As a first time home buyer, trying to find the right home can be quite a challenge. With so much available on the market today, it may seem overwhelming. Usually, when getting into the housing market, first time home buyers have the option of a condo or a townhouse. Both offer a great upside, and either one is a great investment. Here are some of the key differences between a condo and a townhouse, and what each will offer, courtesy of Simon Fraser real estate.
Lifestyle—Depends on the Space You Need
If you are trying to decide between a condo or townhouse, there are many different factors that you may want to consider. The first is location—usually, condo living reflects a certain type of lifestyle, such as downtown living. A condo lifestyle is a great choice for young professionals or students. This is especially true in the SFU real estate market where a condo can get you close to campus and make for very convenient commutes to and from the university.
Townhouses on the other hand may not offer such convenient lifestyle choices such as downtown living, but they usually offer more room, and if you are lucky, they even offer a small yard. If you are thinking about growing your family or do not mind the longer commute, a townhouse may be better suited to you.
Maintenance Costs—More Is More
Both condos and townhouses are usually part of a strata, and regardless of your choice, you will pay a monthly maintenance fee. This fee will help cover the upkeep of the building and will be used to pay off any type of repairs that will happen such as a new roof or new windows.
One thing to keep in mind is the amenities that are in the condo building. Remember that part of your maintenance fees will be used for the upkeep of those facilities. A pool may be a great selling feature, but that pool may increase your monthly maintenance fees.
As a general rule, townhouse maintenance fees are usually lower than condo maintenance fees because you are not paying for any facilities nor are you paying for the upkeep of so much common living space such as hallways and front entrances.
Regardless of whether you choose a townhouse or a condo, make sure to look into the strata’s contingency fund and keep in mind that your maintenance fees are part of the overall monthly cost of your new home for as long as you own it.
Rules—Know the Particulars of Each
Finally, make sure you understand all of the rules in the place you looking to purchase. In general, condo living has more rules than townhouse living. For instance, you may not be allowed to BBQ on your decks or your building may not allow live Christmas trees. Make sure to look at all of the strata rules, but also make sure you can live by them before making a purchase.
Contact Simon Fraser Real Estate today!
A townhouse or a condo are both great first time purchases for anyone looking to get into the real estate market. If you are looking for a tight knit community feeling with security, a condo may better suit your needs. If you are looking for more privacy and more room, then a townhouse is perfect for you. Contact us for more information on Simon Fraser real estate
With three locations in and near Canada’s western hub of Vancouver, Simon Fraser University (SFU) attracts students from all over Canada and the world. Thanks to Canada’s wonderfully affordable education system, universities in the country become home to many international students.
There are many housing options to consider when you start your career as a student in a totally new city. Because of the diverse options available to you, your best bet is to go with a Simon Fraser real estate agent who specializes in working with students and families of students. Here are just some of the reasons why hiring an SFU real estate agent will work to your advantage.
A Smart Investment
Since so many international students and their families are saving money on tuition when they choose to attend Simon Fraser University, they are presented with an excellent opportunity to invest. Non-Canadians are eligible for the same ownership rights as Canadians—you don’t have to be a citizen to purchase property or acquire a mortgage in the region. The only requirement is that international homebuyers must make a down payment of at least 35% of the purchase price.
Because of this ease of access, more and more families of international students are purchasing homes for them to use for the duration of their studies. Going with a Simon Fraser real estate agent helps make the process simpler for many of these families who may otherwise be unfamiliar with Canada’s housing market.
Simon Fraser University has three locations in and around Vancouver: Burnaby Campus, Surrey Campus, Vancouver Campus. The original campus sprawls across three-dozen buildings in the city of Burnaby, about 20 kilometers east of Vancouver, and offers classes in eight different faculties. There are also two newer locations, one in downtown Vancouver and one farther south in Surrey.
Once enrolled, you can attend classes at any of the campuses—so how do you choose where to live? A Simon Fraser real estate agent can help to work quickly with you and your family so that you can find property near the campus where you’ll be spending most of your time. If you’re splitting time and thus have more location options at your disposal, a real estate agent can better help you compare property options in different areas.
Simply put, working with a real estate agent when searching for property near SFU gives you access to listings that just wouldn’t be available to you otherwise, as well as networks of other agents’ listings. When you’re already making such a big transition into a new school—and maybe even a new country—hiring an agent can make that transition so much simpler.
For instance, Sam Huang of Canadian University Real Estate is an expert on helping international students and their families transition into Canadian culture. A first generation Canadian himself, he understands the importance of finding the right fit for your family’s values.
Whether you’re looking to purchase a townhouse, house or condo near SFU, hiring the right SFU real estate agent will be crucial finding the perfect property for you or your student.
Searching for a new home is an exciting time for anyone, but it’s especially exciting when you’re starting a new career as a student or educator in a new city. Many from out of town—including international students—move to Burnaby, BC to begin their tenure at Simon Fraser University, but with such a big move come several questions: where do you begin your Simon Fraser real estate search? What do you need to learn about the market? What’s the best and most affordable way for you to purchase property in the area?
When moving to a new city, many decide to turn to bank auctions to see what their options are for foreclose properties. As banks have no sentimental attachment to these properties, these sales can often go quickly and at pretty affordable price points. Before beginning your Simon Fraser real estate search for foreclosed properties, it’s important to weigh your options and be well informed on what you can expect from the process.
Advantages of Targeting Foreclosed Property
Foreclosure happens when a bank or lender seizes control of a home after the homeowner fails to meet mortgage payments, so the bank is then put in charge of selling the property. Banks are often willing to negotiate on price in order to get these properties off their hands more quickly.
Since there are foreclosed properties available in any price range, usually in great condition, targeting these homes that are usually at lower rates than non-foreclosed homes of similar sizes and in similar locations makes it possible to upgrade your expectations. You might be able to find a home in a better neighbourhood or with more amenities than you normally would be able to with your budget—and since you’d be buying below market value, if and when you decide to sell again, you could meet some serious financial gains.
Drawbacks of Buying a Foreclosed Home
Though foreclosed homes are often in decent physical condition, the states of foreclosed homes can vary greatly. Don’t forget that a home was foreclosed upon because the owner couldn’t make his or her monthly payments—this means he or she also may have been skipping necessary home maintenance, requiring many repairs to the home before it’s in a decent enough state for you to live in it. Additionally, it pays to be smart about the amount of time a foreclosed home has been without an owner. The more time it’s been left uninhabited, the more time has passed without any sort of upkeep. Your Simon Fraser real estate agent will be able to best assist you in targeting foreclosed properties at the ideal times.
It’s important to remember that purchasing a foreclosed property is inherently financially risky—you may incur any debt connected to it. You must do your research in regards to lenders, as some won’t offer mortgages on foreclosed homes, which also comes with lots of paperwork. Because of the possible value of foreclosed homes, there tends to be a lot of competition, making the process long and unpleasant.
Finding a Foreclosed Property Near SFU
If your finances are in order and you’re ready to take on the search for a foreclosed property in Burnaby, Simon Fraser real estate agency Canadian University Real Estate will gladly help you get the process started. Give them a call at 778-991-0649 to learn more about their listings and availabilities.
Are you interested in a new look for your home that will match the upcoming spring season? Changing your home’s interior from time to time can bring a fresh and reinvigorating vibe into your life, so why not take advantage of the new season and its colors and themes to reflect all of this in your own home? There are several creative, fun and simple ways to bring the feel of warmth and rejuvenation into your home, so here are some great spring decorating ideas that will help reflect the new season inside your own home.
One of the quickest and easiest ways to bring spring into your home is to change up your colour scheme. This can be as easy as changing your throw pillows and quilts or blankets in your living room to as complex as changing up your wallpaper or paint. Citrus colours, as well as bright and vibrant choices, are great spring colours, and you can even go with pastel colours that are more synonymous with Easter. Either way, your home will look brighter and reflect the spring season.
Bring Your Gardening Inside
Gardening does not need to be something you only do outside. Bring some of your potted plants or flowers inside! A nice set of flowers will cheer up any room, so look for floral patterned pots to really bring spring alive in your home. Another advantage of bringing in some of your potted plants or flowers is that they will get a head start since the growing conditions are far more favourable indoors.
The days are getting longer, which means that you will have more natural light in your home. Think about replacing some of your electric lights with the soft glow of candles. To really welcome the spring season, find bright candles with springtime scents such as fresh flowers or orchids.
Bring the spring candles we mentioned above into the dining room to set the stage for a nice dining décor. While you’re at it, think about changing your placemats and napkin set for ones with bright spring colours; think about bright greens or pinks to really give your dining room that spring look.
Chances are your doormat is in need of changing; they can only take so many winters before they finally break down and no longer prevent dirt and debris from entering your home. Consider replacing your doormat with a welcome sign that reflects the spring season, and you’ll be surprised what a difference a new mat will make. Make sure to also find one that has a rubberized bottom to keep it in place so that it can do its job.
If you are looking for great spring ideas or just want to take in the cherry blossoms and fully immerse yourself in the beauty of the season, come visit some of the beautiful neighbourhoods and homes in Burnaby, particularly the real estate near Simon Fraser University. Happy spring!
Spring is the perfect time to think about upgrading to your dream home, or downsizing to something more practical, depending on your needs. Regardless of your reasons and the decision you make, the reality is that the housing market is hot as we draw closer to summer, especially in the real estate market near Simon Fraser University, so if you’re contemplating a sell, the time is opportune. Here are some tips to help you prep your home’s exterior so that you can take full advantage of this market.
The quickest way to get your home ready for the real estate market is to give the exterior of your home a fresh coat of paint. Before this, however, you will need to have a quick look at your exterior and do all of the necessary prep work required before painting. This includes caulking any cracks or gaps, and replacing the weather stripping around the windows if it looks worn. Also remember to scrape and sand down any areas where your old paint may have lifted.
While you are inspecting your exterior, have a look at your roof to see if you need to replace any loose shingles, and keep an eye out for clogged gutters, which can lead to all kinds of problems and create water damage if left unattended. Make sure to remove all debris that may have gathered over the winter so that the gutters drain properly and can handle the spring rains.
A well landscaped property is far more appealing to potential buyers than a home that has not been landscaped, so take advantage of it being spring by planting some eye-catching flowers and getting your lawn and property market ready. Make sure to keep the lawn trimmed, and repair/replace any cracked cement pads or retaining walls that may have been damaged over the winter months. You should also consider renting a pressure washer to thoroughly clean your driveway.
If your home has an attached garage, it is extremely important to properly organize this space since potential buyers will envision how they can utilize it if they end up buying your home. Creating this imaginative space for buyers can be self-defeating if your garage is so full of stuff that you and your real estate agent can barely fit in the garage yourselves. Take the necessary but rewarding time to organize the garage; think of it as an opportunity to sort through your belongings before you have to pack them into a moving truck. Remember, an organized garage is a great selling point in this real estate market.
If you have been on the fence about buying or selling your home, there may be no better time than now to enter into the real estate market. Just like the spring weather, the market is heating up and does not show any signs of cooling off any time soon. Good luck!
Now that spring is arriving, what a great opportunity it is to get outside and enjoy some of that fresh air! Also, while you’re outside enjoying yourself and the new season, you may want to consider getting a head start on your lawn care since a well prepared lawn means a healthier and weed free one in the summer months. Here are some great tips to help get you started with your spring lawn care.
This is the final installment of a three-part series that outlines how to properly winterize your home. These final four winterizing tips will help you have the most winterized home on your block.
A properly insulated house is a home that keeps the heat in and the cold out. Unfortunately, most homes in the lower mainland contain the least amount of insulation possible. This is because most people feel that the winters are relatively mild and short in the Greater Vancouver area. This may hold true if compared to a northern British Columbia winter, but on a night where the thermometer dips below freezing, you will be wanting all of the insulation you can possibly find.
Most relatively new homes should be properly insulated. The newer homes available in the real estate market near Simon Fraser University are well-built and will be well insulated. If your home is not in that category, you should think about adding insulation especially in the attic or crawl space area. This will help keep more heat in your home.
Flush Your Tank!
One of the past tips was to turn down the heat on your hot water tank. While you are turning down your hot water, you may want to think about flushing the tank itself. By thoroughly flushing your hot water tank you are not only increasing its longevity, you will also help it run better and be more energy efficient which will save you money in the long run, as those winter heating bills are brutal.
Clean Those Gutters!
This is not just a job to do once a year; you should properly clean your gutters every few months. A clean set of gutters will ensure that no debris or water accumulates in them. If there is water in your gutters and it freezes, the expanding water can not only damage your gutters, but it can also begin to damage the side of your house! Either way, it is 100 percent avoidable, and this is a job that will not cost you a dime.
Check Those Pipes!
This final tip may be a bit over the top if you live in the lower mainland, but if you have ever had a water pipe that has split because of freezing, you may not think so. It is a good idea to inspect all of your pipes to make sure they are in good working order; you may want to add some extra insulation around any pipe that is exposed to exterior walls. Remember, never turn your heat completely off if you go away for the winter. Instead, turn your heat down, but not off. This should keep your pipes from freezing and splitting.
We hope you have enjoyed this three-part series on how to properly winterize your home. Remember, a properly winterized home is also an energy efficient and cost-effective home!