Among the top resolves on many peoples' list of New Year's resolutions involves their budget – saving money, cutting back on expenses, paying off debts, etc. If one of your resolutions is to try and pay down your mortgage faster, call today to see if any of these options might work for you.
1. Change your payment frequency. If you currently pay your mortgage monthly, here's a way to make an extra month's worth of payments each year without too much hardship: Take your monthly payment and split it in half. Now, pay that amount every two weeks. By the end of the year you'll end up making 26 half-payments, or the equivalent of 13 full payments instead of 12!
2. Reduce your amortization period. The less time you stretch your mortgage over, the less you'll pay in total interest. Ask how a shortened amortization could affect the amount of your monthly or bi-weekly payments, and how much you could potentially save on total interest.
3. Increase your payments. If you received an end-ofyear bonus or a recent pay raise at work, consider applying it toward your outstanding mortgage debt. Even a little extra payment on a regular basis can shave years off your mortgage and save you thousands in interest charges!
Please call today for more tips on how to meet your 2014 financial resolutions!
When your home is for sale, you need to be prepared to show it to buyers at short notice. To that end, here are some things you (or someone else) should do every day until your home sells.
While you can't control the economy, you can make choices in buying and maintaining a home that will help ensure it retains value and sells more quickly even in a slow market.
As always, choose your location carefully. Homes in good locations are always in demand, even when markets are slow. What makes for a good location? A safe, low-crime neighborhood in which properties are well maintained, proximity to good schools, public transit and/or major transportation routes, and amenities like shopping and essential services.
Don't buy the most expensive home in the area. When markets soften, the disparity in price between the most expensive home and comparable homes will be even more apparent (and off-putting) to buyers. As well, buyers are even more likely, when markets are soft, to pass over a more expensive property in favor of a less costly home that's in a better neighborhood.
Don't over-improve. High-end upgrades like chef's kitchens can be difficult to sell to the average buyer at any time, but especially when the market takes a downturn. If you want to improve your home, the savvy move would be to stick to renos that appeal to the greatest possible number of buyers, like modernizing outdated kitchens or adding a second or third bathroom.
Stay on top of upkeep. It can be tempting to defer general repair and maintenance around the home, but doing so could really cost you, particularly in a slow real estate market. Like properties that boast a good location, homes that have been well maintained are always sought after – as such, they sell faster and for more money in markets both hot and cool.
Have a happy New Year! No, really – make 2014, and the years to follow, more happy and less stressful for you (and other members of your household) by resolving to make some changes for the better where your home's interior is concerned.
Today's homebuyer is recognizing that in order to have an edge in the real estate market, they must have a complete financial plan in place before even starting their home search.
A professional financial advisor will get you on the right track, giving you suggestions on how to clean up your personal finances and organize your current debts. You'll also want to run a credit check on yourself and verify that the information shown in your file is correct. There are two national credit bureaus in Canada: Equifax Canada (www.equifax.ca) and TransUnion Canada (www.transunion.ca) - check with both of them. You can get a copy of your credit file mailed to you for free or, if you prefer to see it immediately, you can request it online for a nominal fee. Note that while your mailed credit report is available to you for free, there is no free service to access your actual credit score.
Once you have an idea of your current financial status and therefore the general price range you'd like to stay within, we'll sit down together and begin the process of searching for your ideal home. You may even want to talk to your loan provider about a pre-approved mortgage, as having this in-hand can often give you the edge over another bidder when making a competing offer on a house.
Thinking of moving in 2014? Please call today for the latest updates on today's real estate market, especially local conditions in your area of interest.
While there were some ups and downs in the Fraser Valley real estate market last year, overall it continued on a steady path, similar to the 2012 market.
Ron Todson, President of the Fraser Valley Board, says, "It wasn't the best of years, nor was it the worst. Generally speaking, 2013 overall was quiet. Earlier in the year, our market felt the impact of the tighter mortgage regulations, rebounded some in the summer and then flattened again come fall."
"The positive for both buyers and sellers has been the stability in home prices. Although our sales last year were amongst the lowest they've been in the last decade, we didn't see significant price declines because our inventory also remained lower. When both buyers and sellers take a breather it has a balancing effect on the market where neither has the upper hand."
The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board confirmed that average prices yearover- year showed detached homes rising to $615,852 in 2013 compared to $597,608 in 2012, townhomes dropping slightly from $340,253 in 2012 to $337,811 in 2013, and the average price of apartments decreasing by 0.4 percent from $220,033 in 2012 to $219,196 in 2013.
Wondering how your home would fare in the upcoming spring market? Please call today for the latest market update!.