The Truth About Selling Your Home

Here’s something a lot of people won’t tell you. Selling your home can be a bit like dating.Or better yet, more like a speed dating event. If you haven’t dated (or sold a home) in a while, it can be an exhausting excercise.
You spend a lot of time getting your house all prettied up, smelling wonderful and looking its best. You’ve removed anything in the vicinity that could cause a stain. You’ve fluffed all your pillows and shined up the glass. The buyers come through with their realtor while you are trying not to keep yourself occupied elsewhere.
And then you wait. And wait. You’re waiting to hear if the buyers loved it. You’re waiting to hear if they liked the paint colour of your master bathroom that you repainted twice. So you wait for that call and sometimes it doesn’t come. Other times you do and they LOVED it! Your home is at the top of their list! It sounds like they may even write an offer. Great! Fantastic! So you wait some more. It may be hours or even days. But oftentimes, you never hear from them again.
Hey…wait a minute. How dare they find another home they liked better! You. Fluffed. Your. Pillows!
This is the reality of the selling roller coaster. Buyers can spend hours in your home, all the while taking the time to ask lots of questions. They even lead you to believe they will buy. Just like an amazing “first date” you think, this is going FANTASTIC (he asked about my cats)! And then nothing but silence.
It’s hard not to take it personally when someone shows interest in your place only to disappear. We put a lot of ourselves into our homes. But, try to remember that we will all be buyers in our lives (some of us more than once). We are all going to be a little extra discerning when it comes to finding the home of our dreams.
So, here it is. They’re just not that into…your house.
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Are You Landlord Material?

With the Real Estate Market making a comeback, people are starting to think about the possibility of investing in rental property. Prices are still affordable and lending rates are  extremely low. There is a buzz in the air that the rental market is going to be growing stronger in the years to come. But before you jump right in you need to know what you’re getting into.
Let me start by reiterating that I am not a mortgage or investment expert. I do, however, have a few years of being a landlord myself under my belt. I’ve also committed to watching and learning from other landlord’s successes and mistakes. Before we get into the financial conversation, I’ll share some answers with you to the most common questions and concerns that I hear from potential landlords.
Should I allow my tenants to have pets? 
I have found personally that some of the best tenants had a pet and they had sometimes taken better care of my house than people with kids (seriously)!
How do I find and properly check out potential renters?
There are two common ways to go here. The first is to hire a property manager. A property manager will handle the initial meeting of potential tenants as well as any credit checks and applications. They can also act as the rental collection and hold a fund for minor repairs to your property. They also act as the go between for you and your tenant. Property Managers usually charge a monthly fee, but they are well worth it! If you are ok doing the work yourself, your second option is to use social media/craigslist. Just be prepared for 30 calls the first day from your Craigslist ad…its happened!
What about the maintenance?
Older homes may be a cost effective investment but they quite often also mean lots of maintenance and lots of calls from tenants with things like a leaky toilet!
If you are not available or handy you need to have a maintence person you can call up.
Who deals with the landscaping/gardening?
Don’t rent out a house you are emotionally attached to unless you plan to put the time and or money in to keep up the landscaping.  99% of tenants are not into landscaping and gardening.  Lawn mowing is usually expected but if you have elaborate landscaping and no one tends to it for a year you may be disappointed with the outcome.
How do I maintain a good relationship with my tenants?
In this case, the Golden Rule definitely applies. Make sure you treat the tenants like you would want to be treated. Go that extra mile.  Buy them some paint if they want to paint a room.  Reimburse them right away if they replace a fixture.  They are looking after a huge investment for you so you want to have a good relationship with them.
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Now on to the nitty gritty…The Financials.
Unless you are a cash buyer ( no mortgage needed) you cannot expect instant cash flow. This is a long term investment.  Do the math first and figure out if the rental income will cover your mortgage payments and costs. You may want a $200 cash flow each month, or you may be okay having to contribute to the mortgage payments each month.
I like examples, so here we go..
In Campbell River you have a lot of options for potential rental properties.
You could buy an older home in the downtown core for under $200,000 but be prepared for yearly costs for maintenance and repairs, updating appliances etc. 
You can invest in a  brand new home in the high $200’s and open yourself up to many different neighbourhoods. You’ve got a higher possibility of getting top rental income but now you have a shiny new house that may get a lot of wear and tear in a quick amount of time. 
Let’s use an example of what I gravitate to, a basic 3 bedroom rancher. We’ll price it at $240,000 for this example. If you put a 10% down payment at 2.9% interest you would have monthly payments of approximately $1000 with the addition of property taxes at around $200 a month
Your rental income potential would be $1100-$1300 per month
Remember that this is a long term investment! Unless you get lucky and the market goes up 25% in 2 years, don’t expect to flip the house in a year and make money. If you look at it as a 10 year investment than that $240,000 house rented at $1250 a month (which covers that monthly mortgage payment) has helped pay down your mortgage to about $150,000. Statistically speaking the house is now potentially worth between $400,000-$450,000. You are now sitting on around $300,000 equity available to you!!! I’ll cover more about this in a future post about one of my favourite words, Leverage!
Here are some resources for you to look over:
BC residential tenancy branch link this is a must read before you even think about becoming a landlord! http://www.rto.gov.bc.ca/
As always, if you have more questions call or email me anytime. I love helping people become landlords!

Shut The Front Door…

So it’s time for Deanna to paint her front door…

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It doesn’t sound that hard to do but the colour you choose for the entrance to your home sets the tone and feeling for your guests.

So how do you pick? A warm brown, dramatic black, maybe a bold red? Check out some of these beautiful options below to get some ideas for your own home.

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Now, once you’ve decided on the right colour for your front door, it’s time to learn HOW paint it the RIGHT way. Check out this video to show you how it’s done:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1LXOOA7wvdQ

As for Deanna’s door, what would you suggest? She’s going for a beachy concept with beach rocks to the right and a big stone staircase to left that leads to the deck. Deanna has been leaning towards a dark brown or maybe a matte black. Comment below and give her your thoughts!

How To Get Your Home Show Ready

 Show Ready
First impressions count, especially when you are selling your home. Getting your house “show ready” doesn’t have to break the bank.
 One of the best (and free!) things you can do is DE-CLUTTER! And when I say de- clutter I mean get serious and get ruthless.  Take down the fridge pictures, hide knick-nacks, and clear the kitchen counters of everything! Get rid of carpet runners, area rugs, bulky curtains, even furniture.
Take a few chairs, an ottoman, or side table out of your entrance or living room and put them in storage or even in your garage. Freeing up some space will show off your homes true square footage and open up the space. Remember when a realtor brings a family in to see your house there may be 5 people crammed in your entrance. Make sure to move that plant and give them some space!
Washing walls and adding a fresh coat of paint where needed is also a great way to freshen up a house.  New light fixtures and simple things like kitchen and bathroom cabinet knobs can really update a room.
When the day arrives that you have buyers coming to view your home, make your home feel like a home. Be sure to leave all the lights on and curtains open. Light a fire in the winter and open the windows and curtains if its summer.
Lastly, LEAVE THE HOUSE! Buyers will spend more time in your home if its empty and they don’t feel as though they are intruding.
If you have any other questions about staging or are looking for suggestions, please contact us! We’d love to help you get your home “show ready”!