Marijane Smith
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(250) 385.2033

Email:
marijanesmith@shaw.ca

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A Sound Investment In Your Future
Old Versus New
Your Needs And Wants


A Sound Investment In Your Future

Why use your hard-earned cash to pay the landlord’s mortgage when you could be using the rent money to buy a home of your own? That’s a question many people ask themselves when they start thinking about moving out of the rental market to home ownership.

It’s a big step. For most people, taking out a mortgage is the biggest financial commitment they will ever make. But buying your own home has always made sound financial sense. Here are some facts to think over when considering home ownership as opposed to renting.

If you are 35 now and just buying your first home, you will likely be mortgage-free when you are 60 and sitting comfortably on a considerable asset. It’s highly likely your investment will appreciate considerably in 25 years. It’s important, however, not to buy with the intention of making a quick fortune. Think of home buying as a sound, long-term investment.

Buying a home is a very effective way of saving regularly over many years. Even if you never buy into another retirement or investment plan, you are effectively putting money away for the future. Owning a home of your own means you and your family can set down roots, get to know your community and involve yourselves in it.

Discover the pride of home ownership. You can fix the place to suit your particular needs. You can also have pets in your home. As your family grows and moves on to homes of their own, you wil have the option of earning extra income by renting out spare rooms or floors, if local bylaws allow.

If you are planning to borrow money from a bank or other financial institution, owning your own home is a definite plus when it comes time to negotiate.
You may not need as much money as you think to get into the home market. Qualified buyers can buy a house with as little as five per cent down through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s (CMHC) mortgage insurance scheme. You may also be able to use RRSP funds as part of your down payment.
With many kinds of investments, you have to pay a capital gains tax if you make a profit.

If your home is your principal residence, this tax does not apply. After you have carefully considered all of the aspects of home ownership and are ready to begin your search, it’s time to contact your realtor®. He or she has access to the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®), a co-operative marketing system through which properties are bought and sold. Using the MLS®, your realtor® can prepare a customized list of properties for sale that best meet your needs wants and budget. Your realtor® will also provide valuable assistance and guidance to you throughout the buying process.

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Old Versus New

Are you in the market for a home? If so, do you see yourself in a cozy character home with ornate fireplaces, or does the image of a brand new home with today’s state-of-the-art technology appeal? Either way, you will find that the rewards of buying your own home are many. The security, comfort and peace of mind you get from home ownership, regardless of your preference for old or new, are well worth the investment.

This is an excellent time to consider buying. Attractive mortgage rates, government incentive programs and a wide selection of housing options available through the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) make this a good time to buy.

Look and Compare
As you start your search for a home, it is a good idea to enlist the services of a realtor®. Realtors® have access to the MLS® system and can help narrow the search by providing you with a list of available properties in the price range and location that suits you.

Your selection, to a large extent, will be determined by your lifestyle and in most cases becomes a matter of compromise. For instance, you may find an older home that needs some renovation work, but this may not necessarily fit into your budget plans or your hectic schedule if you plan to do a lot of the work yourself. On the other hand, you may find a new home attractive but would have to spend extra money on landscaping and installing some of the amenities that may be a part of the package in an older home.

Advantages of an Older Home
Older homes have a number of advantages. You can see exactly what you are getting — structural faults are generally easier to see and can be or have been corrected. The character of the neighbourhoo is established and a variety of local services is usually available. In addition, the landscaping around the home has already been completed. There are generally fewer move-in costs because basic features like drapery tracks (and sometimes window coverings) are already installed. Chattels — such as special lighting fixtures —are often included in the sale of an older home.

Advantages of a New Home
A brand new home also has advantages. You have much more flexibility with a new home in customizing your decor and landscaping to suit your tastes. You get fresh, unblemished walls and you can usually choose the type of flooring, carpeting and cupboards that you want. You usually get much more storage space (such as closets) and larger rooms. In addition, today’s minimum standards for plumbing, electrical, insulation and heating systems are higher than ever before. Traditionally, land values tend to increase during the first few years as neighbourhood services develop and the subdivision nears completion.

Regardless of what type of home you choose, be sure to discuss your preferences with your realtor®. With an in-depth knowledge of the local housing market, your realtor® can help you find the home that best suits you and your family. Your realtor® can also offer invaluable guidance and advice throughout the home buying process.

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Your Needs And Wants

The current combination of attractive mortgage rates, home buying incentive programs and a wide selection of homes from which to choose means now is a great time to consider buying that first home or moving to something that better serves your needs.

Location, Location, Location
Location is one of the most important factors in making any real estate purchase. For example, if you work in downtown Victoria and you are comfortable with the idea of commuting, you might want to consider buying a home in one of the outlying communities where lots may be more picturesque and peaceful. On the other hand, living closer to the city centre often means a short commute to work and easy access to shops and entertainment facilities.

When focusing on location, you will likely want to consider other important factors like the proximity of schools, access to public transit and shopping facilities, etc.

Identify Features You Need And Want
Once you have decided on the location you prefer, it is time to identify your needs so that you can zero in on the home of your choice. For instance, if your family is outgrowing its present apartment or home, you know you are going to require something bigger and more comfortable — possibly with more bedrooms and a second bath.

In addition to your needs, you should also consider your wants — things you would like to have if you can afford them and if they are available. Remember, the time you take to think about these things now will prove invaluable later during your discussions with a realtor®.

Matching Needs And Wants With Available Properties
With access to the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®), a co-operative listing system that offers maximum exposure of homes listed for sale, your realtor® can draw up a customized list of homes that as closely as possible match your needs, wants and budget in the locations of your choice.

Take your lifestyle into account and the things that could enhance or detract from your daily enjoyment. Then add these preferences to your needs or wants shopping list. Your realtor® will be pleased to arrange for you to see the homes for sale that appeal to you the most and will offer invaluable guidance throughout the home-buying process.

Remember also that all of the properties listed for sale on MLS® can be viewed on the Internet at mls.ca.

If you are serious about buying your dream home, contact a realtor® — they are in the business of helping make the dream of home ownership a reality.

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