Home Ownership Canada


Are you renting?  Considering home ownership in Canada?   Thats whats coming up next!!


The mortgage professionals of Canada just published a report last week stating that owning a home is still cheaper than renting. That report looked at 266 scenarios across Canada.  In this video, I will discuss 3 of their findings.    


  1. Year over Year Rental Rate Increases - in Toronto, Burnaby, and Montreal one bedrooms rates increased up 15% from the year before.
  2. Ownership is more cost effective over time - excluding principle repayment, if mortgage rates at 3.25% over the next 10 years a renter would save $1295 per month.  If mortgage rates remained at 4.25% you would save $1014 per month and if 5.25% rates you would save $726 per month. 
  3. Mortgage qualification - with the implementation of the stress test, and higher interest rates recently, mortgage qualification is more difficult.  But for those that can be approved for a mortgage, this study suggests that buying is a far better option than renting for Canadians.  


So thats it, I will link this article about home ownership in Canada in the description below.  If you have any questions about this topic please feel free to reach out to me.   If you are interested in buying a home in vancouver please watch my playlist over here. 


Question of the day, would you buy or would you rent?  Please leave it in the comments below. I will try my best to personally answer all comments myself.     



http://torontostoreys.com/2018/09/home-ownership-canada-affordable-renting/

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Home Values Online


Are home values online any good? 


 I will discuss the 5 reasons why you should avoid getting your Home Values Online in Canada.


  1. Most websites use online Tax assessments values to report estimate on your home value.  Tax assessment is a tool just used for local tax authority to collect taxes for the city.
  2. Most online home evaluation tools don’t even  allow you to input the number of bedrooms, square footage, age, and other details that are important.  So how could any online estimate be accurate without even knowing how many bedrooms your home has?  
  3. Nearby Properties as a comparison - The online searches that pull nearby properties for comparison, just pull everything that sold in that city.   In my example the property I was looking up the online value for a condo that was in a building that is only 8 years old, and the nearby property that the website used as a  compared sold at 320 Royal Ave was 43 year old building. 
  4. Online home evaluations are very inaccurate - look at this comment regarding the  REMAX.ca website home evaluation tool.  “It's not even close to accurate for my neighbourhood in Kelowna. my neighbour just sold for almost $200k above this tools suggested price!”
  5. You will need to sign in more details.  As you can see here most of the important information you want is blocked out.  But once you give up your personal information you will be called continuously by random sales people.   What do I mean by this?  This is big in the US, but it will start to be more common in Canada.  In the real estate business your personal information is called a real estate lead.  Just google “online home values” and you will see many websites offering home evaluations, but their is a tab for real estate agents to sign up.  So whats the kicker here?  The agents who signs up are promised leads and they are trained to call these leads over and over again in an attempt to earn your business.  So the lesson to be learned here is don’t be a lead, and don’t sign up for an online home evaluations because they are very inaccurate.    


So whats the best method to get your homes value.  Don’t be shy, Just contact your local realtor, and they should give you all the proper information.  Neighbourhood statistics ,all the active ,sold and expired comparable properties on the market.  The in-person home evaluation is always better as the realtor can customize the report to match your home.


If you need an in person home evaluation please feel free to reach out to me.   


Question of the day, what do you think of getting home values online?  Please leave it in the comments below. I will try my best to personally answer all comments myself.     


As always please like, share and become smart savvy consumer.  I make educational content every Tuesday and videos every Friday.

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Is buying a home a good idea in Vancouver? Or should you rent? 



I will discuss 5 reasons for renting a home and 5 reasons for buying a home.


First lets talk about the reasons you should rent


1. You don't have stable employment - renting can be a great alternative as many lenders won't lend to you until you are gainfully employed full time and can provide pay stubs.


2. You don't have a downpayment of more than 5 percent down. Renting is a great option as buying a home comes with a lot more expenses. It is recommended that you save up for a large enough down payment so when it is the right time to buy you are not struggling to meet your monthly payments.


3. Prices are too high for what you can purchase versus what you can rent.  If you really need a 3 bedroom home with 3 baths, and it costs only $2300 to rent versus 1 million to buy. I would consider renting. For example with 20 percent down on a 1 million dollar home with a interest rate at about 3.5% your monthly mortgage payment would be about $4000 per month, thats not even including maintenance fee and property taxes.


4. You are able to find investments that yield a greater return than real estate. Looking at dividend stocks, you can get paid dividends as much as 6% per year on top of any equity gains.


5. You are a good saver. For every dollar you save from renting versus buying you are able to invest it diligently.


Now lets talk about the reasons to buy real estate


1. You have strong employment   Nowadays the only way to get approved for a mortgage these days is if you have employment, or some sort of income proof.


2. You have a large downpayment  another reason to buy a home. If you have a larger downpayment your mortgage payments maybe less than your rental payments.


3. The numbers work - If its an investment that you can receive greater rental income than your total expenses. Think Airbnb, Simi Furnished Short Term Rentals over 30 days, or renting to international students.


4. Overall real estate has yielded strong returns over the last 10 years and this trend should continue for the foreseeable future as Vancouver has strong population growth, low inventory and strong government intervention.


5. Buying a home with a mortgage is a forced savings account. With each mortgage payment you are paying interest plus principle. In 25 -30 years the home will be paid off, and hopefully the asset has more than doubled.

So there you have it the pros and cons of renting or buying a home in Vancouver.


If you have any questions please reach out to me. 


Question of the day, would you consider buying or renting? Please leave it in the comments below. I will try my best to personally answer all comments myself.



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Moving to Vancouver BC


Are you thinking about moving to Vancouver?  I want to go over some pros and cons ? 


First lets talk about the Positives


  1. Nature:  Vancouver is surrounded by Water, Mountains, forest and beaches.  Who says you can’t head up to Whistler to skii in the morning and come back in the afternoon to the beach to play volleyball.  
  2. We have a growing tech centre and we are also home to Hollywood North.  We already have google, and now Amazon is opening up in vancouver, creating more jobs.  vancouver also has a strong film industry.  We are home to shows like The Flash, Arrow, Once Upon a time, and much more. 
  3. We have one of the best universities in Canada, UBC, and for those who want more hands on learning we have BCIT
  4. Best climate in Canada.  Especially if you don’t like to freeze, Vancouver barely ever reaches below zero degrees, we also get very little snow.  in the summer we don’t get too hot either it’s around 25–35 degrees.
  5. We are very multicultural here in vancouver with very little racism.  Also to note With this multiculturalism, we also have many fabulous restaurants.  


Now lets talk about the Negatives


  1. We have lots of rain.  We can have months of it.  Maybe thats why our city is so clean.  Some people even nick name vancouver as raincouver. 
  2. Rental Vacancy is super low .05% and rents are very high.  Renting a 2 bedroom condo starts at about $3000 per month in downtown vancouver. 
  3. Local jobs don’t compare to other parts of Canada or in the US
  4. Traffic is horrendous - if you live outside in the neighbouring areas outside of vancouver, like Surrey and Langley.  Good luck driving home along number 1 highway.  Expect gridlock traffic from as early as 4:00pm.  
  5. Real estate is expensive - In Vancouver we are the most expensive city in Canada. 2nd is Toronto.  The average benchmark price of a detached home in greater vancouver is 1.5 million, a Condo $700,000 and a townhouse is about $850,000


So there you have it the 5 Positive and 5 Negatives you should know before deciding to move to vancouver.  If you have any questions please reach out to me.   If you are interested to moving to Vancouver, please watch my buyers videos here or reach out to me.   


Question of the day, would you consider moving to Vancouver?  Please leave it in the comments below. I will try my best to personally answer all comments myself.     


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So the August 2018 Real Estate Numbers are out now, Today I am going to dive deep into what these numbers mean in the Greater Vancouver Market and highlight which area you should think about buying. 

Hi I am Alex Lam from Royal Pacific Realty, and  oh yeah this is Canadian content eh?  If this is the first time you are here, and you are interested in all things real estate in the Vancouver area, be sure to hit that subscribe button and that little bell.  I post new Videos every Tuesday and Friday.


Last month’s sales in August was 25.2 per cent below the 10-year Aug sales average.  The market in general has fewer active buyers, we’re seeing less upward pressure on home prices across the region. This is especially in the detached home market.   Demand in the townhome and condos are also down significantly from the years past.


Overall the residential active to sales ratio is at 16.3% which means that for every 100 properties forsale only 16 sell.  Broken down by property type Detached homes across metro vancouver at are 9.2% active to sales, Condos are at 26.6% and townhomes are at 19.4%.  Prices are usually start dropping when the active to sales ratio dips below 12 % mark for sustained periods of time. 


Inventories in general have increased 24.5% percent over all property types compared to last year.  That is a big increase in inventory. Broken down by property type we see detached homes with a inventory increase of 7%, Condos at 62% increase, and Townhomes with a 44% inventory increase. 


 Speaking to Most buyers and sellers,  Sellers will only sell if they really need to, but most are pretty secure with their financial situation. And Buyers will only buy when the price is right.  Some sellers will intentionally lower their price to look very attractive to get alot of viewings, but when a buyer writes an offer, they will not accept anything lower than asking price.  This seems deceptive but it doesn’t break any rules.  So lots of funny things are happening out there, so be careful.     


Looking at the home price index across metro vancouver, detached homes are at a benchmark price $1,561,000 million which is a 2.8% decrease from last month.  Condo benchmark is at $695,000 which is a 1.6%  decrease in price since last month.  And townhomes are at $846,000 with is a 0.8%  decrease compared to last month.  


So do I see a trend here?  Which areas have dropped the most?  The best thing to do is to look at 3 month price trends, this way you can firmly see a solid direction.  


For detached homes, West Vancouver had the biggest price change over the last 3 months from a benchmark price of $2.8 million

 million with a decrease of 6.2%, Followed by Squamish with benchmark price of 1 million with 5.7% decrease and North Burnaby with a benchmark price 1.5 million

also at 4.7% decrease.  


For Condos the biggest price drop is again was West Vancouver with a benchmark price of 1.19 million at 7.1% decreases followed by Pitt Meadows with a benchmark price of $527,000

at 3.8% and Maple ridge $374,000 with a 3.1% decrease.  


For Townhomes, Vancouver East had a  benchmark price of $894,000 with a 3.4 %  decrease over 3 months, followed by Port Coquitlam with a benchmark price of $667,000 with a 3.2% decrease followed by Vancouver West at 1.26 million with a 2.8% decrease.     


So if I was a buyer I would look in those areas.  The market is definitely changing and to the buyers advantage.   Prices have dropped in most areas but not very much.  Please view the description to download the full stats package.  Its always a good idea to know whats going on with the market.


Question of the day, Would do you think the prices are heading the greater vancouver market?  Up or Down?  Answer in the comments below.  I will make it an effort to personally respond to all the comments.   If you are in the market to sell or buy I have linked up a playlist of helpful tips in the description below.


If you like this video please give it a thumbs up and subscribe. I will be posting new market update videos every Friday for different areas across metro vancouver, and educational real estate tips every Tuesday.  This is Alex Lam from Vancouver and thanks for watching this video eh??   


Download the full Stats Package Here

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Buy and Hold Real Estate




The real estate market is up and down, but over the last 10 years we have seen a steady uptick in price growth.  If you had purchased in 2008, you would have already doubled your investment.  Although we are currently in a buyers market now, it is always a good idea to buy and hold real estate.  In this video I will discuss 6 reasons why you should consider the buy and hold approach. 


#1. Appreciation - even if you had purchased real estate at its peak in 2007 homes prices have already doubled since then.  And yes real estate markets are up and down, and no prices will not correct 80 percent.  That is just dreaming.  If that was a reality it would throw the entire economy into shock. 


#2. Passive Income - with possible higher returns than other investment options like mutual funds, 


#3. High ROI on Investment - as with any real estate investment you are just putting a downpayment, making mortgage payments, and paying for property maintenance.  But you are getting the the gains on the full market value of the property. In comparison to the initial investment, you are getting really good ROI. 


#4.  Principal Pay Down - If you are renting out your home, don’t forget with every monthly rental payment you are also reducing the principle on your mortgage. This also saves you interest the longer you hold the property ultimately paying off the property in full.


#5. No Re-qualification Mortgages - Applying for a mortgage for the first time maybe be painful, but once you are approved, and when it is time for renewal, the lender will not ask you to provide more documentation, they will just as you to sign a renewal.  This is great especially if you own multiple properties and plan to own them for a long time. 


#6  Retirement Income - Look at your RRSP’s and when you can access those funds?  Age 70??  When you invest in real estate, you have more control.  You can decide when you want to pay yourself.   After you pay off all your property expenses you can treat your rental income as your retirement income.  


So there you have it the 6 reasons why you should consider buying and holding real estate.  If you have any questions please reach out to me.  



Question of the day, would you buy and hold real estate?  Please leave it in the comments below. I will try my best to personally answer all comments myself.     


As always please like, share and subscribe and become smart savvy consumer.  I make educational videos every Tuesday and videos every Friday.  This is Alex from Vancouver and Thank you so much for watching this video eh?  


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Vancouver presale condos


Are they a good buy?  


I will discuss 5 positives and 5 negatives that you should consider before purchasing a presale condo in vancouver. 


First lets talk about the Positives


  1. Good Rate of return on deposit if condos go up in value.  Think about it, your only investment is the deposit for the purchase of the presale.  What happens when the property goes up in value?  Say it went up 100k and your deposit was only 50k.  You essentially doubled your investment.  Thats an awesome rate of return. 
  2. You are buying brand new - Everyone likes buying brand new, in the newest and hottest new neighborhoods. 
  3. It has a warranty - all presale condos have 2-5-10 warranty, so you can rest assured that any repairs will be taken care of for the next ten years.  
  4. No PPT - Now thats an incentive.   You can qualify for this exemption if its is going to be your primary residence and the purchase price is under $750k 
  5. You may assign it the contract for profit -  Since you are holding this investment for about 2-3 years, that this investment has gone up in value.  Many investors cash out if they see a gain a big gain.  Gains are treated as business income though. 


Now lets talk about the Negatives

  1. Bump in price after sale.  Their was a story recently in new Westminster, of a developer asking for more money to continue on a struggling project.  One has asked for as much as an extra 15%.  Unless stated in the contract, their is nothing stopping the developer for demanding more money.  
  2. Return of deposit - if developer does not want to complete the project, they have the option of returning your deposit.    
  3. Floor plans can be altered from the time of purchase till completion - this actually happened to a client of mine who originally purchased a 2 bedroom with 2 bathrooms.   The developer wanted to change the floorpan to 2 bedroom with 1 bath.  
  4. Prices Going Down? -  2 years is a long time, and anything can happen.  The market can go up but it can also go down.  I have seen presale buyers selling for a loss back in 2007 and 2008. 
  5. Purchase price -  Are they a good deal?  Most assume they are a good deal.  But the fact is the developer is future pricing all the homes. They are pricing out homes on what they think homes will value in 2 to 3 years time. 


So there you have it the 5 Positive and 5 Negatives you should know about if you are buying a presale in vancouver.  If you have any questions please reach out to me.   If you are interested in purchasing a presale I can get you vip access on some popular projects across the lowermainland.



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Selling in a Buyers Market


If you are thinking of selling your home during a buyers market you should know what to expect.  

In a typical sellers market, you could sell a home in one weekend with multiple offers and receive  an offer over your asking price.  But in a buyers market when you have plenty of homes and fewer buyers the tables have turned.  In this video I will discuss 4 things your should expect if your selling during a buyers market.  


#1. Low ball offers - Sellers in soft markets lose equity. Less overall demand for homes puts pressure on sales prices, causing buyers to make lowball offers.


#2. Less Activity - less viewings brings about less offers for your home.  It is important to be patient and understand that it will take longer to sell your home, 3 - 6 months is the norm in a buyers market.  


#3.   Buyers demand repairs - Buyers demand homes in good condition.  In most cases the buyers will perform a home inspection of your home, and may have a list of repair recommended by their home inspector.  In a buyers market the buyers may demand that the seller pay for these repairs or perform them before completion. 


#4.  Subject to sale clauses:  Not every buyer is a first time home buyer, or a new immigrant.  Most buyers need to sell their own home before they can purchase yours.   If a buyer's home does not sell, neither will the seller's and by that time, the number of buyers typically dwindle even more.


So there you have it the 4 things you should expect when selling your home during a buyers market.  If you have any questions please reach out to me.  


If you are thinking of selling view my playlist of videos here or reach out to my for a free home evaluation. 


Question of the day, would you sell during a buyers market?  Yes or No  Please leave it in the comments below. I will try my best to personally answer all comments myself.     


As always please like, share and subscribe and become smart savvy consumer.  I make educational videos every Tuesday and videos every Friday.  This is Alex from Vancouver and Thank you so much for watching this video eh?  

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Realtor Tricks to watch out for


Every industry has its tricks.  Wanna know a few realtor tricks? 


The real estate industry has many tricks.  It is important to know these tricks, and how they may influence your decision as a buyer or seller.  In this video I will discuss 4 tricks that should be disclosed when working with a realtor. 


#1. Property Dimensions:  Property dimensions are always approximate.  And this is indicated in small print in all realtor advertising.  Nothing is stopping a realtor from approximating these dimensions.  Realtors can easily market say a 960 square foot condo for 1000 square feet.  This is great for sellers but bad for buyers.  I recommend referencing the strata plan for condos, and the building plans if you are purchasing a house. 


#2. Number of Bedrooms - a defined as a bedroom is defined a a room with 4 walls, a closet and a window.  Even though you may not care if that den is labelled a bedroom, you should care when it is time for you to sell that home.  The number of real bedrooms will affect your homes value.   


#3. Days on the market - Buyers typically at this stat.  This stat indicates how long the home has been on the market.  The lower the days on the market the better it is in the buyers perspective.  If the Days on the market is greater than 30 days the buyers may feel that their is something wrong with the home and may shy away from viewing or writing an offer. 


The seller and the realtor may decide to remove the property off the market.  This would reset the days on the market back to zero so looking at days on the market is not an accurate figure.  I would recommend looking at the property history on MULTIPLE LISTING SERVICE  versus days on the market. 


#4.  Price- Like days on the market,  buyers like to ask if the home has had any price reductions.   

Their is nothing is stopping a realtor to list a home at 1.5 million and drop it to 1 million the next week.  This makes it appear that a great deal can be had by the buyer.  But the fact is that the price can be changed at anytime with the permission of the seller.  It is always wise to look at the price history of the property and how it relates to market prices in the neighbourhood. 


So there you have it the 4 realtor tricks you should know about if you are buying or selling real estate.  If you have any questions please reach out to me.  



Question of the day, what realtor trick do you come across that I didn’t mention?  Please leave it in the comments below. I will try my best to personally answer all comments myself.     

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Selling a house with a mortgage



If you are thinking of selling your home and you have a mortgage you have four options to think about.  I would recommend checking with your banker and looking at the mortgage documents to find the information you need before planning purchasing your next property. 


Option #1. What is the penalty for terminating your mortgage early?  Usually this is 3 months interest penalty or the interest rate differential which ever is greater.  But the truth is most consumers don’t know what the IRD is and how it is calculated.  The IRD is calculated by taking the difference of contracted mortgage rate and the current market mortgage rate multiplied by the amount of years remaining times your mortgage balance. 


For example if you owe $300,000 with 3 years remaining, and a IRD of 1.44% that would be a penalty of $12,960 which is far greater than 3 months interest penalty.    If the penalty is this big maybe also ask your lender if this penalty can be rolled into your new mortgage. 


Option #2. Can this mortgage be moved to another property?   If you look at your mortgage contract look for the term portable or portability.   If you have this term it indicates that you can move your current mortgage to another property.  


Option #3. Can you have a blended rate?  In most cases if you are upgrading your current home to another home, you may need to borrow more money.  If this is the case ask if you can instead carry on with your current mortgage and have the additional money borrowed at a different rate.  Or if you can re-structure to get a brand new mortgage with a blended rate to avoid paying any mortgage penalties.  


Option #4. Find out from your lender what your maximum mortgage would be if you sold your property to buy an new one.  


So there you have it the 4 options I would look at if I were looking to sell my home which has a mortgage.   If you have any questions please reach out to me.  


If you are thinking of selling view my playlist of videos here or reach out to my for a free home evaluation. 

Question of the day, would you consider breaking your mortgage early to sell your home?  Yes or No  Please leave it in the comments below. I will try my best to personally answer all comments myself.     

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How much do real estate agents make in Canada?


As you know being a real estate agent is commission based position.  Most agents work independently and are self employed.  The amount of money they can make depends on the brokerage they work with, the commissions they charge ,the total amount of transactions they do per year, minus their marketing expenses.  


Also remember as this job is commission based, No sales equals no money.  Here is a fact, many real estate agents, work part time jobs to supplement their incomes when sales dry up.  And also you may end up listing a million dollar home for over 6 months and not even sell it or work with a buyer for several years without them buying anything.  


 And Yes this is not like the show million dollar listing, we have no stretch limo, we don’t work with multi million dollar clientele,  plus we do not successfully negotiate a contract within a 60 minute tv episode. Thats fantasy versus reality.  


In greater vancouver we have about 15,000 real estate agents, and on a month to month basis we have around 3000 sales.  So that means 12,000 agents don’t get paid.   So if you thinking that being a real estate agent is a very lucrative business you should re-think that idea.  To make a living in real estate in greater vancouver you would need to do about 6 transactions per year.  6 Transactions a year is actually the average I would say.   And given all of your expenses, splits with your brokerage you would be lucky to earn $45,000 net in your first year of real estate.  Obviously I am being very conservative with my numbers, and if you are a total go getter it is possible for you to earn up to 1 million dollars per year in real estate.  But as I said its fantasy versus realty.  So there you have my observations on how much other real estate agents make in Canada.


Question of the day, would you consider a career in real estate?  Yes or No  Please leave it in the comments below. I will try my best to personally answer all comments myself.     


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How to buy a house before selling your current house


Are you thinking about buying a new home but still need to sell your current one?  Thats what I am going to talk about right now.  


So your looking to upgrade, but need to sell your property as well.  In this video I will tell you how to buy a house before selling your current one in 4 simple steps.  Markets are always changing, but I would follow this approach during a buyers market.  This is when there is lots of inventories and no bidding wars.     


Step #1. First get approval in writing with your banker, that you would qualify for a new mortgage at the price point you are looking for.  Most likely this mortgage will be approved subject to selling your current home. And if you current home has a mortgage if that can me moved to your new home, pay a penalty, or have that penalty included into your new mortgage.  In Most cases if you terminate your current mortgage early it will cost your 3 months worth in interest payments.   


Step #2. Find out the average days on the market and the value of your home.  This way you will have a good estimate on how long it will take to sell your home and how much cash you will have to close on your new home.  


Step #3 Look at new homes, and secure the property with an offer subject to sale of your current home. Also remember to negotiate for long move in dates.  2-3 months would be recommended.


Step #4 List your home, price the home at the market price, also make sure that if the buyer has a subject clause say for financing it is a few days before your subject to sale clause on the home buying side expires.  This way you can ensure that your deal is firm on your home before proceeding to firm up your deal on the buying side of your new home.  Also make sure that your move out dates match up with your move in dates of your new property. 


There you have it, how to buy a home first before selling your current one and with zero risk of being on the hook for two homes.   If you have any questions please reach out to me.  


Question of the day, would you consider buying a home first or selling first?  Please leave it in the comments below. I will try my best to personally answer all comments myself.     


As always please like, share and subscribe and become smart savvy consumer.  I make educational videos every Tuesday and videos every Friday.  This is Alex from Vancouver and Thank you so much for watching this video eh?  

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Home home price reduction strategy


Is your home not selling?  Maybe its priced too high? Thats what I am going to talk about right now. 


As you know the Vancouver market has just shifted from a sellers market to a buyers market.   In a sellers market you would price your home at or above the most recent sold.  But when we are in a buyers market the opposite should be in effect.  When the markets shift so should your pricing strategy.  Pricing your home is pivotal to your home selling success.  In this video I talk about the strategy I would use to reduce your homes price.


First Ask yourself the following 4 questions.   


#1. How long have your been on the market?  You should be getting your most amount of viewing activity within the first 2 weeks of your property being available.  In most cases if it is priced properly it would have already been sold.  If your home has been on the market for over 3 months without any changes you will be risking that your property will look stale in the eyes of the buyers.  


#2. How many viewings are you currently getting per week?  On a well priced property on average your realtor should be showing your property about 3 times minimum per week.  The realtor should also be getting about 10 inquiries per week.  


#3 How does your homes price really compare to your competition?  Did you price your home based on recently sold comparable properties, or what the current active properties are sitting at?  Remember, buying in addition to selling is competitive.  Especially when down the street there is a similar home on the market for much less.  Your neighbourhood and home type may only yield a few buyers per month. So its essential to price your home to beat out your competition.  


#4 How bad do you really need to sell?  Markets are always up or down.  Only you will know if its truly the right time in your life to sell.  Remember you can never time the real estate market.  When markets begin to fall they can fall really fast.  


So now what??  whats the prescription to your home pricing headache?   If your home is priced under $1 million I would recommend that you do price reduction increments of $50,000 per week until you get 3-5 viewings per week.  On homes over 1 million the price reduction would be $100k per week.    Remember during a falling market you need to beat out your neighbours and sell fast.


There you have it the price reduction strategy I would use if you decided it was time to finally sell your home .   If you have any questions please reach out to me.  If you are thinking of selling view my playlist of videos here or reach out to my for a home evaluation.  


Question of the day, would you consider using your reducing the price of your home?  Yes or No  Please leave it in the comments below. I will try my best to personally answer all comments myself.     


As always please like, share and subscribe and become smart savvy consumer.  I make educational videos every Tuesday and videos every Friday.  This is Alex from Vancouver and Thank you so much for watching this video eh?  




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So the July 2018 Real Estate Numbers are out now, Today I am going to dive deep into what these numbers mean in the Greater Vancouver Market and highlight which area you should think about buying. 


Usually at this time of year it is really busy, then it begins to slowing down in August and into the fall. 

Last month’s sales in July was 29.3 per cent below the 10-year July sales average.  The market in general has fewer active buyers, we’re seeing less upward pressure on home prices across the region. This is especially in the detached home market.   Demand in the townhome and condos are also down significantly from the years past.


Overall the residential active to sales ratio is at 17% which means that for every 100 properties forsale only 17 sell.  Broken down by property type Detached homes across metro vancouver at are 10% active to sales, Condos are at 27% and townhomes are at 22%.  Prices are usually start dropping when the active to sales ratio dips below 12 % mark for sustained periods of time. 


Inventories in general have increased 21.9 percent over all property types compared to last year.  That is a big increase in inventory. Broken down by property type we see detached homes with a inventory increase of 8.6%, Condos at 46% increase, and Townhomes with a 40.6% inventory increase. 


 Speaking to Most buyers and sellers in general they are taking the wait and see approach.  The buyers will come out if they notice a great deal and I have seen this over the past weekend.  For example, Detached homes in South burnaby currently have a benchmark price of $1.68 million, the house was listed at $1 million.  At the open house there was actually a long line up of buyers waiting to enter the home to view it. It was a total zoo.  So the buyers are out there!! They are just looking for a good deal.  Provide the deal now and the buyers will come.   


Looking at the home price index across metro vancouver, detached homes are at a benchmark price $1.588 million which is a 1.5% decrease from the same month last year.  Condo benchmark is at $700,000 

which is a 13.6 % increase in price. And townhomes are at $856,000 with is a 12.1 % increase compared to last year.  


So do I see a trend here?  Which areas have dropped the most?  The best thing to do is to look at 3 month price trends, this way you can firmly see a solid direction.  


For detached homes, West Vancouver had the biggest price change over the last 3 months from a benchmark price of $2.5 million with a decrease of 4.5%, Followed by Richmond with benchmark price of $1.64 million with 2.5% decrease and North Burnaby with a benchmark price $1.55 millon

 also at 2.5% decrease.  


For Condos the biggest price drop is again was West Vancouver with a benchmark price of $1.23 million at 4.8% decreases followed by Burnaby East with a benchmark price of $701,000

 at 4.1% and Port Moody $674,000 with a 2.6% decrease.  


For Townhomes, Squamish had a  benchmark price of $874,000 with a 6.8 %  decrease over 3 months, followed by Vancouver East with a benchmark price of $892,000 with a 4.4% decrease followed by maple ridge at $567,000 with a 3% decrease.     


So if I was a buyer I would look in those areas.  The market is definitely changing and to the buyers advantage.   Prices have dropped in some areas but not in all of them.  Please visit my website here to download the entire stats package.  Its always a good idea to have a pulse on the market.  


Question of the day, Would do you think the prices are heading the greater vancouver market?  Up or Down?  Answer in the comments below.  I will make it an effort to personally respond to all the comments.   If you are in the market to sell or buy I have linked up a playlist of helpful tips in the description below.


Dowload the full stats package here



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Pros and Cons of Condo Living


 What are the pros and cons of condo living?  Thats what I am going to talk about right now.  


Pro #1, Amenities:  Imagine living like you travel.  New Condos, have outdoor spaces to walk your dog, swimming pool, sauna, gym and party room.  Plus most new condos are build by rapid transit, shopping and recreation centres.  


Pro #2, Low Maintenance:  If you are not a handyman, and the thought of picking up a hammer or using power tools is something you dread, condo living maybe your thing. Just think about the last time your tried to assemble something bought from Ikea.  Oh goodness you know what I am talking about. The strata will maintain everything on the exterior of the building including the landscaping all you need to do is to maintain whats inside your unit and pay your strata fees.  


Pro #3 Affordability - Condos are priced for much less than a house.  I am talking about average prices here.  The price gap between a condo and a single detached home in Vancouver is about $750,000.  For the price of a house you can buy two condos.   


Con #1 Strata Fees are out of your control - Strata fees are fixed by your strata council, and you have no control.  Each year the strata council will create a yearly budget and in that budget they will determine the amount strata fees you need to pay.  


Con #2 Really Bad Bylaws -  when you are living in a condo, you are living with a community of residents.  You will be living with all types of people.  Thats where the strata comes in and develops a set of bylaws.  You are truly at the mercy of the strata council.  Imagine living in a building and being forced to leave when you realize you a pregnant.  Bingo some buildings have age restrictions.   So if you plan in buying a condo make sure to read those bylaws.


Con #3 Noisy Neighbours - when you are living in a condo you literally are living beside, above or below someone.   If the walls are thin enough you may hear them singing karaoke at 11:00 at night.   I mean karaoke is ok, but please sing only if you are good at it.           



Question of the day, would you consider living in a condo?  Yes or No  Please leave it in the comments below. I will try my best to personally answer all comments myself.     


As always please like, share and subscribe and become smart savvy consumer.  I make educational videos every Tuesday and videos every Friday.  

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Just saw this article from CNBC saying that 1 and 3 Millennials are making a big mistake withdrawing there retirement accounts to fund real estate purchases.  I think that article is wrong.  Millennials are our future and super smart.  They where practically born with an iPad in there hands.

In this video I will show you the 5 reasons why you should consider using your RRSP as your downpayment to purchase your home now. 


#1. High Tax Rates In Canada -  With our current tax rate I would says its very difficult to even save $1000 per month.  I mean our tax brackets here in Canada are excessive, plus you are also taxed again GST and PST on everyday purchases.   Your RRSP have been growing yearly because its the only tax savings vehicle we have aside from your TFSA’s.  


#2 Rental Rates are constantly rising.  This year, what we consider as affordable in vancouver west is $3,700 per month for a 3 bedroom, $2,700 for a two-bedroom and $1,900 for a one bedroom.


#3 You can borrow up to 25k tax free and if you have a spouse who is also a first time buyer he or she can borrow an additional 25k making that 50k.  


#4 Investment growth in the housing market is greater versus the returns you would receive from an RRSP.  On typical RRSP investments you can be lucky to earn 5% per year but that is only on the RRSP amount.   Condos in vancouver or have double in price over the last 10 years so its a smarter to use the RRSP funds to get into the market now versus later. 


#5 Payback time -  You will have 15 years to repay your RRSP loan with the first year being an exemption.  For example if you borrowed 25 thousand dollars that would be divided by 15, making that $1666 per year or $138 per month.  If you are not able to make the payments you would need to add this as your yearly income.   



Question of the day, would you consider using your RRSP to purchase a home?  Yes or No  Please leave it in the comments below. I will try my best to personally answer all comments myself.     


As always please like, share and subscribe and become smart savvy consumer.  I make educational videos every Tuesday and videos every Friday.  This is Alex from Vancouver and Thank you so much for watching this video.

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Condo as a Good Investment  


I will show you the 6 reasons you should consider condos as an investment here in Metro Vancouver in 2018.  


#1. Historical Prices ( See Chart) - Looking here at the graph, prices year over year across the over the last 10 years we have seen increases, impressive increases.  Prices have almost doubled in 10 years.    This is across the entire Greater vancouver.  I don’t have a Chrystal ball but affordability is a major issue here, and I feel that prices in condos will continue to go up the long run.  You will have your stagnant growth years but thats understandable, as every asset class you would need to have a longer holding period to reap the rewards.  Timing the market as you see in this graph is difficult from years 2009 - 2015, then it took off.  


#2 Rental Rates are constantly rising.  For this year, a new three-bedroom rental on the West Side of the city with a starting rate of $3,702 per month is considered affordable.

Also regarded as affordable rental rates in the same part of the city are $2,756 for a two-bedroom unit; $1,903, one bedroom; and $1,646, studio.


For 2018, a new rental in East Vancouver with three bedrooms with a starting rate of $3,365 is deemed affordable by the city.Also for the same part of the city, the following rates will be considered affordable: $2,505 for a two-bedroom rental; $1,730, one bedroom; and $1,496, studio.


#3 Supply and Demand - show active to sales ratio.  The supply can’t keep up with the demand.  Condos are perfect for first time homebuyers, downsizes, other investors, and new immigrants.  In Vancouver our estimated population growth per year is about 100k.


#4 Lower Money Down - in general condos are more affordable than houses.  The price gap between a detached house and a condo is about $750,000.  That means your downpayment would be much much less.  You would need a minimum of 5-10% down to purchase a condo.


#5 Pre-sale Condos -  with this type of purchase, you would buy a property directly from a developer in exchange for a deposit.  It takes about 3 years to build, and you don’t have any carrying costs except if you borrowed your deposit money from a line of credit.  The bonus of this type of investment is that you can assign the contract to another buyer before the building completes if the value has increased. 


#6 Its Trendy:  The trend now is to live in brand new smaller condos close to rapid transit.  Some young folks have given up on the idea of buying that big detached home because of its affordability.  This trendy ness will further contribute to the demand for condos.      


There you have it the 6 reasons your should consider a condo purchase now as an investment.  If you have any questions please reach out to me.  If you are thinking of buying a condo, please watch my video here as I explain the 20 questions I would ask if I were to purchase a condo.


Question of the day, would you consider investing in a condo now?  Yes or No  Please leave it in the comments below. I will try my best to personally answer all comments myself.     



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Can’t find the home your are looking for in your price range?  You should start looking at over priced listings, and write lowball offers on that house coming up next.  (Me pointing to the camera)


If you have been house hunting for awhile, you may not be finding much available in your price range.  I know it sucks……Why not look for properties at a higher price range and write low priced offers?  In this video I will show you 5 things to be on the look out for so you can write that low ball offer.    


#1 Look for Over priced properties - these are properties you know should be worth much much less but the seller has dreams of selling it for over market price.  If you are searching for condos look at increments of over fifty to hundred thousand.  If you are looking for a detached home look for homes that are over your price range by $100,000 to $200,000.  


#2 Look for Stale Properties that have been listed for over 90 days - When properties are listed this long the sellers start to doubt themselves.  At this time they maybe more vulnerable and look at low ball offers.  Its best to keep tabs on these type of homes, because you want to write an offer on them before they do a price adjustment.  In most cases you may get the home for much less than the sellers price reduction.


#3 Look at the realtor comments in the description -  a realtor usually has a sense of what the market is doing, but if the realtor is unconfident on the pricing of the home, they may reveal this in the realtor or public comments.  Be on the the look out for comments such as will look at all offers, and motivated seller.


#4 Look for Vacant homes - these are homes that you can tell nobody lives in.  There is no furniture, no food in the cubboards, and maybe nobody maintaining that lawn outside.  The sellers most likely already purchased another property, or this is just an investment property.  They may look at your low offers.  As these sellers may need the cash from the sale to fund other investments.  


#5 Look for Tenant Occupied homes - Sometime selling tenant occupied properties can be a nightmare.  The tenants usually restrict the amount of viewings and this also hurts the realtors marketing.  Look for these types of properties for writing offers as the sellers may begin to get desperate with the low viewing activity.   


Question of the day, What other strategies have you ?  If not why? Please leave it in the comments below. I will try my best to personally answer all comments myself.     


If you want to view other helpful videos why not consider subscribing to my youtube channel here


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As you may know purchasing real estate is already really expensive and closing costs can add thousands of dollars to your purchase price.  Closing costs should really be considered first before planning your real estate search.  In this video I will show you the 12 closing costs you should expect and the estimated costs of each.  

(Smile)


#1 the Appraisal fees - Before your lender approves your mortgage, you may be required to have the property appraised. Sometimes your lender will cover this cost. If not, you're responsible. The fee ranges from $300 to $450 plus GST.


#2 the Land survey fees - Lenders may require a survey of the property.  This is usually when you purchase a detached home.  The fee ranges and is typically $500 plus GST.


#3 Home inspection fees- A home inspection is a report on the condition of the home and includes structural and moisture problems, as well as electrical, plumbing, roofing and insulation. The fees range and is typically $500-$900 depending on the size of the home and the complexity of the inspection. Some inspectors also charge an additional fee for an older home or a home with a secondary suite, a crawlspace, or a laneway home.  Check out the cards here on how to find a good home inspector.


#4 GST,  Expect to pay 5% GST on all brand new homes with a purchase price of over $450,000.   


#5 Property Transfer Tax - which is calculated at 1% of the first 200k and 2% on the balance up to 2million, and 3% on the amount over 2 million.


Qualifying first-time home buyers may be exempt from paying the PTT if the purchase price of their home is priced up to $475,000. There is a proportional exemption for homes priced between $475,000 and $500,000. At $500,000 and above the rebate is Zero


Qualifying buyers of new homes may be exempt if the purchase price of their home is priced up to $750,000. There is a proportional exemption for homes priced between $750,000 and $800,000. At $800,000 and above there's no rebate. 


#6 Foreign Buyers Tax - This is an extra 20% applied onto your purchase price of your home if you are not a citizen of BC or a Permanent resident.  


#7 Mortgage insurance

The federal government requires high-ratio mortgages with less than 20% down payment to be insured against default. The cost ranges between 0.60 to 4.5 %of the mortgage amount which is added to the mortgage principal.  As of February 15, 2016, the federal government requires a 10 per cent down payment requirement on homes valued at $500,000 - $1 million, that need mortgage insurance. Homes valued at $1 million+ require a minimum down payment of 20 per cent. Mortgage insurance is not available for homes in this price range


#8 Mortgage life insurance

If the owner dies, this type of insurance will pay off the balance owing on their mortgage.  You can purchase mortgage insurance from your lender or term life insurance.  


#9 Home insurance

Most lenders require property buyers to carry fire and extended coverage insurance and liability insurance.  I would recommend that your insurance also cover water damage. As one small water leak can cause up more than $50,000 worth in damages.  


#10 Moving fees

Moving fees vary depending on the distance moved and whether professional movers do all of the packing. Rates vary.


#11 Adjustments 

Depending on the Contract of Purchase and Sale, a property buyer will likely be required to reimburse the seller for any prepaid property taxes. The lender may require the buyer to add property tax instalments to monthly mortgage payments. Utility bills, A buyer is typically required to reimburse the seller for any prepayments for municipal sewer and water fees.


Rent and security deposits - If you are purchasing a tenant occupied property and the tenancy continues, the buyer receives the security deposit from the seller with accrued interest because the buyer is responsible for reimbursement when the tenant leaves.


#12 - The Lawyer or notary fee, this fee is necessary as they are the ones that process the paperwork at the land title office and transfer your money to the sellers lawyer.  Expect to pay about $1000 for their services. 


So thats it, the 12 closing costs here in Vancouver, if you are interested in viewing my buyers video please click the playlist in the description below or on top in the cards.     


If you liked this post you can subscribe to my youtube channel here

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Yesterday the Bank of Canada announced that interest rates will go up another quarter percent and its the forth time they had increased it this year with another potential 3 increases for 2018. The dates are in Sept 5, Oct, 24 and December 5. As you can see with every increase they did it was a quarter percent. Here is the interest rate history from the Bank of Canada website. The BOC mentioned that they want to increase the rates up to “NORMAL LEVELS”, so what does that mean? My best guess is that the BOC would eventually increase interest rates up to what it was when we had our two most recent financial downturns in 2001 and 2008. So rates can go up as high as 4.0 % to 5.5 %


So what is a a quarter percent in real dollars? A quarter percent increase on every $100,000 borrowed is $20 extra per month. With a potential 3 extra increases that can be an extra $60 per month. Thats like a gym like a gym membership. Now things are starting to add up especially since most home owners owe more than $100,000. If you are a homeowner and you are on a variable rate mortgage you should begin to think about locking in. If you are a home buyer expect qualifying for a mortgage to be just a bit more difficult again. The Bank of Canada Stress test rate should also go up by another quarter point. So if you make a $100,000 per year you should only qualify for about $390,000 thats about a $10,000 decrease in purchasing power.

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