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New property listed in Fort Langley, Langley

I have listed a new property at 8883 HUDSON BAY ST in Langley. See details here

Charming 4 bedroom rancher on one of Fort Langley's most sought after streets. Hudson Bay street is the last road in the historic community, keeping non-local traffic to a minimum, while still just a short walk to restaurants, walking trails and shopping. The home offers open concept living, a large formal dining room, and a beautiful private yard with a 9x15 shed, sun drenched patio and a hot tub. This unique floor plan offers side yard access to the 4th bedroom, with a private bathroom. Great opportunity for a nanny, homestay student or airbnb. Situated on nearly a 1/4 acre lot, this is also a perfect option to get into Fort Langley today, and build your dream home in the future. Call us to book your private showing.

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How Much for a Down Payment on a House?

Are you ready to find out exactly how much cash you’ll need to get into your dream home? You might be surprised—it could be less than you think! Understanding these down payment rules can make or break your home-buying journey. In this blog post, I’ll break down the minimum down payments required in Canada, explain the differences between a deposit and a down payment, and give you some killer tips on how to save up for that big purchase. Trust me, you’ll want to stick around until the end because the last tip I share could save you tens of thousands of dollars!

What is a Down Payment?

First things first—what exactly is a down payment? When you get a mortgage, the down payment is the amount you’re required to pay upfront. It represents a portion of the price of the house you hope to buy. Think of it as your initial investment into your new home.

A down payment is typically made in cash, and the bigger your down payment, the smaller your mortgage will be. This means more equity in your home right from the get-go. And remember, home equity is simply the value of your house minus the mortgage amount.

Quick note: Don’t confuse your down payment with your deposit. Your deposit is what you put up during the buying process to show the seller you’re serious, while the down payment is part of the mortgage process and reduces the amount of money you need to borrow from the lender.

Minimum Down Payments in Canada

Now, let’s talk numbers. Can you buy a house in Canada with no down payment? Unfortunately, the answer is no. Canada has specific rules around minimum down payments that have been in place since 2008. Here’s the breakdown:

  • For homes under $500,000: The minimum down payment is 5%. So, if you’re looking at a $400,000 home, you’ll need at least $20,000.
  • For homes between $500,000 and $999,999: You need 5% for the first $500,000 and 10% for the amount above $500,000. So, if you’re buying a $700,000 home, you’ll need $25,000 for the first $500,000 and another $20,000 for the remaining $200,000, totaling $45,000.
  • For homes $1 million or more: The minimum down payment jumps to 20%. So, a $1.5 million home requires at least $300,000 down.

When You Might Need More

Not everyone gets by with just the minimum down payment. If you’re self-employed, have a poor credit history, or if the monthly mortgage payments on your dream home are too big for your budget, lenders might require a larger down payment to reduce the mortgage size and those hefty monthly payments.

Mortgage Default Insurance

If your down payment is less than 20%, you’ll have to purchase mortgage default insurance. This protects your lender in case you can’t pay your mortgage. It’s an added cost, but it can help you get into your home sooner if you don’t have the full 20% down.

Tips for Saving Your Down Payment

Feeling like that 5%, 10%, or 20% down payment is a big mountain to climb? Here are some ways to make it happen:

  • Prioritize and Budget: Look into your budget and cut costs. Skip the vacations, hold off on that new phone, and drive a cheaper car for now.
  • Reduce Your Debt: Pay off your debts to free up more money for savings and improve your debt service ratios.
  • Start a Down Payment Savings Account: Automate your savings and consider using a TFSA or a high-interest savings account to grow your money faster.
  • Borrow from Your RRSP: You can borrow up to $35,000 from your RRSP tax-free for your first home. This can be a game-changer for getting that down payment ready sooner.

There’s so much more to know about buying a home, including finding the right neighborhood, knowing the types of houses to avoid, understanding closing costs, and more. Make sure to keep exploring to help you make the right home-buying decisions.

And remember if you have any questions, feel free to ask! Happy house hunting!

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So what are some of the advantages of becoming a homeowner today?
So what are some of the advantages of becoming a homeowner today?
  • Home ownership is the single largest source of savings for Canadian households.
  • Your payments build equity (as opposed to renting, where your money goes to the building owner).
  • Unlike other investments that can be volatile, typically when you buy a home the increase in its value has proven to be relatively steady over time.
  • Homeowners can use the equity in their homes as security for other loans once a certain percentage of equity has been established.
  • Buying a home and building equity is the first step on the property ladder. It gets you into the housing market, keeps you in touch with increasing house prices, and puts you in a good position to trade up to bigger and better homes as your circumstances allow.
Getting Started
Before you begin searching for a home, it is important to know if you qualify for a mortgage, and how much?
  • The first step in buying a new home should be to take a look at what you can afford and how you are going to pay for it. If you're like the majority of home buyers, you will have to finance your purchase with a mortgage loan. So what exactly is a mortgage?
  • A first step in buying a new home should be to take a look at what you can afford and how you are going to pay for it. If you're like the majority of home buyers, you will have to finance your purchase with a mortgage loan. So what exactly is a mortgage?
  • The principal is the amount of the loan that is actually borrowed.
  • The interest is the amount the lender charges for the use of funds borrowed. Interest rates vary according to a number of factors including terms and conditions of the mortgage and the borrower's credit history. Mortgage payments are usually comprised of both principal and interest.
  • The amortization period is the number of years that it will take to repay the entire mortgage loan in full. A longer amortization period will result in lower payments but will take longer to pay off the loan which means you will pay more in interest.
          1.  Maximum amortization for insured mortgages is 25 years.
          2.  Maximum amortization for conventional mortgages is 30 years.
Things To Know
  • The term is the length of time for which a mortgage agreement exists between you and your lender. A longer term means you will keep the interest rate agreed upon for a longer length of time. Rates and therefore payments vary with the length of the term. Terms usually range from 1-10 years with a five-year term being the most common. Generally a longer term, because of the added security, will be at a higher rate than a shorter term.
  • The maturity date marks the end of the term, when you can repay the balance of the principal or renegotiate the mortgage at interest rates in effect at that time. If you choose to repay or renegotiate the mortgage before this time, penalties may be charged. Once your mortgage matures you are free to renew with your current lender or shop around to other lenders for the best rate.
  • The payment schedule is the frequency at which you will make your mortgage payments. These can occur monthly, semi-monthly (twice a month), bi-weekly (every other week) or weekly
Thinking about buying or selling? Give us a call today
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Things To Consider When Buying These Types of Houses!

Things To Consider When Buy These Types of Houses!

House hunting is an adventure that promises exciting possibilities. Whether you’re drawn to charming century-old cottages or ultra-modern condos, it’s essential to keep your eyes open to avoid the hidden pitfalls that could quickly turn your dream home into a financial nightmare. So, let’s explore six types of houses that fall into the category of “Never buy these types of houses!”

#1 Stratified Properties – With Red Flags

Stratified properties, such as condos and townhouses, are often attractive for their amenities and community feel. However, without careful consideration of their strata documentation, you could find yourself in a money-draining situation. Key things to watch out for include:

  • Pending Litigation: Legal disputes involving the strata corporation could lead to unexpected legal fees and special assessments, leaving owners paying the price.
  • Excessive Disrepair: Issues like a leaky roof, malfunctioning elevators, or deteriorating balconies could mean significant repair costs for the community.
  • 1985-2000 BC Condos: Units from this era may still be affected by the “Leaky Condo Crisis,” where poor construction caused widespread leaks and structural damage.
  • Small Contingency Fund: An underfunded contingency reserve signals that the strata may need to impose special assessments to cover large repairs, leading to steep extra costs for owners.

TIP: AI tools can help you quickly identify potential red flags by analyzing strata documents.

#2 Homes Over 100 Years Old

Historic homes are rich in character, but they often come with significant challenges:

  • Expensive Repairs & Restorations: Outdated systems such as lead plumbing, knob-and-tube wiring, and asbestos insulation can result in thousands of dollars of repairs and the need for environmental professionals.
  • Safety Hazards: Steep staircases, low ceilings, and outdated building standards can make older homes more dangerous, especially for children.
  • Non-Functional Fireplaces: Decorative fireplaces that don’t work can present hidden safety issues and often need costly repairs.

#3 Flood Plain Risks

Flooding risks aren’t always obvious, and buying a house in or near a flood plain can lead to significant challenges:

  • Flood Risk: Being near rivers or other flood-prone areas means your home could flood even if it’s in a 100- or 500-year zone.
  • Unpredictable Storms: Recent floods like the 2021 Fraser Valley event show that severe storms can leave homeowners unprepared.
  • High Insurance Costs: Insuring a property in a flood-prone area can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars annually, potentially increasing over time.

#4 Underground Oil Tanks

Buried oil tanks on a property can be a costly surprise if not handled properly. Key concerns include:

  • Inspect & Remove: Even decommissioned tanks that are filled with sand should be removed, as soil contamination is still possible.
  • Costly Remediation: If oil has leaked into the soil, remediation costs can skyrocket into hundreds of thousands.

Consider this story: A North Vancouver homeowner discovered an old oil tank under her property while selling her home. The removal and decontamination process cost her $85,000.

TIP: Review the Property Disclosure Statement (PDS) for any indications of past oil tanks, and always get a pre-1980 home inspected for tanks.

#5 Poor Workmanship in Houses

Flipped houses can look appealing with fresh paint and new fixtures, but sometimes, poor workmanship lurks beneath:

  • Old & New Homes: Uneven moldings, sloppy paint jobs, and poorly finished floors are indicators that other corners were likely cut. A simple marble test can reveal floor leveling issues.
  • Check the History: If the home was recently flipped, dig deeper to see if the renovations were purely cosmetic.

#6 Manufactured Mobile Homes

Manufactured mobile homes might seem like an affordable housing solution but consider the long-term value:

  • Depreciating Asset: Unlike traditional homes, mobile homes tend to lose value over time, especially when the land is leased.
  • Mortgage Difficulties: Lenders may not be willing to finance mobile homes, especially those on rented pads. Amortization schedules are shorter, making monthly payments challenging.
  • Harder to Sell: Due to financing challenges and depreciation, mobile homes often stay on the market longer.

Recommendation: If affordability is an issue, opt for a studio apartment or small condo to get on the property ladder while holding onto your investment.

Final Thoughts

You might now be wondering, “What should I buy?” Every region has gems waiting to be discovered, but it’s crucial to find the best neighborhoods and know who the reliable builders are. The best way to do this is to connect with a professional realtor. If you need a referral or would like to work with me feel free to reach out and I'll be happy to help you.

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New property listed in Downtown NW, New Westminster

I have listed a new property at PH2 98 TENTH ST in New Westminster. See details here

Massive 3 bedroom penthouse with views of the Fraser River, and captivating sunsets. Located in the heart of downtown New Westminster, and walking distance to shopping, transit and skytrain. All 3 bedrooms have floor to ceiling windows with views, and the wrap around deck spans the entire length of the suite. Oversized living room with plenty of room for a formal dining table, bright functional kitchen, large enough to have an additional table for the eating area. Large primary bedroom can fit a king bed plus nightstands, this is unheard of with condo living. Amenities include gym and indoor pool, 2 pets and rentals are allowed. Priced below assessed value.

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I have sold a property at 9233 213 ST in Langley

I have sold a property at 9233 213 ST in Langley on May 28, 2024. See details here

You won't find a better location! Less than a 5 minute walk to multiple parks, walking trails and playgrounds, and walking distance to James Kennedy Elementary & Walnut Grove Secondary. 4 year old roof, new vinyl windows, and a patio slider off the primary bedroom to the backyard. 220 power available for a hot tub, and a private yard with lush greenery which gets all the afternoon sun. Extra deep garage to allow for 2 cars plus storage at the back, and plenty of space under the back deck for all your extra outdoor storage needs. You'll love the bright sunroom, leading into the large dining area, and spacious kitchen updated in 2006. Cute front patio to enjoy your morning coffee and watch the kids play on the tire swing. This is a perfect family home, don't miss out on it. Open House Sat May 25th and Sun May 26th from 2-4pm.

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New property listed in Aberdeen, Abbotsford

I have listed a new property at 27923 SWENSSON AVE in Abbotsford. See details here

Aberdeen is a quaint community bordering Aldergrove, just outside of Langley. This home has RV & trailer parking, plus room for 8 cars to park, all on an 11,000 sf lot. Beautiful interior updates, including new vinyl plank floors throughout. 3 bedroom plus a bonus room above the garage, perfect for a home based business or a growing family. Large foyer, formal dining room, and a spacious kitchen with plenty of cupboards and storage, overlooking the backyard. Cozy family room with room for the largest sofa, and a convenient laundry room with wash tub. 10x16 storage shed, and a fully fenced yard for kids and pets. Walk to parks, and close access to Fraser Hwy, this is a unique home you won't want to miss out on. Potential lane access to side yard, great future potential!

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New property listed in Brookswood Langley, Langley

I have listed a new property at 3738 207 ST in Langley. See details here

This home is a show stopper! Sprawling rancher on a private 12,000 square foot lot, with hickory floors, new starline windows, calacutta quartz counters, and a built-in coffee bar in the chef's kitchen. New Samsung appliances, induction stove, and a double oven. The great room floor plan is perfect for entertaining and you'll love the fir beams in the family room. Spacious laundry room that can double as a staging area for family dinner, and a huge primary retreat including a gas fireplace, steam shower and jetted tub. 2 new heat pumps, AC and hot water on demand. Are you a classic car owner? This home features a double drive through 4 car garage, with 3 doors. Long driveway with security gates, this home won't last. Close to highway 99, parks and trails, book your tour today!

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New property listed in Walnut Grove, Langley

I have listed a new property at 9233 213 ST in Langley. See details here

You won't find a better location! Less than a 5 minute walk to multiple parks, walking trails and playgrounds, and walking distance to James Kennedy Elementary & Walnut Grove Secondary. 4 year old roof, new vinyl windows, and a patio slider off the primary bedroom to the backyard. 220 power available for a hot tub, and a private yard with lush greenery which gets all the afternoon sun. Extra deep garage to allow for 2 cars plus storage at the back, and plenty of space under the back deck for all your extra outdoor storage needs. You'll love the bright sunroom, leading into the large dining area, and spacious kitchen updated in 2006. Cute front patio to enjoy your morning coffee and watch the kids play on the tire swing. This is a perfect family home, don't miss out on it. Open House Sat May 25th and Sun May 26th from 2-4pm.

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I have sold a property at 131 14165 104TH AVE in Surrey

I have sold a property at 131 14165 104TH AVE in Surrey on May 4, 2024. See details here

This end-unit townhome has been lovingly cared for with 3 generous sized bedrooms, 2 full baths and a large storage space upstairs. Enjoy your morning cup of coffee watching the kids play in your large private fenced yard. Wander to the pool on those hot summer days or the playground for some fun with the kids. Close to all levels of schools, shopping, rec centre, skytrain, Hwy 1, Guildford & Surrey Central Malls. Renovations completed in 2019: all new flooring throughout, paint, countertops, bathrooms (incl main bath addition of shower), windows & slider door (owner responsible not strata) and hot water tank. Furnace replaced in March 2024. New roof to complex in 2023/2024. Well run strata & a community feel to this complex makes this the perfect choice for your family and pets.

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The Hidden Costs of Buying Real Estate

The Hidden Costs of Buying Real Estate

The Reality Beyond the Sticker Price

When it comes to purchasing real estate, the price tag on the listing is just the beginning. There are numerous additional costs involved that are not always obvious from the start. Failing to account for these can put your home ownership at risk, leading to a frantic scramble for funds at closing. As a real estate professional, I’ve witnessed too many buyers caught off guard by these hidden fees. It’s my mission to educate and prepare you for these unexpected expenses, ensuring a smooth and surprise-free home buying experience.

Unpacking the Hidden Costs

Let’s break down these costs using a $1 million home as a benchmark. This figure simplifies calculations and can be adjusted based on your actual purchase price. Here are the key extra expenses you need to consider:

1. Property Transfer Tax (PTT)

A significant expense in British Columbia, the PTT is calculated on a sliding scale, with rates increasing with the value of the property. For a $1 million home, expect to shell out approximately $18,000. However, first-time homebuyers might qualify for exemptions, so it’s worth investigating potential savings.

2. Legal Fees and Disbursements

Enlisting a real estate lawyer or notary public is essential for navigating the legal intricacies of property purchase. Costs can range widely, but for our example, anticipate spending between $1,500 and $2,500. Tip: Compare rates across different firms, potentially saving hundreds.

3. Title Insurance

Often required by lenders, title insurance protects against various ownership issues. For a property of our example’s value, the cost can be around $1,000 to $2,000, a one-time payment that safeguards your investment.

4. Mortgage Insurance

If your down payment is less than 20%, mortgage insurance becomes mandatory, protecting the lender against default. The cost varies significantly based on several factors, making it crucial to consult with your mortgage broker for precise figures.

5. Property Insurance

This is another lender requirement, with costs fluctuating based on location, size, and property condition. For a million-dollar home, expect annual premiums of $1,500 to $2,000. Shopping around can lead to savings.

6. Appraisal Fees

Lenders often require a professional appraisal to confirm the property’s market value, costing around $300 to $500. This fee can sometimes be negotiated or waived, so it’s worth discussing with your mortgage broker.

7. Strata Fees

For condo or townhouse purchases, monthly strata fees cover maintenance and amenities. These fees can vary widely and tend to increase annually, so factor them into your long-term budgeting.

8. Property Taxes

You may need to reimburse the seller for prepaid property taxes, depending on the sale’s timing. Annual taxes on a million-dollar home could be around $3,500 to $4,000, with adjustments based on the possession date.

9. Home Inspection

Before finalizing your offer, a professional home inspection can uncover potential issues, costing $700 to $1,000. While not mandatory, it’s a wise investment that could save you significantly by identifying costly repairs early on, potentially even netting you a price reduction.

The Bottom Line

The additional expenses of buying a home can tally up to between $26,900 and $30,800 for a million-dollar property. Including these in your budget is essential for a realistic understanding of your financial commitment.

Knowing the potential hidden costs is just the beginning. The next step is deciding where to buy, considering the best neighborhoods and those to avoid. Should you have any questions or need advice, don’t hesitate to reach out. Let’s navigate the path to your new home with confidence and clarity.

 
 
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