Looking for CENTURY 21 Ace Agencies Ltd?

As of December 2014, Century 21 Ace Agencies Ltd has merged with Century 21 Coastal Realty Ltd.  The offices located  at 33555 South Fraser Way, Abbotsford, BC V2S 2B7 will be closed at the end of this year. Century 21 Coastal Realty Ltd is located at 2-2838 Garden St Abbotsford BC, at the corner of  Garden st and Simon Ave, just one block from Canadian Tire. The phone number for Century 21’s only office in Abbotsford remains (604) 853-3374.

For Strata management business of Ace Agencies Ltd please call 604 853 2718.

Any questions? Please call me at 604 614 9294

Raj Dhaliwal




Threshold for the Property Transfer Tax exemption increased in BC’s 2014 budget

The “boring, balanced budget” of British Columbia was tabled yesterday by Finance Minister Mike de Jong. Here’s what it has to offer for home buyers and homeowners:

Threshold for the Property Transfer Tax exemption has increased for first-time buyers to $475,000 (up to $500,000 for partial exemption)

The First Time Home Buyers’ Program reduces or eliminates the amount of property transfer tax you pay when you purchase your first home. If you qualify for the program, you may be eligible for either a full or partial exemption from the tax. Click here for more detail.

Threshold for homeowner grant — a property tax subsidy program –  will now apply to a maximum property value of $1,100,000, down from $1,295,000. Click here for more detail.

Selling Your Home? Plan Your Marketing

Selling Your Home? Plan Your Marketing

How can I get the most $$$ “in my pocket” from the sale of my home? If you are like most folks “highest possible $$$ amount in your bank” is your goal when you are selling your home. How do you find buyers for your home?

There are 2 well known facts about how home are sold:

FACT#1– Most homes are sold by REALTORS (Some studies say 9 out of 10 homes are sold by REALTORS) because:

– Realtors have a client base
– Realtors have marketing and negotiation skills
– Real estate professionals can protect the sellers and buyers from legal liabilities
– Realtors use the Multiple Listing Service and remuneration sharing agreements to promote your home

Interview more than one agents before you list your home for sale. Ask them what marketing plan do they have to sell your home. Check referral, verify marketing claims, do your homework before you sign a listing contract.

FACT#2
– Most Buyers start their home search online (90% Buyers look online according to National Association of Realtors in the US. Canadian numbers should be similar) because:

– Buyers can search for home from the comfort of their own living room.
– Have access to latest listings
– Buyers can view more photos and even video & virtual tours online
– Buyers have access to other local information like maps, schools and other city data

When you list your home with an agent make sure they offer a marketing plan to promote your home not only through traditional channels like MLS, yard sign, ad in the local paper and in-office promos etc. but also on the Internet.

Most real estate agents have websites but having a web-page is simply not enough. A search for “Abbotsford Real Estate” on Google returns almost 1 million web-pages.  So make sure you ask some questions. How many visitors (potential buyers) come to the agent’s website every day? Is the agent’s website the only place where they advertise your home online? How about other popular destinations on the web like Facebook, twitter, craigslist, househunting etc etc.?

If you are selling your home in Abbotsford, Call us to set-up an appointment for confidential consultation and view our marketing plan. Click here to contact us.

Buying Abbotsford Tax Sale Properties….

Buying Abbotsford Tax Sale Properties….

Someone called me last week and asked about properties being sold by City of Abbotsford because of tax deliquency. Here is some basic information for all of you who are curious about tax sales.

The City is required by the Local Government Act to sell, at tax sale, all properties for which taxes have not been paid for three years. The Local Government Act gives the Collector authority to sell a property for the “UPSET PRICE”, which equals all outstanding taxes + penalties + interest + 5% tax sale costs + Land Title Office fees.

Tax sale is conducted every year on the last Monday of September. The Collector offers properties – on which taxes are delinquent – for sale by public auction. Notice is published prior to the tax sale advising of the time and place of the sale. Check the local papers and city website for these notices.

On the day of the auction, subject property is sold to the highest bidder above the minimum bid which usually equals to the amount of delinquent taxes plus any penalties and interest. If there is no bid, or no bid equal to the minimum set price, the local government is declared the purchaser.

Within one year from the day of the tax sale, the sold property may be redeemed by the owner, an owner of a registered charge against the property (IE: the lender), or by another person on behalf of the owner or registered charge against the property.

On redemption of a property, the purchaser is entitled to receive refund of all amounts paid by the purchaser, together with interest to the date of redemption at the rate prescribed in the Taxation (Rural Area) Act.

In the unlikely event a property is not redeemed within the redemption period, the Collector registers the new owner with the Registrar of the Land Title Office. It is very rare that a property will change hands as a result of a Tax Sale, as either the property owner or mortgage holder usually redeems the property within the prescribed period.

Calculating BC Property Transfer Tax

Calculating BC Property Transfer Tax

When you purchase real estate in British Columbia the amount of the Property Transfer Tax payable is 1% on the first $200,000 of the property’s fair market value and 2% on the remaining fair market value. The tax is calculated on the selling price of a property but if the transaction does not reflect fair market value (IE: the transfer of property is taking place without the exchange of money) the tax is charged on the fair market value.

Here is how you calculate BC Property Transfer Tax:

If the fair market value of the property is $150,000, the tax payable would be $1,500

$150,000 x 1% = 1500

If the fair market value of the property is $350,000, the tax payable would be $5,000

1% on the first $200,000.00 = $2,000

2% on the remaining $150,000.00 = $3,000

$2000 + $3000 = $5000

First Time Home buyers do not have to pay Property Transfer Tax if the fair market value of the home they are purchasing is under $425,000.(under current rules, at the date of this post). Purchaser and property must meet certain criteria to qualify for this exemption.

First Time Home buyers can qualify for for partial exemption if the fair market value of the home they are purchasing is between $425,000 and $450,000

Click here to see requirements to qualify for First Time Home Buyers Program. Also click here to view Tax Bulletin from Ministry of Finance

Click here to see more examplesof how partial Property Transfer Tax is calculated.

Click here visit website of Govt. of BC about Property Transfer Tax

A picture is worth thousands of $$$

If a picture is worth a thousand words it can be worth thousands of dollars if its a picture of a property you are trying to sell. An image may be more influential than a substantial amount of text or audio description of a property. Many buyers and their Realtors decide to view a home (or not) based on how the pictures of a house look.

Yet everyday we come across poor quality images of homes on our MLS system. or worse “picture not available”. If your home is listed for sale make sure there are at least 10 good photos on the MLS. Your REALTOR can display even more photos (or a virtual tour) of your home on his/her personal website.

If few good quality photos bring 10 extra buyers through your doors and one one them buys your house, how much are they worth?

…..I’ll let you decide.

The annual blueberry cannon debate is on again

The annual blueberry cannon debate is on again

Yes, its happens every year. Local newpapers (and sometimes The Province and Vancouver Sun) will publish stories about the propane-fuelled bird scare devices or “blueberry cannons” as we call them. Then a chain reaction of letters to the editor from both proponents and opponents of blueberry cannons will last all summer.

Shrinking rural urban divide and increasing number of blueberry fields make a ceasefire  – between residents and farmers – unlikely in the near future. Abbotsford  has just over 5,000 acres planted in blueberries which is almost a third of the total 18000 acres covered by blueberries in British Columbia.

Many farmers believe propane cannons are a cost-effective means to protect their crop. The City of Abbotsford is so far unwilling to take on the responsibility of monitoring blueberry cannon use. The provincial Farm Practices Protection Act, also known as the “right to farm” legislation will override any city bylaws to ban cannon use in the farms. The Farm Industry Review Board recently reviewed the use of cannons and made some suggestions for noise reduction. But, it did not recommend an outright ban on the devices.

I don’t know what the solution is, talk to your neighbors… 🙂 ….. . and enjoy the blueberries..

 June 28, 2009

Abbotsford neighborhood in top 10 hot spots

Abbotsford neighborhood in top 10 hot spots

Abbotsford neighbourhoods scored #8 on the list of hottest neighborhoods in lower mainland in a recent study. This study conducted for real estate firm Century 21 Canada was focused on finding the 21 hottest neighborhoods in Canada for realizing real estate price increases in the past year.

Abbotsford neighborhoods that showed real estate price increases are parts of West, South and Central Abbotsford bounded by the United States border and Downes Rd. on the south and north and by Gladwin Rd. and Mt. Lehman Rd. on the east and west is the eighth hottest neighbourhood in the Lower Mainland according to the Century 21 study. The survey covered Canada Post Forward Sorting Areas (FSAs) which are the equivalents of large neighborhoods. FSAs are the first three digits of Canada’s postal codes. The FSA in Abbotsford that was placed in top ten is V2T. Take a look at the map below.

In this neighborhood, average prices were $285,601 in April 2009, an increase of 11.61% from $252,437 in March 2009 and a decline of 12.09% from $324,891 in April 2008.

Now what does this survey tell us? Focus on the area when buying a home. National, provincial and local trends do affect the market but real estate is all about location, location and location.

June 11, 2009

So you want to buy a property in foreclosure?

So you want to buy a property in foreclosure?

I received a few inquiries in the last 2 weeks from potential buyers of homes in foreclosure. All callers had one thing in common, they were expecting to save a truckload (or a car-load at least) of money in the transaction. Yes, the economy is bad, yes, there are more homes in foreclosure than previous years; but no, lenders can not sell a home for the amount of outstanding mortgage unless market value of the house is same or lower (yes, that happens in this market) than the balance of outstanding mortgage.

When a homeowner fails to make the mortgage payments on time, the lender must follow a certain procedure, and make efforts to collect the debt. Going to court and getting a court order to force the sale of mortgagor’s home is final step in the foreclosure process. In most cases all offers by the buyers are presented to the court. The judge must be convinced that the offer is fair to all parties including the borrower in default. Only then a judge will approve the sale.

Another important thing to keep in mind when buying a property in foreclosure is that most properties are sold “as is, where is”. No warranties of any kind. Your insurance company will also this as a high risk property.

Now I am not saying you can’t save significant amount of money when buying a home in foreclosure. But I do suggest that you do your homework and seek professional help before investing your hard earned $$$..

Buying Mortgage Insurance? Lender vs Independent

Buying Mortgage Insurance? Lender vs Independent
I met with an insurance broker last night and she raised some interesting points while we were talking about mortgage (life) insurance. Most people buy insurance on their life when they get a mortgage to protect their loved ones in case of death of mortgagor. Usually the life insurance – also called mortgage insurance – is offered by the mortgage lender when the borrowers sign the mortgage papers. Before you accept that insurance policy from your mortgage lender talk to an independent insurance advisor.
Here is a little comparison based on my conversation with the insurance advisor:

Lender’s Insurance Insurance Company
  • Lending institution owns the policy
  • You own the policy
  • Lender is the beneficiary
  • You are the beneficiary
  • The benefit is used by the lender to pay the balance of mortgage
  • You decide who receives the benefit
  • If you move you mortgage to another institution, your coverage may change
  • Your coverage remains unchanged even if you switch lenders
  • You may lose coverage when your mortgage is paid or is in default
  • You coverage remains the same even when you are in defult of your mortgage payments
  • Your coverage is based on the mortgage amount and often declines with the mortgage balance
  • Your coverage remains same even when your mortgage balance declines

This comparison if for your information only. Please consult an insurance professional before buying any kind of insurance as I am no insurance expert.