Things to take with you when shopping fo

Things to take with you when shopping for a new home.

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Fraser Valley House Hunters Looking For Good Buys; Keeping Prices Resilient

(Surrey, BC) – The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) processed 1,412 sales on its Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in March, a decrease of 22 per cent compared to March of last year, however only 13 per cent less than the 10-year average of 1,626 sales for same month.

Scott Olson, president of FVREB, says, “It was quieter than usual for March, but still steady with an increase in demand for more affordable properties, in particular detached homes for less than $500,000 and townhouses.

“Compared to last March, every community in Fraser Valley experienced a decrease in the sales of single family detached homes especially those priced at the higher-end; however Abbotsford, Langley and North Surrey all saw increases in the sale of townhouses.”

Olson adds, “Last year, single family homes represented 63 per cent of our residential market. This March, it dropped to 56 per cent, so we’re seeing demand for more affordable options. This is in contrast to last year when we saw elevated sales of higher-end homes in areas such as North Delta, South Surrey and White Rock.”

In March 2012 in Fraser Valley, the sale of detached homes with a value greater than half a million dollars decreased by 33 per cent compared to last year, explaining why average prices, which can be skewed by the dollar volume of high or low-end sales*, are showing decreases year-over-year, while benchmark prices – homes with typical characteristics for the neighbourhood – are showing increases compared to 2011.

The MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) benchmark price of a detached home in March was $572,700, an increase of 6.8 per cent compared to $536,200 last year. The benchmark price of Fraser Valley townhouses increased by 1.5 per cent in one year, going from $310,300 in March 2011 to $315,000 in March 2012, while the benchmark price of apartments also increased by 1.5 per cent going from $210,600 in March of last year to $204,700 in March 2012.
The number of Fraser Valley properties on the market in March finished at 9,643, an increase of 5 per cent compared to the same month last year although the number of new listings received – 3,066 – represents a 9 per cent decrease compared to March 2011.

The average number of days to sell a detached home was 46 in March 2012, one day faster than last year. It took 49 days on average to sell a townhouse and under two months or 58 days to sell an apartment.

The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board is an association of 2,903 real estate professionals who live and work in the BC communities of North Delta, Surrey, White Rock, Langley, Abbotsford, and Mission. The FVREB marked its 90-year anniversary in 2011.

—*For more information about the MLS® Home Price Index and how it compares to average and median prices, visit the FAQs tab at

Full package:

**Source – Fraser Valley Real Estate Board.

Posted in Buyer Market, Market Reports and Conditions, Market Trend, Monthly Report, Real Estate, Real Estate Spring Trend | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Decorating your Powder Room

We all take pride in the chic-ness of our powder rooms( well those who have them). They are trendy, modern, bold etc. As homeowners and designers a lot of effort goes into decorating this 5′ by 5′ of space. I am challenged in the decoration department. (We all have our pros and cons). Therefore I read all the home decorating books whenever I need an inspiration. So here are 4 tips I picked up to make your powder room fabulous.

1. Lighting: All the ladies know how certain lighting make us look like Audrey Hepburn while other’s showcases us as a character from Tim Burton’s movies. Therefore, use lights with dimmer switch. Install designer/decorative light fixtures on either side of the vanity mirror.

2. Bold statement: Sometimes an In-your-face (aka BOLD) wallpaper or color sets the tone of your powder room in a way you could have not fathomed. Most of the time we can’t use these colors or wallpaper in any other part of the house but in a powder room it just makes a BOLD STATEMENT.

3. Accessorize: Candles, potpourri, flowers, Pictures ( not family photos of course, but you knew that), other decorative items makes your powder room look pretty .

4. Size Matters: Use compact essentials. e.g. standalone vanity, compact toilet etc. It adds space and character to your room. Also it gives a clean esthetic to the room.

EYE CATCHING: A clean and simple esthetic paired with a fun and quirky motif makes for a powder room that pops. (BC Homes Magazine).

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Everyone is always looking for a good deal. Whether it’s when buying a car, clothes, groceries and even gas. We all know how many of us make the trip to the south of the border to save $20-$30 dollars per fill up. But in this blog I am not talking about the gas prices now a days. There is not end to that barrel of grunts per fill up.

As of March 5, 2012, there were a combined 385 residential listings that were court ordered sales ranging from Greater Vancouver Region to Chilliwack . Now a common misconception about foreclosures is that the homes are listed $100,000 or more under market value. The word ‘foreclosure’ triggers different emotions in different people. For sellers it’s probably the worst phase of their life. Therefore we all need to show some compassion towards them.

But this blog is for all the buyers in BC who are looking to invest in a foreclosure. Here are few questions that I get asked everyday in my job by Buyer.

Q: Is there any additional costs when buying a foreclosure vs buying directly from Owners?

A: No. The cost of buying a house directly from Owners is same as cost of buying a foreclosure.

Q: Are all foreclosures fire sale?

A: No. Not at all. In fact, a lot of foreclosures sell for market value. But there are always good deals in the market. Contact your local realtor for a list of foreclosures in your neighbourhood.

Q: How do I purchase a foreclosure? (Scenario 1 when there are no competing bids)

A: Well, to begin with; find a house that you like. Ask your realtor to request for a ” Schedule A”** from the listing party. If there is no accepted offer on the property, you could present a subjected offer to the listing party. After your due diligence period, once all your subjects are waived or satisfied, you need to provide a deposit as stated in the  contract that will go in the stakeholders In Trust Account. The listing Party’s Lawyer will follow the necessary procedures to register the offer at the court and a court date is scheduled to obtain a Court Approval for the sale of the property. Because the offer is registered at the court, the purchase price , closing date and any other information regarding the offer becomes public information.

On the day of the Court date, if you have no competing bids then you get the property. Easy!

Q: How do I purchase a foreclosure? (Scenario 2 when there are competing bids)

If there are other interested parties present at the court on the day of court approval, then all the parties have to submit their subject free offer along with the deposit in a sealed envelope. They have to hand over their offers to the listing agent before the court proceedings begin. The listing agent then informs the original buyer that there are competing bids and the original buyer offer his best offer in a sealed envelope and hand it to the listing agent.

The lawyer hands over all the offers to the Master. who reviews all the offers and usually awards the property to the highest bidder.

All the other bidders receive their offers and their deposit cheques back after the court proceedings. While the winning bidders get to complete the deal according to the dates mentioned in the contract.

Q:  Does the Court Order Override the Residential Tenancy act?

A: Yes. The tenant has the right of proper notice to vacate. Under the existing legislation, once a foreclosure action is launched, if the tenant is named as a party to the action, the parties are not bound by the legislation.

Q: Is there risks involved with purchasing a foreclosure?

A: Yes. An Owner may even purposely cause damage to a property by tearing out fixtures or cabinets, taking out glass windows, removing a furnace, etc. There acts obviously diminish the value of the property. Lenders who show that the owner warrants expedited foreclosure, by virtue of such malicious wasteful acts, can have the usual “equity of redemption” period of six months reduced to a much shorter time.  The owner can also be charged with willful damage under the Criminal Code.

Q: Should I invest in a foreclosure?

A: Yes. Contact your local Realtor and consult him/her regarding the foreclosures in your neighbourhood of interest. But keep in mind to hire someone who has some experience in foreclosure dealings before.

If you have any other questions regarding court order sales or proceedings, feel free to ask. Hope this blog helped you to get some answers for of your questions regarding foreclosures.

**Schedule A is a 1 to 3 pages documents drafted by the banks lawyer stated that the buyer will take the house in “As is Where is”. Incase there is any damage done by the tenants or owners of the premises upon leaving the bank will not take any responsibility.