A lot of experienced professionals have their underrated thoughts about millennials. Though many of these millennials are tagged as lazy and tech-driven individuals, they have some great impacts on a certain area which in real estate. Some of these are the changes in office culture, increased listing automation and crowdfunding mortgages. They are in the largest percentage of the working force now and we can have something to learn in their work style particularly in the industry of real estate.

1. Questioning the way things are done

Asking questions to know how things are being done is a good thing to ponder. The initiative to know something you don’t know is a good start for improvement. Recently, millenials have encouraged real estate agents to use online lead generation as a powerful tool to gain more clients. You don’t have to look for new potential leaders because they are now coming straight to you.

2. Getting experimental

Observe and follow millennials take some risks to explore new things. Bring yourself to some extent of experimentation on how you deal with the solutions. Taking risks works especially when you are venturing for something unknown and found the greatest return of investment.

3. Embracing technology

You can’t deny how technology had completely changed the real estate world, from online listing to digitally enhanced processes making the real estate transactions quicker and more quality. Meanwhile mobile apps, housing price history and other information help buyers to formulate more informed decisions.

4. Embracing a flexible schedule

Flexible work schedule is a good millennial invention. The real estate industry is a demanding one in terms of time and flexibility and it requires 24/7 availability and a strong healthy relationship with the clients. This is very essential to develop trust and establish meaningful relationships.

5. Using non-conventional forms of financing

Crowdfunding made it possible for young entrepreneurs to make their ideas into a reality without the need for big bank’s loan. It’s the same thing for real estate. Crowdsourcing funds for investment properties from small-time investors, is one of the alternative lending ways. 

Read full post

Heavy rains could be a disaster to home owners as it's the leading cause of flooded basements. In the case that the water stays for 24 to 48 hours, you could face new problems such as mold, rust and dangerous situations such as live power lines, debris, etc.

1) Watch the exterior
Start from the outside of your house by fixing roof leaks, clearing rain gains, and trimming tree branches that might fall on the house. It’s even better to make further extension of your rain gutter going down to direct water away from your home especially during a storm.

2) Keep water flowing away
Ensure that downspouts and gutters in your home are all free form debris. Also check the water flow if it’s several feet farther from the foundation. Do an inspection when rain comes and see where the water is draining to figure out the problem.
Make sure gutters and downspouts are free from debris and check that the water is flowing several feet away from the foundation to keep away water. When it rains, do an inspection by walking around your property to locate where the water is draining and you may find a problem.

3) Unclog
Over-taxed septic tanks and clogged sewers can be a great problem during heavy rainfall. To be certain, clean and inspect your septic tank and sewer every time the season starts. Consider an installment of a sub-pump in order to drain standing water in case of flooding.

4) Examine your foundation
Cracks or small holes in the foundation can be a way for water to enter you house. Just a few inches of rainwater from a heavy and continuous raining can results to interior damage to drywall, carpets, and wood floors. Remember to check your basement door for possible cracks as well.

5) Review your policy
Take time reviewing your insurance policy to take note the details for the covered things, when there is damage inflicted in your basement. This is a good way to be aware.
Read full post

There are a lot of benefits related to investment property ownership and real estate can be a hedge against the volatility as the stocks fall. In order to maintain a steady income, one could be landlord but it would take a great amount to start with. Though, the easiest way is decide to take a loan. There are several forms in financing your investment property and choosing the right choice could determine the success of your investment. Before approaching a lender, make sure to study how different choices work.  

Option #1: Conventional Bank Loans
Using conventional financing, you can anticipate for a 20% down payment for the price of purchasing your home and about 30% with an investment property. In order to get loan approval and to determine your interest rate, lenders see your personal credit score, credit history and review assets. Lenders also expect borrowers to have a minimum of cash for six months intended to cover mortgage obligations.

Option #2: Fix-and-Flip Loans
A fix-and-flip loan is a short-term loan that enables the borrower to complete their renovations in order to put back the property in the market as soon as possible. Fix-and-flip loans are secured by the property known as hard money loans. Compared to conventional loan, using hard money loan could finance a house slip much easier to qualify and the lenders are more focus on the profitability of the market. However the interest rate for this loan may up to 18% and the paying period can be short.

Option #3: Tapping Home Equity
Drawing your home equity comes in different ways and using it to finance a real estate investment has its advantages and disadvantages. For example, using HELOC will allow you to borrow against the equity and usually paying monthly is interest-only.
Read full post

Some clients are after a renovation project. According to Consumer Reports these are the things young homebuyers look for the most.

Buyers from millennial generation are more likely to find a kind of home that can be ready for moving in and would enjoy and satisfies them right away. The millennial generation is feed with tremendous online information that reflects in the process on their home search. They have been provided with a lot of options, if your home doesn’t meet what they need, they will just look for the next house.

Build a Laundry Room in your home
Young homebuyers are so concerned about separating their laundry with the rest of the living space. Based on a recent survey, more than half of them are really considering a laundry room in choosing a home.

Get Smart
Installing an energy efficient, updated appliances and even smart home technology is a great value for young home buyers and majority of them are willing to invest with smart phone technology in buying a home.

Make Working from Home Easier
Homeowners should understand the kind of life that Millenials have especially in terms of their working life. Many of them work at home and it’s better if the owners would find a way to innovate a room into a working space. Consumer Reports pointed out that it’s actually affordable to transform a room into an office-type place with a basic desk plus the office chair or door.

Focus on Outdoor Spaces
Buyers would always prefer a home that is prepared for moving in and with great landscape and available outdoor space for entertaining. It doesn’t have to be very costly. In fact by just adding a deck or a patio with room for seating and a grill, young homebuyers will be attracted. 
Read full post

There are a lot of housing choices particularly in urban areas that makes it hard for many first-time homebuyers to choose the type of residence to purchase. Any type of homes has their own advantages and disadvantages and buyers should think about their budget and lifestyle in deciding which home type suits for them.

What Is a Townhouse?

Basically, a townhouse is known as a narrow, multilevel residence attached to other residences on a street. However, the ownership is the defining feature of a townhouse. Usually, townhouse owners own the land where the house is situated as well as the front and backyard area and the home’s exterior. Moreover, townhouses are situated in homeowners' associations and owners are obliged to pay monthly dues that cover insurance and maintenance of the common areas in the community. People who don’t want the responsibility of maintaining a big lot but willing to be involved in maintaining their homes can choose a townhouse.

Condo vs. Townhouse

Usually condos are less costly than townhouses because it has no land. The exterior of a condo unit, land and any improvements is regarded as common area and owned by all condo owners. The same with townhouse owners, condo owners have higher monthly HOA fees to pay that covers maintenance of the unit exterior and insurance for pricey items like roofs, elevators, parking structures etc. For people who want to have closer homes to their work or play and also interested in real estate ownership at a good price, condo is a good choice.

Read full post

Though upgrades can improve the home’s condition, not all increase the property's value. Here are four common renovations to avoid when adding value to your home. 

1. Plumbing and HVAC improvements

Though potential buyers expect functional plumbing and HVAC systems in your home, you don't have to dish out a ton of money to upgrade all of the components. You should focus on smaller, less expensive improvements that maintain in good working condition. 

2. Ornate lighting, bright colors and custom tiling

Less is more! Too many design elements are not necessary for selling your home. Great backsplashes and subtle accent walls are simple design features that make your home more appealing. Lighting is another costly element. If you want to make your house to look bright and inviting, consider installing recessed or LED lights for a modern and energy efficient effect.

3. Swimming pools

Having a swimming pool in your home requires a large amount of cash for maintenance and operation. Aside from expensive upkeep, other reasons swimming pools devalue homes include; the upfront cost of installation ($31,000 plus), safety risk, and limited usage due to weather. 

4. Room conversions

Repurposing a room can actually limit its usefulness. Several difficult room conversions include transforming a bedroom into a studio, wall removal for more space, or eliminating a room to add on to another.

If you're set on converting a space, make sure the new purpose is useful. For example, removing the wall between the kitchen and dining room, not only creates an open concept but is highly functional. 

Read full post

You don't have to do a total renovation to make your bathroom new again, A massive change of amenities in your bathroom would cost you a lot of time and money. Making some smart updates can compensate your comfort and personal style along with lasting materials and amenities. Let’s focus on the following areas.

1. Replace your Showerhead
One of the easiest ways to refresh the bathroom is to buy a new showerhead. This inexpensive option provides you with multiple functions including massage and handheld options? Not to mention, buying a new energy-efficient showerhead could also save you money and hot water.

2. Backsplash & Countertop
With zero demo options available to freshen your backsplash and countertop, it's never been easier to give your bathroom a whole new look. Check out the options provided by Granite Transformations (Tell them Moe sent you!)

3. Update your Toilet
Not only does this option allow you to enjoy your bathroom more, new toilets are water conserving meaning more savings for you!

4. A Smaller Mirror
Do you have a large mirror in your bathroom?  Update the look with a more decorative options that gives you room for another sink or more storage.

5. Paint your Tub
Have a Pepto-Bismol coloured tub? Surface refinishing gives your amenities a whole new lease on life without dealing with demo or expensive cost.

6. Replace your Fixtures
Updating your hardware is sometimes all your bath, sink, and cabinets need to look new.  
Read full post

1) Financing Factors

Knowing the amount you can spend on your new home is the first thing to do. The four main factors that would affect the amount that you can borrow are the size of your down payment, credit score, debt-to-income ratio (DTI) and monthly maintenance expenses.
Down Payment.

The down payment which is usually 5% to 20% of the home’s purchase price is the amount of saved money that you already have to purchase your new house. In case you are getting a conforming loan and putting down less than 20%, you are probably required to get private mortgage insurance. This would protect the lender in case of default. An additional 2% to 5% of the purchase price is also needed to cover closing costs and other expenditures.

2) FICO Score

Also known as FICO score, credit score is based from the information found on your credit report. Every major credit bureau which includes TransUnion, Equifax and Experian generates a separate FICO score ranging from 350 to 850, and before you apply for a mortgage, you should review each one. Your credit reports include debt utilization percentage, length of credit history, types of credits, applications for new credit, and negative comments.

3) Debt-to-Income Ratio

The debt-to-income ratio, expressed as a percentage, is calculated by taking the monthly debt and dividing it by the gross monthly income.
Less than 36% of DTI can qualify for many mortgages. In fact, the lower your DTI, the greater the chance you can potentially borrow for your new house.

4) Maintenance Fees

Your monthly maintenance fees are consists of all of the expenses regarding the homeownership that are not factored into your interest payment and monthly principal.

5) Mortgage Interest Deduction

Moreover, another important factor to remember are the rules that govern mortgage interest deduction on your federal income taxes. 
Read full post
Moe Pourtaghi

"Nothing brings me more joy than seeing my buyers & sellers have success in their Real Estate endeavours. I hope you find the articles on my blog inspiring and educating in your ventures." - Moe Pourtaghi

Subscribe to receive Market Updates & Tips

The data relating to real estate on this website comes in part from the MLS® Reciprocity program of either the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV), the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) or the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board (CADREB). Real estate listings held by participating real estate firms are marked with the MLS® logo and detailed information about the listing includes the name of the listing agent. This representation is based in whole or part on data generated by either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB which assumes no responsibility for its accuracy. The materials contained on this page may not be reproduced without the express written consent of either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB.