Brentwood Living Properties for Sale

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Know What You Are Buying

Typically a buyer writes an offer and we have 5 business days to fulfill their conditions. An offer is an agreement that the Buyer will purchase this property on the condition he/she is approved for financing, approves an Inspection Report, and approve and review Strata documents.

Here are the strata documents I review and sometimes the Listing Agent (agent for the seller) provides these documents late and the buyer has two days to review it. In this pile of documents, there is something called Strata Bylaws which outline the strict rules of the complex.

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In this document (33 pages for this building) there is one sentence that states, "Wall to wall carpeting with appropriate underlay is the only allowable floor covering within a Strata Lot". The bylaws do not boldface and underline this, and there is no heading that says, "Flooring Restriction" so thorough reading is necessary. Throughout the Strata Council Meeting Minutes, your read that numerous homeowners purchase a unit and renovate their home to only have to rip out all the laminate flooring they just installed within 30 days and face a fine.

I've met someone who had to sell their home right after they bought it because the complex did not allow owners to rent it out.

These bylaws state Rental and Pet restrictions. Also, some Stratas ban barbeques, smoking, hard surface flooring, and even piano playing during certain hours.

Know what you are buying and if you aren't sure, it helps to have a Real Estate Agent on your side and make sure you are represented and protected.

 


Posted: 31st January 2013 under


Mortgage Pre-Qualification

Mortgage Pre-Qualification

One of the first steps that should be taken before searching for a home would be to go to a Mortgage Professional to get yourself and anyone else you will be purchasing the home with pre-qualified for a mortgage. You will need to provide documents and information to the Mortgage Professional to determine what Financial Institutions will lend you for the purchase of your new home.

Why is this important? It is good to know what your budget is when you begin your home search. Sometimes the features you are looking for in a home may not match your budget, and sometimes you can afford to purchase a home that has features that exceed your wish list.

If a buyer does not get pre-qualified for a mortgage, they can spend months looking for a home with their Real Estate Professional and finally find their perfect home. They negotiate a good price only to have the bank or mortgage broker decline them for a mortgage. Now they have a certain expectation for a home only to know that they can only afford a home that will not have exactly what they are looking for because their budget has decreased.

In addition, they have to collapse the deal, so the seller and their agent may have found a new home for the seller to move into only to have to collapse their deal with their potential buyers for their home. This is a waste of the seller's time, both the seller's and the buyer's Real Estate Agent's time, and most importantly, the buyer's time who did not get pre-qualified.

Lastly, it is not uncommon to see the market activity in a real estate market increase along with prices, especially in the Greater Vancouver region. This can happen in a matter of months just like it did in late 2010 to mid 2011 (and possibly longer).

Buyers, do everyone a favour especially yourself, contact a Mortgage Professional and have yourself pre-qualified. If you have questions or are looking for a Mortgage Specialist, feel free to contact me at 604.306.0059 or email me at jeff@brentwoodliving.ca.


Posted: 20th July 2011 under


Priced Out, Discouraged in Buying a Home

It's All Over the News, Prices are Up, I Can't Afford a Home... Or Can I?

You've read it, you've heard it, prices in Greater Vancouver has increased dramatically over the last year. If you've been looking for a home or was thinking about it, and are now discouraged, don't be.

The regions covered by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver is defined to include Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, the Tri-Cities, New Westminster, Burnaby, Vancouver East, Vancouver West, North Vancouver, West Vancouver, Richmond, Ladner, Tsawwassen, Whistler, Squamish, Gulf Islands, Bowen Island, and Sunshine Coast.

Yes, we have seen tremendous activity and Sold Prices well over the asking price recently. However, a good number of these properties were in Richmond and Vancouver West. Some of the activity has come into North and South Burnaby. In addition, most of these transactions involve detached homes.

The high purchase prices bring up the overall prices in the entire regions of Greater Vancouver; however, many areas stay unaffected.

The condo and townhouse market has not necessarily seen the same magnitude of increased prices. Different sub-regions and even neighbourhoods within sub-regions see different activity.

Always talk to a Real Estate Professional that knows your market of interest to help you understand mort. The media will only give general information about the Real Estate market. Also, a Mortgage Specialist is very important to speak to in order to find out how much you are qualified for and this helps determine your budget when you are looking to invest in a home.

If you have any questions about buying a home in this market, feel free to contact me at 604-306-0059 or at jeff@brentwoodliving.ca.

 


Posted: 29th June 2011 under


Your Parking Stall and Storage Locker May be Re-assigned

"I've done all my research and it's just a small condo. How hard can it be?"

Purchasing a condo or townhouse isn't as straight forward as you think. The Listing Agent markets the property with "One secured parking stall right next to the elevator" and "Comes with an extra large storage locker".

You purchased the apartment unit and then the strata tells you that your parking stall is not on P1, but now on P4 and you are in the wrong storage locker. You have to remove all your belongings in the locker and use your new assigned locker which is smaller.

Parking and Lockers just like other areas in a building complex are either part of the Strata Lot, Common Property or Limited Common Property. In the case that the parking and locker is part of the strata lot, very rare, it is owned by the strata lot owner.

If it is Limited Common Property, then just like a balcony, it is common property; however, you have the exclusive right to use it and it is attached to the strata lot unit.

If it is Common Property, just like the rooftop garden, gym, pool, sauna, and pathways, it is for everyone to share. In this case, strata assigns the parking stall and storage lockers, and they can reassign it at any time. This doesn't mean you won't have a parking stall, just that it can change.

Some of the newer buildings have parking and storage as Common Property under a lease. This lease can have a term of 10 years or 99 years, and it assigns the lease to the purchaser of the strata lot. When the unit is for sale and a new purchaser takes possession, then the lease may be automatically assigned to the new owner. 

Ensure when purchasing your next strata unit, you have confirmed the arrangements of the parking stall and storage locker. There's only so much I can type out on this blog without boring you. Understand what you are buying and it is always important to have someone working for your best interest. Hire a REALTOR(R) who understands strata.


Posted: 2nd June 2011 under


The Importance of a Buyer's Agent

The Importance of a Buyer's Agent May 2011

The time has come when you started to think of buying a home or investment property. Most Buyers start their property search on the internet, likely www.realtor.com (formerly www.mls.ca). Many start visiting open houses or call the listing agent, the one who represents the Seller. To many, they don't think of finding their own agent and representation and/or have the impression they will save on fees if they just purchase the home through the listing agent.

REALTOR'S(R) roles with their client are to protect their bargaining position throughout a transaction. This includes their motivations and their bottom line. Also, a Real Estate Agent must disclose all information that will affect the sale. When I represent a Buyer and find out that the Seller is going through hardship, a divorce, or a must sell situation, I disclose it to my Buyer and this gives us an advantage come time for a negotiation. Picture the following scenario. 

Mr. Agent lists a property for a Seller who is in a must sell situation because the Seller already purchased another home. Mary, a Buyer, calls the agent and views the home. Mary loves the home, but does not have an agent and would like Mr. Agent to represent her through the transaction. Do you think if Mary knew the Seller already purchased a home, this would favour her bargaining position? Yes, it definitely would.  Mr. Agent must disclose all relevant information that would affect the sale, so telling Mary that the Seller is selling because s/he bought a home already is what Mr. Agent should do; however, this would make the Seller's bargaining position vulnerable during negotiations. You can see the CONFLICT OF INTEREST.

When an agent is representing both parties, it is known as Limited Dual Agency. It is limited because now the role of the REALTOR(R) changes. The Agent does not have to reveal the bottom line or the motivation of one party to the other and the Agent must act impartially.

Detached homes can still contain USTs, underground storage tanks. Homes used to be fuelled by oil and when gas lines came in, these tanks were decommissioned. Homes that are purchased must be free from USTs. This can cost a few thousand dollars to remove; however, in most cases, these tanks got old and leaked oil which contaminated the soil and sometimes, the neighbour's property. This can cost tens of thousands of dollars up to even $100,000 to remediate. When buying Strata property, condos and townhouses, are you aware that rentals can be restricted? Pets can be prohibited, or a limit in quantity of pets, or a limit in height of pets, or even a breed of a pet? The parking stall right beside the elevator the current owner currently uses can be reassigned to another location to the new purchaser. You want to make sure you have an agent will warn and provide you all the details about a property that you are interested in purchasing.

If you were to go to court for anything, you would not ask the other party's lawyer to represent you as well. Some think this is too extreme of a comparison, but if you'll be spending hundreds of thousands of dollars or even millions, I think it's important to have your own representation. If you are concerned with paying REALTOR(R) fees in a transaction, in all my transactions so far with assisting Buyers find a home, the fees I receive are from the listing agent who represents the Seller.

REALTORS(R) receive calls from family members and good, long-time friends to assist in selling their home. Wouldn't you want an agent representing you and your best interest? Ensure you have an agent protecting your interest throughout the entire home purchasing process, especially if you are a First Time Home Buyer.

If you have questions about the Home Buying Process, call me at 604-306-0059 or email me at jeff@brentwoodliving.ca.


Posted: 16th May 2011 under


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