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Posts tagged ‘tips’

Rural Living In Sooke – Protect Your Well From Freezing

Snow in the Otter Point area of Sooke

All this snowy weather got me to thinking – just because we live in one of the mildest climates in Canada, doesn’t make us immune from freezing temperatures every now and again. Where I live in the Otter Point area of Sooke, we have a well. We’re also several hundred metres above sea level and the temperature tends to be a few degrees cooler than in the village of Sooke. When I bought the house, the former owner told me that the well head had frozen and that she had installed a very simple system to prevent it in the future. Read more

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.

Read more

Oh My God, What Have I Done?!

 

 

Sleepless Nights

I think it should be a rule that REALTORS® have to complete one real estate transaction of their own every five years at a minimum. This would help put things in perspective and make us better agents. Having just completed a transaction for me and my family, I can certainly relate to the stress, anxiety, and sometimes, sleepless nights that a buyer experiences. I had purchased a home before, but it was 7 years ago. When we do many transactions each year for different clients, they tend to become routine (in most cases) and we can lose sight of the client experience. As much as we all think we understand our clients, it is worthwhile to become one every now and then to make sure.

In my experience, I had at least two sleepless nights, and more anxiety than I care to admit, wondering what the hell I was thinking buying a bigger house. I’m a pretty logical, reasonable guy, so this was not an impulse buy in the least. I calculated, re-calculated, extrapolated, and otherwise contemplated this purchase for the past 6 months at least. Once I had found the right house, I triple and quadruple checked my math to make sure I wasn’t committing financial suicide. I think I got a pretty good deal on my house – you’d think an experienced agent would know!

But all that doesn’t matter when those nagging, anxious thoughts creep into your brain late at night! No matter how illogical and frivolous these thoughts are when you really think about them, it can scare the crap out of you and shake your confidence so easily when they run away with your brain.

It’s Normal

Everyone feels this way. Talk to your friends and colleagues. Talk to co-workers and your family. Chances are they will have had similar thoughts and feelings when they purchased their homes. And it’s not just the first-time jitters. I talked to another agent friend of mine who has completed five or six transactions in the last 20 years or so, and he still freaks out every time. The key is to work with a team of advisers (mortgage broker, REALTOR®, financial planner, etc.) that you trust. They can help separate the important, key details from the noise of your subconscious mind that is keeping you up at night.

It Will Pass

For me, all the anxiety and stress disappeared the morning after the move. Here we were in our ‘forever’ house: me, my wife and our new baby daughter, and a pile of boxes and disarray. And it was perfect.

What about you?

Were you stressed about your first home purchase? What about your second or third? Did it get any better? When did it pass, and what advice can you offer readers about home-purchase anxiety?

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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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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Lindsay Day – 2 Years Later and Buziak’s Murder Still Unsolved

Lindsay Buziak: Still No Arrests In Murder Case

As long as I write this blog, I’m certain to never forget that two years ago today, February 2nd, is the day that Lindsay Buziak, a 24 year old real estate agent from Victoria, was murdered in the house she was showing to prospective buyers.

In the month or so before the anniversary of her death, searches for “Lindsay Buziak” and related keywords surrounding the case show up with increasing frequency on my blog stats because of what I wrote the days after the murder and on the one-year anniversary in 2009.

It’s only natural I guess – people scouring the Internet for information on the case: clues, speculation or rumours. I’d like to think that some of the traffic is law enforcement, hoping that somebody somewhere has posted a new tip or clue about the case.

Because it’s ridiculous that the police have next to nothing to go on. She was killed in the early evening in a residential neighbourhood where people would be getting home from work. Somebody saw something. Somebody knows something that will lead to an arrest. Saanich Police concede that she was intentionally targeted and that the murder was planned many weeks in advance. You can’t plan something like that and have no one know about it.

“Lindsay was intentionally targeted, she was intentionally lured to the home and she was intentionally killed.” – Saanich Police spokeswoman Sgt. Julie Fast.

Lindsay’s family has announced a reward of $100,000 for information leading to an arrest. The Victoria Real Estate Board and the Canadian Real Estate Association have each contributed $25,000 to the reward pool, in a show of support. What happened to Lindsay, while not a direct result of her profession, could happen to any of us in real estate. All too often we get complacent in the chase for another deal. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it – listen to your instincts.

I really hope I never have to write another Lindsay Day post on this blog. Please, if you know anything about this case, no matter how small it may seem, call the Saanich Police tip line at 250-475-4356.

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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First Time Buyer Friday #11 – When To Walk Away

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.

Broken house

“Needs TLC”

Q. I made an offer to purchase a house and my inspector found a few problems. How do I know when to walk away?

A. Unfortunately, not all houses are created equal, and you may find that after finally getting an offer accepted on your first home, that the inspection report turns up some issues you missed on your initial viewing of the property. This is normal – it’s the inspector’s job to pick apart the various systems of the home and point out to you everything you’re taking on when you buy the house. The big question is – what is acceptable and what’s too much?

When I bought my home, it was only 11 years old. Everything that I needed to change was merely cosmetic, and if worse came to worse, I could always wait (and suffer through the pastel pink walls and mint-green carpet). But if you’re buying an older home, things like knob-and-tube wiring, a faulty roof, or a cracked or leaking foundation might be a reality and turn your dream home into a nightmare – and this is why an inspection is the best $400 you can spend when you’re shopping for a home.

You should be prepared to replace a few things and make a few changes once you move in, but you’ll probably want a good idea as to how much money this is going to cost. For example, if your inspection report finds that the roof is failing and you’ll soon need to replace it, it’s not hard to get a roofing contractor over for a quick drive-by estimate. It’s another thing altogether if your inspector suspects there may be substandard wiring, cracks in the foundation, or failing stucco or other exterior cladding. These repairs are often much more costly – and sometimes cover up other problems not visible to your inspector. It’s not necessarily the cost of the repairs that is the greatest cause for concern.It’s what you don’t know that can cost the most. If you aren’t comfortable with this, it might be a signal that it’s time to be glad you had an inspection, walk away, and move on to another property.

Your REALTOR® has probably seen lots of similar houses in his or her career and can certainly help counsel you, but you should always get reliable repair estimates from reputable contractors – they are the ones you’ll be writing a cheque to for repairs. The decision to walk away or not has to be your own; you need to be comfortable with any repairs or upgrades that may be necessary when you take ownership of the house.

A smart buyer will also consider if the house will be difficult to sell in a few years’ time if these issues are not looked after when he or she owns the house. The roof might not be leaking now, but the last thing you want is to take a hit on the price of your home because a subsequent buyer doesn’t want to fix the problems you inherited from the previous owner!

As with dating, there are plenty of fish in the sea when it comes to buying houses, and your REALTOR® will help you find the right house. And, also like dating, you’ll probably find that you love that house even more than you did the one you let get away.

I’d love to answer your questions about buying or selling a house. Give me a call at 250-885-0512, e-mail me at Tim@TimAyres.ca or fill in my contact form. Connect with me on Twitter at Twitter.com/TimAyres.

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 #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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First-Time Buyer Fridays! – New Feature on the 642Blog

They're a little crooked, but soundly built!

They're a little crooked, but soundly built!

Welcome to the first edition of First-time Buyer Friday! In this new section of the blog, I’ll chat about a different topic each week that is specifically important to first time buyers in the Victoria and Sooke marketplace. I’ve been working with a lot of first-time buyers lately, so I am getting a lot of questions from my clients which inspired me to start writing about them. Sometimes the post will come in video format, other times written.

Q. What’s the first step in owning my own home?

A. With Victoria and Sooke real estate prices dropping, and interest rates at historic lows, many renters are considering making a move to their own property. Other than surfing around on Realtor.ca, your first step should probably be to meet with a qualified mortgage broker or your bank to determine how much you can afford, and to get pre-approved for a mortgage. This will help you in numerous ways. First, it gives you the confidence that you are financially able to purchase when you find the right home, and will save you valuable time by focusing only on properties you can afford.

Working with a mortgage broker has several advantages. Being independent, they have access to many different lenders, and will work for you to get you the best rate and the mortgage product that best suits your needs. Contrast this to a bank’s mortgage officer, who is usually tied to that bank’s mortgages and has limited flexibility to offer different products.

If you have any questions about mortgages, buying, or anything else real estate related, contact me at 250-885-0512, Twitter.com/TimAyres or Tim@TimAyres.ca. I would be happy to refer you to a mortgage broker to get you started!

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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