Recent Posts

The Real Estate Process - After the Deal is Signed

On the surface, buying, selling and refinancing (mortgaging) of real estate seems relatively straight forward and simple. Why then, is it so complicated? Why does it require the involvement of Realtors, Appraisers, Building Inspectors, Insurance Companies, Mortgage Brokers, Banks, Credit Unions, Notaries, Lawyers, and so on?  In short, it’s because real estate is expensive!

Lawyer vs Notary Public: What's the Difference?

British Columbians are some of the lucky few in Canada who have a choice when it comes to selecting their legal representative to complete their purchase, sale, or refinance transaction. They have the choice between a Lawyer and a B.C. Notary Public. But what’s the difference? The first key difference is their educational paths. Lawyers complete their Bachelor’s degree before taking the LSAT exam. If successful, they then apply for Law school, where they will write the Bar examination. On the other hand, since 2007 Notaries have been required to obtain a Bachelor’s degree, then apply to the BC Notaries Society and SFU’s specialized Master’s degree program (Masters of Applied Legal Studies). If they complete both of these qualifications and the Society approves their applications, then they are permitted to write the BC Statutory exams. The full set of requirements of how to become a Notary Public in BC can be found here.

To Pay, or to Play: Mortgages vs. Vacations

As you may have heard, CIBC recently announced that fewer Canadians are in a rush to pay off their mortgages. The reasoning behind this: Record low rates.

Based on the polling results, which surveyed 1,509 randomly selected participants, fewer Canadians are in a rush in pay off their mortgage as stats dropped from 68 per cent last year, to 55 per cent today. The poll also shows that 23 per cent of these Canadians have accelerated their payment frequency (down from 42 percent); 28 per cent increased the payment amount (down from 30 per cent), and 18 per cent made lump sum payments. Overall, the average Canadian is expecting to be 58 by the time they are mortgage free.

Appraisals 101

With fluctuations in the real estate market and changes to Lender requirements and qualifications, it is important to know what an Appraiser is looking for when viewing your home. When booking an appointment with the Appraiser, remember these top five items for the most accurate valuation of your home.

1) An Appraiser is required to view all rooms in your home

Since the Appraiser will make sure you are aware that all rooms need to be viewed, you’ll be able to prepare the occupants or tenants of the home. If no access is provided at the time of the inspection then a second visit may (most likely) be required by the Lender, and a fee will be charged for a second visit.

Secondary Suites: Increasing Interest, Lacking Legal

While buying your first home can be a scary, expensive, experience, today many first time home buyers are finding a peace of mind and paying off their mortgages faster by settling in homes with a secondary suite.

As this trend of additional income via renting a suite in your home becomes more and more popular, the actual number of legal secondary suites remains quite low.

Canadian Housing Market Overvalued?

The weather isn’t the only thing that’s hot right now. The housing market is also overheated.

Fitch Ratings, a global rating agency, recently announced that Canadian home prices are overvalued by 20 per cent based on historical drivers of home price growth. They also noted that if the market doesn’t begin dropping on its own, then the federal government may have to step in to prevent a crash.

Boomers on Billions

Bob Rennie, a Vancouver based Real Estate Marketer and founder of Rennie Marketing Systems,  recently revealed the amount of real estate wealth boomers and super seniors (aged 75+) in the region are sitting on. During his annual announcement to Greater Vancouver’s development community, Rennie dropped the shocking number: $163.4 billion.