Home Buying

Personalize Your Next Home

by Bevony on November 4, 2020 No comments

Personalization is key when it comes to making your new house feel like a home. When you purchase a new detached home or a “move up” home, your must have list will be very different from a first time home buyer or someone purchasing a new condo. 

When you have already developed an idea of what you like you can make the best decisions for your new home. You can make your home a reflection of you and what matters the most to yourself. Design is big business nowadays. Those who know exactly what they want will want to work with a builder who will allow them a custom building plan. That’s what we do here at SilverBeam Homes. We work with your dreams and your budget. 

The SilverBeam Way

When you are deciding on the next home, the dream home, the one for the rest of your life you are allowed to be very particular. No matter how unusual you think your idea or request may be, let us know what it is. You need a home gym? Do you need dedicated office space for the new normal? Do you need extra electrical outlets? Want to customize your fireplace or your kitchen, we can help you with that. 

What are the custom features that you need for your new home? Let us know in the comments below. Give us a call, so we can get started working with you to make that dream a reality. The sooner the better! We are waiting to hear from you. 

We have the skilled team you need to do everything. Our Design-Build Process encompasses everything from designing, permit approvals, building and more. Don’t have financing? We can put you on to one of our partners to assist with that. We can offer you help for every step of the way. 

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BevonyPersonalize Your Next Home

Safety Protocols for Buying or Selling a Home During the COVID-19 Pandemic

by Bevony on October 21, 2020 No comments
House Keys, Key, Security, Door Key, Close, Castle

The metro Vancouver area has seen a rebound in home sales. This, after the lockdown due to COVID 19 in the spring. COVID-19 has brought about a number of changes when it comes to the process of buying and selling homes. 

The rebound in home sales is due in part to lower interest rates. Buyers seeking stability, or those with housing needs changing, are looking for homes. And they are happy to find these lower rates which give them an incentive to buy before they had initially planned for. And that’s a good thing, but what formalities have changed when it comes to buying and selling? 

Open Houses Are Few and Far In Between

Dropping by on Open Houses is a thing of the past. There are options for virtual tours or walk through’s and these help to eliminate potential buyers that are more on the fence. This is advantageous to the realtor or seller too. 

These virtual tours are now as important and even more important than pictures. Homeowners can get an accurate look at the home from their screens and this also moves most of the paperwork online. 

  1. Waiver Forms now feature a series of questions that are related to COVID. BCREA guidelines allow a realtor the option to refuse entry to or to reschedule if either a tenant or seller or anybody working on their behalf is showing symptoms. 
  2. The BCREA mandates strata for condominium properties to clean high touch point common areas such as elevator buttons. Realtors are required to confirm with sellers to find out if common spaces have been disinfected. Realtors are also required to communicate to the buyer whatever safety protocols are their responsibility. 
  3. Prospective buyers must wear a mask and sanitize their hands. The wearing of gloves is not mandatory, but they are recommended. Persons are asked not to touch anything as they tour the home but there are times when they forget the request. 
  4. Social distancing is a must. This is practiced by limiting the number of persons that are allowed into  the home at one time. The number of people allowed is limited by the size of the property. Typically, one household is taken in together. A household denotes people already living together. In bigger homes there may be the chance that two parties can view at a time and in such cases they are cautioned to maintain distance. 

Tips for Attending an Open House

If you still want that physical walk through that of an open house, make sure you are working with a realtor that you trust. You want to keep yourself as well as your family members safe. So you want to be certain you can trust that your Realtor is taking the proper precautions to keep you safe. 

To limit your time in an open house, try to find out all you can about a home before you view it. This way too many questions will arise as you notice things when going through the house. It is understandable that you will want to physically see a house as buying a home is a huge investment. 

Be sure you are taking the appropriate safety protocols and practices reducing your chances of catching the COVID-19. 

If you’d rather be safe than sorry, you can build your home from the ground up. And we can help you with that. Contact us today to see how we can make your dream of owning a home, a reality.  

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BevonySafety Protocols for Buying or Selling a Home During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Houses For Sale During a Pandemic

by Bevony on September 16, 2020 No comments

We see people bidding up house prices even though we are in a pandemic and what may turn out to be one of the deepest recessions in history. This is not only true for British Columbia, but we can also see a lot of the real estate market across Canada which is red-hot especially in the market for single-family homes. While this defies all rational logic, it is where we are. People are looking for the security of owning a home even with people losing their jobs and getting pay cuts. 

Herd Following

Herd Following is a theory stumbled upon in 1906 when Francis Galton observed a competition. The competition was for persons to guess the weight of an ox. When all the guesses were averaged, the total average gues was 1,197lbs. The actual weight of the ox was 1,198lbs. Since then, there have been a lot of studies on the theory of collective intelligence which have shown similar results. 

Information from the Canadian Bankers Association indicates that around 15% of mortgages have been deferred, this is a total of 743,000 mortgages. As the days go by, we see that “the reopening” is not going as well as we would’ve wanted it to go. We see infections getting higher and more businesses are going back to closed doors and working from home. Look at Apple, they have closed seven of their area stores in Houston and 14 of their stores in Florida since the reopening. Of course, they have enough cash to afford to close their stores, but other businesses are not as fortunate with a lot of white-collar jobs been axed. 

What are the Banks Doing? 

We see central banks flooding the system with liquidity so much so that free-market price discovery is almost entirely out of the window. And so now we see cash finding its home in hard assets. 

What Does This Mean for Society on a Whole?

We are getting to that tipping point and this is certain to have long-lasting effects on our society. There are several possible outcomes that we must be ready for. 

What We’re Watching

  1. Bond Yields Trading – these are currently at their lowest level in history. 
  2. The US is currently not showing a V shape recovery in current business conditions and this is right across the country. 
Image Credit
  1. Small businesses that are bringing back all employees account for only 50% of the total small businesses in the US. 
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BevonyHouses For Sale During a Pandemic

Steady Activity for the Metro Vancouver Housing Market this Summer

by Bevony on August 7, 2020 No comments

The July 2020 buyer and seller activity for Metro Vancouver exceeded historical levels. This was published in the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV)  monthly market report. The report indicates that the total residential home sales increased by 22.3 % from 2,557 sales in July 2019 to 3,128 sales in 2020. The increase in July was a 28% increase over June 2020, where 2,443 homes were sold compared to the 3,128 sold in July. In total, the sales for July 2020 were 9.2 % higher than the 10 year average for sales in July. 

REBGV Stats Graph July 2020
Image Credit: REBGV

Colette Berger, Chair at REBGV,  notes that these numbers are a result of the pent up activity that both home sellers and buyers have been holding in. Couple that with limited supply overall and lower interest rates makes the market more competitive. 

The July 2020 Metro Vancouver MLS saw an addition of 5,948 attached, detached and apartment properties being listed. In July 2019 only 4,613 properties were listed so July 2020 is showing a 28.9 % increase in listings compared to the same month of 2019. In June 2020 a total of 5,787 homes were listed showing a 2.8% increase from the previous month as well. 

Currently, there are 12,083 properties listed for sale on the Metro Vancouver MLS system which is showing a decrease of 15.1% compared to the 14,240 properties that were on the list as of July 2019. The number is showing an increase though when compared to June 2020 which had a total of 11,424 properties listed. 

Reaching Potential HomeBuyers Despite the Restrictions

We understand that everybody must take new strides to ensure that social distancing is being observed. As such companies are using a variety of technology solutions to keep home buyers and sellers safe with their interactions. We are all trying to limit in-person interactions as much as possible. As much as can be done virtually is done to ensure the safety of our nation as a whole. 

Sales to Active Listings Ratios

For July 2020 we are seeing a sales to active listing ratio of 25.9% for all property types. We can further break that down by property type. Detached homes have a ratio of 25.1% while townhomes have a ratio of 31.1% and apartments have a ratio of 24.7%

REBGV Stats Graph July 2020
Image Credit: REBGV

The experts note that when the ratio dips to less than 12% for a sustained period is when there is downward pressure on home prices. On the flip side, home prices will rise when the ration passes 20% over a period of multiple months. 

The benchmark price for residential properties on the Metro Vancouver MLS Home Price Index is currently $1,031,400. This is showing an increase over July 2019 of 4.5% and an increase over June 2020 of 0.6%. 

Sales of Different Types of Properties 

Detached home sales reached 1,121 in July 2020 which was an increase of 33.3% over the detached home sales that were recorded (841) for July 2019. The benchmark price for detached homes is $1,477,800. This price is showing an increase of 5% from prices in July 2019 and 0.9% from prices in June 2020. 

Apartment home sales prices reached 1,400 in July 2020 showing an increase of 12.6% when compared to the sales(1,243) of July 2019. The benchmark price for apartments is currently at $682,500 indicating an increase of 4.2% from July 2019 and an increase of 0.3% when compared to June 2020. 

Home sales for Attached homes were at 607 for July 2020 indicating an increase of 28.3% over the 473 sales for July 2019. The benchmark price is $797,700 indicating an increase of 3.7% over prices at July 2019 and a 0.9% increase over prices at June 2020. 

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BevonySteady Activity for the Metro Vancouver Housing Market this Summer

How SilverBeam Homes can help you in selling your existing home

by Bevony on July 29, 2020 No comments

A lot has changed since the start of this pandemic. People have lost jobs, or are now working fewer hours. While many economies are reopening, there looms the need for further lockdowns. It is obvious that this pandemic is not going anywhere soon, and we now have to adapt our life as we know it to meet these needs. 

While everybody’s situation is different, housing needs are changing for one reason or another. Some persons are finding their family counts reduced as they lose loved ones to the virus while others are seeing an increase as cohabitating becomes are a more affordable and feasible option. Whether you need to go up in the house or go down in the house we can help you. 

How Can SilverBeam Homes Provide You with a Housing Solution?

Sell your old/current home to us and let us help you to construct a new home based on your specific needs. Here, at SilverBeam Homes, we are home builders, but in this crisis, we want to meet you more than halfway. We want to help you with everything from selling your current home. That way you can focus more on the things that need your attention, and we will get the work done for you. 

What You Need to Know Before Buying or Selling a Home 

Buying/Selling a home

Buying/Selling a home was always a huge undertaking. Imagine now doing both in a pandemic! Now more than ever, you have to make sure that you make a very wise choice. Are you currently at that place (between a rock and a hard place) considering the sale of your home and moving your family into a different home?

If your needs have changed, then you have a good enough reason to sell and repurchase or have us build you a new home. The advantage of building a new home is that you now will have the opportunity to have just what you and your family needs. 

Why You May Need to Sell your Home

  1. Your current location has become unsuitable. If your job situation has changed and you now need to travel further for work, it may make sense to move. With many people having lost their jobs in the pandemic, we are now having to really become more flexible and that may mean taking a job that is further away. If you are the sole breadwinner, moving closer to cut commute time could help you better manage your finances. 
  1. Your household as shrunk or grown. Your current house may become too expensive to maintain in the event of a loss. Or maybe your extended family will now need to come live with you or vice versa. Either way, if your space needs have changed, then you will benefit from purchasing a new home. 
  2. Leave sad memories behind. If you lost a family member during the pandemic, even if your space needs haven’t changed, you may want to leave the bad memories behind. If you are financially able to make the move, then selling your current home and moving into a new one may not be a bad idea. 

Real Estate and “Subject To” Clauses 

“Subject To” clauses in contract negotiation are your safety hatch. They allow you a means of escaping a contract in the event that anything goes wrong. You can find a list of clauses from The Real Estate Council of British Columbia’s website. The most common clauses you may come across are;

  1. Subject to Financing 

This type of clause limits your ability to negotiate. The buyer cannot remove this clause at the offer/counteroffer phase. It means the buyer needs a mortgage, so they are making the offer with the hope that they will receive the necessary financing to be able to purchase your home. 

  1. Subject to Inspection 

This clause can be easily negotiated since an inspection takes on average three days to arrange. If you want to get your house sold faster you can ensure that the inspection is completed a lot quicker so the buyer knows exactly what they are getting into. You can even have the inspection done and report ready if a buyer requests it. 

  1. Subject to Sale 

This clause gives your buyers a particular amount of time in which they need to sell their current home. Chances are your buyer can’t afford to be paying for two different homes. So you want to include some time in the clause for them to get their home sold, so they can purchase yours. This is usually a period of 4 to 6 weeks. 

What We Offer 

If you opt to complete your sale and repurchase with SilverBeam homes we can help provide a hassle-free process flow. With us, you don’t have to worry about listing with a realtor. We will offer a cash payment for your house and ensure a speedy closing process. If the funds from your home cannot cover the cost of your new home we can help you by putting you in touch with finance professionals to get the additional funds. 

Contacts us today to recreate your reality and have a home that allows for the execution of our new normal. 

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BevonyHow SilverBeam Homes can help you in selling your existing home

Townhome Availability in Vancouver

by Bevony on June 10, 2020 No comments
Townhome Availability in Vancouver

Vancouver home prices have seen a modest growth of 1% for 2020. This city still stands as the most expensive place to live in Canada. With the current health crisis, the supply of real estate has been further depressed. Some weary sellers are pulling their listings from the market and as such prices can get even higher. What will you find for sale in Vancouver? 

Types of Real Estate Available for Sale

You will find many a condo on sale in Vancouver. If you are looking for a single-family home, you will be able to find your fair share of those as well. That is of course if you can afford it. But if you are searching for a townhome, you may be up for an uphill battle. There are multiple reasons for this. 

In Vancouver, we can see clearly, that there is a difference between what people want and what they can afford when it comes to real estate. Vancouver has not built a lot of townhomes historically and this affects the market in more than one way. 

Within the past few years, there has been new zoning in Marpole for example that just allowed the building of townhomes. Other than availability, there is also the price factor. Buying a single-family home is too expensive for most families and buying a small condo won’t provide adequate space. 

Families may have some hope in the future for purchasing two and three-bedroom townhomes princesses less than 2 million and ranging in size from 631 to 1840 square feet. The last decade shows that a lot of families have left the city of Vancouver due to the cost of real estate and their inability to find appropriate housing at affordable costs.  This solution will provide families with the opportunity to get a home that is bigger than a condo but still more affordable than the typical single-family offerings in the Vancouver area. 

Change is the new constant in the current real estate market. And all stakeholders are feeling this currently. We are all weathering the storm and hoping for the best outcome, always ensuring that safety is the priority. Some of you must still brave the Vancouver housing marketing during this crisis. Here at SilverBeam Homes, we can help.  If you are wondering “will Vancouver house prices ever drop“? Maybe it is time for you to look at alternatives.

Get in touch with us today, and let us know what your needs are. We can help you navigate these changes both safely and effectively. 

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BevonyTownhome Availability in Vancouver

Millennials and Home Buying

by Bevony on April 22, 2020 No comments
Millennials and Home Buying

Sellers are finding creative ways to entice home buyers. You will find anything from apartment builders using clever marketing. Sellers are offering free wine and some go the extreme of offering a lucky home buyer a Tesla! The main focus of this marketing is millennial buyers and renters. These are those people between the ages of 20 and 40 years.  Or if you want to look at it another way; people born between 1980 and 2000. In Canada, that target market makes up approximately 10 million people according to a Nielsen study. This number represents approximately ¼ of the Canadian population so it is a large enough target market.

Why Target the Millenials

The Housing Market is realizing that the Millenials have different values from those of the generations before them. One example of this is the fact that Millenials have a preference for cycling and car-sharing rather than opting to own a car. They are known to be the shoppers looking for organic products, shopping locally and prefer urban lifestyles over rural ones.  

An RBC study done in April 2019, shows a trend of Millenials leaving major Canadian cities for more affordable communities within provinces. Statistics show that on average 9  Millenials are moving from different provinces or countries.  

The statistics show that Millenials are more immersed in the digital age and social media and are inclined to ordering things online. This generation, for the most part, is not looking forward to yard work on a weekend. 

What Everybody Wants

We all want a Happy Family and a Happy Home

Regardless of what era you are born in, there are some things that all potential homebuyers have in common. They want to find homes that are affordable to rent or buy. A CIBC study, published in Bloomberg News shows that 94% of individuals want to buy a home. And there is much variety of available for those who seek homes for purchase. You can find apartments, townhomes, condos duplexes and even have the opportunity to build your dream home from the ground up.

Challenges for Home Buyers

With the stress test that the federal government introduced, some are finding owning a home to be a bit more difficult. As such, one in three Canadians has put off their plans to own a home. This data can be found in a published survey found in the Financial Post. 

After criticism from young voters, the federal government decided to offer the “homebuyer incentive” program. This would mean, one could have a bank mortgage, this “incentive” loan and a student loan. With approximately 35% of millennials still living with their parents, this can be a frustrating thing to consider. This causes a delay for many and their independence which further impacts their lives as they start their families later on in life and thereby produce smaller families. 

In the above report, the comparison was also made with the wealth of Millenials compared to other generations in the Canadian population. The results show that millennials have more wealth, more assets but also more debt than Gen-Xers at their age. The study showed that educated Millenials make more money than their Gen-X counterparts did with 216% for Millenials, 125% for younger Gen-Xers and 80% for baby boomers. 

In addition to the above, there is also a rising tax burden that very often goes overlooked. The taxation of home purchases has increased and is being increased. This has a direct correlation to the affordability of housing options overall. It also has a correlation with the costs of maintaining a home. In Vancouver, we see typical new apartments with government taxes and fees up to 26% of the cost. These fees are often embedded in the final prices of these offerings. 

The Consensus

With all these costs to factor in, most millennials’ only choice is to rent. As per Statistics Canada homeownership rates of millennials versus baby boomers have a noticeable difference. In 1981, boomers of the same age owned homes. The statistics show that in 1981 55.5% of boomers owned homes compared to 30-year-olds today at 50.2%. 

While it is harder for Millenials to purchase a home. They do want to own one. An Environics study shows that they aspire to be financially secure, own a home, have a strong family relationship and achieve in their career. These are the same aspirations of all previous generations. So at the end of the day, we are looking for the same things.

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BevonyMillennials and Home Buying

Surrey Housing Market Looking Stable

by Bevony on March 11, 2020 No comments

With a lack of real estate investors in Surrey, there has now come to be a more stable housing market. Many houses in Metro Vancouver’s high-status neighborhoods are now looking more affordable than they have been in years.

Housing Market

With Surrey not on the radar of wealthy domestic and offshore investors, the prices have benefited from this. The city continues to grow rapidly though. The majority of the market is made up of new immigrant buyers. This is followed by native-born immigrants simply searching for a place to call home. In contrast, other high-end neighborhoods have seen a lot of instability since 2017.

The statistics show that house prices in posh neighborhoods dropped approximately 1/5th in one year. This was also true for a variety of neighborhoods in Richmond. In contrast, the housing prices in Surrey remained very stable. This is especially true for the Northern Section where homes often sell for lower than $1 million.

Other Stable Neighborhoods

When prices fell up to 25% this year, luxury homes in some West Vancouver neighborhoods fell. These included Upper Caulfield and Chartwell prices in other North Surrey neighborhoods. The prices only dropped between 1 and 5 percent. Surrey wasn’t the only neighborhood to escape the ridiculous price drops. Other neighborhoods that remained stable include:

  • North Delta’s Kennedy West
  • The District of Langley’s Brookswood
  • Fort Langley
  • New Westminster’s Queensborough
  • Brow of the Hill
  • Lynn Valley
  • Seymour Heights

North Surrey Housing Market

North Surrey stood out among everybody thanks to the fact that their stability in prices was seen all across the board.  The affordability of the area is one of the biggest factors. This is a factor that is good for both buyers and sellers. With a population larger than half a million, the area is one of Canada’s fastest-growing municipalities. Each year the area expands by approximately 2%.

The Surrey market is largely made up of locals, but it is not the same for the West Vancouver market. While South Asian immigrants also find the affordability of houses here desirable this is not driving up prices as they don’t want a 20 million dollar home. Figures from Census Canada show that the residents of North Surrey that have roots in India are between 40 and 60%. This is especially true in Kennedy, Fleetwood, and Newton.

The area is attractive to immigrants from Pakistan and India because of the cultural diversity of the area. The area allows them a certain amount of familiarity and satisfies the needs of their culture. They will find temples, mosques, and gurdwaras. They will also be more likely to have family in these areas as well. Coming here and finding real estate for sale at an affordable price means they can lay down stakes sooner and integrate into society faster and easier. Houses can be purchased with smaller down payments which is great for first-time homeowners who often are left vulnerable to the financial stress test of the government to determine their eligibility for a mortgage.

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BevonySurrey Housing Market Looking Stable

What is Mortgage Default Insurance?

by Bevony on March 4, 2020 No comments

So you’ve heard about it and now you want to know what is mortgage default insurance. This is one requirement placed upon first time home buyers by the Government of Canada. Who is required to pay this?
Persons that are first-time homeowners.

Persons with a downpayment of less than 20%

Banks are allowed under the Bank Act to lend a maximum of 80% of the purchase price of a home. If you have your 20% downpayment there is no need for mortgage default insurance. If you have your 20% downpayment you will qualify for a conventional mortgage. When you don’t have the required deposit amount you can be granted a high ratio mortgage. In such a case, the insurance company will compensate the mortgage lender in the event that you default on your mortgage.

How to Qualify for Mortgage Default Insurance

If you think you may be eligible for mortgage default insurance, first contact your bank. Find out what are the usual qualifications for a mortgage and find out what the underwriting standards are for your mortgage insurer. Not sure where to find this type of insurance? Contact the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions. They can give you a list of their approved insurers offering this type of insurance. Each insurer from this list will have their own criteria of evaluation so you need to check out if you meet their qualifications as well as if the property you are interested in meets their qualifications for this insurance as well.

Benefits of Mortgage Default Insurance

The primary purpose of mortgage default insurance is to protect the lender. The insurance protects them in the event that you default on your mortgage payment. But it also benefits you. With this insurance, you now are able to purchase your home a lot sooner and with a downpayment as low as 5%.

Important points to note about mortgage default insurance;

  • This does not provide protection to you or your interest in the property purchased in the event that you default, you will lose all.
  • You don’t have coverage for a mortgage payment under this insurance policy. If you are unable to make your payment or if you pass away your mortgage goes into default.
  • This insurance is only available for homes that are priced at less than $1,000,000.
  • Your premium will be calculated as a percentage of the borrowed amount.
  • You can have a lower premium if your down payment is bigger.
  • Payments can be made over a period of 25 years and these can be combined with your monthly mortgage payments.
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BevonyWhat is Mortgage Default Insurance?

New Listings at a 10 year Low

by Bevony on February 12, 2020 No comments

2018 was quite a disastrous year when looking at the performance of the housing market. In 2019, it looked a lot better with sales going up by approximately 22%. With sales hover above 10-year averages, the home price index is higher. It has increased by 3.5% from last year’s numbers and the trend is for it to continue increasing.

Homeowners are no longer listing their homes up for sale and this is the phenomenon that is driving this resurgence. With not many new listings, there is a decline in inventory. In December of 2019, the sales to new listing ration went up to 67%. This is the highest this has been since October of 2009. A ration of 40% to 60% is considered balanced and anything above 60% will put pressure on prices, causing them to rise. When looking at the statistics on a deeper level we see that listings haven’t been this low since February of 2010.

Why Are Canadian Homeowners not Listing Homes for Sale?

You will find that most places in the country are seeing an all-time high in prices. Canadian housing is on an almost 30-year bull market. So most homeowners are thinking that with prices continually rising there is no need to sell right away. In the meantime, any amount of correction in the market is met by global central banks’ ample liquidity. Banks aren’t increasing interest rates this time around. They are actually doing the opposite.

Leveraged buyers are finding incentives for taking more risks. Hoarding assets are now more attractive to homeowners even more so than putting money into bonds, savings accounts or GIC’s. The current market is not triggering or incentivizing Canadians to cash out and so new listings dot go onto the market unless it is extremely necessary.

What Does This Mean for First Time Home Buyers?

While there are not a lot of listings going up on the market, first time home buyers can find affordable housing solutions. Here at SilverBeam Homes, we are custom home builders that can help you make your dream of owning a home a reality. Give us a call, or send us a message. Let us set up a consultation and show you how you can own a home in a housing market that seems it is not going to be kind to you.

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BevonyNew Listings at a 10 year Low