Our Home Buyers Seminar was a huge success! Thank you to all of those who made it out. Your support was phenomenal and we hoped that you walked away with more knowledge than you did before coming in.
Special thank you to our guest speakers:
- Giselle Miranda Tibble – Canada Guaranty Mortgage Insurance Company
- Jane Wedekind – Scotiabank Home Financing Advisor
- Garrett Munroe – Munroe & Company Barrister & Solicitor
- Aaron Borsch – A Buyers Choice Home Inspections
This was the very first seminar we hosted on our own, and we are extremely grateful for its success. If you missed this event, don’t worry – we’ll definitely have more in store for the future!
Email us your ideas at email@example.com, or if you missed this event and would like a copy of some of the media that was shared around.
You are invited to our Home Buyers Seminar!
When: January 18th at 7 pm
Where: Team Leo office: 100-1060 Austin Avenue Coquitlam
Giselle Miranda Tibble – Canada Guaranty Mortgage Insurance Company
Jane Wedekind – Scotiabank Home Financing Advisor
Garrett Munroe – Munroe & Company Barrister & Solicitor
Aaron Borsch – A Buyers Choice Home Inspections
Matt McGuigan – Team Leo
Whether you’re a first time home buyer or experienced buyer, hear from the experts in the field, learn tips on buying real estate.
Get the details on the new first time home buyers deposit assistance from the BC Government – BC Home Partnership Program.
Sign up below to ensure a seat, let us know if you are bringing a friend. Light refreshments included!
Have you ever thought about living in Pitt Meadows?
Their mission statement is to maintain a liveable community that provides a wide range of opportunities for individual and corporate citizens to thrive in a sustainable manner.
Surrounded by the natural beauty of both the Fraser River and the mountains, this growing city features a great community dedicated to both its residents and businesses. Boating and bike riding are popular recreational activities, and you will find many parks that are dog and youth friendly.
Visit the school websites for detailed information!
The Pitt Meadows Youth Action Park on 12460 Harris Road is a wheelchair accessible park which features inline and youth action skating.
Hoffman Park and North Bonson Park are both off-leash dog parks.
The Pitt Meadows Athletic Park on 11431 Bonson Road and the Mitchell Road Park are both great locations if you’re looking to play tennis. Remember to stay respectful of others sharing your space!
As well, the Pitt Meadows Athletic Park also features multiple areas for team sports, as well as a community garden, playground, concession, and green space for on-leash dogs.
This city is home to the Pitt Meadows Museum, along Harris Road. Pay them a visit to learn about the city’s history!
The ACT Arts Centre and Theatre is run by the devoted Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Arts council – a not for profit society shared by the two cities and devoted to building vibrant arts and culture. Check out their Facebook Page for a quick event overview, or take a look at their program guide.
Looking for a home in Pitt Meadows? With a full service real estate team with over 50 years of combined experience, Team Léo will help you find the right home.
For more information about Pitt Meadows, visit their website.
Team Léo is proud to be a part of the Cross Canada Referrals network!
For many years the Cross Canada Referrals Group (CCR) has been the #1 referral team for Real Estate Agents in Canada. The CCR is independent and has only the top producing RE/MAX® Real Estate Agents from across Canada as members. Our award winning REALTOR® are the RE/MAX top agents from across this country. With mandatory requirements to be part of this team you are ensured you will be getting a market leader as your REALTOR®. Our outstanding records make us the No.1 source for your relocation business.
CCR’s outstanding performance and experience in the real estate industry ensures the best possible quality of customer care. Our CCR REALTOR® are here to help you, whether you are a buyer or seller planning to invest in Canadian property.
CCR realtors are the top of the top performing RE/MAX agents. In fact RE/MAX professionals lead the industry in terms of experience, education and sales. In Canada, they average 15 years of experience, and across the network, hold a higher number of professional designations than associates of any single competitor. RE/MAX dominates virtually every market in Canada, in terms of market share. On average, RE/MAX outsells the competition 3-1 across Canada. RE/MAX on average is growing at an even faster pace supported by over 30 years of brand name development, referral services, promotional support and other benefits which today are an integral part of the RE/MAX network of over 113,500 Sales Associates in about 5,880 offices in 62 countries worldwide. RE/MAX has the network to provide the best real estate experience throughout the world.
If you’re looking to find a new home in Canada, you’ve come to the right place! Get in touch with us today to get started! You’re in good hands with Team Leo.
Buying a condo? Check strata minutes off your list.
Telling you that the real estate market in Greater Vancouver is hot is like telling you that water is wet. We’ve had an extraordinary number of people in the month of May with both buying and selling real estate.
A lot of buyers are in the market for condos – with this comes a nice stack of paper we like to call strata minutes. What do we do with them, and why are they important?
- Read all available minutes in chronological order. This will usually answer any general questions you have about how the building operates. We will always request the most recent two years. Be sure to keep a list of any unanswered questions you might have!
- Understand your responsibilities. Requesting copies of referenced reports can tell you about insurance policies and claims, how your monthly strata fees will be spent, which parts of the property belong to you and to the strata, as well as the potential future costs you (and the strata) may collectively incur.
- Understand your restrictions. Some condos have strict pet or rental bylaws which have been put in place for a good reason, but may not fit your personal needs. These restrictions will also tell you more about the strata environment you live in (example: if there is a no-rental restriction in place, your neighbours will most likely be fellow condo owners).
- Pay attention to specific complaint reports! On top of understanding the condo community, you also get to know your neighbours and get a sense of units or areas in the building you may have difficulty cohabitating. Sketchy neighbours are difficult to deal with.
- Have a competitive edge when placing offers! By reading these minutes and documents ahead of time, you are in a better place than other potential purchasers of the property in that you already understand the building, and can remove the subject to review these documents. Remember that your REALTOR can request these documents for you quite easily – another reason why you should use a REALTOR when purchasing property.
Our professional real estate team is a proud member of RE/MAX, and we want to share our distinctive real estate experience to clients in the Coquitlam, Port Moody and Burnaby areas
When you choose a RE/MAX Sales Associate to sell your home or help you purchase a new home, you’ll experience a high level of service.
First, RE/MAX Associates are The Hometown Experts With a World of Experience®. Across the globe, they make their living in the same communities in which they live. They’re the people next door, or just down the block.
Consummate professionals, RE/MAX Associates, on average, lead other agents of competing brands in advanced real estate education and production. That’s why they’re known as “The Real Estate Leaders®” and why no one in the world sells more real estate than RE/MAX.
The proof of quality service is in repeat customers and in customers who refer RE/MAX Associates to their friends. Many RE/MAX Sales Associates derive a high percentage of their business from repeats and referrals.
RE/MAX Associates lead other real estate agents of competing brands in professional designations, which denote specialized training and education. They dominate the Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR), Certified Relocation Professional (CRP), Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) and Leadership Training Graduate (LTG) ranks.
Why list your home with a RE/MAX Associate? Your home may be designated as a Miracle Home®. If it is, your RE/MAX Sales Associate will make a contribution on behalf of the listing and/or sale to the local hospital affiliated with the Children’s Miracle Network. The funds raised in your community remain in the area to benefit local children.
FOR ALL YOU’RE WORTH®
On average, RE/MAX Associates sell more real estate than other agents. They are better-qualified to set the right price for the homes they list, better-equipped to market those homes, and likely to find a buyer in a shorter period of time. That experience and education also means they are better-qualified to find the right home for any buyer.
The real estate network that has the most competitive advantages to offer both home buyers and sellers will be an industry leader, and RE/MAX is that network. No one in the world sells more real estate than RE/MAX.
When you look for the highest-quality real estate service, look to a RE/MAX Associate. RE/MAX Associates are “The Real Estate Leaders®”.
On average, a RE/MAX Associate spends about $10,000 each year on personal promotion and on individual and group advertising. Personal advertising plus national television advertising and Internet exposure generates the highest number of prospects in the industry.
The revolutionary RE/MAX Concept of enabling real estate professionals to maximize their business potential has evolved into an organization of more than 120,000 Sales Associates in more than 6,600 offices.
THE RE/MAX BALLOON LOGO
The red, white and blue RE/MAX Balloon, with its “Above the Crowd®” slogan, is one of the most recognizable business logos in the world. With more than 90 RE/MAX Hot Air Balloons around the globe, RE/MAX has the world’s largest commercial balloon fleet.
THE SIGN THAT BRINGS YOU HOME®
The famous red-over-white-over-blue RE/MAX yard sign and your RE/MAX realtor lead you to properties in areas in which you’ll want to live and work. If you want to sell your property, the RE/MAX yard sign attracts buyers.
AN INDUSTRY LEADER
RE/MAX was the first real estate network to be involved in more than 1 million transaction sides in a single year. Each transaction or sale consists of two sides, the listing side and the selling side.
With offices in more than 60 countries worldwide, RE/MAX is one of the fastest-growing real estate franchise networks on the planet.
MAIN STREET. NOT WALL STREET.®
Being locally owned and operated, RE/MAX offices are staffed with professionals who live in the area they work in. Thus, committed to their local community, they have a deep personal interest in the customers they serve.
HOME OF THE BEST AGENTS®
In a business environment of mergers and acquisitions, RE/MAX is the only major real estate network still owned and directed by its founders. The excellence of RE/MAX Broker/Owners and Sales Associates has led to an ever-increasing number of accolades from the business community at large. In January 2006, “Entrepreneur” magazine ranked RE/MAX among the top 10 franchises in its annual Franchise 500 survey. It also named RE/MAX “Best of the Best” for real estate services; No. 9 overall in “America’s Top Global Franchises” and No. 11 among “Fastest-Growing Franchises.” Additionally, Inman News awarded RE/MAX a 2006 Innovator Award for “Most Innovative Brokerage/Franchise/Realtor.”
MORE THAN 40 YEARS “ABOVE THE CROWD®”
RE/MAX – now an established industry leader – celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2013 and looks ahead to even greater real estate achievement in the years ahead.
Leo Bruneau is a RE/MAX sales associate based in Coquitlam that shares the company’s unique real estate approach in dealing with prospective homeowners and sellers within the Greater Vancouver area. For inquiries about our team and our services, visit the contact us page and accomplish the web form.
Why should I use a REALTOR to buy a home?
A real estate agent can help you understand everything you need to know about the home buying process.
Not all real estate licensees are the same. Only members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (NAR) are properly called REALTORS ®. They proudly display the REALTOR “®” trademark on business cards and other literature. REALTORS ® are:
- committed to treat all parties to a transaction honestly.
- subscribed to a strict Code of Ethics and are expected to maintain a higher level of knowledge of the process of buying and selling real estate.
An independent survey reported that 84% of home buyers would use the same REALTOR ® again!
Real estate transactions are one of the biggest financial dealings of an average lifetime. Transactions today usually exceed $500,000!
- If you had a $500,000 income tax problem, would you attempt to deal with it without the help of a certified professional accountant?
- If you had a $500,000 legal question, would you deal with it without the help of an attorney?
Considering the small upside cost and the large downside risk, it would be wise to work with a professional REALTOR ® when you are buying a home.
If you’re still not convinced of the value of a REALTOR ®, here are more reasons to use one. Your REALTOR ® can help you with:
- Determining your buying power – that is, your financial reserves plus your borrowing capacity. If you give a REALTOR ® some basic information about your available savings, income and current debt, he or she can refer you to lenders best qualified to help you. Most lenders – banks and mortgage companies – offer limited choices.
- Your home search, providing multiple resources. Sometimes the property you are seeking is available but not actively advertised in the market, and it will take some investigation by your agent to find all available properties.
- The selection process by providing objective information about each property. Agents who are REALTORS ® have access to a variety of informational resources. REALTORS ® can provide local community information on utilities, zoning, schools, etc. There are two things you’ll want to know: First, will the property provide the environment I want for a home or investment? Second, will the property have resale value when I am ready to sell?
- Negotiations and inspections. There are many negotiating factors, including but not limited to price, financing, terms, date of possession and often the inclusion or exclusion of repairs and furnishings or appliances. The purchase agreement should allow time for you to complete appropriate inspections and investigations of the property before you are bound to complete the purchase. Your agent can advise you as to which investigations and inspections are recommended or required.
- Due diligence during the property evaluation. Depending on the area and property, this could include inspections for termites, dry rot, asbestos, faulty structure, roof condition, septic tank and well tests, just to name a few. Your REALTOR® can assist you in finding qualified responsible professionals to do most of these investigations and provide you with written reports.You will also want to see a preliminary report on the property title. Title indicates ownership of property and can be mired in confusing status of past owners or rights of access. The title to most properties will have some limitations; for example, easements (access rights) for utilities. Your REALTOR ®, title search company or attorney can help you resolve issues that might cause problems at a later date.
- Guiding you through the closing process and make sure everything flows together smoothly.
Have more questions? Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 604 936 1111!
If you’re like most buyers, a home is the most expensive purchase you’ll ever make, and you’ll probably need some form of financing.
There are many lending institutions that offer a variety of mortgage products. Financing options and rates can vary widely, so it is important to do your research and shop around to ensure you get the mortgage that best meets your needs at the best price.
We would be happy to refer you to some very good mortgage contacts in Coquitlam, or to help you in any other way that we can to secure the best possible rate for your home purchase. Drop us a line at 604 936 1111 or email@example.com!
Use this mortgage calculator to assist you in making some decisions around financing your new home:
You may be familiar with what home inspections are, but did you know these five facts? Here is why home inspections are so important, and how home inspectors work for you.
Home Inspections Avert Future Headaches
Suppose you bought a house and later discovered, to your dismay, that the stucco exterior concealed a nasty case of dry rot. Or suppose that when you fired up the furnace in the winter, you discovered a cracked heat exchanger leaking gas into your home. The best way to avoid unpleasant surprises like these is to arrange for a home inspection before you buy.
Home Inspections Help You Avoid Unpleasant Surprises
A good home inspection is an objective, top-to-bottom examination of a home and everything that comes with it. The standard inspection report includes a review of the home’s heating and air-conditioning systems; plumbing and wiring; roof, attic, walls, ceilings, floors, windows, doors, foundation and basement.
Getting a professional inspection is crucial for older homes because age often takes its toll on the roof and other hard-to-reach areas. Problems can also be the result of neglect or hazardous repair work, such as a past owner’s failed attempt to install lights and an outlet in a linen closet.
A home inspection is also a wise investment when buying a new home. In fact, new homes frequently have defects, whether caused by an oversight during construction or simply human error.
Getting an Inspector
Real estate agents can usually recommend an experienced home inspector. Make sure to get an unbiased inspector. You can find one through word-of-mouth referrals, or look in the Yellow Pages or online under “Building Inspection” or “Home Inspection.”
Home inspections cost about a few hundred dollars, depending on the size of the house and location. Inspection fees tend to be higher in urban areas than in rural areas. You may find the cost of inspection high, but it is money well spent. Think of it as an investment in your investment – your future home.
Some builders may try to dissuade you from getting a home inspection on a home they’ve built. They may not necessarily be trying to hide anything because most builders guarantee their work and will fix any problems in your new home before you move in. Some builders, in fact, will offer to do their own inspections. But it’s best to have an objective professional appraisal – insist on a third-party inspector.
An Inspection Will Educate You about Your House
Education is another good reason for getting an inspection. Most buyers want to learn as much as they can about their purchase so they can protect their investment. An examination by an impartial home inspector helps in this learning process.
Ask if you can follow the home inspector on his or her rounds. Most inspectors are glad to share their knowledge, and you’ll be able to ask plenty of questions.
Inspection Timing and Results
Homebuyers usually arrange for an inspection after signing a contract or purchase agreement with the seller. The results may be available immediately or within a few days. The home inspector will review his or her findings with you and alert you to any costly or potentially hazardous conditions. In some cases, you may be advised not to buy the home unless such problems are remedied.
You could include a clause in your purchase agreement that makes your purchase contingent upon satisfactory inspection results. If major problems are found, you can back out of the deal. If costly repairs are warranted, the seller may be willing to adjust the home’s price or the contract’s terms. But when only minor repairs are needed, the buyer and seller can usually work out an agreement that won’t affect the sale price.
If you need help finding the right inspector, Team Léo is affiliated with a number of reputable home inspectors in Greater Vancouver. Call us today if you need help: 604 936 1111
A written offer or proposal is the foundation of a real estate transaction. Oral promises are not legally enforceable when it comes to the sale of real estate. Therefore, you need to enter into a written contract, which starts with your written proposal. This proposal not only specifies price, but also all the terms and conditions of the purchase. For example, if the seller offered to help with $2,000 toward your closing costs, make sure that’s included in your written offer and in the final completed contract, or you won’t have grounds for collecting it later.
REALTORS ® have standard purchase agreements and will help you put together a written, legally binding offer that reflects the price as well as terms and conditions that are right for you. Your REALTOR ® will guide you through the offer, counteroffer, negotiating and closing processes. In many states certain disclosure laws must be complied with by the seller, and the REALTOR® will ensure that this takes place.
If you are not working with a real estate agent, keep in mind that you must draw up a purchase offer or contract that conforms to state and local laws and that incorporates all of the key items. State laws vary, and certain provisions may be required in your area.
After the offer is drawn up and signed, it is usually presented to the seller by your real estate agent, by the seller’s real estate agent, if that’s a different agent, or often by the two together. In a few areas, sales contracts are drawn up by the parties’ lawyers.
What is in an Offer?
The purchase offer you submit, if accepted as it stands, will become a binding sales contract (known in some areas as a purchase agreement, earnest money agreement or deposit receipt). So it’s important that the purchase offer contains all the items that will serve as a “blueprint for the final sale.” The purchase offer includes items such as:
- address and the legal description of the property
- sale price
- terms: for example, all cash or subject to you obtaining a mortgage for a given amount
- seller’s promise to provide clear title (ownership)
- target date for closing (the actual sale)
- amount of earnest money deposit accompanying the offer, whether it’s a check, cash or promissory note, and how it’s to be returned to you if the offer is rejected – or kept as damages if you later back out for no good reason
- method by which real estate taxes, rents, fuel, water bills and utilities payments are to be adjusted (prorated) between buyer and seller
- provisions about who will pay for title insurance, survey, termite inspections, etc.
- type of deed to be given
- other requirements specific to your state, which might include a chance for an attorney to review the contract, disclosure of specific environmental hazards or other state-specific clauses
- a provision that the buyer may make a last-minute walkthrough inspection of the property just before the closing
- a time limit (preferably short) after which the offer will expire
- contingencies, which are an extremely important matter and that are discussed in detail below
Contingencies – “Subject to” Clauses
If your offer says “this offer is contingent upon (or subject to) a certain event,” you’re saying that you will only go through with the purchase if that event occurs. Here are two common contingencies contained in a purchase offer:
- The buyer obtaining specific financing from a lending institution: If the loan can’t be found, the buyer won’t be bound by the contract.
- A satisfactory report by a home inspector: for example, “within 10 days after acceptance of the offer.” The seller must wait 10 days to see if the inspector submits a report that satisfies the buyer. If not, the contract would become void. Again, make sure that all the details are explicitly stated in the written contract.
You’re in a strong bargaining position, that is, you look particularly welcome to a seller, if:
- you’re an all-cash buyer
- you’re already have a preapproved mortgage and you don’t have a present house that has to be sold before you can afford to buy
- you’re able to close and take possession at a time that is especially convenient for the seller
In these circumstances, you may be able to negotiate some discount from the listed price.
On the other hand, in a “hot” seller’s market, if the perfect house comes on the market, you may want to offer the list price (or more) to beat out other early offers.
It’s very helpful to find out why the house is being sold and whether the seller is under pressure. Keep the following considerations in mind:
- every month a vacant house remains unsold represents considerable extra expense for the seller
- if the sellers are divorcing, they may want to sell quickly
- estate sales often yield a bargain in return for a prompt deal
This is a deposit that you give when making an offer on a house. A seller is understandably suspicious of a written offer that is not accompanied by a cash deposit to show “good faith.” A real estate agent or an attorney usually holds the deposit, the amount of which varies from community to community. This will become part of your down payment.
Buyers: the Seller’s Response to Your offer
You will have a binding contract if the seller, upon receiving your written offer, signs an acceptance just as it stands, unconditionally. The offer becomes a firm contract as soon as you are notified of acceptance. If the offer is rejected, that’s that – the sellers could not later change their minds and hold you to it.
If the seller likes everything except the sale price, or the proposed closing date, or the basement pool table you want left with the property, you may receive a written counteroffer including the changes the seller prefers. You are then free to accept it, reject it or even make your own counteroffer. For example, “We accept the counteroffer with the higher price, except that we still insist on having the pool table.”
Each time either party makes any change in the terms, the other side is free to accept, reject or counter again. The document becomes a binding contract only when one party finally signs an unconditional acceptance of the other side’s proposal.
Buyers: Withdrawing an Offer
Can you take back an offer? In most cases the answer is yes, right up until the moment it is accepted, or even in some cases, if you haven’t yet been notified of acceptance. If you do want to revoke your offer, be sure to do so only after consulting a lawyer who is experienced in real estate matters. You don’t want to lose your earnest money deposit or find yourself being sued for damages the seller may have suffered by relying on your actions.
Sellers: Calculating Your Net Proceeds
When an offer comes in, you can accept it exactly as it stands, refuse it (seldom a useful response) or make a counteroffer to the buyers with the changes you want. In evaluating a purchase offer, you should estimate the amount of cash you’ll walk away with when the transaction is complete. For example, when you’re presented with two offers at the same time, you may discover you’re better off accepting the one with the lower sale price if the other asks you to pay points to the buyer’s lending institution.
Once you have a specific proposal before you, calculating net proceeds becomes simple. From the proposed purchase price you can subtract the following costs:
- payoff amount on present mortgage
- any other liens (equity loan, judgments)
- broker’s commission
- legal costs of selling (attorney, escrow agent)
- transfer taxes
- unpaid property taxes and water and other utility bills
- if required by the contract: cost of survey, termite inspection, buyer’s closing costs, repairs, etc.
Your present mortgage lender may maintain an escrow account into which you deposit money to be used for property tax bills and homeowner’s insurance. In that case, remember that you will receive a refund of money left in that account, which will add to your proceeds.
When you receive a purchase offer from a would-be buyer, remember that unless you accept it exactly as it stands, unconditionally, the buyer is free to walk away. Any change you make in a counteroffer puts you at risk of losing that chance to sell.
Who pays for what items is often determined by local custom. You can, however, negotiate with the buyer any agreement you want about who pays for the following costs:
- termite inspection
- buyer’s closing costs
- points paid to the buyer’s lender
- buyer’s broker fees
- repairs required by the lender
- home protection policy
You may feel some of these costs are none of your business, but many buyers – particularly first-timer buyers – are short of cash. Helping them may be the best way to get your home sold.