Morris Real Estate Team

604.530.0231

Why Buy a Home in the Summer?


Motivated Sellers

Spring is typically the busier season, so those homes that did not sell in the spring are going to be more motivated to sell in the summer, before the fall.  They may have had a chance to test the market as well so they’ll be a little more realistic with the price.  No one wants to move in the rain or snow!


Schools out for the summer!

If you needed to switch schools, the summer is the least disruptive for your child/children.  This way they can make a fresh start in the fall with all the others.


Curb Appeal

With the garden in full bloom, you will see your new home's potential!


Scope Neighborhood

With the neighbours outside, kids playing, allows you to see, meet some of the people living in that particular area. 


Competition...

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When you sell your property, you’ll want smooth sailing! You’ll want the experience to be as nondisruptive as possible, while also having plenty of qualified buyers interested in your listing. In the end, you’ll want the transaction to get done without a hitch.


So how do you ensure that happens? Here are some things you can do to help:


Think of your home as a product. Potential buyers are more likely to become interested in a product that looks clean, uncluttered and well-maintained.


Price it right. If your property is listed too high, potential buyers won’t come. If it’s listed too low, you may leave money on the table. (Potentially thousands.) Setting the price will be one of the most important decisions you’ll need to make when selling...

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Creating Quiet In a (Sometimes) Noisy Home

 
 
 
Does your spouse like to practice the drums in the evening? Does your teenager like to play video games, with the volume turned up high? Are there other sources of noise you’d like to minimize?

There are many ways to soundproof areas of your home to reduce noise. Here are some ideas:

  • Furniture placement. Surprisingly, where you place furniture can dramatically reduce incoming noise. For example, a bookshelf that covers one third of a wall can muffle sound from an adjoining room by 25%.
  • Noise harmonization techniques. Soft music, air fans, and other sources of rhythmic noises can actually reduce the unpleasantness of incoming sounds.
  • Area rugs. Adding an area rug, even on top of existing carpeting, can significantly reduce noise coming from the floor below.
  • Acoustic tiles and panels. These are special ceiling tiles and wall coverings that are designed to diffuse and reduce sound infiltration. There are some products on the market that are remarkably easy to install.
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Pack Your Memories Away

 
 
 
Items that remind us of special people, events, milestones and interests are an important part of what makes a house a home. Pictures on the fireplace mantle, for example, showcase family and friends that are important to us. You might also have trophies, certificates, greeting cards, and other mementos on display in key places.

Of course, all of those things add warmth and meaning to your home. However, if you’re preparing your home for sale, it’s a good idea to pack those memories away - at least until you’ve sold your property and moved to your new home. Why? Those pleasant mementos that mean so much to you may actually turn off potential buyers.

You see, when buyers view your property, they want to be able to clearly picture themselves and their families living there. That’s difficult to do if they see reminders of your family everywhere they look!

So, to help sell your home quickly, make it look great, but not personalized. Think of the showroom displays you see set up in furniture stores. Those displays are most appealing when they enable you to easily picture yourself, with that furniture, in your home. You probably wouldn’t feel that way if it looked like the furniture belonged to someone else.

Of course, buyers will know you currently live in your home. But, helping them imagine themselves living there will help you sell your property faster - and possibly for a better price.

Need more tips on preparing your home for sale? Call today!

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When you’re shopping for a new home, you want to find a property that has all the features and characteristics you want. Perhaps you’re looking for a large deck surrounded by picturesque landscaping, a beautiful kitchen with gleaming marble countertops, or a cozy living room with a fireplace.

You should be looking for the ideal home. You deserve it! But some home buyers become fixated on finding the “perfect” property, and pass too quickly on those homes that don’t quite measure up.

That can be a mistake, because some of those less-than-perfect properties have the potential to become your next dream home.

First, a home that is lacking some desirable features will probably cost less. Those savings may be more than enough to cover any needed upgrades or renovations.

Secondly, if you look at a home in terms of its potential, rather than the features it happens to have now, there will be more properties available on the market for you to consider.

If you’re determined to have a large wrap-around deck for entertaining, for example, don’t cross homes off your list that don’t have this feature. At least not yet. Instead, view these properties with an eye on potential. Is the backyard big enough to accommodate a large deck? How would that deck look if it were added to this particular property? How much would such a renovation cost?

There’s no doubt about it. You want to find a home that has the features and characteristics you want. If you work with me, there is a good chance you’ll find a property that has most, if not all of them.

But, keep an open mind. Sometimes a “diamond in the rough” can - with an upgrade or renovation - become a home you’ll treasure for years.

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PROTECT YOURSELF: STRATA WATER DEDUCTIBLE REVIEW REMINDER
WEBSITE OPTIONS

The majority of strata Annual General Meetings are coming up over the next few months presenting an ideal opportunity for strata lot owners to verify that their home owner insurance policy water deductible coverage matches that of the strata corporation's master building policy and if not advise their insurance broker immediately. 

The BC Strata Property Act requires that any AGM Notice includes a copy of the strata corporation's insurance policy summary. This summary page will include a notation on what the building’s current water deductible amount is. Depending on any resultant water damage claims filed in the past policy year and the extent of damage, this deductible amount can increase to a staggering amount from the previous year. It is not uncommon for strata's today to have a deductible in the $50,000 to $100,000 range from the days of when they were $5,000 to $25,000.  

WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT TO YOU AS A STRATA OWNER?
Deductible assessment coverage is an additional coverage that has become increasingly important in light of the increasing cost and frequency of resultant water damage claims. For example, if the building is damaged due to a water leak, the strata corporation would generally file a water damage claim with its own insurance company.
Section 158 of the Strata Property Act states that the insurance deductible in respect of a claim is a common expense, but the strata corporation may sue an owner in order to recover the deductible portion of an insurance claim if the owner is responsible for the loss or damage that gave rise to the claim. Two landmark BC court decisions in 2007 determined that the strata corporation need not prove negligence in order to determine owners' responsibility. A strata corporation may sue a strata lot owner to recover the insurance deductible even though the owner was not negligent and merely caused or brought about the events that resulted in the damage.

To remove ambiguity and potentially save on future legal expenses, some strata corporations have passed bylaws that clarify that owners are strictly liable for damage to common property that originates in their units.

CONCLUSION
It is therefore important that all strata owners review the building policy and advise their insurance broker of the building deductible amounts to ensure their unit policy includes sufficient coverage for all building deductibles including water damage. This information is included in the insurance summary report within the NOTICE of Annual General Meeting that strata corporations are required to provide strata lot owners prior to the Annual General Meeting. Some strata buildings due to frequent or a single extensive resultant water damage claim are now facing water damage deductibles of $50,000 to $100,000.

ADDITIONAL COVERAGE FOR YOU TO CONSIDER
Additional coverage riders available to strata unit owners that are well worth considering are:
  • Increased unit improvements and betterments coverage insures upgrades to the unit a
  • Loss assessment coverage typically pays the owner's share to cover major property and liability losses on common property that may exceed the strata corporation's policy limits.
  • Request your insurance broker to advise you of any other additional riders that you should consider.
SOURCE: Insurance Brokers Association of BC

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I had the pleasure of getting a tour through Langley's owned and operated Sweet Thea Bakery.  They have a large presence in the Farmers Markets in the Lower Mainland but did you know they have a storefront right here in Langley?!?  That's right!  Their bakery is located at 20540 Duncan Way #203 Langley.  


Fresh, completely from scratch, using whole, simple ingredients; butter, milk, eggs, sugar … old-fashioned goodness and flavour.  You will never be disappointed with a Sweet Thea cake!


Keep a lookout for a special offer that will be included in our upcoming mail out!

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When to Call a Real Estate Agent

 
 
If you’re like most people, you go to see a doctor when you’re not feeling well or have a health concern. However, you may also visit your doctor for a check-up, or to ask questions about healthy living.

In fact, consulting your doctor for anything health-related is a smart idea.

 

The same holds true when it comes to real estate.

Many people only call a real estate agent when they’re planning on selling their property, buying a new home, or doing both. While that’s an important reason to speak to a real estate agent, it’s not the only reason.

Indeed, there are many good reasons for you to give me a call. For example:

  • If you have a question about the state of the local real estate market. (Remember that it may be very different from what you hear on the news about the national market.)
  • If you want to get a sense of what homes are currently selling for in the area.
  • If you want to determine the current market value of your property.
  • If you want to find out how much homes cost in neighbourhoods you’d like to consider.
  • If you’re thinking about the possibility of making a move, but you’re not sure if it’s the right time.

In other words, don’t be afraid to contact us when you have a question or need some advice about the real estate market.

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The Importance of Reading and Understanding an Offer

 
 
 
When you make or receive an offer to buy a property, it’s important that you read and understand every clause. It is especially important to understand any conditions or any changes that are made to the standard offer.

An offer may contain several types of conditions. The most common are “conditional upon arranging financing” and “conditional upon passing a professional home inspection.” However, there may be other conditions as well.

You should be aware of - and fully understand - all of them.

In addition, the wording of an offer may change during the back and forth negotiations that often happen. Aside from changes to the price, other clauses may be added, removed or reworded as well.

As your real estate agent, I will always explain the changes and ask you to initial them. This is done primarily to ensure you know and approve of what you’re signing.

A recent newspaper article tells the story of a buyer-seller legal dispute that resulted in a six-figure judgement against the seller. This was due, in part, to a lack of understanding of one of the clauses in the agreement.

You don’t want that to happen to you. Take the time to carefully review and understand an offer.

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Check out these family fun events this coming Halloween!


1. Port Kells Nursery Pumpkin Patch open every day 9am-6pm 18730 88th Ave Langley.  Hay Rides, Hay Maze, Haunted House, Goats and Chickens. It's a favourite for us every year!


www.portkellsnurseries.com/attractions/the-pumpkin-patch


2. Harvest Glow! Located at Milner Village Garden Centre 6690 216th St Langley.  Indoor Pumpkin Patch, Mini Gold, Corn Maze, Food and Drinks.  We haven't been yet but will be checking it out.  


www.glowgardens.com


3. Hazelmere Pumpkin Patch 18507 20th Ave Langley.  


www.hazelmerepumpkinpatch.ca

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4 Cheap Ways to Prepare Your Home for Sale

 
 
 
If you want to improve how your home shows to potential buyers, you don’t necessarily need to invest in a costly remodelling or renovation. In fact, there are some simple - and relatively inexpensive - things you can do to make your property look significantly better.
Let’s take a look at some of the options available:

1. Paint it.

There’s no doubt about it. A fresh coat of paint will significantly improve the appearance of just about any area of your home. In fact, compared to other home improvements, painting will give you the highest return on investment when you sell your property. Think beyond walls. Painting a door, window frame, garage floor or deck can make those features look like new.

2. Declutter it.

Eliminating clutter will make your home look more attractive, roomy and comfortable to buyers. Do an inventory of each room. Ask yourself: “What can I throw out? Give away? Sell? Put into storage?”

3. Put up mirrors.

Mirrors are a relatively inexpensive design feature. Yet, according to an article in Style At Home magazine, they can make small rooms appear bigger and dark rooms seem brighter. You don’t necessarily need to buy wall-hanging mirrors. Standalone floor models will have the same effect.

4. Repair it.

In most cases, you will have to get any needed repairs done anyway. So, do them before you show your home. That way buyers will focus on the appealing features of your property, not the minor defects.

Want more ideas for preparing your home for sale on a tight budget? Call today.
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The following tips will help you avoid waste when watering your lawn:
  • Use a low-angle, pulsating sprinkler. Water sprayed high into the air produces a mist that loses much of its moisture through evaporation.
  • Water the lawn, not the sidewalk or driveway.
  • Lawns need about an inch of water per week. To determine how much watering time that requires, place an empty tuna tin within your sprinkler’s range, and note how long it takes to fill.
  • When watering, account for recent rain.
  • Use an automatic sprinkler system that allows you to adjust the area, frequency and/or duration. Set the timer to operate just prior to sunrise.
  • Attach rain barrels to downspouts, in order to catch and hold roof runoff and then re-distribute it to your lawn, garden or container plants. Keep it covered for safety reasons, and to prevent mosquitoes from breeding. (Note: rainwater is actually better for plants because it doesn’t contain chlorine and has an ambient temperature).
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When you see a new home you like on the market, it’s easy to get distracted by all the features you love - the wrap-around backyard deck or the spacious recreation room that has plenty of space for entertaining. You just need to make sure that in all your excitement you don’t overlook any expensive maintenance issues that could be just around the corner.
Nothing lasts forever. The major components of every home - from the furnace to the roof shingles - need to be replaced eventually. But, knowing when those maintenance issues are likely to arise can help you make a smarter decision about the home you’re considering.

How do you do that?

When viewing the property, ask for the age of the major components of the home, such as the roof shingles, furnace, air conditioner, water heater, and appliances. You might think the roof shingles look merely weathered in spots and have years of service left – when in fact, they’re due to be replaced next year.

Also pay close attention to the backyard deck, fencing, flooring, and windows. Do any of those components look aged, worn, and in need of repair or replacement sometime soon?

Finally, don’t forget to check the kitchen and bathrooms. Sinks, faucets, bathtubs, showers, and cabinetry have a life-span of about 10-15 years. 

Of course, there are things you can’t see on your own, such as wiring, plumbing, venting, and other components of a property that may require maintenance. That’s why you should always make any offer to purchase a home conditional on passing an inspection by a qualified home inspector.

Want more ideas on how to buy the right home? Call today.
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Sometimes we don’t get to choose whether or not to sell our home and buy another one. Circumstances, such as a job relocation, may make that decision for us.

However, most often, the decision to move is discretionary. Sometimes people move simply because they think it’s a good idea. They feel that “now” is the right time to find their next dream home.

So how do you make that kind of decision?

There are, of course, many reasons to make a discretionary move. Usually those reasons fall into one of two categories: need and want.

You may feel you need to find a new home, because you’ve outgrown your current property. Perhaps you have a growing family and require more space. Maybe you’re doing more entertaining and need a larger backyard with a more spacious deck. It could be that the commute to work is arduous and you need to move to a place that’s closer.

Those “needs” may motivate you to move, but sometimes a “want” can play an important role too.

For example, you may want to live in a quieter neighbourhood or in a newly built home that requires less maintenance. Maybe you simply want a change.

If you’re thinking of making a move, take a moment to write down a list of your needs and wants. Seeing them on paper will help make the decision easier.

Looking for expert help? Call today.
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Property Surveyors, sometimes referred to as Land Surveyors, play a vital role in the real estate world. They are the professionals who determine or confirm the exact boundaries of a property.

Will you need to deal with a Property Surveyor when you sell your home?

You might.

Sometimes the mortgage lender will ask for a land survey, especially if your property is older and hasn’t changed hands in many years. You might also be asked for one by the buyer if there is any confusion about the size and boundaries of your property - or if significant changes have been made to it in recent years.

This is nothing to be concerned about.

A qualified Property Surveyor will do the appropriate inspections and measurements on your property and issue you the survey. (It looks a little like a blueprint.)

Property Surveyors are highly trained and licensed. Professional Surveyors Canada (PSC) represents the profession nationally, and most provinces have their own professional associations.

Before spending the money on a new land survey, make sure you don’t already have one. Hopefully, you’ve stored the paperwork that relates to the purchase of your home. Look through it. A valid land survey might be right there.

If you have questions about land surveys, call today.
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Unexpected Things Home Buyers Want to See
 
If you’re planning on putting your home on the market, you probably know the basics of what buyers want to see. Clean and uncluttered rooms. Comfortable living room. Functional and spacious kitchen. Bright, modern bathrooms. However, there are some things that today’s buyers are looking for that you might not have considered.

Here’s the rundown:

  • Smart storage space. Today’s buyers love to see organized closets, attractive shelving, storage nooks, built-in bookshelves, linen closets, and other storage options that are as functional as they are attractive.
  • Energy-efficient fixtures. Buyers are impressed by lighting that is good-looking but is also the latest in energy-efficiency. At the very least, energy-efficient bulbs and table lamps are a good idea. Solar-powered soft lighting in the garden, or on the deck or patio, will impress many.
  • Modern appliances. Buyers will notice kitchen and laundry room appliances that are modern and energy-efficient. In fact, according to a survey, 36% of buyers consider Energy Star rated appliances to be “essential”.
  • Work spaces. Home offices are in demand. Buyers will notice if there is a work area that is functional and attractive, even in the corner of the living room.
  • Outdoor living space. If you have a deck or patio, buyers love to see it well furnished and inviting – even if the outdoor furnishings don’t come with the home! Buyers will at least see the potential.

Of course, your home doesn’t need to have all these features. Having some will help your home sell faster and for a better price. Want more tips? Call today.

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If you’re planning on finding your next dream home, then you’re probably going to view several homes on the market that meet your criteria. 

You will want to make the right purchasing decision for you and your family. So, it’s wise to be savvy when viewing properties for sale. Here are some ideas on how to do that:

  • Bring a notepad. Take notes, not only of the home’s characteristics, but also of how you feel. For example, can you imagine yourself happily cooking up a storm in the kitchen? Do you see yourself entertaining family on the back deck?
  • Bring a measuring tape. Will the furniture you plan to bring fit? Your dining room suite? Your home fitness equipment?
  • Ask about maintenance. Is the property in a good state of repair? Will anything need to be replaced soon, such as the windows?
  • Check out the area. Do other homeowners take good care of their properties? This shows pride of ownership. How is the noise level? Is there a playground, or another area feature nearby?
  • Make a list of compromises. For example, are there only two bathrooms instead of three and, if so, can you live with that?
  • Make a list of bonuses. What features does the home have that are not a necessity, but would be nice to have? For example, an entertainment bar in the recreation room.
  • Remember your budget. Is the price within your range? Can you afford to buy this home? 

The savvier you are when viewing properties on the market, the more likely you will be to find your next dream home.

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There are several reasons why you may need to sell your home quickly. For example, a job change may require a speedy relocation to another city, or you may have purchased another property and don’t want to be stuck too long with two mortgages.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are some tips that can help get the sold sign on your front lawn sooner:

  • Be realistic with price. If you set the listing price higher than the current market value of your home, then you’re not going to get many, if any, viewers. You want the list price to be attractive, which means listing at the current market value.
  • Get things fixed. You probably don’t have time for a major renovation. So just make sure everything in...
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Ways to Get Your Home Smelling Like the Holidays

 

Cut Fresh Greenery

This is the easiest and most effective way to get your home to smell like the holidays!  Especially in you’re not lucky enough to get a fresh tree.  Purchasing an inexpensive wreath (Milner Gardens in Langley has some really nice ones at a very reasonable price!), or making your own, or simply place fresh cut pine limbs on mantle or table also do the trick!

 

Simmering Pot on the Stove

Another easy way is having a pot simmering on the stove with water and an assortment of, cinnamon sticks, fresh cranberries, pine, orange peel, vanilla, apples, nutmeg and or cloves. 

 

Mulled Wine

This is my favorite and serves two purposes! Have a mulled wine on the stove, or even in the crock pot smells...

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As reported by the Huffington Post.  

 

A proposal by Canada's banking regulator to expand "stress tests" for mortgage borrowers will reduce how much house Canadians can afford by 21 per cent, says a new report from mortgage comparison site Ratehub.

 

Reducing affordability by that much is likely to lead to a 10- to 20-per-cent decline in house prices, said James Laird, co-founder of Ratehub.

"If implemented in their current form, the effects of these changes will be significant. When buyers can qualify for less mortgage financing, it puts significant downward pressure on home prices," Laird said in an email to HuffPost Canada.

 

"Properties worth more than $1 million will be most affected by this change, which means that Toronto and Vancouver will be the geographies...

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The data relating to real estate on this website comes in part from the MLS® Reciprocity program of either the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV), the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) or the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board (CADREB). Real estate listings held by participating real estate firms are marked with the MLS® logo and detailed information about the listing includes the name of the listing agent. This representation is based in whole or part on data generated by either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB which assumes no responsibility for its accuracy. The materials contained on this page may not be reproduced without the express written consent of either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB.