At Rennie & Associates Realty we strive to make the buying process as enjoyable and stress-free as possible, from our first consultation with you, to negotiating the purchase on your behalf.
We have the expertise to handle all of the details while securing you the best home available, from initial search, to viewing homes, realistic overview of the marketplace, making an offer and closing the deal.
When searching for a home there are many factors to consider, such as the timing of your new purchase, your ideal home’s characteristics, type of house, location, neighborhood and lifestyle. What are your priorities?
The neighbourhood you choose has a lot to do with your preferred lifestyle. In the Vancouver real estate market, if you work downtown and want an urban lifestyle with all amenities within walking distance, homes downtown, in Coal Harbour, Yaletown or the Westend might be most suitable. If you love an artsy, loft-style living space, the mood and style of Gastown might suit you. Those with a more bohemian bent will look to neighbourhoods like Commercial Drive, while Kitsilano appeals to those in the healthy-living demographic. More traditional neighbourhoods such as Point Grey, Shaughnessy and the West Side will appeal to the more established buyer looking for an estate-style home, while Burnaby neighbourhoods are attractive to first-time buyers or those with young families.
There are an infinite number of variables that factor into what makes a great neighbourhood. Use these factors when choosing the priorities that suit you: the overall ambience, traffic density, transportation possibilities, parks and green space, crime rate, future construction in the area, cultural diversity, languages, local government, property values and future potential of the neighbourhood.
In addition, evaluate your neighbourhood in terms of convenience. What amenities do you wish to be within close proximity to, and which would you rather steer clear of? Various neighbourhoods might offer the following amenities: doctor, dentist, hospital, freeways/highways, airport, beaches, parks, stadiums, cultural venues – museums, theatre and concerts – fire department, places of worship, public transportation – SkyTrain, buses, sea bus –, recreation, shopping, schools within walking distance or school buses, special programs, sport focus, academic focus, and employment opportunities.
To find out about some of these factors in a specific neighbourhood, you can explore Walkscore (walkscore.com), Google Maps (maps.google.com), neighbourhood specific websites, or take the old fashioned route and walk around the neighbourhood.
What are the characteristics of the ideal home you are looking for? Is it large or small? How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need? Your design aesthetic (from traditional to modern) is also a key component of your search. Interior dimensions will determine whether your home has many small private rooms, or an open living loft concept, for example.
For detached homes, lot size and landscaping or deck space may be a factor. Do you need a garage, carport or parking stalls? In condominiums common areas, features and amenities vary greatly and this will affect your lifestyle and also impact strata fees. Do you have a simple lifestyle desiring minimal perks and low fees? Let your Rennie Sales Associate know.
Are you willing to consider houses that need upgrades? Houses that need renovations, replacements and/or upgrades are often available at a better price for those buyer’s willing to upgrade after purchase.
Make a list of these key characteristics before starting your search.
When looking for a home, consider its age, which can impact its design, condition and value making it more or less appealing to you as a buyer, depending on your needs.
Pros of purchasing a new home or condo are that you can often customize the design or décor or upgrade to meet your taste. New homes also have the advantage of being built to modern codes and standards. Maintenance costs will be lower as everything is new and many items, such as appliances will be covered by warranty. New home warranties offer peace of mind by protecting against major system failures and potential structural problems for a set period of time.
Cons of a new home include a potentially higher purchase price and the fact that brand new neighbourhoods are sometimes not fully developed, with schools, shopping and service amenities to follow. Also, you will have to pay Good and Services Tax (GST) on a new home, although there is a rebate if the purchase price is less than $450,000.
Purchasing a used home as a resale, may be a lot less stressful than building a new house or buying a new home that is not yet built. With a resale home, what you see is what you get. The neighbourhood is usually well established with all amenities and transportation in place. And there is no GST payable on resale homes. However, you may need to make changes or upgrades to the existing home to suit your needs and major renovation can be expensive; be sure to factor in the costs before you make your offer.
The advantage of building your own home is that you can customize it to your exact standards. It also offers the flexibility of making changes to design and décor along the way, if your needs, tastes or budget changes. However there is potentially a lot of time, finances, energy and stress involved in building a new home from scratch.
Supply and demand largely determine house values within a housing market. Knowing what type of market an area is currently in will help you evaluate if this is correct time to enter into homeownership.
The real estate market is constantly fluctuating. Your Rennie Sales Associate can help you understand what’s happening with the market and explain whether your area is currently a buyer's market or a seller's market.
When the market slows down, average selling time can run into many months. This is called a buyer’s market as there are more properties available for a longer time. The supply of inventory is high with low demand from buyers. Due to the wide selection of inventory, prices and terms are usually suited to the buyer’s desires.
Conversely, when the economy and real estate is booming, prices rise and houses may sell in a few days. This is called a seller’s market. Due to high demand, prices and terms are usually suited to the seller’s desires. Multiple offers can likely occur during this type of market.
Vancouver is one of the most desirable urban places to live in the world and for that reason it has a market unique to these circumstances.
Rennie & Associates Realty specializes in the Vancouver real estate market and can advise you on its unique characteristics so that you as a buyer can optimize your opportunities to secure the best possible home at the best price.
Want to live in Vancouver? No wonder! The city is a natural beauty, with a sustainable future.
Host city of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, Vancouver is preparing to welcome the world to its mild climate, spectacular scenery and peerless urban lifestyle. Highly sought after, Vancouver real estate attracts attention from both domestic and international buyers for its lifestyle and investment potential.
Vancouver scores highly for ambience, friendliness, culture and sights, restaurants, nightlife, lodging, and shopping. It has been voted the “Best City in the Americas” by Condé Nast Traveler and the city has also been named “the world’s most desirable place to live,” according to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s livability survey in 2005. The Mercer Group’s 2007 Quality of Living Survey ranked Vancouver third of 215 cities worldwide, and first in North America.
Greater Vancouver boasts a population of 2.1 million, Canada’s third largest urban area. The city of Vancouver’s population is 578, 041 (2006) and nearly 50 percent of its citizens speak English as a first language, with 25 percent speaking Chinese as a first language.
Vancouver is one of the greenest cities in North America and almost 25 percent of its citizens use bikes as their main source of transportation. At the heart of the city, Stanley Park is a popular destination and nearly four square kilometres in size.
Vancouver has a vibrant and dynamic economy with the added advantage of an amazing natural setting at the gateway to Pacific Rim. It is home to resource economies and emerging technologies, tourism and global exports. The city attracts entrepreneurs from around the world who are seeking a relaxed lifestyle with enormous potential for personal and professional growth.