Blog

HOW DOES THE CURRENT MARKET AFFECT MY FUTURE PLANS?

I have had people ask me recently,

“Garry, how does the current market affect my future plans?”

I’m a big numbers guy (I love looking at statistics, reading charts, analyzing graphs) and numbers don’t lie, so let’s take a look at what they are saying.

Sales are down about 25%…
… which is largely due to the fact that, this past April, we saw the lowest amount of active listings on the market that we have in 10 years, keeping it a strong sellers market. Since fewer new listings are coming on the market, housing prices continue to rise and are 14.5% higher than last year! Continue reading

HOME OWNER MORTGAGE & EQUITY PARTNERSHIP PROGRAM

Although a few months have passed since this program was unveiled, we’re now getting some more clarity on some of the finer technical points surrounding BC’s program aimed at assisting first-time buyers to get into a home more easily.

1. The mortgage insurance premium you pay is based on the amount you personally are putting down, not the total downpayment with the government money included. Continue reading

CMHC HOUSING TRENDS

Last week, I attended a session where consultants from CMHC (Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation) shared stats they have and trends that they see. It’s very insightful because CMHC has many statistics that I don’t typically have access to and these give us a strong indication of what the market is doing.

1. The number of sales to active listings is very similar to what it was this time last year. The supply of homes on the market is still low in relation to the demand in nearly every price range. This could lead to an upward pressure on prices yet again. Continue reading

SHORT-TERM COMFORT VS. LONG-TERM REWARD

We work with a very large group of buyers who are purchasing their first home in their late 20’s, early 30’s, or even later. With increases in prices of housing everywhere, this is unfortunate but not surprising.

As we’ve looked at why this is, a common pattern we’ve come across is that often times people severely delay their purchase process by renting something which EXCEEDS THEIR CURRENT NEEDS.

What we mean by this is that people will rent a place that is “comfortable” for them but comes with a higher rental price, rather than living in a rental that provides for their basic needs without a bunch of extra dazzle. Continue reading

TAKING A LOOK AT THE SPRING MARKET

The past couple of weeks, especially last week, we’re seeing signs of the typical spring market heating up. More listings coming onto the market, more buyers showing signs of increasing levels of motivation, and more traffic through open houses.

What we’re seeing is that detached houses, although still selling steadily, are more or less remaining around the price points we would’ve expected them to sell a month or even two or three months ago. Sometimes a place will surprise us and go into multiple offers, but often the homes are simply selling within a week or two and for pretty close to asking price. Continue reading

“HAVE THE RIGHT NETWORK OF PROFESSIONALS” PART 3

“Mortgage Broker”

Whether buying or selling, we encourage you to have a relationship with a mortgage broker  before the process starts.

As BUYERS, you want someone who’s a full-time mortgage broker. The industry changes so fast and the policies/guidelines for the dozens of lenders in Canada are so fluid that you need someone who keeps up on the changes. You also want someone who has strong personal connections with multiple lenders so that they have places to take your file if things get challenging. It makes an enormous difference in terms of how quick an approval happens, preferential treatment with rates that you’re offered, and sometimes whether or not your file will even be looked at (depending on your situation) by some lenders. Get connected with the right mortgage broker before you even start viewing homes! They’ll help you to get organized and they’ll inform you on how to prepare ahead of time so that when you find the right place and are facing some tight timeframes, you’re positioned to come out on top. Continue reading

“HAVE THE RIGHT NETWORK OF PROFESSIONALS” PART 2

“HOME INSPECTOR”

We’ve found that there are mainly two different types of home inspectors:

1) The first type are excellent at finding issues in the home: they have great all-around knowledge of what things to look for in homes built in different eras, and they rarely miss any of the things that you’ve hired them to find. They’re excellent detectives, but if you ask questions about how to rectify fairly generic and common issues, you’ll find that they have little first-hand knowledge or experience. I’m finding that these types of inspectors, although there’s nothing wrong with their service or abilities, are a good fit for only a small number of our clients – generally, the ones who are personally almost experienced enough to inspect the home themselves. Continue reading

“HAVE THE RIGHT NETWORK OF PROFESSIONALS” PART 1

“LAWYER / NOTARY”

Although they usually aren’t involved until the final steps of your purchase or sale, it’s important that you have an effective lawyer or notary working alongside you. Real estate conveyance is an intricate process and issues completely outside yours or our control can come up at the last minute before closing with potential to cause a lot of stress if mishandled. The conveyance professional you choose can have huge bearing on how smooth the transaction goes!

Over the past few months we have run into several situations where the conveyance department selected by the other party for a transaction with our client had some difficulty handling an issue properly due to lack of knowledge/experience and it complicated the given situation. Continue reading

BEAT THE SPRING MARKET

While the most active time of year for new listings (and for the most buyers looking) remains the April to June stretch, we’ve seen more sellers each year try to get a jump on potential competing listings by getting onto the market first.

My recommendation this year is the OPPOSITE of what it was last year.  Last year, prices were rising and we were encouraging many of our clients to hold off a little before listing.
This year, my advice is to get onto the market as soon as possible! Continue reading