Pat Miazga

Cell: 604-562-5982 |

 



Unlike the experience of buying a first home, when you're looking to move-up, and already own a home, there are certain factors that can complicate the situation. It's very important for you to consider these issues before you list your home for sale. 

Not only is there the issue of financing to consider, but you also have to sell your present home at exactly the right time in order to avoid either the financial burden of owning two homes or, just as bad, the dilemma of having no place to live during the gap between closings.


Mistake 1: Rose-colored glasses


Most of us dream of improving our lifestyle and moving to a larger home. The problem is that there's sometimes a discrepancy between our hearts and our bank accounts. You drive by a home that you fall in love with only to find that it's already sold or that it's more than what you are willing to pay. Most homeowners get caught in this hit or miss strategy of house hunting when there's a much easier way of going about the process. A Buyers House Hunting plan will take the guesswork away and will help to put you in the home of your dreams. This type of program will cross-match your criteria with ALL available homes on the market and supply you listings by email. A program like this helps homeowners take off their rose-colored glasses and, affordably, move into the home of their dreams. 

Mistake 2: Failing to make necessary improvements


If you want to get the best price for the home you're selling, there will certainly be things you can do to enhance it in a prospective buyer's eyes. These fix-ups don't necessarily have to be expensive. But even if you do have to make a minor investment, it will often come back to you ten-fold in the price you are able to get when you sell. It's very important that these improvements be made before you put your home on the market. If cash is tight, investigate an equity loan that you can repay on closing. Keep in mind that I have years of experience in Home renovations and have a keen eye to point out easy improvements


Mistake 3: Not selling first


You should plan to sell before you buy. This way you will not find yourself at a disadvantage at the negotiating table, feeling pressured to accept an offer that is below-market value because you have to meet a purchase deadline. If you've already sold your home, you can buy your next one with no strings attached. If you do get a tempting offer on your home but haven't made significant headway on finding your next home, you might want to put in a contingency clause in the sale con-tract which gives you a reasonable time to find a home to buy. If the market is slow and you find your home is not selling as quickly as you anticipated, another option could be renting your home and putting it up on the market later - particularly if you are selling a smaller, starter home. You'll have to investigate the tax rules if you choose this latter option. Better still, find a way to eliminate this situation altogether by getting your agent to guarantee the sale of your present home (see point number 5 below). 

Mistake 4: Failing to get a pre-approved mortgage


Pre-approval is a very simple process that many homeowners fail to take advantage of. While it doesn't cost or obligate you to anything, pre-approval gives you a significant advantage when you put an offer on the home you want to purchase because you know exactly how much house you can afford, and you already have the green light from your lending institution. With a pre-approved mortgage, your offer will be viewed far more favorably by a seller - some-times even if it's a little lower than another offer that's contingent on financing. You can lock in the lowest rate for a 90-120 day period, so that if rate do go up, you will retain the lowest rate. Don't fail to take this important step. 

Mistake 5: Failing to coordinate closings


With two major transactions to coordinate together with all the people involved such as mortgage experts, appraisers, lawyers, loan officers, home inspectors, home insurance agents or pest inspectors the chances of mix-ups and miscommunication go up dramatically. To avoid a logistical nightmare ensure you work closely with your agent.

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On July 12, 2017 the Bank of Canada announced that they increased their key interest rates by 0.25 percentage points, to 0.75%. All 5 major Canadian banks in turn raised their prime interest rates from 2.7% to 2.95%. The Royal Bank of Canada was the first to implement this increase, followed closely behind by TD Canada Trust, Bank of Montreal, Scotiabank and CIBC. 


Homeowners will inevitably feel this shift, some more than others. Those who purchased a property with a variable mortgage plan will see the increase in interest rates immediately, where as those who are on a fixed term mortgage wont actually see any changes until their term ends. 

 

Find out the full scoop on the increase in key and prime interest rates here.

 

Find out how this is affecting Canadian mortgages, and other loans here. 

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Check it out! 

The RE/MAX 2017 Recreational Property Report is here

 

 

In this years report: 

- Over a quarter of Canadians with children under the age of 18 would consider selling their primary residence in the city in which they live to help finance the purchase of a cottage or cabin


- Young families are fueling demand: 73 per cent of regions surveyed reported that young families with children drive demand for recreational property


- Buyers are increasingly selling their homes in Canada's two largest urban centres and using the equity from the sale to purchase a cottage, cabin or ski chalet


- Almost two-thirds (65 per cent) of Canadian millennials (18-34 years old) would consider buying a recreational property in the next 10 years


- Peace and quiet was rated as the most important feature to Canadians when considering spending time at a cottage or cabin



Check out the full report below!

Enjoy,


Pat Miazga 















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 Check out the 2017 “RE/MAX vs. The Industry” comparison chart!

 

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Spring is here, and so are new market trends!

 

Check out whats hot in the Greater Vancouver and Fraser Valley markets!

 

 

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*** Articles, information and writing bJames Bell - Owner/Operator of Solid State Inspections Inc. ***

 

 

 

Spring is a great season for renewal in your home. It is a time to clean out after a long winter and get your house and yard ready for warmer months ahead. Regular home maintenance is necessary to avoid major unexpected costs. Maintenance left undone can be a major detriment to a homes value in the future and creates a lot of red flags in a potential Home Inspection.

Below you'll find tips and tricks that are useful and relevant to the season ahead! 

 


Tree's and Landscaping

 

When we drive through older neighbourhoods, one of the biggest pleasures is looking at all the mature trees and landscaping while we imagine how nice it would be to drive home everyday under the canopy of majestic trees. Trees and landscaping are beautiful but can have a significant impact on our houses and condos and require regular maintenance. Here are some concerns we as Home Inspectors help our clients understand.

Large Trees

Large shade trees are wonderful for helping our homes stay cool in the summer while still allowing the sun's rays to help heat our home in the winter. If you are buying a house with large trees nearby, every fall you need to clean the leaves out of the gutters. Failure to do this can cause concentrated water in winter rains and snows to run off in unexpected places and possibly enter your home or basement. During a home inspection, we check to see if the gutters are free of debris and advise our clients if maintenance is needed. If you are not comfortable with cleaning your own gutters, there are many products you can add to your gutters to help keep leaves out.

Falling or waving branches can physically damage our homes and overhead electrical wires. Wind driven rains, particularly on the West Coast, can then drive water into damaged areas creating more damage. Tree branches contacting buildings also provide a path for unwanted critters to access our roof where they may find access to warm attic spaces. During home inspections, we recommend trimming tree branches back from buildings to avoid damage.

Tree root networks can be as expansive as the branch networks above. Roots can visually affect things near the surface like walkways and driveways, but they can also do costly hidden damage to water pipes, gas lines, and foundation drainage. In worst cases, roots can crack and shift foundation walls causing thousands of dollars in damage. Unfortunately, underground damage from trees cannot be seen a home inspection but if you have trees branches that reach your home, you risk having tree roots there as well.

Smaller Bushes and Vegetation

Smaller bushes and shrubs need to be trimmed back from our home’s siding materials to encourage proper drying, prevent mechanical damage, and to help prevent critter access. Vines can be particularly bad as they inhibit drying of surface materials, and can cause damage where vine's creepers grab the building. We always recommend removal of wall climbing vines in home inspections

Smaller bushes and flowering plants have a tendency to overgrow their space much sooner than larger trees. Don’t be afraid to remove and replace these regularly. Not only will you help prevent damage to your home, but you will have a fresh look to your landscaping every few years.

Garden Beds, Grading, and Lawns

Soil is an excellent conductor of moisture and should never be in contact with the siding of our homes. Even if you have non-organic siding like vinyl, stucco, or brick, you need to keep soil off the siding as wicking water will get into plywood sheeting behind the surface or can cause freeze/thaw cracking in the materials. Garden beds and lawns always need to be 6-8” below the level of siding against our homes to prevent water from wicking or splashing up in rains. During home inspections, if we cannot see 6-8” of concrete foundation visible from grade level we alert our clients of the possibility of hidden damage.

Your lawn and property needs to be sloped to direct water away from buildings or towards appropriate drainage. Water that is allowed to flow towards buildings will enter in foundation cracks or potentially cause foundation shifting. During home inspections, we will report on grading that runs towards the building and advise improvements.

Final Thoughts

Good landscaping is an important part of the curb appeal of your home but like many other systems of your home, it has a regular maintenance schedule that you need to keep up with or you can run into large costs in the future. If you are looking to buy a new home, a professional home inspector will help you to know what maintenance is required now and what to watch for as you own your home into the future.

 

 

 

Spring


Spring is a great season for renewal in your home. It is a time to clean out after a long winter and get your house and yard ready for warmer months ahead. Regular home maintenance is necessary to avoid major unexpected costs. Maintenance left undone can be a major detriment to a homes value in the future and creates a lot of red flags in a home inspection.

This maintenance list is not exhaustive or tailored to your home but is a good place to help you get started on maintaining your home:

  • A Special note about Strata’s
    • If you are in a strata, many common exterior maintenance items are covered by your strata fees. We have highlighted common items covered by strata management with a “

Spring Maintenance

  • Make sure your window screens are properly mounted and free of holes
  • Turn back on any outside hose bibs/taps that may have been winterized
  • Prepare your central A/C for the season (remove covers, activate power)
  • Disconnect your humidifier (especially important if you have central A/C as it may cause your A/C to ice up)
  • Clean out your wood burning appliances and fireplaces. Now would be a good time to have the chimney cleaned out too.
  • When heating season is over, turn off your furnace and fireplace pilot lights where and when possible
  • Repair any exterior areas where water may have lowered the grade level next to your home and check your visible foundation for any new cracks ✪
  • Repair and fill any damage to the exterior of your home to prevent pests from entering ✪
  • Repair and paint any trim, fencing, facia that may be in need of service ✪
  • Put some lubrication on door hinges and garage door moving parts 
  • Apply spring fertilizers to the grass ✪ and get the patio furniture out of storage
  • Test the pressure relief valve on the hot water tank to ensure correct operation
  • Flush out your hot water tank to remove sediment
  • While you were at all this organizing, perhaps it is time to clean behind the fridge and the stove, and …


Regular Maintenance

These areas of your home should be checked as frequently as possible regardless of the season.

  • Ensure you have fire extinguishers charged and in proximity to the kitchen 
  • Regularly check stair handrails and all guardrails to ensure they are secure and can hold an adult’s bodyweight in a fall
  • Test your smoke detectors and replace batteries as needed
  • Test your ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI)’s on your breaker panel or at each outlet to ensure they trip correctly when the test button is pressed.
  • Ensure all your home’s air intakes and exhausts (e.g. dryer vents, furnace air intakes) are not blocked ✪
  • Check and clean the filters in your range hood and ensure the vents are not blocked
  • Replace your furnace filter every 6-8 weeks during heating season and during cooling season if you have central A/C or a heat pump
  • For hot water or steam heating systems, check your expansion tank to ensure it has not become water logged
  • During or after any prolonged rain period, check to ensure drains and weather seals are keeping or draining water as needed to protect your home ✪
  • Monitor caulking in kitchen and baths and maintain as needed

If you have any concerns about maintaining your home for spring, consider calling in your local home inspector to help you learn about your home and regular maintenance.

 

*** Articles, information and writing bJames Bell - Owner/Operator of Solid State Inspections Inc. ***


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"As Pierre Trudeau once said about living so close to the United States "Living next to you is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant. No matter how friendly or even tempered is the beast, one is affected by every twitch and grunt”. That statement, said almost 40 years ago, still holds very true today.


Our economies are even more intertwined now and it’s no wonder many Canadians are paying close attention to policymakers and politicians south of the boarder, particularly the U.S. Federal Reserve.


The U.S. Federal Reserve recently raised interest rates by 25bps (one quarter of one percent) this month and for the second time in 3 months. It has also stuck to its outlook for two additional rate increases this year while remaining cautious before implementing any further increases. “We have seen the economy progress over the last several months in exactly the way it was anticipated and we have some confidence in the path the economy is on” Fed Chair Janet Yellen said at a recent press conference. Employment numbers in the U.S. continue to look impressive and economic activity is expanding which helps keep the bond market relatively calm with no immediate increases in yields.


What does this mean for you?


For the time being this is good news for Canadians. The lack of bond yield increase in the U.S. has resulted in the Canadian bond prices to remain unchanged as well. If you are looking to get a 5 year mortgage, this means that you shouldn’t see any increases in rates as typically fixed term mortgages are tied to the yields (returns) on Canadian bond prices. Also, no significant changes are expected for variable rate mortgages as it appears the statements made by the U.S Federal Reserve will push the Bank of Canada’s decision to increase our Bank of Canada benchmark rate a little further into the future.''


Courtesy of:


Michael Fortin, 
Mortgage Consultant
Mortgage Alliance


(604) 618-0777 
mfortin@mortgagealliance.com
http://www.mortgagealliance.com/MichaelFortin


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** Article By: Jimmy Le-Tang, Chartered Professional Accountant


The assignment fee typically includes amounts that the assignor has paid to the developer (i.e. deposits) and that the assignor wants to recover from the assignee. One would think that GST is not applicable on the amounts considered as a recovery of deposits paid because the assignee will be paying GST on those amounts upon completion; however, GST is actually applicable on the full assignment fee where the assignor is a Builder as defined by the Excise Tax Act. A builder is not limited to the person who constructs the home.


This situation results in GST being paid twice in recovery of deposits that are included in the assignment fee. The CRA’s position as of 2011 is that the assignment of the purchase agreement to the assignee is considered to be a sale of the assignor’s interest in NEW Residential Property which is a GST-taxable event (again, where the assignor is a Builder.)

 

Normally, in real property transactions, the liability for collecting and remitting GST rests with the assignee who must self-assess the GST, thus, relieving the assignor of liability. However, the liability for collecting GST reverts to the assignor, when the assignee is an individual (i.e. not a corporation or other GST registrants except registered individuals) as is often the case.

 

CLIENT TIP when investing in pre-sale developments


For assignors, make sure that your client is aware of their GST compliance obligations. For assignees, ensure that they are aware that an experienced assignor will require them to pay GST on the full assignment fee.

All of the foregoing is irrelevant if the assignor’s primary purpose for buying the residential property was not for the purpose of resale. The CRA’s position is a rebuttable presumption; however, in tax law, you often have to prove yourself innocent.


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