Renting Versus Buying

When it comes to Fort St John properties, as with many other areas, the question often arises as to whether it is better to rent or to buy.

The pros and cons of each option, renting and buying, will vary based on your particular situation, which is why one answer doesn’t fit for everyone. There are many different aspects involved, from the level of commitment you are willing to make to the financial costs associated with each. Purchasing a home is one of the largest financial decisions you will make throughout your life, so it is important to consider all of your options before you make any final decisions.

When you purchase a home, you are making a long-term financial commitment to purchase and maintain the home. Though, this commitment does come with the benefits of increased privacy, return on investment, stability, and freedom. Owning a home allows you to comfortably plan for the future.

When you rent a home, you are spending nearly the same amount on rent that you would be spending on a mortgage. This money is going to pay off someone else’s mortgage rather than to building equity for yourself. And unlike a fixed mortgage, your rent will most likely increase on a yearly basis, putting it above what a mortgage payment would be, very quickly.

There are greater upfront costs associated with owning a home, which can make purchasing a home more difficult than renting for some, but we have mortgage partners who can work with you to get you the best financing options for lower down payments.

What it all comes down to is a personal decision based on your situation and what you are ready for. If you like the shorter term of the commitment required with a rental and you don’t think the other options available will work for you right now, then keep renting!

However, if you are ready to commit to the benefits of owning your own home, give me a call today! I would love to help you find your dream home in one of the amazing Fort St John properties that are currently on the market!

 

Source: https://www.incharge.org/housing/homebuyer-education/homeownership-guide/advantages-and-disadvantages-of-owning-a-home/

7 Upgrades That Pay Off

Have you started contemplating the sale of your real estate Fort St John? If so, now is the time to invest in some upgrades to help maximize your return on the sale.

I have compiled a list of seven upgrades that typically pay off when you sell your home.

As a professional with years of experience in the real estate industry, I know that not every seller is dealing with the same circumstances – not everyone can afford to fully remodel their home and make expensive upgrades before they sell. With that in mind, I have included some larger scale upgrades in this list, as well as a few simple things you can do that usually pay off when it comes time to sell your home.

 

  1. Update Your Bathroom – There is no need to completely re-do your bathroom. If you don’t have the money to spend, you can still make your bathroom feel upgraded without breaking the bank. Should you decide to update the floors or vanity countertops, make sure to stick with something classic that can easily fit with anyone’s tastes.
  2. Lawn Maintenance – What is the first person someone will see when they walk up to your house? The yard and the front door. At this point, people are already starting to form an opinion about your home, so the work you do fixing up the outside of your house can have just as much of an impact as the work you do on the inside. Make sure your lawn is properly maintained, your flower beds are weeded and new flowers are planted.
  3. Room Updates – This can include bedrooms, bonus rooms and living rooms. These updates could be as simple as updating the decor, painting the walls or rearranging the furniture. Moving the furniture can help your home feel more inviting and can even make the rooms seem larger if you arrange it in a way that feels more open.
  4. Update Your Kitchen – Kitchens are probably the most common remodels because they usually have the largest return on investment. If your kitchen is already in pretty good shape, it shouldn’t need more than some slight cosmetic updates which are much more affordable than a full remodel. If your kitchen appliances are still in great working condition, there are even paint products designed to refinish your appliances to look like new without the price tag of being new.
  5. Fresh Paint – Perhaps one of the cheapest monetary investments, especially if you do it yourself, is painting. A few coats of a great neutral color can make all the difference! Pick a neutral color so clients can better envision what your home will look like with your décor inside.
  6. Adding a Deck – Building a deck onto your home will mean more than just having a place to cookout. When buyers see a deck, they envision themselves hosting parties and picture the ease of being able to transition quickly between being inside and out.
  7. Freshening the Basement – The main reason to fix up your basement before listing your home for sale is to fix any moisture or temperature issues you might be experiencing. It is far more important to have a dry, mildew free basement than a fully furnished one. If you do decide to take it a step further and finish your basement, you can typically expect anywhere from 50 to 100 percent back on that investment.

 

Having been in the business of real estate in Fort St John for some time, I have the expertise needed to professionally market these additional features and ensure that you get the most money back on the sale of your home.

If you are interested in getting your home listed, contact me today at (778)256-2888.

I can’t wait to sell your home!

 

Source: http://www.hgtv.com/design/real-estate/top-home-updates-that-pay-off-pictures

Source: https://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/home-improvement/renovations/home-upgrades-payoff

Fort St John Real Estate – After You Buy

The process of purchasing Fort St John real estate is an exciting time, full of firsts! If you go in alone, there will be many first that may seem overwhelming or catch you off guard, like the additional costs associated with purchasing a home.

As a reliable Fort St John real estate agent who has the experience of personally selling over 200 homes in the last few years, I know how best to navigate the process of buying and selling and ensure that my clients benefit from that knowledge.

This information is not meant to scare you away from purchasing a home, but to make sure that those of you who are looking to purchase a home in the future are well prepared for what is to come.

Being aware of the following potential costs allows you to better plan for the purchase of your dream home:

  • Appraisal
    • Around $250 – $350
  • Home Inspection Fee
    • Around $500 – $600
    • Additional costs of having the fireplace WETT inspected
  • Property Survey
    • Around $750 – $1,000
  • Land Transfer Tax
    • First-time home buyers may be eligible for an exemption
    • 1% on the first $200,000 and 2% on the balance
  • Legal Fees
    • Amount varies based on location but is typically about $1,300 – $1,800
  • GST/HST
    • Possibly included in the sale price of the home, should confirm
    • 5% GST in British Columbia
  • Title Insurance
    • Optional
    • Around $250
  • Default Loan Insurance Costs
    • For borrowers whose down payment is less than 20% of the entire purchase price of the home
    • Can vary based on a few different factors; consult with your mortgage professional
  • Payment Adjustments
    • Adjustments for interest payments, property tax, and utilities
    • Around $500 – $1,500
  • Home Insurance
    • Varies depending on the type of property and the value
  • Mortgage Life Insurance
    • Optional
    • Can vary based on a few different factors
  • General Expenses
    • Moving and storage costs
    • Upgrades or renovations
    • Home décor

The above list is not necessarily all encompassing and may include some things you will decide don’t apply to you. It is based on a guideline of what can be expected by most individuals or couples who decide to purchase Fort St John real estate.

If you have any questions about any of the information listed above, please give me a call and I will be more than happy to help you better understand the process of buying your dream home!
Source: https://www.cibc.com/en/personal-banking/mortgages/resource-centre/add-costs-when-buying-home.html

Insight Into the Buying Process

If you are looking to purchase Fort St. John real estate, look no further than Elizabeth Chi.

Elizabeth Chi is a Fort St. John real estate agent with the knowledge and experience needed to help you find your dream home. Throughout her experience, Elizabeth has learned that the better prepared her clients are, the easier the entire buying process is for them.

In an effort to help you better prepare, Elizabeth has compiled some of the most common steps in the buying process. She hopes this gives you a better idea of what to expect when it comes to purchasing your home!

Pre-Approval
It is often recommended to obtain a pre-approval before you even begin searching for a home. With a pre-approval, you will not only know exactly what your price range should be, but you will also have greater bargaining power in negotiations with sellers.

Search

  • On your own
    • Newspapers and magazines
    • Internet
      • Web sites such as realtor.ca are great places to start your search. They allow you to narrow your search by applying filters to your results.
    • Drive or walk around
      • Look for “For Sale” signs and get contact information
      • Keep records of the homes you are interested in so you can search for them later
  •  With the help of a Fort St. John real estate agent
    • Tell your real estate agent what you are looking for and let them do the searching.
      • Real estate agents have access to a large database of homes and can lead you in the right direction.
        • Elizabeth has a listing page right on this website for you to browse through.
      • Real estate agents can check current financing, recent sales of similar properties in the neighbourhood and other statistics for homes you are interested in.
      • Most homes are widely available on the internet, however, in some cases, sellers don’t want the fact that they’re selling to be widely publicized.  In those cases, only the real estate agent knows the houses that are for sale.  Working with a real estate agent gives you access to homes you might otherwise miss seeing.

Offer to Purchase
Once you and your Fort St. John real estate agent have completed the search and found the house you are interested in buying, it is time to make an Offer to Purchase. This offer is a legal document, so make sure you consider carefully who is preparing it for you and what is going to be included. An Offer to Purchase most commonly includes:
• The names of those involved
• The purchase price
• The things that would be included in the sale
• Appliances, Window dressings or coverings, furniture, etc.
• The amount of the deposit
• The closing date
• The date the offer will expire
• The conditions of the sale
• Any terms, repairs or updates requested, or special circumstances

Response
After you make an Offer to Purchase, the seller will send you a response to the offer. They will either accept your offer, move forward with the buying process, or they will send a counter-offer. If the seller decides to send a counter-offer, the ball is back in your court. You can decide to begin negotiations with the seller, or if the price is now too high or if you don’t agree to the conditions, you can decline their counter-offer and decide not to go through with the sale.

Mortgage
Once an offer is agreed upon by both parties, it is time for you to move forward with obtaining the financing for your home. In most cases, this would be a mortgage. While Elizabeth Chi cannot personally assist you with getting a mortgage, she does have contacts she could refer you to.

Closing
The home buying process comes to an end on closing day. This is the most rewarding step in the process because it is when the house turns into your home. On closing day:
• Your lender will give your lawyer or notary the money for your mortgage loan
• You will give the down payment and closing costs (minus the original deposit) to your lawyer or notary
• Your lawyer or notary will pay the seller for the home
• Your lawyer or notary will register your new home in your name
• Your real estate agent will receive a call from your lawyer notifying that the home has registered with the Land Title office and she is now authorized to give you the keys

The buying process may seem like a long one from beginning your search to closing on your home, but having a Fort St. John real estate agent on your side can change that! Elizabeth Chi is proud to have built lasting relationships with her clients and looks forward to doing the same with you. Call 778.256.2888 today for help find your dream home!

Source: https://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/co/buho/hostst/

Fort St John Real Estate | January/February Calendar of Events

Start the New Year off right by getting involved with the community! As a Fort St John real estate agent, Eli Chi is proud to not only help residents find their dream homes here but also to get involved in the local community herself!

Whether you want to get outdoors, learn some new dance moves, or cheer on your favorite team, the next couple of months are full of local events and activities for you to participate in.

– Latin and Country Dance Lessons

Offered by the community on Thursday’s. Latin classes start at 6:45 pm and country classes start at 7:00 pm.

– Zumba

Offered by the community on Monday’s and Wednesday’s at 6:00 am.

– Pickleball

Offered by the community on Tuesday’s at 7:00 pm.

The Fort St John community also offers a variety of skating lessons throughout the week as well as tons of toddler activities!

There are also two major events being held in the beginning of February:

– Super Bowl Party

Cheer on your favorite team at the LIDO Theatre on Sunday, February 5, 2017, from 3:30-7:30 pm. Tickets are $5.00 for advance purchases or $10.00 at the door. To reserve tickets now, call 250-785-3011 or email info@thelido.ca.

– Laugh Your Ice Off

This is a three-night comedy event that is also being hosted at the LIDO Theatre in February. Call 250-785-3011 for tickets on Friday the 10th, Saturday the 11th or Sunday the 12th, respectively. Shows start at 7:00 pm and end at 10:00 pm.

You can view more information about any of the events listed above on the Fort St John website.

Fort St John is an amazing community and a wonderful place to live! For more information on Fort St John properties or to view Fort St John homes for sale, call Eli Chi today at 250-785-8051 or visit her website, http://www.elichi.ca.

Source: http://www.fortstjohn.ca/community-calendar

Real Estate Fort St. John | Common Real Estate Terms

Real Estate Fort St. John | Common Real Estate Terms

The process of purchasing real estate, from starting the search through Fort St John properties to closing on your dream home, may seem like an intimidating process full of confusing and time-consuming steps.

I’m here to tell you that with the right Fort St John real estate agent, that doesn’t have to be the case!

As a real estate agent Fort St John, I am here to make the process of moving into the home of your dreams not only a reality but an enjoyable experience. I work hard so you don’t have to!

Throughout my experience in the Fort St John real estate industry, I have found there are a few common real estate terms that tend to need explaining. I find this is because a few of them are similar to other related words.

A condominium, for example, is a single, individually-owned housing unit in a multi-unit building. The condominium owner holds sole title to the unit, but owns the land and common property (elevators, halls, roof, stairs, etc.) jointly with other unit owners, and shares the upkeep expenses on the common-property with them. Unit owner pays property taxes only on his or her unit, and may mortgage, rent, or sell it just like any other personal property.

Two terms that are often confused for each other are assessor and appraiser. An assessor determines the value of a certain property for the purpose of taxation. An appraiser uses their knowledge and experience in the real estate industry to determine what they believe to be the value of the real and personal property.

An appraisal is simply the written explanation for the value determined by the appraiser.

Another common real estate term is equity. Equity is the financial interest of the property’s homeowner. This interest is the difference between the fair market value of the home and the amount the homeowner still owes on their loan.

Of course, a real estate agent is a licensed professional who has the ability to negotiate and complete real estate sale transactions on behalf of their clients. More than that, a Fort St John real estate agent like myself is an experienced, knowledgeable and always available to help their clients.

For more information on real estate Fort St. John, give me a call today at 778.256.2888!

 

Source: http://www.realestateabc.com/glossary/
Source: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/condominium.html

Fort St. John, BC Market Update – November 2016

Fort St. John, BC Market Update – November 2016

Working in Fort St. John real estate for the last several years has given me the advantage of becoming familiar with the local real estate market. This real-world experience, along with my continuing research on market news and trends aids me in finding the perfect homes for my clients.

Whether you are considering purchasing or renting, buying or sell, it is important to stay informed about the real estate market around you or where you are looking to buy.

As part of my job, I gather relevant market information and provide it to my clients. It is my hope that this information will not only assist them with their own research, but to help them feel confident in the real estate decisions that we reach together.

In reports released by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation in the third quarter of 2016, the British Columbia Region showed a large increase in housing starts, the beginning of new home construction, but a decrease in total completions year over year from 2015.

There were 10,798 total starts in the second quarter of 2016 and only 8,121 in the same period a year earlier. This shows an increase of 33 per cent for this year.

Total completions in the British Columbia Region dropped a slight 1.5 per cent year over year, with 6,489 completions in the second quarter of 2016 and 6,586 in the second quarter of 2015.

The reports for real estate Fort St. John market, are the reverse of British Columbia overall. The total number of starts decreased an incredible 92.6 per cent from 163 starts in the second quarter of 2015 to only 12 starts in the same quarter this year.

On the other hand, total completions in Fort St. John increased 8.5 per cent year over year from 47 to 51 in 2016.

In comparison to the rest of British Columbia, the Fort St. John real estate market has more new homes currently coming on to the market but there will be less new homes being built in the near future, so now is the time to buy!

If you are considering buying or selling a home in the Fort St. John area, I encourage you to contact me today. The sooner we start looking at Fort St. John properties, the sooner we will find your dream home!

Source: https://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/odpub/esub/64151/64151_2016_Q03.pdf?lang=en

The Station

The Station - Open House

The Station – Fort St. John’s newest master planned community featuring 3 bedroom, 2.5 Bathroom half duplex with stunning features and a gorgeous layout.

Located at 11715 88 Street Fort St. John BC., this property is breathtaking and surely won’t last!

Get more information on this property now.

3 Reasons to Use a Fort St. John Real Estate Agent When Purchasing A Home

3 Reasons to Use a Fort St. John Real Estate Agent When Purchasing A Home

A real estate agent in Fort St. John like myself can help you by offering tips and expert opinions when you’re looking a purchasing a home.

Having an agent on your side when working through the real estate process has many benefits in both the short and long run. There are many agents available who want to work with you and it is important that when you are selecting an agent in Fort St. John that you choose one who you feel is best qualified to help you.

I have many years of experience in the real estate industry and have closed hundreds of home sales along the way. My knowledge of the local neighbourhoods, experience and friendliness with clients are just a few reasons why I have been able to help so many people for as long as I have!

Here are three reasons to use a real estate agent when buying a home:

1. Access to many home listings right away

As a real estate agent in Fort St. John, I have access to all of the property listings and prices in the area.

Sure, there are plenty of properties listed online and anyone with an internet access can see them, but there are also plenty that are not posted that a lot of people don’t end up seeing. This is where I come in!

As your agent I will make sure that when a property of interest becomes available that you be the first to know about it before it goes public on the internet or in the newspaper. Additionally, I’ll tell you how long a home has been on the market for and if it has been listed before as this information could help during negotiations, something an inexperienced agent may lack.

I will have the most related price comparisons in the industry for the house you are looking at, which can be another factor used in negotiations. When it comes time to negotiate a price I will handle all talks with the seller and/or their agent and can properly create a letter that lists all requests.

So, rather than have you become stressed from a want of yours that the seller will not grant, an agent like myself can talk with the seller for you in a professional way that can help you get exactly what you want.

2. You gain knowledge and firm understanding of all costs involved

I can help you understand everything there is to know financial-wise when buying a home.

There are often many costs associated with the purchase of a home that many people don’t realize initially. I will educate you about the taxes, maintenance costs, insurance and other costs that could potentially affect you.

As your agent I will also help you avoid any problems that could potentially arise during the closing of the sale. I will handle all of the little details, paperwork and negotiations that could evolve into a major problem if not done properly.

3. An agent has great knowledge

Depending on the individual, an agent can provide incredibly valuable information to you that you otherwise may not have ever been aware of. Even better is that the information you can obtain from an agent could end up saving you from making a huge error down the road!

For example, I have a firm understanding of the city codes in Fort St. John, such as property lines and zoning, and also have a great understanding of the neighbourhoods in the city. This allows me to educate you on any potential hazards or

bad reputations a home or neighbourhood may have. Additionally, I’ll keep records of all paperwork so that you can access it years after you buy the home.

These are just a few of the reasons why choosing a real estate agent in Fort St. John like myself is a great choice for you. To learn more about myself or for more information, contact me today!