Can I use my RRSPs for my down payment?

 

One way to add to your down payment amount is to tap into your RRSPs. While it’s true that normally you’d probably pay penalties and income tax on any RRSP withdrawal, there is an exception to the rule. As a first-time homebuyer, you may withdraw up to $25,000 ($50,000 per couple) from your RRSPs under the Home Buyers’ Plan. These funds can be used to increase your down payment and are not counted as income and subject to income tax. But there are some conditions attached that you should be aware of:

-          The amount withdrawn must be repaid within 15 years from the date of withdrawal.

-          You must purchase your home by October 1st in the year following your withdrawal.

-          You must start repaying your withdrawal in the second year after your withdrawal.

-          Repayments are not tax-deductible.

For complete details please visit the Canadian Revenue Agency website.

 

Because YOU Deserve the Best

 

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Here we are (well, officially tomororw), summer!

 

 

Here is one of my family favourite's for parties and bbq's throughout the season ...

 

 

Don't forget to join the fun in Langley tomorrow for their Community Day!

 

Wishing you a WONDERFUL summer!

 

Because YOU Deserve the Best ...

 

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Open houses are the gold standard in real estate. They’ve been around for decades and will be ingrained in the buying and selling of homes for years to come. But as a buyer, are you making the most of your open house visits?

 

Here are some best practices for buyers at all ends of the home-buying spectrum.

Use the open house to learn the market without committing

Couple Looking at home

 

For the most part, open houses are just that — open. They make it possible for anyone to see a property in a certain time period, without an appointment or even being a very serious buyer.

 

New buyers should leverage the open house opportunity to get a feel for the market. In today’s world, using online search tools, mobile apps and the open house, a buyer can start to get a feel for pricing and the market before committing to an agent. Most importantly, open houses are some of the best ways for buyer and agent relationships to start.

You don’t have to sign in (but don’t be rude)

The biggest fear of some newer buyers is that a real estate agent at an open house will be all over them, ask for their contact information and then start harassing them for the next three weeks. It does happen, but it’s also common courtesy to at least recognize and say hello to the agent at the open house.  Don’t forget, in addition to trying to sell the home for her client, for safety reasons, the agent is keeping a look out for who is coming and going. It’s polite to say hello and introduce yourself to the agent, but you can also politely decline to sign in.

 

If you’re an active buyer, you should make yourself known to the agent. Let the seller’s agent know who your agent is and don’t be afraid to express interest. When it comes time to review an offer with a seller, listing agents like to put a face to a name.

Watch the other buyers

You can tell a lot about the activity and marketability of a home by watching the other buyers. If you observe a lot of people walking in and out quickly, the home probably has some issues. Are the buyers hanging around, asking questions of the listing agent and huddling in the corner talking to their spouses or partners? If so, it could be a sign this is a well-priced and “hot” listing. If you’re interested too, observing other buyers at the open house could help you learn about the competition.

Ask the agent questions

The real estate agent is there for a reason. It’s his job. If he is the listing agent, ask him questions. He is a direct line to the seller. He should know more than anyone about the property and the seller. Your agent can funnel your questions to the listing agent. But if you’re there, ask away. Watch the agent’s facial expression and reaction to your questions. If it’s a competitive market, ask questions such as: “Why is the seller selling?” “Is there a certain day to review offers or have you had a lot of showings?” In a slow market, ask how long the property has been on the market and what the seller’s motivations are. A good agent will engage you because it’s good for his seller.

Be open to meeting your future agent

When considering a new doctor, lawyer or CPA, you don’t get the chance to see them in their element until you’ve decided to work with them. Not true for real estate agents. Some of the best buyer/seller/real estate relationships begin at open houses.

 

A good agent is wearing two hats at the open house. In addition to watching the serious buyers and getting feedback for the seller, an active agent is also looking to interact with future clients.

 

Face to face, informal and relevant, the interaction with an agent at an open house is important. You can get a feel for a person just from a brief meeting. If you sense the agent could be someone you could work with, ask some open-ended questions, such as “How’s the market?” and “What areas do you cover?”

Why open houses have been around for decades

At any open house, there are people at every stage of the home-buying game, from just testing the waters to looking at homes daily, making offers and working closely with an agent. For someone new to the market, it’s helpful to know the best practices for visiting open houses and interacting with the real estate agent. For more experienced buyers, the open house is an opportunity to make a second or third visit, getting a closer look at the details and uncovering things you may have missed earlier. There are lots of reasons why open houses have been around for decades — and why you should take full advantage of them.

 

For more information on my listings, please visit this link.

 

Because YOU Deserve the Best ...

 

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Honey Stop The Car!

 

What an AMAZING Home in Murrayville!

 

 

Great for First Time Home Buyers or perhaps the couple that wants to downsize!

 

 

Spacious, cozy, bright and did I mention ready to move in!

 

 

Freshly painted with updated kitchen -- stainless steel appliances and laminate flooring throughout the main floor. Three bedrooms upstairs, lovely size master bedroom and ensuite with a walk-in closet.

 

 

This is a South-West facing unit with semi privacy; boasts a private patio that has been nicely fenced in for small children or pets.

 

This home is situated in the heart of Murrayville, which is a great family area as it is close to wonderful schools.

 

Well maintained strata you can tell people care where they live in this quaint little townhome community.

 

Click here for all the details on this amazing new listing and Call Today for your Private Tour!

 

 

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Here is a wonderful read from the Province newspaper:

 

 

First-time homebuyers Kristine and Tom Rajkowski felt sheer joy last week as they moved into the Surrey community of Clayton Heights.

 

“We’re ecstatic,” says Kristine, surrounded by moving boxes. “This morning, we were jumping up and down. We’re homeowners, we couldn’t believe it.”

 

The Rajkowskis, both in their early ’30s, paid $617,000 for a 3,275-square-foot detached house built in 2009.

 

A few months ago, the Rajkowskis were feeling anything but ecstatic. They loved Clayton Heights but had trouble finding the right property.

 

There always seemed to be someone ahead of them for homes within their financial reach.

 

“Every time we saw a house we liked in this area there was already an offer on it,” Kristine says. “It was a little frustrating.”

 

Wondering where B.C.’s housing hot spots will be over the next few years?

 

As Surrey residents, the Rajkowskis are living in what experts say is the Lower Mainland’s hottest real-estate market.

 

Communities such as Clayton Heights, Cloverdale and Fleetwood are hot and expected to stay hot in the near future as buyers seek affordable housing near family-friendly services.

 

Other areas expected to see brisk demand from buyers over the next few years are Burnaby’s Brentwood, the Tri-Cities and Fraser Valley communities of Langley, Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows and Abbotsford.

 

In Vancouver, urbanites who prize city living are pushing up demand in the Main Street, Outer Hastings and East Vancouver’s Cedar Cottage neighbourhoods, says Tsur Somerville, director of the University of B.C.’s Centre for Urban Economics and Real Estate.

 

I'm happy to say I can service all of these Lower Mainland area for you, to find you the BEST possible home for you and your family or situation.

 

You can read the full article here.

 

Because You DESERVE the Best

 

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2014 Real Estate Investment Trends to Watch in Canada

 

Here is a list of some real estate trends that are revealed, according to Canadian Real Estate Magazine online:


- Solid fundamentals will continue to characterize Canada's real estate market, buoyed by what is anticipated to be a period of moderately stronger economic expansion.

- Property values will continue to range close to the peak, supported by robust investment demand and low interest rates.

- Income performance will remain positive over the near term as rental markets in all sectors post solid occupancy levels, positive demand trends, and stable or modest increases on 2013 rental rate averages.

- Capital flows into Canada's property investment sector will remain robust over the near term, boosted by the eventual return of capital market buyers (i.e. REITs and Real Estate Operating Companies).

- Construction activity will rise significantly over the next few years in the industrial and office sectors, with developers hoping a stronger economy will see these properties leased quickly. The ongoing delivery of new supply in the nation's major downtown office nodes could lead to increased vacancy and downward pressure on rents, if demand fails to keep pace over the next few years.

- The arrival of U.S. retailer Target will continue to impact the retail sector, as the discounting sector adjusts to new competition.

- The broader retail sector will continue to adjust to changing shopping channels, formats and consumer preferences.

- The multi-family residential real estate sector will continue to stabilize, as rental buildings remain largely full. However, competition from the rental condominium market will be monitored closely by landlords in the purpose-built market segment.

 

You can read the entire post here.

 

Till next time ...

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