You want to create an illusion of space but in order to do this and not give a stark feel, you should avoid painting walls white.  High Gloss white or Cream make for an easy clean, bright accent trim for mouldings.  If you are selling your home in the winter and you are going to paint in advance of placing your home on the market, you could consider all the warm tones, including a yellow for the kitchen.  Yellow is cheery and brightens the room, especially if there is low light and not too many windows to bring in natural light.  A Terra Cotta tile or accent color in the same room brings the earth tones into your room and creates a natural feeling warmth.  If this is too bold for you, the use of these color tones in cushions, placemats or even the utensils in the kitchen can achieve the same effect.


If you are selling your home in the summer, then I would choose cooler colors for the bedrooms and bathrooms to create an airy, breezy, spa feeling.  Every one wants to be re juvenated in the Spring and Summer.  Cool greens work well in entrance foyer's, bedrooms, family rooms and again you could use the yellows in the kitchen however a cooler tone would be the better choice.


Greens are a good choice for an office and inspire concentration.  If using greens and on the cool tone side, white trim would be a good color.  If using warm greens then a creamier trim would be in order.


When in doubt look to the colors of nature and they will blend into your home beautifully.  Bright colored cushions and large accent pieces can be your friend.  Rather than using two or three small ornaments for decoration, be bold and place one large interesting piece on top of a coffee table, couch table or in an alcove, that is in the line of vision.


You want your home to stand out as spacious, clean and most of all welcoming to a potential Buyer.


You’ve been saving for awhile, weighing your options, looking around casually.  Now you’ve finally decided to do it—you’re ready to buy a house.  The process of buying a new home can be incredibly exciting, yet stressful, all at once.  Where do you start?


It is essential you do your homework before you begin.  Learn from the experiences of others, do some research.  Of course, with so many details involved, slip-ups are inevitable.  But be careful:  learning from your mistakes may prove costly.  Use the following list of pitfalls as a guide to help you avoid the most common mistakes.



 1.     Searching for houses without getting pre-approved by a lender:


Do not mistake pre-approval by a lender with pre-qualification.  Pre-qualification, the first step toward being pre-approved, will point you in the right direction, giving you an idea of the price range of houses you can comfortably afford.  Pre-approval, however, means you become a cash buyer, making negotiations with the seller much easier. 


2.     Allowing “first impressions” to overly influence your decision:


The first impression of a home has been cited as the single most influential factor guiding many purchasers’ choice to buy.  Make a conscious decision beforehand to examine a home as objectively as you can.  Don’t let the current owners’ style or lifestyle sway your judgment.  Beneath the bad décor or messy rooms, these homes may actually suit your needs and offer you a structurally sound base with which to work.  Likewise, don’t jump at a home simply because the walls are painted your favourite colour!  Make sure you thoroughly the investigate the structure beneath the paint before you come to any serious decisions.  

3.    Failing to have the home inspected before you buy:


Buying a home is a major financial decision that is often made after having spent very little time on the property itself.  A home inspection performed by a competent company will help you enter the negotiation process with eyes wide open, offering you added reassurance that the choice you’re making is a sound one, or alerting you to underlying problems that could cost you significant money in both the short and long-run.  Your Realtor can suggest reputable home inspection companies for you to consider and will ensure the appropriate clause is entered into your contract.



4.     Not knowing and understanding your rights and obligations as listed in the Offer to Purchase:


Make it a priority to know your rights and obligations inside and out.  A lack of understanding about your obligations may, at the very least, cause friction between yourself and the people with whom you are about to enter the contract.  Wrong assumptions, poorly written/ incomprehensible/ missing clauses, or a lack of awareness of how the clauses apply to the purchase, could also contribute to increased costs.  These problems may even lead to a void contract.  So, take the time to go through the contract with a fine-tooth comb, making use of the resources and knowledge offered by your Realtor and lawyer.  With their assistance, ensure you thoroughly understand every component of the contract, and are able to fulfill your contractual obligations.


5.     Making an offer based on the asking price, not the market value:


Ask your Realtor for a current Comparative Market Analysis.  This will provide you with the information necessary to gauge the market value of a home, and will help you avoid over-paying.  What have other similar homes sold for in the area and how long were they on the market?  What is the difference between their asking and selling prices?  Is the home you’re looking at under-priced, over-priced, or fair value?  The seller receives a Comparative Market Analysis before deciding upon an asking price, so make sure you have all the same information at your fingertips.


6.     Failing to familiarize yourself with the neighbourhood before buying:


Check out the neighbourhood you’re considering, and ask around.  What amenities does the area have to offer?  Are there schools, churches, parks, or grocery stores within reach?  Consider visiting schools in the area if you have children.  How will you be affected by a new commute to work?  Are there infrastructure projects in development?  All of these factors will influence the way you experience your new home, so ensure you’re well-acquainted with the surrounding area before purchasing.

7.        Not looking for home insurance until you are about to move:


If you wait until the last minute, you’ll be rushed to find an insurance policy that’s the ideal fit for you.  Make sure you give yourself enough time to shop around in order to get the best deal.



8.     Not recognizing different styles and strategies of negotiation:


Many buyers think that the way to negotiate their way to a fair price is by offering low.  However, in reality this strategy may actually result in the seller becoming more inflexible, polarizing negotiations.  Employ the knowledge and skills of an experienced realtor.  S/he will know what strategies of negotiation will prove most effective for your particular situation. 






A total of 617 sales were processed through the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board's Multiple Listing Service in January of 2013.  This was a decrease of 23 per cent from the same time period in 2012.  January 2013 ranks as the second slowest month in the last thirteen yeasrs, second only to January of 2009 during the global recession.  The president of the Fraser Valley's Real Estate Board, says "Buyers have been holding off in hopes that prices will drop more, however it's become clear that sellers are only willing to go so far.  Prices for typical homes in the Fraser Valley have decreased by only two to three per cent in the last six months and in January we're starting to see the reversal of that."


A total of 2643 new listings were added in January - 4% fewer than the same month last year.  January 2013 ranks as the third highest in terms of active listings in the last decade.


"With interst rates as low as they are, our local economy as strong as it is and prices so tenacious I think we'll see the effects of this pent up demand and return to a mor balanced market".  Source: Fraser Valley Real Estate Board

What does all this mean to you - If you're waiting to Buy or Sell - Don't


This year Chinese New Years was on February 10, 2013.  What does this mean to you as a Real Estate investor?  Well there are experts predicting that many of the Fathers and Husbands of Asian families living in the Vancouver area will be visiting their families here in the lower mainland, in celebration of the New Years events and that they will be buying property whiel they are here.  Most will return to Asia a few weeks after arriving.


There should be, by all accounts many Buyers in the first months of this year, so if you are thinking of selling - you should do it now!  The Vancouver Real Estate market is driven by the Asian community as when the market is 'flying' we often have many Asian Buyers or if we are in a slump, we complain that there are not enough Asian Buyers.  Either way you look at it, this is  a good time to list your home.  Let me know what you think.


A depreciation report is to help strata corporations plan expenses for repair, maintenance & replacement of common area items.  The report must contain the inventory of the commmon property, anticipated expenses spanning the next 30 years and a financial plan for the contingency reserve fund, in order to pay for these anticipated expenses.


I think we will find, in the future that financial institutions will only fund strata corporatins that have done a depreciation report  and by the way, the report has to be updated every three years. I see that Insurance companies will start to require a current report in order to insure your property.  It is a valuable tool for a Seller and equally beneficial to a potential Buyer of a property.


The cost of the report may vary depending on the complexity of a strata and the company that is hired to do the report. No matter the cost to have the report done - it could save you thousands of dollars in the future.


Right now is a great time to Buy as we have historically low interest rates and there is a wonderful selection of product to choose from.  As reported by the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board - A total of 617 sales were processed through the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board's Multiple Listing Service in January, a decrease of 23 percent compared to 799 sales suring the same month last year.  


"People want to Buy.  We're already seeing early signs of a typical spring market with more foot traffice at open houses and an increase in calls."

"Buyers have been holding off in hopes that prices will drop more, however it's become clear that Sellers are only willing to go so far.  Prices for typical homes in the Fraser Valley have decreased by only two to three percent in the last six months and in January we're starting to see a reversal of that - in half of our communities prices have crept back up."

Today is a great time to Buy and if you don't, I predict that in 2014 you will look back and wish you had!

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