Author Archive Tanya Park

ByTanya Park

How to choose a Mortgage Broker that’s right for you.

Similar to other big life decisions the best first step is to talk with people you know and trust about how their experience was and what advice they can offer as you begin this process.

Finding a mortgage broker that’s right for you can be a seemingly daunting task, but if you educate yourself and ask some of the right questions it will make this processes a lot easier.

Do Some Reconnaissance.

While speaking to your friends and family, ask if they know any brokers that they can recommend.
Look on Google, Facebook and Linkedin for reviews, testimonials and recommendations for mortgage brokers.
One of the great things about these platforms is that you can see if any of your friends or acquaintances have said anything about this person and you can ask them directly about their experience.  Having this information will give you great insight into how
the broker will perform for you.
Take the information you’ve gathered and select 3-5 brokers who you think are worth speaking with.

Consult With the Brokers.

Develop a list of questions and interview each of the brokers who made your list through your reconnaissance process.  These questions will give you a sense of how experienced your broker is and how they will work for you.

Ask things like:

  • How long does the pre-qualification process take?
  • What process does the lender employ to decide if a borrower is qualified or not?
  • How many lenders do you work with?
  • What is the typical breakdown of brokerage fees and lenders fees?
  • What documents and information do you require from me?
  • How long will it take to close the transaction?
  • How should we decide if a fixed or variable rate is right for us?
  • What kind of long-term plans can we start to think about for how to pay down our mortgage more quickly?
  • What rates and how many options can they offer?
  • Are there any Provincial or Federal grants for first time home buyers?

 

It’s time to reflect and ask yourself:

Now that you’ve gathered the information you need, and these questions can help you evaluate and make narrow down your choices.

 

 

 

  • During the consultations did this broker demonstrate that my interests were their primary focus?
  • Did the broker help me understand the complexities of the loan agreement?
  • Did the broker give me a broad range of options and explain the benefits and drawbacks of each?
  • Did they help me plan for the future?
  • Ideas to pay down the mortgage quicker.
  • Investment options.
  • Which option ensured greater financial security?
  • Which option had the more reasonable fees?

 

Time to decide.

After doing all of the research and advice gathering you’ve done the necessary work to educate yourself and now you’re positioned to make the best decision possible.

Happy deciding!

ByTanya Park

Why use a Realtor when I can do it myself?

There are reasons why most people don’t cut their own hair or do their own dental work.  Firstly, we may not possess the right skills or experience to finish the job let alone achieving the best outcomes.  Secondly, it’s a lot easier and less stressful when someone who knows what they’re doing helps us out.

Real Estate is the largest purchase most people will ever make, and selling your biggest investment should be done by someone who can achieve the results you deserve.

 

The key things to consider when deciding between selling it yourself or using a Realtor.

 

How do you react when the stakes are high?

Negotiating with a prospective buyer can be a nerve-wracking experience which has no room for emotion.  Negotiations flow best when there is an air of professionalism and courtesy- this, after all, is a business transaction.

Some of your most cherished memories have been created within the structure that you call home.  When selling your property you must remember that prospective buyers see your house as the place where strangers lived before they move in.  Negotiating directly with a buyer may mean hearing feedback directly, both positive and negative. 

When dealing with high stakes negotiations be sure you can leave your emotions out of the equation so you can get the best deal possible for your property.

 

How much do you know about the market and area sales?

An agent can easily go through what has sold in your neighbourhood and for how much.  This information is critical to setting the right listing price on your property.  This information is also key to setting a realistic timeline for the sale of your property.  

If your neighbourhood and the ones around it have been a sluggish market your realtor will know.  They will also know how long it took to sell the house around the corner from you and can also advise whether or not a kitchen or bathroom renovation will be worth the investment of your time and money.

Another asset an agent can offer is helping to simplify some of the complex jargon that mortgage brokers, lawyers and other agents may use.  Like I said earlier- this is your largest investment and knowing and understanding what is going is important.

 

After all, it’s up to you.

When you’re going through the decision-making process make sure that you’ve done the thinking, research and self-evaluation.  Whatever your decision be sure that the person selling your property is looking out for YOUR best interests whether that is yourself or an agent.

Good luck deciding!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ByTanya Park

Clutter, How to Get Rid of it and Why You Should.

You have every right to be proud of being the best bowler in the league back in 2008, and that trophy deserves every square inch of space it takes up on your mantle, but is it going to do anything to help sell your house?  In my most kind and loving way, I’m about to tell you that it won’t.

When a buyer enters your home, they want to picture their stuff in place of your stuff.  They want to envision their couch in your living room, their king-sized bed in your bedroom, and yes, their very own trophy from their grade 8 spelling bee on the mantle.

For someone to picture themselves in your home, they need to see less of you, and more clutter-free spaces that can easily reflect their own twist on living in this space.

 

First Ask Yourself

  1. Are these items helping someone else fall in love with our home?
  2. Do I use this item every day or at least three times a week?
  3. Do all of these items help this room look its best?
  4. Do we have space to store the surplus items that need to be removed or should we rent a storage unit?

 

Living Room

To show your home to interested buyers the simple things should be on display in the living room.  Furniture, neutral artwork (no family portraits) a clutter-free bookcase and entertainment unit.

Use storage baskets for a chic way to stow away toys, extra books, movies, magazines etc.

 

The Kitchen

Free your countertops from excess and only keep the things like the kettle, coffee maker, toaster and knife block that you use daily.  This shows that your kitchen is clean, well kept, and ready for use.

Prospective buyers want to know that your kitchen has adequate storage for their needs.  They will be opening up those cupboards to see what the deal is.  Be sure to stack dishes, canned goods and other pantry items neatly so buyers can see how much space there really is.

 

 

 

 

Bedrooms

Remember what I said about the buyer picturing their king size bed in your bedroom?  That means your room has to look like it will fit a king size bed.  It’s harder to imagine that when your bed is unmade and all of the clutter from holidays and projects past is being stored on the bed in the spare room.

Use under the bed storage totes to hide away winter clothing or anything else that can be removed from your closet to free up space.  Make sure nightstands have
only the essentials, lamp, alarm clock and maybe the book you’re reading.

 

Here is a FREE checklist to keep you on track as you declutter.

 

Seller Checklist 2018

 

ByTanya Park

Winter Curb Appeal

Trying to sell your home in the winter? Figuring out how to you make your property stand out from the snowdrifts might leave you without inspiration, but here are a few low energy, low-cost ideas.

Basics first:

Make sure your driveway, steps and sidewalks are clear from snow and ice.  If the maintenance of your driveway is not visible from the street a prospective buyer’s first impression of your property could be that it’s not well maintained.  This is a very negative impression that can easily be avoided.  

 

Whimsical Vintage Look:

Use some vintage winter sports items like skates, skis or a toboggan to spruce up your front porch.  It will give prospective buyers a good frame of mind that your house is trendy and well taken care of.

 

Chic, yet practical:

Earlier I reminded you about the need to maintain your steps and driveway and keep them free from ice and snow.  That means you’ll need some salt to melt away that troublesome ice.  Why not store it in a functional, yet beautiful way?

Many Dollar Stores carry aluminum cans and burlap ribbon so, for less than $10, salt included, you can have a chic way to store your salt.

With winter comes the romantic vision of a warm, cozy fire to snuggle up beside.  A neatly arranged stack of firewood on the porch, if done correctly, can add another chic, yet practical image to your entry.