Leanne Drolet

Royal LePage Sterling Realty

Office 604-421-1010

Cell 778-840-7211

Email: Leanne@realtygal.ca

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“Non-Market” Reasons Why it Might Be the Ideal Time to Sell!


When considering whether or not to sell their home, many people think about market conditions. They consider whether it’s a buyer’s or seller’s market. They look at trends. They try to time the sale to get the best price for their property.


While market conditions certainly can play a role in deciding whether you should sell now rather than later, many other factors can influence that decision too.


For example, you might have outgrown your home and need more space. Perhaps you need an extra bedroom or a larger kitchen. If you wait until market conditions are perfect, you may languish for months — or even years — in a home that’s too small for you. The same can be said for downsizing.


Another “non-market” reason you might want to sell your home sooner rather than later is the neighbourhood. Is there another community more suited to your lifestyle that you want to get into? If it’s a particularly desirable area, you don’t want to wait too long to make a move. If you do, you might lose some good opportunities. There’s also the emotional side of the decision to consider. You might simply want to move for no other reason than you need a change. That’s as good a reason as any to put up the For Sale sign and find your next dream home.


Other non-market reasons for selling include:

• Wanting a shorter commute to work.

• Desiring a different style of neighbourhood. (Rural rather than urban.)

• A change in family situation.

• Living closer to relatives and friends.

• Wanting a particular property feature, such as a backyard with mature trees.

• Walkability to shops, malls, parks!


The point is, don’t just consider market conditions when deciding to sell. Look at all the reasons and then move forward with confidence. After all, you can sell and buy in any market!  Thinking of buying or selling?  Give me a call!

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Like most homeowners, you probably don’t think of your property as just a building with rooms and a backyard. To you, it’s much more than that. It’s a home!  When you walk into your dining room, for example, you don’t merely see the table and chairs. You see memories. You recall laughter with family and friends. It’s emotional. That’s what a home is all about.


However, buyers don’t want to buy your “home”. What they really want to buy is a property that has the potential to become their home. While you see memories of family dinners, they see room dimensions and what the dining room may look like with their furniture in it. That’s why, when you’re selling your property, you need to keep emotions at bay as much as possible.


In fact, the best mindset is to think of your property as a product. The more attractively you present that product to prospective buyers, the more likely you are to get good offers. That’s why cleaning, depersonalizing, and staging are so important. We want your home to stand out to as many buyers as possible, not just some!


It’s also why setting a price that aligns with your home’s current market value is important. You may have put your heart and soul — and many weekends — into landscaping the backyard to make it a summer oasis. It may, in fact, be a strong selling point of your property. But that improvement will only add to the selling price an amount that the market, not your emotions, dictates. So keep emotions out of the selling process as much as possible. Save that energy for turning your next property into your dream home - one that you can make your own.


Want more tips on selling your property for the best price possible? Call me!  I've been able to help many sellers with many recommendations to help them get top dollar for their homes!

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If you need to sell your home in the next month or two, you might be worried. After all, aren’t spring and summer the ideal seasons to list your property?


Most people think that if you list during a Pandemic and in November or December, you might have difficulties attracting buyers and getting the best price for your home. Right? No, not at this time!  While it’s true that spring and summer are traditionally busy periods in the real estate market, properties do sell every month of the year. It just so happens that our market is very active at this time and some properties are seeing more than one offer! 


It's actually a sellers market at the moment for detached homes as well as the townhome market is very active!  That would mean there is not as many homes on the market for buyers to choose from, but there are still buyers out looking for homes! Your property will likely sell fairly quickly; perhaps you’ll even get multiple offers.


So, if you’re thinking of selling, you’ll need to know three things:


• What comparable homes are selling for at this time of year.


• How long homes are taking to sell, on average.


• How to maximize your sale price!


If you're looking to get your home marketed effectively, so to attract as many buyers and pique their interest in making an offer, please feel free to contact me for a FREE evaluation of your home!


I'll let you know how I can help you to increase your sales price and get you the very most money for your home!  Call me for more details!  


Leanne 778-840-7211

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Imagine you've found the perfect home. You love it. You've made an offer that's been accepted. So far so good!  You've wisely made the offer conditional on a professional home inspection. The only catch?  What happens if that home inspection reveals a major issue?


First, you should know that, depending on the age of the property, a home inspection will typically turn up at least a few areas of concern. The inspector might find loose insulation in the attic that is thinning out or roofing shingles that will need replacing in two or three years. Issues like those are not usually deal-breakers.


However, if the home inspector finds a major issue — such as old wiring that's worn and presents a safety concern — then you're facing a potentially high cost of repair should the deal go through. In a situation like that, as your real estate agent, I can address the issue with the seller, usually through the seller's agent. The seller often agrees to get the repair done at his own expense or, have some or all of the estimated repair cost deducted from the sale price.


Will the deal be in jeopardy? Usually not. In most cases, if you have a real estate agent like me working in your best interests, we can work it out to your satisfaction!

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If you're working with a landscaping contractor, you want to develop a good working relationship with that professional, so you can avoid delays, stress and other issues. After all, the last thing you want is a tree planted in the wrong spot because of a misunderstanding!


The same holds true when working with a real estate agent. Whether you're buying, selling, or both, you want the process to go smoothly and successfully. Creating an ideal working relationship with your agent is an important step toward making that happen.


How do you do that you ask? First, ask your agent to go over the process with you. If you're selling your home, you want to understand the steps the agent is going to take. That way, there will be fewer surprises. In particular, you’ll want to discuss how viewings will be handled. You'll need to come to an agreement as to when your home will be available for viewings, how short-notice viewings will be handled, and whether or not "lockbox access" will be needed.


Don't be afraid to ask questions!  No question is dumb!  You don't want to have unanswered questions or concerns between you and your agent.Also, know that misunderstandings and mistakes can happen in any relationship with a professional. So if an issue does comes up, discuss it right away. Don't let it fester.  


Finally, remember that your agent should be a professional like me, with expertise in buying and selling in this market and with experience!


When I make a recommendation regarding pricing, prepping your home, viewings, etc. remember that I am working in your best interest. I want to sell your property, quickly and for the best possible price!


Looking for an agent that has your best interest in mind? Contact me today! 

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Sometimes the reason for putting your home on the market is crystal clear!


For example, you might have a job relocation and need to move. Or, you might have decided to downsize because the kids have left the nest.


However, there are many other motivations to list your home that are not as obvious, and yet are still good reasons to make a move. Here are just a few examples...

• You’re bored with your home and are looking for a change.

• There’s something you’ve always wanted in a home that your current property doesn’t have, such as a wooded backyard or pool.

• You want to be closer to work, or to activities you enjoy, such as golf.

• You want to be closer to family.

• The neighbourhood is changing in a way that no longer fits the lifestyle you want.

• There’s another neighbourhood you’ve always dreamed of living in.

• Your tastes have changed and you want to live in a different type of home.

• You want to travel more, and have an easier, lock and leave lifestyle and home!


None of these reasons may make it an absolutely necessity to list your property and find a new home. Yet, they’re all worth considering, especially if moving it may make you and your family happier, and provide you with a more desirable lifestyle.


Want to talk about the possibilities? Call today. 

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 Have you ever considered renting out a room to a student or renovating your basement into a self-contained rental apartment? It’s a big decision that many people ask about!


There are many pros and cons to consider. On the pro side, renting can provide you with additional income. An extra few hundred dollars a month can go a long way towards paying down your mortgage or splurging on an exotic summer vacation. Creating rentable living space in your home — for example, an “in-law suite” featuring a kitchenette and bathroom — may also increase your property’s market value.


On the con side, you’ll have more costs and responsibilities as a landlord. For example, you might need to purchase extra insurance because basic home insurance policies typically do not cover rental units, even if you’re just renting out a room. You’ll also be responsible for dealing with repairs sometimes in the middle of the night. Also, if you’re not careful about the renter you choose, you might end up with a “problem tenant”. For example, you could have a tenant who is consistently late on rent payments or simply stops paying. That can be stressful.


If you’re deciding whether or not to rent, be sure to check local laws and regulations. Many jurisdictions have very strict rules regarding renting out space in a residential property, and those rules change frequently.  Make sure you get the latest information and way all the pros and cons!



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You might naturally assume that it is most important to talk to a Realtor when you’re selling or buying a home. But there are many other circumstances in which it makes sense to give me a call. Here are a few examples.


1. When you’re in the “thinking about it” stage.... 

If you’re just thinking about selling your home, and haven’t made a firm decision yet, you might feel uncomfortable calling a Realtor. You don't need to feel this way... In fact, I welcome your call and it's truly in your best interest to gather your information before making a decisiong. I'm here for you!  We can discuss what your current property will likely sell for on today’s market, and determine the type of home you qualify to buy. That way, you’ll have some clarity and be able to make a more informed decision.


2. If you’re nervous about the selling process....

If you haven’t sold a home before, you might be concerned about what’s involved in the process. You might even worry that putting your home on the market is going to be a lot of work and create a lot of turbulence for you and your family. Fortunately, selling your home doesn’t need to be scary. In fact, a big part of my job as a Realtor is to make the process as smooth and trouble-free as possible. I have many contacts to assist to make the process as easy as possible.  So if you have concerns about selling your home, you should give me a call.


3. If you have questions... 

You likely have questions about the local real estate scene from time to time. You might have questions like: “How much did that home around the corner sell for?”; “Is now a good time to make a move, or should I wait until the market changes?”; and, “How much is my current home worth?” When you have questions like those, you don’t need to dig for answers on your own. You can give me a call. As an expert in the local market, I can give you the answers you need.

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Imagine this scenario...


You purchase a new home and move in. A few weeks later, you hear a strange rumbling sound. It’s the furnace. It’s only a year old, yet it’s sputtering like it’s twenty. You realize you’ll have to call in an HVAC contractor to get it fixed. You’re thinking, “Ouch! This is going to be expensive.” Well, maybe not. You see, since that furnace is relatively new, it might be covered by its original warranty — even for you, the new owner.  But a warranty is useless if you don’t know it exists.


Recent studies suggest that upwards of 50% of people pay to get items fixed that were actually covered by a warranty. So, when purchasing a new home, be sure to ask this simple question: “What warranties do you have for items, materials or workmanship in this house?” Warranties are common on new stoves, fridges, washers, dryers and other big ticket appliances. Some such warranties are transferrable, which means they are still in force when the items pass from one owner to another. Even less expensive items, such as electronic thermostats and automatic garage door openers, may be covered by a transferrable manufacturer’s warranty.


If the home you’re purchasing is relatively new (say, less than 10 years old), the builder’s warranty may also still be in force. That can be handy if a structural problem arises. Even recent renovations, may have come with a labour and/or installation warranty of some kind.


As you can see, warranties are everywhere! The more you’re aware of them, the more you’ll save when something needs repair or replacement.

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Getting Friends to Spread the Word about Your Listing!


When you list your home for sale, you want as many buyers as possible to find out about it.


So consider how many friends, neighbours and work colleagues you have. Then think about how many people they know. The number is likely in the hundreds. One of those people could be looking for a property just like yours. That’s why getting your friends to spread the word about your listing is so effective. How do you do that?


One strategy is to have a moving party. This gives you an opportunity to ask your friends, as a group, to tell others about your listing.


You can also encourage your friends to bring a guest who is currently in the market for a new home.


Another good idea is to put a profile of your listing on Facebook. This is the fastest and most convenient way for your Facebook friends to point others to your listing.


Do you have friends who work at larger organizations like banks and factories? They probably have access to an employee lunch room with a bulletin board. You can spread the word by asking them to put up an information sheet on your listing.


Try one or more of these ideas. Combined with my marketing plan for you, they can help get more qualified buyers to your doorstep.


Want more tips on promoting your listing? Call LEANNE today!

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 Figuring out how much time you should spend viewing properties for sale is a little like asking, “How long should I spend trying on shoes?” The answer seems obvious: As long as it takes to make a decision!


Buying a home is significantly more complex than purchasing shoes – and the stakes are higher too! You need to make sure you have all the information necessary to confidently make the best decision. There are basically three stages to viewing a property:


1. Macro

2. Micro

3. Professional


When you view a home on a macro basis, you’re looking at it from an overall perspective. For example, you may do a general walk-through to get a first impression and determine if the property has the basic features you need, such as the number of bedrooms and the size of the backyard.


Macro viewing is often the fastest stage in the viewing process and can sometimes take just a few minutes. If you like what you see, then it’s onto the micro stage. At this stage you take a closer look at the details of the property. You might, for example, spend extra time in the master bedroom imagining how your furniture would look and fit.


The micro stage takes longer simply because the home is now on your shortlist. You’re interested and are considering making an offer.


Finally, the professional stage involves getting a qualified home inspector to go over the property with a fine tooth comb. That typically occurs after you’ve made an offer.


As your REALTOR®, I will guide you through a viewing so you’ll know what to look for and can make a smart, informed decision!

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I often get asked when is the right time to make that move to buy up!


No matter how much you love your current property, you may be dreaming of the day you can buy up into a bigger or better home in a great neighbourhood, maybe because you've out grown your current home, or possibly your family is getting larger!


Is that day today, or, is it a few years down the road?  Here’s a quick way to make that assessment.


First, make a list of all the practical reasons why it might be time to move up. Those reasons might include features such as: more bedrooms, proximity to work and school, a larger backyard with trees, nearby parks and walking paths and better access to things you enjoy like theatre, sports or recreation centers. Next, make a list of the emotional reasons for making such a move. Those reasons might include memorable get-togethers with friends on a more spacious deck, an easier and less stressful commute to work, more family time with the kids and enjoyable Saturday golf at a nearby course. Finally, take a financial snapshot to determine if you can afford to move up. You’ll need to get a good idea of what your current property will sell for in today’s market, average price of homes in your desired neighbourhood, and how much mortgage you’ll need.


Once you have all that down on paper, you’ll have a clearer picture of your readiness. If the practical and emotional reasons for buying up are compelling, and you can afford to make the move, then you have your answer. If the time is now, or if you need help in making this determination – especially figuring out what your home will likely sell for, please call me for a free in home evaluation!  


I'm happy to help, and have many resources to help your dream become a reality!  

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When is the best time to meet with a REALTOR® like me?


Chances are, you would say, “When I’m thinking of buying or selling a home.” You’d be right, of course! However, there are many other good reasons to meet with me. Here are just a few:


• You want a professional opinion as to the current value of your property, so you know what it would likely sell for in today’s market.


• You notice a home listed for sale in a desirable neighbourhood, and you’re interested in learning more — even if you’re unsure you want to make a move.


• You’re thinking of moving within the next couple of years, and you want to find a REALTOR® like me, that you can get to know and trust.


• You want some recommendations for preparing your home for sale ahead of time and especially determining what repairs and other work needs to be done and recommended proven and reputable contractors!

 

 

• You want an honest assessment as to the state of the local market, and the best time for you to buy or sell.


• You have real estate-related questions and you want to talk to an expert who knows the local market well and can provide you with answers.


• You have family that is considering buying or selling, or downsizing and you or they need some help with where to start!!!


As you can see, there’s a lot of value you can get from talking to me as your REALTOR®. I'm happy to answer any questions you may have, so please feel free to contact me!

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There are few things more beautiful than cut flowers in a vase. They instantly brighten any room. That is, of course, until they wilt and die. So how do you make cut flowers last as long as possible?


Here are some ideas:


• Cut the bottom of the stems before you put the flowers in the vase. An angled cut is best as this will enable the flower to draw in more water.


• Add a fertilizer to the water. Most flower shops include a pouch with the order. Follow the directions carefully. Don’t use too much.


• Make sure the vase is high enough to support the flowers. Too much strain on the stems will cause the flowers to die sooner.


• After a couple of days, re-snip the stems. This will add an additional day or two to the life of the flowers.


• Flowers last longer if you put them in the fridge (in water) overnight. That’s why florists store cut flowers in cool rooms. Finally, watch the water level and top off as required. Older cut flowers will die quickly when starved of water — even for just a couple of hours.

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Do you ever wonder how most people find the homes they eventually buy? You might imagine them driving by a “For Sale” sign or seeing a home for sale in the newspaper and then calling to enquire.


Of course, many buyers find out about listed properties that way. But, according to research by the National Association of Realtors, there are many other — sometimes surprising — ways buyers find their next dream home. For example: • 88% of buyers find a home with the help of a real estate agent. • 90% of buyers search online as part of the home buying process. (Such as viewing a property’s profile on the agent’s website.) • 69% of buyers searching for a home using Google, use a specific local term, such as “Whitby-south homes for sale”. • 29-46% of buyers attend an Open House as part of their home hunting activities.


Overall, the research shows that buyers are using a multitude of ways — combining online and offline methods — to find homes. What does all this mean to you? If means that if you’re preparing your home for sale, you need to ensure your marketing plan takes into account all the ways buyers are finding properties — so you can be sure that they will find yours. Looking for a REALTOR® who knows how to market your home for maximum exposure? Call today.

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Determining if you should buy a new home or fix up your current one isn’t easy!  In fact, the decision can be steeped in so much drama they make reality TV shows about it!


So if you’re considering whether to move or improve, here are three things to consider.
1. Will a renovation truly fix what you don’t like about your property?
If you’re tired of a small kitchen, for example, it might not be possible, given the layout, to make it any bigger. On the other hand, if you’re craving a spacious rec room with a cosy fireplace then a renovation could make that happen.  Of course, there are some things you may want that aren’t specific to your house, such as an easier commute or nearby park. Those are features you may only be able to get by moving.
2. How much will a renovation cost? How does that compare to the
cost of moving to a new home?  It’s important to get accurate estimates of each so you can make a smart decision. This is where a good REALTOR® can help.  Keep in mind that renovations have a habit of costing more than you originally anticipate. As mentioned earlier, the final result should be a home you want to stay in for quite some time.


3. Beware of compromising versus settling.  Whichever decision you make — renovate or sell — you can expect to have to make at least some compromises. That’s normal.  For example, consider adding an extension to your house. That’s a major renovation. Is it the ideal way to get the extra room you want? Do the benefits of renovating outweigh the benefits of finding a new larger home designed to include the space you need?

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Buyers of newly-built homes will get a break on their taxes, as part of changes in the B.C. budget designed to address the Lower Mainland's red hot housing market.

The government will, starting Wednesday, exempt any purchaser of a newly-built home, condo or townhouse valued under $750,000 from the property transfer tax, potentially saving them up to $13,000.

The deal only applies for the first owner of a new home, and the buyer must live in the property for at least a year. It's valid anywhere in the province, but only for Canadian citizens and permanent residents.

To make up the money, government will increase the property transfer tax by one per cent, to a total of 3 per cent, on any home sale worth more than $2 million.

The move may help encourage the construction of new housing, which Finance Minister Mike de Jong said is crucial to addressing the limited supply, but rising demand, for homes in B.C.

"We've taken some pretty purposeful steps to assist those who have the demand and incent the supply," he said.

It's on top of an existing first-time homebuyer exemption for new and used homes, which remains in place for properties less than $475,000.

"We should be capturing the bulk of the market, and as I say with respect to new homes, hopefully creating some incentive for more homes to be built," said de Jong. "We will be working with municipalities to try and facilitate that. So big changes. And we'll be tracking closely the impact they have on market and market behaviour."

Government data indicates a typical condo or townhome in east Vancouver would fall under the threshold, as would a typical townhome or condo in west Vancouver.

De Jong's budget outlined $47.5 billion in spending for the 2016/17 fiscal year, starting April 1, with a projected $264 million surplus. It's the fourth consecutive surplus budget for the Liberal government.

Even as it sought to cool the housing market, the province is enjoying a financial windfall from the property transfer tax it charges on sales. That tax has jumped more than 60 per cent above last year's expectations and is on track to bring in $1.5 billion in the current fiscal year - surpassing the revenue earned by the carbon tax.

To address the issue of foreign buyers spurring real estate prices, de Jong said the government will resume tracking data on who buys property.

Buyers will later this year have to disclose the country of their residence, which is data the province hasn't collected since 1998.

"A purchaser will need to disclose whether they are a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada, and if they are not one of those they will need to disclose the country the are a citizen or resident of," said de Jong.

Government will also track the beneficial owner of corporations buying property - known as bare trusts - but not move to close the loophole that allows the corporation to transfer shares to a new person, effectively selling the property but avoiding the property transfer tax

The budget did not contain any incentives for local governments to increase the density of housing projects through zoning and bylaws. De Jong threatened legislation that could force municipalities to make transparent the costs their development fees are having on new homes, but said government will first discuss the issue at this year's Union of B.C. Municipalities meeting.

Tuesday's budget also included extra funding for the Ministry of Children and Family Development, which has been rocked in the past year by several high-profile deaths and suicides of children in government care.

MCFD's core operations will get a $65 million boost next year, which will increase front-line programs and hire around 100 new social workers, according to the budget.

The province rejected calls to increase the social assistance rate for B.C.'s most needy, instead announcing a small $77 monthly increase to the disability income assistance rate to a monthly total of $983 effective Sept. 1. The change will affect 100,000 people - though half of those people will receive a lesser amount than $77 a month, because they already receive a bus pass or transportation allowance from the ministry.

"I don't think this makes life easier for people but hopefully it makes life a little less hard," said de Jong.

It's the first increase to the disability rate in nine years. The overall welfare rate remains unchanged.

Much-anticipated changes to the Medical Services Plan premiums largely failed to materialize in Tuesday's fiscal plan. Premier Christy Clark had previously called the flat rate system for MSP as "antiquated" and in need of major reform.

Instead, government increased monthly premiums on adults by $3, to $78 a month starting January 2017. And it eliminated a special rate for adult couples, meaning an additional $14 monthly increase for a family with two adults.

The changes will net government $147 million more, but is offset by $70 million in "enhanced premium assistance," according to the budget.

Children will be exempt from premiums, saving a minimum of $800 per year for families, said de Jong. Two million residents, including kids, won't have to pay any premiums, and 335,000 will pay reduced premiums under additional support, said de Jong.

There will also be a push to inform seniors, many of whom are not taking advantage of their MSP exemptions, that they are entitled to a tax break, said de Jong.

MSP will generate $2.4 billion in revenue towards health care spending that is estimated to rise to almost $19.6 billion, or 41 per cent of total spending. Government continues to plan for 4 per cent annual increases in future years, meaning costs are only going to increase. De Jong defended MSP premiums as a necessary way to fund health care.

"It may be politically attractive to create the impression that MSP premiums don't exist or disappear, but of course they do because the $2.4 billion that we receive in MSP premiums will need to come from somewhere," he said.

"I'd rather be as open and honest with British Columbians as possible and disclose what they are paying and what prupose they are paying."

Elsewhere in the budget, education spending remained basically frozen including inflation.

The budget included $12 billion in taxpayer-supported infrastructure capital spending over the next three years.

Taxpayer-supported debt is budgeted to rise to $43.2 billion, which de Jong said is a slowing of the growth of debt compared to previous years. Taxpayers will spend 3.7 cents per every dollar in debt servicing.

Total provincial debt is estimated to rise $2.4 billion next year, to $67.7 billion. The debt-to-GDP ratio will drop to 17 per cent, said de Jong.

The budget contained several new small tax credits for farmers donating food to non-profits, as well as an expansion of the BC seniors' home renovation tax credit.

However, de Jong warned that the film and television industry's increased use of the film tax credit program, combined with the low Canadian dollar, would force government to revisit the program in the near future.

The government followed through with the creation of its liquefied natural gas Prosperity Fund, despite the fact no LNG projects have actually started construction. The budget allocates $100 million to the fund, but state a minimum of 50 per cent of future funds will be used for debt repayment.

The Prosperity Fund money will come from the current 2015/16 fiscal year, ending March 31. In that current year, government said its estimated $265 million surplus has risen to a projected $377 million.



10 things to know about the 2016/17 provincial budget:

1. Buyers of newly-built homes worth up to $750,000 will be exempt from the property transfer tax, saving up to $13,000, effective Wednesday (only for Canadian citizens or permanent residents).

2. The new home tax exemption will only apply to people who actually live in the home as their principal residence for a year after the purchase (relatives do not qualify) and B.C. will share information with Revenue Canada to double-check whether the rules are being followed.

3. Homes (both new and used) sold for more than $2 million will see an increased property transfer tax of 3 per cent, up from 2 per cent.

4. The existing first-time homebuyers program for used homes remains in place, but the threshold is unchanged for properties worth less than $475,000.

5. Property buyers will need to disclose their citizenship for government tracking.

6. MSP premium rates will rise $3 per month for an adult to $78, starting in 2017, but children are now exempt.

7. The special discounted MSP rate for couples is eliminated, adding $14 a month to a family with two adults.

8. Taxpayer-supported debt is budgeted to rise to $43.2 billion, which means 3.7 cents of every dollar government earns it pays in debt servicing.

9. The $47.5 billion budget next year will have an estimated surplus of $264 million. The economy is expected to grow 2.4 per cent.

10.Income assistance for those on disability will rise $77 a month, except for those who already receive a bus pass or transit assistance. It's the first increase in the rate in nine years. The overall welfare rate remains unchanged.


Courtesy Rob Shaw, Vancouver Sun
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Many homeowners think there’s not much they can do about telephone, heating, water and other utility expenses. Sure, you may not be happy about a high heating bill one month, but what can you do about it?


Turns out, you can do plenty!  There are several ways to reduce monthly utility costs that can save you tens or even hundreds of dollars. For example:


• Shop around for a better phone plan. Then contact your phone company. They sometimes will match the rates.  Many people only use a cell phone, eliminating a landline which saves money!
• Turn down the thermostat on your water heater. You likely don’t need tap water to be that hot.
• Clean the screen on your outside air conditioning unit regularly, if you have one.
(Gently with the water hose.) Dirt and leaves can build up on it, reducing the unit’s efficiency.
• Leverage the sun. Open curtains in the winter to gain heat. Block direct sunlight in summer to keep the cool air inside.
• Scrutinize your bill. There may be extras you’re paying for that you don’t need.
• Play with the thermostat. Experiment with setting the temperature a couple of degrees lower.  You might not notice any difference.. OR purchase a thermastat that allows you to auto set the temperatures at set times.


It’s worth paying attention to your utility costs. Just a few smart moves can save you some serious money.


Looking for tips?  Call me!  Leanne Drolet

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Caring for our neighbours- please support!

November 16 - 23, 2015 

It's time to winterize your closets for blankets and warm clothing you can donate to the Blanket Drive! 



Needed items for all ages include:

  • gently used or new blankets or sleeping bags
  • warm clothing, coats
  • hats, gloves, scarves
  • new socks and underwear

 

From Hope to Whistler, you can drop off your donations at any of the real estate offices listed here.


This is the largest and longest running blanket drive in the region. We help about 19,000 of our neighbours in need each year. Since 1994, this event has helped more than 275,000 people in need.


All donations collected within a community go to charities in that community.  If you're not able to drop your items at one of these offices, please contact Leanne and I will pick up!


Thanks so much for your support!!



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