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Summer time home checklist

Wed, 05 Aug by Pauline Relkey

Half of 2020 is in the past and with this Covid thing, we are hoping that the second half goes way better than the first half.

We’re in the midst of summer. Hopefully with many more weeks of summer to come, we hope that the summer rays keep streaming down on us.  

This is an interesting fact – There’s some evidence that people typically drive safer in problematic conditions, such as rain, snow, and fog, while more car crashes occur on bright sunny days with clear conditions. Following this logic on the road and applying it to the home, it’s important to not overlook or underestimate some of the challenges that present themselves in summer. Unlike many summer drivers, you don’t want to let your guard down on a seemingly innocent time.

Be aware of insects. We all know that mosquitoes are a common summertime nuisance, however some areas across the country will experience the return of cicadas and other types of bugs. For your home, make sure all entry points are secured so you don’t have any unwanted visitors from the great outdoors – and it will help you with your home efficiency!

Check that your HVAC and furnace are working properly, and all the filters are up to date. Pleasant room temperatures are often not on people’s minds and can be taken for granted in the summer unless a problem occurs. And a reminder for those with a deck or patio: make sure the structure is stable and well maintained. It’ll be getting a lot of use now!

Here are your top to-dos for summer:

● Take care of any insect problems you may have.

● Seal up your home.

● Check outdoor faucets for leaks. We don’t need that water bill any higher!

● Have your roof inspected.

● Inspect and possibly change out HVAC filters.

● Clean and repair deck or patio as needed.

● Check water softener; add salt if needed.

● Test garage door auto-reverse feature. Need to keep the little ones safe.

● Clean kitchen garburator. Just don’t stick your hand in it while it’s running!

● Clean range hood filters.

● Inspect your fire extinguisher(s). Are they expired?

Have any other suggestions or questions? Call, text or email me — I’m always happy to help homeowners in our community.

CMHC’s latest survey

Mon, 20 Jan by Pauline Relkey

The 2019 findings are in.

Canadians across the country were asked about their thoughts, attitudes and behaviours about and the process of buying a home in the annual Mortgage Consumer Survey and this is what they said.

Affordability continues to be the most important factor when it comes to buying a home.

One of the biggest stories of 2019 was the dramatic decrease in the number of home buyers who spent the maximum amount they could afford. The cost of becoming a homeowner is at the top of Canadians’ “must-haves”:

Price/affordability (80%)
Number of rooms (73%)
Proximity to public transit (67%)

The majority of Canadians are aware of the mortgage qualification rules (“stress test”). In fact, 65% of buyers said they believe the new mortgage qualification “stress test” will keep more Canadians from taking on a mortgage they can’t afford.

Despite debt levels, consumer optimism is on the rise.
Nearly one third of home buyers don’t expect interest rates to rise in the next year – up from just 20% in 2018. More than 8 out of 10 home buyers also feel confident that buying a home is a sound long-term investment.

The majority of home buyers have a positive attitude towards the idea of buying a home. Close to 9 out of 10 buyers were “happy” or “excited” about buying a home. However, more than one third also said that buying a home made them feel “stressed.”

Most home buyers are satisfied with their experience with their lender or mortgage broker.

The top reason for selecting a lender or broker is the interest rate offered. Despite high satisfaction levels, only less than half of home buyers received a follow-up call from their mortgage professional.  Hmmm a lesson to be learned. Always stay in touch with clients!

Preparing Your Home for the Home Inspection

Wed, 06 Apr by Pauline Relkey

PREPARING YOUR HOME FOR THE HOME INSPECTION home inspection

A home inspection is a common request for most home buyers. The inspection is a visual inspection only. The inspector will not open walls or move your contents in the home. A proper inspection will leave the home in the exact condition it was in prior to the inspection.

Every attempt should be made to ensure the inspector and buyer have full access to the home. By restricting the inspection, you are allowing the imagination of the buyer to conjure up any number of problems for the unknown area of the home whereas the true condition of the home is almost always less dramatic than what is imagined. Also a request by the buyer, after the initial inspection, to access the restricted area will often cause delays in removing the home inspection condition on the offer and additional expense to the buyer for the inspector to return to the home.

• Ensure the attic access is accessible If located in a closet, remove the contents and shelves in the closet. If the access is sealed shut, cut the seal, as the inspector will not damage any part of your home.

• Any crawlspace access should be made accessible.

• Clear away contents in front of the electrical panel, furnace and water heater.

• Ensure the sump pit is accessible.

• If the appliances are included in the sale of the home, ensure the washer is empty as the inspector will not test this unit and risk damaging your clothes.

• If the home is vacant, ensure the water is turned on and the furnace/water are also operable. A home inspector will not operate water shut off valves or light pilot lights.

• Light the fireplace pilot light and test the unit. If the fireplace has not been operated in some time, disclose this to the buyer or hire a qualified contractor to service and start the fireplace.

• When the buyer is meeting with the inspector in the home, don’t be there. You want the buyer and inspector to be comfortable discussing all aspects of the home. Any questions that may arise during the inspection can be handled by the realtors after the inspection.

• When in doubt, ask your realtor. They are there to assist you in all areas of the sale of your home.

Thanks to Ryan Spriggs, owner and operator of Spriggs Inspection Inc. for providing this important information.

Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers

Thu, 15 Jan by Pauline Relkey

2014 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers

In July 2014, NAR (National Association of REALTORS) mailed out a 127 question survey to 72,000 recent home buyers. The recent home buyers had to have purchased a home between July 2013 and June 2014. The survey had a response rate of 9.4 percent.

Highlights

88% of buyers would use their agent again or recommend to others and 63% of buyers who purchased their home in the last year have recommended their agent to other buyers.

  • 88% of home buyers financed their recent home purchase at 90%.
  • The share of 1st time buyers who financed their home purchase was 95% compared to 84% of repeat buyers.
  • 46% of home buyers reported they have made some sacrifices such as reducing spending on luxury items, entertainment or clothing.
  • 12% of buyers overall cited saving for a down payment was the most difficult task in the home buying process. Among those buyers, 48% report credit card debt, 44% reported student loan debt and 36% car loans delayed them saving for a down payment.
  • Eight in 10 buyers believe their home is a good financial investment.

Home Sellers and Their Selling Experience

  • 40% of home sellers traded up to a larger sized home, 47% purchased a more expensive home and 53% purchased a newer home.
  • The typical seller lived in their home for 10 years. The median tenure has increased in recent years. In 2007, the typical tenure in home was only 6 years.
  • 88% of sellers were assisted by a real estate agent when selling their home.
  • Recent sellers typically sold their homes for 97% of the listing price and 45% reported they reduced the initial asking price at least once.
  • 17% of recent sellers had to delay or stall selling their home because the value of their home was worth less than their mortgage.

Home Selling and Real Estate Professionals

  • 38% of sellers who used a real estate agent found their agents through a referral by friends or family and 22% used the agent they worked with previously to buy or sell a home.
  • 70% of home sellers only contacted 1 agent before selecting the one to assist with their home sale.
  • 91% of sellers reported that their home was listed or advertised on the multiple listing (MLS) website.
  • Among recent sellers who used an agent, 83% reported they would definitely (68%) or probably (15%) use that real estate agent again or recommend to others

For-Sale-by-Owner (FSBO) Sellers

  • The share of home sellers who sold their home without the assistance of a real estate agent was 9%. 44% knew the buyer prior to home purchase.
  • Among sellers who did not know the buyer of the home previously, 15% were contacted by a buyer they did not know to buy the home.
  • FSBOs typically have a lower median selling price: $208,700 compared to $235,000. Thus, the typical agent-assisted home sale typically has a 13% higher sales price than the typical FSBO sale.
  • Half of FSBO sellers took no action to market their home and 73% did not offer any incentives to attract.

Methodology

Consumer names and addresses were obtained from Experian, a firm that maintains an extensive database of recent home buyers derived from county records. Information about sellers comes from those buyers who also sold a home. All information in this Profile is characteristic of the 12-month period ending June 2014, with the exception of income data, which are reported for 2013. In some sections comparisons are also given for results obtained in previous surveys. Not all results are directly comparable due to changes in questionnaire design and sample size. Some results are presented for the four U.S. Census regions: Northeast, Midwest, South and West. The median is the primary statistical measure used throughout this report. Due to rounding and omissions for space, percentage distributions may not add to 100% buyers.

The data included on this website is deemed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed to be accurate by the Association of Saskatchewan REALTORS®.

MLS®, Multiple Listing Service®, and the associated logos are all registered certification marks owned by CREA and are used to identify real estate services provided by brokers and salespersons who are members of CREA. The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.