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Not-So-Obvious Reasons to Meet with a REALTOR®

June 11th, 2016 by Jim Perks

When is the best time to meet with a REALTOR® like me? Chances are,
you would say, “When I’m thinking of buying or selling a home.” You’d be
right, of course!
However, there are many other good reasons to meet with me. Here are just
a few:
• You want a professional opinion as to the current value of your
property, so you know what it would likely sell for in today’s market.
• You notice a home listed for sale in a desirable neighbourhood, and
you’re interested in learning more — even if you’re unsure you want
to make a move.
• You’re thinking of moving within the next couple of years, and you
want to find a REALTOR® like me, that you can get to know and
• You want some recommendations for preparing your home for sale
and especially determining what repairs and other work needs to be
• You want an honest assessment as to the state of the local market,
and the best time for you to buy or sell.
• You have real estate-related questions and you want to talk to an
expert who knows the local market well and can provide you with
As you can see, there’s a lot of value you can get from talking to me as your
REALTOR®. Call today.

Buying Up in a Buyers Market

March 11th, 2016 by Jim Perks

Buying Up: Selling a home of lower value and purchasing a home of higher value or selling a smaller home and buying a larger home.

There are many reasons why people “buy up”, the most common of which is a growing or aging family that requires more space to live. This scenario occurs for thousands of families every year in Calgary and continues to happen no matter what type of real estate market exists. According to the National Association of REALTORS ® a typical family changes homes, on average, every five to seven years.

Buyers’ Market: A market in which there are significantly more sellers than buyers giving the negotiating advantage to the buyer. Normally, prices decline in a buyer’s market. Calgary is currently in a Buyers’ Market. In a typical buyers’ market, homes with higher values tend to decrease in price by a greater dollar value over a given time period.

Community A has a typical home selling for $650,000 in March of 2015 and in March of 2016 the same home has dropped in value by about 5% to $618,000. Community B, on the other hand has a typical home selling for $425,000 in March of 2015 and $422,000 in March of 2016. This is very comparable to what is currently happening in communities around Calgary in today’s buyers’ market.

Let’s say community A could be a house in Hamptons and Community B may be a house in MacEwan Glen.
A family in MacEwan has decided to move to the Hamptons to a bigger house. Had they made the move to that house in March, 2015, they would have sold their MacEwan house for $425,000 and purchased the Hamptons house for $650,000. The difference in price would have been $225,000.
Now let’s look at the same purchase in March, 2016. The MacEwan family is selling their house for $422,000 and buying the Hamptons house for $618,000. The difference in price is now $196,000. Even after accepting the lower price on the sale of their MacEwan house, there was a $29,000 difference in their favour on the purchase. Add $12,000 in interest that will not be paid on that amount over the 25 years of the mortgage and the MacEwan family saves $41,000 through buying up in this buyers’ market.

For more ways to save money in the current market, contact me directly.

What Home Inspectors See that You Can’t

February 3rd, 2016 by Jim Perks

When you make an offer on a home, it’s a smart idea to have a professional
home inspector check it out from top to bottom. This inspection will ensure
that the property doesn’t have any unexpected “issues”. After all, you don’t
want to buy a home only to discover that the roof needs to be replaced,
immediately, for thousands of dollars.

That being said, you might question whether you really need to invest the
few hundred dollars it costs for a professional home inspection. “The home
we want to buy looks like it’s in very good shape,” you might be thinking. “I
can’t see anything wrong with it.”

However, a professional home inspector can see things you can’t. When
you view a property that’s on the market, you might be able to notice
obvious issues, like a crack in the foundation or a dripping faucet. If you’re
experienced with home maintenance, you might even notice roofing tiles
that look like they’re overdue for replacement.

But you won’t pick up all the issues a home inspector can.
A home inspector will, for example, use a special device to check for
moisture build-up in the washrooms – which can be an indication of mould.
He or she will also inspect wiring to make sure everything is safe and
compliant with the building code.

That’s not all.
Like a determined detective, a home inspector will investigate the property’s
structure, electrical and plumbing systems, insulation, and other
components — and then report the findings to you.
In the end, a professional home inspection gives you peace-of-mind and
protects your investment. So getting one is highly recommended — even for
recently built homes.
A good REALTOR® can recommend a trusted home inspector for you.
Looking for more ideas on making smart decisions when buying a home?
Call today.

When Is the Right Time to Talk to a REALTOR®?

November 16th, 2015 by Jim Perks

When would you talk to a car salesperson? Probably only once you’re ready
to buy a new car. You would do some initial research (perhaps on the
internet), get an idea of what you want, and then go to the dealership to
meet a salesperson, test drive the car and make the purchase.
Although that approach may work when you’re buying a car, it’s not the best
approach when it comes to real estate.
You see, successfully buying or selling a home requires a lot of planning
and legwork. You want the process to go smoothly, the right decisions to be
made, and the best possible deal to be negotiated.
After all, this is the purchase and/or sale of your home!
So, the best time to talk to a REALTOR® is as early in the process as
In fact, even if you’re just thinking of buying or selling — and simply want to
explore the possibility of making a move sometime this year — you should
have a conversation with a good REALTOR®.
A REALTOR® will answer your questions, provide you with the information
and insights you need, help you avoid costly mistakes, and make sure
you’re heading in the right direction.
When you are ready to buy or sell, having worked with a REALTOR® early
in the process will help ensure you get what you want.
So talk to a good REALTOR® when:
• You have a question about the local market.
• You want to know what your home might sell for today.
• You’re interested in checking out homes currently available on the market.
• You’re in the midst of deciding whether or not to make a move.
• You’ve decided to buy or sell.

What Buyers Don’t Want to See in Your Backyard

October 28th, 2015 by Jim Perks

When you put your home up for sale, you want it to look its best to potential
buyers. That’s why you clean, tidy and de-clutter every room.
Some sellers, however, miss the backyard. You need to pay just as much
attention to that space as you do to the interior of your home. The backyard
is as important a living space as the family room. To some buyers, even
Buyers want to see an attractive backyard space, with the grass cut and the
hedges trimmed. The more neat and tidy you can make it, the better. Be
sure to sweep walkways and wipe down patio furniture.
Also, watch out for the following things that buyers do not want to see:
• Bags of garage and other waste.
• Doggie do-do. (Be sure to stoop and scoop!)
• Rakes and other tools piled in the corner.
• Cluttered and disorganized storage sheds, pool huts and other
backyard structures.
• Weeds in the flower beds.
• Items stored underneath the deck.
• Hoses not stowed neatly.
• Electrical outlets and water faucets that don’t work.
These are not difficult issues to fix. Doing so will positively impact the
impression the buyer gets of your backyard.
Do you have a backyard that shows particularly well in the summer? Here’s
a tip: Take pictures. Those photos will help buyers be able to appreciate
how it looks should you list your home in the winter.
Want more tips on making your home show well so that it sells fast? Call

Discovering that a home you like has “issues”

August 24th, 2015 by Jim Perks

Say you’re viewing a home and are impressed with how it looks. The walls are freshly painted. Everything seems bright and new. You’re considering making an offer.

Then, while standing on a mat in the kitchen, you hear a squeak below your feet. You lift the mat and see that some tiles are broken. Obviously the mat was there to, literally, cover up that defect.

A few broken tiles are not a big deal. But now you’re thinking, “What else might be wrong with this house?”

There’s no reason to worry that every home will have maintenance issues hidden from view. However, it’s smart to do your due diligence to ensure the home you’re considering is truly as good as it looks.

One way is to have a professional home inspector check out the property as a condition of your purchase offer. He or she will inspect the home from top to bottom, inside and out, and point out any issues you should address.

It’s also smart to ask questions. Find out the age of certain features, such as the roof, furnace, and appliances. Ask about any recent renovations, and determine whether they were done by a professional or by the homeowner.

Most importantly, work with a good REALTOR® who can provide you with information on the property that you would have difficulty getting on your own. Your REALTOR® has a stake in making sure you buy a home with your eyes wide open — knowing all the potential maintenance issues you’re likely to encounter.

Want to talk to a good REALTOR®? Call today.

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

June 17th, 2015 by Jim Perks

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

Upgrades That Hold Their Value

May 29th, 2015 by Jim Perks

Do you have a renovation project in mind – and wonder how much value it
will add to your home? Remodeling Magazine recently did a study of
renovation projects, comparing costs to added value. Here are some of the
Replacing a main entry door has a return on investment of over 95%. After
all, the entrance to a home is one of the first things a prospective buyer
Adding a new deck also adds a lot of value. Depending on the materials
used, you can expect to get back three-quarters of the money invested.
Another high-payback project is the garage door. This once again
demonstrates the importance of a home’s “curb appeal.”
If you’re tackling a big project, such as a basement renovation, you’ll be
glad to know that, according to the study, a project like this adds a lot of
Finally, minor improvements to bathrooms and kitchens – such as adding
new countertops or cupboards, can also be good investments that mostly
pay back when you sell your home.
Of course, these figures are averages and can vary widely depending on
location, type of property, and other factors.
Need help determining how a particular home improvement might impact
the selling price? Call today.

Deciding on the Discretionary Move

February 16th, 2015 by Jim Perks

Sometimes we don’t have much choice about selling our home and buying
another. Circumstances, such as a job relocation, may have made that
choice for us, However;  most often the decision to move is discretionary.

Sometimes people move simply because they think it’s a good idea. They feel that
“now” is the right time to find their next dream home.

So how do you make that kind of decision?

There are, of course, many reasons to make a discretionary move. Usually,
those reasons fall into one of two categories: need and want.
You may need to find a new home, for example, because you’ve outgrown
your current property. Perhaps you have a growing family and require more
space. Maybe you’re doing more entertaining and need a larger backyard
with a more spacious deck. It could be that the commute to work is arduous
and you need to move to a place that’s closer.

Those “needs” may motivate you to move, but sometimes a “want” plays an
important role, too. For example, you may want to live in a quieter neighbourhood or in a newly
built home that requires less maintenance. Maybe you simply want a

If you’re thinking of making a move, take a moment to write down a list of
your needs and wants. Seeing them on paper will help make the decision
Looking for expert help? Call today.

Why A Pre-Sale Inspection?

January 29th, 2015 by Jim Perks

Your home probably has dozens of great features that are going to help it stand out and sell faster. Perhaps it has a cozy sunken living room? Or an equipped and smartly decorated kitchen that Rachel Ray would envy? Or a location in a desirable neighbourhood?

All these things will help.

But there’s another selling feature you should consider adding: a pre-sale inspection.

A professional home inspection is usually done on behalf of the buyer before the deal to purchase a property is finalized. In fact, you can expect any offers to purchase your home to be “conditional upon satisfactory home inspection.” However, there are two good reasons why you, as the seller, should get the home inspection done:

Reason #1

A professional inspection can identify problems that might otherwise thwart the sale.

Say, for example, you get a great offer but the buyer’s home inspector discovers a minor leak in the foundation. That might be enough to jeopardize the deal. However, if you had a professional inspection done, you would have had the opportunity to get that problem fixed in advance of the offer.

Reason #2

Informing potential buyers that a professional inspection has been done is a great selling feature. It demonstrates to buyers that there are no hidden problems with the property, which gives them more confidence to make an offer.

A certificate of home inspection can be as enticing a feature to home buyers as a wrap-around deck!

Need more ideas for selling your home faster and for a better price? Call today.

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