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How $500 can save you $30,000. Why you should get a home inspection.

 

Many purchasers of homes decide to forgo the optional home inspection in some cases. They have a tough time trying to decipher why they would shell out anywhere between $450-$800 for a ‘jack-of-all-trades’ to come into their potential new home and tell them things they think they already know. If you fit into this category, STOP and give your head a serious shake.

 

Like a general practitioner doctor, a home inspector may not know a ton about one particular subject of a house, yet they do know a little bit (or more) about a lot. A good home inspector will use all the latest and greatest tools to inspect your home and should give you a full written report for you to take home at the end. They don’t need to know exactly where that leak is coming from, but they sure can point you in a better direction to figure it out than anyone else.

 

So why put out the expense? A familiar case sample from numbers of happy clients I have helped in the past, including a story of my own. When I set out to buy my first home, I was excited. It is such a cool experience to go house shopping and even better to imagine all of the amazing ideas, memories and plans you could experience in that new home. After a few weeks of shopping, I had decided on a 2 storey basement entry in North Delta.

 

The home needed some work, I could see that, and being a relatively handy guy with a good eye for what needed to be done, I wrote my offer accordingly. Now, I realize the importance of a good home inspector so as part of my conditions, I made sure to give myself some time to get my inspector into the house.

 

When working with clients, I have no emotion invested into what they buy and this allows me to be very unbiased. I can see many things that they typically cannot, due to the large amounts of homes I see every week and also from what I have learned from my home inspector in the past. The challenge is when emotion and excitement get involved, that trained eye can get cloudy. This was also the case for my own almost first home. I was excited and thinking more like a buyer than a Realtor.

 

My home inspection lasted over 3 hours and my inspector took his time to ensure he got everything I needed to know. At the end of the inspection, together we went through the list of things that needed to be done and the even bigger list of things that the average eye would not see.

 

There was over $30,000 worth of immediate work that was important to the life of the home that needed to be dealt with asap. This included unsafe electrical, huge drainage issues, sloppy previous home owner renovations, and more. Having a great relationship with my inspector, he jokingly remarked to me, “You need to run away from this house!”

 

That day was great to cement the lesson into my head that a home inspection is critical. I, nor most other Realtors, do not have a construction/electrical/plumbing/general home construction backgrounds so we cannot catch everything either. By investing around $500 in a 3.5 hour inspection, I saved myself from making a $30,000 mistake.

 

The moral of the story, get the home inspected everytime before you buy. You never know what yo may discover later if not. As for me, I am in a different home, with much less work to take care of. I get to save my money for bigger and better things!

 

Good luck out there!


Darin

 

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  1. How to work with neighbours to prevent break ins


    There are few things more traumatic than a home burglary. That's why it makes sense to invest in good locks and, if necessary, a good alarm system.


    There are also ways to work with your neighbours to prevent these crimes from occurring. In fact, police say that watchful eyes are one of the best ways to deter burglars on the prowl.


    Police recommend that you know the names of all the neighbours adjacent to your property. Get in the habit of watching each other's homes. Stay alert to cars and people lingering around that don't seem to belong.

    Another strategy is to set up a community Facebook page. That way, when someone sees something suspicious in the neighbourhood, they can immediately notify everyone by posting a Facebook message.


    Finally, don't be a stranger. It has been proven that the better neighbours know one another, the lower the crime rate is in the area. 


    Good luck out there!


    -Darin

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The 3 most commonly misunderstood media driven real estate statistics

 

The media, in an attempt to feed the public's insatiable appetite for real estate news, often publishes interesting pieces of real estate information that help sell papers. Due to constant heavy dose of statistical information, it's important to understand how the data is collected and how to interpret these facts.

Below are the 3 most commonly misunderstood real estate statistics in the media:

 

 

1) Pace of Canadian Housing Starts Up


http://globalnews.ca/news/627941/pace-of-canadian-housing-starts-up-in-may/

 

This shouldn't really matter to buyers or sellers out there. While this is related to the real estate market, it is more relevant for the construction industry than it is to the resale housing market.

Remember, these are new home construction figures: not sales or pricing numbers. Unless you're a construction worker or materials' supplier, this type of information is largely irrelevant to your real estate decision-making process.

 

2) Home Sales Drop!


http://business.financialpost.com/2013/04/03/toronto-vancouver-home-sales-fall-sharply-in-march/?__lsa=ca1a-ee8a

 

This kind of information is important for buyers and sellers to know and also helpful for realtors to use. A drop in home sales is sometimes a precursor to lower prices down the road. That said, there are a multitude of reasons that home sales could slow that wouldn't also result in a corresponding drop in prices.

It is therefore important to remember that these are unit sale figures, not price figures. These statistics also generally need to be seasonally adjusted to reflect the fact that sales tend to be slower in the winter and summer as opposed to the spring and fall. You should talk to a professional to see whether a drop in sales velocity is because of a slowing market or because of some other extraneous event.

 

3) Average House Prices Rise 6.5%!


http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/story/2011/10/17/crea-housing-september.html

 

This is the most misunderstood of the media reports that come out because averages are a terrible metric to measure house prices.

This is because the type of home that is sold in a given month strongly influences the outcome. For instance, if a lot of luxury homes are sold one month, then the average price of homes will go up, even if the typical home price doesn't change. This is exactly what has already happened in Vancouver, where the average price has risen 5.4% year over year, but the typical home price has fallen (see graph below).

 

% change in home prices year-over-year
(June 2012 to June 2013)
City Average price MLS Home Price Index Teranet-National Bank HPI
Vancouver +5.4% -4.27% -3.24%
Calgary +2.6% +6.87% +5.84%
Toronto +4.9% +2.78% +3.87%
Montreal +0.8% +3.57% +1.92%
 
Remember to always read real estate statistics with an eye to these issues and you'll become a more accurate analyst of the market.

 

For a more complete analysis of these statistics, please feel free to contact me at the email address or phone number above.

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5 Tips for Selling Your Home Quickly

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 your home is in good working order. Deal with any obvious maintenance issues, such as a leaking faucet or a gate hanging precariously on one hinge.


  • Ensure your home shows well, inside and outside. Eliminate clutter. Trim hedges. Make sure every room has adequate lighting, especially the basement. Imagine that a special guest is visiting your home, then clean up and prepare accordingly.


  • Be flexible with viewing times. You want as many potential buyers as possible to see your home. So don't restrict viewing times to just Saturdays. Make sure your home is as "available" as possible for showings. This may cause you and your family some inconvenience, but the reward will be selling your property sooner.


  • Work with a good REALTOR®. Find an agent who understands the area and the local market well. He or she will be able to recommend a variety of strategies that will help sell your home faster, and for a good price.

     

    Of course, there's no way to guarantee that you'll sell your home within the time frame you want. But these tips will certainly increase the chances that you will.

    Looking for a good REALTOR® who knows the area well? Call today me today!

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