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Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions – and most expensive purchases – you're ever going to make. It's important to avoid the traps that homebuyers easily fall into. 
 
Real estate expert Karyn Filiatrault shares some of the most common mistakes people make when searching for their new home. 
 
Wear the right shoes
  • Always wear footwear that is convenient for the expedition, especially if you'll be going to multiple open houses in one day.
  • Wear shoes that are easy to take off since nearly every open house requires you to remove your shoes at the door.
 
Avoid “dating outside of your league”
  • If a house is way outside your price range, there's no point in even taking a look at it. You're just setting yourself up for major disappointment and nothing will be able to compare.
  • The expensive house will have everything you want – the wine cellar, the playroom for the kids, a decked-out theatre room, etc. - but it won't matter because you can't afford it.
  • To avoid feeling disappointed and discouraged, only look at homes in your price range.
 
Don't get fixated on appearances
  • Don't let tacky decor blind you to a home's potential.
  • Cosmetic issues are fairly inexpensive to fix, plus it can be fun to redecorate.
  • Although you may have to live with the puke-green carpets for a few months, in the end you're probably going to save money by buying a home that needs an aesthetic overhaul.
 
Be careful on where you seek advice
  • It's great to have your parents on your side but if the last time they bought a house was in 1991 in the suburbs and you're buying a condo in a big city, I suspect they have about as much of a clue as you do.
  • Look around in your network for people who have bought recently in the areas in which you would like to buy.
  • Consult your realtor. 
 
The problem with indecision
  • It's a tough balancing act to make sure you make a careful decision but don't take too long to make it. 
  • Losing out on a property that you were almost ready to make an offer on because someone beat you to it can be heartbreaking.
  • Don't wait a week to see the perfect property. Don't rush your decision but if you want it, do your research ASAP and get on it (If you pick a good realtor he/she will do the research for you!).
  • When you wait too long in pursuit of perfection, you risk pricing yourself out of the market. House and condo appreciation may move faster than your budget can allow.
 
Don't seek perfection
  • When you're investing hundreds of thousands of dollars into something, it's reasonable to have high expectations but sometimes house hunters can get a little caught up in finding perfection.
  • We see this a lot with first-time buyers – they try to find what could be their parents “third house” as their first home.
  • You have to get on the property ladder first and make improvements that will create capital gain. Then move up.
  • It is a step-by-step process, not one purchase that gets you your dream home.
  • Have a list of “must-haves” and a list of “nice-to-haves” and trust me, no matter what your budget, you will never find the perfect house.
 
Don't get hung up on what the seller paid for the house
  • You're not going to like the answer to this question, so don't ask it. And who cares? It has no relevance on what you're doing today.
 
Always elect to do a home inspection
  • If you don't elect to a home inspection, it's one mistake that will come back to bite you. 
  • Botched wiring, faulty foundations, leaky plumbing, etc... can all come up in an inspection. 
  • They're designed to save you money in the long run by identifying and planning for all of those red flags.
  • Yes, an inspector will set you back a couple hundred bucks but it could save you thousands down the road. Don't be a tightwad when it comes to protecting an investment you'll be paying off for the new 20 to 30 years. 
  • You can't assume the seller will be up-front (or even aware of) potential problems, even if it's someone you know. 

HOME OFFICE?

Deducting expenses resulting from a home office isn't just for the self-employed. A company employee can also claim office expenses, provided the employer completed a T2200 form that states in the letter of emplyment that the employee has to work from home. This applies to other expenses such as vehicle, office supplies and anything needed to perform work duties. Before taking such deductions, do speak with an Accountant about any possible recapture impact down the road 

RENTAL BASEMENT?

Owners who rent out part of the basement to offset the mortgage may be able to deduct a portion of the mortgage payment, utilities, property tax, insurance, and other rent-related expenses. Rent payment will have to be listed on the income tac form. As always, the first step when aiming to reduce taxes is to speak to a tax professional,so as not to run afoul of the CRA

Decorating for the Holidays is one of the most enjoyable things to do in our home during the winter season. For a month our home is colorful with lights, décor and a tree that is filled with an array of iridescent ornaments. The month of January therefore has become the polar opposite of December; it has become the most depressing month of the year. With the decorations gone the emptiness of the home can feel cold and gloomy, however it does not have to feel this way. Below are some ideas you can do to keep your home feeling warm and comforting for the remaining winter season.

Keep Things Neutral by pulling natural elements from outside. If you bought a real tree keep branches to create a DIY project. Look at some of the ideas below for inspiration.

Other things that create a winter look within the home are candles, white pom poms, pinecones and sticks. If you purchased pink or white poinsettias’ you can still keep those around on the mantel to pull together the entire winter look. Of course any throws or blankets left from Christmas should be left out to keep the home environment warm and comforting. Also adding ice skates and white christmas lights to the mantal can add another element of winter glow.

Preparing your home to look as clean, modern, and inviting as possible, is a great strategy to increase interest in your home. It’s not always necessary to repaint though. Here are some guidelines.

Air Conditioning season is around the corner, get your cool air ready.

- Double check that you've removed the winter cover before turning on the unit. Running your AC unit covered is a quick way to damage it

- Clean the furnace return air filter. Weak airflow means your AC has to work harder, putting more stress on the unit, using more energy, and providing less cool air throughout the house

- Close the humidifier damper to the furnace, then empty the water and clean the humidifier.

I get asked this question a lot and the best answer is – when the time is right for you.

It’s true that there are season cycles in home sales, as the chart below from the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board indicates. Sales tend to peek early to mid year, and slow down in the fall until the end of the year. That doesn’t mean though that the fall and winter are a bad time to sell.

Contact Us

#103 - 32471 Lougheed Hwy.
Mission  BC  V2V-0C8  Canada

Phone: 604-832-6494

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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About the Deol Group

Long time residents of BC’s Fraser Valley, Jag and Manny have extensive knowledge of rural communities and urban neighbourhoods throughout the Lower Mainland. Whether you are looking to buy, sell, or custom build your home, Manny and Jag are at your service. 

  

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