New property listed in Queen Mary Park Surrey, Surrey

I have listed a new property at 12780 ROSS PL in Surrey. See details here

INVESTOR ALERT or FIRST TIME HOME BUYER! Build your dream home now or hold for later. Or get in to the market in a great family oriented neighbourhood. Easily suited in basement for max monthly income with two rental units. Highly sought after Queen Mary Park on a very desirable street. Central location close to schools and shopping. Come check out the beautiful homes already built or being built in the area. Almost 8800 sq ft lot waiting for your ideas.


New property listed in Walnut Grove, Langley

I have listed a new property at 56 9080 198 ST in Langley. See details here

UPDATED HOME. Act quickly on this 2 BR home situated in highly sought after park like setting, side entrance leads to kitchen, dining/living room situated at front. Laundry area tucked into bathroom offers convenience, primary BR located at rear offers space and privacy, 2nd BR ideal for hobby or home office. Updates incl all new plumbing, lighting, flooring, new furnace, all new windows and back door, exterior screws, painting. Metal Roof. Portable AC units included. Features include covered deck ideal for year round use, detached garden storage(insulated). Amenities include clubhouse, social activities, off leash dog park, RV parking by availability. This gated community is for those 55+, 1 small pet, direct access to shops and transit. Call soon.


I have sold a property at 32573 MARSHALL RD in Abbotsford

I have sold a property at 32573 MARSHALL RD in Abbotsford on Jun 11, 2024. See details here

PRIME location, and a beautiful family home. West Abbotsford, minutes to freeway access, and walking distance to Godson Elementary, Abbotsford Middle School, and Abbotsford Secondary. Bright and cheery kitchen, with a formal dining area and access to fenced backyard and covered patio. Optimal lot location, as there is no house directly behind this home. Walkout basement has one bedroom (has window but no closet), and a large rec room, easy conversion for nanny suite. Large secure storage under patio, this home has endless opportunities. New furnace, 2012 roof, and a new dishwasher. Come by this weekend!


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.


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!


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

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.


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.


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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