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Feb 15, 2011: Free Victoria Real Estate Seminar: Buying Your First Home

 

 

 

Is this the year you buy your first home? There are plenty of great properties on the market, and prices are more attractive than in recent months. Interest rates are still low, but expected to rise this year.

How much do you need and how can you save for a down payment? What’s the best type of mortgage for you? What homes are available and what sorts of programs are out there to help a first-time buyer?

How will the new mortgage rules that come into effect this year affect your buying power? Do all homes have HST applied to the price?

All these questions and more will be answered at a fun, free, interactive seminar I’m putting on next month with two other professionals.

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Upcoming Free Victoria Real Estate Seminar: Buying Your First Home

Sure, it’s getting close to Christmas, and no one wants to move, but why not get educated so you can plan for your first home purchase in 2011! There are plenty of great properties on the market, and prices are more attractive than in recent months. Interest rates are experiencing a double-dip with near record-low rates!

How much do you need and how can you save for a down payment? What’s the best type of mortgage for you? What homes are available and what sorts of programs are out there to help a first-time buyer?

How hard is it to qualify with the new mortgage rules that came into effect this year? Do all homes have HST applied to the price?

All these questions and more will be answered at a fun, free, interactive seminar I’m putting on next month with two other professionals.

Jeremy Kimm, CFP, FMA, Financial Consultant, Investors Group Financial Services Inc.will talk about how to save for that ever-important down payment, and government programs to assist home buyers. Find out the details of how to borrow from your RRSP tax-free to help you buy a house, and other tricks of the trade.

Robert Boyd, Mortgage Expert with Dominion Lending will present on the various types of mortgages that are available, how to apply, and how to get the best rate possible to save you money. Learn about mortgages and rates, amortization and prepayment and take the mystery out of mortgages

Tim Ayres (that’s me!), REALTOR® with Royal LePage Coast Capital Realty will walk you through the home-buying process – how we search for a home together, showings, offers, negotiation and finally, getting the keys to your new home. Find out what to look for, how to ensure you get what you need, and how having an experienced REALTOR® on your side can help.

When: Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010, 7PM.

Where: Investors Group Westshore office, 201 – 630 Goldstream [map] – [street view]

The seminar is free, but we have limited space, so please phone me at 250-885-0512, fill in the form below or visit TimAyres.ca/seminars for more information.

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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Ocean, Lake, and Other View Properties in Sooke and Victoria – Something to Keep In Mind [Video]

If you’re reading this in a feed reader, you may have to click through to the post to view the video below:

I was out for a run the other day in a 15-or-20 year old subdivision in Sooke. Running up Henlyn Road in the John Muir neighbourhood of Sooke which has amazing, sweeping views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, it occurred to me that as the landscaping around the subdivision has grown up over the years, some of the commanding views that the property owners have enjoyed are now partially or completely obscured by trees and other vegetation. This is an important consideration, as it directly affects your property value.

When shopping for view homes in Sooke or Victoria, keep this in mind – look for stands of trees in the distance that could block your view, or trees on neighbouring properties that could become a bone of contention between you and the other property owner. Most people aren’t so keen to cut down trees to improve another’s view.

If you have any questions or comments about Sooke or Victoria, BC real estate, or suggestions for future posts, please call me at 250-885-0512, email Tim@TimAyres.ca or fill in my contact form. Thanks for reading/watching!

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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Free Real Estate Seminars

Could this be your next home?

Could this be your next home?

I will be co-hosting a series of real estate seminars on Thursday, June 11th at the Juan de Fuca Library, beside the rec centre on the Island Highway. Joining  me are Alexis Mills, a mortgage broker, and Jeremy Kimm, a financial planner, for three different perspectives about buying and selling real estate.

We have two seminars planned for the evening. You can attend one or both, depending on your needs.

Your presenters are:

Tim Ayres – Royal LePage Coast Capital Realty: Tim has a unique approach to real estate, and offers sound, impartial advice to all clients, coaching them along every step of the way. Tim’s no-pressure approach makes his clients feel at ease, empowered, and confident in their real estate transactions.

Alexis Mills – Global Mortgage Corp: Alexis is a true professional in the mortgage world, offering her clients outstanding service and the best rates, bar none. Alexis works incredibly hard on every mortgage, ensuring her clients are matched with the best mortgage product in today’s ever-increasingly complex world of mortgage financing.

Jeremy Kimm, CFP, FMA, Financial Consultant, Investors Group Financial Services Inc.: Jeremy has an enthusiastic, yet straight-forward approach to financial services. From life insurance to long-and-short-term investment planning and more, Jeremy’s friendly deameanor and expert knowledge enables his clients to ensure they have the most effective financial plan going forward.

6:45-8:00pm at the Juan De Fuca Library: Upsizing, Downsizing, Investment, and Vacation Properties. Join us for an informative look at moving up or moving down in the Victoria real estate market, purchasing an investment property, and purchasing a vacation property. You’ll learn about buying and selling strategies, mortgage requirements and innovations to help you save, and about the potential tax consequences and how to avoid them.

8:00-9:00pm at the Juan De Fuca Library: Buying Your First Home. First time buyers drive the real estate market in most areas. They allow the move-up buyers to move up and have been instrumental in kick-starting our real estate market in recent months. How can you take advantage of record-low interest rates, falling real estate prices, and government incentives to purchase your first home? What are the steps involved? How can I save a down payment? This very popular seminar has helped many first-time buyers get into their first homes in the past few years.

You can attend both seminars if you wish!

Seminars are free, but space is limited! Please call Tim at 250-885-0512 or fill in the form below to reserve your seat:

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Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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First Time Buyer Friday #10 – How Does Rent To Own Work?

In my continuing series, First-Time-Buyer Fridays, I answer a common question from a first-time buyer. If you have a question to submit, first-time-buyer or experienced investor, put one in the comments below, or fire me an e-mail at Tim@TimAyres.ca.

What's the Deal with Rent-To-Own?

What's the Deal with Rent-To-Own?

Q. I’ve heard about people being able to rent-to-own a home? Is this legit? How does it work? Why don’t more people do this?

A. At first glance, renting to own a home sounds like such a good deal. No or little money down, similar payments to rent, going towards your equity instead of in the landlord’s pocket. And for many people, this would work out just fine. However, it’s not as simple as it sounds.

A rent-to-own program is essentially an agreement for sale, which is a legal term that means you are agreeing to purchase the property from the owner on a set date in the future, for an agreed-upon price today. Payments on an agreement for sale are credited to the purchase price, and used to pay any interest, if any. Essentially, the seller is financing your purchase of the property until such time that you can qualify for a mortgage and pay out the rest.

Most rent-to-own programs boast that they are “interest-free,” but while you’re paying no interest, only a portion of your payment is applied to the principal. The rest goes directly into the owner’s pocket as rent. So, no, it’s not interest in the traditional sense of the word, but it’s essentially six-of-one, half-dozen-of-the-other, isn’t it?

From a buyer’s perspective, a rent-to-own scheme is attractive if that buyer would likely not be eligible for traditional mortgage financing due to poor credit, and/or would not have sufficient funds available for the required minimum 5% down payment. By renting-to-own, the buyer is essentially paying a down payment (and rent) to the seller while living in the house. At the end of the term of the rent-to-own contract (one to five years), the buyer/renter is obligated to pay the outstanding balance to the seller/landlord, which would be the original price agreed on at the start of the term, less the amount of the portion of the monthly payments allocated to the purchase price and the buyer/renter’s initial deposit. The agreement for sale is registered on the title to the property which ensures that the seller/landlord cannot simply sell the property to somebody else.

Example: if the purchase price of the home was $400,000, and the rent was $1750 per month, 30% of which was assigned to the purchase price ($525), three years of payments would net $18,900 which would leave an outstanding balance of $381,100. This balance would need to be paid to the owner at the end of the term, assumedly by a mortgage that the buyer would now qualify for (a bank would hopefully recognize the history of monthly payments to improve the buyer’s credit situation). Please note that these numbers are for illustration only, and the length of the term and amount of the monthly payment which is applied to the purchase could be more or less, depending on what is negotiated.

What happens at the end of the term if the buyer still doesn’t qualify for a mortgage to pay out the outstanding balance to the seller? In this case, the seller would be eligible to keep the deposit and all payments made by the buyer during the term. The same goes if a buyer defaults on a payment.

From the seller/landlord’s perspective, is this a good deal? I know I wouldn’t do it. First, unless you own the property outright or have a small mortgage, you’re going to be making payments on the property until the end of the rent-to-own (agreement for sale) term when you get your lump-sum from the buyer. If the renter/buyer’s payments aren’t large enough to cover your mortgage payments, you’re still paying out of pocket and still need a place to live. Second, if you have a small enough mortgage or own the property outright, why not just rent it out to good tenants and have a nice income stream for life? Why sell an income-producing asset at the end of the term? And thirdly, for every rent-to-own buyer in the marketplace, there are probably several more willing and able outright purchasers for your property. Why wait to get your cash now? You’d earn some rent/interest on the agreement for sale, but the opportunity cost of doing so could exceed the benefits, especially if the buyer defaults and the property has lost value. This is probably why you don’t see more agreement for sale/rent-to-own properties on the market – there isn’t a compelling incentive for owners to agree to it.

I think there are better ways to improve your credit and to save money for a down payment to take advantage of home ownership. RRSP withdrawals, the tax-free-savings-account, and other financial tools come to mind. However, you’d probably talk to families who’ve been able to purchase a home through a rent-to-own scheme that are perfectly happy with the result.

In any case, I would highly recommend having a lawyer and/or an accountant review any rent-to-own or agreement for sale contract you are considering entering into, either as buyer/tenant or as seller/landlord to make sure you understand the benefits and risks. There are many schemes that would be very one sided toward the landlord/seller, so be sure what you’re entering into is fair and equitable.

What do you think? Have you ever purchased a property this way or know somebody who has? I’d love to read your comments below.

If you have any questions about renting to own, agreements for sale, how you can make home ownership a reality, or any other real estate matter, please give me a call at 250-885-0512, e-mail me at Tim@TimAyres.ca or fill in my contact form. You can connect with me on Twitter at Twitter.com/TimAyres.

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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First-Time-Buyer Friday #2 – Needs vs Wants

house-shoppingQ. There are lots of potential homes in my price range. How can I narrow down the field so I don’t waste time viewing homes I really have no interest in buying?

A. Many first time buyers are hit with this problem. Often, because they’re just starting out and want to make sure they don’t miss any potential homes, they search REALTOR.ca for all homes under a certain price level, and go from there. This is what I would call a shotgun approach. Sometimes, a buyer will get so many results it’s overwhelming. So an exercise I like to have my first time buyers do is the Needs vs Wants Inventory.

It’s simple really. Just take a sheet of paper and divide it into two columns, one entitled Needs, and the other Wants. Then think of all the home features or attributes of your lifestyle and put them in the appropriate column. For example, if you have pets and intend on taking them with you to your new home, then obviously “pets” goes on the needs side.

If you like stainless steel appliances, but are willing to cope with harvest gold, then that goes in the wants column. Thinking about this further, you could put the commute time to work in both columns. Put the maximum commute time you’d allow on the needs side, and the ideal commute time on the wants side.

Continue down the page and you should be able to come up with a pretty good summary of what you’re looking for. Talk to an agent and ask him or her to search for listings that match your criteria. This will really help narrow it down and will ensure that you find a home that will be the perfect balance between what you really need and what you want.

If you’re a first- second- or twenty-time buyer and have a question you’d like answered, contact me and I’ll get you a prompt, accurate response!

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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Horrible MLS Photo Of The Day #253

November 12th, 2008

Effort, people! How much extra effort would it have taken the REALTOR® who took this picture to turn off the TV and computer monitor, move the TV tray-table, rolled up carpet, dumbbells, and shoo the cat away? Not much, but it would have improved this picture immensely!

See all the usual suspects here.

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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Horrible MLS Photo Of The Day #252

November 11th, 2008

♫ You Spin Me Right Round Baby Right Round Like a Record Baby...♫

♫ You Spin Me Right Round Baby Right Round Like a Record Baby...♫

It’s great that the fan works. The REALTOR® has proven that with this motion-blurred shot. But what does the room look like? It’s all about context. This picture doesn’t tell the buyer anything about the listing.

See all the usual suspects here.

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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Horrible MLS Photo Of The Day #249, #250 and #251

Triple Feature! Something went screwy with the scheduled posts function on my blog this weekend, and Saturday and Sunday’s photos disappeared. I was without internet access this weekend and was unaware that the problem existed until this morning.

November 8th, 2008

It’s great that the REALTOR® turned on the lamp, but unfortunately it’s become the focal point of the picture and it is too bright, causing a distraction; it’s just kind of in the way! A few steps to the right would have improved this picture. Nice to see it shot at an angle though; this adds depth perception to a room.

November 9th, 2008

Stairway to Heaven?

Stairway to Heaven?

It’s not hard to tell what’s wrong with this picture. It’s just kind of pointless and doesn’t offer the buyer anything. Where is the context? Where does this stairway lead to? Where does it come from? A better shot would be to take in the entire room and show how this stairway adds to it.

November 10th, 2008

This one comes courtesy of Downtown Vancouver Condos specialist Ian Watt. He and I both tried for awhile to figure out what exactly it is, before concluding that it is either a tile or a section of granite counter top. Either way, it’s easily the worst photo in weeks.

See all the usual suspects here.

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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Horrible MLS Photo Of The Day #248

November 7th, 2008

This room is pretty small, so it’s hard to take a photo of it without a wide-angle lens. It’s a family home, so there is bound to be a few kids’ toys hanging around, and they’re rather organized in this shot. The blind should be open, though, to let in some natural light.

See all the usual suspects here.

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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