Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Making the Best Retirement Home Purchase in a Difficult Time


Downsizing to a property that may be more affordable and easier to maintain are common goals of many baby-boomers. Let's get some money out for travel or how can we help the kids. Difficulties in many areas including a hot Chilliwack real estate market are locating and securing the property before someone else has gobbled it up. The old "wait and see what comes up" methods are ineffective.  Today you have to be on the hunt. Waiting only ensures that you lose the race for the best properties. How can you get ahead of the pack? You need to target your next purchase.



Let's face it - early boomers have always benefited from being a few years older - so join them in making your decision sooner. Relocating a younger age makes sense anyways. You do need a local real estate agent to guide you through this "more complicated that you think" process.

There are a number of steps I recommend as being essential to secure the best retirement options in Chilliwack.   


Stephen Mullock's 6 Step System

1.  Meet in personThis meeting is essential, I want my clients to be completely comfortable with me and I need something from you to work well - your loyalty. A buyer's agent contract can help here as it details each others responsibilities and duties.


2.  Define Broad Elements. Discuss and perhaps visit some of the many adult retirement options in the area. While location is a key element most people do not give enough consideration to the many types of real estate "interests" that exist. Did you know that adult communities can be found on lands described as freehold bareland strata, freehold strata, leasehold prepaid lease - strata and non-strata, leasehold not prepaid - strata and non-strata.  It can get confusing and how you approach a purchase will be different for each type of interest. That is where a Realtor© , like me, can help you wade through the technicalities. My local experience can guide you to the best projects.


3.  Clear Specific Requirements of the desired property - bedroom, size, basement, dining, and other family needs. This can be quite a conversation and I have found that there is a natural refinement that occurs with market knowledge and the viewing of properties.


4.  Financial Check - how are you going to pay for the new property?  Can you bridge a purchase and then sell your home? Do you need to sell a home first?  What is it worth? I can help you establish a price and market it professionally to bring you top dollar. Out of town people home owners can enjoy my assistance in locating an agent through the Royal LePage referral system. Royal LePage operates coast-to-coast and has over 16,000 real estate agents.


5.  Targeted Search while many searches are broad in scope the hunt for a certain type of property might be better served with a very specific set of parameters. For some of my clients that means right down to one particular development or park. I do write and keep in touch with the various adult communities keeping "an ear to the ground" so to speak. 


6.  Build real estate market knowledge - tailored to meet your needs I will send you relevant information by email making you more knowledgable when it is time to write a contract. A position of bargaining power comes with a strong market understanding. 

Making the move to a happy new retirement home starts with one simple message - go to the contact form in the left margin and send me a telephone number and a time best suited to reach you.


Imagine living here....

"From the very beginning, Steve was the consummate professional. He zeroed in very quickly on our needs and was able to show us houses that we were really interested in. This was very important to us since we had a limited amount of time for house hunting and did not want to waste any time." David and Monica


Stephen Mullock
is an award winning full-time real estate specialist with 30 years of experience and hundreds of sales. Thinking of buying or selling real estate in the Fraser Cheam communities of Chilliwack, Agassiz or Harrison Hot Springs? Contact Steve (click here) of Royal LePage Wheeler Cheam Realty for experience, local knowledge and friendly service you’ll be happy you did.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

7 Tips when selling a home with PETS



1. Street Appeal - A buyer's first impression is formed right at the curb. Make sure that it is a positive one. Take a moment and put yourself in the shoes of a buyer and pretend that you are seeing your property for the first time. Fill holes, pick up animal waste, repair fences, and repaint the front door if heavily soiled by pets. Taking your pet out for a daily stroll will help keep your pet happy and less destructive.

2. Remove Pet Odours  - Going over your house with the same level of detachment and focus used outside to locate inside smells. Smell is particularly noteworthy and many times it is the #1 reason purchasers fail to make an offer.  Spot treatment and clean kitty litter boxes will help. You may need a friend to come over and give you a hand or rather a "nose" many owners get desensitized to odours. Have your floors and carpets professionally cleaned with the goal of pet smell removal.  Where a professional cleaning is not enough, consult with your real estate agent about replacing the flooring.    

3. Showings - if you can remove your pets during showings do so. This is a lot to ask I know. There is, however, nothing worst than having a dog growling, barking or jumping all over the buyers at a showing.  Many people are allergic to cats and to some to dogs.  If you cannot take them out of the house, confine them into a small place and let the real estate agent know where they are located. Some owners will relocate their pets during the showing period to a trusted friend or family member this has some merit but I understand for many this is not an option. 

4. Chewing and Scratching Damage - while recognizing that they are still a loved pet, they can create a fair amount of damage in a home.  This may include furniture, scratched walls, doors, and floors. Weather stripping at the threshold is often a common problem and usually a cheap one to fix. Work and replacement may be needed to restore the house. Once again get the advice of your real estate agent. How much work needs to be done is dependent upon many property variables.

5. Check Your Insurance - If you are leaving your pets at home during a showing, check with your house insurer, make sure that you are not opening yourself up to liability. Ensure your coverage does not exclude you from dog bite coverage.

6. Take Down Your Pet Pictures - It is common practise to "depersonalize" a house for sale by taking down family portraits and replacing them with art pieces. This allows the buyer greater ability to imagine the property as theirs. Similarly, removal of pet pictures, tools, mats etc. will move the buyer closer to making a decision to purchase.

7. Introduce Your Pets - to your real estate agent and familiarize him/her about your pet's behavior and how they are likely to react if they are at home during a showing. Let your agent know how important they are to you. Spending some time at the onset to cover the marketing process, expectations on pet management, and other items formed from the points above will go a long way to a successful sale.


Imagine living here.... 






Stephen Mullock
is an award winning full-time real estate specialist with 30 years of experience and hundreds of sales. Thinking of buying or selling real estate in the Fraser Cheam communities of Chilliwack, Agassiz or Harrison Hot Springs? Contact Steve (click here) of Royal LePage Wheeler Cheam Realty for experience, local knowledge and friendly service you’ll be happy you did.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

The Stephen Mullock Report: Chilliwack* Real Estate Review and Analysis October 2015


The Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board* (CADREB) had a total of 288 residential sales in October 2015. This was almost a 20% increase over the same month in 2014. It was also a 4% increase in sales volume when compared to a robust market performance in September 2015. Now I find this interesting, better sales volumes have been evident throughout most of 2015 but, there is usually fewer sale in October when compared to September.

Monthly statistics give us some insight on the overall strength and condition of the Chilliwack* real estate market. I will focus on the 3 most popular housing choices of 6 available.



SINGLE FAMILY DETACHED HOUSES  - SOLD



MONTHSales Average Sale Median Sale Active Listings
Oct 2015 158$392,000390,500545
Sep 2015 158$403,000383,000608
Oct 2014 142$332,000




TOWNHOUSES - SOLD

MONTHSales Average Sale  Median Price  Active Listings
Oct 2015 76$272,000285,000234
Sep 2015 93$267,000264,000254
Oct 2014 48$262,000







APARTMENTS - SOLD


MONTHSales Average Sale Price Median Price Active Listings
Oct 2015 33$150,000$141,000196
Sep 2015 29$136,000$115,000213
Oct 2014 24$136,000


Obviously both single family and strata prices are up compared to a year ago but relatively stable in the last month. Listing inventory retreats a little this time of year and that is evident in the statistics. 

Upward price pressure is not consistent in all areas of Chilliwack* and every housing choice. To get today's value for an individual property comparing recent neighbourhood sales is the best approach to value - you should either call in a local Realtor© or a real estate appraiser for that task.

Imagine living here....

The Chilliwack* real estate board area (CADREB) which includes the outlying communities of Agassiz, Harrison Hot Springs, Hope and parts of the Fraser Cascade Regional District.

The information presented in this post has been prepared by the author Stephen Mullock, using information from the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board.  The information has been drawn from sources deemed to be reliable, but the accuracy and completeness of the information are not guaranteed.


In providing such information, neither Stephen Mullock nor the Chilliwack & District Real Estate Board assumes any responsibility or liability.



Copyright © 2015 Stephen Mullock. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part is prohibited without written permission.



Stephen Mullock
is an award winning full-time real estate specialist with 30 years of experience and hundreds of sales. Thinking of buying or selling real estate in the Fraser Cheam communities of Chilliwack, Agassiz or Harrison Hot Springs? Contact Steve (click here) of Royal LePage Wheeler Cheam Realty for experience, local knowledge and friendly service you’ll be happy you did.


OPEN HOUSE

Saturday 1 - 4 pm, November 7, 2015
6016 Lougheed Hwy (access off of Ashton Road) Agassiz, BC


Rustic and charming house on hedged, flat and lovely .76 acre parcel. Well worth a look!  See you there! Priced at $350,000




Stephen Mullock
is an award winning full-time real estate specialist with 30 years of experience and hundreds of sales. Thinking of buying or selling real estate in the Fraser Cheam communities of Chilliwack, Agassiz or Harrison Hot Springs? Contact Steve (click here) of Royal LePage Wheeler Cheam Realty for experience, local knowledge and friendly service you’ll be happy you did.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Defer Your BC Property Taxes


IOU©Stephen Mullock

Sometimes, "Life happens" and it becomes almost impossible to keep up with your bills. Good news, the Province of BC has a generous program that allows qualifying people 55 years of age and older, a surviving spouse, or a person with disabilities or to defer their property taxes. 

This helps people to stay in their homes. As an experienced real estate agent I have seen many good people that were in need of financial assistance just like this. 

You would still need to apply for the home owner's grant if that was applicable. An interest rate would apply to the unpaid tax amount remaining. This rate is set every 6 months, until March 31, 2016 under the regular program that rate is a pretty reasonable .85%.  

You will owe the government and IOU of sorts and they expect to be reimbursed. A property lien is placed on the title and the full amount is repaid on the sale of the real estate. 

Details of the full program can be found at this link, Defer Your Taxes.

There is also a Families With Children program please note that the interest charges are different from the regular program.

Imagine living here...


Stephen Mullock
is an award winning full-time real estate specialist with 30 years of experience and hundreds of sales. Thinking of buying or selling real estate in the Fraser Cheam communities of Chilliwack, Agassiz or Harrison Hot Springs? Contact Steve (click here) of Royal LePage Wheeler Cheam Realty for experience, local knowledge and friendly service you’ll be happy you did.