Real Estate Blog

Many who buy homes here in Vancouver, simply contact the seller's insurance company and have an identical policy issued to them when they take ownership of the house. It often saves time and trouble.   But should you? Perhaps. But not without first checking to see what's covered.   One North Idaho homeowner found that he didn't have coverage for snow damage after a heavy snow-fall collapsed the roof on his barn. His was a new policy, but the insurance agent didn't mention the need, and he didn't think of it.    A homeowner in Florida was denied coverage for damage to a basement ceiling resulting from a leaky dishwasher – because she didn't repair the leak immediately. Never mind that she didn't know it was happening until the basement…
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Some buyers believe that searching on line and calling every agent with an interesting listing is the path to finding the perfect home.   When the agent asks what they're looking for and offers to help find other homes that might fit their needs, they turn down the offer – and keep calling more ads. They're afraid of being tied to one agent who might not serve them well.   Those buyers might eventually be successful, but they're making the process much more lengthy and painful than necessary.   The fact is, online ads are a good place to start learning about the market, but they're not the best place to actually find a home. For one thing, many of the homes you'll see on line are already sold, so you'll be wasting a lot of time.  
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When you make the decision to sell your Vancouver home, the impulse is to get it on the market right away. But that can be a costly mistake.   Instead, carefully choose a listing agent and come to an agreement on the listing price. When you choose an agent who is familiar with the market in your neighborhood, he or she will be able to show you the recent sold prices of homes nearby and will be able to tell you how they compare with yours.   Remember, it doesn't matter what the house next door sold for last year. All that counts is what has sold in the past several weeks.   Then, before the first buyer or buyer's agent pulls up outside, do what the old folks used to call "Spring Cleaning."   Make everything from the ceilings to the…
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Every real estate agent in Vancouver advises his or her listing clients to stage their homes.   If they don't actually hire a stager, they should at least clean, de-clutter, and de-personalize their home before it goes on the market. Unfortunately, not all homeowners take that advice.   The result: Home buyers touring the home may be distracted by things like a messy living room, the homeowner's collections, family photographs, or even colors that don't please you.   If you fall into that "distraction trap," you could fail to recognize a home that could be "just right" for you.   Here are some thoughts to keep in mind as you view homes:   Worn carpeting or vinyl is not a drawback, but an opportunity. The price has either been…
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Many factors go into making a home sell faster. Price, location, condition, and marketing top the list. But there's one very important factor very few agents mention: agent reputation.     Your Vancouver listing agent's reputation will determine the number of buyer agents who hurry to bring buyers to your home when it comes on the market. When those agents are making lists of homes to show, your agent's reputation will dictate whether your home is at the top of the list – or at the bottom.   Why? Because we all like to deal with people who make our jobs easier and more pleasant.   What gives a listing agent a good reputation?  
  • Accurate MLS descriptions
  • Complete information in MLS
  • Timely replies to buyer agent
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You might think that since the home you wish to buy here in Vancouver is newly constructed, you don't need to have it professionally inspected.   But yes, you do, for three reasons:  
  • Not all contractors are honest – some deliberately cut corners that will cost you money later.
  • Mistakes happen, and sometimes contractors trust subcontractors when they shouldn't.
  • Building inspectors aren't always as thorough as they should be.
A case in point is the story of an inspector who crawled into the attic of a new home to find that the vent pipe from the bathroom had not been installed. It was laying there, ready to go, but no one had taken time to connect it. Had he not found that oversight, before long the attic would have begun…
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One of the first steps you should take as a potential Vancouver home buyer is getting a loan pre-approval before you start viewing homes.   This will reveal the correct price range, the amount of down payment required, and the type of loan you'll need. You won't waste time looking at homes that simply won't fit.   If you save every piece of paper you've ever owned, then all you'll need to do is gather up the proper pieces to take along to the lender. If you don't, then start planning well ahead of time so you won't experience delays.   You'll probably need last year's income taxes – if  you didn't keep a copy, then you'll need to send for one. This can take a little time. Note: If you're self-employed, you might need 2 or 3 years'…
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If so, now is the time to prepare.   Both buyers and sellers should begin to study the market. Here in Vancouver, as in cities around the world, things have been changing. What you knew about the market a year ago may have no bearing on what's going on today.   So come to Vancouver Real Estate and look at homes in neighborhoods similar to the neighborhood where you want to buy or sell. Then look at homes of a similar size. See the listing prices – keeping in mind always that while they give you a good starting point, listed prices and sold prices may be very different.   If you plan to buy, order a copy of your credit report from each of the 3 major credit bureaus and check them for errors. Even FICO admits that 70% of all credit reports…
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Some home sellers here in Vancouver have told their agents not to show their homes during Christmas and New Year's weeks. They have company, the kids are home from school, or they simply want to relax and not worry about keeping the house in showing condition.   If they miss a buyer, that's OK. There will be another.   In addition, some listing agents have left town for a long vacation and failed to leave anyone in charge of scheduling showings, so their listings won't be seen during the holidays.   Some home buyers cease to look during these weeks for the same reasons. Finding a home is simply not the priority. And of course, some buyer agents have also decided to take time off – so their buyers are cast adrift.   Those home
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Before purchasing a home today, smart Vancouver buyers have a home inspection. The inspector alerts them to issues he or she can see or determine through testing, and then buyer and seller re-negotiate if there are structural or safety issues or if the inspector notes that something is of an age or condition where it might be expected to fail within a short time.   Can the inspector see and predict everything? No.   The reason appliances are sold with a 1 year manufacturer's warranty is because sometimes even brand new equipment is faulty. There are things going on with the interior mechanism that neither a homeowner nor an inspector can see or anticipate.   Are most new homeowners financially prepared to meet the cost of replacing a
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