Mortgage Broker

How to Quickly Improve Indoor Air Quality

There are many reasons why the air quality in your home may not be at its best. A faulty furnace or an aged carpet are just two potential culprits. Until you get those issues addressed, how can you make your indoor air healthier – today?

Here are some ideas:

Check the furnace filter. This is one of the most overlooked maintenance items in the home. Any furnace repair person can tell you stories about filters they’ve seen caked in dust. Make sure those aren’t yours. Air passes through those filters before circulating throughout your home. Replacing a filter takes less than five minutes.

Clean the drains. Drains are a surprisingly common source of odor in the home. Most people only clean them when they’re clogged, but they should be flushed thoroughly with a good-quality cleaner at least once a season.

Turn on the bathroom fan. Not only do bathroom fans remove odor, they also reduce moisture build-up. About 50% of air pollutants originate from some type of moisture. Mold is the worst of these pollutants. Professionals recommend you keep your bathroom fan on for at least 30 minutes after a shower.

Clean your doormat. Even if your doormat doesn’t smell, it can be a source of air pollutants. When people wipe their shoes, they transfer outside ground pollutants from their shoes to your mat.

Of course, you can always open a window. That’s the most popular and easiest way to freshen the air, and it works.

Roger & Sean Business Pic Fixed.jpg Victoria Family Real Estate Team
Royal LePage Coast Capital Realty Victoria, BC.
Sean Cell: 250-888-9739
Roger Cell: 250-380-8048
E-mail: seanfamilyrealestate@gmail.com  Website: www.victoriafamilyrealestate.com   Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/victoriafamilyrealestate/

Healthy Lighting for Your Home

Recently, researchers discovered that the lighting in your home can have a much greater impact on your health and well-being than originally thought. Better lighting can boost your energy, help you sleep better, and even enhance healing.

So, it pays to make sure the lighting in your home has a positive impact on the health of your family.

Start by enhancing sources of natural light, such as windows and skylights. Study each room of your home and replace as much of the artificial light as possible with sunlight. For example, reposition a favorite reading chair next to a window.

Consider dimming the lighting in your home during the evenings. If your home is very bright when it’s dark outside, it can affect your body’s natural rhythms, resulting in disturbed sleep.

Avoid over-lighting, which is common in rooms where there are few windows. Over time, excessive light can cause headaches and even mood changes. Lighting that is sufficient to see everything clearly is all you need.

Roger & Sean Business Pic Fixed.jpg Victoria Family Real Estate Team
Royal LePage Coast Capital Realty Victoria, BC.
Sean Cell: 250-888-9739
Roger Cell: 250-380-8048
E-mail: seanfamilyrealestate@gmail.com  Website: www.victoriafamilyrealestate.com   Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/victoriafamilyrealestate/

Estimating Your Selling Costs

When the time comes to sell your house, you’ll want to determine roughly how much you can expect to net after the sale. To figure that out, you’ll not only need to know how much your house will likely sell for, but also the selling costs you are likely to incur in the process.

The costs of selling vary depending on a number of factors. Here’s a general rundown of what to consider:

  • Repairs. You will want your house to look its best to buyers. That may require you to get any needed repairs done before listing. You don’t want a buyer to see a dent in the wall or a dripping faucet.
  • Renovations. It might make sense to get a few improvements done to make the house more attractive. For example, you may want to replace old and worn kitchen countertops.
  • Legal fees. Selling a house requires a lot of legal work. You’ll need a good real estate lawyer to take care of that for you.
  • Commissions. This is usually calculated as a percentage of the sale price.
  • Moving costs. Once you sell, you’ll obviously need to move! So, factoring in this expense is a smart idea.

Although this may seem like a long list, selling costs are fairly easy to estimate. Once you have that number, it’s easy to calculate how much money you’ll have available to put towards your next home.

Roger & Sean Business Pic Fixed.jpg Victoria Family Real Estate Team
Royal LePage Coast Capital Realty Victoria, BC.
Sean Cell: 250-888-9739
Roger Cell: 250-380-8048
E-mail: seanfamilyrealestate@gmail.com  Website: www.victoriafamilyrealestate.com   Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/victoriafamilyrealestate/

Finding the Perfect “Kid-Friendly” Neighborhood

Fast forward a few years and imagine that your kids have grown up. They’ve come back to the “old neighborhood” to reminisce. What will they remember? The playground where they hung out with their friends? The quiet cul-de-sac where they learned to ride their bikes? The park where they picnicked and flew kites?

Lasting memories are built in neighborhoods where amenities match lifestyles. When shopping for a new home, evaluate a prospective new neighborhood against the following 3 E’s:

Education: What resources are available in the neighborhood to help with your child’s education? Are there schools and other services, such as libraries or art studios? How do they rate?

Environment: Is it safe? Do your kids need to cross busy streets to go to parks or to school? Are there other families with kids the same age?

Entertainment: Swimmers need pools and soccer players need a field. Are the right facilities, programs, and leagues available for your kids? Where will you play as a family?

Keep the 3 E’s in mind when choosing your next neighborhood. You’ll start a lifetime of wonderful memories for you – and your kids.

Roger & Sean Business Pic Fixed.jpg Victoria Family Real Estate Team
Royal LePage Coast Capital Realty Victoria, BC.
Sean Cell: 250-888-9739
Roger Cell: 250-380-8048
E-mail: seanfamilyrealestate@gmail.com  Website: www.victoriafamilyrealestate.com   Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/victoriafamilyrealestate/

Home Shopping and the Four-Legged Stool

What kind of stool is most likely to keep you from toppling over when you sit on it? Of course, two-legged stools won’t even stand on their own. Three-legged stools are okay, but still unstable. Four-legged stools are rock solid.

What does this have to do with shopping for a new home?

Well, if you want to find the right home quickly and for the best price, you need to have four things in place – the four legs of the stool. They will help ensure the experience goes smoothly.

The first leg is your wish list. You need to have a clear picture of the type of home you want. How many bedrooms? A large deck? Don’t forget about the neighborhood. Do you need to be close to major highways for ease of commuting?

The second leg is a pre-approved mortgage. Getting the financing handled upfront takes the guesswork out of what you can afford. And, sellers are more likely to take any offers you make more seriously.

The third leg is realistic expectations. Of homes that sell, 99% sell at or near their current market values. That doesn’t mean you can’t find a good deal. It does mean you’re unlikely to find a “steal”. Fortunately, there are likely several wonderful properties available within your price range.

The final leg of the stool is a great real estate professional. Choosing the right real estate professional is crucial to making your home shopping experience less stressful and more productive.

So, when you’re hunting for a new home, make sure you start with a stable “four-legged stool”. It will dramatically increase your chances of finding a home that fits your needs and budget.

Need help with that? Give us a Call!

Roger & Sean Business Pic Fixed.jpg Victoria Family Real Estate Team
Royal LePage Coast Capital Realty Victoria, BC.
Sean Cell: 250-888-9739
Roger Cell: 250-380-8048
E-mail: seanfamilyrealestate@gmail.com  Website: www.victoriafamilyrealestate.com   Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/victoriafamilyrealestate/

Should You Worry About Market Fluctuations?

It’s a little like being on a roller-coaster ride!

You turn on the television and watch a news story about housing prices going down. Then you read an article about the housing market on the upswing again.

Unfortunately, the ride isn’t much fun if you’re thinking of buying or selling a home. In fact, it can be very confusing and frustrating. You just don’t know if “now” is the right time to make a move.

In reality, the housing market has been fluctuating for decades. Yet, people sell their homes every day for good prices, and just as many people get into their next dream home affordably.

When you hear news of market fluctuations, there are two important things to consider.

First, a lot of media information about the housing market is national, or at least regional. If the housing market is trending up or down nationally, remember that it doesn’t necessarily mean that your LOCAL market is doing the same. In fact, it’s entirely possible for housing prices to be rising in your neighborhood, while they are falling nationally, and vice versa.

Second, if you’re selling your current property while buying another home, then the net effect of market fluctuations may cancel out. Say, for example, that the local market is on the upswing. You’ll probably be able to sell your current home for a good price. However, the home you purchase will likely also be priced to reflect the upswing. The same holds true when the market is down.

All that being said, there are some circumstances in which you need to consider market fluctuations when deciding whether or not to make a move. Call today for more information.

Roger & Sean Business Pic Fixed.jpg Victoria Family Real Estate Team
Royal LePage Coast Capital Realty Victoria, BC.
Sean Cell: 250-888-9739
Roger Cell: 250-380-8048
E-mail: seanfamilyrealestate@gmail.com  Website: www.victoriafamilyrealestate.com   Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/victoriafamilyrealestate/

Are You Ready to Buy Up?

0220Article1No matter how much you love your current home, you may still be dreaming of the day you can buy up into a better home in a better neighborhood.

Is that day today or a few years down the road?

Here’s a quick way to make that assessment.

First, make a list of all the practical reasons why it might be time to move up. Those reasons might include features such as: more bedrooms; proximity to work and school; a larger backyard with trees; nearby parks and walking paths; and, better access to things you enjoy, like theatre.

Next, make a list of the emotional reasons for making such a move. Those reasons might include memorable get-togethers with friends on a more spacious deck; an easier and less stressful commute to work; more family time with the kids; and, enjoyable Saturday golf at a nearby course.

Finally, take a financial snapshot to determine if you can afford to move up. You’ll need to get a good idea of what your current property will sell for in today’s market, the average price of homes in your desired neighborhood, and how much mortgage you can afford.

Once you have all of that down on paper, you’ll have a clear picture of your readiness. If the practical and emotional reasons for buying up are compelling, and you can afford to make the move, then, you have your answer.

The time to move is now!

By the way, if you need help in making this determination – especially figuring out what
your home will likely sell for give us a call!

Roger & Sean Business Pic Fixed.jpg Victoria Family Real Estate Team
Royal LePage Coast Capital Realty Victoria, BC.
Sean Cell: 250-888-9739
Roger Cell: 250-380-8048
E-mail: seanfamilyrealestate@gmail.com  Website: www.victoriafamilyrealestate.com   Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/victoriafamilyrealestate/

January 2020 Market Update!

Related imageVictoria Real Estate Market wraps up a relatively flat year for home sales 

A total of 402 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this December, 7.2 per cent more than the 375 properties sold in December 2018 and a 30.3 per cent decrease from November 2019. Sales of condominiums were up 17.5 per cent from December 2018 with 121 units sold. Sales of single family homes increased 13.8 per cent from December 2018 with 198 sold.

A grand total of 7,255 properties sold over the course of 2019, 1.47 percent more than the 7,150 that sold in 2018. 2019 sales came in at slightly under the ten-year average of 7,413 properties sold.

“Overall, our market throughout 2019 can be characterized as still active, slow to grow and low in supply,” says 2019 Victoria Real Estate Board President Cheryl Woolley. “Last year we saw many prospective buyers sit on the sidelines waiting for inventory to be added. As a result of this unmet demand, there was and continues to be a push from consumers to create townhomes and condos at accessible price points. We began 2019 discussing the potential impact of various taxes and lending rules introduced by the federal and provincial governments that were designed to calm housing market activity – although this activity had already begun to slow following our hyper-active market in 2016/17. The most impactful government change we saw was the tighter mortgage lending rules, which lowered consumer borrowing power and made many unable to qualify for the value of mortgages they had in the past, therefore compressing more demand into our mid- and lower-priced property market.”

There were 1,952 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of December 2019, a decrease of 18.6 per cent compared to the month of November and a 1.8 per cent decrease from the 1,988 active listings for sale at the end of December 2018.

“Constant demand on this middle housing segment has put a moderate amount of pressure on pricing,” adds Woolley. “And although we did not see huge price increases though 2019 like we did in the run up through 2016, we do see buyers entering into multiple offer situations and competing for properties. The high end of the market – over $1.5 million – has been softer, which is nice for a very small percentage of buyers in our area, but difficult on sellers who have seen some equity erode. The theme heading into 2020 does for now appear to be the limited selection of single-family homes and growth in pressure for more condos and townhomes. What remains consistent is that in this complex market, buyers and sellers value the assistance of their REALTOR® to navigate one of the biggest purchases most will make in their lifetime.”

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in December 2018 was $860,400. The benchmark value for the same home in December 2019 decreased by 0.6 per cent to $855,000, slightly less than November’s value of $855,400. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core area in December 2018 was $503,000, while the benchmark value for the same condominium in December 2019 increased by 3.5 per cent to $520,700, slightly more than the November value of $517,000.

View the complete stats package here

Roger & Sean Business Pic Fixed.jpg Victoria Family Real Estate Team
Royal LePage Coast Capital Realty Victoria, BC.
Sean Cell: 250-888-9739
Roger Cell: 250-380-8048
E-mail: seanfamilyrealestate@gmail.com  Website: www.victoriafamilyrealestate.com   Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/victoriafamilyrealestate/

Four Ways to Make the Home Hunting Process Easier

Shopping for a new home can be intimidating. With so many things to do and think about, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are some good tips for making the home hunting process a lot easier and much less stressful.

1. Get your mortgage arranged in advance.
You don’t want to find the ideal home on the market, only to face problems arranging a suitable mortgage. You might end up losing the opportunity. So, make mortgage arrangements in advance by getting “pre-approved”. With that pre-approval, you can shop for a new home with confidence.

2. Clearly define the kind of home you want, and the neighborhood you want to live in.
You can’t view every home that’s on the market. If you try, you’ll burn yourself out! So, write down a clear description of the kind of home you want. How many bedrooms? Big kitchen? Pool?

Don’t forget to include the neighborhood. Upscale? Close to downtown? Lots of trees and parks? Urban and close to shopping and theaters?

With this information, we can quickly create a shortlist of properties that meet your criteria.

3. Take good notes.
After viewing a few homes, you may easily start to forget the details. Was it the first property that had the large elm tree in the backyard or was that the fourth property you saw? If you take good notes, you’ll be better able to make decisions later on about which homes to shortlist.

4. Take care of yourself, and your family.
Eat right. Pace yourself. Don’t try to view too many homes in one evening or on one Saturday afternoon.

Want more ideas for finding the perfect home? Call me today. I am always available!

sean option 4 Edited.jpg Sean Levesque, BBA
Royal LePage Coast Capital Realty Victoria, BC.
Cell: 250-888-9739
Office: 250-474-4800
E-mail: sean@rogerlevesque.net  Website: www.victoriafamilyrealestate.com   Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rlpseanlevesque

How to Get a Mortgage

financing.jpg

There are many unknown facts that first time home buyers do not know when it comes to purchasing a home. Let’s start off with the basics; In order to get a mortgage for a house, 2 forms of credit are needed. This could be, for example, Credit Cards or a Line of Credit through the bank. Both of those help build a credit rating as long as the minimum monthly payments are paid. This doesn’t mean that the whole balance needs to be paid off every month (although one should try to avoid carrying a balance so interest isn’t being charged), it means the minimum payment needs to be paid (for example $10 is a minimum for a balance under $200). After having 2 forms of credit being built up and having on time payments, the individual’s credit score will be of a good standing for a mortgage broker or bank to approve them for a mortgage.

There are some factors that many people don’t know that can hurt an individual’s credit score. Many people don’t know that unpaid cell phone bills decrease credit scores. This is because lenders (people giving the money) now use cell phone records of unpaid bills as unpaid debt, which decreases the credit score. Unpaid forms of credit will remain on the person(s) account for 7 years currently. This helps protect agencies from lending to someone who will not pay their bills because they look at their history and see that they tend to not pay bills. Of course life gets in the way and a month or two gets missed because funds aren’t there or simply because they forgot. This kind of tracking is made to protect the banks, lenders and companies.

Now of course there are other factors to consider when a mortgage needs to be obtained. Any debt that an individual has will affect the amount that can be borrowed. Such debt includes: Credit cards, car loans, student loans and any other outstanding debts. All of these forms of debt will take away from an individual’s income when it comes to a lender looking at what kind of mortgage they can qualify for. When an individual is looking at obtaining a mortgage, their debts, credit score and down payment are all taken into consideration. From these three factors, the lenders will be able to lend a certain amount of money to the individual at a certain interest rate.

Finally, there has been a new rule called the “stress test” that the government has set out to protect lenders and mortgagors (the person borrowing the money). This test requires mortgagors to qualify for a lending rate of 4.64% even though the actual rate is much lower than that. This has been implemented in an attempt to rein in debt loads, as well as lower the prices of real estate. By raising the qualifying requirements to obtain a mortgage, the demand for housing will become more limited, which in turn will cause prices to drop or at least slow down. For people investing 20% down payment on the property, this new rule does not affect them. With their investment into the property being so high; lenders see that the risk on these mortgagors is far less than a mortgagor of 5% down payment which in turn allows them to avoid the stress test.

To start your mortgage application and see what you can qualify for, here is an easy application form that you can fill out with Cody Rowe who is a trusted mortgage broker with Dominion Lending:

http://bit.ly/2ld5VE7

 cropped-edited Sean Levesque, BBA
Royal LePage Coast Capital Realty
Cell: 250-888-9739
Office: 250-474-4800
E-mail: sean@rogerlevesque.net  Website: http://www.rogerlevesque.net/real-estate