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Building permits issued in Surrey breaks $2 billion mark

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The City of Surrey set a new record in building permit values issued in 2019. The total construction value exceeded $2.29 billion last year, which is 33% higher than the previous record total of $1.52 billion from 2018.

In 2019, $1.57 billion of the construction value came from residential permits which translated to 6,632 new dwellings that will be built in Surrey.

“The economic confidence in Surrey has reached new heights and breaking the $2 billion mark in building permits is uncharted territory for our city,” said Mayor Doug McCallum. “The livability, affordability and recreational amenities that Surrey offers have established this city as a place where you can raise your family or grow your business. With the new Surrey SkyTrain extension on the horizon and with Council’s Smart Development initiatives, Surrey will be a prime destination for new residents and businesses for years to come.”

While the Planning and Development Department issued a total of 16,498 building, plumbing and electrical permits in 2019, staff managed to reduce the wait time for single family dwelling to 10 weeks by the end of the year. In comparison, the wait time for a single family dwelling permit peaked at 25 weeks in 2017.

Surrey604 is an online magazine and media outlet based in Surrey, BC. Through writing, video, photography, and social media, we secure an intimate reach to the public. We promote local events and causes.

Real Estate

Should I Refinance my Mortgage? Knowing When to Do it

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If you’re looking to reduce monthly mortgage payments and get a lowered interest rate, you could also convert equity to cash or switch to a fixed-rate loan. These are all reasons to refinance, but while it may sound enticing at first, you will want to make sure that it is the right time for you to do it. Before you decide to refinance, it is key to understand the process and evaluate the pros and cons of your situation. Homeowners are sometimes surprised about the amount of documentation needed to get approved for a mortgage refinance. If you learn the basics, you will be able to decide if it is right time for you to do it as well as what will happen when you do.

Reasons to Refinance

There are plenty of reasons you would want to refinance, but there are a few that cut through the rest. First the main goal is usually to lower your payments. It shouldn’t be to just decrease the payment for the short-term, you should be pursuing better interest rates. This is really what will cost you in the long run. Using your home equity to better manage debt is another option, but you are advised to be careful when it comes using your positive financial situation to pay off a negative one. Refinancing will help you pay off your loan faster.

The Process of Refinancing

Refinance is replacing an existing mortgage with a new one. This typically has people refinancing their mortgage in order to reduce their monthly payments while decreasing their mortgage to a fixed-rate and lowering interest. Adjustable rates are typically more expensive, and when you refinance you can lower the cost.

Other people just need access to cash in order to fund a renovation project or pay off debt. This will leave leverage to use the equity from the home to obtain cash. It doesn’t matter what your goal, you should get to know the process of refinancing to get the most out of it. It works a lot like your first mortgage, but timing is even more key. Research your option, collect financial documents, and submit a refinancing application and you’ll be better equipped to benefit.

Refinancing Benefits

Lowering payments is by far the biggest reason that people refinance. The average homeowner may save up $160 or more per month with a refinance. With a lower monthly payment, you are free to put savings toward other debts and expenditures. You can also apply savings towards your monthly mortgage and pay off the loan sooner.

Another reason is to remove private mortgage insurance. If you have enough property appreciation or the principal paid off will not be required to pay mortgage insurance that will reduce your total monthly payment. Homeowners who took out a mortgage in the early stages of their career, it may have made senses financially. But things change. For those who want to pay off the mortgage sooner, reducing the term of the loan can be enticing. There are many more benefits, but none of them will matter if you don’t consider the timing.

When to Refinance

There are many factors that go into refinancing. According to the site MoneyPug, which is used to make a mortgage comparison, first you should make sure have outstanding credit. If you try to refinance when you have poor credit, your interest rate will be sky high. You should also keep up on the market and learn when mortgage prices are at their best.

Furthermore, most banks and other lenders require borrowers to maintain their original mortgage for at least 12 months, but you don’t want to wait too long. Refinancing typically starts over the process, which means that the years you’ve spent paying off the home will not be accounted for. You shouldn’t wait too many years, but you should always make sure it is in fact the right time for you. The terms of each lender are different and you should make sure they are helpful to you.

It doesn’t matter whether you have a lot of money or little, a big house or a small one, paying attention to the time in which you refinance is key. You want your credit to be solid, your financial situation stable, and the years of payment to be right. Once you have thoroughly researched, you will know when to refinance and when to hold off.

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Thinking About a US Condo Investment? Here’s What You Need to Know

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Condos can be great options, not just for personal enjoyment when vacation time rolls around, but as an investment. Of course, as an investor, you want to make savvy decisions with your money. No doubt, you’ve realized that the US condo market offers a much wider range of investment opportunities than what’s available in Canada, plus you get a better yield on rental rates in the US than here at home.

So far, it seems like a no-brainer. However, there are a few things that you’ll need to consider before you make the leap to being an international real estate investor. We’ll take a closer look at those below.

Wear and Tear

If you’re renting out your condo, you’re going to need to consider the wear and tear on things like your stove, your washer and dryer, the oven, the HVAC system, and more. These appliances can see a lot of wear and tear during normal use, but if you’re renting out the condo, there’s a chance that you’ll see accelerated wear and premature failure.

Where does that leave you if you don’t have any manufacturer’s warranty remaining? A home warranty could be just the ticket.

What’s a Home Warranty?

A home warranty is really nothing more than what it sounds like – a warranty you purchase from a third party that covers items within your home. When the manufacturer’s warranty ends, your home warranty kicks in. So, suppose your oven failed. Instead of searching online or flipping through a phonebook for a repair company, you’d report it to the warranty company, and they would handle everything else.

What Warranty Companies Exist?

You’ll find a host of home warranty companies operating in the US. You could choose to purchase an Amazon home warranty. You could also consider warranty coverage from any of the following companies:

  • Select Home Warranty
  • First American Home Warranty
  • 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty
  • Choice Home Warranty
  • Total Home Protection
  • Advanced Home Warranty

You get the idea. There are lots of options. When you compare your choices, make sure you match covered items and systems so that you’re making an informed decision.

What Are the Benefits of a Home Warranty?

A home warranty offers some pretty obvious benefits for all homeowners. However, they are even more pronounced for rental owners living internationally. Suppose an appliance fails while a renter is in the property, but you’re in Canada and they’re in Los Angeles or Miami. How would you even go about finding a repair company? With a home warranty, there’s no stress or hassle involved. It’s all about peace of mind and getting the best return on your investment.

The Exchange Rate

Historically, US currency has been stronger than Canadian, and that works to your advantage in this instance. Because you’re able to rent your condo in the US, you can see higher returns on your investment. However, make sure that you account for everything that’s involved in exchanging the funds.

Insurance

You’ll certainly need insurance on the condo. You will need condo insurance to cover the dwelling itself. Renters’ insurance will only cover the contents (and should really be purchased by the person renting your condo).

With a condo, you own everything within the structure, from the walls inward. While the condo association or property owner will deal with damage to the grounds and the exterior, as well as stairways, corridors, and other public-use spaces, you’re responsible for covering the dwelling portion of your space.

To really understand what you need to cover with insurance is to read through the association documentation, which should spell out what is considered “contents” and what is considered “betterments” or “improvements” and who is responsible for what.

If you’re on the fence about insurance or unsure what US insurers to consider, the Allstate website offers a lot of explanation about condo coverage in the States.

In Conclusion

In the end, buying a condo and using it as a rental property can be an excellent investment decision. Don’t forget to research moving companies NJ to find a helping hand. You simply need to ensure that you’ve thought through the things discussed above and have a plan in place for how you’ll handle them.

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3 Life Saving Tips for First-Time Home Buyers

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The idea of buying your own home is so exciting and moving. It’s one of the biggest dreams of every person, and why not? Having your own home is not only emotionally appealing, but it also means that you don’t have to bear the hassle of dealing with landlords and taking out a huge sum every month for rent. But buying a house is a nerve-wracking and complex process, especially if you are a first-time buyer.

See more: the 7 best portable air compressors

First-time buyers get entrapped in so many ifs and buts, feel confused and helpless due to lack of buying experience and knowledge. It is not only daunting, but you can also end up landing on the wrong deal and regretting your decision. The idea of buying your own home is so exciting and moving. It’s one of the biggest dreams of every person, and why not? Having your own home is not only emotionally appealing, but it also means that you don’t have to bear the hassle of dealing with landlords and taking out a huge sum every month for rent. But buying a house is a nerve-wracking and complex process, especially if you are a first-time buyer.

First-time buyers get entrapped in so many ifs and buts, feel confused and helpless due to lack of buying experience and knowledge. It is not only daunting, but you can also end up landing on the wrong deal and regretting your decision. Here are some tips by a reputable Toronto realtor to ensure that your first-time home buying deal doesn’t turn into a nightmare:

Save Enough for Down Payment:

Obviously, you need money to buy a home. Even if you are not paying the whole amount in one go, you still need money for a down payment, which is essential anyway. At least you should be prepared to put 20% down payment if you don’t want to increase your expenditures like spending on private mortgage insurance (PMI) which a mortgage company demands as their security. Even single-digit down payment offers of first-time buyer programs are a trap that increases your total cost.

The best option is to start saving for the down payment before fixing your deal. Save up your bonuses, tax refunds and cut down extra expenditures. You can buy designer jacket later after buying your house; it isn’t important than buying a home. Home buying itself is quite a costly affair, make sure to play smartly to prevent adding extra cost.

Maintain Your Credit:

Your current credit status is a huge factor in determining the smooth home buying experience. Mortgage loan companies check your credit before approving your loan and deciding your interest rate and approval terms and conditions. Make sure you have enough credit before beginning the procedure. Moreover, improve your credit score and avoid any error which might make you suspicious for loan approval. Most loan lenders give considerable importance to the credit score as it signifies your reputation and possibility to return the loan on time.

Hire the Right Realtor:

You can’t know better about the best locality for buying a home, its houses and neighborhood than a realtor, even if you are a native of that place. Choosing the right home for buying requires a lot more knowledge of different things than just knowing about the location of a locality. That’s where a real states agent helps you! Hire a native realtor with many years of experience in the field as he will know each and every aspect of the houses of that place.

Moreover, go for a realtor who is dedicated and self-motivated to fix the best deal for you. No matter how excited you feel about buying your home, don’t forget to have some pre-planning and right strategies in your hand. Your home is your dream place; don’t turn it into a nightmare!

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Tips to Consider Before Buying a Condo in Canada

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As the overall market for housing increases, the construction industry is concentrating its energy towards condominiums. This is perhaps due to the fact that condos are affordable, not forgetting that they are increasingly becoming a desirable option for many. As this happens to be the case, the modern consumer has become savvy about what makes them happy.

Well, this is no exception of those living in Canada and in other parts of the world. However, in Canada, things are a bit different. This is because most people are making the mistake of searching for condos the same way they do when searching for other types of houses. But the thing is, these investments are distinct and in addition to this, there are factors that one needs to carefully consider before buying a condo. Here are some tips to consider before buying a condo in Canada.

Consider the Community

When looking to buy a condo in Canada, you want to be sure that there’ll be security, access to essential amenities, and on top of this, kind neighbors you can put up with. In other words, one of the most important things to consider when buying a condo to live in is to carefully assess the neighborhood and ensure that it suits your lifestyle as well as your comfort and convenience preferences.

In case you prefer the city life experience in Canada and you’re out of ideas, you may want to learn more about this location in west Toronto, Ontario. Etobicoke is one of those neighborhoods that is highly coveted in this part of the country and there are a lot of condos for sale as well. Before investing in any type of property, let alone a condo in Canada, it’s imperative to carefully examine the community you are moving into. People and things that surround has often had a huge impact on our lives and lifestyle.

Resale vs a new building

Some years ago, purchasing a pre-constructed condo was cheaper than that of an existing condo. However, as competition keeps soaring, the costs have matched and this may seem a bit nonsensical, especially given the fact that when it comes to a pre-constructed condo, the developer will, of course, sit on your money for a given period of time.

The best thing about buying an existing condo is that you may opt to live elsewhere and rent it out or alternatively live in it as soon as it’s been purchased. On the other hand, buying a pre-constructed condo may seem disadvantageous as it will take more time and resources to finish the whole unit.

Consider the rules and regulations

Just like in other parts of the world, neighborhood associations adhere to some set of rules and regulations that help to streamline behaviors and neighborhood morals. This is no exception in Canada. You’ll need to first and foremost consider if such rules are deal breakers or ideal for you. This means requesting for a full disclosure of such details before purchasing a condo and moving into such a community.

Are the maintenance plans viable?

Before investing in a condo in Canada, you want to ensure that you’ll get value for your money. This means that there needs to be necessary plans put in place in case things go south. Certain emergencies such as health issues, plumbing, electrical faults, and security issues will require a 24/7 response. So, before signing on the dotted line, ask for such details.

Another thing to consider is your level of access for cleaning your windows. If your condo is situated quite high up, it can quickly become challenging trying to clean your windows. Look for local, established and reputable window cleaning companies in your area. I personally use a Toronto window cleaning company called Window Cleaning People, but there are many options on the market if you do some quick research.

The above are but some tips to consider before buying a condo in Canada. But as always, it’s important to check for online reviews on the specific condo of your choice and ensuring that you’ve done extensive research. This will go a long way into ensuring that your final decision is solid and that you’ve found the condo of your dreams.

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Langley set to become the home of the Fraser Valley’s first ever residential Mass Timber development

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Langley, British Columbia is set to become the home of the Fraser Valley’s first ever residential mass timber development. Legacy on Park Avenue marks the very first 6 storey mid-rise project in the Fraser Valley that uses mass timber in the form of Cross Laminated Timber (CLT). The Canadian Wood Council has confirmed this is also the very first application in Canada for a CLT Firewall.

Legacy on Park Avenue is a six-storey residential development featuring two and three bedroom condominiums that is set to set the standard for architecture in the Fraser Valley. The eye-catching project combines state of the art advanced building systems with CLT panels to create a building unlike anything the Fraser Valley has seen before. Construction at Legacy is well underway with its completion slated for July, 2020.

Built by MDM Construction, the project showcases an extremely unique architectural design made possible by the CLT panels used in its construction. The project’s curved “flying” balconies were a key element of the design that could only be brought to fruition with the use of CLT panels. Steve Rempel, Partner at MDM Construction describes the superiority of CLT in the following statement.

“The speed, fit, and finish of the CLT panels cannot be matched in conventional framing. The materials’ ability to span in two directions at the same time have opened up new structural framing possibilities, allowing us to bring projects like Legacy to life.”

Beyond the superior design capabilities, the prefabricated engineered wood panels in the form of CLT, are a sustainable alternative to traditional materials like concrete. The innovative building material supports the environment, reducing the carbon footprint of the structure, creating healthier homes for the community. In addition to the seismic resilience and positive environmental impact, the CLT Panels work to reduce the transfer of heat and noise by approximately thirty five percent the rate of a concrete system.

Through innovative technology and advanced wood building systems, CLT construction continues to grow in popularity as a superior choice for builders. The introduction of Legacy on Park Avenue to the Fraser Valley sets an exciting standard for future projects in the community. A superior standard of living will allow its residents to live sustainably while feeling safer in their homes.

ABOUT LEGACY ON PARK AVENUE  

Legacy on Park Avenue is a luxury condo development located in Langley, British Columbia. Featuring 69 two and three bedroom suites, the project is the first mass timber residential development in the Fraser Valley.

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