Shirley Brown, your local Coquitlam REALTOR®

(604) 939-6666

Should You Sell First and Buy Later? Or Vice-Versa?


When you’re thinking of selling your home and buying another, you face the inevitable question: Should I list my property first or buy my new home first?


Let’s take a look at both options.


If you attempt to buy a property before listing your home, you run into a couple of challenges.

First, sellers may not take you seriously as a potential buyer. After all, you haven’t put your own home up for sale. As far as they’re concerned, you might merely be testing the market.


Second, your property might not sell as quickly as you thought it would. If there is an early closing date on the home you purchased, you might end up owning, and paying a mortgage on both properties, at least until your home sells.

If, on the other hand, you list your property before buying a new home, sellers will know you’re serious. That puts you in a competitive position in the event of multiple offers.


Also, if your home sells quickly, you’ll have the peace-of-mind of knowing exactly how much of a new home you can afford. You’ll be able to shop with confidence.


Of course, like the first option, there is a chance that the closing dates won’t match and you’ll end up owning two properties for a period of time. However, solutions such as bridge financing are available to help.

So, there is no perfect answer. A lot depends on the state of the local market.


Looking for a good REALTOR® who can help you decide which is the best move for you? Call today. 604-671-1060

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Something has just spilled on your favorite rug or carpet. There's a stain forming. You're worried. Will you be able to remove it? Will the stain set and stay forever?

Luckily, there's a good chance you can completely lift just about any kind of stain – if you follow a few guidelines.

The first rule of stain removal is: act fast. The fresher the stain, the easier it is to lift. So when you notice a stain of any kind, start to work on it right away. Don't wait.

Begin by trying to dry blot the stain. Avoid the temptation of using a wet cloth or detergent, at least at this stage of the game. Blot the stain gently with a clean, dry cloth or absorbent paper towel. Be patient. It may take several minutes before you see any results.

If dry blotting doesn't completely lift the stain, mix up a combination of one glass of water with one teaspoon of lemon juice. Again, take a clean cloth or paper towel, wet it with the water/lemon mixture, and gently blot the area (test on an inconspicuous area first). Wait five minutes, then try dry blotting again.

You may have to repeat the above process a few times.

Using a vacuum cleaner directly over the affected area can also help lift more of the stain.

If, after all your efforts, some of the stain is still there, place a couple of sheets of paper towel over the stain, with a few books on top to maintain pressure. Leave those there for 24 hours. Check every hour or so. If you see stain on the paper towels, you know it's working.

If all else fails, consider calling in a professional cleaner. They know all the tricks and can often perform a miracle for you!

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Why is it so important to know how much you can afford to spend on a home?

Two reasons.

First, you don't want to buy a property and then find out, only after you’ve moved in, that you can't financially maintain it. That would mean having to resell it under stressful conditions.

Second, you don't want to settle for a property that's less than ideal, when you really could have afforded the "dream home" you've always wanted.

So how do you figure out how much you can afford to pay for your next home?

The first step is to talk to a good REALTOR®. I will help you gain a clearer understanding of how much your current home will likely sell for in today's market. That amount, together with other financial resources you might have (such as savings), will determine your down payment.

The next thing you’ll need to figure out is your mortgage. I can help you find a lender who will take a variety of factors into account – income, credit rating, debts, expected down payment, etc. – to calculate the maximum amount of mortgage for which you qualify.

Say, through the proceeds of the sale of your home combined with your savings, your expected down payment is $90,000. If the lender authorizes a mortgage of $270,000, then you can afford a $360,000 home.

Of course, that doesn't mean you'll need to spend that much. In fact, a home that meets your needs in terms of property type, features, and neighbourhood, may in fact cost you less.

One thing is for sure. A good REALTOR® can work with whatever amount you can afford and show you homes on the market that most closely meet your needs.

Looking for a good REALTOR®? Call me today.

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Let's face it. Life can get complicated, complex and stressful very easily. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to simplify your life, especially at home. Here are some tips from the experts:

  • Don't be ruled by the TV guide. Instead, select what you want to see and then record those shows. That way, you can watch them anytime.
  • Prepare some meals in advance that can simply be heated up as needed. That reduces a lot of "after-work, gotta-get-dinner-ready" stress.
  • Create a weekly dinner menu. It takes some time to prepare, but it allows you to shop effectively, and greatly reduces the stress of figuring out what to cook each day.
  • Don't accumulate stuff you don't want or need. Give those things away.
  • Simplify your cleaning by dividing tasks into ten minute chunks (such as vacuuming the living room.) Then fit those tasks in here and there whenever you have ten minutes.
  • To avoid clutter, adopt the "touch it once" rule, which simply means putting things where they belong right away.
  • Think of the home-related chore you hate doing most. Can you outsource that to a local company, or a neighbour looking for some work?
  • Limit the time you and others in your family spend checking emails and text messages. Consider having an hour or two each evening that's "no screen" time.
  • Develop healthy routines, such as evening walks and family board game night.

These are just a few ideas. If you want to simplify your home life, you can probably brainstorm several other strategies and habits you can try. The idea is to make your home an enjoyable place to be – for you and your family.

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You will want to make the process of shopping for a home as productive and enjoyable as possible. After all, you'll be on a quest to find your next dream home. That's why it's important to take the right things with you:

 

  • A digital camera, so you can take pictures of the features you like in the properties you see.
  • A notepad, so you can take notes.
  • Measurements of your largest pieces of furniture, so you can confirm they'll fit in the rooms of properties you like.
  • A measuring tape.
  • Some healthy snacks and beverages, (especially important if you're taking the kids along).
  • A map of the area, so you can check out local parks and other neighbourhood features.
  • Clear driving directions to each of the properties you want to see.

 

One of the best ways to shop for a home, and actually enjoy the experience, is to work with a great REALTOR®. 

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You might have hired a painter, plumber, or renovator several times during your history of home ownership. But how many times have you hired a decorator?


For many homeowners, hiring a decorator is a first time experience. That’s what makes knowing how to choose the right one so challenging.


Here's a tip: Clip photos from magazines of rooms that match the "look and style" you want. Pay particular attention to desired colours, decor, accents, furnishings, and themes.

Then, when meeting with a prospective decorator, see if there's anything in his or her portfolio that matches your clippings. If there is, then you’ll have a good indication that he or she can pull off the look you want.

 

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If you've been thinking about selling your home, you might be waiting until the "market is right". After all, if the local market suddenly booms, your property will likely sell for a higher price.

That may be true. However, there are other factors to consider in your decision to list.

For example, will you be buying a new home as well? If so, then the higher selling price will probably be offset by the higher cost of the new property.

In addition, there may be characteristics of your home that will help sell it quickly and for a good price – today – regardless of the market conditions.


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Home safety is more than locked doors and alarms 



When it comes to home security, most homeowners think about door locks and alarms. These are, of course, very important. However, there is also a lot you can do around your property to prevent the possibility of a break-in.

 

One important part of home security is outdoor lighting. Your home doesn't need to be lit up like a baseball diamond at night, but your exterior lighting should illuminate your yard enough to be a deterrent to burglars.

 

Some burglars hide around the property and wait for someone to arrive and open the door so they can use that opportunity to force their way into your home.

Security experts suggest that you walk around your property and look for areas where someone could hide, such as behind tall shrubbery like a cedar hedge or behind a tool shed. Make sure these areas are well lit.

 

Pay particular attention to lighting around exterior doors, especially the back door.

 

Home security experts also recommend that exterior lighting be installed with a timed dimmer. The lights can then be set to cast a bright light in the early evening, and then a dimmer light throughout the rest of the night.

 

Lights installed with motion detectors can also be effective in certain areas. The sensors will cause the light to turn on or brighten when someone comes onto that part of your property. Generally, thieves will flee as soon as they see a light turn on.

 

Do you hide a spare key under the front door mat or in a flower pot? No matter how clever you think you are, experienced thieves know all the common hiding places. So, if you need to have a spare key available, put it in a small combination lock box and hide the box. That way, if a burglar finds the box, he still won't be able to open it and access the key.


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