRA and information on:

Reporting the Sale of Your Principal Residence



Of course, we recommend you consult an income tax expert to ensure you follow the proper procedures and receive advice based on your specific situation.




We hope you find this information helpful! 



~ Karin & Jen

 

Your Proven YQR Real Estate Team



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What are the benefits of using a REALTOR®? 


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 info@w2realtyteam.com


Happy House Hunting! 
Karin & Jen


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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:

  1. You have children and want to maintain the stability of the home.
  2. The house is in an ideal location and near your work, family, and friends.
  3. The market conditions aren’t ideal to sell.
  4. 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:

Email: fweisgerber@mcdougallgauley.com


To reach  Candice, you can call or email her at:

Phone: (306) 531-6880

Email:  Candice@CandiceCarr.ca



We hope this information is helpful to you & please share with anyone you think could benefit from these resources!



Best, 


Karin & Jen 


Email: info@W2RealtyTeam.com


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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! 


9 Planning Musts Before You Start a Makeover:

http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/21684880?utm_source=Houzz&utm_campaign=u918&utm_medium=email&utm_content=gallery19



If you are thinking about buying or selling a home in the Regina area and have questions, we are here to help you make the right move!  


Happy Shopping!

Karin & Jen


We are your Proven Regina Real Estate Team

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