Canadian Employment – November, 2018

Total Canadian employment was up by 11,200 jobs in October after jumping by 62,000 jobs in September. Part-time employment declined by 23,000 jobs while full-time work was up 34,000 jobs. The national unemployment rate ticked 0.1 points lower to 5.8 per cent. Total employment was up 1.1 per cent, or 206,000 jobs compared to this time last year.

In BC, employment fell by 1,100 jobs in October after adding 33,000 jobs in September. On a year-over-year basis, employment was up 2 per cent and the provincial unemployment rate fell 0.1 points to 4.1 per cent, the lowest rate of unemployment in the province since December 2007.

For more information, please contact: Gino Pezzani.

Fraser Valley Housing Market “Getting Back To Normal”

(Surrey, BC) – Fraser Valley’s real estate market moved towards balance in October as inventory continued to decrease and sales and prices remained stable.

A total of 1,014 sales were processed on the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board’s Multiple Listing Service® in October, a decrease of 3 per cent compared to 1,044 sales in September and a decrease of 40 per cent compared to 1,704 sales in October of last year.

Deanna Horn, FVREB President, says, “With help from near record low mortgage rates and a steady decrease in the supply of homes, we’re getting back to what I call a ‘normal’, balanced market.

“However, sellers should be aware that demand for homes is strong, yet selective. Buyers in the Fraser Valley recognize that selection, although dropping is still generous and they’re looking for properties priced competitively. Even with carrying costs remaining stable, the affordability threshold is a factor.”

The Board received 2,125 new listings last month, a 12 per cent decrease from September and a 25 per cent decrease compared to October 2009. The Board finished October with 9,561 active listings, 4 per cent fewer than in September and an increase of 9 per cent compared to the 8,807 properties available in October 2009. 

Horn adds, “When supply and demand move into balance, prices can become a real ‘sticking point’ underlining the importance of hiring a professional REALTOR® who knows your local market and can provide detailed comparisons to ensure your home is priced competitively.”

The benchmark price for Fraser Valley detached homes in October was $505,759, down 0.3 per cent compared to September and 3 per cent higher compared to $491,128 in October 2009.   

The benchmark price of Fraser Valley townhouses in October was $319,058, a 0.9 per cent decrease compared to September and a 2.2 per cent increase compared to October 2009 when it was $312,339.

Year-over-year, the benchmark price of apartments increased 0.2 per cent going from $240,048 in October 2009 to $240,542 last month and 0.4 per cent higher compared to September 2010. 


Do I qualify for a Mortgage?

Many people wonder if buying a home is really within their reach. It often seems like a daunting purchase for the first time buyer. The good news is that with the large variety of options available today, it has never been easier to secure a mortgage.

Mortgage lenders assess a variety of criteria when considering mortgage applications. Most lenders look at the following factors when determining whether you qualify for a mortgage loan.

One of the first questions a lender will consider is how much of your total income you’ll be spending on housing. This helps the lender decide whether you can comfortably afford a house.  Mortgage payments for principal, interest and taxes generally should not exceed 30% of your gross monthly income.

A lender will then look at your debts, which generally include house payments as well as payments on all loans, charge cards, child support, etc., that you make each month.

A history of steady employment, usually within the same job for several years, helps you to qualify. However, a short history in your current job shouldn’t prevent you from getting a loan, as long as there have been no gaps in income over the last two years.

Good credit is also very important in qualifying for a loan, and the lender will want to know that the house is worth the price you plan to pay.

Down payments are not always required as there are mortgage programs that provide 100% financing for qualified purchasers.  If you have a down payment of 20% or more of the purchase price, this is known as a “conventional” mortgage, and the mortgage lender will not require default insurance.  However, with mortgage loan insurance to cover potential default of payment, you may be able to qualify for a mortgage with a down payment of as little as 5%.

When budgeting, also consider other monthly-related expenses such as condominium fees, heat, hydro, water, property tax, insurance and household maintenance.

Even if you can’t buy a home right now, home ownership is possible. If you make it a serious goal and plan for it, within two years you can probably overcome most or all of obstacles that usually face first time buyers.

Copyright © 2010 Canada Realty News™

How to Choose a Bathroom Vanity that Complements Your Home’s Style

A chic and stylish vanity can breathe new life into your bathroom.  A new vanity determines the tone of the bathroom’s decor, and adds great value to your home if you are planning to sell it.

When selecting a bathroom vanity, always keep in mind that the unit is going to function as both storage and as a working surface. Stick with materials that will fare well with wear and exposure to water. Make sure the material is also sealed to protect the finish and to keep it looking good for many years to come.

Bathroom vanities usually combine a sink with a cabinet, providing a functional and practical place to get ready in the morning. However, since there are so many types to choose from, you may be unsure as to which one you should purchase for your home. Before making a final decision, there are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a bathroom vanity.

1. Consider who is going to be using the bathroom. Guest bathrooms usually don’t require a great deal of storage space. A family bathroom will benefit from having lots of cupboards and drawers for frequently used items such as towels, bath toys and toilet paper.

2. Decide on your budget limit. Money often limits our choices, but being budget conscious sometimes forces us to make common sense decisions. You can achieve a very nice look without breaking the bank. Usually you can replace a large part of the budget with creativity. Keep in mind that in the end this is a sink and the functional aspects are way more important than the looks.

3. Choose a style that matches the decor of your home. When you consider bathroom style, look at the total picture. It doesn’t make sense to replace a modern vanity with an antique, or to insert a shiny chrome bathroom vanity into a bathroom that’s all wood. Keep everything in perspective. Make sure what you want will be appropriate to the style you choose. There are many styles available, including modern, traditional, country, classic, eclectic, high-tech, contemporary and antique.

4. Evaluate the amount of space available for the vanity. Bathroom vanities come in a variety of widths and can also be custom ordered. Your bathroom may have two sinks so you may want two vanities or one large, custom designed vanity to fit the space. Also consider the amount of space you want available on the vanity top.

5. Consider the plumbing restrictions. Sometimes the existing plumbing for the sink will limit your options. For example the water lines and drain pipes might come out of a wall or directly from the floor. Unless you are prepared for changing the plumbing (which can be expensive and might require more dramatic changes to your bathroom than you desire) you will have to settle for a solution that works. You might not want to install a wall mounted sink if the pipes come from the floor and they will be in full view. You might also not want to put a hole in the base of an expensive vanity to accommodate the same situation.

4. Select a practical countertop.   Bathroom vanity countertops should be practical, durable and resistant to water, moisture and humidity. Plastic laminate countertops for vanities are popular because they are generally durable, relatively stain-resistant and economical. Granite countertops are beautiful to look at and are strong and durable, while marble countertops are elegant and long-lasting.

5. Faucets sinks and lighting. There are many different styles of sinks for bathroom sink vanity units, including porcelain, stainless steel and glass.  Choose faucets and a sink that complement the fixtures. Porcelain-brass combos are typically traditional, while gooseneck and waterfall faucets look modern. Basic faucets – even chrome-brass combinations – work nicely in neutral bathroom schemes.

The positioning of your bathroom vanity lighting and colours also plays an important role in the overall look and feel of your room.

There are bathroom vanities and cabinets to suit bathrooms of all styles and sizes. With some thought and planning a new bathroom vanity set can become an attractive centerpiece to complete your bathroom’s makeover.

Copyright © 2010 Canada Realty News™

Secrets for Happy Condo Living

Living in an apartment or condo can be a rewarding experience and you can truly be happy with a lower cost and little work. However, a condo is more than a financial commitment; it’s a social commitment as well. In this article we’ll examine these considerations to make sure that your new condo life is a great one.
When you’re in buying mode, it’s common to think only in terms of dollars and cents. But it’s essential not to forget the social aspect of living in a condo. Different complexes work well for different kinds of people, so get to know your complex as well as your prospective neighbours to make sure that they’re a good fit for you. If you’re easing into retirement, it might not be a great idea to buy a condo next to a bunch of hard-partying college kids or vice versa.
When you live in a condo you have to share walls, ceilings, floors and common areas with neighbours. All of this means keeping close quarters with your neighbours. While that is not a big deal for those who have lived in apartments, others will have to get used to that level of close proximity to their neighbours.
The key to happy condo living is keeping your neighbours happy too. Respecting your neighbour’s right to the quiet enjoyment of their home is part of the arrangement. Your neighbours will appreciate, and hopefully reciprocate your efforts to lower the volume, walk quietly, and limit your vacuuming and entertaining to reasonable hours.
Another big issue in condominiums is pets. Most people are good about looking after their dog, but some people who exercise their pets will take them to the courtyard and not clean up after their pet’s mess.
A little flexibility is important too.  If your neighbours are willing to turn down the volume for you and keep things as quiet as they can, perhaps you can be more understanding to their situation as well.  They’ll really appreciate the give-and-take relationship.  For your neighbours with children, try to remember that kids will be kids.
You need to remember that a condo living is a community, so you need to deal with your neighbours as community members and try to resolve the issues together. If that fails, the board will then intervene.  For the most part, condo boards will ask people to resolve most issues themselves.  They will recommend going to the neighbour and sitting down to talk with them to work things out.
Before you make a condo purchase, knock on a couple of doors and introduce yourself as a potential buyer. Ask your future neighbours questions about the complex that aren’t being answered by the real estate agent, or ask the same questions again to get a different perspective without the sales pitch! Not only can you learn a lot about the people you’ll possibly be living next to, but you can gain insight into how much they enjoy living in the complex.

Copyright © 2010 Canada Realty News™