Friday, April 25, 2014


Showhomes in developments are so cleverly and temptingly put together that it is just too easy to be impulsive - carried away in the moment!  What happens afterwards can be very happy or have the most stressful consequences.  Before committing yourself to a contract with deadlines and large deposits, check out the saleability and price of your current home.  Perhaps your home is not yet ready to market, perhaps there are negative aspects to your home which require some mitigation or even a large unanticipated discount and finally, perhaps it doesn't sell in time to pay for your new one and you can't get bridge financing from your bank.  This is the type of stress one of our clients is living with right now and has permitted me to share to prevent  another person being in a similar position.  Remember, salespeople in showhomes are not there to give sound advice about the wisdom of buying before selling, or to advise you to check out the value and saleability of your home, or even to ascertain that you qualify for a bridging loan in the event your current home isn't sold in time - they are there only to sell the developer's property at the developer's price and terms. We,at Francis & Hawthorne Team, are not restricted to selling a particular development and our reputation has been built on working in our clients' best interests, always looking for the least risk and stress. We know you sometimes don't want to "bother" us, when you're just tossing around some ideas - please do, and consult with us, so we can come up with the best strategy to get you where you want to go without facing huge financial stress. We are happy to visit the showhomes with you and analyse a time line & value for the sale of your existing home - this is our business and we love it.  The old expression - "act in haste , repent at leisure" still holds true.  
Looking at all the wonderful gardens, Spring  really has sprung and is beautiful.  Have a great week with some sunshine we hope.  Sheila

Monday, April 21, 2014


With today’s historically low rates, many homeowners are looking for advice as to whether they should move their mortgage for a better rate. You can switch to another lender at any time, although renewal is often when homeowners decide to transfer their mortgage.  Some typical questions you may have:

Will I pay a penalty if I transfer my mortgage? There are no fees or payout penalties if you switch at mortgage renewal, otherwise there likely will be a penalty, although often paying the penalty to get a lower rate can save thousands.
If there is a penalty, what will it be?  Generally, you can expect to pay the greater of either a) three months’ interest, or b) the interest-rate differential (IRD). With the IRD, your lender will expect you to pay the equivalent of what they will lose by releasing you from your mortgage and lending the money at current rates.  Often penalties can be rolled into the new mortgage so you don’t have to be out of pocket. 
What happens when I transfer my mortgage?   Once you are qualified, your current mortgage balance and remaining amortization period are transferred to your new lender at the new rate, which your mortgage payment will be based on. 
Can I use this opportunity to increase my mortgage for some needed funds?   Yes. Without incurring fees, our lenders will permit you to add on to the new mortgage as long as you don’t exceed the original mortgage amount.  Although each lender is different, you can typically add $2,000 and in some cases $5,000. You also have the option of a total refinance if you need more, but you will be subject to fees similar to those incurred with registering a new mortgage.
How long before my mortgage renewal date should I start the process?
You should think about switching your mortgage 120 days before your mortgage renewal. Many lenders provide a 120-day rate guarantee.  This also provides ample time to complete the process and avoids any last minute decisions.
A common myth is that switching your mortgage for a better rate is difficult. It’s actually an easy transaction.  Let me show you how and see if it’s in your best interest to switch!  Call Daniela Serena,  Your Mortgage Expert at 604.889.6750.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


 Many times during inspections people will ask me how long their roof will last.  This can be a difficult question to answer because a lot depends on the maintenance, kind of material it is, and what kind of weather there has been. 

 There are 3 main types of roofing material that get used in the lower mainland, each has a very general lifespan.
Asphalt Shingles
                Asphalt shingles are typically the most economical material to install.  They are some sort of fibreglass base, and are covered with a sand.  The sand is what protects the shingles from the sun light.  Without the sand, the shingles would quickly shrink and crack from the sun, and would become useless very quickly.  By saying that, it is usually the sun that is the main factor of wearing out asphalt shingles.  The typical lifespan on this is 15-20 years.
Wood Shingles
                Typically more expensive, but usually chosen because of a characteristic look.  They are typically made of cedar which is resistant to many factors such as rot and insect infestation.  Along with that, the resin inside the wood helps maintain the life of the shingles. 
                Maintenance is usually the most difficult part of having wood shingles roof, and typically wear by cracking and splitting.  They also need to have adequate ventilation inside the attic to allow the shingles to properly dry when they get wet.  The lifespan typically has a large range, from 15-40 years, but on the west coast it tends to be on the shorter end of things due to our wet environment.
Concrete Tile
                This is the most expensive material to install.  This is because the material itself requires special modification to attic spaces to ensure the structure can take the weight.  Many companies install this type of tile with a warranty of 40 years.  While the sun wears the previous 2 materials, it is rain that wears out concrete tile more from weathering. 
                Concrete tile is a newer material that is used in the history of roofing material, and the lifespan is only an estimation of 60 years.
                Now as mentioned above, it is maintenance that helps get the most out of your roof.  Without proper maintenance, there is a good chance that your roof may last even less than the estimated lifespan!
                Part of  maintenance is cleaning your gutters.  Very underestimate part, but what can happen with clogged gutters is the water can wash up underneath your shingles due to overflow, and damage the surrounding area.

And another important forgotten item, is to trim back trees that overhang your roof.  Shedding material can act like sandpaper on your roof, wearing away the material at an accelerated rate.  Roofs also need to dry when it rains property, and a overhanging tree will block the sun leaving the roof wet for extended periods of time.

 It is hard to predict how long your roof may last, but with the right maintenance, you can at least get the most out of it, and save yourself money in the process.
Aaron Borsch
Certified Master Home Inspector (CMHI)
A Buyer's Choice Home Inspections - Tricities, BC
Inspected Once.  Inspected Right!
License #: 53540
Phone: 604-880-0818

Monday, April 14, 2014


Cheapest isn’t always best!   Strangely, we know that’s true when we’re shopping for anything else, but we still tend to believe that lowest rate is the one and only factor in choosing a mortgage. Unfortunately, that low-rate mortgage you keep reading or hearing about, could actually cost you more in the long run...much more!  A cut-rate mortgage could have you locked in to a very rigid contract filled with financial “trip lines” that could work against you down the road.  Sometimes those cut-rate mortgages come with higher fees, penalties, or restrictive terms, which could provemore costly over the long term than a slightly higher-rate mortgage with flexible terms.   I can help you find the right mortgage with the rate, flexibility, and freedom you need to be a happy homeowner and line you up for the best situation in the future.    
But before you even start shopping around for your new home or think about selling your current home, be sure to call me about getting properly pre-approved and understanding what happens with your current mortgage.  Sure, you may own a home now, but that doesn’t necessarily mean if you sell or port, you will automatically qualify.  Chances are your circumstances may have changed since your last mortgage, or your Lender’s rules were not properly explained to you the first time.   I can help answer any questions and give you peace of mind for those very important next steps.