Danny Gerbrandt  


Claudio Sartore



Buying a home is an exciting and complex adventure. It can also be a very time-consuming and costly one if you’re not familiar with all aspects of the process, and don’t have all the best information and resources at hand.

One of our specialties is representing the best interests of buyers throughout the home buying process. We are very proud of our community and we enjoy familiarizing buyers with all the area has to offer. Our comprehensive, high-quality services can save you time and money, as well as make the experience more enjoyable and less stressful.

If you’re like most people, buying a home is the biggest investment you will ever make. So whether you’re buying a starter home, your dream home or an investment property, why not take advantage of my experience in the local market of Maple Ridge to make the most informed decisions you can, every step of the way?

Buying a home is a truly emotional experience. There are tremendous feelings that seem to be overflowing at any given moment. With some good emotions and some bad emotions, how can they be kept separate?

Before your first foot enters a home, the simple thought of buying a new home can trigger feelings of excitement and anxiety; feelings of wonder for what will come down the path of buying a home. This is only the beginning of the emotional train you can experience.

Entering what turns out to be the right home, you may feel overwhelmed with a feeling of joyous relief, comfort and peace in finding the perfect home. Once the contract is in and accepted, the rollercoaster may ensue. There are several steps to buying a home, leaving plenty of time for anything to happen.

After your mind and your heart are set on a particular home, any small wrinkle in the flow can cause tremendous stress and upset. The feeling of pending loss may arise and bring about fear. When these issues are resolved, feelings of bliss and liberation can take over and put you back in a "happy place" to move forward.

Approaching the grand finale, homebuyers may feel inundated with things to do in preparation of moving or feel excitement to complete the process of buying a home to call their own.

Everyone has different emotions and triggers. It is rare that any two people share the same feelings when buying a home. The process can lead to a full spectrum of emotion – from excitement to fear, from happiness to sorrow. This should not be a pitfall, but rather a word of advice to keep your mind open to the possibilities. Often times emotion can lead to making a decision before thoroughly considering what you have in front of you. It is very wise for your future to be alert to your feelings and enjoy the excitement of buying a home.

 We hope that the information included here will make finding your dream home a fun and enjoyable experience.   Check out the on the sidebar and if you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact us.

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Recognizing and Controlling Moisture Buildup in your Home

When warm air from the tropics encounters a cold front, the results are often thunderstorms. When warm moist air from indoors makes its way into cooler walls and attic spaces, the result is condensation which leads to mold, rot and rust. And there is no time when this is more prevalent than early spring.

While everyone talks about the weather and can do nothing about it, moisture in homes can be controlled. The way to deal with it is to determine if there is a problem, understand where it comes from and then learn to control it.



Where Moisture in Homes Originates

Typically, moisture in the form of excess humidity is produced in homes just by the act of living in them. Taking a shower, cooking a meal, even breathing all add moisture to indoor air. You don’t necessarily need a leaky roof or seepage from masonry surfaces to create excess humidity, although they will certainly contribute to the problem.

When moist inside air contacts cold exterior surfaces the moisture in the air condenses to form water. Once this water is released from the air it can do its damage. For example, if a bathroom fan exhausts warm moist into the attic (instead of outside as it should) the air will mix with the cold air in the attic. When this happens the moisture in the air will either condense on attic surfaces or worse, create its own mini weather system complete with a small rain shower in your attic.

To a lesser degree this same effect can happen in exterior walls, around single pane windows, on the side of a refrigerator or anywhere inside air meets the cold outside air.

Symptoms of Moisture Problems

If you suspect moisture problems look for the following signs:

  • mold, fungus or mildew on interior surfaces
  • efflorescence (salt deposits) on both interior and exterior surfaces
  • flaking paint and peeling wallpaper
  • corrosion on metal surfaces including metal surfaces in basements and attics
  • condensation on windows and walls
  • warped, cracked, or rotted wood
  • chipped or cracked masonry surfaces
  • ice dams in gutters and on roofs
  • dank and musty smells

Controlling Moisture

The best way to control excess humidity is to stop it at its source.

  • Fix all leaks, roofs, pipes and radiators.
  • Control seepage through masonry by applying waterproofing treatments.
  • Keep moist air away from cold surfaces by plugging holes in walls and sealing fixtures and outlets.
  • Seal leaks in ventilation systems.
  • Make sure that exhaust fans, such as those in bathrooms and kitchens, vent outside.
  • Consider upgrading poorly insulated windows and doors.
  • Adjust your heating system to take in at least 10 percent of its air from outside. This will improve indoor air quality.
  • Turn on fans and open windows when showering or cooking.

Treating Moisture Damage

Finally, once excess humidity is under control, it is important to treat and repair all moisture damage promptly. Moldy areas should be scraped clean and washed with bleach. In most cases, damaged wood should be removed because rot will often continue even after the source of water has been removed.

Don’t delay repairs. Spores from mold and other fungi can be released into the air and can lead to various respiratory illnesses.

To determine whether you have solved your moisture problems, you may want to test with a moisture meter or have a professional tester check for you. Inserting the moisture meter probes into plaster, wood or other building materials lets you test in areas you cannot see. If the levels are too high, then you have a problem. If not, then you can rest easy.

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It sounds like a great listing – in your price range – in a good neighborhood – with features you’re looking for. First impressions mean a lot – but you find the bushes are overgrown, the front hallway is covered with tacky foil wallpaper, the kitchen cabinets are painted dark brown, the living room rug smells musty, and the hardwood floors have black water marks on them.


Should you head back out the door? Maybe. But to fully determine whether you should cross this house off of your list you’ll need to gather more information, and perhaps look past the blemishes to get a full picture of this house’s potential. How do you do that? Follow these 10 steps.

Keep them straight

Looking at a bunch of houses? With digital photography making it easy and inexpensive to record images, be sure to take a digital camera along, first taking a picture of the listing sheet so you can remember which pictures go with which home, and then key elements of each home.


Also, make a checklist before you visit the first house so that you can keep each of them straight. Here is a list of items you’ll want to include (rank each as either excellent, good, fair, needs repair soon, needs repair now).


  • Kitchen
  • Bathroom(s)
  • Roof
  • Windows
  • Furnace
  • Air conditioning
  • Floors (rate by each level of home)
  • Closet/storage space
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical (does it have 60, 100 or 200 amp service?)
  • Basement
  • Master bedroom
  • Siding
  • Garage

Then customize the list with your own “must haves,” for example, fireplace, master bath, walk-in closet, two (or three) car garage, dining room, open floor plan, eat-in kitchen, screened-in porch, large (or small) yard.


When narrowing down your home search, consider the following:

  1. Start with emotion, but end with facts. Buying a home is an emotional process. You often find yourself trying to determine if this is where you want to spend the next 10, 20, or 30 years of your life (and perhaps raise a family). It’s OK if your initial impression is an emotional one. But because the purchase can be the largest you’ll ever make, it is essential that you gather all of the facts necessary to make an educated decision.

  2. Look for good bones. Don’t get hooked on the decorating. The town or towns you are targeting for your home search likely have a handful of builders who have built a majority of the homes. Get to know the reputation of these builders. Then, before going to look at a home, find out who the builder was. You’ll want to be careful when looking at homes built by those with less than stellar reputations. Then, you need to learn to look past the furniture, wall colors, window treatments, and other decorating, and just look at the home layout and flow. New cherry cabinets and granite counters matter little if they are in the galley kitchen and you have a family of five. At the same time a family room with black walls featuring a mural of the moon on one side also matters little if it is big enough for your needs. Aesthetics are relatively inexpensive to fix – major construction is another matter.

  3. When looking at room layout, corners are key. Rooms with doorways in the middle of walls flow better than rooms that open in a corner. Remember that when looking for your dream home.

  4. Make sure the most expensive stuff works. The two most expensive rooms in a home to renovate are kitchens and bathrooms. If you’re stretching to be able to afford a home and still eat, make sure these two rooms don’t need renovating anytime soon.

  5. Take an inventory of what needs fixing. Good news: With more houses on the market than in the past several years, you’ll likely be able to look at more houses before making a decision to put in a bid. Bad news: That means it can get quite confusing to remember the details of each. Develop a list of things you like in the house as you walk through each, and also make a list of things that might need fixing (see "Keep Them Straight", right).

  6. Is there room for expansion? You might not be concerned with adding onto the home you’re viewing today, but what about tomorrow? Don’t necessarily exclude those that don’t have the room and a logical place to expand, but do understand that you will be limited in your options down the road.

  7. Does the basement leak? If you’ve been lucky enough to live in a house with a dry basement (or perhaps without a basement) it’s hard to imagine the havoc a wet basement can bring to your life. If you’ve ever lived in a house with a leaky basement or hate the thought of a foot of water surrounding your furnace, you’ll likely be sure to check that the basement doesn’t leak, or has a system that automatically removes water from it.

  8. What’s the condition of the home’s exterior? Does it need painting, or is it sided? Does it have painted brick that’s peeling? Is the aluminum siding chalking? Improving the exterior can be costly. Check the exterior walls carefully before putting in a bid.

  9. Landscaping: Does it look like a park or a landfill? Landscaping not only includes the grass, bushes and any gardens, but also the hardscape – the sidewalk, deck and/or patio. People are spending more time than ever outdoors and you’re likely no different. Landscaping improvements can be costly, but is one area in which homeowners often tackle projects themselves. If you have the time, energy, and expertise you can save money by doing some landscaping improvements. But costs can add up here – be sure to factor that into your decision and/or bid.

  10. Check the zoning, nobody likes surprises. Too often homeowners are horrified to learn that their tranquil neighborhood is being invaded by multi-family housing, a big commercial business, or a 24-hour convenience store. Before you put a bid on a house, go to the town hall, city hall, or county register of records and find out the zoning of all contiguous properties.

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