Port Moody Condo Trends with Monica from PoMo Life

Port Moody has seen record-breaking sales over the last two years, which have only continued to increase in price and frequency since the beginning of 2021.

Monica, an expert in Port Moody realty and co-host of the vlog PoMo Life, joins Denny on the podcast to break down recent condo sales trends in the area.

This episode will focus on the type of properties offering the best value, record-setting sales occurring in Port Moody, the trickle-down effect of a competitive single-family home market, the importance of starting small to build equity in real estate, and the impact of low inventory on increasing property value.

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

NOTES FROM THE EPISODE:

We are currently entering into an exciting time in Port Moody real estate. Properties are selling at an all-time high and with lightning speed right now. The SkyTrain is still a relatively new feature to the area and has been a substantial contributing factor to the market growth.

Port Moody Condo Trends in February 2021:

Denny and Monica share that they have seen market trends in Port Moody that resemble what you would typically see in the epicenter of a scorching market. Previously, it was imperative to have a great view, extra parking, or a unique renovation to get a high offer on a condo listing. Currently, the units are selling for asking or over asking price with street views and no significant updates.

Klahanie is one of the most popular areas in the city and is seeing record-breaking sales. It is a desirable Port Moody neighborhood that provides easy access to the SkyTrain, Breweries, and lots of shopping. In late February, three condos sold with prices higher than what has been seen in Port Moody for a long time.

This trend prompted Denny to approach a client who wanted to sell her home in the much sought-after Suter Brook Village. He told her that the evaluation she received only three weeks ago (based on the last 60 days’ worth of sales in the area) was already outdated. Considering the recent sales, her condo evaluation may have gone up by $40,000 – $50,000.

More recent sales in Port Moody show a similar pattern:

880 square foot condo in Klahanie:

  • Located on the top floor
  • Two bedrooms and two bathrooms
  • Listed at $680,000
  • Sold at $725,000 with multiple offers
  • Sold for approximately $830/square foot (about 12 months ago, condos would maybe reach $700/square foot)

713 square foot condo sold 1.5 weeks ago:

  • 15-year-old building
  • Located on the 3rd floor (not on the top floor)
  • One parking, one storage
  • One bedroom
  • Original bathroom and kitchen
  • New floors
  • Listed over what we thought it would be because of low inventory = $525,000
  • Sold subject free at full price (with multiple offers)

Port Moody Condo Opportunities:

Strata is currently on the tipping point of having a very strong year.

At the time of this podcast, there are 4 or 5 projects for pre-sale. Unfortunately, the majority of these units are either sold out or close to selling out. More new construction is still to come, so keep an eye out or contact us for updates and more information as they become available.

There is also a lot of opportunity in Port Moody’s investment properties for those who cannot buy their dream home in the area just yet. Monica recommends that you purchase a property that you can afford and then rent it out. This way, you can build equity to put towards another house in the future. Try not to stretch yourself too far to buy something in the beginning – it is important to make the moves as you feel ready to do so.

If you find yourself at the top of your budget, try looking into older buildings and complexes. Monica suggests looking into Brookside or the College Park area, which offers well-maintained properties with fantastic floor plans and a great community.

Predictions for Port Moody Condo Trends:

Monica and Denny share that they see a trickle-down effect when it comes to properties in Port Moody. Single family homes are increasing in value, and some homebuyers are unfortunately unable to afford the current prices. As more people opt for townhouses, those prices also increase as the competition grows. Because of this, some buyers are turning to the more affordable condo alternative.

Port Moody Realtors normally see this pattern taking years to reach condos. However, condo prices are already starting to rise. Monica and Denny predict that condo prices will continue to grow over the next six months.  It will be interesting to see if the increase continues at the same rate or cools down with less significant price point jumps.

Monica hopes that more inventory will be available soon as more home buyers want to move into the very desirable city of Port Moody.

Check out Port Moody Single Family Home Update with Monica for more details on the rising prices of detached houses and how it is affecting the market.

Are you interested in what is for sale in Port Moody? Visit our Port Moody Real Estate page to find out more about this beautiful city and some of the listings we have to offer!

Episode #53 – The Important Decision of Buying or Selling First

A common dilemma that homeowners face is whether they should buy a new home before or after selling their current property.

James and Denny walk you through the pros and cons of buying or selling first in a seller’s market.

This episode will focus on thoroughly understanding your financial situation, navigating the stress of owning two properties at once, knowing which property types will take longer to sell, and the importance of having a trusted agent who can clearly communicate the risks of this major investment.

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

5 Tips to Avoid Buyer Fatigue in a Seller’s Market

What is Buyer Fatigue?

We are currently experiencing a hypercompetitive seller’s market with low inventory and many active buyers. This quickly spirals potential home-buyers into the frustrating realm of buyer fatigue. Buyer fatigue refers to buyers who have seen so many properties, written too many unsuccessful offers, and are flat out exhausted with the buying process. Searching for the dream home can be an exhaustive undertaking and when you are losing out time and time again you start to feel like you will never win a bid.

Where Does This Fatigue Come From?

Buyer fatigue sneaks up on house hunters that want to start slow and take their time feeling out a hot market. Possibly based on their family or friends’ advice, they may make a cautious initial offer on a home with the hopes of strengthening it if it’s rejected. Unfortunately, listening to someone who is not familiar with the market can lead you into disappointing territory.

When buyers are skeptical of market advice and don’t capitalize on opportunities to write winning offers, they can waste crucial weeks, or even months, in a damaging cycle of submitting offers, getting rejected, modifying offers, getting rejected again, then starting all over with the next property. Listening to a knowledgeable Realtor can help you navigate through this process in a more efficient way.

The Greater Vancouver housing market is extremely competitive. The current market value in most neighborhoods is quickly increasing and the sale price of each condo, townhouse, or single-family home sets the precedent for the next one in that neighborhood. New home buyers can fear overpaying when advised to bid above the asking price on their first offer. The cold hard truth is that some houses are selling for upwards of $100,000 over the asking price. Sellers have the leverage and the luxury to pick whichever offer has the highest price and the fewest subjects.

Buyers have to learn quickly! If you take too long adjusting to the market conditions, buyer fatigue is going to set in. Unfortunately, desperation can also kick in at this point.

The biggest bummer of this whole process is that when the buyer finally does buy a home, they may long for the one that got away!

5 Tips to Boost Your Defense Against Buyer Fatigue:

  1. Hire an experienced agent you can trust! This means that right now may not be the best time to try out your cousin who just got licensed. Choose an agent who can balance writing a winning offer and protecting your interests. Select someone who clearly communicates and takes the time to explain the risk in waiving subjects.
  2. Speak with a mortgage specialist to help you get the most out of your money. They can walk you through the best type of financing for your individual situation and share helpful tips based on their knowledge of the industry.
  3. Get fully and thoroughly pre-approved! Get pre-approved before making an offer. Make sure to complete all the paperwork you can ahead of time.
  4. Don’t be afraid to go ALL IN with your first offer. Know that it is okay to fall in love with the first house you make an offer on. Remember that subjects can be removed if due diligence was properly done before writing an offer. Having an experienced agent to guide you through these decisions is vital.
  5. Consider updating your wish list. If you have lost out in previous offers, speak with your agent about reevaluating your wish list. You can increase the number of potential homes by broadening your preferred neighborhoods or updating the minimum property size (just to name a few). Additionally, the properties in less popular areas may have reduced audiences which lowers the amount of competition.

Next Steps for Success

While waiting for a showing or in preparation for your next offer, listen to our most recent podcast episodes to equip yourself with the information you need to help land your dream home:

The Right Questions to Ask Listing Agents When Buying a Home

Buyers Beware: Unpermitted Renovations

Market Update: The Growing Demand for Detached Houses

It is important to know that buyer fatigue can happen to anyone, even experienced buyers.  Align yourself with a proven and trusted team. Our hope is that you will find the home of your dreams before the fatigue sets in!

Episode #52 – The Right Questions to Ask Listing Agents When Buying a Home

Effective communication is key to getting the most out of a showing in today’s fast-paced market.

James and Denny review the specific questions they ask listing agents to help their clients make the most informed decisions when purchasing a home.

This episode will focus on the value in performing your due diligence as a buyer, the uncertainty of rezoning a property, how to make your offer stand out in multiple offer situations, and the importance of refraining from broad and generic questions and making specific inquiries about details the seller will actually know.

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

Episode #51 – How Realtors Can Effectively Prepare Buyers in a Competitive Market

Purchasing a property in the very competitive Greater Vancouver Area can be a frustrating process for buyers if they are unaware of current conditions.

James and Denny share how realtors can help their clients set realistic expectations and effectively prepare for buying in this busy real estate market.

This episode will focus on initial conversations realtors should have with new clients, the importance of communicating with listing agents, the benefits of working with a mortgage specialist, and the significance of ensuring proper due diligence is done behind the scenes to ensure clients make the best offer.

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

10 Steps to Buying a House in BC

You have found your dream home and are wanting to put in an offer. Watch this video from 2016 and review the updated list of 10 due diligence steps you should take to ensure you can move forward with confidence in 2021.

1. Find Out How Much you Can Afford

A mortgage broker or a mortgage specialist at your bank can take you through the steps to get pre-approved for a mortgage. A good mortgage pre-approval accurately measures your financial qualifications and how much house you can afford. Furthermore, the financial institution will provide a 90 or 120-day guarantee of its mortgage rate in case those rates jump while you are shopping. For more information on mortgage pre-approvals, visit the Government of Canada website.

It is important to note that a pre-approval isn’t a firm approval. When you’re ready to make a purchase, the lender will likely want to appraise the property to ensure that you’re paying market value and the property has an adequate lifespan. If the purchase price is well above market value or the home is deemed to have a short life expectancy, you may require a higher down payment. In some cases, the bank may not give you a mortgage at all.

When setting your budget, do not forget to factor in costs like closing fees and maintenance or repairs. Another cost to consider is condo strata fees.

2. Go to City Hall

Another due diligence step is to request any information City Hall may have on record about the property such as its zoning, lot dimensions, permits that have been issued or any future plans for the surrounding area. Checking the zoning is especially important if you’re planning to operate a business out of your residence, renovate or redevelop, or rent a suite in the home. Review all extensive renovations for proper permits.

3. Request a Property Disclosure Statement

While property disclosure statements are not required under BC law, realtors will often ask for one from the property’s current owner so they can give buyers as much detailed information about a property as possible. The property disclosure statement is a three-page document that itemizes potential problems like renovations done without a permit, unauthorized rental suites, asbestos insulation, unregistered easements or whether the seller is aware of any issues like the presence of an underground oil tank, moisture problems, if the property was ever used as a grow op, or if it has ever been designated as a heritage site. The statement can be legally incorporated into the contract for purchase and sale.

4. Do a Title Search on the Property

A title search will confirm whether the person selling you their property is actually the rightful owner. It will also determine whether there are any easements, right-of-ways, or covenants against the property that could affect its future development. It will show if there are liens or outstanding mortgages on the property. Click here for more information.

5. Ask for a Site Survey

A site survey will tell you what you are buying. It shows the property lines, how the property is aligned with neighbouring properties, and features like roads or sidewalks. It will also show where the house is positioned on the property. A lender will often require a survey certificate as part of their mortgage requirements. In some cases, the lender will request a title insurance policy instead of a survey certificate, and sometimes they will ask for both. Title insurance protects the lender against potential issues with a property such as encroachment or past fraud.
For more information about site surveys, visit the BC Land Title & Survey website.

6. Find out the Home’s Utility Expenses

Another due diligence step is finding out the home’s utility expenses. Utilities include gas, electrical, annual solid waste, water and sewer levies, and property taxes. Your realtor can request utility bills from the property’s current owner. Water/sewage rates as well as the taxes for a particular property can usually be found on a municipality’s website.

7. Hire a Home Inspector

A qualified home inspector will walk through and around the property to assess any major defects, safety concerns, or potential threats to the integrity of the home. Keep in mind that there are limitations to these inspections as they cannot see behind walls.

In a hot market it can be difficult, even impossible, to purchase a home with a “subject to inspection” clause. When this is the case, hire an inspector before presenting an offer. When you’re considering the qualifications of a home inspector, assess their knowledge, experience, training, certification, licensing and their level of participation in the industry. For more information, listen to our podcast episode on the benefits of working with an experienced home inspector.

8. Consult a Home Insurance Provider and Purchase a Home Warranty

Most lenders are going to require you to have insurance in place in order to get a mortgage. Home insurance helps pay for structural damage and loss of personal property from emergencies like theft or fire. If you’re buying an older home that has a wood-burning fireplace or knob-and-tube wiring, you may encounter some issues getting insurance or have to pay higher premiums. Insurance companies can deny coverage if the property has been poorly maintained or vacant for an extended period of time. Renovations could also affect your ability to get an insurance policy. Remember that events like sewer backups and earthquakes are not typically included in basic policies.

A home warranty covers the repairs and replacements of your home’s major systems and appliances when they fail from old age. Carry out thorough research to compare different companies to find the best plan that meets your family’s future needs.

9. Check for a Buried Oil Tank

If you are purchasing an older home, your due diligence should include confirming there is no oil tank buried on the property. Many homes used an oil-burning furnace that was fueled from a tank buried somewhere on the property before the widespread adoption of natural gas or hydro for heating.

Some municipalities keep records of properties known to have oil tanks, or those that have had old tanks decommissioned. This is a great place to start.
New Westminster: call the fire prevention office to see if they have anything on file for your property
Burnaby: send an email to fire@burnaby.ca
Vancouver: call the city’s information line at 3-1-1 to check if there are any records for oil tank removals or abandonments
Coquitlam: call Coquitlam Fire & Rescue at 604-927-6400 to have them check their records

If those searches come up empty, you’ll have to check with the current owner to see if they have had the property scanned for an oil tank, or else hire a company that can do the scan. A basic scan will cost you between $80 – $150. It includes a technician scanning the property with a metal detector and probing device. For a more accurate and detailed scan, consider a company that uses Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR). Low clearance decks and metal debris may affect the ability to get a conclusive scan.

The decommissioning and removal of old oil tanks is labourious and expensive, especially if it’s leaking oil into the soil. Be aware that if a tank is discovered after you’ve acquired the property, you will be responsible for its removal as well as any remediation for the surrounding soil. Visit the British Columbia website for more information about residential heating oil storage tanks.

10. Confirm all the Items Included in the Sale

Unless specifically written into the contract, appliances like the stove, refrigerator, dishwasher or microwave may not included in the purchase. Garage remotes, window coverings, curtains, keys, sheds, appliances and corresponding warranty manuals, potted plants, shelving units that aren’t attached to walls are all items that should be specifically written into a contract. The inclusion of fixtures like TV mounts, blinds, security systems, hood fans and central vacuum systems should also be clarified.

It is also a great idea to research the neighbourhood and find out more information about where you will be living. Mapping out your daily commute to work, finding the best shopping centers and stores, and getting a better feel for your neighbours is a great start.

Once your due diligence checks out and you are confident in your purchase decision, you can remove subjects, submit your deposit, and wait for the day when you get the keys to your new home!

Episode #50 – Buyers Beware: Unpermitted Renovations when Buying a Home

With current properties being sold so quickly, a lot of buyers may be overlooking certain negative aspects of a home that in the past may have been major red flags in a sale.

James and Denny discuss the reasons behind unpermitted renovations and share how buyers can gain valuable information regarding work done on a property before buying.

This episode will focus on the importance of certified inspections and permit approvals, legal basement suites, material latent defects, enquiring about permit history, and the varying severity of unpermitted renovations.

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

How we Helped a Family Sell a Townhouse and Condo to Buy their Dream Detached House

This is the story of a family selling two strata properties and coming together to buy a multigenerational dream detached house in a scorching-hot market. We will rename them the Smith Family for the purposes of this blog post.

Currently, we are knee-deep in a Seller’s Market, and desirable, well-priced properties are flying off the shelf. While detached houses are selling quickly with overbooked showings and multiple offers, the buyer’s side is very competitive. Buyers may lose out on several houses before winning the bid. So, what does this mean for those wanting to buy AND sell?

Searching for the Dream Detached House

It was an advanced magic trick that required trust, timing, and finesse to secure this three-part deal for the Smiths. We had been searching for the perfect multigenerational home for the Smith family for over a year in the Port Moody real estate market. It was a slower Buyer’s Market when we started shopping so we had more time and less pressure to visit local showings. Unfortunately, the right product was nowhere to be found.

The Smith family was looking for:
– A completely above-ground in-law suite that felt like part of the main home.
– A property in the Heritage Mountain, Port Moody area to stay close to friends and family.

We found a few potential homes in the summer of 2020, but the market was starting to shift. We put in offers on 3 or 4 houses but lost out in multiple offer situations because we had Subject to Sale of TWO properties. 

Finding the Dream Home

Being Port Moody realtors, we had the advantage of regularly being in the area. We continued to keep an eye out for any new listings that fit the bill. It took time and patience, but a few weeks ago we finally found THE DREAM HOME! The Smith family was willing to do anything to get this house. The property was $200,000 over budget (and in our opinion a little overpriced), but otherwise perfect. My real estate partner Lucas and I discussed this purchase many times and it all boiled down to timing. 

Sale #1: How we Won the Dream Detached House

The dream detached house with a SOLD sticker

It is a challenge to negotiate dollars off the purchase price in a Seller’s Market. Our plan was to present the offer in a way that would convince the Seller that this is a win for all of us. We put our offer together with an extensive Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) arguing our case for the purchase price and a personal letter from the family.

We decided to drop the Subject to Sale of the townhouse because we had a good feeling about where the market was at for this type of property.

After a few cleanup items and a fair conversation with the Listing Realtor, the Seller accepted our offer! The house had been listed for over a year, and the family wanted it sold.

Condo and Townhouse for Sale

Now came the scary part: we needed to sell, and we needed to sell fast. With only two months until completion (the day you pay for the home), there was not a lot of time to test out the market. We priced their Westwood Plateau condo and Heritage Mountain townhouse at the top end of market value. This meant that we had to bring the heat with marketing their homes!

The townhouse in Port Moody was very popular, so we decided to give it 2 weekends on the market before looking at offers. This strategy was nerve-wracking and definitely tested our patience. For the condo in Coquitlam, we opted to look at the offers as they came. We put the condo on the market one week before the townhouse, as we knew it could potentially take longer to sell.

Sale #2: Offer time for the Cascade, Coquitlam condo

Two real estate agents standing in front of a sold condo in Coquitlam

The day before we were going to drop the condo price, we received an offer! We negotiated the price up to a very acceptable range: $5,000 higher than the price drop that was scheduled. Just to note, the contract did come with some subjects.

Sale #3: Offer time for the Discovery Ridge, Port Moody Townhouse

Two realtors standing in front of a sold townhome in Port Moody

We were scheduled to present offers on the townhouse in Port Moody the very next day. We received 8 offers after 45 buyer showings. Two of those offers really stood out. All buyers were given a chance to put their best foot forward and, in the end, we had a winner!

I want to take a quick break here to let you know that the winner was the LAST BUYER to view the property. We may have easily left money on the table if we had not given every person a chance to see the home.  

Once we had our winner, we negotiated the exact dates we needed for Completion/Possession to line up with the dates on the Smith’s DREAM detached house purchase. We also managed to slip in a very clever subject protecting the Sellers in case subjects did not get removed on the condo sale.

Are you still with me? To break it down, we put in a Subject to the Seller entering into an unconditional contract to purchase a new residence. This type of subject typically does not work in a buyer’s market, but we knew the moment was right and had the expertise to present it to the buyers in a way that made it feel like a win-win. We agreed to let the buyers do some due diligence during that time AND we got the 2nd best offer to agree to be in a Back-Up Offer position. This way, if the first offer fell through for any reason, we had another one on deck!

Putting up SOLD Stickers on THREE Properties

When Subject Removal day arrived, we were excited to remove subjects on all 3 properties. Our plan worked perfectly!

How were we able to quickly sell the strata properties? The major keys were market timing, appropriate price, and prepared real estate agents. Having the strata documents ready, all paperwork in order, and thoroughly reviewing the documents prior to listing gave buyers a sense of confidence. Buyers have a much higher rate of removing subjects when realtors can answer every question with clarity. This is extremely important. 

Goodbye strata life!

The Smith family is packing for the big move that is set to take place in just a few short weeks. Our real estate team is delighted for this family and so grateful that they put their trust in us. 

Congratulations to our amazing clients on your dream detached house in Port Moody!

Episode #49 – Market Update: The Growing Demand for Detached Houses

Detached houses are HOT right now as people are moving out of Vancouver in search of more space.

James and Denny weigh in on the very low supply of single-family homes available and the increasing number of buyers looking to move into these types of properties.

This episode will focus on bidding wars with multiple offers, the overwhelming number of people trying to attend showings, the importance of setting proper price points for listings, and how to make a competitive offer. The guys also share the interesting experiences they have had with detached houses in the cities seeing the most activity right now: Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge, Langley, and Abbotsford.

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

Notes from the episode:

More buyers are entering the market due to low-interest rates and the desire for more space. It can be difficult to navigate through these price increases to find the best value in the top locations, so James and Denny have broken down some of their favourite locations for you.  

Where are we Seeing the Most Activity?

Many people are moving further East into Langley, Abbotsford, Maple Ridge, and Pitt Meadows for more space and affordability. Previously, these cities were seen as too far out for most buyers. However, they have quickly become the new hot spots due to lower prices and larger property sizes.

Maple Ridge (including some areas of Pitt Meadows):
– Growing communities with mountains, lakes, breweries, and great shopping
– West Maple Ridge has a lot of amenities, parks, and is closer to the city.
– East Maple Ridge has bigger houses and newer construction selling in the $1.3 million to $1.5 million range as of early 2021.
– Demographic: a lot of young families looking for more space

Langley:
– The communities seeing high activity are Brookswood, Cloverdale, Walnut Grove, Murrayville, and Willoughby Heights
– There has been an approximate 15% price increase within the last 3 months in these areas with houses selling for $1.2 million to $1.4 million
– Access: Langley is close to the highway and is very accessible to those commuting for work

Coquitlam:
– A lot of value in livable, entry-level detached homes in this area
– Due to the high cost of materials, it may be better to buy a built home and sell in 5 years than buy an empty lot/tear down and build for investment purposes.
– Listings under $1.5 million is getting a lot of interest right now
– Greatest value found in properties worth over $2 million

What to Expect When Purchasing Detached Homes:

It is hard to predict exactly what will happen this year in the real estate market. In the last two months, we have already seen a 15% increase in single-family home prices.  It is important to note that this does not increase on a gradual scale, so it will not necessarily continue growing at the same rate. Nevertheless, we do believe that it will continue to rise.

With the value of detached homes increasing seemingly overnight as more houses sell, it can be difficult to know exactly what your offer should be. Take a look at the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver February 2021 stats for more information on recent single-family home prices.

The Takeaway Message:

It may be challenging to find value in the prices of detached homes right now, but they will most likely seem like a deal when you look back at these numbers in a few months’ time! Unless there is a big influx of houses going on sale, which is quite unlikely at this time, the market will continue to become more competitive.

A cautious suggestion for those thinking of entering the real estate market: even if you are stretching yourself and spending more than what you had originally planned, it is better to do that now than wait 6 months when real estate value has increased.

Do you have questions regarding upsizing into a larger home, the appropriate price of a listing, and the growing appeal of moving out of the city and into the surrounding areas? We would love to hear from you – contact us and we can help you with some of the specifics.

Episode #48 – How Realtors can Prepare Buyers and Sellers for an Active Real Estate Market

As a new year begins, more buyers and sellers are considering entering the housing market and are looking for expertise and direction on how best to proceed.

James and Denny discuss what type of conversations realtors should be having during this time to prepare their clients for what to expect in a very active real estate market.

This episode will focus on the value behind following up with clients, opportunities to provide information and show expertise during slow periods, empty nesters looking to downsize, the power of a strong offer, and how best to navigate the increase in the market value of detached homes.

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