If you’re thinking of shopping for a new home, one of the first considerations is price range. You want to know what you can reasonably afford.  How do you figure that out?

First of all, you need to determine the initial out-of-pocket costs you will need to cover. There are often more costs associated with purchasing a home than its actual price. You need to take into account such additional expenses as moving costs, legal fees, and a home inspection, not to mention the costs of prepping your current property for sale.

Experts say you should budget 5-10% above the purchase price for these items. So if you can afford to spend $470K on a new home, you should be shopping in the $425-445K range.

Another factor to consider are the potential proceeds…

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With the price of houses in Vancouver, how does one afford to buy one? Do you ask your parents to help? Do you get renters to help with the mortgage? How about both? The answer is... YES!

The price of houses has been climbing up over the past few years as well as the land values.  Neighbourhoods with great schools have seen some of the highest price appreciation as well as land that allows you to have multiple dwellings.  Baby boomers are retiring, selling their homes for astronomical numbers and are downsizing.  The kids have moved out, the parents don't need as much space anymore, they can sell their home and retire early.  This is causing a big transfer of wealth as some parents are helping their kids buy a home and are transferring the wealth to…

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When you make or receive an offer to buy a property, it's important that you read and understand every clause. It is especially important to understand any conditions or any changes that are made to the standard offer.

An offer may contain several types of conditions. The most common are "conditional upon arranging financing" and "conditional upon passing a professional home inspection." However, there may be other conditions as well.

You should be aware of – and fully understand – all of them.

In addition, the wording of an offer may change during the back and forth negotiations that often happen. Aside from changes to the price, other clauses may be added, removed or reworded as well.

A good agent will always ask you to initial changes. This…

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If you're planning to look for a new home sometime in the future, you may be wondering how long the process will take. How much time should you set aside for viewings? How many of the listed homes should you see?

 

Of course, the process varies from person to person. According to the Department of Housing & Urban Development, home buyers view an average of 15 properties before finally choosing to make an offer on one of them. That number may be a good benchmark for you.

 

On a Saturday afternoon, you can comfortably look at three or four potential properties. You can see more if you want to make a full day of it.

 

One factor that impacts the home shopping process is how clearly you know what you're looking for.

 

For example, if…

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Even homeowners who have moved a few times can be intimidated by the real estate market in general, and the buying and selling process in particular.

First of all, making a decision to sell your home can be difficult. There are so many questions, such as:

  • Is "now" a good time to list?
  • How much can you expect to get for your property?
  • How long will it take to sell – and what if it doesn't?

Then there's the buying and selling process:

  • How do you prepare your home for sale?
  • How do you find homes that meet your criteria and are within your price range?
  • How do you prepare your home for viewings?

Yes, there's a lot to think about. That's why finding a good REALTOR® who is an expert on the local market is so important.

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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…

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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…

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 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…

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If you're planning on finding your next dream home, then you're probably going to view several homes on the market that meet your criteria.  

You will want to make the right purchasing decision for you and your family. So, it's wise to be savvy when viewing properties for sale. Here are some ideas on how to do that.

• Bring a notepad. Take notes, not only of the home's characteristics, but also of how you feel. For example, can you imagine yourself happily cooking up a storm in the kitchen? Do you see yourself entertaining family on the back deck?

• Bring a measuring tape. Will the furniture you plan to bring fit? Your dining room suite? Your home fitness equipment?

• Ask about maintenance. Is the property in a good state of repair? Will anything…

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When you’re looking for a new home, you want to find one in a great neighbourhood – or, at least, in a neighbourhood that is on the upswing. How can you tell if a particular area is improving? Here are some common indicators:

  • Pride of ownership. Take a walk around the neighbourhood. Do you get a sense that people take good care of their homes? Are the lawns mowed? Is the landscaping trimmed? Are flowers planted? Homeowners are more likely to look after their properties when they like where they are living.
  • Home improvements. Are people investing in their homes? Are they getting their driveways re-done? Their windows replaced? Are there signs of home improvement projects? If so, this is a clear indication that homeowners like the area enough to…

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