It’s Not Always About the Price

That is when it comes to Offers....

When considering which of two or more competing offers to accept for your home, there is no doubt price plays a huge role. After all, if Offer #1 is $10,000 higher than Offer #2, that’s an enticing difference that puts thousands of extra dollars in your pocket.

Price isn't always #1

However, price isn’t the only thing you should think about when comparing multiple offers. There are other factors you need to consider as well.

For example, what conditions are in the offer? If Offer #1 is conditional upon the buyer selling his current property for a specific amount, then what if that doesn’t happen? You could end up with an offer that dies and be forced to list your home all over again.

In that circumstance, accepting the lower offer may be your best move.

There’s also financing to consider. Most buyers will attach a certificate from their mortgage lender to show that they can afford the home and will likely secure financing with little difficulty. If you get an offer where the ability of the buyer to get financing is in doubt, that’s a red flag.

The closing date is another important factor. Offer #1 might propose a closing date that’s perfect for you, while Offer #2 is four weeks later. If you’ve already purchased another home, you might require a month of bridge financing if you accept Offer #2. There’s nothing wrong with that per se, but the costs and additional hassle are factors you should consider.

As you can see, assessing competing offers isn’t as easy as it looks. Fortunately, as your REALTOR®, I am able to guide you toward making the right decision.  Let my experience go to work for you.

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Fixture or Chattel? Does it Stay, or Does it Go?

As a REALTOR®, the question of Does it Stay or Does it Go comes up with every transaction. The technical terms; fixture or chattel, are how they are described. As a buyer or a seller, it is important to know what is really included in the sale. I’ve asked my law student Ghost Writer, B. Sacamano,  to help answer this question and the following is his article. B’s experience includes being a REALTOR® so the fixture chattel debate is discussed in an understandable way.

Fuzzy Dice

Have you ever bought a used car? What was included in your purchase? Were the tires included? How about the seats? Of course they were, they are after all, part of what makes it a car. The half used container of engine oil in the trunk was probably removed prior to the sale. As was the emergency road side assistance kit, and any other personal belongings not essential to the operation of the car in its capacity as a drivable car. The fuzzy dice hanging from the rear view mirror for example, the atlas in the glove box (younger readers feel free to google what that is), and the stack of cd’s under the front seat, all disappeared prior to you driving away in your new ride.

I’m hoping that this analogy will provide a bit of clarity regarding what’s included, and not included in a house sale. At the very least it should get you thinking so you can ask the right questions at the appropriate time of the sale. All too often the REALTOR® gets a frantic call after possession day regarding something that has been taken or switched out for something different. And the best way to deal with this issue is to prevent it from happening in the first place. This pre-emptive attitude will require knowledge of fixture’s and chattels.

Chattels can simply be described as personal property, and would not be included in any sale unless specified in writing. From our car analogy, this would be the half-used oil in the trunk, the atlas and the fuzzy dice. Conversely, a fixture is attached to the land (or home) in some way, and as such would by default be included in the sale. From our car analogy, this would include the tires and the seats. They are essential to what makes the car a car.

This seems simple enough, if it’s attached it stays, and if it’s not it goes, right? Not quite. Confusion arises when chattels become fixtures, either intentionally or unintentionally. You see, there is a legal principle that says whatever is attached to the soil becomes part of it. In other words, if an item of personal property is attached in some fashion to the land or the house, it will become a fixture and henceforth transfer ownership with the land.

This is of course the difficulty in answering the fixture or chattel question. The seller may have never intended an item of personal property to become a fixture in the first place, whereas the buyer may have assumed the item is included as it appears to be a fixture.  Unfortunately the courts have decided the issue both ways; they have on one hand said that the physical attachment of a chattel is enough to indicate that chattel is actually a fixture, [1] and they have also conversely said physical attachment is not enough.[2] Essentially it comes down to the particular set of circumstances.

So what’s the simple solution here? Basically, if you want the container of oil, or the fuzzy dice, make sure to ask for them. Don’t assume they are included in the deal just because they were in the car when you looked at it. And likewise, if you’re going to put the original wheels back on the car before possession, make sure to stipulate that at the outset. When in doubt, you have to write it out.

[1] Holland v Hodgson (1872) LR 7 CP 328

[2] Monical –v- 0793545 BC Limited, 2013 BCSE 25

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Home Ownership – Is it Right for You?

And what type .......

Of course you want to own your own home! This is Canada. Home ownership is the Great Canadian dream! And what do you mean what type? Aren’t they all the same?

Home Ownership

Let’s take this one step at a time. Home ownership has several different aspects that can affect your decision. Some advantages and some disadvantages. Click here for 6 mistakes Home Buyers Make.

Advantages of Home Ownership

  1. It is the place you call home. You might say the place you rent is also home but when your landlord decides it is time to sell, you are forced to move. Owning your own home gives you the choice.
  2. It is a great investment. With Real Estate you are likely going to see your investment grow over the longer term. Sure their might be some ups and downs but the majority of wealth is built through wise investments.
  3. It is a way you can establish memories of your family. Your kids will grow up and leave but they will always remember where home was.
  4. It is where you can demonstrate your ‘pride of ownership’. Paint your home and its walls any color you like. Decorate it with your style. Show it off. Your earned it.

Disadvantages of Home Ownership

  1. Home ownership has a cost to it. Acquisition cost and maintenance cost.
  2. Home ownership takes an investment of Time as well as money.
  3. Home ownership is not a liquid investment.

Types of Home Ownership

  1. Single Family Detached – 59% of residential properties sold this year on the MLS were Detached houses of some form or another.
  2. Attached Strata Properties – Commonly known as Condo’s or Townhomes. They represent about 41% of the MLS sales this year.
  3. Co – operatives – Usually town homes or condos owned by a corporation that sells shares in the corporation to the residents. Quite often a lower cost form of housing and great for young families.
  4. Lease-hold properties – Resemble strata with the main difference being the existence of an underlying lease on the land so ownership is subject to the lease. Not to common in Abbotsford but Chilliwack is another story.

Rental properties is kind of a form of ownership because as with all of the above, your payment affords you a bundle of rights to use the property. Knowing which rights you are purchasing is important.

Home ownership of a strata property has become somewhat of a hot commodity lately as the price of the detached house slipped out of reach of many. And it is good to have this as a choice. When looking at Strata Properties, there are a number of technical issues that come up and will be the topic of an upcoming post.

Home Ownership is a good thing to consider. When looking into it make sure you go in with your eyes open. You need to know:

  1. Your budget – Remember having a life is good too. Don’t become house rich.
  2. Size of your family – Is it going to change soon?
  3. Location you like. Schools close, Shopping, Parks, Entertainment, Transit, Church’s. These all make for more sustainable living.
  4. List of must have’s and wants. Prioritize.

Navigating the waters of home ownership is full of technicalities, legalities and personalities. My best advice to you is to get a guide you TRUST. Your best interests are the required priority. Please feel free to contact me should you need any answers to your questions.

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Will Our Real Estate Market Change Soon?

There is certainly lots of talk about the possibility of change to our real estate market and to our industry. Our Government seems to be intent on doing their part with the implementation of a new property transfer tax. Others have posted our industry should change because of perceived conflicts of interest and what could be referred to as “An Old Boys Club” mentality. I believe the term “incestuous relationship” was used.

Change happens

This conversation for me is deeply disturbing. In over 30 years of being an Agent, Manager and a Broker Owner, I have always tried to adhere to what my Dad taught me. Treat people right and the business will come. Have I been perfect at this? Nope! Do I always try? Yup! Can I get better? You Betcha! Getting better everyday should be what it is about. Looking out for my clients interest must always be my number 1 priority.

I know there are many others like me in this industry and I would have no problem naming many without hesitation should you ever want a list.

There has been ton’s of change over these years. Technology, regulations, Legal issues have all driven their own change.  I remember the computer terminal we first had. It was about 2 feet wide and 3 feet long. Reams and reams of paper were used as we would print out listings and other info. Any one remember Dial Up modems? Do you know how slow 300 baud is compared to today’s high speed connections? Our first Fax machine cost over $3,000.00 and used thermal paper. After about a year you couldn’t read what it said!

Of course for many, I am speaking a different language. You likely don’t know what a baud rate is or even a fax machine. Well, we could talk about a bunch of stuff here but the reality is “Sure things will change.”

Is this new tax a good thing? I don’t know. Maybe in the long run but what about those people caught with a deal that might not close because someone won’t pay the added tax? What about the person who might be depending on that sale to complete so they can move forward on their commitments. Seems to me some innocents could get burned in this process. It isn’t to be applied east of Langley but will it drive foreign investors here? Could that be good?

Will our market crash? I don’t know. Maybe it will do like it usually does. Level off, and then decline 5 – 10% over the next 4 – 8 years. The factors driving this market are different than any other experienced during my time.

Change is a given. Our market and our industry will always change. Sometimes for the good and sometimes not so good. The more important question is “How will I navigate what is to come?”

So Here is Some Advice for Change:

  1. Don’t be part of the herd. Just because everyone is doing something doesn’t mean it is a smart thing to do. Use your head.
  2. Choose to be represented by someone who has experience and familiarity with all aspects of the transaction. The legal issues and complexity of today’s transactions need to be considered.
  3. Know your limits. Yes, a level of risk is sometimes good but not everyone is comfortable at the same level.
  4. Be clear on your objectives. What is it you are trying to accomplish.
  5. Most important of all. Work with someone you trust.

The real estate market adds a significant amount to our economy so a discussion of what affects it is worthy to take place. Please feel free to leave your comments or likes. If you have any questions about real estate please feel free to ask. I will do my best to answer them.

The V3G FSA Housing Market Report

The Real Estate market really seems to be on top of everyones mind these days. What with stories out of crazy things happening and prices going nuts it is sometimes tough to tell what is really happening. Like what is happening in your neighbourhood?  If you live in the V3G FSA area of Abbotsford, this Housing Market Report is specific to your area.

2015 was definitely an uncommon year in the housing market. We generally saw house values increase by about 11% from December 2014 to December 2015. There were instances of multiple offers as our inventory levels dropped and demand continued.  It was becoming more difficult to find the property of your choice that ticked all of your criteria.

Housing Market Summary V3G 2015

Total Houses brought to market – 504

Number of Houses Sold in 2015 – 379

Number of Houses that Remain still for sale – 65

Number of Houses that did not sell – 60

List prices ranged from a low of $268,000 to a high of $3,590,000. The average list price was $643,879 and the median price $585,000.

Sale prices were between $260,000 and $3,300,000 with and average of $596,021 and the median at $561,500.

The average Days on Market or the time it took to sell was down from previous years and is best described by the mean at 27 days.

Projections for 2016

My cracked crystal ball might not be as accurate as I would like these days but when I look at what the BC Real Estate Association predicts for our Housing Market in 2016 I tend to lean toward thinking our market will continue to be active but without the frenetic activity. Their words are “Housing Demand to Remain Elevated through 2016” You can read all about it here.  And if you would like an update on the value of your home its easy. Go to and a free no obligation market update will be delivered to your email inbox.

If you have any comments please feel free to share them in our comment section or Facebook.

2015 – A Review of Real Estate Market Value

What happened to your property value?

A very common question I get as a REALTOR® is “How is the market” Typically we understand that to mean is “Is the value of my house going higher or should I be worrying about a bubble?”

House Price Index Average 2015

To say the real estate market in Abbotsford and Mission areas was active in 2015 would not really do justice to the level of activity we have had. Robust would be a better word. The number of properties that sold was up 33.8% in Abbotsford and 37.1% in Mission. New listings were up only 9.3 and 3.6 per cent respectively.

Market value on average increased about 11% in Abbotsford for a typical Single Family home December 2014 to December 2015. Mission experienced increases of 17.3% for the same time period. This is based on the average price of a single family home as per the House Price Index published by the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board.

Jorda Maisy, president of the FVREB had this to say :

The market remains buoyant, and with very low inventory currently there is tremendous
opportunity for sellers. For buyers finding it challenging in their search, REALTORS® are recommending they consider a variety of housing options and communities they may not have considered. There’s a lot of choice out there, you just need to know where to look.”

The next question that may come mind is “What will market value do this next year?” Unfortunately for that one, we cannot accurately predict what will take place. Time will tell the tale of what actually happens but my experience tells me we could expect a levelling off on the activity and depending on our supply, Market Value might level off as well.

Three things that will impact Market Value

Inventory Levels:

Currently our inventory levels are at around 60% of what they would normally be. I recall a similar situation in 1989 and 1990. An extemely robust market caused values to increase and inventory levels to plummet. In the Spring, inventory levels returned to normal and beyond causing a levelling off of our market.


Some predictions are we will have a strong migration of people to Abbotsford which would fuel the demand. People will need a place to live. Either rental or purchase. Either way demand should be good throughout 2016

Interest Rates

While the Bank of Canada Rate has remained somewhat steady, there is talk that it could go down and perhaps even become negative. This would happen in order to stimulate our economy. You should talk to someone who is smarter than I about such things but the Mortgage rates may actually increase. They are based on the Bond rate and apparently they may go up. Should interest rates go up significantly, it will affect the price of our homes.

Me out on a limb… Or in Summary…. I predict that you will see continued activity in our market but with more modest growth in market value in both Mission and Abbotsford. 

To see what is currently available just click on this link.

If you are interested in getting your property value updated, please feel free to contact me. I am only to happy to provide that service to you. If you found this article interesting, please like us on facebook or share through twitter.


Real Estate – 5 Most Important Things

Your House - Your Home

There’s the old joke in Real Estate, “What are the three most important things about Real Estate? The Answer: Location Location Location…. Ha Ha Ha.

The importance of where your property is located is very real but we also should look at the other aspects of your home. You are going to have design, layout and decorating things to look at and also what it is actually made of. Bricks, morter, wood, vinyl. The options are endless. But your home is more than these things.

Home is About Your Family

Measure Me Grandpa!
Measure Me Grandpa!

Home for Sonya and I for the past 16 years has been a condo. I can not think of a better location to live. I can walk just about anywhere I need to go. But what is really important to me is having my family come to visit. We now have 8 grandchildren and there is one door in the condo that if we ever decide to move, that door will be coming with us. As you can see by the picture, we have measured everyone on this door. At our previous home, our children grew up and that was home.

Home is About Making Memories

No matter where we have live, we create memories. Sonya and I have been blessed to have just good memories from where we have lived. At the house in McMillan it was about the ball games the boys were playing and being close to the schoools for the special meetings or presentations. But one time we had a visit from the police. It would seem someone was shooting what appeared to be a rifle from our deck. Good thing it was only a pellet gun but we had some pretty scared boys while the police officer was talking to them. That is a memory!

Home is About New Relationships and Long ones

Every place we have lived, we meet new people. They become more than neighbors sometimes and we develop friendships. The kids had friends they met at the McMillan house they still call friends. People they may share part of their life with for many more years.

Home is About Living in Community

As you spend time in your area, hopefully you will be developing a feel for the community. The community we are in now is primarily adult but our previous properties were geared more for families. As your property requirements change, community is an important thing to consider when you are getting ready to move.

Home is About Security

Most people have a feeling of safety when they are home. They are in familiar surroundings. Hopefully with people they love and who care for them. For each of us it will mean something different. Women tend to feel a loss of security when the for sale sign goes up. They are concerned about where the next home is going to be. Men are quite likely to not be nearly as concerned. They could just as well live in a tent for a month or two.

I remember when Mom and Dad decided it was time for us to move into a bigger home and they put the little house on Mayfair up for sale. Along with Bev and Sharon, we would routinely take the for sale sign down because that was our place. I remember thinking it kind of funny when Dad would get annoyed at what we had done. Well we did move and I’m happy to report I survived that one and a few others as well. Amazing as it may seem, I found some new friends at the new place too.

Your Abbotsford Home Value

Your Abbotsford Home Value

Navigating the process of moving a family is more complicated today than 50 years ago when we moved from Mayfair to Sheffield Way. Moving across a much smaller town really wasn’t a big deal back then as it might be today. It is important we survive those moves and for them to be smooth.

Each person involved in the move will be concerned about something different but very relevent to them. Not everything we talked about could concern you but I bet each one involved in your move will be thinking of a few of those things.

Helping your move go smoothly is what we are all about. It is important to get the right price and to pay the right price but it is also important for you to be in the right place.

Please let me know if there is any way I might help you now.

If you have any question about moving or property values please feel free to leave a comment or post something on our Facebook page. We specialize in providing “Friendly Service all the Time”