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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When Should I Sell My Home?

Knowing the answer to  “when should I sell” is possibly something you might want to know. Especially after the torrid marketplace we had this spring. With house values increasing 37% in the last year could now be the time?

If you are asking yourself this question you should consider the following:

  • Does our current home meet all of our needs?

    • This will vary depending on what stage of life you are at. Maybe your family has grown and you need more room. Perhaps your family is smaller and it is time to downsize.
  • Could we improve on our current equity position?

    • Generally speaking, if your move into a bigger more expensive property, the affect of a change in value will be greater. If your current property is worth $500,000 and property values increase on average 3% per year, in 5 years its value could be $579,637.04. Moving up to a property with a value of 750,000 you might expect an increase of $119,455.56. $39,818.52 more than by staying where you are. Of course you should always factor in the cost of your move. If using this reason to move, then plan on staying in the new property for 5 years or more to capitalize on the increase. Historically Real Estate is best as a long term investment.
  • Where would we rather live?

    • Maybe you live on a busy street or have a steep driveway. Maybe there is something else about your current property that is not desirable. The best time to sell a property with unattractive features is in an active market.
  • What does our budget allow?

    • It is important to know what your budget will allow in comparison to your lifestyle. Don’t plan on becoming house poor by buying a property beyond what is comfortable. Knowing when to sell is greatly affected by knowing the answer to what your budget will allow. Timing is important to consider here as well.

In times when property values increase dramatically, people will sometimes think it is a good time to refinance and take out equity. If you are considering that as an option, I would still recommend you ask the same questions that relate to selling your property. Removing equity is essentially a similar action as deciding to sell your home. Using your home equity as a bank account might not be in your best interest for non home-improvement type expenses.

These questions are not intended to be an exhaustive list but rather a starting place for you as you consider your Real Estate options. Your situation is unique and to truly determine your course of action should include a consultation with your Real Estate Professional. If you currently don’t have one, we would like to offer our expertise. An Initial Consultation is at no cost or obligation. Please feel free to call, text or email at your convenience.

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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”