Finding a Good Real Estate Agent

Liz Clay, owner of Emerge Realty in Canada, provides clients with one-stop access to all of their real estate needs. With several years of experience within the real estate profession, Liz Clay and her company are able to provide clients with real estate financing, staging, and listing management to reduce both cost and stress.

Finding a quality real estate agent is an important part of buying or selling a house, and not doing so can mean missing out on one’s dream home, or selling one’s home for far less than desired. There are several things that buyers and sellers can do to help weed out below-average real estate agents, while narrowing down some of the best agents available to them. One way to do this is talk to recent clients to get referrals. Past clients are able to provide information about what it was like to work with a particular real estate agent, such as whether they felt they received fair services for the price, and what their overall satisfaction level was.

Once one has found potential real estate agents, they can continue the process by looking into several aspects of the agent’s career, such as how long they have been in business, what credentials they have, and what training they have within the field. This can often serve as a decent indicator of an agent’s commitment to the profession. One can also look at an agent’s current listings to see if they have familiarity working with similar properties, and within the location that is desired. Further, it is important to ask about commission to ensure an agent is within one’s price range before moving on to begin the process of buying or selling real estate.


Rental Investment Risk – Is it Worth Becoming a Landlord?

Emerge Realty owner Liz Clay has spent the last several years building a successful real estate career that offers clients a unique real estate experience whether they are buying or selling. With her background, Liz Clay has helped clients with a wide range of goals, such as those looking to become landlords through rental investment.

Rental investment has become quite a temptation in recent years, with relatively low interest rates and home prices available in many locations. However, there are several things that make rental investment, and taking on the role of a landlord, a risky decision and something that individuals should give a great amount of thought. One of the things that can increase the financial risk of rental investment is the need to take out a mortgage on an investment property. Even though there might appear to be a safe difference between what the monthly rent and what the monthly mortgage, borrowing money to expand one’s investment portfolio can be very risky, especially if the rental investors are retirees who no longer work. There is also risk associated with the potential disasters or vacancies that landlords must deal with.

Recently, vacancy rates for rental properties have been increasing, causing more risk and potential for financial loss among rental investors. This can lead to many landlords offering rental deals, such as decreased rent or free rent for the first month, which can cause financial struggles for the landlord. Further, in recent years, applicant histories have been getting worse, with many potential tenants having experienced past foreclosures and previous evictions, making them riskier tenants, and thus increasing the risk of rental investments.

What are Interest Rate Differentials?

Owner of Greenwood Mortgage, Liz Clay provides clients with quality mortgage plans that fit their individual financial futures. Having been in the mortgage field for almost 10 years, Liz Clay is familiar with a wide range of mortgage information that she provides to her clients, including information about interest rate differentials.

Interest rate differentials, or IRDs, are compensation charges related to real estate mortgages that are used to determine pre-payment penalties. If the homeowner pays off the mortgage before its maturity date, or pays the principle down farther than their prepayment privileges, an IRD may be applied. The IRD is based on two things: the amount that is being pre-paid, and an interest rate that amounts to the difference between what a lender can charge today when re-lending funds, and what the original mortgage rate was. For many fixed-rate mortgages, the prepayment penalty is typically higher than the IRD, while many variable-rate mortgages do not have IRD charges at all.

Mortgage Renewal Facts

With nearly 20 years of experience in the mortgage and residential real estate industries, Vancouver-based Liz Clay offers clients the benefit of a broad range of expertise and capabilities. In the real estate and property management industries, Liz Clay founded Greenwood Mortgage, Design2Sell, Emerge Realty Corporation, and Design4Love.

Many people purchase their homes with term mortgages that guarantee interest rates and payments for pre-determined periods of time. This type of mortgage allows buyers to review their financial commitments and economic situations before renewing their existing agreements or selecting new loan programs. Canada law requires lenders to provide borrowers with advance notice of the expiration of their mortgage agreements at least three weeks before the conclusion of the terms, but it makes sense for borrowers to spend some time investigating their options in advance of this notification.

Although most mortgages include instant renewals that carry the debt forward if the borrower takes no action to change it, new and more advantageous loan offerings tend to be made available on a regular basis. In addition, people with excellent credit and mortgage payment records often receive loan proposals that reduce their cost of borrowing and their overall payment requirements. Some lenders also permit borrowers to change their payment schedules and frequency.

Liz Clay: Business Improvement Association Questions New Bike Lanes

Liz Clay owns Design4Love in addition to owning and managing three other companies. At Design4Love, a design team helps turn bland homes into unique reflections of a client’s personal style. The Design4Love team specializes in transforming bachelor pads into original living spaces while carefully adhering to clients’ needs and budgets. Liz Clay is a graduate of the University of New Brunswick and a former member of the Business Improvement Association in Yaletown, BC.

Business improvement associations in the Vancouver area have recently been posed with numerous questions regarding the new Hornby Street bike lane. The main concern focuses on whether or not the lane is good for the businesses on the street. Some business groups, such as the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association, seek to improve the aesthetic appeal and the business-friendly atmospheres of downtown areas all over Canada.

While Vancouver often looks to Portland statistics when it comes to the success of bike lanes, it is unclear if the Hornby Street lane is helping or hurting businesses. Small business owners and entrepreneurs like Liz Clay who are members of various Canadian business improvement associations have noted a moderate economic impact. The most recent numbers caused a great deal of concern as the city pours more money into the rebuilt Adanac bikeway and several new street-side lanes. Bike lanes cut into parking spaces, leaving laundry shops, grocers, and other businesses in a precarious situation. Business associations around Vancouver continue to look into the issue.