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A month into the new year and 2015 has already been a great year for our team. We have kept busy by meeting new clients, organizing our upcoming mini series and helping 8 clients move this month alone! 


Read on for mortgage brokers vs banks, market analysis tools and great apps. 


5 Reasons Why We Choose Brokers Over Banks 


1. Options: Mortgage brokers have a database of lenders and mortgage rates and they will do the shopping around for you whereas a bank relies on their rates. Brokers may also be able to negotiate you a better rate than your bank.

2. Service: Brokers do not represent any one lender so they are able to give independent advice based on your best interest. Brokers will look at your long term goals and find ways to save you money and pay off your mortgage faster. If you can't make it to an office during business hours, you may be able to arrange with a broker to meet you at your home in the evening.


3. Speed: When you have an accepted offer, there is a limited amount of time to get a financing approval. In our experience, brokers work faster than banks. 
4. Credit Reports: If you shop around to different lenders, your credit report may be pulled multiple times which could negatively effect your score. Brokers will only pull your credit score once and if your credit score is low, a broker can give you advice on how to bring the score up.
5. Potential Penalties & The Fine Print: Whether you want to pay off your mortgage before the fixed term is up, port your mortgage to a new property or have someone else assume your mortgage, a broker will be able to navigate the fine print of every lender. Banks typically have the largest penalties compared to lenders that only brokers have access to. 
Housing Market Information Portal 
For all of our past clients, keep your eyes peeled on your inbox the next few weeks as we will be sending out valuable market information about your home and surrounding area. We'll be providing you with a great snapshot of what has been happening in the housing market in your neck of the woods. 
In the meantime or if you have not bought or sold your home with us, check out this awesome portal hosted by CMHC. Poke around this interactive map to find out vacancy rates, population, average rental prices and housing need in different areas. 

Never Miss a Pick-Up Day! 
You have a millions things to think of on any given day - don't think about garbage! If this is the first you are hearing of the CRD's recycling reminder app, you may have just saved yourself from running out to your curb in your slippers and robe. Visit the CRD's website to download an app for your phone that will notify you on pick up days - even on those tricky statutory holidays. Check your municipality's website if they have one for waste/food scraps like the City of Victoria's
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It is my goal to go as-paperless-as-possible in my business and therefore will be transitioning to more paper-free methods of doing business.  With the advancement of technology it’s becoming easier to be paperless in the real estate industry.  Here are some examples:

Realty Nuance is a fabulous electronic filing system where I store documents and contracts which can be accessed by my clients.  Only one copy of the agreement has to be signed before it is uploaded for everyone to access. In the past, up to four copies of a contract would have to be printed. There is also a feature in Nuance for sellers to monitor showings and feedback when their home is listed. If you are a current or past client who has forgotten how to access your documents, simply visit the site here.

iPads and tablets are the way of the future! With these tools we can sign and send documents electronically, view listing details, take notes at showings, and demonstrate listing presentations all without paper! Check out this fabulous video put out by Apple on how one real estate firm in Austin, TX uses their iPads at work.

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