Many of our clients find themselves in the dilemma of buying first or selling first, and there is no universal answer. We hope this article will give you some clarity on the questions to ask yourself when the time comes for your next purchase or sale. Let’s assume the seller will not consider a ‘subject to sale’ offer… because if they will, go this route and don’t read any further. The negatives of a ‘subject to sale’ offer is that you could get bumped by another buyer, and in many cases a ‘subject to sale’ offer reduces your negotiating power as you’re not a ready to go ‘cash buyer’. Note that not all ‘subject to sale’ clauses written the same. The wording is crucial, and there are rare situations where you get bumped from a purchase (by another buyer) and end up selling your place anyway… call us to avoid this! To Buy or Sell first? The main items to consider are your personal risk tolerance, finances, the subject properties involved, and the market. Here are a few questions to ask yourself: 1) What is your risk tolerance? Will you sleep at night if you buy a property before having sold your own? If you buy first (and need to sell), you have to take whatever the market will bring. Plan conservatively. Make sure the purchase is feasible with a lower than expect sale price of your current property (maybe 5-10% below market). 2) How are your finances? Are you stretching yourself to make this purchase? or can you afford to carry two properties? If you’re stretching yourself on the purchase and you require top dollar for the sale of your personal property, it may make sense to sell first so you know exactly how much you can afford. We don’t want you to lose your deposit by committing to a purchase that the banks won’t finance (more likely for up-sizers or first time ‘House’ buyers). However, if you’re downsizing and are financial able to support the carrying costs of owning two properties, than buy when the perfect property is available. 3) What are you buying? Is it rare? If you find yourself looking for a property that’s on a certain block, or maybe a penthouse condo, or waterfront property that rarely comes available, you may not have a choice but to buy first or lose the property. If the property type you’re looking for is readily available (or maybe you’re just not picky) and it’s just a matter of time before the next one comes up… it may be best to sell first and put yourself in a strong negotiating position. 4) What are you selling? Is it very desirable, or is difficult to sell? If you have a very desirable property that would sell quick, it may make sense to purchase first. Alternatively, if you have a fixer upper, luxury home or busy street home (anything with a negative or very limited buyer pool), it may make sense to sell first. 5) How is the market? Is it hot or cold? In the hot market we experienced in 2016 everything sold fast, and as a result our clients were often buying first. In a hot market, sales are more predictable and risks of buying first is much lower. If the market is cold, like we’re experiencing now (2019), it’s typically best to sell first unless you’re prepared to own two properties. Buying First: PROS – You know where you’re going and when your Completion date is. – Less likely to move twice. The challenge is to sell your place and match up the dates. Buying First: CONS – More financial risk, and potential loss of deposit (if you’re unable to sell current property). Selling First: PROS – Less financial risk. – You know exactly how much you’re getting for your property, and will have a clear budget for your purchase. Selling First: CONS – You may not find a suitable place to buy right away. Be prepared to find temporary accommodation and move twice. At the end of the day, every situation is different and needs to be evaluated on an individual basis. This is where we can help.’ Watch the video below and subscribe to our Youtube channel for more VLOGS!
Some older condo buildings age better than others, depending on the quality of the original construction as well as the care and attention paid by the strata to maintenance and repairs. So if you’re considering buying into older condo buildings, here are eight questions you should ask to avoid any expensive surprises once you’ve settled into your new home. [somryv url=”YQSWU1rOzew” size=”full” align=”center”] 1. Has the plumbing been redone? Galvanized steel plumbing was widely used before the 1970s; but it’s heavy and not very durable. Once the zinc coating inside starts to break down, the pipes are prone to rust. That can cause blockages or even breaks. Copper plumbing is also popular in older condo buildings. It can last 50 years or more. But the lead-based solder that used to be used to join pipes and fixtures could eventually leach into your water. Older condo buildings constructed from the late 1970s to the mid 90s could use polybutylene pipes. The plastic is cheap, light and easy to work with, but its lifespan is only 20 years. It’s possible plumbing systems in older condo buildings have all three types of pipes, as repairs and replacements have been done over the years. If you see references to pin hole leaks in the minutes of strata council meetings, it’s a good sign the plumbing is nearing the end of its life and may be due for replacement. 2. How old is the roof? Tar and gravel roofs last 15-20 years. An asphalt roof should last 20-25 years. If the answer to your question is close to those numbers, you may have to put room in your budget for your share of the cost of replacing that roof. 3. How old is the boiler? A commercial gas-fired hot water boiler should last 10-15 years, but it could last longer if it’s been well-maintained. 4. Have the balconies been redone? This likely isn’t a concern in older condo buildings constructed of concrete. But if the balcony is constructed of wood or vinyl, it could begin deteriorating after 15 years.
5. Are there any issues with the parkade membrane? Water leaking into parkades can be a common problem in older condo buildings. It happens when cracks form in the structure because of settling, poor construction or maintenance, or just wear and tear. Fixing a leaky parkade can be expensive. 6. Has the elevator been upgraded? We’ve learned to take elevators for granted; we push the button, they take us to the floor where we want to go. But elevators wear out; all that up-and-down, opening and closing of the doors, pushing call buttons, takes a toll. An elevator should last 20-25 years but could endure longer if they’ve been regularly maintained. 7. Has the building’s exterior been upgraded? This question is often dependant on how older condo buildings were designed and built. If the building is constructed of concrete, with large roof overhangs that prevent rainwater from hitting the exterior, the risk of a leaky building is minimal. But if the building’s exterior is made of stucco or wood, and it’s exposed to the elements without protection from roof overhangs, you need to check if it has been rainscreened. What Is Rainscreen? 8. Does the building have a depreciation report? In 2013, the BC government mandated depreciation reports for every strata with more than four lots. The report is prepared by qualified architects or engineers who are able to assess and determine the short and long term health of the building and its upkeep schedule as well as anticipated costs. The report must be updated every three years. Strata Documents You Should Read Before You Buy Reading a depreciation report for older condo buildings can be intimidating; the maintenance schedules are usually pretty proactive and the dollar figures are high. But it’s how the building’s strata council reacts to that report that really matters; is it putting money aside early to deal with upcoming major expenses, does it address minor issues in a timely manner so they don’t snowball into bigger issues?
Older condo buildings can be a great value
Older condo buildings can offer tremendous value. You’re not paying for the flashy marketing campaigns of new developments. A lot of potential problems will have already been worked out. The strata has experience. And units were bigger in the 1970s, 80s and 90s, so you’ll likely get more space for your dollar.
Metro Vancouver housing market characterized by modest home sale and price increases in 2013.
The Greater Vancouver housing market maintained a consistent balance between demand and supply throughout 2013. The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that total sales of detached, attached and apartment properties in 2013 reached 28,524, a 14 per cent increase from the 25,032 sales recorded in 2012, and an 11.9 per cent decrease from the 32,390 residential sales in 2011.
“Home sales quietly improved last year compared to 2012, although the volume of activity didn’t compare to some of the record-breaking years we experienced over the last decade,” Sandra Wyant, REBGV president said.
Last year’s home sale total ranks as the third lowest annual total for the region in the last ten years, according to the region’s Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®). The number of residential properties listed for sale on the MLS® in Metro Vancouver declined 6.2 per cent in 2013 to 54,742 compared to the 58,379 properties listed in 2012. Looking back further, last year’s total represents an 8.1 per cent decline compared to the 59,539 residential properties listed for sale in 2011. Last year’s listing count is on par with the 10 year average. Click Here for the Full Article Click Here for the Full Stats Package
Steady trends continue in the Greater Vancouver housing market
Consistent home sale and listing activity has allowed balanced market conditions to prevail in the Greater Vancouver housing market for most of 2013. The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in Greater Vancouver reached 2,321 on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in November 2013. This represents a 37.7 per cent increase compared to the 1,686 sales recorded in November 2012, and a 12.8 per cent decline compared to the 2,661 sales in October 2013. Last month’s sales were 1.2 per cent below the 10-year sales average for the month, while new listings were 1.5 per cent above the 10-year November average. “We’ve seen steady and consistent trends the Greater Vancouver housing market for much of this year,” Sandra Wyant, REBGV president said. “This year’s activity has resulted in gradual and modest increases in home prices of approximately one per cent over the last 12 months in the region.”
New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Greater Vancouver totalled 3,245 in November. This represents a 17.7 per cent increase compared to the 2,758 new listings reported in November 2012 and a 24.8 per cent decline compared to the 4,315 new listings in October of this year Click Here for the Full Article Click Here for the Full Stats Package
The Grove at Victoria Hill – 2 Bed, 2 Bath, 951 SF West Facing unit overlooking the inner courtyard with Large Balcony. Very Quiet and surrounded by Greenspace this unit features a very spacious & open Living/Dining/Kitchen Area. Gourmet Kitchen with stainless steel appliances, lots of cabinets & island. Ideal Floorplan with two bedrooms located on opposite sides of the living room, Master Bedroom has walk-through closet leading into a Full Bathroom. Great Amenities at the Boiler House: Gym, Theatre, Study, Party Rm/Lounge, Outdoor Basketball Court. Central Locations, steps to Queens Park, 15min walk to Skytrain or 10 min Bus. Won’t last! Must See! Virtual Tour MLS Feature Sheet #304 290 Francis Way
The Grove, Victoria Hill – Gorgeous 2 bed, 2 bath West facing suite with large balcony overlooking the inner courtyard. Very quiet & private location, great floor plan, open concept living/dining/kitchen area. 2 bedrooms on opposite sides of the living room, 2nd bdrm has walk in closet, master bedroom has walk-through closet leading into a full bathroom. Gourmet kitchen with plenty of cabinet space, stainless steel appliances & granite counters (granite in bathrooms as well). Excellent amenities at the Boiler House; gym, theatre, study area, party room/lounge, basketball court. Great location, surrounded by parks & greenspace. 15 min walk to skytrain or 10 min bus. Suite shows well, priced to sell, must see. Virtual Tour MLS Feature Sheet 208 270 Francis Way
THE POINT – Great Building & Great Location!! 2 Beds & 2 Full Baths corner suite with Large Balcony facing North East with Fraser River & Mountain Views!! This Suite features engineered hardwood flooring, stainless steel appliances, granite counters, electric fireplace, large master bedroom suite with walk-through closet, open floor plan, spacious kitchen with lots of cabinets, floor-to-ceiling windows bringing in plenty of natural light. Amenities include: indoor pool, hot tub, sauna, exercise room, lounge, media room…. Pets allowed with restrictions, rentals allowed. 1 parking stall included. Central location, steps to starbucks, shops, restaurants, Skytrain & NW quay Market.
Trapp + Holbrook Presentation Centre (668 Columbia Street, New Westminster). Sales commence May 26. These 196 homes offer a rare combination of quality and terrific value, with 100 suites available under $299,900! Trapp + Holbrook features:
Carefully reconstructed building façades from the original Trapp and Holbrook Blocks in 1913
5th floor amenity space featuring lush green spaces, community garden plots, river-view sundeck, BBQ facility, fireside lounge, fully-equipped fitness centre, and meeting room
New concrete construction backed by Travelers 2-5-10 New Home Warranty
Stylish interiors that developer The Salient Group has become well-known for, including streamlined kitchens with Blomberg integrated refrigerator, wide-plank laminate flooring, sleek roller shades, and more!
Historic New West has all the markings of a hot, emerging neighbourhood. Enjoy your one-block walk to New Westminster SkyTrain Station, the newly reborn River Market for sustainable produce, Metro Vancouver’s most progressive Asian fusion restaurant, Wild Rice, plus Columbia Street boutiques, cafés, and exciting new eateries right outside your door! Tower Suites Levels 5-19 1 Beds from $219,900 2 Beds from $339,900 2 Bed + dens from $421,900
Holbrook Suites Levels 3-7 1 Bedrooms from $234,900
1 Bed + dens from $277,900
Penthouse Suites Levels 20-21 2 Beds from $429,900 2 Bed + dens from $579,900
Rising a dramatic 19-storeys and surrounded by mature trees, estate homes and next to the private Vancouver Golf Club, these 133 homes will offer unparalleled 360 degree views from the 5th floor and above. Ranging from Junior 1 bedrooms to the spacious, well-appointed penthouses of “The Heights Collection”, all homes will include efficient layouts, oversized windows, warm laminate flooring, quartz countertops, gourmet kitchens with stainless steel appliances, and most homes feature 2 outdoor living spaces. Jr 1 Bedrooms from the $190’s 1 Bedrooms from the $260’s 2 Bedrooms from the $340’s Townhomes from the $500’s Important Information: 20% deposit with $5,000 due at time of offer, increased to 5% after 7 days. 1 parking stall included with every home. For “The Heights Collection” and the 3 bedroom townhomes, 2 stalls will be included. 1 storage locker included with every home. Amenities include a fully integrated gym/yoga room, dynamic multi-purpose lounge with wet bar, guest suite and landscaped outdoor terrace with children’s playground, BBQ area and outdoor ‘living room’ Tentative completion is Spring 2014 Visit theaustin.ca to view floorplans.
VANCOUVER, B.C. – January 5, 2011 – The Greater Vancouver residential housing market entered three distinctive phases in 2010. Continued buoyancy from the post-recession recovery began the year, followed by a summer lull and, throughout the fall, a sustained period of stability. The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that total sales of detached, attached and apartment properties in 2010 reached 30,595, a 14.2 per cent decrease from the 35,669 sales recorded in 2009, but a 24.2 per cent increase from the 24,626 residential sales in 2008. Last year’s number of housing sales was 10.3 per cent below the ten-year average for annual Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) sales in the region. The number of residential properties listed for sale on the MLS® in Greater Vancouver increased 9.7 per cent in 2010 to 58,009 compared to the 52,869 properties listed in 2009. Compared to 2008, last year’s total represents a 7.3 per cent decline compared to the 62,561 residential properties listed in 2008. The number of properties added to the MLS® peaked in April and generally declined for the remainder of the year. “The last two years have been a bit of a rollercoaster for the real estate market. However, sales over the past six months have definitely shown a trend toward stability. We think that’s good news for home buyers and sellers,” Jake Moldowan, REBGV president said. “The Greater Vancouver housing market experienced a modest increase in home prices in 2010, and a continual decrease in the number of properties being listed for sale.” FOR FULL REAL ESTATE STATS PACKAGE CLICK BELOW: rebgv_stats_package_december_2010