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Monday, March 5, 2018

Let's TALK BC Housing Affordability!

Let's TALK BC Housing Affordability!

BC Housing affordability: the government says they're concerned about affordability. On a $500,000 purchase a buyer needs a minimum down payment of $25,000 to satisfy a bank. But the BC government wants an additional whopping $8,000 for property transfer tax.
Who's hurting the buyers?? Isn't the BC GOVERNMENT part of the problem? Why don't they ELIMINATE the massive cash grab that's hurting housing affordability??

The Real Estate Team
RE/MAX Aldercenter Realty
26641 Fraser Hwy, Aldergrove, BC, V4W 3L1
Office: 604-743-7653

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Fraser Valley REALTORS Donate $25,000

FVREB logo

Food banks receive $25,000 from Fraser Valley REALTORS®

Surrey, BC - On behalf of Fraser Valley’s 3,500-plus REALTORS®, the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) has donated a total of $25,000 to seven food banks across its regional area.
“Fraser Valley Realtors are honoured to once again support our local food banks,” said Gopal Sahota, President of the FVREB. “Through their ongoing efforts, these seven organizations provide incalculable support to families and individuals in our communities.”
This is the seventh year Fraser Valley Realtors have donated to local food banks. In that time, a total amount of $157,500 has been distributed throughout the region.
As in previous years, the donation is divided proportionately based on the number of Realtors represented in each community. $10,500 will go to the Surrey Food Bank; $2,500 to the Sources Langley Food Bank and another $2,500 to the Langley Food Bank; $5,250 to Sources White Rock South Surrey Food Bank; $750 to the North Delta Chapter of the Surrey Food Bank; $3,000 to the Abbotsford Food Bank; and $500 to St. Joseph’s Food Bank in Mission.
Feezah Jaffer, Executive Director at the Surrey Food Bank, received the FVREB’s cheque on behalf of Surrey.
“The Surrey Food Bank is very grateful to the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board for supporting us and other local food banks throughout the region. This continued generosity is a wonderful example of how community supporters can connect with local organizations for the benefit of our low income neighbours who are struggling to feed their families and face life's greatest challenges.”
“Thank you to the 3500-plus Realtors in the Fraser Valley for making an impact on your community with your generous donations.”

British Columbia’s food banks support over 100,000 people every year; please consider supporting the food bank organization in your community. For more information about all FVREB community giving initiatives, go to

The Real Estate Team
RE/MAX Aldercenter
26641 Fraser Hwy
Aldergrove, BC, V4W 3L1

*Article courtesy of FVREB Communications from the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

How to buy a home without stress – despite the mortgage stress test!

We’re officially a month into 2018, and one full month into the latest mortgage stress test. Are you feeling the pinch? With the Bank of Canada’s latest interest rate hike, and more increases rumoured for 2018, if you’re looking to buy a home and sweating a bit about budget, you’re not alone.
But let’s take a step back and look at the stress test from a different perspective.
Why was the stress test introduced? Concerns are mounting about the amount of household debt Canadians have been taking on. With interest rates hitting a record low, many stretched their home-buying budget (and mortgage amount!) to the max – particularly in Canada’s priciest housing markets, such as Greater Toronto and Vancouver.
Those who bought homes or renewed mortgages in the last decade have been treated to historically low interest rates, but as we all know, what goes down must come up (or something to that effect). And as we saw twice in 2017 and already once in 2018, interest rates are creeping up.
Check out this brief video of quick Facts!

A little background

The stress test was put into play to ensure Canadians will be able to service their mortgage debt in the face of rising interest rates. The new mortgage stress test requires that mortgage borrowers qualify against the Bank of Canada’s five-year benchmark rate (as of January 17 it’s 5.14 per cent), or at their contractual mortgage rate plus two per cent – whichever is greater.
Important to note: This applies to insured and uninsured borrowers.
This doesn’t mean you can’t afford to buy a home. It just means some homebuyers will have to reframe their thoughts and plans in order to get their foot in the door.

Same plan, new approach

You’ve decided that home ownership is for you. The new mortgage rules will require a strategy shift, but ultimately, your goal hasn’t changed. You’ve got some options.

1. Lower your budget, expand your search

Our Housing Market Outlook identified two notable real estate trends that are expected to continue through 2018: a rise in condo living, and an increase in “move-over” buyers.
Condos offer affordability by design – their compact size comes with a smaller price tag. Shared amenities mean you’ll have to pay condo fees, but at a lower price than you’d pay in a freehold home. And oftentimes condos are located on or near transit hubs that allow you to get by without owning a car.
If you’re not willing to compromise on square footage, then you could be a “move-over” buyer on a suburban trajectory. Living in the suburbs or even in a neighbouring city often means longer commutes to work, family and friends, shopping and daily errands. But for those who want the extra bedroom, a backyard and perhaps a pool, it could be worth the trade-off.

2. Increase your funds

First of all, let’s look at the money you may already have. Have you been contributing to an RRSP? Aside from the tax benefits of doing so, the first-time Home Buyers’ Plan lets you borrow up to $25,000 from your RRSP to put toward the purchase of a home. If you’re buying a home with a spouse or someone else who qualifies as a first-time buyer, they can also borrow $25,000 for a total of $50,000!
Keep in mind that the HBP is essentially an interest-free loan from your retirement fund. Beginning the second year after your withdrawal, you’ll need to start re-funding your RRSP with the amount you borrowed. You’ll have 15 years to repay and if you don’t, you will be taxed.
Now, let’s look at the money you don’t have, but could have with some careful planning and self-control. Assuming you are employed (and for most of us, there’s no way around this one), set aside as much as possible from every paycheque into a high-interest savings account, a Tax Free Savings Account or another low-risk investment vehicle. The amount you can realistically save will depend on factors like your income, regular bills, debt payments and lifestyle. Some of these you can’t control while others you can.
Admittedly, the saving process takes time, but this is nothing new. With time, willpower and a plan, home ownership is within your reach.

The Real Estate Team

Your Best Fraser Valley Real Estate Choice - CALL US TODAY! 

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

End of 2017 Fraser Valley Housing Stats!

FVREB Market Data: December 2017 and year-end

The Fraser Valley housing market had its second highest selling year on record in 2017, with total MLS® transactions and dollar volume sold behind only 2016’s unprecedented level of activity.
The Board’s MLS® processed 22,338 sales in 2017, 7.3 per cent less than the record of 23,974 sales set in 2016. The total dollar volume of MLS® sales was $15.7 billion, coming out slightly beneath 2016’s record-setting total dollar volume of $16.2 billion.
Of the total transactions for the year, 5,198 were townhouses sold and 6,183 were apartments, together representing over half of overall market activity for the region. This was also the highest total annual sales for apartments in the Board’s history.
“Much of the market’s momentum through 2017 came from the incredible shift in demand to attached-style homes, particularly in our larger communities,” remarked Gopal Sahota, President of the Board.
“While prices continued to see slight gains month-to-month, a lot of our attached inventory remained affordable and an excellent option for consumers of all types.”
For inventory, a total of 32,651 new listings were received by the Board’s MLS® system, the third highest in the Board’s history after 2016 (34,768) and 2008 (35,651).
Last month the Board processed 1,344 sales, the second-most transactions for a December on record in the Fraser Valley. December inventory finished at 3,818 active units, with a total of 1,277 new listings entering the market throughout the month.
Sahota adds, “All year, supply levels remained below where we’d like them to be, and that has put a tight grip on inventory and pressure on the pace of the market. This is still a challenging market for many consumers.
HPI® Benchmark Price Activity
  • Single Family Detached: At $976,400, the Benchmark price for a single family detached home in the Valley increased 0.4 per cent compared to November 2017, and increased 14.2 per cent compared to December 2016.
  • Townhomes: At $513,100, the Benchmark price for a townhouse in the Valley increased 1.5 per cent compared to November 2017, and increased 23 per cent compared to December 2016.
  • Apartments: At $388,600, the Benchmark price for an apartment in the Valley increased 3.2 per cent compared to November 2017, and increased 40.5 per cent compared to December 2016.

For the full stats package click here:

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The Gelderman Team
RE/MAX Aldercenter
26641 Fraser Hwy                                                                 
Aldergrove, BC, V4W 3L1
Office: 604-743-7651