A-Frame Cabins- The Sought-After Mountain Resort Gem

Due to less expensive in building costs, the A-frame home was a family vacation staple from the 1930s through to the 1970s & 1980s. Companies were even selling DIY kits for people to build the home themselves. With a sloping roof that nearly (and sometimes does!) touch the ground, its shape is optimal in climates that experience heavy snowfall. The structure is famous for being a simpler build, as its humble in size and often comprised of a modest, compact floorplan.

“The reason for the recent popularity of the A-frame is the vintage look. It brings back a lot of memories, especially for millennials and baby boomers, like myself, reminding us of way back in the day when these homes were prevalent,” says Bob Angilella, an agent and team leader with RE/MAX Big Bear in Big Bear Lake, California.

While some have been refurbished, many A-frame homes hitting the market still boast their original shag carpeting, an orange-colored kitchen, dark wood paneling or a woodstove – typically freestanding or hovering from the ceiling.

It’s no surprise that in 2021, people are brimming with wanderlust. The pandemic lifestyle has vacation-goers and relocators alike searching for a getaway that feels almost off-grid. And coupled with the constant presence of technology, it’s no wonder those who seek out an A-frame admire its symbolism of days gone by, a memento of nature’s tranquility and time spent with loved ones.

He also says that in today’s hot housing market, these homes are selling fast – whether buyers are looking for an immediate getaway or a renovation project. Knowing the current fascination with the style, too, Angilella says many are seeking out these homes as a possible investment opportunity.

“Buying a cabin [and renting it out] could be a great way to generate income, help pay the bills, help pay the mortgage, and still have a vacation home to escape to,” he explains.

As they aren’t built as often anymore, A-frames are harder to come by – and when they hit the market, there’s sure to be quite the buzz surrounding them. Whether it’s the fond memories they resurface or the quality time in nature they provide, these nostalgic oases continue to delight those who visit decades after their popularization.

Backup offers can end up being an important part of real estate transactions, especially in a hot market, so what are they?

When a property has received an offer to purchase, and that offer has been accepted by the buyer, there is typically a time period in which that offer has to complete. During that period of time when subjects to that sale may need to be met (financing, inspections, reviewing documents, appraisals) another offer may come in as a “backup” to the existing offer that is in play. If you are in the position of wanting to purchase a property that already has an offer on it, you may want to seriously consider having your real estate professional submitting your offer as a backup offer. There are many different reasons that offers on properties do not succeed at removing their subjects and completing. If your offer has been accepted as a back up, you’re already in the wings and prepared to start your own purchase process!

If you submit a back up offer you’re already first in line of the original offer doesn’t work out, and in a hot market, that is great place to be!

The thought of buying a brand-new home is exciting! There are some things to consider before you make the decision to purchase new or pre construction properties.

Payment Installments

Understanding the payment schedules. Usually with preconstruction, the builder will have a set amount of a down payment required for your sale, this percentage can vary but 20% is a common amount. This is typically due in a set of installments. Installments can vary but a typical schedule may be 5% within 30 days of the purchase, 5% within 90 days, 5% within a year and the final 5% due 30 days before move in. Being very clear on what is required of you and when is pivotal.

Additional Costs

GST – If this is a new home, you will also need to factor in GST. Currently GST is 5% in BC and this amount can not be rolled into your mortgaged total, meaning you will need to make sure that you have enough in your down payment to cover this amount. Upgrades – It’s nice to know your house will be move-in ready. However, be prepared for the very strong possibility that the included options for your finishes will be limited, and the cost for upgrades can be significant. Offering upgraded finishes is very common and can be enticing, so make sure you do your research on the quality and value of the upgrades being offered. Legal Fees – Pre-construction purchase and sale agreements are lengthy and detailed, it is important to get an experienced lawyer who knows what to look out for and can help you negotiate on terms in your favour.

Other Considerations

Your mortgage may be different. Since you cannot really qualify for a mortgage until the house is ready to move in, when you commit to buy, you are also gambling on what the mortgage rates will be in the future, as opposed to what you would qualify for if you moved in within the typical 30 or 60 days. It is important to speak with a mortgage professional who can set you up with a plan that will review the rates and lock in for the longest periods of time possible. Be prepared that you may need to review and re-lock in many times during the construction process. Prepare for delays. Buying a pre-construction home has a lot of benefits, but it can be very frustrating too. Going into the process with an understanding that dates may change and it may be entirely out of your control, will help make the process be as less stressful as possible.

 

The age old question, is renting vs buying better. This answer may vary depending on what your personal circumstances are. 

Flexibility

Renting means you can move each time your lease ends without penalty, for those people who move around frequently for work or seasonal ventures, this ability to move freely can be very appealing. However it also means you may need to move sooner than you may want to if the owner decides to use the unit/property for themselves or sell to a new owner.

Fixed Costs

Renting allows for you to budget exactly what your housing costs will be monthly. The repairs, maintenance and upkeep of a property are the owners responsibility and as such, the housing costs aren’t always as predictable for a home owner.

Investment

Contrary to popular belief, renting doesn’t always mean you are “throwing money away” or that homeownership means that you are building wealth. You need a place to live, and that always costs money in one way or another. While it’s true that you aren’t building equity with monthly rent payments, not all of the costs of homeownership will go towards building equity. While homeownership is often seen as a way to build wealth, your home can lose value. The neighborhood you moved in could decline, a major employer can leave the area, causing a significant population decline and a surplus of housing. The option that is best for you isn’t just about money, it is about comfort and your vision for your life. Sometimes owning doesn’t always makes more sense in the short term and renting isn’t throwing away money. The best choice for you is always going to be based on your specific circumstances and both options can be great and rewarding!

Preparing for a Mortgage Pre Approval

Being pre-approved is an important part of the process in purchasing real-estate when financing is required. There are some ways that you can prepare for it that will make the process go much more smoothly.

Firstly, having the documentation that will be required from you, ready for your financial professional, will make the process much faster. The most common documentation items that you will be asked for are:

  • Photo ID
  • Proof of income (letter from your employer or information about your own business if you are self employed)
  • Previous tax years’ Notice of Assessments (2 years is usually good but you may be asked for more)
  • Proof of funds for deposits and closing costs (bank statements or account statements)
  • Information about your assets
  • Information about your debts

Your financial professional will be very appreciative to have all of this information from your and it will help them in creating your profile and getting a pre-approval response back to you as quickly as possible!

Final Mortgage Financing Approval

Great! You’ve got an accepted offer on a house, you’ve been pre-approved for your mortgage amount, now what?

Depending on the property and what information is available on it, the lender may require some additional information before funding your mortgage. Often times that will include an appraisal of the home and property. It is a good idea to make sure that if you have financing as a “subject to sale” on your offer, that you give yourself enough time let the funder do what they may need to do before they can give their final “OK” and you can remove the subject. 

Once the final “OK” is received, funding of the mortgage can take 24-48 hours once all paperwork has been signed with your legal professional. This process is usually done with either a lawyer or notary and they will get the completed and signed final documentation back to the lender and the mortgage will be funded at the agreed date and time specified on in your deal.