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We are thrilled to say we have just SOLD a property at 17207 61A AVE in SURREY.
Don't Miss this Lovely Basement Home on a beautiful 8000+sq.ft. corner lot! Open Plan Design! Huge Sunken Living Room with Great Picture Window and Gas Fireplace! The Updated Kitchen opens to the Dining Room - making it PEFECT for Entertaining! Real Hardwood! The Dining Room walks out to the 2 tier Deck and very private Sunny Yard! There's 3 bedrooms up .... plus 1 bedroom & Den Down! The Basement makes perfect family space! The Downstairs Family Room has an attractive Fireplace and bright windows! Don't Wait!! You'lllove it!
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We are thrilled to say we have just SOLD a property at 18995 68 AVE in SURREY.
The Gables at Clayton Village! Be Fast on this ONE! Designer Decor Throughout! This "Foxridge" Home is a WINNER! Fabulous "Open Plan" GREAT ROOM! Super Kitchen with Breakfast Bar/Island & Eat-in Area! Plus Main Floor Den/Office! Super Bright with Lovely Picture Windows! Attractive Laminate on Main! Walk-out from Great Room to Private Yard with Flagstone Patio! Upstairs: Spacious Master with 4pce Ensuite & W/I Closet! Plus 2 more spacious Bedrooms up! Down: The Basement has Sep. Entrance from the FRONT with a "Funky" design! Open Plan 1 Bedroom Suite! Lots of Upgrades including BBQ hookup in back! Freshly Painted inside & out! Shows a 10!! Ready for you! BE FAST!! WOW!!
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'Tis The Season

PhotoShould you wait until after the holidays to list your home? If listed before the holiday season, should you leave your home on market or take it off? Consider these pros and cons of selling during the holidays.

 

Pros:

    • The buyers who are actively looking for a new home at this time of year tend to be more serious about buying. After all, they're likely using precious time off from work to pound the pavement.
    • Being on the market during the holiday season means you'll face less competition from other sellers; less available inventory means your property will benefit from increased exposure at this time of year.
  • Between the seasonal lights, decorations, and scents, your home may feel more welcoming and look more appealing – in other words, show better – during the holidays than at any other time of year.

 

Cons:

    • Prospective buyers might assume that homeowners selling during the holidays must be desperate to sell and, as a result, may lower their offer price accordingly.
    • Accommodating showings and keeping your home neat and clean can be difficult enough at any time of year, but during the holidays, when you likely have a busier calendar and more stuff around your home, living a show-ready existence may be a bigger challenge.
  • With people taking time off and businesses closing during the holidays, it may take a little more effort to close the transaction in a timely manner.

 

Despite the holiday bustle, this can certainly be the most wonderful time of the year to sell. Give your real estate representative a call to discuss your personal circumstances, and to get an update on local market conditions before making your decision.

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Creamy Potato And Onion Gratin

Photo

 

This month's feature recipe: Creamy Potato And Onion Gratin

Ingredients:

 

  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 small onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 c. milk
  • 4 cloves garlic, slivered
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 Tbsp. flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly-ground pepper
  • 1 c. shredded Cheddar or Gruyère cheese
  • 3 large Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced

 


Directions:

1. In a skillet, melt butter over medium-low heat; add onions and cook, stirring often, until light brown – about 30 minutes.

2. In a saucepan, bring milk, garlic and thyme to a boil; reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

3. Add flour, salt and pepper to milk mixture and cook until mixture has thickened, stirring constantly with a whisk.

4. Add cheese to milk mixture and stir until cheese is melted, about 30 seconds.

5. Layer one-quarter of the potatoes in a greased 8" casserole dish. Top with one-third of the sautéed onions and one-quarter of the milk mixture. Repeat until onions and cheese sauce are done.

6. Bake in a pre-heated 400-degree oven for approximately 1 1/2 hours.

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Paper Trail

PhotoEven in this digital age, paper clutter can be a problem, causing us mental stress and even costing us time and money. Below are a few tips to help you get – and stay – on top of your paper pile-up.

 

    • Curb the flow of paper into your home. For example, decide which magazines you like to read and keep, and which ones you would be satisfied glancing at in their digital version; register to receive bank statements and bills online (this may actually save you some money, too, as many companies now charge for paper statements); and opt out of getting catalogues and coupons from your favorite stores by mail – you can get those online too.
    • Have one dedicated spot in your home for collecting incoming paper, be it in your kitchen, family room, or home office. Having one "inbox" will keep you from accumulating different piles of paper throughout your home, reducing clutter, and make it easier and quicker for you to locate papers when you need them.
    • Set aside some time on a regular basis – once every week or two, for example – to go through your "inbox" and deal with, organize, and put away your papers. Mark that time on your calendar or set an alarm on your smartphone – whatever you need to do to make sure you consistently keep that commitment.
    • As you go through your "inbox", ask yourself if any of the papers you need to keep could be kept electronically. For instance, instead of holding onto that user guide that came with your fancy new camera, could you just download it in PDF form from the manufacturer's website? Rather than holding onto that receipt, could you take a picture of it and store it on your smartphone or computer? Just be sure to clearly label your files so you can find them later.
    • Now it's time to sort your remaining paperwork into groups such as keep/file, mail (e.g. rebates, bills), use (e.g. coupons), and recycle for anything you don't need (be sure to shred or otherwise carefully dispose of sensitive information). Your keep/file group should then be further sorted into subcategories of like items such as Medical, Taxes, Bills and Receipts, for example.
    • Next, find some sort of containment system for the papers you're keeping. That may mean large envelopes, paper trays, three-ring binders with see-through sleeves, an accordion folder, or file folders – whatever system makes most sense for the type of papers you need to store, and that you will actually use on a consistent basis, helping you stay organized.
  • With the growing popularity of home offices, filing cabinets have come a long way from grey metal boxes fit for offices to stylish varieties that can blend seamlessly into home interiors; decorative storage boxes are easier to find too. Invest in some attractive housing for your file folders, or big envelopes and your papers can hide in plain sight as part of your décor, rather than contributing to unsightly clutter.

 

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Check out our clients' lovely home!    We have listed a new property at 215 2628 MAPLE ST in Port Coquitlam.
VILLAGIO II! This 2 bedroom corner unit is a MUST SEE! OPEN PLAN DESIGN with 9 ft Ceilings! A definite 10!! Lots of Upgrades including fabulous wainscoting in Great Room! Incredible Open Plan Kitchen with Breakfast Bar and lots of cabinetry & granite! Open to Dining... making it PERFECT for entertaining! The Kitchen also has a built-in Desk - perfect for your home office! The Master is spacious with lots of windows plus a huge walk in plus extra closet!! WOW!! There's also a spacious ensuite with Oversized Shower & His & Her Sinks! 2nd Bedroom is super spacious... with access to a 4pce Bathroom!! Situated in a great corner in this fabulous Complex! BONUS 2 Parking Spaces!! Walking distance to shops, amenities, trails & West Coast Express! BE SURE THIS IS ON YOUR LIST! You'll LOVE IT!!
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Hold That Rate!

PhotoYou've probably seen the news and heard recent rumblings about how Canadian mortgage rates are going up. You'd like to take advantage of today's low interest rates, but aren't quite ready to buy right now. What should you do? Call your mortgage broker today to ask about a rate hold!

Mortgage rates have dropped to historically low levels over the past few years, lulling buyers into a sense of complacency. It's important to remember that mortgage rates are cyclical, however, and as such what has been down will eventually rise again. While we can't control how high rates will go, what we can do for our clients is make sure you don't pay more than today's level, by guaranteeing you the current mortgage rate for a set period of time – regardless of how much higher the rate rises after today.

When you call, we'll explain in more detail how lenders define a rate hold, and how it will allow you to budget for your next home with a more precise idea of your long-term financial obligations. You'll also want to hear how you can ensure a better chance of landing your dream home by securing a pre-approved mortgage – something that will give you the edge over another bidder who may have a "subject to financing" clause in his or her offer.

Please call to ask what today's interest rates are, what a preapproved mortgage entails and how long lenders will guarantee their best rates for you through a rate hold.

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We are thrilled to say we have just SOLD a property at 18995 68 AVE in SURREY.
The Gables at Clayton Village! Be Fast on this ONE! Designer Decor Throughout! This "Foxridge" Home is a WINNER! Fabulous "Open Plan" GREAT ROOM! Super Kitchen with Breakfast Bar/Island & Eat-in Area! Plus Main Floor Den/Office! Super Bright with Lovely Picture Windows! Attractive Laminate on Main! Walk-out from Great Room to Private Yard with Flagstone Patio! Upstairs: Spacious Master with 4pce Ensuite & W/I Closet! Plus 2 more spacious Bedrooms up! Down: The Basement has Sep. Entrance from the FRONT with a "Funky" design! Open Plan 1 Bedroom Suite! Lots of Upgrades including BBQ hookup in back! Freshly Painted inside & out! Shows a 10!! Ready for you! BE FAST!! WOW!!
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Fire Escape

PhotoA little regular maintenance around the house can go a long way toward decreasing the odds of a fire, and, should a fire break out, increasing the odds of you and your family escaping harm. Take a few minutes to review these household hints.

 

    • Grease fires ignite and spread very fast. Prevent grease build-up in your kitchen by cleaning regularly and thoroughly, for example removing and washing your stove's burner grates, drip pans, etc. on a regular basis.
    • Dryer lint is highly flammable – prevent its build-up (which inhibits airflow) by cleaning the filter screen after each load, regularly vacuuming the motor area, and cleaning the vents leading outside twice a year.
    • If you have a fireplace, have its chimney regularly cleaned to rid the inside walls of creosote. A natural byproduct of burning wood, creosote is highly combustible.
    • Routinely inspect your electrical system and appliances. Check for damaged cords; flickering lights; outlets or switches that are discolored, feel hot, or make crackling or buzzing noises; overloaded outlets, electrical panels, or extension cords; frayed or exposed wires.
    • Test your smoke alarms monthly, replacing batteries as needed (even in hard-wired smoke alarms). Dirt such as dust and cobwebs can hinder their sensors, so clean your smoke alarms regularly, and replace them every few years as a precaution. 
  • Have a working fire extinguisher in the kitchen. Check it monthly to ensure pressure is at recommended levels, it's not past its expiry date, and that all parts are free of damage or obstructions and clean of corrosive chemicals.

 

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Fear Not!

PhotoInspections are a crucial part of the homebuying process. Should the inspection results be less than perfect, don't panic. Here's why an imperfect inspection shouldn't send you running scared.

First, understand that no home is perfect. Even newly constructed homes often have flaws (which is why they, too, should be professionally inspected). A home can be perfect for you, in that it meets all your requirements, but no home will be in perfect physical condition, so be prepared for your inspector to find some fault. The nature of that fault is another matter, which leads us to another important point…

Inspectors don't just check out the big stuff, like a property's foundation, roof, and electrical and plumbing systems (problems in these areas may be justifiable cause to withdraw from a sale); they look for problems big and small. Minor issues like appliances that don't work or faucets where hot and cold are reversed, for example, will be noted by the inspector, but are easily remedied and shouldn't frighten you away from a home that otherwise matches your criteria.

Lastly, the wording on inspection reports can be rather technical and, to limit liability, exceedingly cautious; plus, some reports are little more than checklists wherein items are simply marked as being in good, fair, or poor condition. As a result, inspection reports can seem considerably scarier than they really are. This is why it's recommended buyers attend the inspection and shadow the inspector instead of just reading the report once the examination is finished – if you're present, the inspector can explain to you, in layman's terms, the exact nature of the problem and how severe it is – or isn't.

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Housing Rally Continues

PhotoWhile a 19 percent increase in October sales is normally notable news, it is being taken in stride by the Fraser Valley real estate community who view the numbers simply as a return to "typical" October activity, on par with that month's 10-year average.

According to the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board, members posted 1,249 sales on its Multiple Listing Service® in October 2013, an increase of 19 percent compared to the 1,053 sales processed during October 2012. At the same time, the Board received 2,336 new listings, a decrease of seven percent compared to the 2,522 new listings received during the same time period last year.

Ron Todson, President of the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board, notes, "We've had a great summer and good early fall, but it's important to remind everyone of the context. The last four months of 2012 were amongst the slowest for our real estate market in the last 15 years."

"What we're witnessing is a return to a balanced residential market indicated by prices remaining unchanged or down slightly compared to a year ago, stable inventory levels and the average length of time to sell a home is about two months."

In October, the benchmark price of single-family detached homes in the Fraser Valley area was $551,400, compared to townhouses at $295,500 and apartments at $199,500.

Is it time for you to trade up, move down, or just look around? Please call for a discussion on your real estate plans today!

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