Drew & Patti Steeves Team

HomeLife Benchmark Titus Realty

Cell (604) 230-5700

Office (604) 575-5262

Email: drew@drewsteeves.com

Blogs
Posts By Date
Categories

It's been all over the news lately that the Bank of Canada intends to increase mortgage rates. While this sends most mortgage- toting homeowners into a panic, there are ways to prevent this increase from posing a problem to your financial situation. See below for some simple tips to help you reduce your money worries.



 

1. Lock in mortgage rates & credit lines

Prevent an increase in rates (and stress) by locking in your rates for a set period of time. Speak with your bank and/ or financing provider to work out the details. If rates fluctuate ( ie increase) you will be locked in at the previous lower rate, mitigating against the financial worries of a rate increase.


2. Set up an emergency savings fund

If you haven't already done so, make sure you have some savings to fall back on. Put aside a portion of your monthly income to deposit into your emergency savings fund. You can make this a set monthly amount or a percentage of your net income, whichever you're more comfortable with. This will help during tough months when/ if money gets tight.


3. Cut back on expenses

How often do you buy a coffee? Lunch? A snack on the go? Resist the urge to spend on these unnecessary expenses and put that money towards other things. It may not seem like a lot at the time, but when you get your monthly bill you can 'nickel and dime' yourself into a large amount of extra spending that wasn't necessary.


4. Make paying down debts a priority

We know it isn't fun to spend money on debt, but it can save you a lot of money in the long run. Figure out what your largest/ most expensive debts are and work down the list. Prioritize which debts you want to focus on paying down first. It may help to speak to a financial advisor to help you determine where you should focus on first. Debts with hight interest rates are often the first thing to be addressed, as these can be very expensive in the ong run without making a large impact on the principal cost.


Have questions about mortgage rates and how this can affect you buying a home? We're happy to answer all of your questions and put you at ease during your buying & selling experience. Contact us today with your questions and to schedule a meeting to help you get ready to buy or sell.


Image Source: Infinity Investment Group

Read full post

Last week we were talking about ways to get your home ready to sell in advance so you have less work when you list your house for sale. This week we're building on that topic by discussing the importance of furniture arrangement in your home. Placement of furniture can impact how functional the room is (is it too cramped?) and the overall feel; important for both helping your home appeal to potential buyers and for you when you move into your new home & have to decide where everything will go.

 

Whether you're trying to get your house prepped for sale or figuring out how to arrange your existing furniture in your new home, it can take some rearranging until you get the layout right. But moving everything manually can be tough on your back. To save yourself from suffering the pain (and time) of moving your furniture manually, why not try using one of the many free room planners available online?

 

To help you figure out the best way to organize your space, we found this great article from The Budget Decorator full of tips & resources to help you create cozy spaces, regardless of room size. 

 

Thinking about putting your house on the market this year? Contact us to schedule a meeting to discuss how we can help you sell your home fast & for a great price. We'd love to be your realtor team!

 

Image Source: The Budget Decorator

Read full post

Don't wait until it's time to list to get your house ready and organized to put on the market.

 

If you're planning on listing your home in the Spring, now is the perfect time to check tasks off of your to- do list, before the warmth and sunshine of Spring become too distracting. By getting prepared now you won't have a laundry list of things to do by the time the 'for sale' sign goes up .

 

See below for tips to start getting your home ready in advance to sell. 

 

Clean & Declutter

After the holidays is the perfect time to start sorting through items and deciding whether to keep, sell, or store them. For items you want to keep, think about if they'll add to the decor of the house or just become clutter. If they fall under the second category, begin organizing boxes to put into storage while your house is on the market. Anyting else can be sold or donated (this is especially important to keep in mind if you're downsizing). 

 


Freshen Up Your Decor

As we start approaching March & April, think about how your decor style may look to potential buyers? Is is dark and heavy from the Winter? Is it dated? Too personalized/ not neutral enough? Your realtor can help you figure out how to edit your decorating style to help your home appeal to as many buyers as possible, but getting a jump start doesn't hurt. Adding seasonal touches will make your house feel cozy & help buyers picture themselves living there.

 

Pay Attention to Details

Now is the time to go through your home and take notice of the little imperfections that you would look for if buying a home. Note any paint chips, crooked lightswitch plates, dirty grout and chaulking that could use a clean or replacing, damage to fllooring (think stains and wear & tear on carpets; scratches & dents in hardwood & laminate), etc. It may take a little bit of time and money now to address these things, but come time to sell you'll be glad you did. Making small upgrades and fixes can even help you fetch a better sale price.

 

Freshen Up 

Something important to keep in mind is the odor of your home- if you're a smoker and/ or pet owner. Does it smell fresh when you walk in? Musty and damp? Can you tell fido just ran through? It can take time to air out your home, so starting now by trying to eliminate (or at least minimize) these scents that can be off- putting to buyers. As the weather warms, try opening doors and windows to let fresh air in, keep dirty pets outisde, and try smoking near an open window or under cover outside. Again, these may seem like inconveniences now, but if your house sells faster because you took the time in advance, you'll be glad you made the extra effort.


Final Touches

Right before you list your home & have the first open house/ viewing, make sure you add a few finishing touches, like fresh flowers. Do a final dust check & make sure you turn on lights to make your home bright & welcoming. Replace any burnt out bulbs and do a final walk- through of the house to make sure it makes a good first impression. Have your realtor do a walk- through with you to make sure the you've got everything covered and your home shows the best it can.

 

Thinking about selling this year? Need some advice to get your home ready? We would love to be the realtor team to help sell your home. Contact us today to schedule a meeting!


Image Sources: Bob Vila

 

Read full post

Happy new year! We hope you enjoyed a wonderful holiday season!

 

Now that we're into the new year we thought it would be a good time to share some tips about home maintenance throughout the year. What better time to start getting organized than the beginning of a new year? See below for some great tips throughout the seasons from targetwoman.com.

 

 

Spring 

This is an important season for home maintenance- ever wonder why it's called 'spring cleaning'? Focus on the interiors to prepare for the ensuing summer heat after months of humidity.

 

  • Cleaning of windows takes top priority. And storm windows have to be replaced with screens. For instance if a hole is missed in the window screen, bugs might make their way inside. Duct tapes may be good for a quick fix but not a permanent solution.

  • Smoke detectors must be checked for batteries. Fire hazards must be checked for, say, overloaded extension cords. Carbon monoxide detectors have to be checked.

  • It is important to check if all the exits such as hallways and stairs are clutter free. Similarly, locks, latches, and hinges on doors and windows have to be checked and replaced. Inspect for roof leaks, debris and loose shingles.

  • Clean garbage, car park and shed, basement and attic. 

  • Have a professional inspect and pump the septic tank.

  • Gutters, driveways, yards and walkways have to be clear of debris. Remove leaves, branches and debris from gutters and ensure that waterways are properly drained from the house. Repair damaged gutter components if necessary. The clothes dryer vent system must be cleaned as lint can build up and cause the dryer to run longer than required, thereby wasting energy.

  • Ensure that stairs, both indoor and outdoor are slip proof.

  • Caulking around sinks, tubs and showers should be examined.

  • Broken pavements on stairs need to be fixed. Also fix broken, gates, doors and fences. Inspect if they are functioning properly and replace if necessary. 

  • Check for pests, termites and rodents. If infestation problem persists, take professional help. 
  • Get the air conditioner ready for the ensuing summer. DIY tips can help to fix up any issue and user guides are available for regular maintenance. 

  • Ensure that puddles do not stand around the house for more than 24 hours. The pavement may be raised with some professional help so that water is drained away from home.

  • Trees and shrubs in the backyard have to be trimmed and hanging branches eliminated. There is always the danger of plants weaseling their way into cracks and holes on the exterior of the house. It is better to nip them in the bud as they can cause extensive damage to the homes. Trees also have to be checked for interference with electric lines.

  • Make sure that the swimming pool has pumps and filtration systems that work effectively.

  • Check the exteriors of the house for paint requirements. Check if there are any holes in the brick work or any cracks in the foundation. 

 

Summer 

Summer is the perhaps the best time of the year to focus on the exterior of the home as well as gardens and lawns. This is the right time to put the garage to use by utilizing the prolonged daylight to neaten it up and complete projects that were left for another time.

Summer home maintenance check list includes:

 

  • First and foremost is to mow the lawn and trim the bushes. Weak and rotten trees or branches have to be removed. Clean garden lawn furniture and grills. Garden hoses may be checked for leaks. 

  • Better install window air conditioners or central air cooling systems or inspect if the existing ones are in good order.

  • Home security system needs to be addressed. Security guard system also has to be checked, or install one. 

  • Door and window screens to be checked and windows repaired or replaced as the need be. Door locks and door knobs to be ensured that they are working fine and deadbolts on doors can be installed if they are not found.

  • Lights and bulbs outside the house need to be checked and replaced. 

  • Ensure that septic tanks are in good working condition and the sewer lines are inspected.

  • Driveways, walkways and sideways, patios and walls need to be checked for cracks if any and replaced/repaired as needed. In general, it is better to give them a good washing.

  • Tubs, sinks, showers and drains must be cleaned. Faucets and toilets may be checked for leaks. 

  • Similarly, decks, steps and wooden structures must be checked for rot and repaired. 

  • Wooden surfaces may be checked for weather proofing if they are over two years or more.

  • Since summer is a playground for many an insect, chimneys and roofs can be checked and removed for flying insect nests. Ants, spiders, moths etc may also be common in homes - keep cobwebs cleared and ant poison handy.

  • Dryer vent systems and electrical cords can be checked for wear and tear. While the dryer is running, check if the exhaust is coming out. It should smell of fresh laundry. 

  • Garage cleaning is a summer ritual one must follow. Keep it clean and tidy. Give it a thorough going through at least once a year.

  • Grout in bathroom and kitchen has to be repaired as this will prolong the life of tiled surfaces

 

Fall

This is a perfect season to tackle important home improvement projects. This is the time of the year when the weather is dry and temperatures are moderate. Examine both the interior and exterior of the house. Although it is all right to manage many of the maintenance items on our own, it is better and safer to call for assistance whenever required.

 

  • It is a must to rake leaves and aerate the lawn.

  • Clean and inspect the gutters for spouts and leaves. Test the sump pump to find if it is working fine. 

  • Better inspect the attic for birds, squirrels, bats and other such guests and seal off entrance holes.

  • The house has to be weatherized to withstand the cold weather and insulate, weather strop, caulk, plaster, or replace windows.

  • This is the time to get the heating system ready for winter. Check and clean the furnace for air filters. Inspect and clean the hearth and stock up on firewood. Clean the chimney flue.

  • Clean the clothes dryer vent system as lint buildup can cause the dryer to run longer and this wastes energy and can lead to a fire. 

  • Remove unused lawn furniture, grills, hoses and other outdoor items.

  • Keep sidewalk salt, good shovels ready and you would never guess when the first snowflakes would come.

  • Close the swimming pool properly and ensure that water is drained from pipes. Better to cover the pool and keep it clean during the 'off' season.

  • An emergency survival kit for bad weather can be created with batteries, candles, water and packaged food.

  • Clean window air-conditioners and change screens to storm windows. It is better to get prepared for the ensuing winter by closing the outside unit with plastic sheeting and secure with bungee cords.

  • This is the time of the year when your home gets ready for winter; so check on the heater and remove sediments to make it efficient.

 

Winter

This is the time to go around through the interiors and check even for small things which she might have overlooked during the earlier seasons. This is also the season to get done projects be it painting or building shelves.

 

  • Icicles can be dangerous for those standing beneath them as they are incredibly heavy and can damage the house. Even the foundation of the house can be affected by water damage when they melt. Hence, de-icing is the first and foremost thing this winter season.

  • Test electricity with utmost care. Check whether all outlets are working. 

  • Car should be equipped with blanket, shovel, sand and first aid kit.

  • Canned goods and household items need to be stocked up - light bulbs and batteries. 

  • Check smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. 

  • Check refrigerator and freezer gaskets. A vacuum with brush attachment can be used to clean the coils at the back of the refrigerator.

  • Identify and repair any leaks in toilets. 

  • Not only inside the home, keep paths and driveways clear of snow and ice. 

  • Check for proper lighting inside and outside the house. Make sure that holiday lights inside and outside the house are in good working order.

  • Sinks, tubs, toilets may be checked for leaks in faucet and tank. 

  • Handles, knobs, racks need to be tightened for loose screws.

  • Caulking around showers and bath tubs needs to be repaired.

  • Clean shower of sediments so that their life is prolonged.

  • Deep clean basements and dust them up. Make sure that there is no mold anywhere around and ensure that the basement is given a good inspection at least once a year.

 

A home maintenance calendar should help to maximize your efficiency by actually getting these tasks done. Jot down the points on paper or your Smartphone and regularly monitor them for completion.

 

If you're planning on selling your home in 2015 getting a jump start on cleaning & maintenance now can save you time and reduce stress when it comes time to put your house on the market. We'd love to be the realtor team to help you sell your home (and help you find the next!). Please feel free to contact us with any questions you have and to schedule an appointment.

 

Source: Target Woman

 

Image Source: Sew Woodsy

Read full post
Categories:   2015 market information | 55+ | adding value | advice | ammenities | apartment | apartment, | apartment, condo | apartment, condo, for sale, Fraser Valley, White Rock, South Surrey, attached, | apartments, condos, attached, house, home, Vancouver, Fraser Valley, market information, trends, baby boomers, | architectural details | arranging | attached | attached, | Bank of Canada | bathroom | bbq, grill, outside, outdoors, exterior, deck, patio, yard, Summer | BC, beautiful BC, lakes, fishing, outside, outdoors, activities | BC, Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Lower Mainland, market, | bedroom | buy a house | buyers sellers | buying | buying, | buying, condos, apartments, attached, houses, homes, Cloverdale, Surrey, detached | buying, condos, apartments, Surrey | buying, first time home buyers, investment | buying, selling | buying, selling Langley, detached | buying, selling, | buying, selling, Fraser Valley, market information, detached, townhomes, single family homes | buying, selling, Fraser Valley, Vancouver, Lower Mainland | buying, selling, house, home, | buying, selling, house, home, real estate | buying, selling, market information, Fraser Valley, Surrey, Langley, Cloverdale, South Surrey | buying, selling, mortgage rates, lending | buying, selling, property value, home evaluation | buying, selling, terms, information | buying, selling, Vancouver, Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley, market information, detached, attached, condos, apartments, local | buying, Surrey, attached, bungalow, rancher | buying, White Rock, South Surrey, attached, condos, apartments, patio, deck | Canada Day, July 1, celebrations, family, buying, selling, Fraser Valley, Vancouver, Lower Mainland, cooking, baking, cake | checklist | Christmas, | cleaning | coffered ceilings | community, ev | community, events, garage sale | condo | condo, | condos | conserve energy | curb appeal | custom built | deck | deck, | declutter | decor | decorating | detached | detached, | detached, house, home, buying, Surrey, Fraser Valley | dining room | DIY | DIY, outside, outdoors, curb appeal, projects, garden, herb garden, patio, small spaces | DIY, yard, garden, outside, outdoors, exterior, curb appeal, backyard, fire pit, bbq, stone, Summer | doors | drafts | drain spouts | economic growth, economy, buying, selling, | emergency preparedness | emergency savings | energy | energy bills | ensuite | entertaining, Summer, bbq, patio, deck, yard, | entrance | entryway | expenses | exterior | exterior, interior, maintenance, curb appeal, Spring cleaning | Fall | Fall, | family room | financial advisor | fixed, variable, interest rates | for sale | for sale, | for sale, condos, apartments, South Surrey, White Rock, attached, | Fraser Valley | Fraser Valley, | furniture | FVREB, reports | garage | garland | get your home ready to sell | granite | gutters | hardwood floors | high rise | holiday | holidays | home | home maintenance, | home office | home staging | home staging, | home, | hot water tank | house | house inspection, home inspector, home evaluation, home safety, interior, exterior | house insurance, buying, selling | house showing | house value, property value, | house, | house, home, buying, selling, tips, advice, home staging,sell your home fast, | house, home, maintenance, outside, outdoors, exterior, curb appeal, advice, tips | how to | in case of emergency | in suit laundry | income property | income property, apartments, condos, flipping, virtual tour, Surrey, Fraser Valley, Vancouver | increase the value of your home | information | information, resources, advice, tips, BCREA | inside | inspection | interior | January | just listed | just sold, | kitchen | land | Langley | Langley, | large home | large lot | leaky faucets | leaky toilets | listings, open house, market information | local market | local, | local, Summer, family, daytrips | lock in your rate | Lower Mainland | Lower Mainland, | Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley | Lower Mainland, Metro Vancouver, | maintenance | maintenance, | make rooms feel larger | market information, advice, | market information, Fraser Valley | market information, Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Canada, statistics, mortgage rates, lending, buying, selling, | Metro Vancouver | Metro Vancouver, | modernize | mortgage rates, | mortgage, info, advice, tips, interest, principal, buying, homes | nanny suite | new listings | off- season selling | office | open house | open house, selling, buying, Surrey | open house, White Rock, | ornaments | outside | outside, exterior, curb appeal, DIY, hanging baskets, planters | outside, inside | outside, outdoors, exterior, maintenance, Spring cleaning | outside, outdoors, yard, garden, maintenance, tips, advice, Spring, Summer, buying, selling | parking | parks, Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley, activities, family, outdoors, outside, things to do, nature, Summer Vacation, Holidays | patio | pay down debt | penthouse | planning ahead | powder room | prepare your house for sale | private yard | property | property sales | real estate | real estate, home, house, investment property, tips, advice, realtors, real estate agents, | real estate, market, information, detached, attached, condos, apartments, houses, homes, | REBGV | recipes, | recipes, Easter, | recipes, fish, fresh, local, BC, | reduce your debt | reduced | renovated | renovation | renovations on a budget | renovations, home improvement, selling, kitchens, bathrooms, outside, inside, interior, exterior, decks, patios | repairs | residential, attached | resources, tips, advice, | retirement | retirement community | return on investment | roof | safety | save money | sell your home fast | sell your home fast, | selling | selling, | selling, buying, for sale | selling, home staging, Spring, decorating, decor, seasonal, tips, advice | selling, home staging, Spring, decorating, decor, seasonal, tips, advice, curb appeal | selling, renovating, DIY, bathrooms, powder rooms | selling, tips, advice | senior complex | smoke detectors | sold, | South Surrey | South Surrey, | space | split level | Spring, Summer, outside, activities, Metro Vancouver, Lower mainland, neighbourhood, community, local | stage to sell | stainless steel | statistics | storage | stress free | suite | suites | Sullivan Heights | Summer, family, activities, local, BC, roadtrip, travel, | Surrey | Surrey, | tips | tips, advice | tips, advice, resources, | top floor | townhome | townhouse | update | updated | updated, renovated, high ceilings, patio, deck, ocean, beach, views, | updates | updating | utility bills | Vacnouver, YVR, Fraser Valley, real estate, detached, attached, houses, homes, information, prices, market info | Vancouver | Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Lower Mainland, | Vancouver, YVR, Fraser Valley | vaulted ceilings | walk in closet | water bills | White Rock | White Rock, South Surrey, Attached, condos, apartments, patio, deck, beach, ocean, open house | windows | Winter | winterize | wreath

Check back weekly for useful information for both buyers & sellers.

The data relating to real estate on this website comes in part from the MLS® Reciprocity program of either the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV), the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) or the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board (CADREB). Real estate listings held by participating real estate firms are marked with the MLS® logo and detailed information about the listing includes the name of the listing agent. This representation is based in whole or part on data generated by either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB which assumes no responsibility for its accuracy. The materials contained on this page may not be reproduced without the express written consent of either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB.