There's no doubt about it. If you want to keep your home safe from break-ins, you should have good locks an all doors and windows. An alarm system is also a good idea.

But home security doesn't end with locks and alarms. There are other less obvious ways to keep your home safe. For example:

  • Install exterior lights with a motion detection feature. A light suddenly going on will almost always send a potential intruder away.
  • Look for – and if possible eliminate – spots around your property where someone can hide.
  • Always have some lights on in your home when you're away for an evening.
  • Never announce that you're on vacation or otherwise away from your home on social media sites. (Also ask your kids not to do this!)
  • Don't leave tempting…

1497 Views, 3 Comments

Whether you're considering buying a particular home, selling your current property – or both – a home inspection can help.

A home inspection is an inspection by a qualified professional who takes a close look at every aspect of a home – structure, wiring, plumbing, and more – and identifies issues you may not have noticed yourself.

For example, a home inspection can reveal that a furnace will need to be replaced soon, or that there is a water leak into the basement that needs to be fixed.

You'll definitely want to get a professional home inspection before you buy a particular property. That's why most offers to purchase a home are conditional upon passing a home inspection. (The last thing you want is to buy your dream home only to discover that…

1585 Views, 3 Comments

I can't believe it's Spring and the 1st quarter of the year is done.

I have analyzed all of the stats for the 1st Quarter and here are some insights to our market right here in the Fraser Valley:

19.42% of the houses that come on the market are selling on average.  That trend is increasing and part of that increase is seasonal.  However, these are some factors that are causing our 1st Quarter activity to be stronger than it was last year:

1) Interest rates: The big banks have reduced the mortgage rates to be back at our all time low levels again.  5 year borrowing is under 2.99% and the prime rate is at 3.0%. 

2) Confidence in the market:  Prices are stable as the market activity have picked up. We are shifting from a Buyer's Market to a Balanced Market.

3)

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Have you ever attended an "Open House" advertised in your area or in a community you like? Most people have. Even if you're not serious about moving, viewing a few properties in a neighbourhood you like is a great way to get a sense of the market.

 Who knows? You might stumble upon your next dream home!

 To get the most out of an open house, follow these guidelines:

  • Most open houses will have a handout available containing the list price and other property information. Be sure to keep a copy.
  • Don't just view the rooms. Explore the entire property, including the backyard.
  • Don't be shy about asking the listing agent (or whoever is hosting the open house) questions about the property.
  • Ask about the area. Are there…

4796 Views, 12 Comments

If you're considering a bathroom update, you're probably familiar with the typical approaches, such as replacing a countertop or toilet, or removing all the fixtures and finishes to complete a floor-to-ceiling renovation.

However, there is another, far less expensive way to make an older bathroom look brand new: using overlays.

An overlay is simply a new surface applied over an existing one. For example, instead of replacing an old and worn bathtub – which is costly – you can purchase an overlay system (called a tub liner) that fits on top of the existing bathtub. It's a little like giving your tub a facelift!

You can do the same thing with your bathroom countertops and floors.

Overlays come in a wide variety of styles and finishes – some of which…

1141 Views, 0 Comments

I can't believe it's Spring and the 1st quarter of the year is done.

I have analyzed all of the stats for the 1st Quarter and here are some insights to our market right here in Greater Vancouver:

24.2% of the houses that come on the market are selling on average.  That trend is increasing and part of that increase is seasonal.  However, these are some factors that are causing our 1st Quarter activity to be stronger than it was last year:

1) Interest rates: The big banks have reduced the mortgage rates to be back at our all time low levels again.  5 year borrowing is under 2.99% and the prime rate is at 3.0%.  

2) Confidence in the market:  Prices have not declined as the market has maintained it's balanced state since the summer of last year and into the new…

326 Views, 0 Comments

it's Spring and the 1st quarter of the year is done.

I have analyzed all of the stats for the 1st Quarter and here are some insights to our market here in Metro Vancouver:

20.7% of the houses that come on the market are selling.  That trend is increasing and part of that increase is seasonal.  However, their are some factors that are causing our 1st Quarter activity to be stronger than it was last year:

1) Interest rates: The big banks have reduced the mortgage rates to be back at our all time low levels again.  5 year borrowing is under 2.99% and the prime rate is at 3.0%.  

2) Confidence in the market:  Prices have not declined as the market has maintained it's balanced state throughout the winter and into the new year. Market sales activity have picked up…

383 Views, 0 Comments

 If you've played the game Monopoly then you've probably picked up the Chance card that reads, "Take a walk on the Boardwalk. If you pass Go..."

That's good advice when shopping for a new home. When you see a property you like and you’re thinking of making an offer, spend some time walking around the neighbourhood. This will give you a better sense of what it's going to be like to live there.

After all, the last thing you want is to buy a dream home only to find out later that there are issues with the neighbourhood that make living there miserable.

If you have kids, see how far of a walk it is to local parks, playgrounds, schools and community centres.

If you commute, you might also check out the route from the neighbourhood to your place of…

1558 Views, 2 Comments