The kids have been back in school for awhile, the leaves are turning and a chill is in the air. If you’re like most homeowners, fall also means an opportunity to spruce up your yard and cut down on the work you’ll need to do when the weather turns warm again. A little bit of work in the fall will really pay off with spring rounds around. 

  • RAKE THOSE LEAVES - Once the snow flies, an unraked layer of leaves can get matted down over the turf and smother it all winter long. Raking or using a mulching mover in the fall helps avoid dead patches in the spring. But in the garden, don’t worry about getting every last leaf as they help insulate plants, and as they decompose, they provide valuable nutrients. 
  • MOW A FINAL TIME - Trim turf down to 11/4” for the last cut of the season. Disease has a harder time with shorter grass, and fallen leaves blow across the lawn because they have nothing to latch on to. Don’t go too low though. 
  • FEED THE GRASS - Fertilizing in the fall is like a day at the spa for your lawn. Using a slow-release fertilizer allow the grass to soak up nutrients and, just as important, spend the cool days and nights of autumn recovering from summer heat and stress. And building a healthy rejuvenated lawn is one of the best ways to protect against heat, cold, drought, insects and other stresses. 
  • AERATE THE LAWN - If rainfall pools on the grass, it’s time to aerate compressed soil so water and nutrients can reach the roots. A garden fork can do the job on a small yard, or a power aerator for larger areas.
  • WEED ALL ABOUT IT - Weeding in the fall is probably the most valuable thing you can do to prepare for spring, and it’s one many people overlook. 
  • CLEAN OUT YOUR GARDEN - Fruits and vegetables left in the garden can rot all winter long, and provide a comfy home for insect eggs so be sure to clear them out. Now is the time to get rid of diseased plants too, but keep them out of the compost pile so the problems do not spread. 
  • TRIM DEAD LIMBS - Lifeless branches can succumb to winter snow and winds, endangering you and your home. You can take care of the small trees by cutting cracked, loose and diseased limbs close to (but not flush) the trunk. Leave the wounds exposed to heal. Call in the pros for bigger jobs. 
  • GIVE YOUR TOOLS A TUNE-UP - Wipe down your tools and remove any dirt and debris on your tools before putting them away for the winter. You can even apply a light layer of oil to keep them all from rusting. 

 

 

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We are very fortunate to live and work in the most beautiful city in the upper Fraser Valley. Chilliwack is surrounded by beautiful mountains, farmland, lakes, rivers and streams. It offers plenty of out activities such as hiking the many trails around our rivers and lakes or into our local Cascade Mountains. World class fishing, golfing, tennis,lawn bowling ATV and horseback riding and much, much more. Lots of programs and activities to keep the children busy: baseball, hockey, swimming, soccer, football as well as plenty of parks and recreation facilities. As well we have an excellent school system, plenty of churches to become involved in and a variety of social groups. We enjoy a very relaxed lifestyle here in Chilliwack. Far from the hustle and bustle of the big city, just 90 minutes from Vancouver!

 

Chilliwack has a great smaller city vibe but still plenty to do and lots of job opportunities. 

 

Chilliwack is also the gateway to the Southern Interior of our province. You can be in Kamloops in 2 hours, Kelowna in 2 ½ hours and the Shuswap in 3. And we are very fortunate to enjoy one of the most affordable housing markets in BC. Our average sale price on our Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board is $372,000. That is for a single family home, if you are looking for a townhouse the average price is a mere $257,000. The price for homes in Chilliwack are roughly 25-30% of the same home in Vancouver! 

 

For more information on Buying or Selling property in Chilliwack call me at 604-819-0120

 

C’mon out and enjoy our country lifestyle real soon!!

 

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I recently reconnected with a client that I had dealt with in the past,  I helped with buying and selling their homes. We first met several years ago, they had a for sale by owner sign on their lawn. I thought the sign to mean that they were inviting me in, so I knocked on the door to say hello. We got to know each other, they liked me and I liked them.

 

They agreed I was trustworthy, hardworking and a nice guy and so agreed that I  look after the sale of their home and to help find them a new home.

 

We signed an agreement to list their home for sale .I started my marketing plan immediately to find a buyer and get the property sold.

 

It didn’t take long…there was a sold sticker on my sign on their front lawn, they were very happy. I looked after all the details and paperwork and the sellers were happily packing and moving off  to the new home I had found for them. We became good friends.

 

A number of years later, sadly, one of my friends passed away. The house was sold. BUT the Realtor that listed the home was not me. The trusted friend! I was upset and disappointed. I thought I had done something wrong! But there was nothing that could have been done to reverse the awful mistake. I moved on.

 

A number of years later I received a call. It was that same trusted friend. I was so happy to hear from my friend, how are you my dear?

 

She volunteered…” I have to apologize” she said.

 

“Why”, I asked

 

“I was led astray when I sold the house you worked so hard to find for us. My niece had just obtained her Real Estate licence, I felt obligated to hire her to sell the home for me. But it was all a mistake. I should have called you! It was such a long time selling the house, in the end I don’t think I got a fair price. Then,she talked me into buying this home I am in and I don’t like it. Please get me out of here, I trust you. I know you can help.”

 

I said ”Thank you for your trust in me, lets get to work.”

 

Bruce & The Hardworking Nice Team is Never Too Busy for You. I hope you enjoyed my story. I will be featuring more in the upcoming months so check back often! 

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Before you commit your hard earned dollars to monthly mortgage payments, consider these 6 issues. Effective consideration of these important areas can make your payments work much harder for you. 

 

  1. You can, and should, get preapproved for a mortgage before you go looking for a home.
    Preapproval is easy, and can give you complete peace-of-mind when shopping for your home. Your local lending institution can provide you with written preapproval for you at no cost and no obligation, and it can all be done quite easily over-the-phone, or even on the internet.
  2. Know what monthly dollar amount you feel comfortable committing to.
    When you discuss mortgage preapproval with your lending institution, find out what level you qualify for, but also pre-assess for yourself what monthly dollar amount you feel comfortable committing to. Your situation may give you a preapproval amount that is higher (or lower) than the amount of money you would want to pay out each month. By working back and forth with your lending institution to determine what this monthly amount is, and what value of home this translates into at today’s rates, you won’t waste time looking at homes that are not in your price range. 
  3. You should be thinking about your long term goals, and expected situation, to determine the type of mortgage that will best suit your needs.
    There are a number of questions you should be asking yourself before you commit to a certain type of mortgage. How long do you think you will own this home? What direction are interest rates going in and how quickly? Is your income expected to change (up or down) in the near term, impacting how much money you can afford to pay into your mortgage? The answers to these and other questions will help you determine the most appropriate mortgage you should be seeking. 
  4. Make sure you understand what prepayment privileges and payment frequency options are available to you.
    More frequent payments (for example weekly or biweekly) can literally shave years off your mortgage. Simply by structuring your payments so they come out more frequently, will significantly lessen the amount of interest that you will be charged over the term.
    For the same reason, authorized prepayment of a certain percentage of your mortgage, or an increase in the amount you pay monthly, will have a major impact on the number of years you will have to pay and could shorten your payment term considerably.
    These two payment options can cut years off your mortgage, and save you thousands of dollars in interest. However, not every mortgage has these prepayment privileges built in, so make sure you as the proper questions. 
  5. Ask if your mortgage is both portable or/and assumable.
    A portable mortgage, where available, is one that you can carry with you when you buy your next home and avoid paying any discharge penalties. This means you will not have to go through the entire mortgage process again unless you are making a move up to a much more expensive home.
    An assumable mortgage is one that the buyer for your home can take over when you move to your next home. This can be a very powerful tool at the negotiating table making it much easier and more desirable for a buyer to buy your home, and again saves you any discharge penalties. 
  6. You should seriously consider dealing with a Mortgage Expert.
    Consider dealing with only a professional who specializes in mortgages. Enlisting their services can make a significant difference in the cost and effectiveness of the mortgage you obtain. For example they can make the process faster thereby avoiding costly delays. Typically there is no cost or obligation to enquire. Bruce Fournier and Associates can even recommend a good mortgage expert for you!
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 Not all real estate agents are the same. If you decided to seek the help of an agent when selling or buying your home, you need some good information before you make any moves. 

 

An agent can cost or save you thousands of dollars. 

 

Pick an agent is one of those critical issues that can cost or save you thousands of dollars. There are very specific questions you should be asking to ensure that you get the best representation for your needs. Some agents may prefer that you don’t ask these questions, because the knowledge you’ll gain from their honest answers will give you a very good idea about what outcome you can expect from using this agent. And let’s face it - in real estate, as in life - not all things are created equal. 

 

Hiring a real estate agent is just like any hiring process - with you on the boss’s side of the desk. It’s critical that you make the right decision about who will handle what is probably the single largest financial investment you will ever make. 

 

  1. What makes you different? Why should I list my home with you? 

    It’s a much tougher real estate market than it was a decade ago. What unique marketing plans and programs does this agent have in place to make sure that your home stands out favorably versus other competing homes? What things does this agent offer you that others don’t to help you sell your home in the least amount of time with the least amount of hassle and for the most amount of money? 


  2. What is your company’s track record and reputation in the market place?

    It may seem like everywhere you look, real estate agents are boasting about being #1 for this or that, or quoting you the number of homes they’ve sold. If you’re like many homeowners, you’ve probably become immune to much of this information. Afterall, you ask, “Why should I care about how many homes one agent sold over another. The only thing I care about is whether they can sell my home quickly for the most amount of money.” 

     

    Well, because you want your home sold fast and for top dollar, you should be asking the agents you interview how many homes they have sold. I’m sure you will agree that success in real estate is selling homes. If one agent is selling a lot of homes where another is selling only a handful, ask yourself why this might be? What things are these two agents doing differently? 

     

    You may be surprised to know that many agents sell fewer than 10 homes a year. This volume makes it difficult for them to do full impact marketing on your home, because they can’t raise the money it takes to afford the advertising and special programs to give your home a high profile. Also, at this low level, they probably can’t afford to hire an assistant, which means that they’re running around trying to do all the components of the job themselves, which means service may suffer. 

  3. What are your marketing plans for my home? 

    How much money does this agent spend in advertising the homes s/he lists versus the other agents you are interviewing. In what media (newspaper, magazine, online, etc) does this agent advertise? What does s/he know about the effectiveness of one medium over the other? 

  4. What has your company sold in my area? 

    Agents should bring you a complete listing of both their own, and other comparable sales in your area. 

  5. Does your Broker control your advertising or do you? 

    If your agent is not in control of their own advertising, then your home will be competing for advertising space not only with this agent's other listings, but also with the listings of every other agent in the brokerage. 

  6. On average, when your listings sell, how close is the selling price to the asking price? 

    This information is available from the Real Estate Board. Is this agent’s performance higher or lower than the board average? Their performance on this measurement will help you predict how high a price you will get for the sale of your home. 

  7. On average, how long does it take for your listings to sell? 

    This information is also available from the Real Estate Board. Does this agent tend to sell faster or slower than the board average? Their performance on this measurement will help you predict how long your home will be on the market before it sells. 

  8. How many Buyers are you currently working with? 

    Obviously, the more buyers your agent is working with, the better your changes are of selling your home quickly. It will also impact price because an agent with many buyers can set up an auction-like atmosphere where many buyers bid on your home at the same time. Ask them to describe the system they have for attracting buyers. 

  9. Do you have a reference list of clients I could contact?

    Ask to see this list, and then proceed to spot check some of the names.

  10. What happens if I’m not happy with the job you are doing to get my home sold? Can I cancel my listing contract?

    Be way of agents that lock you into a lengthy listing contract which they can get out of (by ceasing to effectively marketing your home) but you can’t. There are usually penalties and broker protection periods which safeguard the agent’s interests, but your not yours. How confident is your agent in the service s/he will provide you? Will s/he allow you to cancel your contract without penalty if you’re not satisfied with the service provided? 


Evaluate each agent’s response to these 10 questions carefully and objectively. Who will do the best job for you? These questions will help you decide.


Contact Bruce Fournier and Associates today and they will be happy to answer all of these questions and more. 

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1. Leftover home owners

By far, one of the top offenses cited by buyer’s REALTOR was home owners still lingering around when REALTORS arrived with clients to preview the home. Awkward encounters ranged from buyers finding SELLERS taking a shower, asleep in the bed and SELLERS who liked to follow BUYERS and the REALTOR all over the home to see what they thought.


2. Pets and their messes

REALTORS also cited the not-so-friendly dog and kitty encounters as a top offense. Even pets left in a crate can pose a distraction since they might make noise the entire time BUYERS are in the house. Plus, if they seem mean, the buyer might not even step in the room. Bruce Fournier of Remax Chilliwack says he recently was given showing instructions from a listing REALTOR who told him the family’s “friendly dog” would be at home. But when Fournier unlocked the front door with his client for the showing, a pit bull was staring down at them from the top of the staircase, growling. “We closed the door and left!”


3. Bad smells

A displeasing smell can really turn buyers off. Common offenses include cooking smells lingering around the home, such as garlic, fried bacon, or fish. Also, watch for cigarette smoke and animal smells, Fournier says.
“SELLERS get immune to the smell that their pets have embedded on their property says Louise Henry of Pair Home Design “Anyone opening the door will smell it immediately -- even if there are air fresheners trying to cover up the smell. If you have a pet, there will be an odor. Don’t scare your buyers away: Paint, clean the carpeting and furniture. Take the odor seriously and do what is needed, even if it means replacing the carpet.”


4. Critters running wild

Wild animals and pests roaming around is a surefire way to send buyers running. REALTORS described worms crawling on the basement floor and raccoons and squirrels lounging in the attic. “I showed a house in Sardis once with a baby alligator in a cage in the dining room,” said Bruce Fournier of Remax Realty in Chilliwack. It also smelled bad.


5. Unusual home makeovers

Do-it-yourself disasters were also prevalent, like doors opening the wrong way or unprofessional paint jobs, sloppy moldings, poor finishing, incorrect wiring. Also, rooms not being used for their intended purposes can confuse buyers, such as an office or den being used as a bedroom even though it has no closet, says Fournier.


6. Dirt and clutter

There were a number of offenses cited when it came to cleanliness: Dirty laundry piles, dishes on the counter or in the sink, unmade beds, clothes scattered about, soiled carpets, dirty air conditioner filters, and overflowing trash cans.
“One of the worst things I have seen is piles and piles of clothes in every room, “It was like an obstacle for the buyer trying to walk around the mess.”


7. Personal information left in plain sight

SELLERS should be careful not to leave in plain sight important documents that may be easily read. REALTORS say they’ve seen personal information like bank and credit card statements—even mortgage payoff notices—left on the kitchen counter.
“Buyers look at everything,” Says Fournier, among other things, I’ve even seen the contract for the sellers’ next purchase sitting on the kitchen countertop.


8. Too dark

Dark or dimly lit houses aren’t showing the home in the best light. “Particularly homes lit with CFL bulbs , Says Louise Henry, a staging professional “By the time the bulbs light up, the buyer has left the room.” Energy efficient bulbs need time to warm up before they are at their brightest, so staging professionals usually recommend turning on any light fixtures with or without CFL bulbs prior to the showing.


9. Incorrect and missing keys from lockboxes

All too often, REALTORS arrive at a listing appointment with their client only to find there’s no key to get in. “I actually had a SELLERS REALTOR who wanted me to open the door for my clients by going through the dog run as a large dog barked like crazy,” says Fournier.


10. Distracting photos

Be aware of the photos displayed on the walls too. Fournier recalls showing a family a home that had life-sized, inappropriate photos hanging, which left his clients heading for the door covering their eyes. As well, family photos can be very distracting.

If you are considering a move call me for a free copy of our helpful DVD "FIT TO SELL"

Bruce Fournier
HardworkingNiceGuy
Remax Nyda Realty



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Bruce Fournier: Chilliwack Realtor
Office: (604) 819-0120
Toll Free: (800) 830-7175
Bruce's Cell: (604) 819-0120
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.

Bruce Fournier & Associates are RE/MAX realtors located in beautiful Chilliwack, BC. We serve all parts of Chilliwack and the surrounding areas including Agassiz, Promontory, Sardis, Greendale, Cultus Lake, Harrison Hot Springs, Rosedale, Yarrow and Ryder Lake.