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Can New Kitchen Appliances Increase the Value of Your Home?

Next to a major kitchen renovation, replacing appliances is the most expensive way to upgrade the space. So if you’re purchasing a new refrigerator, stove or dishwasher in order to make your home more attractive to buyers, you want to make wise purchasing decisions.

The most important consideration is how the appliances will look in the kitchen. Ideally, they should match in colour and style. They should also be the right size for the space. The last thing you want is a fridge that’s so large it dominates the room, or a stove that’s a completely different style and looks out-of-place.

Appearance is important, but so are the features. Buyers viewing your home will scrutinize the appliances. They’ll notice if the fridge has a cold water and ice dispenser. They’ll ask if the dishwasher has noise-reduction features. Double ovens and quick-heating burners (which are now available on electric stoves) will also get a buyer’s attention. Power consumption is also a big issue these days. Increasingly, buyers are interested in the energy efficient features of a home — appliances included.

So, as your REALTOR® I would point out appliances with energy-saving features, such as a dishwasher with a slow-run cycle that saves power. Kitchen appliances may seem minor compared to the overall appeal of your property, but they do make a difference. Purchase wisely!

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Fraser Valley Housing Market remains Hectic

SURREY, BC – Consistent with the preceding two months, June saw a record-setting number of sales for the month historically, but continued easing off since this year’s sales peak in March.

The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board processed 2,864 sales of all property types on its Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in June, an increase of 18.7 per cent compared to June 2015. The previous record for sales processed in a June was set in 2005 at 2,517. However, when compared to May 2016, sales dipped 1.5 per cent.

With 1,281 sales of single family detached homes, demand for greater space and land remained consistent. However, nearly matching that was the combined total of June’s 656 townhome sales and 604 apartment sales, a rare feat for the Fraser Valley region.

“Demand for Fraser Valley homes grips the market, tightly. Still, we are seeing a slight leveling-off that while not drastic, is giving both buyers and sellers a bit more room to maneuver,” said Charles Wiebe, President of the Board.

The Board received 3,705 new listings in June, an increase of 11.7 per cent compared to June of last year, and a 0.8 per cent increase from May 2016. The total active inventory for June was 5,612, down 30.8 per cent from last year’s 8,105 active listings at this time.

Across Fraser Valley, the average number of days to sell a single family detached home in June 2016 was 17 days, compared to 35 days in June 2015.

“Simply put, to meet demand, we need even more listings. More than half of our active inventory consists of new listings that came on to the MLS® in June; our market is truly in the hands of hopeful sellers,” added Wiebe.

“If you’re a struggling buyer, or someone thinking of selling but on-the-fence, talk to a REALTOR® and find your best path through this complex environment.”

The MLS® HPI benchmark price of a Fraser Valley single family detached home in June was $861,600, an increase of 41.3 per cent compared to June 2015 when it was $609,900.

In June, the benchmark price of townhouses was $387,100, an increase of 27.9 per cent compared to $302,600 in June 2015. The benchmark price of apartments also increased year-over-year by 20.8 per cent, going from $191,900 in June 2015 to $231,900 in June 2016.

 

Full package:
http://www.fvreb.bc.ca/statistics/Package%20201606.pdf

Should You Own a Fire Extinguisher?

You’ve seen fire extinguishers in commercial environments, such as schools, stores and workplaces. Does it make sense to have one in your home?

According to the experts, yes. In fact, a fire extinguisher can quickly put out a blaze that would otherwise quickly grow out of control.

There are several types of fire extinguishers that are made especially for residential use. That means they put out the most common fires that occur in the home (Class A, B & K fires), and they are easy to handle and use.

Since most residential fires happen in the kitchen, that’s the best place to keep your extinguisher. Make sure everyone in your household knows where it is and how to use it. Keep in mind that a home fire extinguisher is meant for small fires that are easy to put out, such as a pan of vegetable oil igniting on the stove. If you find you can’t control the blaze within a few seconds with the extinguisher, get everyone out of the home and call the fire department. Also, never attempt to fight a major fire yourself.

Leave that to the professionals

Finding the List Price “Tipping Points”

Setting the right list price for a home is a mystery for many sellers.

How do you begin to determine what buyers are likely to pay for your property? After all, no two homes are exactly alike. Yet, setting the right price is crucial.

You need to avoid the two price “tipping points” that, if crossed, can cause you a lot of problems.

The first tipping point is a price that’s low enough for buyers to begin thinking something is wrong. They wonder, “Why is your price so low? What are you not telling us about your property?” But that’s not even the worst problem with this tipping point. If you do get offers at that low price, you’ll have a bigger issue – leaving thousands of dollars on the table.

The other tipping point is setting your price so high it discourages buyers from giving your listing a second look. When your price is that high, you’ll get few enquiries and even fewer people coming to see your property. Of course, you can lower your price later, if necessary. But experience shows that reduced prices make potential buyers skeptical. Most sellers who price high in the hopes of getting a windfall actually end up selling for much less than they would have if they had priced their properties correctly in the first place.

So what’s the right price to list your property? The answer is somewhere inbetween those two tipping points.

Call today and I will help you determine the right price for your property.

Concerned about Condensation on Windows?

If you see a haze of condensation on your window, should you be concerned? Maybe. Maybe not. It depends on a number of factors. First of all, an occasional build-up of condensation is normal and often the result of fluctuating humidity in the home. Usually, it’s nothing to worry about. If you’re using a humidifier, try adjusting the levels. If the humidity is being generated naturally, try placing a dehumidifier nearby. Also, remove any plants and firewood from the area, as they can release a surprising volume of moisture into the air. Do you see moisture in between the panes of glass that make up the window? If so, that means the seal has failed and moisture has crept in. Double and triple pane windows often contain a gas (argon, for example) that boosts the insulating qualities of the window. When the seal fails, the gas disappears, making the glass colder and often allowing condensation to creep in. Eventually, you’ll want to get it replaced. If you see moisture build-up anywhere on the frame of the window, particularly at the joints, that could be a sign of water leaking through. That’s an issue you should get checked out immediately by a window contractor.

Not-So-Obvious Reasons to Meet with a REALTOR®

When is the best time to meet with a REALTOR® like me?

Chances are, you would say, “When I’m thinking of buying or selling a home.” You’d be right, of course! However, there are many other good reasons to meet with me.

Here are just a few:

• You want a professional opinion as to the current value of your property, so you know what it would likely sell for in today’s market.

• You notice a home listed for sale in a desirable neighbourhood, and you’re interested in learning more — even if you’re unsure you want to make a move.

• You’re thinking of moving within the next couple of years, and you want to find a REALTOR® like me, that you can get to know and trust.

• You want some recommendations for preparing your home for sale and especially determining what repairs and other work needs to be done.

• You want an honest assessment as to the state of the local market, and the best time for you to buy or sell.

• You have real estate-related questions and you want to talk to an expert who knows the local market well and can provide you with answers.

As you can see, there’s a lot of value you can get from talking to me as your REALTOR®. Call today.

How to Reduce the Chance of Burglary by 90%

No one wants to deal with a burglary. It can be a difficult subject talk about but just how canyou reduce the chances of one happening?

Fortunately, burglaries are a well-studied phenomenon — especially by law enforcement. These studies have identified specific things you can do to cut the risk dramatically.

Here are some ideas:

• 34% of home break-ins occur through the front door. Experts recommend investing in a door with a top-quality locking mechanism. (The best are those that lock at three points of contact.)

• 50% of burglars will be deterred if your home has some sort of video monitoring system. A thief doesn’t want his face on YouTube!

• Unfortunately, signs and window stickers warning of an alarm system do not deter thieves. However, 62% of burglars will immediately run away when an alarm goes off. Always turn on your alarm system when you’re not home!

• 22% of burglaries occur through a sliding glass door or patio door. Make sure it’s locked and also use a solid metal jammer.

• Some thieves use frequency scanners to gain access to garages. Police recommend changing your remote entry code regularly and putting blinds or curtains on garage windows so thieves can’t see (and be tempted by) any valuables inside.

As you can see, there are many simple things you can do to reduce your chances of a burglary dramatically. The effort is worth it.

Should You Move or Renovate?

Three Things to Consider Determining if you should buy a new home or fix up your current one isn’t easy.

In fact, the decision can be steeped in so much drama they make reality TV shows about it!

So if you’re considering whether to move or improve, here are three things to consider.

1. Will a renovation truly fix what you don’t like about your property? If you’re tired of a small kitchen, for example, it might not be possible, given the layout, to make it any bigger. On the other hand, if you’re craving a spacious rec room with a cosy fireplace then a renovation could make that happen. Of course, there are some things you may want that aren’t specific to your house, such as an easier commute or nearby park. Those are features you may only be able to get by moving.

2. How much will a renovation cost? How does that compare to the cost of moving to a new home? It’s important to get accurate estimates of each so you can make a smart decision. This is where a good REALTOR® can help. Keep in mind that renovations have a habit of costing more than you originally anticipate. As mentioned earlier, the final result should be a home you want to stay in for quite some time.

3. Beware of compromising versus settling. Whichever decision you make — renovate or sell — you can expect to have to make at least some compromises. That’s normal. For example, consider adding an extension to your house. That’s a major renovation. Is it the ideal way to get the extra room you want? Do the benefits of renovating outweigh the benefits of finding a new larger home designed to include the space you need?

Yes, it’s a tough decision. If you’re in the midst of making it, call me today, to get the facts you need to make the best choice for you

The latest in Kitchen Fire Prevention, what you need to know

More fires start in the kitchen than in any other room. Those fires can be expensive; since even a minor incident, with no injuries, can result in significant damage.

That’s why it’s important to keep up with the latest in fire prevention.

The most recent research tells us:

• Never leave cooking food unattended. Doing so is the number one cause of kitchen fires.

• Make sure cooking appliances, especially deep fryers, are safety certified by the appropriate government agency.

• When using oil in a frying pan, always heat slowly at no more than a medium heat setting.

• Always turn off stove burners and other cooking appliances immediately after cooking.

• Never attempt to put out a grease fire with water. Use baking soda or a fire extinguisher.

• Never remove or cover up a smoke detector due to nuisance alarms. The one alarm that isn’t a nuisance may save your life.

Finally, experts say that if you can’t put out a fire immediately, get everyone out of the home and call emergency services.

How the Wrong Pricing Strategy Can Cost You Thousands

As you’re probably aware, the list price you set for your property has an impact on how quickly it sells — and how much you earn on the sale. What you may not realize is just how significant an impact it has.

Consider the following examples.

Example 1: You price your property well above its current market value. As a result, many buyers don’t bother to see it because it’s outside of their price range. Those who do see it are confused by the high price tag, (and may even be suspicious.) They may wonder, “What’s going on?” In this scenario, the home will likely languish on the market for weeks or even months. You might even have to lower the price dramatically to reignite interest.

Example 2: You price your property just a couple of percentage points lower than what is necessary to gain the interest of qualified buyers. That might not seem like much of a problem. How much can a couple of percentage points matter?

Those points matter a lot. On a $400,000 property, pricing your home just 2% lower than necessary could cost you $8,000 on the sale. That’s a serious amount of money!

Whether A Seller’s or Buyer’s market pricing your home RIGHT means having the RIGHT information.

Fortunately, a good REALTOR® knows how to set the right price. Call me today.