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Wednesday, February 20, 2019

RE/MAX of Western Canada Helps Graduating Students of 2019

RE/MAX of Western Canada Helps Graduating Students of 2019


RE/MAX 2019 Quest for Excellence®
The Quest for Excellence program is a bursary program for grade 12 students in Western Canada. It was established by RE/MAX of Western Canada to recognize the success and ongoing pursuits of Western Canadian students in regards to leadership and community contribution initiatives.

What is Awarded?
RE/MAX of Western Canada will award 16 bursaries of $1,000 each to qualifying Grade 12 students.  In addition, each award includes a Certificate of Excellence signed by the Regional Executive Vice President of RE/MAX of Western Canada. Winners will be notified in April 2019.

Who Can Participate?
The Quest for Excellence is open to all Grade 12 students attending high school from September 2018 – June 2019. Grade 12 students may not have participated in graduation commencement ceremonies in the past. Applicants must be a resident of one of the following provinces/territories:
  • British Columbia
  • Alberta
  • Saskatchewan
  • Manitoba
  • Yukon Territory

What is Required?
Students are to convey the contributions they have made to their communities in a short online essay, maximum 1,250 words. Key qualities students should demonstrate are leadership, motivation and communication skills.  Other attributes may include volunteering, participation in charitable events or fundraising, and contributions that enrich the lives of others and their communities.
RE/MAX 2019 Quest for Excellence program will open for submission on September 10th, 2018 until March 11th, 2019.












Gelderman.ca Real Estate Team
RE/MAX
Aldercenter Realty



Know someone moving ANYWHERE in the WORLD? Call us today--we know the BEST agents everywhere!!

Serving Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Mission, Langley, Surrey and the WORLD!

Office Phone: 604-743-7653

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

10 Steps to Refreshing a Room for Very Little Money

10 Steps to Refreshing a Room 
for Very Little Money

It's the perfect time of year to stay inside and feed yourself some happy by refreshing a room in your home! 


We have a love/hate relationship with our homes. It’s a rare and fortunate person whose home suits them perfectly. Most of us have at least a few complaints such as a lack of closet space, a too-small bathroom, an awkward layout, or dated d├ęcor. Or maybe you’re quite happy with your home, but it just feels stagnant every once in a while. While it’s impossible to change a floor plan or expand a bathroom without spending money, you can refresh a room without spending a dime. Sometimes just changing something small can make you excited about your space again. Here are ten steps to refreshing a room for little or no money at all.
  1. 01 Start by removing all of the accessories. Begin with a blank slate by removing everything that isn’t furniture, drapes, or rugs. By removing all of the “noise” from the room, you’ll be able to see it with fresh eyes. Place all of the items in one spot, maybe on the dining room table or kitchen counter.
  2. 02 Take a look at your furniture placement. If you’re lucky enough to have a room that allows for different furniture configurations, go for it! If you’ve never re-arranged your furniture, you’ll be amazed at the difference it makes. If nothing else, it will force you to vacuum under the couch. 
  3. 03 Edit your stuff. Look at the items you’ve collected. You may discover that the room just needs some editing. Perhaps there is too much “stuff” distracting from the things you really love.  Or maybe you have a lot of clutter that you simply need to put away. For instance, stacks of magazines can be recycled or donated and kids’ toys can be corralled in baskets. Bookcases are often collectors of clutter, but can be gorgeous and functional if styled correctly. Replace the items you want to keep in them. Everything else should be put away in their their rightful places or placed in storage.
  1. 04 Replace the items you want to keep in the space; however, try them in different spots. For example, swap table lampsrearrange the accessories in the bookcase, or try pillows on different chairs. Also, try pairing different items together. Maybe your family photos have always been grouped together; but, perhaps they’d look awesome dispersed among stacks of books in your bookcase. For that matter, take some of the books out of the bookcase and put them in a meaningful stack somewhere else. For instance, a few travel books would make a great base for a vintage globe or vacation memento. On the other hand, maybe you have items from a collection scattered throughout your home, but they'd have more impact if grouped together. Check out these do's and don'ts for displaying collections.
  2. 05 Shop other rooms. Walk around your house and select accessories from other spaces that might work. Somehow a lamp, piece of art, or vase from another room can look brand new in a new location.

  1. 06 Spray paint something. Raid your basement or cabinets for an item or two that was destined for your next garage sale and save it with a can of spray paintPaint a collection of cheap florists’ vases to look like milk glass, or change an outdated oak picture frame to black lacquer.
  1. 07 Add something green. Houseplants do wonders for breathing new life into a room. If you don’t have a green thumb, choose a realistic-looking artificial plant like trendy succulents or follow these best practices for decorating with other faux florals.
  2. 08 Add texture. A knubby throw blanket, a seagrass basket, or some rope-wrapped candlesticks really add interest and sophistication to a space. 

  1. 09 Add some meaning to your space. Take a look at your room and decide whether or not it tells a story.  A room lacking in personal objects lacks a soul. On the other hand, don’t feel the need to display everything you own that has sentimental value (See #3).
  2. 10 Light a candle. Wax warmers and plug-ins are great, but they are no substitute for the warmth of a flickering candle.  











Gelderman.ca Real Estate Team
RE/MAX
Aldercenter Realty



Know someone moving ANYWHERE in the WORLD? Call us today--we know the BEST agents everywhere!!

Serving Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Mission, Langley, Surrey and the WORLD!

Office Phone: 604-743-7653


Wednesday, February 13, 2019

What Are Reverse Mortgages

What Are Reverse Mortgages


Financing your home is probably one of the least fun aspects of home ownership. Nevertheless, it’s essential. And when it comes to a reverse mortgage, things get a little more interesting. With a reverse mortgage, you can take advantage of the value of your home without selling it. Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? Before you call your bank, here are all the facts about how reverse mortgages work.

What is a Reverse Mortgage?

Reverse mortgages are also referred to as equity release. They allow you to borrow a percentage of the current value of your home. This percentage is based on a number of things including your age, the appraised value of your home, and your lender. Basically, the older you are and the longer you’ve had your home, the more equity you will have in your home. As well, current market trends will also contribute to the amount of money you can access.

How is a Reverse Mortgage Paid Off?

One of the things that appeal to homeowners is that payments on reverse mortgages are not required until the loan is due. The loan is usually due at the time of death or when you sell your home. One thing to consider is that the longer you go without payments toward a reverse mortgage, the more interest you will owe. That is very important because this can negatively affect the equity in your home, meaning when you decide to sell, you might not end up with as much profit as you were expecting.

Is Everyone Eligible for a Reverse Mortgage?

Not everybody is eligible for a reverse mortgage. In order to apply for a reverse mortgage, you must:
  • Own your home, which must be your primary residence
  • Be at least 55 years old if you are single
  • Both be at least 55 years old if you own the home with a partner/spouse
  • Both be on the mortgage application if you own the home with a partner/spouse
  • Pay off your mortgage once you receive a reverse mortgage

How Do I Qualify for a Reverse Mortgage?

There are a number of things the lender will consider for reverse mortgage applicants including:
  • Where you live
  • The appraised value of your home
  • The type of home
  • The condition of your home
It is also not uncommon for a lender to ask you to speak to a lawyer. They want to ensure you know the answer to the question, “What is a reverse mortgage?”
Reverse mortgage lenders in Canada include:
  • HomeEquity Bank, which offers the Canadian Home Income Plan (CHIP) available across Canada.
  • Equitable Bank, which offers the PATH Home Plan through mortgage brokers in Alberta, British Columbia, and Ontario.

How Do I Access My Money Once I Qualify?

Once you qualify for a reverse mortgage, you are required to pay off your mortgage as well as close outstanding loans or lines of credit that are secured by your home, which includes your mortgage as well as a home equity line of credit. That might sound scary, but you use the money from your reverse mortgage to pay everything off. The balance of your reverse mortgage can then be used for whatever you like.
The money can be accessed in the following ways:
  • A one-time lump sum
  • Taking an amount up front and then receiving the rest in installments

Are There Fees or Restrictions with a Reverse Mortgage?

Before you decide how you want to access your money, discuss your options with your lender. There could be fees and restrictions in some cases. For example, in most cases, you will not be able to use your home to secure another loan or apply for a home equity line of credit. Also if you decide to pay off your reverse mortgage early, there might be a fee.
Other fees and costs can include:
  • A high interest rate
  • Home appraisal fee
  • Setup fee
  • Legal fees

How is the Money Repaid with a Reverse Mortgage?

Reverse mortgages do not have regular payments. However, interest will be charged to the original loan amount until your loan is paid in full. Interest will continue to increase the loan amount over time, which is very important to keep in mind. When you sell your home, or you no longer use your home as your primary residence, you will be expected to pay the entire amount owing.
You do have the option to make payments towards the principal and interest at any time. As mentioned, if you choose to pay in full, there is usually a fee. If you default on the loan, you will be expected to repay the amount in full. Defaults could include:
  • Using the money for something illegal
  • Lying on your application
  • Allowing the value of your home to decrease due to negligence
  • Not adhering to the conditions of your reverse mortgage
Upon the sale of your home or death, the entire amount will have to be paid off. The time allowed for the complete repayment will vary. For example, your estate might have 180 days to repay while if you were to move from your home, you might have as long as a year.

Pros and Cons of a Reverse Mortgage

Before you approach a lender, consider the pros and cons of a reverse mortgage.
Pros
  • No regular loan payments
  • You can live in the home
  • Don’t have to sell your home
  • Your loan is tax-free
  • No effect on Old-Age Security (OAS) or Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) benefits
  • Options on how you receive the money
Cons
  • High interest rates
  • Building interest can reduce the equity in your home
  • Your estate will have to repay the loan and interest in full when you die
  • Estate settlement time could be longer than the time given to repay
  • Less money to leave to your children and beneficiaries
  • Higher costs than a regular mortgage or other loan options

Important Questions to Ask Your Lender

If you do decide to meet with a broker or lender, ask these questions:
  • How do I access my money?
  • What are the fees and penalties?
  • What is the interest rate?
  • Are there time restrictions on when I can sell my home?
  • How long does my estate have to pay off the balance?
  • What if the amount of the loan is higher than my home’s value when the loan is due?
So now you know the answer to the question: “What is a reverse mortgage?” Keep in mind there are other ways to access the equity in your home. Always be certain you have the full story and understand the pros and cons of a reverse mortgage before you proceed.






Gelderman.ca Real Estate Team
RE/MAX
Aldercenter Realty



Know someone moving ANYWHERE in the WORLD? Call us today--we know the BEST agents everywhere!!

Serving Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Mission, Langley, Surrey and the WORLD!

Office Phone: 604-743-7653




Tuesday, February 12, 2019

How much is my house worth?

How much is my house worth?


One of the many benefits of owning a home is having the ability to sell it one day – hopefully for a healthy profit, which can then be leveraged to purchase a larger home, an investment or recreational property, or help finance your retirement. Once you decide that you’re ready to take the leap and list your home for sale, the next question you need to ask is, “How much is my house worth?” This is a loaded question indeed. It opens the floodgates to a slew of other factors that will each impact your decision on asking price to varying degrees.

The Price Is Right

We can’t stress the importance of setting the right asking price. An overpriced home runs the risk of sitting (and stagnating!) on the market for a prolonged period of time. This can seriously hurt your bottom line, especially if you’ve already purchased another home and you’re paying two mortgages simultaneously. Beyond that, overpricing your home could make competing listings look even more attractive. And oftentimes, fixing the issue isn’t as simple as just re-listing the home at a lower price. Buyers who are shopping the market will have already seen your listing, and they will either discount it as old news, or they may wonder what’s wrong with the property, in light of the price reduction. An overpriced home is not an ideal situation to find yourself in, in any selling scenario. On the flip-side, underpricing your home means leaving money on the table. Setting the right price from the get-go will ensure your listing attracts serious buyers, and some feasible offers too.

So, how much is my house worth? Let’s find out.

MARKET CONDITIONSIs it a buyer’s market or a seller’s market? The real estate market is impacted by everything from the local and larger economic picture, to the weather. The type of market speaks to demand for homes, which will affect how quickly your home sells and will help answer the question, “How much is my house worth?” A buyer’s real estate market is characterized by more homes for sale than people to buy them. An influx of listings (or fewer homebuyers) means buyers face less competition in the purchasing process, and can often take their time and see more homes before making an offer. Buyers also have greater negotiating power when it comes to their offer and conditions of the sale.


THE COMPARABLESIf you’re not sure what your home is worth, have your real estate agent pull comparable sales to help answer the million-dollar question (depending on the market, of course!) “How much is my house worth?” This will give you an idea of what homes in the same neighbourhood have sold for in recent weeks. This is a realistic reflection of what buyers have actually paid for similar homes in the same area. It’s also prudent to keep an eye on your competition. Pay attention to homes for sale in your neighbourhood, their condition and features, and the asking price – but take it with a grain of salt. Depending on the seller’s strategy, they could have listed low in an attempt to attract more potential buyers.



THE LOCATIONA home’s location has a huge impact on its value, and rightfully so. It’s a particularly important consideration for buyers, as location is one thing you definitely can’t change about the home. Location will define the liveability of the neighbourhood, the price buyers need to pay to get into the area, and the resale value when it’s time to list it. Translation: hot neighbourhoods are always a hot commodity, oftentimes trumping market conditions.



THE HOMEA home’s location typically trumps style when it comes to value, but that’s not to say condition, features and upgrades don’t matter when you’re determining what your home is worth. A fixer-upper and a move-in ready home will vary in terms of price, even with identical floor plans. Items such as a new roof, a finished basement, renovated kitchen and baths can make a difference to the bottom line, and the return on investment could be well worth the money and effort. This is precisely why many home sellers choose to renovate or update their home before listing it for sale. Evaluate the cost of the renovation and consider whether you’ll get that money back in the face of real estate market conditions.



__________________________________________________________________________

There’s a lot to think about before you put up that For Sale sign. What’s happening in the real estate market? Is there buyer demand? Who’s your competition? What is my house worth? And ultimately, what can I do to make the sale? Start by working with an experienced real estate agent who has a thorough knowledge of your specific area, the market conditions and your target buyer. Discuss all of the above with your real estate professional. At the risk of sounding like a public service announcement, education really is key in the home buying and selling process, allowing you to make confident decisions concerning your property – and your financial future.












Gelderman.ca Real Estate Team
RE/MAX
Aldercenter Realty



Know someone moving ANYWHERE in the WORLD? Call us today--we know the BEST agents everywhere!!

Serving Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Mission, Langley, Surrey and the WORLD!


Office Phone: 604-743-7653



Monday, February 11, 2019

Single home buyers hesitant to purchase, despite strong financial means and low debt

Single home buyers hesitant to purchase, despite strong financial means and low debt




  • Twenty-six per cent of single Canadians are considering purchasing a home on their own, with Atlantic Canada leading the pack at 34 per cent
  • Fifty-two per cent of single Canadians said economic uncertainty and expensive home prices are the biggest factors impacting their decision not to purchase a home on their own
As Canadians’ household debt ratio creeps higher across the country, single Canadians who are interested in buying a home on their own (26 per cent), seem to be on a different path. According to a recent RE/MAX survey conducted by Leger, almost half of respondents (43 per cent) have less than $5,000 in debt, casting doubt on claims that debt is impacting their decision to purchase a home.
For more than half of single Canadians, the decision not to purchase is driven by economic uncertainty and high home prices (52 per cent). Meanwhile, 81 per cent of singles who want to purchase a home say that they have the ability to do so and finance a property on their own. More than one-third (37 per cent) of single home buyers will use a loan or mortgage, and 35 per cent have the savings available to make the down payment.
“It’s concerning to see qualified buyers showing hesitancy toward home ownership. Price and economic factors aside, the additional unnecessary layers of government intervention have left many feeling pushed out of the market, or uncertain of it,” says Christopher Alexander, Executive Vice President, RE/MAX of Ontario-Atlantic Canada.
However, despite these factors, it’s important to remember that buying Canadian real estate is still one of the safest and most reliable financial investments one can make.
Single Canadians who want to buy a home are in agreement, with 38 per cent saying it is a good investment, which is especially the case for those living in urban areas (51 per cent). The second most-common reason for single Canadians wanting to purchase a home is to have more flexibility in their living space (27 per cent).
“Purchasing a property alone often reaps great long-term benefits from an investment perspective,” says Elton Ash, Executive Vice President, RE/MAX of Western Canada.
There is a great opportunity for asset growth, particularly as home prices continue to increase in cities like Toronto and Vancouver, pushing the average sales price up in all surrounding regions as well.

Key findings from the 2019 RE/MAX Single Home Buyers Omnibus Survey

  • Canadian single buyers are more interested in purchasing single-detached homes (12 per cent), than any other type of property.
  • Men are twice as likely as women to say that they are considering purchasing a home on their own (37 per cent versus 17 per cent).
  • Single Canadians living in urban areas are more hesitant than single Canadians living in suburban areas to invest due to high home costs (48 per cent versus 43 per cent).





Gelderman.ca Real Estate Team
RE/MAX
Aldercenter Realty



Know someone moving ANYWHERE in the WORLD? Call us today--We know the BEST agents everywhere!!

Serving Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Mission, Langley, Surrey and the WORLD!

Office Phone: 604-743-7653