What Should I Look for During my Homeowners Walkthrough

New construction homeowners, in compliance with New Home Warranty, are always offered a home walkthrough – which should occur before their completion date.

A homeowner walkthrough is meant for soon-to-be owners of pre-sale construction. The walkthrough usually occurs near completion, roughly one month ahead, and is intended to ensure that the property is in perfect condition, and in working order while also providing a brief demonstration of the workings of your new home.

Usually in attendance at a walkthrough is a representative of the developer (who may guide the walkthrough), the home buyer(s), and guests of the home buyer(s). The developer will stipulate how many attendees are permitted in addition to the home buyer(s). Some homeowners seek comfort in hiring a home inspector and having them attend the walkthrough too – this might cost somewhere between $300 – $500 – depending on the size of the home.

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Completing The Sale Of A Presale Condo

Knowing what to expect when completing the sale of a pre-construction property can help calm your nerves while smoothing out the process. Similar to signing the original paperwork, the completion process can feel somewhat overwhelming. The summary below will help offer a sense of what to expect, including suggested to-dos.

Move-In & Completion

Upon the original signing of your pre-sale contract, an estimated completion date was likely offered. It is common that this estimated date will shift as construction evolves. While this date offers a gauge of expected completion, your formal completion date will be provided by the Developer in the form of a letter. Your contract will stipulate how far in advance the developer should provide you with your ‘Notice of Completion.’ On this Notice of Completion, you will find details on when the official Completion date will be, and you will also be asked to set up a new home walkthrough where you will be able to view your home for the first time while taking note of any Developer deficiencies. And, you will be asked to provide details for the lawyer/notary that you will be using to facilitate completion.

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How To Entertain Family In A Small Space

Smaller spaces often act as a hindrance to both entertaining and accommodating overnight guests. Limited space and sleeping arrangements in smaller spaces can be discouraging, especially over the holiday season. While it is not always easy to accommodate additional guests, planning in advance and the right furniture can make your small space exceptionally versatile. Here are seven tips for entertaining in a small space over the holidays.

Choose a Dual Functioning Sofa

While the aesthetic and fabric are important for overall design, the ability to convert into a bed is crucial for hosting overnight guests and should never be overlooked. Two styles are common – pullouts and futon. No matter the style you choose, ensure you could host at least two overnight guests on your chosen sofa bed.

Ask for Help

Since larger homes may have kitchens tucked away from entertainment areas, the cleanliness of the kitchen, when cooking, is less important. However, cooking and entertaining in a small space is more challenging because many newer homes feature open concept living spaces – with the mess of the kitchen exposed to guests. For this reason, it can be helpful to request close friends to help you out when entertaining. Consider asking friends to help by preparing food, cleaning dishes, and tidying up.

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Rennie Review – January 2018

Each month, Rennie Market Intelligence produces the Rennie Review, which includes the latest real estate data for Vancouver and the Lower Mainland’s housing market. In addition to presenting detailed neighborhood-level stats, the Rennie Review also includes current Rennie Marketing Systems projects, featured listings, client testimonials, our take on the latest market conditions, and more.

After starting the year somewhat subdued, market activity picked up through the latter half of 2017, with continued in-migration and a strong local (and provincial) economy yielding above-average levels of demand for housing. Unfortunately for buyers, resale inventory didn’t keep up with demand, falling to historic lows within the region’s multi-family segment, and driving prices up throughout Greater Vancouver. However, while benchmark prices increased for all types of homes in 2017, overall market activity may be somewhat slower coming out of the gate in 2018 in response to the recently-implemented mortgage stress test for uninsured borrowers.

For your reading pleasure, please click here for the January 2018 edition of the Rennie Review

Renovations: How To Get The Best Return On Your Investment

When considering a home renovation, it’s worthwhile to consider the potential return on your investment. After all, not all renovation decisions result in an increase in home value or appreciation by a future homeowner. Careful planning can help you maximize your improvement decisions and increase the likelihood of seeing a return on your investment.

Here are a few ways to get the best return on a renovation investment.

Set a Reasonable Budget

Determining the best amount to invest in renovations is no exact science. The best method is to choose a reasonable amount to invest and work from there. Setting a budget not only keeps your finances under control, but it will also help guide decisions while making challenging choices more clear-cut.
In conjunction with your budget, a wish-list will be helpful. Writing down everything you hope to include in your renovation in the order of priority so that in the event a contractor’s quotation exceeds your initial budget, you can ax the lower priority items. Alternatively, if you’re set on including everything on your wish list, you might include lower cost options rather than higher cost options enabling you to be comprehensive.

Expert’s advice: Renovations can easily get carried away. The best way to prevent an out-of-control renovation is to allow your budget to dictate your decisions. As there are almost always overages, it is not recommended to work towards your maximum budget, as the end cost will inevitably be more. Consider working towards a lower budget with the assumption that additional costs will occur.

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Content provided by The Rennie Group

Investment Property: Do I Need to Get Home Insurance?

Buying a new home can be overwhelming, with a checklist that just will not seem to end. From finding a perfect property to securing your mortgage to winning a bidding war, it can be an exciting, yet overwhelming process. One of the items often overlooked is home insurance, especially when the buyer does not plan to live in the space.

Is home insurance is necessary for investment properties?

The answer: absolutely! Overlooking getting an insurance policy for any investment property is simply too risky. While insurance on its own can be quite complicated, there are unique differences between the likely requirements between condominiums when compared to single-family detached investments. Nevertheless, both condominium and single-family detached properties will require some level of insurance when purchased as investments and occupied by tenants.

What insurance covers in an investment property.

In the case of condominiums, the strata corporation will have an overarching insurance policy which covers the building itself. In addition, the strata’s policy will include coverage for things like sewer backup, water damage, earthquake, fire, and even things like cyber liability in some cases.

You can read more here.

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Does Subject-Free Mean I Cannot Do a Home Inspection?

No. Subject free does not mean you cannot do a home inspection, but it does mean that the inspection will occur prior to the preparation of an offer rather than following the acceptance of an offer. For those who care less about the condition of the home – those potentially looking to rebuild – a home inspection may not be necessary. But, for those who plan to reside in or rent the home, it would be incredibly risky to proceed without investigating the property through the eyes of an inspector.

Here are three tips to ensure an effective home inspection when considering a subject free offer.

Align Yourself with a Few Home Inspectors

Having one trusted home inspector is helpful, but not always practical in a heated housing market. In a hot market, a property released to the market today might mean an inspection should happen within a very few number of days – for this reason, having more than one inspector to call upon can increase the chance of sourcing one who is available. In advance of your new home search (or at the very least, while you begin looking at potential properties) start sourcing a few more inspectors you trust and could call upon for an urgent inspection. To find reputable inspectors, consider speaking with friends and family or your Realtor for suggestions.
Note: We can also provide a list of three inspectors so you can determine the best fit for you.

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Content provided by The Rennie Group

When to Make Your Move: a Buyer’s vs. Seller’s Market

A little lingo can go a long way. For instance, you’ve probably heard the terms “buyer’s market” and “seller’s market” — you may even have found yourself using them in conversation. But do you really know what they mean? Understanding how supply and demand affects market value will be useful as you hunt for your next home or sell your property.

In recent years, the Lower Mainland’s housing market has been characterized by conditions largely favourable to sellers: a limited supply of available homes paired with high buyer demand. Having said this, the existence of a “seller’s market” doesn’t mean that homes will be overpriced or unaffordable for first-time buyers. Many buyers have had success finding the right home at the right price by staying on top of market trends and making strategic offers with the help of trusted Real Estate Advisors.

You can read more here.

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Rennie Review: August 2017

Each month, Rennie Market Intelligence produces the Rennie Review, which includes the latest real estate data for Vancouver and the Lower Mainland’s housing market. In addition to presenting detailed neighborhood-level stats, the Rennie Review also includes current Rennie Marketing Systems projects, featured listings, client testimonials, our take on the latest market conditions, and more.

For your reading pleasure, please click here for the August 2017 edition of the Rennie Review.

Content provided by The Rennie Group


How Do I Know What My Home is Worth?

If you are considering selling your home, the most fundamental step in the process is to properly determine and understand what your current property is worth. Many factors come into play when you consider what you should sell your home for, and why. It is one of the biggest decisions you will make, and usually a big determining factor on the price range for your next home.

When looking at your home’s assessed value, keep in mind that elements such as neighbouring areas and home improvements are sometimes missed when collecting data for the BC Assessment, and these are the features which make all the difference when it comes to your homes actual current market value. As the BC Property Assessment is filed annually in July, it is often out of date with the current housing market and can often be misleading should the market have taken a downturn or have rapid growth.

You can read more here.

Content provided by The Rennie Group