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Blog › November 2015

Recently Sold Listing 310 Seymour River Place, North Vancouver, BC


R2017616 - 310 Seymour River Place, North Vancouver, BC, CANADAI have just recently sold this listing at 310 Seymour River Place, North Vancouver.

Seven Ways to Pay Off Your Mortgage Faster


Paying down your mortgage as early as possible is one of the best suggestions that financial advisers make to their clients.  After all, throwing extra money at the biggest debt you may have can result in big interest savings and being mortgage-free years sooner.

Since mortgage payments are made with after-tax dollars, putting extra money down on a debt with an interest rate of 3.49% is equivalent to getting a guaranteed, risk-free return of over 5.0% for most taxpayers. If your mortgage rate is higher, your return would be higher too.

1. Shop around for the best mortgage possible with your credit score. 
When a mortgage company has a small overhead cost to stay in business it typically means that they will not charge you unreasonable ongoing service fees. Make sure you know the fees charged by your mortgage company before you sign the loan.

2. Select weekly or bi-weekly mortgage payments. 
A bi-weekly mortgage payment means you make 26 half-monthly payments instead of 12 monthly payments. But keep in mind that unless your initial mortgage is set up as bi-weekly, some lenders charge an upfront fee of $300-$400 to make bi-weekly payments, and even though you're making a payment every two weeks, the lender only applies it once a month.

If you make bi-weekly payments of $415 instead of monthly payments of $830, you could save almost $27,000 in interest over the entire amortization period of your mortgage, and you could own your home about 4-1/2 years sooner.

3. Prepay a little extra every month, or any time during the term of your mortgage. Increasing your payment by even a few dollars each month will pay down your principal amount faster. It is a good idea to pay 10-15% more each month. This amount shouldn’t put too much extra burden on you, and it will help to pay off your mortgage much faster. For example, if you increased your mortgage payments by just $170 from $830 to $1,000, you could save almost $48,000 in interest over the entire amortization period of your mortgage, and you could own your home about 8 years sooner. 

4. Make an annual lump sum payment. Use your tax refund, work bonus or any extra money you can save and apply it directly to your principal amount. Check your mortgage documents to find out how often you can prepay and in what amount. Many loans don't prohibit you from doing this, however the lender may have parameters on how many extra payments you can make. Ask this question when shopping for a mortgage loan. 
 
5. Pay as much as you can at renewal time. 
Most mortgages become open at renewal. This means you can pay as much as you want on your mortgage. If you chose a 5-year, fixed-rate term, and made a $10,000 lump-sum payment every time your mortgage came up for renewal, you would save about $37,481 in interest over the entire amortization period of your mortgage.

6. Red flag your extra payments. Always check your mortgage statement to make sure that any extra payments you made are being counted against the principal and that your bank has accurately documented your payments. Make the extra principal payments on a separate cheque and make a note on the memo line stating that the payment should be applied to principal reduction only. At tax time, tally up those payments and make sure they've been applied correctly. 

7. Stay informed. Once you have a mortgage, aside from making the payments, it's easy to forget about it altogether. By keeping up-to-date on interest rates and new products could save you money. You may want to shop for another product that better suits your needs. For example, to qualify for a mortgage, you may have started out with a lower-rate adjustable rate mortgage, but you want to switch to a more long-term affordable fixed-rate mortgage later. 
Fortunately, it's easy to virtually play around with various payment scenarios. Most financial institutions, banks, and mortgage brokers have online mortgage calculators that can easily calculate the savings for you. Combining two or more of these above tips would result in even bigger savings.

 



Choosing Outdoor Lighting for Curb Appeal & Safety


Well-executed exterior lighting can enhances the architectural detail of your property and makes your home look beautiful in the evening adding an abundance of curb appeal.   Aside from aesthetics, good exterior lighting can give you and your guest’s added security and peace of mind when entering and leaving your home.

Much of the success of exterior lighting depends mainly on its design. Professional lighting designers often talk about “moonlight effect.” That’s a naturalistic look that features light no more intense than that of a full moon, but still strong enough to make beautiful shadows and intense highlights.

A well-lit front entrance enables you to greet guests and identify visitors. Wall lanterns on each side of the door will give your home a warm, welcoming look, while assuring the safety of those who enter.

Install a single fixture above the garage door to provide lighting for safety and security. Consider installing a motion sensor on these fixtures or a photocell that turns the lights on at dusk and off at dawn to save energy.

Another important factor is making your home secure and safe from intruders and animals. Good lighting around the entire perimeter of your home can be a deterrent in itself. Illuminate any side of the house that would otherwise be in shadows. Spotlights installed on your eaves will accomplish this, or, for a more dramatic look, consider ground lights pointed up to graze your walls.

Steps, paths, and driveways should be illuminated to make sure family members and guests are able to move about easily and safely after dark. You can install path lights or post lanterns or attach lights to the side of the house.  Low-level path lights, which spread circular patterns of light, will brighten your walkway while highlighting nearby flower beds, shrubs and ground cover. Low-level path lights can also be used to define the boundaries of long driveways.

If you have added exterior features like a swimming pool, an exterior porch or entertaining space, ensure these areas are well lit as well.

Choose lighting fixtures that look beautiful, but also throws light a good distance away from your home. This will help illuminate dark areas, and aid your vision to see outside from inside your home. If you have a large property, flood lights installed on the corners of your home will help throw light further than average wall sconces on the exterior of your home.

Another consideration to keep in mind is to select outdoor light fixtures that are energy efficient and made of durable material to suit the harsh outside temperatures during the hot summer days and cold winter nights.  In most cases, fixtures made of cast aluminum are a very durable option.



HOME BUYERS WERE NOT SPOOKED BY ELECTION RESULTS


Sales figures collected from real estate boards across the country show a continued strength in the real estate market. Buyer activity was expected to taper off leading up to the Federal Election but it didn’t seem to affect the overall performance by very much.

It is clear that many Canadian households remain upbeat about home ownership because owning a home represents a high quality, long-term investment. We expect to see a continuous upward trend in the market as we approach the end of this year.



18 OFFERS & OVER ASKING


On Monday I had a personal best for most offers on a listing. Fortunately, I was the listing agent. 744 East 7th Street, North Vancouver was listed for $1.2M with the intention of selecting a price that would illicit enough interest to generate multiple offers. After a week of intense marketing we generated 18 offers. All offers were at or over the listing price. The final selling price was $1.475M.



Recently Sold Listing 744 E 7th Street, North Vancouver, BC


R2013942 - 744 E 7th Street, North Vancouver, BC, CANADAI have just recently sold this listing at 744 E 7th Street, North Vancouver.