New Westminster and Port Moody Housing Price Comparison

The G+D Realtors have been noticing a shift in the number of homeowners moving to the communities east of Vancouver in search of larger properties, more outdoor space, and more affordable prices.

James and Denny compare real estate over the last ten years in two of these surrounding cities: the charming inner-city suburb of New Westminster to the beautiful mountainous city of Port Moody.

This episode will focus on peak pricing in these regions, the difference in sale prices of comparable properties, the benefits that each city offers, and where the best investment opportunities and highest rent can be found.

Watch and listen to the Garbutt+Dumas Real Estate Podcast below and follow us on SpotifyiTunes & YouTube.

Current Mortgage Trends and What you Need to Know w/ Alex McFadyen

Getting approved for a mortgage and securing a low interest rate is an important part of buying a home.

James and Denny welcome Alex McFadyen from Thrive Mortgage Co. to the podcast for an update on current mortgage trends.

This episode will focus on who will be most affected by the upcoming mortgage stress test, the benefits of a basement suite, the qualifying process for big banks, fixed versus variable rates, the importance of good credit history, and the risks of making a subject free offer.

Watch and listen to the Garbutt+Dumas Real Estate Podcast below and follow us on SpotifyiTunes & YouTube.

How to Effectively Renovate Your Home

Many homeowners wonder what kind of renovations can be done to get the most value out of their home.

James and Denny discuss what sellers should concentrate on when planning to upgrade certain aspects of their property.

This episode will focus on knowing your time horizon, understanding the property value breakdown (structure value versus land value), the importance of good construction, and the increase in renovation and raw material costs.

Watch and listen to the Garbutt+Dumas Real Estate Podcast below and follow us on SpotifyiTunes & YouTube.

Pricing Strategies When Listing Your Home

A seller must consider various factors when selecting a listing price for their home. These factors can include market trends, time of year, inventory availability, uniqueness of the property, and the homeowner’s current financial situation.

James and Denny share their process and classification system for selecting a price point for their client’s homes.

This episode will focus on understanding what potential buyers are looking for, the dangers of pricing your listing too low or too high, the value of a great location, and the difference between pricing condos, townhouses, and single-family homes.

Watch and listen to the Garbutt+Dumas Real Estate Podcast below and follow us on SpotifyiTunes & YouTube.

NOTES FROM THE EPISODE:

The strategies behind selecting a home’s price when listing is constantly changing. This process depends heavily on the following factors:

  1. Current Inventory and Time of Year
    • Inventory is likely to be low in the first few months of the year. A seller may opt to list their home at a low price and then rely on multiple offers and bidding wars to increase the final sale price to a number equal to or above market value.
    • More inventory will likely become available in late Spring, which will decrease the amount of competition. The market is still hot during this time, but sellers will see fewer multiple offer situations.
    • The real estate market may begin to cool down as the year progresses into the winter months.  
  2. Market trends
    • Know what types of homes are popular at this time. Entry-level single family homes are getting a lot of interest and selling quickly. In these circumstances, pricing conservatively can work in your favour. Mid to upper-priced homes should be listed at or above market value. This can give the homeowner some wiggle room to negotiate price if needed.  
  3. Seller’s situation
    • If you have already bought another property and need to sell your current one quickly, the best option in most situations is to list your home just below recent sales. This strategy will increase interest and hopefully secure a quick deal. 
    • If you are selling your home and want to achieve a goal number to buy another property afterward, price it at a number you feel comfortable selling it for. In this circumstance, do not expect a bidding war to push up the price. 

Current Strategies for April 2021

listing price strategies for a townhouse

Underpricing your listing is a riskier strategy now than it was in February or March.

For example, in March, a homeowner may list their $1.5 million home for $1.399 million to get more interest and offers. In the recent market, there is less competition to drive up that price, so it is most likely the best idea to price it at the value you believe it should sell for.

If a homeowner decides to list it below its value to increase the attention the home receives, give it at least six days on the market before looking at offers. It is also important to understand that you may have to relist your home at a higher listing price down the line if you initially do not get the offer price you desired.

The Classification System for Pricing Strategies when Listing

When selecting a listing price, G+D classifies townhouses and single family homes into three different categories:

A – a great house with a fantastic layout on a prime street in a desirable neighbourhood

B – a good house on a less favoured street in a desirable neighborhood

C – a house with a poor layout or in need of renovations on a busy street

Currently, you can still get away with a multiple offer strategy (listing low and expecting a bidding war to raise the final sale price) for a home in the A classification group.

The low B and C classification group homes should be listed at the price you think the property is worth. There will be more products available in these groups so the competition may be lower.  

Condos follow a different system when selecting a listing price:

listing price strategies for condos

The real estate market for condos is more price-sensitive and budget-conscious. Many buyers have a strict ceiling for the maximum price they are willing to pay. Because of this, homeowners have to be very cautious with their choice of listing price – they could list low to get more eyes on the property or stretch above the last sale price to encourage a higher offer.

The neighbourhood plays a huge role when selecting a listing price for a condo. Communities within each city are following different trends. In most cases, sellers should list their condo at the price point they want to sell it for.  If it is a unique property with a great view or if it is a prime building that has not seen inventory in the last couple of months, you may be able to price more aggressively in the hopes of attracting more substantial offers.

Lastly, if you have a tenanted condo, try not to overprice it as it will most likely not outperform other available apartments for sale.

Planning a Pricing Strategy when Listing your Home

It can be challenging to choose the best price when listing your home. When trying to determine the value of a home, James and Denny go through the following processes:

  1. Dig deep into the history of similar properties in that price point
    • Ex. Review prices of all 2002 condo sales
  2. Review the sales in that area for the last 3 to 6 months
    • Ex. All sales in that building or complex
  3. Break down the sales from the previous 30 days
    • Ex. Look for sales for the specific price range that you are thinking of selling at and compare them to your property

When choosing a listing price, it is essential to have a thorough understanding of the product and how properties at that price point have recently been performing in the market. Keep in mind that every home is unique, and it is best to speak with a Realtor who can help you find your home’s market value.

Do you have questions regarding current market trends in your neighbourhood and what your home could be worth? Contact us! We would love to help you maximize your property’s value.

Is It Worth it to Renovate Your Home Before Selling?

As more inventory becomes available, many homeowners are asking what they should do to maximize the value of their home before selling.

James and Denny stress the importance of timing when it comes to listing and share their experience with renovation delays and finding a good contractor.

This episode will focus on the renovation types that will give you the best return, the surprising costs of renovations, the effects of increasing inventory, understanding what your buyer is looking for, and the high impact of new paint, flooring, and landscaping.

Watch and listen to the Garbutt+Dumas Real Estate Podcast below and follow us on SpotifyiTunes & YouTube.

NOTES FROM THE EPISODE:

Many homeowners are willing to invest money into their property to maximize its value before selling it. However, various factors can influence the types of renovations you should focus on and the timing behind when the work should be completed. In some cases, it may be better to sell the home as is and not perform any renovations at all.

As a seller, it is important to follow the real estate market trends to ensure the best return on your investment.

When should you renovate your home before selling?

Timing is essential.

The real estate market is likely to be very busy during the spring months. This is a great time to sell your home because inventory is generally lower than the summer, and competition is higher for buyers. During this time, if you have to renovate, it is crucial to do work that has a maximum effect and will only minimally delay your ability to list. Try to focus on small renovations that can significantly impact buyers’ opinions of the home, like new flooring, fresh paint, and updated landscaping. Doing a general clean-up and decluttering of common spaces can also have a substantial impact.

November and December are slower months in real estate. Buyers are generally not as interested in purchasing a home during this time of year, which means that it is a great time to perform extensive renovations. These renovations can include big-ticket items like the kitchen or bathrooms. The completion of this work will likely line up with the springtime rush and can give your home a step up compared to the competition.

What are the main factors you should focus on when planning to renovate your home before selling?

If you are hoping for a quick renovation and a high return on your investment, focus on:

  1. New paint and flooring:
    • This work can be less labour intensive and expensive but still have a significant impact. Furthermore, you do not need a contractor for these updates – the homeowner can hire floor installation professionals when purchasing the material or professional painters.
    • James recalls when he was selling a late 1990’s New Westminster condo that looked a little outdated. He spent approximately $5,000 on new floors and paint and made an extra $10,000 when selling. In some cases, it can bring you a two to one return on your investment.
  2. Decluttering, tidying, and minor fixes:
    • When buyers are walking through a home during a showing, they should get the impression that the property is well maintained. Broken window screens, leaky sink taps, messy rooms, and dirty floors can give the buyers the idea that the house is not adequately cared for. Consequently, buyers may question what else needs attention or repair.
  3. Landscaping:
    •  This step can cause an increase in curb appeal and improve the first impression that buyers will have of the home as they arrive. Landscaping can include cutting the grass, trimming hedges, tidying pathways, or planting flowers for pops of colour.  

Showrooms can be a great source of inspiration for condo updates. Developers are budget conscious and create the best space for the lowest price they can.

Location is key! Suppose your condo is in places like Kitsilano, downtown Vancouver, or the west end of Vancouver. In that case, luxurious renovations could get you a higher return on your investment because that is what buyers are looking for in these places. Knowing who the potential buyers will be can help direct you towards the renovation projects you should focus on.

Finding a good contractor that you trust to do the renovation work can also be a challenge. Most contractors are booked 3-6 months in advance, and some of the larger projects can take a long time to complete. Keep this in mind when you are planning any work on your home. Always remember that timing is crucial in real estate.

What are some of the things you should stay away from when planning to renovate your home before selling?

Bathroom renovations:

  • Always keep in mind that tile can be costly. When renovating a bathroom, opt to insert a fiberglass shower base instead of a tile base. This alternative will lower the total cost of renovations.
  • Furthermore, choose a neutral tile that the majority of people will like. Remember – you are renovating your home for the potential buyer. Do not choose something expensive and flashy that only caters to a specific taste.  
  • Installing a fancy shower with many different showerheads and extravagant features can be a turn-off for some buyers. Focus on the type of clientele interested in your home and try to cater to them.

Condos:

  • Making extensive and luxurious renovations in a condo can be a risky situation. Many homebuyers are budget conscious when looking to buy this type of property.
  • It is common for many homeowners to overspend on condo renovations. Please speak with a Realtor before making any extensive changes to increase sale value. It is common for many homeowners to overspend on condo renovations and then just break even or lose money on the project.

Lighting:

  • More lighting is not always better! Try to be strategic with placement and tasteful with the choice of light fixtures. Keep in mind that many buyers may not want multiple chandeliers or a living room ceiling full of pot lights.

Appliances:

  • Appliances are hard to get more than a one-to-one return on your investment. As a seller, try to be brand conscious and always keep in mind what your buyer would prefer. For example, do not splurge on an expensive fridge with a TV screen when your buyer may not be looking to spend the extra dollars for that type of luxury.

Deciding when and how to renovate depends entirely on the situation

If it is the spring and the market is hot, the best decision is most likely to get your home on the market as soon as possible. If it is later in the year and the market has cooled down, turn your attention to what you can renovate to increase the value of your home for the next busy season.

Keep in mind that renovations can be expensive and take time. If you feel comfortable with construction, you can do a lot of the work yourself and save some money. Take into account that if you are waiting for a contractor, it could take up to 6 months.

Consider these factors before planning to remodel your home. Please consult your local Realtor for more guidance on whether or not you should renovate your home before selling.

Market Update Spring 2021: Is the Market Finally Slowing Down?

In the last 30 days, the G+D team has experienced an abrupt shift in the market as more properties become available after months of few listings.

James and Denny summarize what they have seen recently compared to the highly competitive, subject free and multiple offer situations they encountered at the beginning of the year.

This episode will focus on the difficulty of evaluating a property in this current market, the importance of setting a reasonable listing price as more properties go up for sale, the significant jump in single-family home sales in the last four months, and the debate on whether the government will introduce a new tax for homeowners.

Watch and listen to the Garbutt+Dumas Real Estate Podcast below and follow us on SpotifyiTunes & YouTube.

New Construction Opportunities in Vancouver

New construction in the Greater Vancouver Area offers great incentives and lower deposits for potential home buyers. Even so, how can you be sure that buying new construction is the best move for you?

James and Denny weigh in on the pros and cons of investing in pre-built homes and share past experiences with this type of property.

This episode will focus on the significance of a developer’s reputation when considering new construction, the benefits of a seven-day rescission period, the permitted size and layout changes during construction, paying 5% GST on top of the purchase price, and the 2-5-10 year warranty.

Watch and listen to the Garbutt+Dumas Real Estate Podcast below and follow us on SpotifyiTunes & YouTube.

Strategic Marketing for Success in Real Estate

When done correctly, marketing can play a significant role in capturing the attention of potential clients.

James and Denny break down the strategic marketing plan they use at G+D throughout the different seasons of real estate.

This episode will focus on how to build your name in the real estate business, the benefits of traditional marketing, flyers and door-knocking versus social media, and the snowball effect of building momentum early in the year.

Watch and listen to the Garbutt+Dumas Real Estate Podcast below and follow us on SpotifyiTunes & YouTube.

Three Important Questions to Ask Your Realtor Before Listing

When looking for a realtor, it is important to ensure that they are the right fit for your home and your family.

James and Denny share the three most valuable questions you should ask a realtor before listing your home:

1. How will you market my property?
2. How do you manage showings?
3. How will you handle multiple offers?

This episode will focus on maximizing exposure on social media, the importance of preparing and promoting advertising materials before listing a property, the advantage of allowing buyers to perform pre-inspections to promote confident offers, and the benefits of proactive communication between realtors during multiple offer situations.

Watch and listen to the Garbutt+Dumas Real Estate Podcast below and follow us on SpotifyiTunes & YouTube.

NOTES FROM THE EPISODE:

Single-family homes are hot right now, and some homeowners are thinking of selling their property to benefit from this trend. It is a great idea to hire a Realtor to help you with this significant decision; but, how can you be sure that they are the right one for you?

We have broken down the three most important questions to ask your Realtor before listing with them:

Question #1: HOW WILL YOU MARKET MY PROPERTY? 

Marketing is an important part of listing your home. This is especially the case in the current real estate climate when houses are selling relatively quickly.

Posting your home on MLS is a great place to start. Many buyers visit this website to see what is available. However, with homes selling so quickly, some potential buyers may not see the listing in time and miss the opportunity to make an offer.

In addition to MLS, other platforms can help to maximize your home’s exposure. Social media is a popular marketing outlet with a broader reach to get more property views.

Social Media and Real Estate Marketing

In 2016, homes were selling quickly in a very similar type of market as what we see today. James remembers receiving calls from interested buyers regarding a house that they had already sold. To prevent this disappointment, the G+D Realtors started doing a social media push with photos and videos one week before listing. This strategy would increase the amount of interest around the property and have buyers counting down the days until they could learn more about it! G+D continues to use this marketing approach today and has seen a lot of success with it.

In the 2021 market, the range of price possibilities for a listing is quite broad. In a lot of cases, the prices have gone up by 20% from last year. If you launch a listing, the sale price range could swing either way by an arguable 10% (or approximately $100,000). This number can depend heavily on the timing and marketing leading up to the offer presentation. In most cases, you only have one chance to create interest and hype around your property, so it is essential to advertise it properly.

Ultimately, the main goal of real estate marketing is to make sure that you are not missing a buyer. More marketing means more exposure and eyes on the listing, leading to more interest and showings. This point leads us to our next important question:

Question #2: HOW DO YOU MANAGE SHOWINGS?

Questions to ask during a showing

Showings are an excellent opportunity for potential buyers to see the home and imagine themselves living in it.  It also gives the listing realtor a chance to address any concerns or questions that a buyer may have.

For a maximized sale, the listing realtors should try their best to ensure that all interested buyers have an opportunity to see the home and make an offer. You never know who could make the best offer; it could be the first person or the last person to walk through the home. If you have a lot of interest, a strong strategy for the seller is to hold off viewing the offers until all buyers have had a chance to see the property and make a bid.

Trying to get the best offer possible

In some cases, Realtors are getting 50 – 70 showing requests for one listing. The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the number of restrictions surrounding showings, but protocols and safety measures can be put in place to keep everyone protected. It is common to see showings spaced approximately 15 minutes apart, and hand sanitizer has become a new staple item. If the home is larger and offers multiple floors, buyers can be spaced out and still safely view the property. Ask your Realtor how they plan to show your space and overcome any issues that may arise.

Another aspect that helps with buyer’s confidence is allowing them to carry out a pre-inspection. The hope with showings is that interested buyers can see the home, carry out their due diligence, and feel secure in writing competitive and subject-free offers. Jamie shares that as of March 2021, 87.4% of potential buyers are making offers without any subjects. To stay competitive, buyers feel the pressure to make subject-free offers, which is a large commitment with a substantial amount of money. Conclusively, offering buyers the opportunity to carry out pre-inspections can increase the seller’s probability of receiving a better offer.

Allowing enough time for everyone to see the property can increase the number of offers and chances for a highly successful sale. This takes us to our next question:

Question #3: HOW WILL YOU HANDLE MULTIPLE OFFERS?

Multiple offer situations are common for many listings in the Metro Vancouver area. If handled properly, this situation can result in more money for the seller.

Buyers’ agents need more guidance than ever in the current real estate climate. Unfortunately, many Realtors are guessing within a certain range what the offer price should be. As the listing agent, you can provide feedback and guidance on where the buyer stands and if they need to make a more aggressive effort.

It can be highly frustrating for homebuyers to put in an offer and then not hear anything back from the seller. Some single family home listings are receiving upwards of 20 bids. The majority of the time, only a few of those offers are competitive. Try to be courteous to the individuals who made a low offer and let them know if their bid is out of the running. You never know who could increase their offer if given a chance.

Furthermore, there is an opportunity for the seller when the top two or three offers are close. By letting the potential buyers know where they stand, they may increase their bid in hopes of winning out over the other interested parties. Proactive communication (instead of reactive communication, or even worse, no communication) in multiple offer situations can significantly influence a sale’s outcome.

Maximizing the Sale of Your Home

The Realtor you choose to sell your home can make the difference between maximizing the sale to its full potential and leaving money on the table. In some communities, market value has gone up 20-30% since last fall. Hire a realtor who knows the value of your home and understands how to get the best offer for you.

Are you still looking for more resources on this topic? Listen to our G+D Real Estate Podcast episode Strategic Marketing for Success in Real Estate for the benefits behind a strong marketing strategy.

Interested in learning what your home is worth? Please contact us with any questions you may have, we would love to hear from you!

Port Moody Single Family Home Update with Monica

Many families who are hoping to move to the desirable neighborhood of Port Moody may be surprised at the single family home costs in this area.

G+D Realtor Monica joins Denny on the podcast to discuss the increasing prices and low inventory of detached homes in Port Moody.

This episode will focus on the lack of entry-level single family homes in the area, the approximate price points for desirable properties on Heritage Mountain, the growing activity surrounding ultra-luxury houses in Anmore, and low inventory driving up prices in the area and setting new benchmarks for future sales.

Watch and listen to the Garbutt+Dumas Real Estate Podcast below and follow us on SpotifyiTunes & YouTube.

NOTES FROM THE EPISODE:

Port Moody has become a very desirable neighborhood to live in, and the current single family home prices reflect that. Traditional entry-level detached homes in this area are hard to find. Moreover, higher listing prices of these property types may prevent buyers from investing in Port Moody real estate altogether. It may also redirect their focus to more affordable options like condos. The families who can afford houses in this area place high offers (well above listing) in fear of not securing a home during a time with low inventory availability. 

Questions to ask yourself when buying a single family home in Port Moody:

When buying a home, you are not just purchasing a property, you are joining a neighborhood. Here are a few questions to ask yourself before investing in a house in Port Moody.

  1. Where do you want to live? Port Moody has many different areas, including Ioco, Heritage Mountain, Belcarra, and Anmore. To learn more about what this beautiful city offers, explore our interactive map of Port Moody.
  2. What type of schools do you want your children to attend? There are seven elementary schools, one middle school, and two secondary schools in this region.
  3. Do you want to be close to public transit? Port Moody is well-served by transit. The services include an express bus into Vancouver, two stations for the SkyTrain Evergreen Line, and a West Coast Express rail service stop.
  4. Are you willing to renovate? Many of the houses currently on the market are 17 – 25-year-old homes that may require renovations. These renovations can include bathroom updates, kitchen remodels, or new flooring.  Keep in mind that these projects can significantly increase the overall dollar amount spent on your home.

Port Moody Single Family Home Prices:

Monica begins the episode by sharing that the likelihood of buying a single family home in Port Moody below $1.5 million is relatively low. Smaller communities within the city offer different features:

Ioco area has been presenting a variety of prices for different types of properties. It has been relatively hard to know what to expect, as one homeowner may list their house for $1.4 million, and then an empty lot next door may be listed for $2 million.

Avalon Drive is a busy street just off of Ioco Road. In early December, a single family home on this street sold for $1.4 million. Recently, after 100 showings and 9 pre-inspections, a house sold for $1.65 million. In fact, this home was not considered a luxury home and had a less than ideal layout.

Heritage Mountain has become a hot spot for single family homes. Many of the houses range from 17-25 years old and were built with style in mind. This area offers excellent views and desirable schools. The latest listings in this region of Port Moody are $2.3 million to $2.4 million.

Holly Drive on Heritage Mountain has also become a desirable location.  Monica comments that she has been visiting this area a lot for buyer showings. Many homes on this road would need a complete renovation, which could cost around $200,000. Properties are selling for approximately $1.5 million.

Heritage Peak Road on Heritage Mountain sets a new precedent for sales in the region, with single family homes selling for approximately $3 million. It has created a benchmark where there was not one before, making a definitive line of housing costs in the area.

Monica and Denny call Anmore an ultra-luxurious community. Anmore boasts private, large lots with beautiful 5,000 – 8,000 square foot homes selling in the $4 million range. In the past, houses would sit for years on the market with little activity. However, homeowners from Heritage Mountain can now sell their homes for a much higher value and afford property in the Anmore area. Because of this, Monica is expecting interest in this area to increase.

What to expect for Port Moody Single Family Homes in the future:

Each community within Port Moody is doing something different, but the G+D Realtors are seeing a general increase in activity and prices across the board. Consequently, some homebuyers are pushed out to the less expensive areas or opt to purchase a condo to build up equity.  On the other end of the spectrum, we see families selling homes for over $1 million above what they originally bought it for and can now afford a house in more desirable areas such as Anmore.

As Port Moody’s real estate continues to grow, the competition for single family homes also increases. Monica and Denny believe that prices will continue to rise, causing a busy Spring 2021. Luxury communities like Anmore will start to see more activity and eventual price increases.

Do you want to learn more about real estate in this area? Visit the G+D Port Moody Realtors page for all the inside information on one of our favourite cities in the province!