You don’t have to freeze in the winter or start reading by candlelight to reduce your electricity bill. There are many simple ways to use less power with little, if any, impact on your lifestyle.
A good place to start is with your electronics. According to the David Suzuki Foundation, “Any gizmo that has a clock, digital timer, remote control or standby mode is sucking energy when it's not being used (it's called 'phantom electricity' — and it's scary how much of it there is).” So keep them unplugged as much as possible.Also, unplug charger cords for phone and computers when not in use. Even when not connected to the device, they still suck power.
Another easy change to make involves your lights. Switching to compact fluorescent (CFL) or LED light bulbs can save you a lot of energy. They’re 75% more efficient. Finally, the old-fashioned method of insulating doors and windows can work wonders for lowering your electricity bill. In fact, some particularly drafty homes can lose up to 40% of their heat. Check for drafts regularly and repair or replace insulation as needed.
None of these ideas will impact your day-to-day living. Yet, they could potentially save you a bundle.
Imagine finding a home you love, making an offer, and then finding out there are other competing offers on the table. Ouch.
If you’re looking for a property in a competitive market, it is likely that there will be multiple offers. Even just one can create the risk that you’ll lose the home. So how do you make sure your offer is enticing enough to win over the seller? Here are some ideas:
• Don’t make a low-ball offer. If you do, it might be dismissed and you probably won’t get another chance to bid — especially if the other competing offers are near the listing price.
• Have a pre-arranged mortgage and include that with your offer. This reassures the seller there won’t be any money issues. (Most lenders will provide you with a pre-arranged mortgage certificate for this purpose.)
• Go in with a price high enough that the seller will be interested, but not so high as to be leaving money on the table. This is tricky and requires a savvy knowledge of the current market.
• Have a REALTOR® present the offer on your behalf.
A REALTOR® will know how to do so professionally, and in a manner that gives you the best chance of getting the home. In a competitive situation, working with a REALTOR® who is an expert on the local market — and a skilled negotiator — is crucial.
Looking for a REALTOR® like that? I am here to help.
Demand diversifies for Fraser Valley real estate in January
SURREY, BC – Fraser Valley real estate kicked-off the New Year strong with sales reaching above the ten-year average for January, and a healthy intake of new inventory.
The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board processed 976 sales of all property types on its Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in January, a decrease of 27.1 per cent compared to the 1,338 sales in January of last year, and a 1 per cent increase compared to the 966 sales in December 2016.
Of the 976 sales processed last month, 212 were townhouses and 276 were apartments, representing exactly half of the month’s market activity.
“The impacts of 2016's tremendous real estate surge continue to be felt as we enter the New Year, and a new market.
Notably, the distribution of sales across our residential property types levelled-off even further in January. As well, prices continue to adjust to match more typical demand, albeit slowly," said Charles Wiebe, Board President.
The Board received 2,178 new listings in January, a significant 162.7 per cent increase from December 2016, and a 13.2 per cent decrease compared to January 2016’s 2,510 new listings.
In January the total active inventory for the Fraser Valley was 4,401 listings, a decrease of 8.1 per cent year-over-year and the lowest level seen for a January in ten years. However, active inventory increased by 12 per cent month-over-month compared to December’s 3,930 active listings.
"This is a great time to list in the Fraser Valley; buyers are looking at a wider range of homes and the market is still lacking inventory needed to match demand. If you need help figuring out your next step, talk your local REALTOR® and they can help you get to market quickly and stress-free.”
For the Fraser Valley region, the average number of days to sell a single family detached home in January 2017 was 49 days, compared to 33 days in January 2016.
HPI® Benchmark Price Activity
• Single Family Detached: At $856,300, the Benchmark price for a single family detached home in the Valley did not change compared to December 2016, and increased 24.3 per cent compared to January 2016.
• Townhomes: At $420,400 the Benchmark price for a townhome in the Fraser Valley increased 0.9 per cent compared to December 2016, and increased 28.8 per cent compared to January 2016.
• Apartments: At $262,300, the Benchmark price for apartments/condos in the Fraser Valley increased 1.3 per cent compared to December 2016, and increased 27.6 per cent compared to January 2016.
The data relating to real estate on this website comes in part from the MLS® Reciprocity program of either the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV), the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) or the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board (CADREB). Real estate listings held by participating real estate firms are marked with the MLS® logo and detailed information about the listing includes the name of the listing agent. This representation is based in whole or part on data generated by either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB which assumes no responsibility for its accuracy. The materials contained on this page may not be reproduced without the express written consent of either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB.