How To Buy The Right Home, Quickly

December 6th, 2017 by Brian Currey

You’re in a rush. You have just three weeks to find and buy the right home. Whoa! How are you going to make that happen?

Don’t stress. Here are some tips that will help:

1. Get a pre-approved mortgage. With this document you’ll know exactly what you can afford. A seller will take your offer-to-purchase more seriously, too.
2. Make a wish list. Be clear about what you want in a home. Two bedrooms or three? A finished basement? A large kitchen? A spacious backyard? If you know what you want, you’ll be able to quickly zero in on the right homes.
3. Be flexible. You may have a wish list, but to find a home quickly you’ll also need to be flexible. Think about what you absolutely must have in a new home.
4. Neighborhood matters. Generally, buying a less than ideal home in a great neighborhood is better than purchasing the perfect home in a bad area. So, create a list of neighborhoods you’ll consider.
5. Work with a REALTOR®. I can help you view the best opportunities on the market and quickly select the right home for you.

EXTENSION CORDS CAN BE HAZARDOUS

October 12th, 2017 by Brian Currey

Every year, house fires are caused by the use of outdated extension cords, or the improper use of extension cords certified for specific home applications. To avoid potential danger, be sure to adhere to the following guidelines:

1. Do not use old extension cords that have a thin cord and two prongs of equal size. They lack standard safety features such as a neutral “ground” that can prevent a short circuit.

2. Check the maximum amperage load of your extension cord to ensure it can handle the electrical demands of the appliance or device you intend to power.

3. Do not plug several items into a single extension cord.

4. Do not connect one extension ford into another.

5. Do not remove the third prong of a plug in order to fit the cord into a two-prong wall plug.

6. Whenever possible, use a power bar with surge protection to connect an item to your wall plug.

Housing Recovery Remains A Work-In-Progress

August 11th, 2017 by Brian Currey

Market sees modest inventory gains, but overall prices inch up!

Sales exhibited stable growth through the first half of the year in the Calgary housing market, but the number of transactions slowed slightly in July compared to last year.

City-wide sales totaled 1,637 units, six per cent below July 2016 levels. Year-to-date sales activity totaled 11,957 units, nine per cent above last year.

“Sales growth exceeded expectations so far this year. Clients were re-entering the market after delaying decisions until there were some signs of economic improvement,” said CREB® president David P. Brown.

“However, this recovery will require patience. There continues to be many new and resale ownership options available. This reduces the sense of the urgency for many consumers.”

Easing sales were met with higher new listings, causing further gains in inventory levels. City-wide months of supply rose to four months, as inventory levels reached 6,675 units this month. This is 17 per cent higher than last year, but still below July highs recorded in 2008.

“Modest improvements in the labour market and net migration were necessary to support the turnaround in the housing market,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie.

“However, current inventory levels and changes in the lending market continue to weigh on housing demand. Easing demand growth combined with elevated levels of supply will slow the pace of price recovery in our market.”

Driven by detached and attached housing sales, city-wide prices in July improved over the previous month and the previous year. However, it is nearly four per cent below previous monthly highs. Year-to-date benchmark averages remain 0.44 per cent below last year’s levels.

Despite the current month activity, the detached sector continues to demonstrate conditions that are more balanced compared to last year.

Apartment condominium product continues to face oversupply in the resale and new home sector, causing further price declines. In July, the apartment benchmark price was $266,200. This is a three per cent decline over last year and nearly 12 per cent below peak prices.

Household Security During Vacations

July 19th, 2017 by Brian Currey

To fully enjoy your summer vacation, take appropriate precautions to ensure that home security features are in place in advance of your departure. Consider the following suggestions:

A) Ensure that doors and windows cannot be easily compromised using basic burglary tools by installing secondary locks such as deadbolts and bars, as well as a reliable monitoring system that will alert your smartphone, a neighbour, or your local enforcement agency should a compromise occur.

B) Check that your lighting systems are intact, by verifying that your interior and exterior timers and motion detectors are fully operational and ensuring older bulbs are replaced.

C) Trim bushes back to prevent concealing exterior access points, lock up or store ladders, and make sure mail and parcel deliveries are suspended (but don’t cancel your scheduled pool or landscape maintenance program).

D) Have a neighbour park a car in your driveway, and have someone look in on your property including inside your garage on a regular basis.

Tech Report

June 27th, 2017 by Brian Currey

WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT TO KNOW HOW MUCH YOU CAN AFFORD TO SPEND ON A HOME?

June 9th, 2017 by Brian Currey

Two reasons.

First, you don’t want to buy a property and then find out, after you’ve moved in, that you can’t financially maintain it. That would mean having to resell it under stressful conditions.

Second, you don’t want to settle for a property that’s less than ideal, when you really could have afforded the “dream home” you’ve always wanted.

So how do you figure out how much you can afford to pay for your next home?

The first step is to gain a clearer understanding of how much your current home will likely sell for in today’s market. That amount, together with other financial resources you might have (such as savings), will determine your available down payment.

The next thing you’ll need to figure out is the maximum amount of mortgage for which you qualify.

Say, through the proceeds of the sale of your home combined with your savings, your expected down payment is $150,000. If the lender authorizes a mortgage of $375,000, then you can afford a $525,000 home.

Typically your lender determines your maximum mortgage based on, among other things, a percentage of your income, to ensure you can maintain the property.

It’s worth doing your own calculations too. Calculate your anticipated utilities, insurance, and property tax, and make sure you have some money set aside for unanticipated expenses.

Of course, you don’t need to spend as much as you qualify for on a new home. A home that meets your needs in terms of property type, features, and neighbourhood, may in fact cost you less.

One thing is for sure. As your Realtor, I can work with whatever amount you can afford and show you homes on the market that most closely meet your needs.

Is Your Home in “Move In” Condition?

May 26th, 2017 by Brian Currey

Is Your Home In “Move In” Condition?

When buyers view your home, they ask themselves whether they like it. Assuming that the answer is “yes”, they try to determine how much work would be required before they could move in.

It’s not uncommon for a buyer to be interested in a property but be turned off by the perceived amount of work required. In fact, this can sometimes discourage a buyer from even making an offer.

That’s why ensuring your home is in as “move in” condition as possible is so advantageous. It will help sell your home faster and, often, for a better price.

So what does “move in” condition mean? It means that there are no repairs or maintenance issues that need to be addressed immediately. Buyers can be discouraged by seemingly minor issues, such as a loose closet shelf or a lightly dripping shower head. So it’s important to get those little repairs done before showing your home.

Buyers will also likely want to know the age of your furnace, water heater and other appliances, in order to anticipate when they will need to be repaired or replaced. If you have transferrable warranties for any of these items, be sure to keep this all together.

A fresh coat of paint is one of the best investments you can make in preparing your home for sale. More than any other repair or renovation, a coat of paint can make just about any room look almost new and move-in ready.

Buyers are sometimes worried about having to purchase new window coverings. If your window coverings will stay with the home, make that clear.  If you are taking certain window coverings make that clear too.

Generally, the more you can do to make your home seem ready to move in, the better.

Want more tips on selling your home quickly and for the best price? Call me today!

THINKING ABOUT A BIGGER OR BETTER HOME?

February 16th, 2017 by Brian Currey

Whether you love your current home or have had your eye on upgrading for years, making the decision to move to a bigger or better house isn’t easy. You have a lot to consider, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming.

Before you embark on the journey toward a housing upgrade, take a step back. First, think about creating a specific list of what you want to accomplish by moving.

Then start talking about what’s really required to move up. That’s where I come in. I can help you sort through everything.

I’m always available to talk. Let’s work together to find the house that fits.

Making the Home Selling and Moving Process Easier

February 9th, 2017 by Brian Currey

There’s no doubt that things change in a home when it’s put on the market. Those changes can cause stress for the entire family.

Fortunately, there are ways to reduce that stress considerably. With a little bit of planning, you can even make the home selling process a relatively pleasant experience for everyone.

The first step is to talk candidly with your family, especially kids, about their feelings and concerns regarding selling your home and moving. Their worries may include:
•Losing connections with friends.
•Finding a new job.
•Starting a new school.
•Disruptions in the home during viewings.
•Work involved in preparing the home for sale.
•Keeping the home clean and tidy for viewings.

The more you’re aware of how your family feels about the process, the better you can deal with those issues.

Keeping the home clean for viewings and open houses is usually one of the major stressors. It may feel like you’re tidying up for a special guest several times a week! A solution worth considering is hiring a maid service on a short-term basis. That help can save you a lot of time and stress, especially if you’re also searching for a new home.

During viewings, it’s best for you and your family to be out of the home. So, consider planning little adventures. You can visit a museum, eat at a restaurant you’ve been wanting to try for months, or take the gang to a recreation centre. These ideas will go a long way toward alleviating the sense of being “kicked out” of your own home!

October Tech Report

December 9th, 2016 by Brian Currey

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