Hidden Real Estate Costs That Can Surprise You

Hidden Real Estate Costs That Can Surprise You

Hidden Real Estate Costs that 90% of home buyers and sellers do not know about.

Do you believe that the price attached to a property listing is the ultimate cost? You are not alone, many sellers and buyers hold the same belief.

Every time a property is handed over from one owner to another, it attracts quite a number of costs and fees. Some will run into thousands of dollars. The final price, whether you are selling your old home or buying a new one, will be inclusive of all these costs.

Speaking to reputable real estate lawyers around BC, we came up with a number of home buying and selling costs you never knew about.

Costs for buyers

  • Title insurance: it is not mandatory you get insurance for your property. However, you will need it to beat the widespread real estate fraud and identity theft. For a home valued at $450,000, a few hundreds of dollars will be adequate.
  • Legal expenses: you will need a real estate lawyer to help you process the required documents. You will be expected to part with 1% of the buying price or a maximum flat figure of $1,200, and GST plus disbursement cost.
  • Transfer tax: in BC there is a  property transfer tax. The rate is 1% on the first $100,000 and 2% on the balance of the purchase price. You will see this in the statement of adjustments from your lawyer or notary. The progressive levy is a fraction of the total purchase price.
  • Mortgage cost: a good number of banks do not charge any fee on their mortgage offers. You had better confirm with your bank. However, if you will be getting at least 80% of the home price from mortgage, you will have to obtain insurance with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.
  • Adjustment costs: apart from property taxes, the rest of the expenses in this list are utility bills.

Costs for seller

  • Legal fees: just like the buyer, the seller will need legal counsel to ensure everything is done within the provisions of the property law. Legal fees are approximately $1,200 exclusive of GST depending on the complexity of the purchase or sale. Usually, the lawyers charge less for a sellers transaction.
  • Real estate agent commission: while many sellers know that they pay a realtors commission. Both realtors will split a commission that is calculated by the total sale price.
  • Mortgage discharge: selling your home before your mortgage matures is a big financial risk. It will attract penalties and a discharge fee. On average, you can pay up to 3 months of your mortgage installments in penalties. The discharge fee lies between $200 and $300. However, you can get a waiver of these penalties and discharge fee if you transfer your old mortgage to the home you just bought.

Did you know about these costs? If you know anyone thinking of buying or selling please share this information

Please feel welcome to contact me with any questions

Andrew Smith - RealtorLiving in Kelowna,
Andrew Smith
Royal LePage Kelowna

1-1890 Cooper Rd, Kelowna, BC V1Y 8B7
250-979-8066 or Toll Free 1-877-330-5884
Follow me on Twitter @smithap01

Cal for more information https://www.okanaganbc.com/ or view here kelowna real estate listings

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Top 10 Home Selling Tips To Sell Fast in Fall Season

Top 10 Home Selling Tips To Sell Fast in Fall Season

Top 10 Home Selling Tips To Get The Most Money

Typically, fall and spring are the prime seasons to sell your house. But not out of your choosing, you may find yourself selling your home during winter. The truth be told, the cold season is not ideal for selling your home. Many people are out for holidays while others are holed up in their homes busy with holiday decorations.

. You need to have a brave strategy to sell your home during fall. That said, these 10 tips could be what you need to sell your home fast and for the right price during the fall season.

  1. Create attraction to the garden with structural elements

It is wintertime and a blooming garden is the rarest thing you could expect. But that does not mean you should leave your garden in a “who-cares” state. A few structural elements would be in order to woo a would-be homebuyer. Clear-cut landscaping, rock-decorated walls, a large planter here and an urn over there would catch an eye for someone looking to buy a home with an outdoor garden.

  1. Optimize on spaces that will be a real catch during fall

Areas for exercise, heated tool sheds, and basement play spaces will form a great attraction during the cold season. Have these spaces clean, cleared of any clutter and packed with relevant stuff. Make sure your guests will pass by these spaces and maybe it will inform their final decision to buy your home.

  1. Take it easy with the scents

Surprisingly, many people are allergic to some scents. Do not spray any perfume in your rooms or even burn candles. Do not even think of plugging in the air freshener. You do not want a disappointed buyer to storm out of your house the same moment they set a foot in your living room.

Kelowna house selling

  1. Do not forget to brighten up the outdoor space

If you have an outdoor fireplace or a roof-covered porch, keep it furnished to make it livable even at the dead of the cold weather. Keep the lights on and the fire burning to strike some interest in a prospective buyer who would love some outdoor break without having to leave the house.

  1. Emphasize on your home’s possibilities to entertain

It is time for festivities and you would do just fine underscoring the entertaining possibilities your home has to offer a potential buyer. Stack a set of plates on the dining table with a wreath of fresh flowers at one corner. If you can bake some cookies, have them displayed on the kitchen stand. Don’t they say the best way to get to a man’s heart is through his stomach? Whet your guest’s appetite and you might find yourself a buyer.

  1. Serve fall foods during the showings

When bidders come calling to your home, you had better have a strategy to hold on to them for long. Muffins, cookies or any other foods that can be easily popped into the mouth should be out of the list.
For beverages, a cup of cocoa or apple cider should keep your guests longer. All you want is for them to see some of the elements of your home they would otherwise miss if they had to leave in a hurry. The longer you can hold onto them, the more they appreciate some aspects of your home.

  1. To light a fire or not? It depends

It is winter and the temptation if a crackling fire is one you or even your guests would not mind. But do not be in such a hurry to light a fire when selling your home during winter. If you have a wooden stove that burns clean or a gas fireplace, light up the fire and give your guests a warm welcome. However, if your home uses the conventional wooden fireplace, you are better off without the fire. Find a creative way to keep your guests warm. A hot cup of coffee would be more than welcome.

  1. Keep your home easily accessible

Snow and ice can really mess up your home paths and the parking area. However, the last thing you would want your home bidders to notice is an ice-filled driveway and snow-packed paths into and around your home. Take your time to clear all the pathways and the parking lot. Let it be easy for your guests to walk around your house inspecting whether it is to their liking. Even before they get to see your house, you will have earned some impression marks with ease of access.

  1. Make your home more inviting with holiday decors

It is holiday time and it would do no harm to add a little holiday décor to go with the mood. A potential buyer would have a clear vision of what it would be living in this house during the holiday season. An appropriately decorated Christmas tree or colorful wreath would be adequate to send the right message.

However, you should be moderate with the decorations. Going overboard with your holiday decorations would turn out to be real turn off.

Bright kelowna home

  1. Light it up

It is a gloomy weather out there. But you can take advantage of that by creating a stark contrast in your rooms. Let light dominate every corner of your house. Have the window drapes pushed back, all the blinds pulled up and all shutters open. Turn all the light in your house including the closet and appliance lights. For the dark rooms with few windows, place spotlights on the floor and behind furniture. To add onto the serenity, turn off the TV set, computer, and speakers.

Who said you could not sell your house in winter? They must not have read this. Now you know better and you can outsmart the cold weather any day you want to sell your home. Arm yourself with this easy-to-follow tips and you will be surprised how fast you can sell your property even in the middle of the cold months.

Andrew Smith - RealtorLiving in Kelowna,
Andrew Smith
Royal LePage Kelowna
250-979-8066 or Toll Free 1-877-330-5884
Follow me on Twitter @smithap01

Cal for more information https://www.okanaganbc.com/ or view here Kelowna real estate listings

Kelowna Real Estate Market Update for October 2018

Kelowna Real Estate Market Update for October 2018

 Kelowna Real Estate Homes and Condos Updates

There are only 1,265 residential homes for sale in Kelowna right now in all price ranges. 639 of these are priced over $800,000 so it doesn’t leave much for those looking for affordably priced accommodation. There are 350 apartments for sale which is a reasonable number especially for this time of year. There have been 1350 condo apartment sales so far this year representing over 130 condo sales per month. This number continues to creep up and condos are playing a significant role in our city’s real estate economy as first-time buyers are forced out of the detached housing market.

2450 Residential Sales Year To Date

There have been 2,450 residential sales to date at an average sale price of $717,000. With the cost of detached homes become unaffordable for many, we’re going to see the gap between condo and home sales continue to shrink as buyers see a condo as the only option open to them. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as people will live closer to the core of the city which will help revitalize the downtown and relieve traffic congestion from Upper Mission, Glenmore and Lake Country.

Kelowna has seen a lot of changes over the last 20 years and the past year has produced even greater changes in our market. There has been a large increase in new construction in condo buildings, new homes and with the changes in RU7 zoning we are seeing many more duplexes and fourplexes referred to as infill housing being build in Kelowna South and North.

If you are thinking of purchasing or selling a condo or house in 2017 please give me a call. I can give you an estimate of value and sips on how to get more money from the sale of your property.

Andrew Smith - RealtorLiving in Kelowna,
Andrew Smith
Royal LePage Kelowna

1-1890 Cooper Rd, Kelowna, BC V1Y 8B7

250-979-8066 or Toll Free 1-877-330-5884
Follow me on Twitter @smithap01

Cal for more information https://www.okanaganbc.com/ or view here Okanagan real estate for sale

Kelowna Housing Update…September 2017

Kelowna Housing Update…September 2017

September Market Update for Kelowna Housing

There are 1,258 residential homes for sale in Kelowna in addition to 645 apartment condos. We’ve recorded 2,138 residential home sales so far this year at an average sale price of $705,000. We’re in a balanced market with 4.7 months of supply available based on 267 sales per month. Last year at this time the average sale price for the year was $630,000 and we recorded 2,748 sales.

Comparing 2017 to 2016

August 2017 saw our MLS system record 261 sales at $719,000 compared to August 2016 when we recorded 349 sales at an average price of $681,000. To sum up, year-to-date, prices are up 12% and unit sales are down 22% over last year.

Is this good or bad? Will the trend of fewer sales with higher prices continue? What can we expect during the Fall/Winter markets? Yes, it’s certainly good if you’re already here watching your equity grow without doing much other than mowing your lawn and replacing your furnace filter. Not so good for first time buyers or those moving here with normal jobs/income looking at jaw dropping mortgage payments. Notwithstanding slowly rising mortgage rates, the trend of higher prices is all but a certainty but the number of homes sold is a bit of a puzzle and open for debate. Mortgage rates are the scary monsters hiding under the bed and they can put the brakes on even the most robust housing markets.

Weather Plays a Part

A terrible year for floods and fires have certainly had an impact on our housing and insurance markets but the in-town move-up buyer seems to be taking a long, hard sober look at the housing landscape and isn’t biting like he used to. They’re letting the kids share a bedroom for another year or two instead of taking on $200,000 more debt. The unprecedented construction we see throughout the city will ease some of the pressure on prices with the creation of more units for sale but I don’t think it will be enough to slow down prices.

Andrew Smith - RealtorLiving in Kelowna,
Andrew Smith
Royal LePage Kelowna

1-1890 Cooper Rd, Kelowna, BC V1Y 8B7
250-979-8066 or Toll Free 1-877-330-5884
Follow me on Twitter @smithap01

Cal for more information https://www.okanaganbc.com/ or view here property for sale in Kelowna

Listings Up, Prices Up…Kelowna Housing July Update Edition

Listings Up, Prices Up…Kelowna Housing July Update Edition

Kelowna Housing in July

During the month of July there were an impressive 524 new residential listings brought to market bringing the total number of homes for sale up to 1,206.  Well done sellers!  On the condo side, there were 356 new apartment listings bringing the total up to 685.   This still isn’t enough to meet the demand but we’re headed in the right direction.  Without enough homes for sale it’s puts upward pressure on prices making buying a home difficult to impossible for first time buyers who are the engine of any housing market.

 

Unit Sales Down; Prices Up

The trend continues for residential housing sales in Kelowna.  Unit sales down; prices up.  There were 316 residential sales for July 2017 compared to 368 recorded July 2016.  Although there were 50 fewer sales, prices rose from an average of $665,000 July 2016 to $729,000 July 2017.  This has been an ongoing pattern all year and I expect the prices-high-sales-low trend to continue throughout the rest of the year.  A slight increase in mortgage rates has had very little to zero impact on market activity.  The difference between 2016 and 2017 has been the extreme weather where we seemed to pivot from flooding to forest fires almost overnight.  There’s no way to measure the impact on housing numbers but it’s certainly been a factor.

 

Condo Sales

Condominium sales remain strong in the Okanagan.  In July there were 169 apartment sales at an average price of $327,000.  July of 2016 recorded 161 sales at an average sale price of $290,000.  The number of unit sales in real life is likely much higher if we could include brand new project sales for the year.  Same story for prices.  The condo market is as healthy as it’s ever been and this point is hammered home just by driving around town and looking up.  Many new construction projects being built and more to come.

Andrew Smith - RealtorLiving in Kelowna,
Andrew Smith
Royal LePage Kelowna

1-1890 Cooper Rd, Kelowna, BC V1Y 8B7
250-979-8066 or Toll Free 1-877-330-5884
Follow me on Twitter @smithap01

Cal for more information https://www.okanaganbc.com/ or view here luxury homes for sale Kelowna

Kelowna Million Dollar Homes Market

Kelowna Million Dollar Homes Market

The high end buyer is playing a significant role in Kelowna’s housing market and it’s playing havoc with our averages.  Over the first half of 2017 there were 164 homes that sold over $1 million which represented 10.5% of the total homes sold (1,561).  Compare and contrast to only five years ago when the million dollar plus home sales represented 2.8% of the overall market.  Going back even further, ten years ago the million dollar plus market was 1.2% of the overall market.

Kelowna Homes Over 1 Million

 

Average Home Sale Price Over $700,000

So what happened?  Is this a good thing for our community?  Will it continue?  I remember a time when a million dollar home was talked about in our office with people curious about who the buyer was and even more curious about the home.  These days, although a million dollar home sale is still a lot of money and the home is likely going to be nice, it doesn’t have the same impact as it once did.  With 164 of these homes selling so far this year, it’s pushed our average sale price to over $700,000 making it unrealistic for local first time buyers to enter the marketplace in a detached house, and oftentimes even unrealistic for them to gain entry into the market with even a condo unless they have significant help from a parent.

This trend will surely continue indefinitely as prices in the rest of Canada continue to rise and equity rich buyers from other parts of the country either relocate here for employment or retire.  There will be bumps and bruises along the way as interest rates and energy prices impact housing prices in Kelowna but the trend is upward and there doesn’t seem to be any slowdown on the horizon.

Andrew Smith - RealtorLiving in Kelowna,
Andrew Smith

Royal LePage Kelowna
1-1890 Cooper Rd, Kelowna, BC V1Y 8B7
250-979-8066 or Toll Free 1-877-330-5884
Follow me on Twitter @smithap01

Cal for more information https://www.okanaganbc.com/ or view here Kelowna new homes for sale

            

 

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