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Do I Need A House Inspection When I Buy A Home In Calgary?

Do I Need A House Inspection When I Buy A Home In Calgary?

Do I Need A House Inspection When I Buy A Home In Calgary?

If you’re buying a house and trying to decide if you should get a house inspection I can make it really easy for you – the answer is YES. In today’s market, it’s not uncommon for people to forgo a home inspection in order to make their offer more appealing to the seller, but this is a huge gamble. When you don’t get a home inspection you’re relying on the seller to disclose everything that’s wrong with the house. This is risky because some sellers just won’t do it, while others genuinely might not know. Having an impartial expert come in and evaluate the house is the best way to get an honest, informed opinion. Home inspectors check for all sorts of things that the average homeowners might not know what to even look for. Some of these things are:

  • Check all electrical outlets, switches and the fuse/breaker panel.
  • Flush toilets and turn on faucets to make sure they work and to determine water pressure.
  • Open and close all the windows.
  • Check the floors, walls and ceilings for any defects.
  • Check the basement or foundation for any water leakage.
  • Inspect the heating and cooling systems.
  • Check out the attic and any crawl spaces to assess insulation.
  • Examine-in the closets and under the stairs.
  • Inspect chimneys and flues (in some cases chimneys require an additional inspection from a specialist).
  • Inspect roof and eavestroughs.
  • Look around the entire exterior of the building structure looking for signs of weather damage.
  • Look for any issues with exterior decks and railings.
  • Inspect the foundation looking for cracks or other issues.
  • Check the grading around the foundation.

 

House Inspection

 

There are some things though that home inspectors do not look for or are not equipped to see. Ultimately home inspectors are not magicians and they can not see through walls. They’re not able to put holes in walls or rip up floors, so in many cases, they can only give you their best guess about what lies beneath.

How long does a House Inspection Take? 

When you book your house inspection plan to spend around three hours of time depending on the size of the home. Throughout that time it is a great time for you to ask questions, walk through the home and see the home with your own eyes. The most important thing I can recommend is to take the inspection report seriously. By the time the inspection happens people are often already emotionally attached to the house, and they have a tendency to brush off the results.

I have an awesome group of home inspectors I recommend to my clients that I fully trust. They are thorough, honest and reliable. If you have more questions about getting a home inspection or are needing recommendations on inspectors give me a shout!

 

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Is Buying A Fixer-Upper In Calgary Worth It?

Is Buying A Fixer-Upper In Calgary Worth It?

Is Buying A Fixer-Upper In Calgary Worth It?

Blame it on Chip and Joanna, Jonathan and Drew, or any other HGTV dream team — fixer-uppers are getting their fair share of love on the market. SO how do you know what is right for you? Should you buy that fixer-upper? Or should you stick to buying a finished home or a new build? 

Buying a fixer-upper is a good idea when you want to make the home your own. The beauty of buying a house that needs work: a fixer-upper might be a good idea. You get to turn the house into your dream home — and, usually, at a much lower price than if you were custom-building from scratch. You can also usually get it for a great deal. Many imperfections that turn people off—peeling paint, worn carpets, or dated fixtures—are easily correctable. Blemishes are tough to see past, and those homes often languish on the market since most home buyers, especially first-timers, demand a turnkey, move-in-ready home in pristine condition. 

Fixer-uppers list for an average of 8 percent below market value. Some people also pick fixer-uppers to make some money. Investors will buy properties at a lower cost, do the renovations themselves and then sell the home when finished for a profit. 

Buying A Fixer-Upper In Calgary

Some downsides of buying a fixer-upper

Is renovations are expensive and there are typically a lot of hidden costs. While you’ll pay less for a home in need of repairs, you’ll spend money over time, probably hundreds of dollars per month over and above your mortgage payment. If you want to test the strength of your relationship with your spouse, try buying a home and renovating it together. Whether you choose to go the DIY route or hire a contractor, renovating is stressful, messy, and disruptive. If you have a busy career or children, you may find renovating to be more trouble than it is worth. Also, be prepared to not have the renovation go according to plan. If you buy a fixer-upper, especially an older one, you’ll never be sure what is behind those walls until you start renovating. The possibilities for unwelcome surprises when renovating are almost infinite. If you don’t budget for these surprises you may find yourself going into debt to complete your renovations.

In the end, you have to make the call whether you can handle a full-fledged renovation or you OK just updating paint and flooring. Many years ago I used to do construction work from new build homes to renovations so I have some insight on what homes might be good for a fixer-upper and ones that might be best to pass on. If you have questions about potentially buying a fixer-upper and want to chat further, give me a shout!

 

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Top Questions to Ask Your Calgary Realtor

Top Questions to Ask Your Calgary Realtor

Top Questions to Ask Your Calgary Realtor

When I first meet with clients I get asked a lot of questions, which is great! I am always happy to answer any questions any clients or potential clients might have. These questions are usually along the lines of What goes into buying or selling a home? Should I stage? How long is this going to take? Will working with a Realtor help me make better buying or selling decisions?

However, there are always those questions that I know people want to ask but never do. Those are more along the lines of:

  1. What does a Realtor even do?
  2. Can’t I just sell on my own?
  3. Where does commission go?

Here, I’ll dive into these questions to help buyers and sellers make an informed decision.

Working with a Realtor: Do You Actually Need it?

I am going to have a biased answer to this question but in my honest opinion having a real estate professional help you through the buying or selling process is necessary. I believe this for many reasons but a couple of those are; you’ll have better access to listings, you’ll get the negotiation experience, and have someone who knows the ins and outs of real estate contracts. We are there to help guide you through the process and help you feel confident in the sale or purchase of your home. 

Top Questions to Ask Your Calgary RealtorWhere do my commission fees go?

Commission fees can be sticking points for many sellers. If you fall into this camp, you probably want to know where the money goes. That’s understandable. Here’s a basic breakdown. Once a deal closes, a seller will typically pay their Realtor a commission which is usually a percentage of his or her home’s price. That might sound like a lot, but usually half of it goes to the buyer’s agent, who also needs to be paid for his work. The Realtor’s commission breaks down further when the head of her agency (a broker) takes some of it. Part of the amount the broker takes goes toward expenses associated with having the Realtor on the team. That leaves the Realtor or agent with a lot less than you may have thought. I can tell you from personal experience that a lot of that remaining commission goes toward overhead, like advertising, fees, staffing and in our case marketing to a very high level.

Are you a full-time real estate agent?

Yes, this is my full-time career. I always say it’s more of a lifestyle than a job as real estate isn’t just a 9-5 job. It’s an evening and weekend job so you have to love it to truly be good at it. Someone dabbling in the business part-time to make some extra money might lack the knowledge and the time required to market and show your property, and to negotiate the best deal on your behalf. This is where finding someone like myself who lives and breathes real estate is best. 

Have questions that I haven’t answered yet? Shoot me an email at info@jasonsaville.ca as I would love to chat further and answer those questions for you!

 

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Why Should You Stage Your Home For Sale in Calgary

Why Should You Stage Your Home For Sale in Calgary

 

Why Should You Stage Your Home For Sale in Calgary

You are thinking of selling your home, but how do you make it feel like a home to everyone that walks in, not just your family. The answer lies in staging your home when you want to put it on the market. You love your furniture and decorations, however, don’t get offended if not everyone will feel the same way about your paisley print sofa or bear skin rug. Home staging is when you work with an interior designer who will help you minimize what potential buyers don’t want to see and help you draw attention with furniture and art to the aspect you want to show off. Also consider that potential buyers need to think beyond what their eyes are showing them. Staging helps them to visualize themselves living in and using the space. Is the home an ideal place for a growing family, as a live-work space, for recreational pursuits or to enjoy retirement?

Since the majority of home buyers start their home hunt online, it’s important to make a good impression through your digital listing photos. This is done by staging the home in a way that appeals to potential home buyers as well as getting high quality images and video. Those three things will help buyers gravitate to your home and in turn want to see it in person. 

Statistics show that a staged home will sell faster than one that isn’t. The longer a home is on the market, there looms the risk of eventually having to decrease your asking price, which means less money for you at the end of the sale.  This means that even though there is a cost associated with getting a stager to come into your home, it also will likely result in your home selling faster and for more money. Win Win!

Why Should You Stage Your Home For Sale in CalgaryAccording to the Real Estate Staging Association, staged homes spend 73 percent less time on the market than their un-staged counterparts. This means by staging your home it has now become more attractive to a large pool of buyers which is never a bad thing!

Now don’t get me wrong trying to see your home through adjective lenses isn’t always easy. Your family has made memories there, so what you think is fine might be the same things that the buys can see past. A professional home stager and your real estate agent can give you an honest opinion as to what works in your home, what doesn’t, and what the seller might consider changing in order to appeal to home buyers.

Want to chat more about home staging and the positive impacts it can have on the sale of your home? Give me a shout!

 

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Why You Shouldn’t Sell Your Calgary Home As a For Sale By Owner

Why You Shouldn't Sell Your Calgary Home As a For Sale By Owner

Why You Shouldn’t Sell Your Calgary Home As a For Sale By Owner

In today’s market, it might look really appealing to sell your home yourself. Homes are selling quickly and for top dollar. However not every home sells quickly and there are definitely some things to consider when you are thinking of selling your home. Do you have the time to market your home, answer questions, set up showings and deal with buyers? Do you have real estate expertise? Legal knowledge? The marketing know-how? Selling a house is a complicated, overwhelming and exhausting process—but it doesn’t have to be. Today let’s chat about Why You Shouldn’t Sell Your Calgary Home As For Sale By the Owner.

Typically there are two main types of people that look for FSBO (for sale by owner) homes; Deal Hunters, and unqualified home buyers. Let’s break it down, Deal hunters are the ones that will lowball you and try to get a smoking deal in your home. They will nickel and dime you and they know you may not have the negotiation skills that someone in the real estate professional might have. Worse, they are going to expect a deal right from the beginning, because they know you won’t be paying any commissions.

Unqualified home buyers are people who can’t actually qualify for a home and will often look for Calgary for sale-by-owner opportunities, hoping that the seller will help with the financing. These people are hoping for rent in one situation. This kind of arrangement can work in rare circumstances, but only if the seller isn’t hoping to take significant equity from the property at the time of sale.

Why You Shouldn't Sell Your Calgary Home As a For Sale By Owner

Setting a Price to sell your home

Without working in the industry as a realtor, it is hard to know how to price your home for the market. Often a seller is forced to reduce the price and may have to accept less money for the home than the seller would have received had he/she started at the right price. Also if you list your home for the wrong price and it sits on the market for a long time your home value depreciates the longer it is on the market. 

A seller selling privately can expect to put a minimum of 80 hours of “work” into the project, without a guaranteed result. This does not account for out-of-pocket expenditures such as advertising, lawn signs, etc. Selling a home CAN be extremely stressful! This is why we as real estate professionals are so useful. We can help price your home so it sells quickly and for top dollar, we have the knowledge and resources to market your home effectively, and we have the training and legal background to help keep you and your property throughout the selling process. Let me take that weight off your shoulders and help make your home selling experience a stress-free one for your family.

If you are considering selling your home and thinking of going the For Sale By Owner way let’s chat! Give me a shout at info@jasonsaville.ca

 

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Frequently Asked Calgary Home Selling Questions

Frequently Asked Calgary Home Selling Questions

If you are looking to sell your home, but you aren’t sure where to start this blog is a great place. Over my career I have helped dozens and dozens of happy clients with the sale of their homes, and with that I get asked a ton of different questions. Here is a list of the most common Frequently Asked Calgary Home Selling Questions.

How do I get an estimate of how much my home is worth?

As a complimentary service to potential sellers, I will provide a Comparative Market Assessment that gives you an idea of what your property may sell for if you were to place it on the market. A CMA takes into account all the homes that are similar to yours that have sold in the recent months to give us an accurate number to list your home at. 

Should I accept the first offer that comes in?

This depends. There is a saying in this business that sometimes “the first offer is the best offer”. Our advice to you on this is that it depends on the offer. You should always try to work with every offer you receive to see if you can find a solution that is mutually beneficial to both you and the buyer.

Frequently Asked Calgary Home Selling QuestionsHow long should I expect to wait for my property to sell?

Depending on the market, this could take 2 days or 120 days or more. In a market where there are large amounts of houses for sale and fewer buyers, it can take 90-120 days to sell your property. In a market where there is little for sale yet many buyers, your house could sell in just a few hours! Pricing your property higher than your competition will likely result in a longer sell time. It is the first two weeks that your property is on the market that it is the hottest and most likely to receive an offer if priced well!

Why do buyers want a home inspection?

A home inspection is a part of a buyer’s due diligence to ensure they understand what they are purchasing and to ensure there are no major problems with the property. A buyer also needs to understand what types of maintenance costs they can expect in the first few years. Normally, the cost of home inspection is the responsibility of the potential buyer.

If you are concerned there may be a major problem with your property then you can pay to have a home inspection completed before you list your property for sale

What can I do to help sell my home?

There are a variety of things you can do to help sell your home. This is exactly why you hire a Real Estate Agent to market your property! Professional photos, video, staging and cleaning are all things we can do prior to your home even listing that will help increase the price and traffic to your home.

 

Thinking of selling your home can be daunting but that is why I am here to help navigate all those unknowns you may have and answer questions. If your thinking about selling give me a shout!

 

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The Best South Calgary Communities To Live In

The Best South Calgary Communities To Live In

The battle for The Best South Calgary Communities To Live In has long been disputed. So many factors go into this and it is different for each person and what is important to them. However there are a few communities that always rank among the top year after year. 

Bonivista is a very sought after community. It was the first lake community in all of Calgary to be built and with that you get access to a private beach, proximity to Fish Creek Park, many older homes, however the majority of them now are being renovated so it is likely to find newer interiors with mature landscaping. There is also a prestige element when you say you live in Bonivista. With the average home selling for $750,000 and up, it is considered a higher end neighborhood in the SE of Calgary. 

Deer Run & Deer Ridge are also great south east communities of Calgary. They too have incredible proximity to Fish Creek Park and some of the homes in this community even back right onto the park. This means you can walk right out your back gate and be in the midst of a Provincial Park. Deer Run may not have it’s own private lake, but right in the middle of Fish Creek is Sikomee Lake. This is a great man-made lake located in Fish Creek Park with sandy beaches, swimming, picnic areas, restrooms, showers, a concession, and just steps away from Deer Run. There is also the Fish Creek skills park for those avid mountain bikers in your family. With all that it is a great family friendly neighborhood perfect for the outdoorsy family or those looking for a quiet central location.

The Best South Calgary Communities To Live InOne other great South East Calgary neighborhood is Parkland. Set upon a hill overlooking Fish Creek Park. Below sits the Ranche Restaurant, and Annie’s Ice Cream. Both are historic locations in Calgary’s city history. It is the smallest of the three communities listed above but with that also comes a smaller nit group of neighbors. It also is close to all the amenities that surround Parkland which make it ideal for someone looking for a centrally located area. 

Have a favorite community? We want to hear it so we can feature it on our blog. Let us know what community you would say is one of the, if not the best Calgary neighborhood for families, and we’ll add it to our list!  

 

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The Truth about Calgary Foreclosures | South Calgary Real Estate Agent

Let’s chat about The Truth about Calgary Foreclosures. Ever since HGTV became popular and flipping homes has become all the rage to make a quick buck, foreclosures have become more popular than ever. But are they really that great of a deal? While in some cases a foreclosure can be a decent or good deal, there are many things to consider before leaping into the purchase of a foreclosed property. 

Let’s start from the beginning and discuss what a foreclosure is. A foreclosure is the transfer of full ownership in a property to the mortgage lender. In a foreclosure process, the mortgagor, or homeowner, gives up all rights to the property, including any equity value built up in the home. Once your mortgage lender forecloses on your property, they own it. To buy a foreclosure it is a bit of a different process then buying a normally listed home. The foreclosure process can take anywhere between a couple of months to several months dependent on each individual situation. A lot can happen to a property within that time frame. Once the original owner stops making payments on the property they are typically given notice to vacate. A lot of the time these previous owners will take anything they can of value that is literally not nailed down.This can be anything and everything from the appliances to the flooring in some cases. 

As a buyer you might have interest in the property and decide you may wish to pursue an offer. A lender (in this case also the seller) may or may not allow for you to have conditions as part of your offer. So if you want to do a home inspection that is not a problem but you will want to have one done prior to writing the offer to present to the lender or court is some more rare occasion. Basically the bank won’t provide any warranties on the property, so it is as is, where is, how is. o if the night before possession all the appliances are stolen from a break in, you are just out of luck, and the same can be for any other damages that might happen up until possession. So a fast possession is typically in your best interests if you still decide to pursue a foreclosure property in Calgary.

However this also means that the houses are typically sold for less money then the house next door. It also means less people will be interested in buying the property too. With all that it might mean you walk away with a steal of a deal but you also might be left with a giant renovation. Foreclosures are risky but they can also have huge rewards. 

Want to see some Calgary Foreclosure listings? Give me a shout!

 

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Should You Rent Or Buy In Today’s Calgary Housing Market?

Should You Rent Or Buy In Today's Calgary Housing Market?

The age-old question about whether you should rent or buy is definitely not new. Clients ask on a regular basis if we think it’s a good time to buy or if they should keep renting.  In the past 5 years in Calgary, we’ve seen reasonable vacancy rates and market rents have been affordable. Because of this, finding a great accommodation to rent hasn’t been a difficult task in Calgary and lots of newcomers to the city have chosen to rent instead of buy.  But, the question to ask is, “What is the best for your long term financial goals?”. Investing into real estate is always a great investment. So today lets chat about whether You Rent Or Buy In Today’s Calgary Housing Market?

Let’s look at the numbers. Renting may seem like the better option but let’s break the numbers down. To rent a single family home, worth approximately $400,000, clients are likely to pay approximately $2000 per month or $24,000 per year.  Over 4 years the clients will have paid nearly $100,000 in rent. Now if you buy that same house over those same 4 years of owning a property, clients would also spend $100,000 but they pay down $50,000 of the principal balance of the mortgage.  This means that they’ve built $50,000 of equity in their new home, and on the other side renters gained nothing other than padding the pockets of your landlord. 

Should You Rent Or Buy In Today's Calgary Housing Market?

However with this being said there are other things to consider. By renting you don’t have to pay for home maintenance or property taxes. Renting also makes it easier to move. If you haven’t figured out where you put down roots, your going to school or your job has you traveling a lot you may not want to buy. 

On the other hand, when you buy a home you are investing that money. Every time you pay your mortgage that money pays off some of your house debt and in turn you’re basically saving that amount. Unless you sell in a terrible down market chances are you will get that money and then some back out when you sell. The other thing about owning the home is you can rent it out and make some money. Being a landlord isn’t for everyone but there are many people that invest into the housing market and rent those homes out as their main source of income. 

Either way there are pros and cons to each, and the decision has to be right for you. However when you do decide to take the plunge to buy I want to help you through the process. Have questions about whether you Should You Rent Or Buy In Today’s Calgary Housing Market? ? Give me a shout!

 

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Why Is It Important to Work With a Calgary Real Estate Professional

Why Is It Important to Work With a Calgary Real Estate Professional

Are you ready to stop renting and buy your first home? Is your family growing and you are ready to find a home with more space? Or did you become an empty-nester and you are ready to downsize? No matter what the reason you are thinking to move there are many reasons Why Is It Important to Work With a Calgary Real Estate Professional

1. You’ll Get Better Access To Homes

Real estate agents know the local market inside and out. Although most homes are listed online for buyers to explore, some sellers don’t want their house listed on MLS or agents  might have pocket listings that haven’t hit the housing market. In these instances, a real estate agent can prove to be quite helpful. They can provide you with exclusive access to a home that otherwise, you may have missed.

2. Negotiation Techniques

No matter how level-headed you usually are, buying a home is a very overwhelming and exciting process. Allowing an unbiased realtor with no emotional attachment to the home can prove to be your saving grace when it comes to getting what you want, and most importantly, what you deserve. Without the assistance of an experienced realtor, home inspection problems may go undetected, or your negotiating skills may not result in the outcome you were hoping for. When it comes to your potential future home, it can get emotional.

3. So Much Paperwork!

There’s no doubt about it, along with the sale of a home comes a copious amount of paperwork. Some of these documents can include the:

  • Land Title
  • Written offer
  • Seller Agreement (if selling your home)
  • Buyer Broker Agreement (if buying)
  • Fintrac ID
  • Receipt Of Funds

When it’s all said and done, you’ll probably have an entire shelf dedicated to the purchase of your new home. With all this paperwork comes signatures, records, and multiple copies. A real estate agent can help you track the paperwork, and most importantly, ensure that everything is signed and complete.

Why Is It Important to Work With a Calgary Real Estate Professional

4. They Can Save You Money

An experienced real estate agent has been around the block once or twice. This means that they will most often bring quite a bit of knowledge to the table when it comes to the value of certain neighborhoods and homes. In fact, most experienced realtors can estimate the value of a home from the moment that they walk into the door

5. Avoid Closing Issues

In the final hours before the home is officially yours, you don’t want any bumps in the road. An experienced realtor can foresee any issues from miles away, helping you overcome obstacles or resolve them before it’s too late.

Some closing issues can include:

  • Document errors
  • Mortgage delays
  • Last-minute requests
  • Unclear titles
  • Issues during the final walk through

An experienced realtor can help you resolve these issues, and so much more. Have questions about Why Is It Important to Work With a Calgary Real Estate Professional? Give me a shout!

 

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