How A Pet Can Be A Landlord’s Best Friend!

Canadians love their pets.  There are a large number of pet owners that rent apartments, condos and houses. However, many landlords are reluctant to allow these pet owning families as tenants on their property, for fear of having the pets spoil their property. 

Here are some good reasons that you as a landlord, may want to consider tenants with pets: 

You can get more rent: Properties that allow pets can often charge more in rent than those that don’t, simply because the large pool of prospective tenants with pets have few accommodation choices. 

Better vacancy rates: Being pet friendly may mean you find tenants quicker. If long vacancy periods are common in your area, a pet-friendly approach might give you a competitive edge and secure a tenant sooner. Otherwise not allowing pets could actually cost you more. 

Higher tenant retention: Tenants who rent with pets, tend to stay longer as they are aware that their renting options are somewhat limited. 

So if you do allow pets on your property, you can protect yourself by doing the following: 

  1. Get references from previous landlords that the tenant was renting from. Specifically ask pet related questions.
  2. In the agreement, ensure that the tenant has to have the property professionally cleaned every 6 months or at the end of the lease, depending on how you feel about the pet.
  3. Increase the amount of the pet deposit to cover a thorough cleaning of your home once the tenant vacates.
  4. Put a clause into the agreement that allows an initial 3 month inspection. If the state of your property is not acceptable then the pet has to go. 

So if you are a landlord that allows pets, you can find yourself at a competitive advantage. And because pet owners often have a hard time finding a place to rent, they tend to stay put and be very loyal, making great tenants.

Virani Rentals offers a collection of homes, apartments, townhouses and penthouses for rent. We are industry leaders in the Vancouver Real Estate market therefore you have the comfort of knowing that you are getting good value for your dollar when renting from us.

Complete and submit this form or call 604-695-1000. Our Property Rental Specialist will contact you shortly.

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Moving? Take These Important Steps When You Move Into Your New Home.

We are now into the prime of the moving season – more houses are bought and sold at this time than at any other time of the year. There is a lot to do in a new home. Here are some important basic tasks that should be done as soon as you move into your new home: 

  1. Change the locks: Usually, the previous owners always hand the keys over to the realtors. Sometimes they may forget to collect the keys from their cleaning service, neighbors etc. For a peace of mind, make sure you get the locks, especially the exterior ones changed, as soon as you move in.
  2. Clean, clean, clean: You may be getting a newly painted home which looks, smells and ‘feels’ new. But it’s important that you give the whole home a ‘once over’. Drawers, cupboards, nooks and crannies need to get a thorough clean. If you cannot do it yourself, hire a service to do it and emphasize the areas you want cleaned. It’s important that you do this before you move all your possessions into the empty spaces, because the task will get harder once everything has been arranged.
  3. Learn about the circuit breakers: It’s a great idea to figure out where the circuit breaker box is and label the fuses that control various parts of the home. This will make it easier to locate fuses for problem areas in the future.
  4. Learn how to turn off the main water valve: If you ever have a plumbing emergency such as a broken water pipe in your home, you should know where to go to turn off the main water supply.
  5. Steam clean the carpets: If you have any carpets, now is the time to steam clean them before you move furniture in. The absence of furniture will make the job easier, and it gives you more of a fresh start in your new home.
  6. Get the mechanical equipment cleaned and serviced: Getting the heating and cooling systems cleaned and serviced as soon as you move in is important. Hopefully the home inspection report will give you a good idea as to the effectiveness of the systems in place. 

If you are thinking of moving into a new home or selling your existing home, you need a company that will give you results. Please call us on 604 695 1000 or contact us by email.

 

 

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How To Make An Offer Below Asking Price – And Win!

In your search for the ideal home, you may come across a situation where you have finally found the ideal home, but the asking price is too high. It’s time for the skilled art of negotiation! 

With our current hot real estate market, sellers have more of an edge than buyers, as there are multiple offers for a single listing. But if you have a real estate professional who is skilled in the art of negotiation, you may get closer to your price than you think.

 Here’s how: 

  1. Make your lower offer work for the seller.

    You can offer compromises and concessions, thus making your lower offer more palatable to the seller. 

     By just being flexible on the closing date could make a difference. If the seller is facing a gap between the sale of their home and the purchase of their new one, you could offer an opportunity to lease the home from you for a month or two, especially if you have no time pressure on the move in. 

    If you don’t need assistance from the seller in closing costs, it could be seen as a big plus on your side. 

    A pre-approval letter from your mortgage broker or bank gives the seller that assurance that your financing is secure and the deal will not likely fall through due to lack of finance. 

  1. How motivated is the seller.

    Here your agent may be able to help you. If your agent learns, for example, that the sellers have closed on another property and need to move asap, you could use this knowledge to your advantage. 

  2. Making the asking price work for you.

    You can meet the asking price and request additional concessions, so in effect, you are getting your price or close to it. 

    There could be some household items that you could ask for to be included in the deal. You could ask the seller to purchase the home warranty for you. You could request the seller to pay your closing costs. There are a number of possibilities here. All you have to do is team up with your real estate professional and come up with some creative ways. 

Not all negotiations result in an agreement. In any negotiation, you have more leverage if you are willing to walk away. The primary aim is to purchase the home, not to beat the seller or win the negotiation.

If you are looking to buy a home, contact us. We have over 25 years of negotiating experience and have successfully bought homes for thousands of satisfied and loyal clients.

 

 

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How To Reduce Your Water Consumption At Home

Let’s face it – we are living in a land of water abundance and we have never had to think about our consumption of water, until now. 

Reducing your use of water is not difficult to do, especially since we have been using water at ‘alarming rates’. According to Environment Canada, in 2004, the average Canadian daily domestic use of fresh water per capita was 329 litres. This is double the European usage and nearly 100 times what is used in developing countries! 

What can you do to reduce your water usage? 

  1. Turn off the water when you are brushing or shaving. By turning off the tap, you are saving several litres. Multiply this action on a daily basis per family member, and you can save thousands of litres per month!
  2. Take shorter showers.  A 10-minute shower can use up to 300 litres of water. Try reducing to 5 or even 3 minutes. You can even go as far as turning off the shower while you lather up or shampoo.
  3. Reduce the number of toilet flushes. At least half of all water use in a home is used for flushing the toilet or taking showers. Newer toilets are more efficient than older models as they use fewer litres per flush. If you have an old cistern, replace it with a more efficient one, and try flushing less. Keep the old adage – “if its yellow let it mellow, if its brown flush it down” in mind!
  4. Eliminate water leaks in your faucets and toilets. A faucet dripping one drop of water per second wastes nearly 34 litres per day. A leaking toilet can waste up to 15 gallons of water per day if left unrepaired. Repairing these leaks can help cut your water consumption considerably.
  5. Keep bottles of drinking water in the fridge. This means you don’t have to let the water run until it gets cold. Better still, use ice.
  6. Start using smart devices. There are lots of gadgets that are now available that help regulate water usage. They are easy to use and easy to install. 

For the discerning seller who wants to maximize their property value and attract bidders from around the globe, placement on the V List is ideal. Contact us or call us on 604 913 1000.

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Vancouver Now Experiences Stage 2 Water Restrictions – What Does This Mean For Households?


Consider these facts:

  • We have experienced the hottest May and June on record. 
  • The water reservoir levels are at levels usually seen in late July and August.
  • The reservoir level is currently sitting at 79 percent and is receding at a much faster rate.
  • Water use across the region rose to about 33.5 billion litres in May, about 15 per cent higher than the same period last year. 

In BC, the government has created a 4 stage drought rating system ( as shown in the image).  We have now moved to a Stage 2 restriction until September 30. If the drought persists, we can move into Stage 3 and Stage 4. Meanwhile, the region will carefully gauge how reservoir levels respond to the stage 2 measures. 

So what happens in Stage 2 restrictions? 

  • Residents will only be able to water their lawns once a week.
  • Municipalities will reduce the watering of playing fields, park lawns and boulevards to once a week.
  • Ornamental fountains will be turned off citywide.
  • Golf courses will only be allowed to water once a week.
  • Spray parks will be turned off.
  • There is a ban on the use of pressure washers and other hosing off of outdoor surfaces.
  • Hand watering of flowers, vegetable gardens and trees is still allowed. 

It seems that the authorities are looking ahead and planning for a worsening situation, should it happen. 

Meanwhile, please do your part in water conservation by limiting your usage of water.  Remember, if you do not comply, you can expect warnings, education, and in extreme cases, tickets.

To learn more about Virani Real Estate Advisors or to discuss a property purchase or sale fill in this form, visit one of our offices, or call 604-913-1000.

 

 

 

 

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Want the Best Looking Lawn On Your Block? Make Sure You Water it Properly. Here’s How.

We’re now in the warm weather.  We may love the summer drought, but our lawns don’t. Luckily we have an abundance of water in our municipal reservoirs, and the watering restrictions are not as draconian as they are in other cities.

So here’s how to keep your lawn looking lush and green this summer.

1. When should you water?

Water 2-3 times a week to allow a deep root system that is more resistant to drought conditions. Allowing the soil to dry out between waterings encourages the roots to dive deeper into the soil to seek out sources of moisture buried in the soil.

2. What time of the day should you water?

Water your lawn early in the morning ensuring that it will dry completely before nightfall. Watering at night on a regular basis can lead to fungus and other disease problems. Watering during the day is not as effective as there is higher evaporation.

3. How long should you water for?

This depends entirely on your soil type. If your soil is sandy, it will take longer for the water to get absorbed as opposed to a clay type soil that absorbs water more quickly. It also depends on the water pressure and what type of sprinkler system you have.

The rule of thumb is around 20-30 minutes to get an inch or so of water into your lawn.

Here are some other tips:
- After watering, stay off the grass. Walking on water soaked loan can cause damage to the turf and soil compaction.
- Make sure you don’t water for long periods of time that result in water flowing down the street or driveway.
- If you have brown patches that don’t respond to watering, check for other problems associated with the lawn.
- If you have automatic sprinklers, make sure you check them regularly for coverage and leaks.

Our team of professional advisors looks forward to helping you achieve your goals with our real estate services which include: Home Sales and Purchases, Property Rental and Home Financing advice, and investment opportunities in Residential and Commercial projects.
Contact us or call 604.695.1000 if you are interested in selling or buying a home.

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Beware of Real Estate Scams on the Internet

As we are becoming more and more reliant on the Internet for our day-to-day purchases and activities, many of us are beginning to search and for and buy properties on the Internet.  While this has proved to be very convenient, unfortunately, it has also been a bonanza for Internet savvy fraudsters who target unsuspecting investors and homebuyers. 

How do you protect yourself against these unscrupulous scammers? 

  1. Always confirm the identity of the agent or broker.Do an online search to confirm that the person you are dealing with is actually a real person. Also do a search on the property’s address to see that it actually exists.
  2. Inspect the property before you commit funds.When you actually view the property and meet the agent, you will know that the property exists. If you have trouble doing this, then you should suspect a scam and walk away immediately.
  3. Be weary of multiple listings of the same property.It is very easy for scammers to take an existing listing and repost it as their own with their contact information. They can list the property on various search engines and sites and vary the asking prices.
  4. Don’t disclose your personal information.As a general rule, never disclose you personal information and bank details on the Internet if you are not familiar with the site.  Fraudsters can make their sites look real and display various signs of authenticity and trust, but these can be images that are easily cut and pasted.  So beware.
  5. Don’t get lured by attractive pricing.One of the best ways of avoiding a scam is to ignore a listing that looks too good to be true. This is how fraudsters lure unsuspecting homebuyers into their trap. If the listing looks too good to be true, avoid it and report it immediately. 

Why not let us find you the property or investment that you are looking for? Our experience and know how, makes us one of the most trusted realtors on the Lower Mainland. Contact us or call us on 604 913 1000.

 

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How to Prevent the Dangers in Your Laundry Room

Your laundry room is full of heavy-duty appliances and a plethora of cleaning products, which can make it a real danger zone in your home. In the US alone, over 10,000 house fires are started in the laundry room. The fire hazard is not the only one present – recently, colorful detergent packs have been responsible for a number of children ingesting them and being rushed to the hospital due to poisoning 

Here’s how to keep your laundry room a disaster free zone: 

  1. Prevent lint from building up. Lint buildup is the biggest culprit and is responsible for a majority of laundry room fires. Clean out the lint screen after every use. Make it a habit of inspecting vent pipes, the ducts outside your home and the space behind the dryer to ensure there isn’t any lint buildup.
  2. Replace the dryer duct and water hoses. If your dryer vents with a foil accordian duct, replace it with a rigid metal one that doesn’t collect as much lint. Replace rubber hoses with reinforced braided ones to prevent them from bursting or cracking.
  3. Keep detergents out of reach of children and tightly sealed. The convenient candy like detergent packs that are becoming very popular are very dangerous if kids get their hands on them. They look like tasty candy and kids would definitely swallow them. Make sure they are stowed out of reach and tightly sealed.
  4. Label all containers. If you are using do-it-yourself detergents and stain removers, make sure you label the bottles properly – avoid using containers that have been used previously for food or drink. Clear liquids in unmarked plastic bottles can be easily mistaken as a drinkable liquid.
  5. Keep machine doors locked. Front loading washers and dryers can be ideal hiding spots for kids playing hide and seek. If they do not have built in safety locking, buy some child safety locks to prevent kids from getting stuck inside.
  6. Maintain your machines regularly. Get your machines checked annually to ensure there are no mechanical defects, or problems that may have occurred over the year. Over the year, items from pockets can slip through the drums, accumulate and present a possible hazard.

For the discerning seller who wants to maximize their property value and attract bidders from around the globe placement on the V List is ideal. Please compete and submit this form. One of our Advisors will contact you shortly to appraise your home and discuss the benefits of having a V Listing. 

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The Shangri-La Vancouver – Luxurious Condo Living At Its Best!

The Shangri-La Vancouver offers some of the most incredible and unique apartments available. It is comprised of two residential addresses – 1128 West Georgia Street & 1111 Alberni Street) + a 5 Star luxury hotel.

Rising 650 feet at the corner of Georgia and Thurlow, this 61-story luxury tower is Vancouver’s tallest building and redefines the skyline with its distinctive architectural design.

Built to LEED Silver standards, the building features a variety of sustainable design strategies including a geo-thermal heating and cooling system, energy efficient lighting, green roofs and 57,000 bamboo trees.

The 1128 West Georgia Street address known as “The Estates” occupies the top portion of the building starting at the 46th floor all the way to Penthouse on the 61st and 62nd floors. From all the residences, the views are unobstructed in every direction capturing some of Vancouver’s most breathtaking vistas.

The Estates come with a host of luxurious amenities such as valet parking, limousine service, private concierge, in suite maid service and direct access to room service from the on site hotel staff. 

The Live/Work private residences are located on 1111 Alberni Street on the edge of Downtown Vancouver’s West End (Burrard & Georgia). They have their own entrance and occupy the 16th to 42nd floors.

All suites feature open concept floor plans with contemporary Boffi kitchens and baths, hardwood floors, air-conditioning and more.

The building is located in the centre of Vancouver and access to any part of the city is easy. Local amenities are numerous and include, boutique and luxury shopping and restaurants, Robson street shopping and Urban Fair directly below the building.

Residents have access to amenities that include 24 hour concierge services, the Chi Spa, four distinct dining experiences at the MARKET by Jean-Georges, valet parking, Xi Shi Lounge, an outdoor pool, a sauna, a steam room and a 5,000 sq. ft. fitness facility

The world-renowned Shangri La condos are available on The VList. Vist our Shangri-La information page or our Shangri-La Estate page for more information.

Contact us or call 604.695.1000 if you are interested in selling or buying a home at the Shangri-La.

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A Quick Primer On The Most Popular Mortgages Available

While a mortgage is fundamentally a loan that is secured against your home, there are many variations to the type of mortgage that can be used for various needs. Based on your goals and risk characteristics there may be a number of different mortgage products that will meet your needs.

Below you will find a list of the many different types of mortgages that you may be exposed to. These are the ones you will most commonly hear about or come across. Trying to figure out which is appropriate for your situation may seem daunting, that’s why it is always important to get an expert opinion on the type of mortgage to get.

Pre-Approved Mortgage

A Pre-Approved mortgage is a Free and No-Obligation deal that lets you know before you go looking for your home or signing an offer to purchase, how much you can afford to borrow based on your qualification and personal credit rating. In many cases, a seller prefers to negotiate an offer with purchaser who has been pre-approved.

Conventional Mortgage

A conventional mortgage is a loan that does not exceed 80% of the purchase price or appraised value of the home, whichever is less. This type of mortgage does not have to be insured against default.

High-Ratio Mortgage

A high-ratio mortgage is a loan that is above 80% and up to 95% of the purchase price or appraised value of the home, whichever is less. These mortgages must be insured against loss by either Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), a Federal Government Corporation, or GE Capital, a private insurer. The premiums can be added to the mortgage amount or paid at closing.

First Mortgages

A First mortgage is the first debt registered against a property that is secured by a first “charge” on the property. If a default on the mortgage occurs, the first lender has first right on the property to recover the outstanding principal and interest costs, and any other costs incurred during the process.

 

 

Second Mortgages

A second mortgage is a debt registered after a first mortgage has been registered. In most cases, the interest charged on the second is higher than the first, reflecting the higher risk to the lender.

Open Mortgages

An open mortgage allows you the flexibility to repay the mortgage at any time without penalty. Open mortgages are available in shorter terms, and the interest rate is higher than closed mortgages –  as much as 1%, or more. They are normally chosen if you are thinking of selling your home, or if you are expecting to pay off the whole mortgage from the sale of another property, or an inheritance.

Closed Mortgages

A closed mortgage offers the security of fixed payments for terms from 6 months to 10 years. The interest rates are considerably lower than open mortgages, and if you are not planning on any one of the above reasons, then choose a closed mortgage.

Variable Rate Mortgages

A variable rate mortgage means that the interest rate of the mortgage will fluctuate throughout the term. The mortgage rate is set at the prime rate plus or minus a certain percentage. The prime rate is the interest rate on loans that the banks are currently offering to their best customers and corporations. So if you obtain a variable mortgage rate of “prime -0.25%”, this means that your mortgage rate will always be whatever the lender’s current prime rate is minus .25%.

Fixed Rate Mortgages

A fixed-rate mortgage means that the interest rate of the mortgage will remain the same until the mortgage comes up for renewal. Therefore there are no surprises. You know what your mortgage payments and interest rate will be throughout the entire term.

We are affiliated with various Financial Institutions and you can access a full range of financial options for your home. Get the mortgage that’s right for you with the best rates and start saving money.

Complete and submit this form. A Mortgage Specialist will contact you at your convenience.

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