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Latest updates from Rob's personal expertise.

Purchasing a home is a major investment, and as with any investment, it is important to be educated before you dive in. To help you out, here are some important factors to consider when buying a home, such as: closing cost, maintenance and renovations and property taxes.

Closing Cost

Closing costs (deeds/titles/land transfers/legal fees). Processing the papers for a home sale involves agencies at the private and government level, so check with a financial and/or real estate expert to get a list of how much each patch of dirt and piece of paper will cost. Make sure each step of the way that you know what you'll be signing and paying for when the property gets signed over. And the closing itself will run about 2 to 3 percent of the cost of the house [source: FICA]. Lenders provide truth in lending disclosure statements to detail percentages and financing fees before closing, and reviewing these carefully and asking questions can prevent charges from sneaking up on you [source: FDIC]. Source: Home.howstuffworks

Maintenance and Renovations

Trees fall on roofs. Gutters need cleaning. Driveways need repair…. A standard rule of thumb is to budget at least 1% of your home’s purchase price each year for home maintenance costs.

Maintenance can include things such as painting, replacing roof shingles, fixing or upgrading plumbing and wiring. The amount you will need to pay for maintenance can depend on the age of the home, the previous owners’ upkeep and the climate. Source: Realtor

Property Taxes

All homeowners should have insurance, and usually, insurance is not optional for new homebuyers. In this instance, lenders require private mortgage insurance (PMI) to protect themselves in case the homeowner defaults on the mortgage. Unless buyers have a 20% down payment, or even if they do, but they’re considered a high risk, they can expect to pay PMI each month as a part of their mortgage payment. On conventional loans, PMI may be canceled when the home’s equity reaches 22%; but on FHA loans, PMI is paid for the duration of the loan period.

Property taxes are also included in the monthly mortgage amount. The tax amount is a percentage of the home’s value. Source: Investopedia

 Contact:

Rob Palm - Whistler Real Estate Company

4308 Main St #17, Whistler,

BC V0N 1B4

(604) 905-8833

 

Selling your home on your own will require research and legwork. Here, we'll share some tips that you might want to consider when pricing your home, including: Market, Comparable and experts.

Below are 3 things to consider when pricing your home:

Market

Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) -- If you're working with an agent, you will automatically get a CMA, which includes recent sales and days on the market. Even if you're not, you should contact three agents and get three CMAs to review. Agents are used to pulling CMAs for folks since they are viewed as potential clients, so don't be afraid to ask -- you have to get this right! Chances are an agent will not even need to step foot in your house. Once you give them your address, they can create a CMA from the comfort of their office, though they might want to see your house to fine-tune the CMA.

Put yourself in the Buyer's shoes and see what else you could get for the asking price of your home.  Often Sellers are too emotionally attached to their homes to objectively place a value on the property.  Once you start looking around to see else is selling for that price, you might have a better idea of how appealing your house is in the current market. Source: Zillow

Comparable

One of the most helpful tools when pricing a home for sale is "comparable," or prices that similar homes in the area sold for recently. This information is particularly important because if you price your home higher than other comparable houses in your neighborhood, it's going to stay on the market longer than a home that’s been priced in line with comparable.

When it comes to comparable (otherwise known as comps in the real estate industry), you'll want to find at least three houses in your neighborhood that are similar to yours in terms of square footage, condition and location. While many real estate agents rely on the Multiple Listing Service to get comps, homeowners can also find comps on real estate sites like Zillow.com and Realtor.com. The key when looking at comparable is to find homes that have already sold, not ones currently listed. Using completed sales gives you an accurate sense of what buyers are willing to pay for a home like yours. If you rely on current listing prices, you have no clue if the seller is underpricing or overpricing their home. Safe bet: go back as far as six months but not longer than that. The market can change a lot, even in half a year. Source: Investopedia

Experts

Ultimately, listen carefully to your agent’s pricing strategy. It’s their job to know what works and doesn’t. And as with any strategy, be prepared to have an ongoing discussion about pricing with your real estate agent.

Pricing a home isn’t a “set-and-forget” procedure. A lot of factors can come into play when selling or buying a home, and not all of them can be anticipated. If you can be flexible and react quickly to changing market conditions or new information, you’re more likely to get the best price with the least aggravation. Source:  Rd

Contact:

Rob Palm - Whistler Real Estate Company

4308 Main St #17, Whistler,

BC V0N 1B4

(604) 905-8833

 

Thinking about some best way to start saving for a home? These article will cover some tips to start saving to buy the home of your dreams.

Below are 3 Tips to start saving for a home:

Boost your Savings

Money bloggerKrysta  l Yeesaved for a home down payment in Vancouver, where home prices are high. She boosted her savings with multiple streams of income:

"I went about creating multiple streams of income, and did everything I could to make extra money. I've had two full-time jobs at the same time (a 3-month time frame). Took on graphic design contracts. Started freelance writing. Sold stuff on eBay. Worked for $8-10/hour at a part-time job for years. YEARS. The list goes on. Sometimes you have to do un-glamorous work in the short-term in order to achieve a big goal."

Also, consider areas of your budget that can be reduced. Rent is a big one. Consider a cheaper apartment. Maybe find a roommate. Source: Twocents.lifehacker

Cut out Expenses

Can you cut the cord on cable, get a cheaper cellphone plan, use the road for workouts rather than the treadmill at the high-priced gym? Nobody wants to say it out loud, but most people have plenty of places to skimp on or eliminate expenses. It won’t be convenient and you may miss not having them, but it’s necessary if you're serious about saving. Source: Investopedia

Check your Loan to Value Ratio

When thinking about how much to save, check your loan to value ratio (LVR). This is calculated by dividing the amount of your home loan by the purchase price (or appraised value) of the property.

Lenders use your LVR to gauge how risky it would be to give you a loan. 

In general, the higher your LVR, the higher the risk the lender will not be repaid if you default on the loan and they have to sell the property. Having a high LVR may also affect your ability to refinance your loan later on, and you may have to pay mortgage insurance again if the LVR on the new loan is high.

Usually lender's mortgage insurance (LMI) is payable if your LVR is above 80%. This is a one-off insurance premium to protect the lender should you default on your home loan.                       Source: MoneySmart

Contact:

Rob Palm - Whistler Real Estate Company

4308 Main St #17, Whistler,

BC V0N 1B4

 

(604) 905-8833

Real estate investments can take on different benefits that make investing significantly profitable, including: tax benefits, cash flow from rental income, more value for sale and appreciation.

Here are the 4 benefits of real estate investments:

Tax Benefits

Let me ask you a quick question: if you earn $100,000 at your own business and I earn $100,000 through rental properties, who gets to keep more?

That’s right: I do. Because the government rewards rental property owners.

Not only is the cash flow received from your rentals not subject to self-employment tax, the government offers tax benefits including depreciation and significantly lower tax-rates for long-term profits. Source: Entrepreneur

Cash Flow from Rental Income

Rental properties when purchased correctly generate significant cash flow.  If purchased with 100% cash then the cash flow is going to approximate the cap rate and that rate tends to run between 5-10% depending on the type of property and where we are in the real estate cycle.  Currently many properties are able to produce numbers near the high end of that range or even above it.  These are very strong numbers.  Remember that this doesn’t count the appreciation of the property.  This is just cash that you put into your pocket every year; cash that is not all taxable due to deprecation; cash that will be generated reliably year after year with no significant reduction, but slow consistent increases. Source: FreeMoneyFinance

More Value at Sale

While it's providing rental income cash flow, your property can also be improved in order to garner a better price and more profit when you do choose to liquidate it as an investment.

Upgrades to the appearance and functionality of a real estate investment property can significantly increase value. As trends and styles change, keeping the property interesting to renters will at the very least help you to retain value. Source: RealEstate.about.com

Appreciation

We learned recently that real estate prices do not always go up.  In fact many got burned.  But over the long term, real estate is going to appreciate and go up in value.  Prices will eventually rebound, perhaps not quite as feverish as they were before, but with QE1, QE2, QE3, QE Infinity, prices are bound to go back up in time.  You can ride this wave by owning real estate.  Plus, as a hard and tangible asset, real estate tends to protect the investor from the consequences of all of that inflating of the money supply. Source: BiggerPockets

Contact:

Rob Palm - Whistler Real Estate Company
4308 Main St #17, Whistler,

 

BC V0N 1B4
(604) 905-8833

Buying a home is a big financial commitment. Knowing the right time to purchase your dream house is an important part of the process. But before you make your choice, there are some important things to consider before buying a home, such as: making list of item to check, considering the cost, hiring a real estate agent and arranging mortgage.

Below are 4 tips to consider before buying a home:

Making a List of Items to Check

Home-buying is an emotional process. Ideally, you should set aside all your emotions when evaluating a house. Practically, that is impossible. Instead, make a checklist of your must-haves, nice-to-haves and other essentials. Then print copies of this checklist. Every time you visit a house, take the checklist along with you; take photographs so you can cross each item off your list. If you fall in love with the house and your checklist shows that the house has none of your must-haves, it will at least make you pause and think. Source: FoxBusiness

Considering the Cost

In today’s housing market, we’re seeing monthly mortgage payments rival monthly rents in some cities. While this may be the case in your area, keep in mind that securing the “start-up” costs of homeownership is the biggest challenge.

Do I have enough cash? Buying property requires a large amount of cash upfront to cover closing costs and a down payment, which ranges from 3 percent for a government loan from the Federal Housing Administration to 20 percent for a conventional loan. That’s a lot of cash to fork up. Can you handle it? Will you have enough cash on reserve for emergencies, like an accident or job loss? Source: HGTV

Hiring a Real Estate Agent

real estate agent will help you locate homes that meet your needs and are in your price range, then meet with you to view those homes. Once you've chosen a home to buy, these professionals can assist you in negotiating the entire purchase process, including making an offer, getting a loan, and completing paperwork. A good real estate agent's expertise can protect you from any pitfalls you might encounter during the process. Source: Investopedia

Arranging a Mortgage

Few lenders offer actual mortgages if you've no property in place - they offer a ‘mortgage in principle' (MIP). This provisionally lets you know how much you can borrow, subject to finding a suitable property in a specified time.

Proof of your deposit and MIP can give you a big advantage when putting in an offer. It may mean a credit check, though one mark on your file isn't too big a deal (see the Credit Rating guide). It's best to talk to a decent mortgage broker who'll often be able to help give an idea of what you can borrow.

Do bear in mind MIPs give absolutely no guarantees - they are subject to valuation. Mortgage rates shift daily, so always check whether a better deal's become available.                                Source: MoneySavingExpert

Contact:

Rob Palm - Whistler Real Estate Company
4308 Main St #17, Whistler,

 

BC V0N 1B4
(604) 905-8833

Having a hard time deciding which mortgage is right for you? Going through the process of finding a mortgage can be confusing. Check out these tips that may help you in finding a mortgage that can work with your needs.

Below are 3 tips for finding the right mortgage for you:

Research

No matter how you hear about a lender- whether from a family member or a website- it is imperative to do a background check. If you can get names of past clients, make sure you speak with them. Check online reviews and don’t hesitate to bring up any questions you have with a potential lender. Learning as much as possible about who you might be dealing with can save you a number of headaches later on.

Shopping around for the right mortgage lender can be daunting. There are numerous lenders available and more seem to be popping up online daily, so it’s hard to tell right away which the best mortgage companies are. To find the right lender, it’s important to know what you’re looking for and to do as much research as possible. Source: SmartAsset

Consult a Mortgage Adviser

A mortgage adviser, also known as an independent mortgage broker, is a specialist with in-depth knowledge of the market.

Mortgage brokers might charge you for their service depending on the product you choose or the value of the mortgage. Others will be free to you but they’ll receive commission from the lender.

All mortgage advisers must offer you advice when recommending the most suitable mortgage for you. This means you are protected and you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman if things go wrong. Source: MoneyAdviceService

Know the Type of Mortgage you Want

Now you're ready to get a mortgage, you need to go about it the right way. There are several things you need to do before you're ready to check out deals:

  • Have you decided whether you want a repayment or interest-only mortgage?
  • Decide if you're going for a fixed or variable rate mortgage?
  • Make sure you've got enough cash for any associated fees
  • Put as much towards your deposit/equity as you can...especially if you're close to an LTV-rate boundary

If you've done all this, you're ready to follow the steps below to find the best mortgage for you. Remember that even if you've got an agreement in principle with a lender, you don't have to stick with it - especially if it is no longer offering the best deal. Source: MoneySavingExpert

Hopefully these tips may be able assist you in starting a mortgage and if you are thinking of finding good mortgage broker, contact us now.

Contact:

Rob Palm - Whistler Real Estate Company
4308 Main St #17, Whistler,

 

BC V0N 1B4
(604) 905-8833

 

Listing your property for sale can be both exciting and terrifying. Luckily, we’ll share some essential tips that can help make a big impact on your property’s attractiveness.

Below are 3 tips for selling your home:

Make Upgrades

The vast majority of buyers make a purchase offer that’s contingent upon receiving a satisfactory report from a certified home inspector. Why? Well, most home lenders require it, and also may require additional inspections--such as a termite report--depending on the state where you live.

If you don’t address needed repairs, you risk a potential buyer walking away when problems turn up on a home inspector’s report. Depending on the wording of your contract, the buyer could walk away, or require you to complete the necessary repairs within a certain period of time, in order to go through with the purchase. Source: QuickAndDirtytips

Price Your Property Competitively

Sellers often think they should start the asking price high and then lower it later if the house fails to sell. But that can result in a slower sale – sometimes even at a lower price. “The first 30 days’ activity of your house being on the market is always the best activity you’re going to see,” says Michael Mahon, general manager of HER Realtors in Columbus, Ohio. If the price is too high, many buyers and their agents will stay away, assuming you’re not serious about selling or you’re unwilling to negotiate. Source: Money.USNews

Audit your Agent’s Online Marketing

 92% of homebuyers start their house hunt online, and they will never even get in the car to come see your home if the online listings aren’t compelling. In real estate, compelling means pictures! A study by Trulia.com shows that listings with more than 6 pictures are twice as likely to be viewed by buyers as listings that had fewer than 6 pictures. Source: RD

With the correct approach and a little work, you can sell your home in record time. If you want to know more about home selling, please give us a call or contact us here.

Contact:

Rob Palm - Whistler Real Estate Company
4308 Main St #17, Whistler,

 

BC V0N 1B4
(604) 905-8833

Whistler Blackcomb opening day - Rob Palm Whistler Real Estate Company

 

This lucky rider had a good reason to be wearing such a large grin. Not only was he first out of the gate on an early opening day for Whistler mountain, but it was an absolutely gorgeous bluebird day. This may not be the largest snow base we've had for an opener, but the conditions were spectacular nonetheless, thanks to the excellent work of Whistler Blackcomb's snowmaking and grooming teams. Nothing but big toothy grins to be seen wandering through the village this weekend.


Whistler mountain - Rob Palm Whistler Real Estate Company

 

It's looking like Saturday and Sunday are shaping up to be as beautiful as Thursday and Friday have been. Even though summers here have grown to the point where there's more to do than in the winter, it's weekends like this that remind me why I decided to make Whistler my home -- those many moons ago. (Weekends like this may also be why the Whistler market is booming right now.) There's just something to being back on top of a mountain with the sun shining bright on freshly groomed trails as you scan over a stunning mountain vista. When you live here you truly appreciate the fact that it never gets old. After all these years it still brings a smile to my face.

Here's a nice little video that Whistler Blackcomb put together to convey the mounting excitement and joy that comes with opening day. 




Whistler Blackcomb

Photo Credit:  Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler

For the second year in a row, and the third time in the past four years, SKI Magzine's annual ready survey has rated Whistler the Number One overall resort in North America!  

Together with Whistler Blackcomb mountains and the resort town, Whistler topped the charts in areas of variety of terran (#1), apres(#1), off-hill activities (#1) and terrain parks (#1); and acheived second highest points(#2) in the areas of lodging, lifts, scenery and overall satisfaction.  

SKI Magazine's award is the most comprehensive of it's kind, ranking 50 of the top resorts in North America, and recognizing all aspects of a ski destination's offerings, from on-mountain to resort-wide categories.

We're thrilled that our guests have chosen to rate Whistler at the top!! 

21 Arrowhead Point, Whistler Blackcomb21 Arrowhead Point-Whistler Blackcomb21 Arrowhead Point-Whistler Blackcomb21 Arrowhead Point-Whistler Blackcomb

A rare opportunity to own a 2 bedroom, southwest facing corner townhome in Arrowhead Point on Blackcomb!  This quiet, bright spacious, single level townhome with a forested outlook is a perfect weekend Whistler getaway.  Heated hardwood and tile floors, granite counters, vaulted ceilings and upgraded baths are just some of the great features fo thsi property.  Ski-in/ski-out access to Whistler/Blackcomb is just across the cul de sac.  Enjoy quiet moments on the generous deck.  Flexible zoning allow for nightly rentals and unlmited owner use.   This property comes partially furnished and GST is not applicable.

For more detailed images and information visit 4890-21 Painted Cliff Rd

9143-Exterior-29143-Living-A9143-Living-Dining9143-Bedroom-1

This is one of the most livable cabins in Whistler at the price! With a park-like setting encompassing mature trees, this  charming 4 bedroom cabin salutes Whistler’s past and offers potential for further updates. The sloping 12,600 square foot lot allows for a 3500 square foot home. For more info visit 9143 Emearld Drive

Rob Palm

T: 604 905 2860 | F: 604 932 1279 | E: rob@wrec.com
#17-4308 Main Street, Whistler, BC, V0N 1B4