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The Gray Team REALTORS® Are Here For You

When you're buying a home, there are a lot of things to think about. One important decision is whether or not to use a REALTOR®. If you're wondering what a REALTOR® is and what they do, you're not alone. Here are some of the most common questions about REALTORS®.

What’s the difference between a real estate agent and a REALTOR®?

“REALTOR®” and “real estate agent” are not interchangeable, although some real estate agents might like them to be. The term REALTOR® is a registered certification mark that identifies the quality of services rendered by licensed real estate agents who are members of The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). All real estate agents are not REALTORS®, but all REALTOR® members are real estate agents. REALTOR® members are committed to a strict code of ethics known as the REALTOR® Code and are the only ones who have the right to list your property on the MLS® Systems of their local real estate boards. To correctly be referred to as a REALTOR®, a real estate agent must be a member of CREA.

How do I figure out what mortgage I can afford?

Determining the mortgage you can carry is based on a relatively simple calculation of loan amount, down payment, interest rate and amortization period.
A good rule of thumb when figuring your monthly housing cost is that it should not exceed 32% of your gross monthly family income or 40% of your gross monthly income.

What questions should I ask when looking for a REALTOR®?

Here are 10 smart questions to ask. But remember, this is just a starting point. Your REALTOR® should be willing to answer any questions you have. After all, that’s why you hire the pros.

1. How long have you been in the business?
2. What is your average list-to-sales-price ratio?
3. How will your marketing plan meet my needs?
4. Will you provide references?
5. What separates you from your competition?
6. May I review the documents that I will be asked to sign?
7. Can you help me find other professionals?
8. How much do you charge?
9. What if I’m unhappy with the service?
10. What haven’t I asked you that I need to know?

For more elaboration on each of these questions, visit our 10 questions to ask when hiring a REALTOR® tool.

Why should I hire a REALTOR®?

You’re trusting a REALTOR® with your most valuable possession, your home. REALTORS® takes this responsibility very seriously. Here’s what we promise you:

1. Your REALTOR® is a trained professional 
REALTORS® takes extensive pre-licensing courses in order to obtain credentials for practicing in real estate.

2. Your REALTOR® is continuously trained 
REALTORS® keep pace with the times by taking continuing education courses to upgrade their knowledge on a broad range of real estate-related issues in order to be able to continue to provide consumers with current advice.

3. Your REALTOR® does everything by the book 
A REALTOR® must be registered under provincial laws that govern exactly how real estate can and cannot be traded. These regulations are your legal guarantee of professional behaviour.

4. Your REALTOR® is an ethical businessperson 
REALTORS® must adhere to the extensive Code of Ethics of the Canadian Real Estate Association. Several provinces have additional codes of ethics governing real estate professionals. Your interests must always be put first.

5. Opportunity for recourse 
Should you have concerns about the professional behaviour of a REALTOR®, provincial regulators and your local real estate board or association take these matters very seriously and work quickly to resolve any issues.

6. Your REALTOR® has access to a local Board’s MLS® System 
A Board’s MLS® system is the single most powerful tool for buying and selling a home. Your REALTOR® can provide you with exclusive features of the Board’s MLS® System, such as immediate notification when new properties are listed. You don’t have to wait for it to be posted on a website.

What should I expect when I enlist the help of a REALTOR® to sell my house?

REALTORS® help you get the most for your home and they remove stress and confusion from the process. Here are just some of the advantages.

Your REALTOR® becomes your home’s champion
When you sign a “Listing Agreement” with your REALTOR®, this is their promise that he or she will use all their skills and resources to get the most for your home.

REALTORS® know how to attract the most potential buyers
Your REALTOR® is an expert home promoter, connected to a network of agents and their buyers. He or she knows how to write compelling ads for your home, and only REALTORS® can place your home on a Board’s MLS® System.

REALTORS® will help you increase your homes “sale-ability”
You probably have an emotional attachment to your home, and therefore can’t view it objectively. Your REALTOR® will help you present your home in the best light, so buyers will fall in love with it more easily.

Market Knowledge – to help you get the most for your home
REALTORS® are masters of reading the market and pricing your home for maximum return. A REALTOR®‘s experience literally pays!

Negotiation Skills – to keep the deal on track
REALTORS® are indispensable when it comes to bargaining with buyers. Tempers can flare and heels can dig in. Your REALTOR® is an expert at smoothing things out.

Do I really need a REALTOR® to sell my home?

Many people who try to sell their own home end up using a REALTOR® in the end anyway. Before anybody decides to fly solo through this complex, time-consuming and financially perilous process, they should consider these questions.

Will I really “save” the real estate commission if I don't hire a REALTOR®?

When buyers see a home for sale ‘by the owner’, they see a bargain. They imagine the REALTOR®‘s fee going into their pocket, not yours.

We Care For Our Community

A quality that successful real estate professionals share is community involvement. RE/MAX Associates in particular are mindful of the impact they make locally, not just in real estate but as caring citizens. Over the years, our Associates have distinguished themselves as stewards for the betterment of their communities, concerned not only with contribution to their communities but also with the outcome of the contribution. These qualities – known as RE/MAX Premier Community Citizenship – are a dynamic part of the RE/MAX organization.

For example, RE/MAX Associates have always been among the leaders in their communities, devoting time and dollars to countless charities and local causes. Committed to their own personal charities, RE/MAX Associates and offices contribute tens of millions of dollars annually to their respective communities.

At the network level, RE/MAX sponsorship of the Children’s Miracle Network and its affiliated hospitals is a prime example of RE/MAX community citizenship. One of Children’s Miracle Network’s largest corporate partners, the RE/MAX network in Canada has raised over $18 million for the charity since 1992. The hallmark of Children’s Miracle Network is that 100% of every dollar raised in a community stays there to help children in need who are served by participating hospitals in the local area. For further information about the RE/MAX and Children’s Miracle Network affiliation please contact Helga Wendt, Manager, Regional Administration, at RE/MAX of Western Canada ([email protected]) or link to www.cmncan.ca.

As well, RE/MAX of Western Canada created the “Quest for Excellence Program”. This bursary program was established to recognize the success and on-going pursuits of Western Canadian students. A “Quest for Excellence” involves any student in Grade 12 who demonstrates great feeling and passion, commitment and dedication, positive attitude and enthusiasm for the subject chosen. RE/MAX presents 24 bursaries of $500 each regionally. The categories are Leadership, Sports, Technology and Trades, Fine Arts, Performing Arts and Community Service. RE/MAX is proud to recognize students, in the very communities in which we live and work, for their outstanding achievements. Education is the building block of our future and if the children we hear from every day are any indication, our future has never been brighter. For further information or to apply for the Quest for Excellence scholarship, please contact the Advertising Department, RE/MAX of Western Canada at 1-800-563-3622 or email [email protected]emax.ca.

RE/MAX is committed to helping raise awareness of the ongoing need for organ donation. GiveLife assists Canadians in making informed decisions regarding organ, tissue and bone marrow donation. The GiveLife site provides some national information regarding organ and tissue donation, but more importantly, acts as a portal to the many provincial organizations that are mandated to oversee organ and tissue donation programs across the country. To find out more information on how to register to be an organ donor, please visit their website www.givelife.ca

Why Get a Home Inspection?

There are a number of reasons why RE/MAX recommends a home inspection including:

When Should You Call?

Order the inspection after your offer has been accepted. The contract will stipulate the length of time you have to complete the inspection.

What Is Involved?

The home inspection will determine the structural and mechanical soundness of the home. Your home inspector can identify existing and potential problem areas, suggest possible solutions and provide estimates for the cost of the work required. You will receive a report outlining the inspection findings. You should accompany the home inspector during the inspection or arrange to meet them at the home so they can walk you through the report. If as a result of the inspection, you have further concerns, have a specialist in that area conduct a more extensive examination.

What Does It Cost?

Costs vary depending on a number of factors including size and location of the home, features, age, and services required. Additional services may include radon, septic and well testing. Your RE/MAX agent can assist you in obtaining a quote from a potential inspector before you enlist his/her services.

Foreword

There are many costs that homebuyers incur especially upon purchasing their first home. Some of the expenses related to buying a home are one-time costs, while others are continuing costs.

Your largest cost at the beginning is your down payment. As a first-time buyer, this would likely represent only 5 – 10% of the purchase price. However, you should be prepared to pay for additional costs.

One Time Cost

There are many costs that homebuyers incur especially upon purchasing their first home. Some of the expenses related to buying a home are one-time costs, while others are continuing costs.

Continuing Cost

Additionally, once you have purchased your home, you will incur regular expenses on a monthly, quarterly or yearly basis.

* The information provided using this website is only intended to be general summary information to the public. It is not intended to take the place of either the written law or regulations.

Foreword

Purchasing a home involves a lot of paperwork, most of which are contractual documents that will legally bind you to the numerous terms and conditions. For this reason, it is important to have a good lawyer or notary public acting for you; someone to protect your rights and interests.

Finding a Lawyer/Notary Public

If you don’t have a lawyer or notary public, you can look for a referral from friends, family or business acquaintances. Look for someone with real estate experience and discuss with them their fee scales. Your RE/MAX Sales Associate can help you locate a reliable professional with whom you feel comfortable working.

Lawyer’s/Notary Public’s Function

You will need a lawyer or notary public to process your purchase and ensure the terms are met:

  1. The correct property is purchased
  2. Transfer title to your name(s)
  3. Ensure title is free and clear of prior owners encumbrances
  4. Your mortgage is registered properly on the title

The legal process varies from province to province in Canada. Specifically, you will need to consult with your chosen legal professional and he/she will explain the process and the steps that need to be completed before you get the keys to your new home.

Your lawyer/notary public will prepare a “Statement of Adjustments” outlining all the financial aspects of your sale.

Legal Fees and Disbursements

The difference between legal fees and disbursements is analogous to the parts and labour you pay when fixing your car. Your RE/MAX Sales Associate can help you locate a reliable professional with whom you feel comfortable working.

AmortizationThe period of time required to reduce a debt to zero when payments are made regularly. Amortization periods are most often 15, 20, or 25 years long.
AnniversaryMost lenders allow borrowers to make a payment on the anniversary of the mortgage. (For a mortgage assumed on June 1, a payment can be made every subsequent June 1 for the term of the mortgage.) It is applied against the principal and is a good way of reducing a loan.
AppraisalA process that determines the market value of a property.
Appraised ValueAn estimated value of a property that is completed by a certified appraiser for mortgage financing.
Approved LenderA lending institution authorized by the Government of Canada to make loans under the terms of the National Housing Act. Only Approved Lenders can negotiate mortgages that require mortgage insurance.
AssumptionA legal document signed by a homebuyer that requires the buyer to assume responsibility for the obligations of a mortgage by the builder or original owner.
Balanced MarketWhere demand for property equals the supply of available property. Sellers usually accept reasonable offers and houses generally sell in sufficient time periods. Prices remain stable and there is usually a good number of homes to choose from.
Blended PaymentA mortgage payment that includes principal and interest. It is paid regularly during the term of the mortgage. The payment total remains the same, although the principal portion increases over time and the interest portion decreases.
Building PermitA certificate that must be obtained from the municipality by the property owner or contractor before a building can be erected or repaired. It must be posted in a conspicuous place until the job is completed and passed as satisfactory by a municipal building inspector.
Buyer's MarketWhen there is a higher number of homes to choose from than buyers in comparison. Prices of homes tend to be lower and they remain available for sale longer. Buyers usually have more leverage in negotiating a purchase.
Closed MortgageA mortgage loan that has a locked-in payment schedule, which does not vary over the life of the closed term. A buyer who uses a closed mortgage will likely have to pay the lender a penalty if you fully repay the loan before the end of the closed term.
Closing CostsCosts, in addition to the purchase price of a home, such as legal fees, transfer fees, and disbursements, that are payable on the closing date. Closing costs typically range from 2%-4% of a home's selling price.
Closing DateThe date on which the sale of a property becomes final.
CMHCCanada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. A Crown corporation that administers the National Housing Act for the federal government and encourages the improvement of housing and living conditions for all Canadians. CMHC also creates and sells mortgage loan insurance products.
Collateral MortgageA mortgage that secures a loan by way of a promissory note. The money borrowed can be used to buy a property or can be used for another purpose, such as a home renovation or a vacation.
Commitment Letter / Mortgage ApprovalWritten notification from the mortgage lender to the borrower that approves the advancement of a specified amount of mortgage funds under specified conditions.
Conditional Offer / Conditions of SaleAn Offer to Purchase that is subject to specified conditions, for example, the arranging of a mortgage. There is usually a stipulated time limit within which the specified conditions must be met.
Conventional MortgageA mortgage loan up to a maximum of 75% of the lending value of the property. Mortgage loan insurance is not required for this type of mortgage.
CovenantA clause in a legal document which, in the case of a mortgage, gives the parties to the mortgage a right or an obligation. For example, a covenant can impose the obligation on a borrower to make mortgage payments in certain amounts on certain dates. A mortgage document consists of covenants agreed to by the borrower and the lender.
ConveyancingThe transfer of ownership of any property or real estate from one person to another.
DeedA legal document, which is signed by both the vendor and the purchaser transferring ownership. This document is registered as evidence of ownership.
DefaultFailure to abide by the terms of a mortgage loan agreement. A failure to make mortgage payments, or defaulting on the loan, may give cause to the mortgage holder to take legal action to possess (foreclose) the mortgaged property.
DepositA sum of money is placed in trust by the purchaser when an Offer to Purchase is made typically. The real estate representative or lawyer holds the sum until the sale is closed, and then it is paid to the vendor.
Discharge of MortgageA document signed by the lender and given to the borrower when a mortgage loan has been repaid in full.
Down paymentThe portion of the house price the buyer must pay upfront from personal resources, before securing a mortgage. It generally ranges from 5%-25% of the purchase price.
EasementA right acquired for access to or over, or for the use of, another person's land for a specific purpose, such as a driveway or public utilities.
EncumbranceA registered claim for debt against a property, such as a mortgage.
EquityThe difference between the price for which a home could be sold and the total debts registered against the home. Equity usually increases as the outstanding principal of the mortgage is reduced through regular payments. Market values and improvements to the property also affect equity.
FHLIFirst Home Loan Insurance - This is a CMHC product of particular interest to people looking for their first home. It allows qualified first-time buyers to purchase a home with as little as 5% down. In these cases, CMHC will insure mortgages of up to 95% of the home's purchase price or the market value of the property, whichever is less. (Restrictions may apply. Contact your local lender.)
ForeclosureA legal procedure in which the lender gets ownership of the property if the borrower defaults on the mortgage loan.
Gross Debt Service RatioThe percentage of the borrower's gross income that will be used for monthly payments of principal, interest, taxes, heating costs, and half of any condominium maintenance fees.
High-Ratio Mortgage / Insured Mortgage LoanA mortgage loan in excess of 75% of the lending value of the property. This type of mortgage must be insured - for example, by CMHC - against payment default.
HoldbackAn amount of money withheld by the lender during construction of a house to ensure that construction is satisfactory at every stage. A standard holdback is 10% of the total cost of the building project.
InterestThe cost of borrowing money for a given period of time. Interest is usually paid to the lender in installments along with repayment of the principal loan amount.
Interest Adjustment Date (IAD)A date from which interest on the mortgage advanced is calculated for regular payments. This date is usually one payment period before regular mortgage payments begin. Interest due between the date the mortgage is advanced and the IAD is due on closing.
Interest RateThe rate at which you pay interest to the lender. For example, when the mortgage balance is $100,000, and the interest rate is 6 per cent, one single annual payment will include $6,000 interest. More frequent payments will result in different amounts.
Lending ValueThe purchase price or appraised value of a property, whichever is less.
Loan-to-Value RatioThe ratio of the loan to the lending value of a property expressed as a percentage. For example, the loan-to-value ratio of a loan for $25,000 on a home which costs $100,000 is 25%.
Lien (Mechanics)A claim against a property for money owing. A lien may be filed by a supplier or a subcontractor who has provided labour or materials but has not been paid. A lien must be properly filed by a claimant. It has a limited life, prescribed by statutes that vary from province to province. If the lien holder takes action within the prescribed time, the homeowner may be obliged to pay the amount claimed by the lien holder. Alternatively, the lien holder may force a sale of the property to pay off the debt.
Maturity DateThe last day of the term of the mortgage agreement. On this day the mortgage loan must be paid in full or the agreement renewed.
MortgageSecurity for a loan to purchase the property. It is the purchaser's personal guarantee to repay the loan and a pledge of the property as security for the loan.
Mortgage Life InsuranceInsurance to pay off your mortgage in full if you die. Many lenders offer this insurance and add the premium to your mortgage payments. However, you may want to compare rates for equivalent products from an insurance broker.
Mortgage Loan InsuranceInsurance is required by lenders for high-ratio mortgages (more than 75% of the purchase price). It is available from CMHC or a private insurer for a cost of between 0.5% and 3% of the amount of the mortgage.
Mortgage PaymentA regularly scheduled payment that is blended to include both principal and interest.
MortgageeThe lender who provides the mortgage loan.
MortgagorThe borrower pledges the property as security for the loan.
Net WorthA person's total financial worth is calculated by subtracting total liabilities from assets.
NHA PremiumInsurance is required by lenders for high-ratio mortgages (more than 75% of the purchase price). It is available from CMHC or a private insurer for a cost of between 0.5% and 3% of the amount of the mortgage. The premium can be added to your mortgage loan and paid off as part of your regular mortgage payments, or paid off in a lump sum at the time of purchase to save interest charges on the premium itself.
Offer to PurchaseA written contract sets out the terms under which the buyer agrees to buy. If accepted by the seller, it forms a legally binding contract subject to the terms and conditions stated in the document.
Open MortgageA type of mortgage loan where the borrower can make a partial or full payment of the principal amount at any time, without penalty.
Option AgreementA document stipulating that, in exchange for a deposit, a specified individual is to be given the first chance to buy a property at or within a specified period of time. An option holder who does not buy at or within the specified period loses the deposit and the agreement is cancelled.
P.I.T.Principal, Interest, and Taxes - payments due on a regular basis under the terms of a mortgage agreement. Generally, payments are made monthly and include one-twelfth of the estimated annual municipal and school taxes. Since these taxes change from year to year, this section of the mortgage will change accordingly.
P.I.T.H.Principal, Interest, Taxes, and Heating - costs are used to calculate the Gross Debt Service ratio (GDS).
PortabilityAn option available on a mortgage that enables the mortgagor to take their current mortgage loan with them to another property without penalty.
Pre-Approved MortgageWhen a lender approves the potential mortgagor for a specified amount, based on how much money the lender is prepared to lend to the borrower. This allows buyers to shop for homes that they already know they can obtain financing for and not homes that are potentially too expensive, or out of the borrowers means to finance.
Prepayment PrivilegesAllows the borrower to make voluntary payments on the mortgage loan, in addition to the regular, scheduled mortgage payments.
PrincipalThe amount of money borrowed.
Property Purchase or Land Transfer TaxA toll is paid to the provincial and/or municipal government(s) for transferring property to the buyer from the seller.
Realtor®A trademark name for a real estate representative who is a member of an organization of persons engaged in the business of buying and selling real estate, such as the Canadian Real Estate Association.
RefinanceTo pay off a mortgage or other registered encumbrance and arrange for a new mortgage, sometimes with a different lender.
Regular MortgageWith this type of mortgage, you pay between 10% and 25% of the cost of the home as a down payment. The remaining balance is the amount of the mortgage loan required. A high-ratio mortgage requires mortgage loan insurance. CMHC offers it for a premium of 0.5%-3% of the mortgage amount. This fee can be added to your mortgage payments or paid in full on closing.
RenewalAt the end of a mortgage term, the borrower re-negotiates the loan for a new term.
Second MortgageAn additional mortgage on a property that already has a mortgage.
Seller's MarketMore buyers are looking for homes than there are homes for sale. There is a smaller inventory of homes available for sale and many buyers looking to purchase. House prices generally increase and homes sell quickly.
Strata or Condominium FeeA payment made by all owners of condominiums or townhouses within a particular complex that is allocated to pay expenses such as maintenance, repairs and management costs.
Statement of Adjustment (s)A balance sheet statement that indicates credits to the vendor - for example, the purchase price - and any prepaid taxes and credits to the buyer, such as the deposit, and the balance due on closing.
SurveyA document that illustrates the property boundaries and measurements, specifies the location of buildings on the property and indicates any easements or encroachments.
TermThe length of time during which a mortgagor pays a specific interest rate on the mortgage loan. The entire mortgage principal is usually not paid off at the end of the term because the amortization period is normally longer than the term.
Title (freehold or leasehold)Legal possession. A freehold title gives the holder ownership of land and buildings for an indefinite period of time. A leasehold title gives the holder a right to use and occupy land and buildings for a defined period of time. In a leasehold arrangement, the actual ownership of the land, sometimes along with the buildings, remains with the landlord.
Total Debt Service Ratio (TDS)The percentage of gross annual income required to cover all payments for housing and all other debts, such as car payments.
Variable-rate MortgageA type of mortgage with fixed payments but fluctuating interest rates. The change in current interest rates doesn't alter the amount of the mortgage payment but determines how much of each payment is applied against the principal amount and how much goes to pay interest to the lender.
Vendor Take-Back MortgageMortgage financing is arranged between the seller of the property and the buyer. Often this type of loan is a second mortgage, which the seller is willing to arrange at below-market rates to allow the buyer to purchase the house. Most of these arrangements are not renewable or transferable to the next owner of the house.
Zoning BylawsMunicipal or regional laws that specify or restrict land use.

Our mission: Keeping you in control of costs. Keeping your employees in control of their lives.

An employee’s productivity during a relocation is often directly linked to the ease with which that employee’s family leaves a home in one community – and starts feeling at home in another

That’s why no matter how you look at it, the essence of relocation is real estate. By linking a full-service relocation company with North America’s most experienced and educated real estate sales force, RE/MAX Relocation Services is able to keep transferring families feeling in control of their individual moves – while keeping our corporate and government clients in control of their bottom lines.

Control. That’s what it takes to beat the stress – and cost – of relocating. We offer it to you and your employees through a range of customized processes and service delivery. From our emphasis on providing a single point of contact, to our ability to offer the services of Sales Associates with professional relocation designations, our sole focus is on providing the knowledge, commitment, consistency and flexibility that best serve your needs. For more than three decades, this philosophy has turned RE/MAX into the industry’s most productive real estate organization. And during the past decade, it has turned RE/MAX Relocation into one of the industry’s most respected relocation companies.

What makes us different?

The list is practically endless. From our “single point of contact” convenience to our reliance on real estate’s most experienced, highest producing agents, we offer support and savings at every stage of the relocation process.

Every year, hundreds of thousands of homes of every style, shape and size are bought and sold across this country. In spite of all the differences, many of them have one very important thing in common: a RE/MAX Professional who is the driving force behind the transaction. RE/MAX agents buy and sell more homes in your area than anybody.

When you choose RE/MAX you are choosing the combined experience we have gained from every deal we’ve completed. This experience and expertise ensure that you get the best possible price. When it comes to buying and selling smarter, we’ll show you…

RE/MAX has done extensive research with homeowners, to better understand what makes them tick. This enables us to help you in many ways. First, knowing your preferences is invaluable when it comes to finding that perfect home. Open concept or traditional? Lofty or intimate?

And when it comes to homeowners, we’ve learned that in spite of the seemingly endless diversity in our population, there are, perhaps surprisingly, just a select few categories we all tend to fit into. So whether you’re a “Social Animal” or a “Traditionalist”, a “Pleasure Seeker” or a “Villager”, we’ll show you a space you’ll want to call home.

As a homeowner, you are likely to re-sell at some point and should consider the benefits of the neighbourhood. Remember, choices you make regarding improvements or renovations can drastically influence your home’s market value.

Our research has led to the development of a smart tool that can actually show you just what renovations generate the highest return on investment, based on the type of home you currently live in.

The RE/MAX Return on Reno Index

Re/Max discovered that the relative return on investment changes based on the value of the house being sold.

Select the approximate price range of your house below, and compare your return on renovations, based on the value of your home.

The RE/MAX Return on Reno Index is a proprietary tool to help you get the most value out of every renovating dollar you spend. We took an exhaustive look at the various renovations people commonly do on their homes and judged their return on investment based on a variety of criteria. The findings were nothing short of enlightening.

We learned “down to the dollar” what different renos deliver, but we also discovered that the relative return on investment changes based on the value of the house being sold. Have a look at these charts, which compare your return on reno, based on the value of the home being sold.

It All Starts at The Curb

Everyone knows the value of a first impression. But RE/MAX has learned that landscaping the front and backyard of your home will give you a 7% better return on your renovating dollar over the average return on other popular renos you might consider. Increasing your curb appeal can be as simple as adding containers of brightly coloured flowers. Another idea would be to add a low-maintenance garden for blocks of colour and texture. Also, consider a simple water fixture in the backyard to add ambiance.

Renovating the Kitchen

The Kitchen IS The Hub

Ever wonder why “kitchen parties” naturally occur every time you have guests? Well, it’s because the kitchen is the hub of every home. It’s where we get nourishment, and refreshment, gather and regroup after a busy day. It is a room with real value for every family. At RE/MAX we’ve learned that kitchen upgrades can really deliver, with a 44% higher return on investment over the average return on other popular renos you might consider.

Whether you’re working with a contemporary kitchen or more of a country feel, stainless steel appliances continue to hold a lot of interest. In cabinetry, look at fine-grained maple, stained or natural, over the traditional heavy oak look of the past. Laminates and marble are great choices for countertops, but granite continues to be the most popular surface of all. Check out the latest fixtures in today’s new, brushed nickel finishes.

Renovating the Fireplace!

Rekindle Your Passion for Living

Nothing beats the feeling of curling up around a fire on a cold winter’s night. Not to mention the comforting feeling of hearth and home that a fireplace adds to a room.

RE/MAX’s Return on Reno Index will tell you that installing or upgrading the fireplace in your home will generate 11% greater return on investment than the average return on other popular renos you might consider.

Gas fireplaces have made huge advances in popularity thanks to recent increases in efficiency as well as advances in design. A gas fireplace delivers the best of both worlds – all the comfort without the mess and maintenance.

Try a Fresh Coat

Often overlooked for the dramatic effect it can have on any living environment, RE/MAX has learned that simple repainting of walls gives you a 29% return on the dollar over the average. Whether you go neutral with splashes of colour or warm and dramatic, trends for 2015 include a mix of strong colours, mixed with nature-inspired neutrals — energy colours like orange, aqua, sage and blue, along with neutral palates leaning toward bisque, fawn, gray and walnut.

Great Ideas Underfoot

Great-looking floors are a strong feature of any home. It often makes all the difference. With RE/MAX, we’ll show you how this upgrade can generate a 22% better return on investment than the average.

Start by ripping out that dated wall-to-wall carpet. Then, sand your existing floors down and refinish them, or choose one of the many easy-to-install and affordable laminates now available. A darker stain gives an elegant, yet up-to-date look. Use area rugs to accent and ground the space.

In Closing…

Remember, whether you are buying or selling a home, RE/MAX is the name that delivers. We are the most recognized name in Real Estate because we attract the most outstanding agents; seasoned pros who bring their collected and collective wisdom and experience to bear on literally thousands and thousands of deals each year in this country. You can count on the fact that a RE/MAX agent will always go the distance to help you buy smart, or sell smart.

What You Need To Know As A First-Time Home Buyer

As a first-time buyer, you’re likely to have many questions about selecting, financing and buying your first home. How do we start looking for a home? How much money will we require to purchase the home? How much will the mortgage payments be each month and can we afford it? How does the home buying process work and what can we expect along the way?

These are just a few of the questions you’re bound to have at the beginning of your exciting journey to buying your very first home! A RE/MAX Sales Associate can provide the answers to your questions and walk you through the entire process, from viewing potential homes to making an offer to setting up mortgage financing.

Although buying your first home can be overwhelming, you can be confident that your RE/MAX Sales Associate will be available to help you every step of the way. RE/MAX can make buying your first home simple and straightforward, eliminating any confusion and doubt and allowing you the opportunity to enjoy your first home, worry-free.

Just a 5% Down Payment?

The following is an excerpt from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation” website under the topic of Mortgage Loan Insurance: “Get into your home sooner. Mortgage Loan Insurance helps you do it”.

When you need a mortgage loan that is more than 75% of the purchase price of your home, mortgage loan insurance is required. It protects the lender and, by law, most Canadian lending institutions require it. Having mortgage loan insurance means that if you, the borrower; default on your mortgage, the lender is paid back by the insurer – CMHC or a private company.

With the risk of losing their money removed, lenders have the confidence to make mortgage loans of up to 95% of the purchase price of the home (subject to price ceilings). That means your down payment can be as little as 5% of the house price. With mortgage loan insurance, many Canadians who might be unable to obtain a 25% down payment can still buy a home.”

What Does Mortgage Loan Insurance Cost?

There are two components: an application fee and an insurance premium.

The application fee typically ranges from $75.00 to $235.00 and mortgage loan insurance premiums range from 0.5%-3.75% of the amount of your loan (additional charges may apply), depending on the size of the loan and the value of your home.

The premium can be added to your mortgage loan and paid off as part of your regular mortgage payments, or paid off in a lump sum at the time of purchase to save interest charges on the premium itself.

Where Can Mortgage Loan Insurance Be Obtained?

See your lender, who can obtain mortgage loan insurance from CMHC or a private insurer. CMHC will insure mortgages of up to 95% of the home’s purchase price or the market value of the property, whichever is less. (Restrictions may apply. Contact your local lender.) Both new and resale homes are eligible.

Here are some of the criteria that must be met: The home must be in Canada and must be your principal residence. Housing payments, including principal, interest, property taxes, heating (P.I.T.H.), the annual site lease in the case of leasehold tenure and 50% of applicable condominium fees, can’t be more than 32% of your gross household income (GDS ratio). Your total debt load can’t be more than 40% of your gross household income (TDS ratio). Other criteria apply and are subject to change. For details, please contact CMHC or your local lender.

Right Now, 3 Million Canadians Own Homes With Insured Mortgages

Ruth and Sidney lived in a rented Revelstoke home for seven years. When the landlord decided to sell the home, he offered the couple the first opportunity to buy it. While his price was fair, Ruth and Sidney didn’t have a 25% down payment saved, so they couldn’t qualify for a conventional mortgage.

While looking for other options, they found they could be eligible for mortgage loan insurance that would allow them to buy with as little as 5% down. It should be noted that the protection provided to the lender by the insurer does not relieve the borrower(s) of the obligations under his/her mortgage contract.

* The information provided using this website is only intended to be general summary information to the public. It is not intended to take the place of either the written law or regulations.

How To Make An Offer

When you have found a home you are interested in buying, your RE/MAX Sales Associate will walk you through the process of drafting an offer to purchase. Your sales associate will communicate the offer to the seller or the seller’s real estate agent for you. Some properties are in demand so you will not be the only interested party making an offer. Your RE/MAX Sales Associate will assist you in generating an offer that is reasonable and protects your interests using specified terms and conditions.

An offer can be drafted with or without conditions; an offer without conditions is known as a firm offer and one with conditions is known as a conditional offer. A conditional offer represents the party with the placement of certain conditions on the purchase. Some of these conditions could be “subject to financing approval”, “subject to the strata council allowing pets”, “subject to the buyer’s house selling”, and “subject to an approved home inspection”, among many others.

The seller may accept your initial offer, reject your offer or present a counter-offer. The counter-offer may differ from your original offer with respect to price, conditions, the closing date or any other items. Offers can be countered back and forth between the parties until one of you accepts or rejects them, ending the negotiations.

There are many components to an offer that you should be aware of and understand. Your RE/MAX Sales Associate will answer your questions and explain the entire process to you so that you are comfortable with the steps involved.

Terms Used in Offers

Terms

An offer includes certain “terms”, which specify the total price offered and how the financing will be arranged, such as if you will arrange your own with a financial institution or mortgage broker or if you wish to take over the seller’s mortgage (assumability).

Inclusions and Exclusions

These are specifications within the offer that detail the items to be included or excluded from the purchase of the property. Typical inclusions are appliances, window coverings, fixtures and decorative pieces.

Deposit

A deposit is provided from the buyer to the seller as a token of the buyer’s assurance and intention to buy the property involved. The deposit is applied against the purchase price of the home once the sale has closed. Your RE/MAX Sales Associate can assist you in proposing a certain and appropriate amount for the deposit.

Conditions

Items that are usually put in place to protect a party’s interests upon selling or buying the property and refer to things that must occur or be in place before the sale closes.

Possession or Closing Date

This is usually the date that the legal ownership of the property transfers from the seller to the buyer and unless otherwise noted when the funds for the purchase are concluded.

Purchase Price

This is the amount that the buyer is offering to pay for the property. The price is usually dependent on market conditions and may differ from the seller’s current asking price.

Fix Any Repairs

It’s a good idea to identify and complete any repairs your property needs before listing! The devil is in the details.

Print this very useful checklist provided by The Canadian Real Estate Association to help you get your home ready for potential buyers.

Add Upgrades

Investing in the right upgrades can be lucrative. Take advantage of the RE/MAX Return on Reno Index located in our renovation guide to know which upgrade will give you the highest return.

Hire a Realtor

“Why should we hire a real estate agent?” some may wonder, and rightfully so. Some do OK, many don’t. Here are a few reasons why you may want to hire The Gray’s Team.

Reasons For Hiring a REALTOR®

Experience

You don’t need to know everything about buying and selling real estate if you hire a real estate professional who does. Also, a realtor can help you put your home on the market at the right moment and at the right price.

Agents are Buffers

Agents take the spam out of your property showings and visits. If you’re a seller, your agent will filter all those phone calls that lead to nowhere from lookie-loos and try to induce serious buyers to immediately write an offer.

Neighbourhood Knowledge

Agents either possess intimate knowledge or they know where to find the industry buzz about your neighbourhood. They can identify comparable sales and hand these facts to you, in addition to pointing you in the direction where you can find more data on schools, crime or demographics. For example, you may know that a home down the street was on the market for $350,000, but an agent will know it had upgrades and sold at $285,000 after 65 days on the market and after twice having the sale collapse.

Keep it Presentable

Make sure the house is always clean and ready to be shown. Leave some lights on and open curtains and blinds.

Execute a Contract

Don’t just sign the first contract offered. Work with our team to execute a strong contract.

Close the Deal

Schedule the closing and have the house presentable for the new homeowners.

Welcome To Our

New Website!

Introducing... The Gray Team!

After many decades selling real estate on the West Coast as 'The Judy Gray Team' the time has come to refresh our brand. We are excited to announce we are now 'The Gray Team'. Same team. Same great service. Thanks again everyone for all your wonderful support! Judy Gray & Marcie Gray.

About The Gray Team

 

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