Did you wait 1 year to buy a home in Surrey, Delta, White Rock, Cloverdale or Langley last year. If so, sorry...
Here is what it cost you to wait 1 year to buy a home in the Fraser Valley from June 2014 - June 2015.
Will the neighbourhood go up in value?
When you purchase a home, you’re hoping it will continually go up in value — just like a good investment.
However, there’s something else that you want to see go up in value as well: the neighbourhood. In fact, the neighbourhood plays a key role in what the home will be worth in years to come. If the neighbourhood goes down in terms of desirability, so will the market value of the home.
That’s why, when shopping for a new home, it’s important to get a feel for the value of the neighbourhood, and whether or not it’s on the upswing.
How do you do that? One way is to simply take a walk. Look at the properties. Are they well maintained? Is the landscaping groomed and attractive? Those are signs of “pride of ownership” — a clear indication that owners value their homes and the neighbourhood.
Another way is to do some research. Has crime gone up in the neighbourhood? Are there improvements planned, such as new parks? Is the neighbourhood attracting the kind of people you want as neighbours? How does the neighbourhood school rank?
Some of this information may be difficult to get on your own. A good REALTOR® can help you. Call today.
Until next time,
Should You Sell First and Buy Later? Or Vice-Versa?
When you’re thinking of selling your home and buying another, you face the inevitable question: Should I list my property first or buy my new home first?
Let’s take a look at both options.
If you attempt to buy a property before listing your home, you run into a couple of challenges.
First, sellers may not take you seriously as a potential buyer. After all, you haven’t put your own home up for sale. As far as they’re concerned, you might merely be testing the market. To them, this means that you want them to take a chance on you pricing your home appropriately and actually getting a sale, while they wait for you to do so.
Second, your property might not sell as quickly as you thought it would. If there is an early closing date on the home you purchased, you might end up owning, and paying a mortgage on both properties, at least until your home sells.
If, on the other hand, you list your property before buying a new home, sellers will know you’re serious. That puts you in a competitive position in the event of multiple offers.
Also, if your home sells quickly, you’ll have the peace-of-mind of knowing exactly how much of a new home you can afford. You’ll be able to shop with confidence.
Of course, like the first option, there is a chance that the closing dates won’t match and you’ll end up owning two properties for a period of time. However, solutions such as bridge financing are available to help.
So, there is no perfect answer.
A lot depends on the state of the local market.
Looking for a good REALTOR® who can help you decide which is the best move for you? Call today.
Until next time,
Do you get confused by property taxes?
I know I sure used to. They are assessed in January, but you pay in July? So Strange.
Here is a breakdown of how it works.
When you own a property in B.C., property taxes must be paid yearly for each property. The money raised from the property taxes you pay is used to fund local programs and services, such as:
When a community starts a new service they are responsible for the costs. In some cases, the cost for the new service may be shared with other nearby communities. A recreation facility is a good example of when the cost to provide a new service may be shared.
The amount you pay is based on the funds needed to provide services for the year. Tax rates are set to determine how to share the cost of providing the services.
Many home owners will have their taxes paid automatically by their mortgage lender. Lenders will estimate your taxes owing and you’ll pay, along with your mortgage payment, into a side account from which the taxes are paid every year. Lenders do this because they want to be sure the taxes are paid – property tax debt takes priority before mortgages should the borrower default!
However, even if your lender pays the taxes, you’ll want to apply for the Home Owner Grant. The Home Owner Grant is a yearly grant from the provincial government to help offset your property taxes. If you qualify, that’s $570 off your property taxes! You’re eligible for the grant if :
Most property owners in BC will qualify as long as it is their principal residence.
But how does it all work with the dates and such, because it is kind of confusing. Let's look....
The thing that confuses people the most is the timing of your taxes. Even though you pay your taxes on or about July 2 of every year, you’re paying for that whole calendar year (ie, January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2015, not July 2, 2015 to July 2, 2016). Where this can come up is when you sell your house. People sometimes assume that if they sell their home in the spring, they’ve already paid their property taxes. Not true, because they haven’t been levied yet. When you sell your home, no matter what time of year, your lawyer or notary will have to adjust for the taxes on the statement of adjustments at closing.
For example, If you sold your home and it closed on March 31, 2015, the adjustment would be negative (a debit) to compensate the buyer for the time you occupied the house in 2015 (90 days) – since they will be responsible for paying the property taxes in July. If you sold your home and it closed on August 1, 2015, you would have already paid the taxes, so the adjustment would be positive (a credit) with the buyer compensating you for the time the buyer enjoys the house in 2015 (152 days).
Hopefully that clears up any and all confusion on property taxes.
Until next time,