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‘Tis the Season: 5 Reasons Why Winter is a Great Time to Buy or Sell a Home
Posted on Tue, 20 Nov 2018, 08:25:00 AM  in Home buying tips,  Home selling tips, etc.
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Tis the Season: 5 Reasons Winter is a Great Time to Buy or Sell a Home.It’s a common misconception that you shouldn’t try to buy or sell a home during the fall and winter months.

This is generally considered the “off season” in real estate. Many sellers mistakenly believe that the cold weather will keep buyers away and that no one is looking over the holidays. Unfortunately, many real estate professionals perpetuate this myth by advising their clients to “wait until the spring” to list their home.

The truth is, homes are bought and sold year round. And while the market is typically quieter during the fall and winter, savvy buyers and sellers know how to use this slow down to their advantage. In fact, depending on your circumstances, now may be the ideal time for you to purchase or list a home.

If you’re in the market to buy or sell, there’s no need to wait for the spring. Read on to discover the top five reasons that it can pay to buy or sell a home during the off season!

  1. LESS COMPETITION

What’s the number one reason to buy or sell a home during the off season? Less competition!

This can be particularly beneficial if you’re a seller. Come spring, a huge wave of new listings will hit the market. But if you list now, you will have fewer comparable homes with which to compete.

In the spring and summer months, it can be difficult for your property to stand out in a crowded market. You may end up with a surplus of homes for sale in your neighborhood. Indeed, it’s not uncommon to see multiple listings on a single street during the peak selling season.

Inventory in the fall and winter months, however, can be significantly lower. That means your home will not only receive more attention from buyers, but you may also gain the upper hand in your negotiations. In fact, research found that homes listed in the winter are nine percent more likely to sell, and sellers net more above asking price in the winter than any other time of year.1

Buyers also have a lot to love about the real estate off season. While some buyers need to move during the winter, many bargain hunters search this time of year in hopes of scoring a great deal.

Smart buyers will continue to scan the market during the fall and winter for hidden gems that pop up during the off season. There are always highly motivated sellers who need to sell quickly. And with less competition to bid against you, you’re in a better position to negotiate a great price. If you’ve been looking for a good deal on a home or investment property, now may be the best time to look!

So while a “slow market” may scare off some buyers and sellers, it can actually be the perfect time of year for you to list or purchase a home. While the rest of the market is hibernating until spring, take advantage of this opportunity to get a jump start on your competition!

  1. EVERYONE’S MORE MOTIVATED

During the spring and summer, you’re likely to encounter “lookie-loo” buyers who are just testing the waters and unrealistic sellers who are holding out for a better offer. But the serious buyers and sellers stay active during the cold weather and holiday season, often because they need to move quickly. In fact, research shows that homes listed in the winter sell faster than any other time of year.1

January and February are peak job hiring months, which brings a surge of buyers who need to relocate quickly to start a new job.2 And of course life changes like retirement, marriage, divorce, and new babies come year round. While families often find it more convenient to move during the summer when school is out, the reality is that many don’t have the option to wait. According to the National Association of Realtors, 55 percent of all buyers purchased their home at the time they did because “it was just the right time,” not because of seasonal factors.3

If you prefer to deal with serious, highly-motivated buyers and sellers who want to act fast and don’t want to waste your time, then the off season may be the perfect real estate season for you.

  1. GREATER PERSONAL ATTENTION

Another key benefit to buying and selling in the off season is the increased personal attention you’ll receive.

While we strive to provide unparalleled client service throughout the year, we simply have more time available for each individual client during slower periods. Similarly, we find the other real estate professionals in our network—including title agents, inspectors, appraisers, insurance agents, and loan officers—are able to respond faster and provide more time and attention during the offseason than they are during the busy spring and summer months. The result is a quicker and more streamlined closing process for all involved.

  1. COST SAVINGS

Clients who move during the off season often report significant cost savings. Moving costs may be discounted by 15 percent or more during the winter months, and moving companies can typically offer more flexibility in their scheduling.4

Home renovations and repairs can also be less expensive in the off season.5 Whether you’re fixing up your property prior to listing it or remodeling your new home before moving in, contractors and service providers who are hungry for business are often willing to work for a discount this time of year. If you wait until the spring and summer, you may be forced to pay a premium.

Home Stagers and decorators are also more likely to negotiate their fees during the winter. And you can often score great deals on new furniture and decor during the holiday sales.

Whether you’re buying or selling, count cost savings as another compelling reason to consider an off season move.

  1. EASIER TO MAINTAIN CURB APPEAL

Finally, listing your home during the fall and winter offers one key—but often overlooked—advantage: less lawn maintenance!

Good curb appeal is crucial when selling your home. According to a recent report by the National Association of Realtors, 44 percent of home buyers drove by a property after viewing it online but did NOT go inside for a walk-through 6 That means if your curb appeal is lacking, buyers may never make it through the door.

If you list your home during the peak of the selling season, we will generally advise you to implement a frequent schedule of mowing, edging, watering, weeding, and trimming shrubs and hedges. You’ll probably want to plant flowers, as well, to brighten your exterior. After all, a lush landscape is a key element in attracting spring and summer buyers.

If you list in the off season, however, your lawn maintenance list is significantly reduced. While we do recommend that our sellers keep their exterior clean, tidy, and free of leaves, snow, and ice, you will probably spend much less time on outdoor maintenance during the winter than you would if you listed your home in the summer.

 

ARE YOU READY TO MAKE YOUR MOVE?

Now that you know all the great reasons to buy or sell a home in the off season, it’s time to decide whether you’re ready to make your move.

Every client’s circumstances are unique. Whether you need to move quickly or you simply want to take advantages of all benefits this season has to offer, it’s a great time to enter the market.

Give us a call today to schedule a FREE consultation … and you could be ringing in the New Year in your new home!

 

Sources:

  1. Redfin –
    https://www.redfin.com/blog/2013/12/why-winter-is-the-hottest-time-to-sell-your-home.html#.VjKYm2SrTKI
  2. Top Resume –
    https://www.topresume.com/career-advice/the-best-times-of-the-year-to-job-search
  3. National Association of Realtors –
    https://www.nar.realtor/research-and-statistics/research-reports/highlights-from-the-profile-of-home-buyers-and-sellers
  4. Angie’s List –
    https://www.angieslist.com/articles/why-winter-can-be-best-time-move.htm
  5. Build Direct –
    https://www.builddirect.com/blog/the-best-times-of-the-year-to-get-deals-on-home-remodels/
  6. National Association of Realtors –
    https://www.nar.realtor/sites/default/files/reports/2017/2017-home-buyer-and-seller-generational-trends-03-07-2017.pdf
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“How’s the Market?”
Posted on Thu, 04 Oct 2018, 02:05:00 PM  in London Real Estate Market
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Hows the Market? Whats Ahead for Real Estate?“How’s the Market?”  What’s Ahead for Real Estate

While no one can predict the future with certainty, there are signs that the Canadian housing market is starting to stabilize after a downturn in the first half of the year. Experts forecast that in most areas of the country housing prices will remain high, rents will rise, and mortgage rates will continue to creep up.

 So what does that mean for home buyers and sellers? To answer that question, we take a closer look at some of the top indicators.

 

REAL ESTATE MARKET SHOWS SIGNS OF STABILIZING

 After years of skyrocketing housing prices, much of Canada is now witnessing the effects of a governmental-induced slowdown. A combination of rising interest rates, stricter lending laws, and provincial policy changes that were put in place to cool down an overheated market that had led to increased debt levels, decreased affordability, and historically-low inventory levels.

Most notably, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) instituted a mortgage “stress test” for federally-regulated lenders that went into effect on January 1. Now both insured and uninsured borrowers are required to qualify for a mortgage either at the Bank of Canada's five-year benchmark rate or two percentage points higher than their contractual rate to ensure they can manage payments if interest rates rise.

By many accounts, the impact of these new regulations was stronger than expected, triggering a   sales decline during the first part of the year.1 But the market seems to be stabilizing now—the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) has reported positive sales increases for the past three consecutive months.2

While it’s tempting to become skittish during a slowdown, it’s ultimately

( read more... )

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Are Your Covered? A Home Owners Insurance Guide
Posted on Thu, 06 Sep 2018, 11:45:00 AM  in Home Insurance Tips,  Home Insurance buying tips, etc.
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                    homeowners insurance - 7 tips for Purchasing

Are You Covered? A Homeowner’s Insurance Guide

No one likes to think about disasters. Severe weather, fire, theft—or even a seemingly small issue like a broken pipe—can wreak havoc on your home and result in thousands of dollars in damages. Fortunately, a good homeowner’s insurance policy can offer you peace of mind that you and your family will be financially protected if disaster strikes.

 

A homeowner’s insurance policy covers your home—as well as the belongings in it—in case of theft, accidental damage, or certain natural disasters. In fact, most financial institutions require that you purchase homeowners insurance before they issue a mortgage. While coverage varies, most policies also help to protect you from liability should someone outside your household become injured on your property. And that liability coverage is often extended to include damage you (or anyone living in your household) may do to someone else’s property.1

 

With all the protection offered, it’s equally important to understand what a home insurance policy does NOT cover. For example, homeowners insurance won’t pay to repair malfunctioning systems and appliances within your home. And terms vary, but standard policies typically exclude coverage related to floods, earthquakes, slow leaks, power failure, neglect, aging, faulty repairs or construction materials, and acts of war.2

Homeowners Insurance Covers Things Like:

●     Structure

●     Roof

●     Windows

●     Furniture/Personal Belongings

●     Liability for Non-Residents Injured on Property

●     Liability for Damage or Injury Caused by You or Your Pets

Most Standard Policies DON’T Cover:

●     Malfunctioning Systems & Appliances

●     Floods

●     Earthquakes

●     Slow Leaks

●     Power Failures

●     Neglect or Aging

●     Faulty Repairs

●     Acts of War

 

 NARROWING THE COVERAGE GAP

 So how do you minimize your risk when so many potential issues are excluded from a standard homeowners policy? Many insurers offer supplemental coverage options that can be tacked on to a basic policy. We explore this further in the section below on “7 Tips for Purchasing Homeowners Insurance.”

Some homeowners also choose to purchase a home warranty, which covers many of the systems and appliances in your home that are NOT covered by homeowners insurance. Home warranties are separate from homeowners insurance, so if interested you’ll need to seek out a policy through a dedicated provider.

While terms vary, a home warranty will often pay to repair or replace components of your HVAC, electrical, plumbing, and some appliances that fail due to age or typical wear and tear. Unlike homeowners insurance, home warranties aren’t required by mortgage companies. But many homeowners like the added financial protection and peace of mind that home warranties provide.3

 Keep in mind, if you do purchase a home warranty, you will still be responsible for paying a service fee, or deductible, every time you use it. And you will be limited to using service providers who are contracted through your home warranty company.

 

7 TIPS FOR PURCHASING HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE

Whether you’re shopping for a new policy on your first home or you’re considering switching providers on an existing policy, it’s important to do your research beforehand. Not all insurance policies—or providers—are created equal. A little due diligence can save you time, money, and hassle in the long run.

 

  1. Prioritize Service and Value

When choosing an insurance provider, ask around for recommendations. Check with neighbors, friends, and family members, particularly those who have filed an insurance claim in the past. Find out if they had a positive or negative experience. Read online reviews. Ask your real estate agent for a referral to a reputable insurance broker who can help you compare your options.

 Don’t just choose the cheapest policy. Instead, search for one that offers excellent client service and provides the best coverage for the cost.

 

  1. Choose the Right Level of Coverage

Your policy limits should be high enough to cover the cost of rebuilding your home. Don’t make the common mistake of insuring your home for the price you paid for it. The cost to rebuild could be higher or lower, depending on the value of your land, your home’s unique features, market factors, new building codes, and local construction costs.4

 Also, consider whether you need a higher level of liability insurance to protect your assets. If your investments and savings exceed the liability limits in your policy, you may need to purchase an excess liability or umbrella policy.

 Ultimately, you should make sure your coverage is adequate to mitigate your losses—but don’t pay for excess insurance you don’t need.

 

  1. Inquire About Additional Coverage

Ask your insurance agent about additional coverage options that can help close any gaps you have in your policy.

 For example, if you’re in a flood or earthquake-prone area, experts strongly recommend that you add those coverages to your policy. In fact, flooding is the most frequently occurring natural hazard and a significant percentage of insurance payouts are for homes outside “flood zones,” or areas known to be at risk of flooding. So even if your home is not technically located in a flood zone, you may want to add flood coverage to your policy, just in case.5

 Expensive jewelry, furs, collectibles, or artwork may not be fully insured by a standard policy. Ask about raising your limits for any items of particular value, or check with a specialty insurer about a separate policy for such items.

 

  1. Decide on “Replacement Cost” or “Actual Cash Value”

Insurers can use a variety of methods to determine how much they will pay to reimburse you for a loss, but the two most common are “replacement cost” or “actual cash value.”

 If your seven-year-old sofa is damaged in a fire, replacement cost coverage will pay you the cost to purchase a new, comparable sofa at today’s prices. Actual cash value coverage will pay you for the depreciated value of the sofa you lost—so what you would pay to buy a seven-year-old sofa rather than a new one.6

 While a replacement cost coverage policy will result in a bigger payoff if you suffer a loss, it will probably require a larger annual premium. Compare both options to find out which is the better fit for you.

 

  1. Consider a Higher Deductible

 A deductible is the amount of money you are responsible for paying on a loss before your insurance company will pay a claim. Opting for a higher deductible can reduce your premiums.

 Note that in some cases, your insurance policy may have a separate or higher deductible for certain kinds of claims, such as those caused by floods, windstorms, hail, or earthquakes.

 While a higher deductible can save you money on your premiums, opt for one that is still affordable given your current financial situation.

 

  1. Try Bundling Your Coverage

Combining your home, automobile, and other policies under one insurer can often result in a significant discount. And some insurers offer additional benefits, such as a single deductible if property insured by multiple policies is damaged. For instance, if a fire destroys your home and your car, you may only have to pay the higher of the two deductibles. Bundling can also make payment and renewal of your policies more convenient.7

However, bundling isn't always the best or least expensive option. In some cases, you may find better coverage options, service, and/or pricing if you split your policies between multiple insurers. So be sure to consider all of your options before making a final decision.

 

  1. Reassess Your Policy Each Year

 Even if you’ve done all your due diligence before purchasing a homeowners insurance policy, don’t set your annual renewal on autopilot. Instead, when it comes time to renew, take some time to consider factors that have changed over the past year.

 For example, have you made any home improvements that would require you to raise your coverage limits? Have you made any security or safety improvements that qualify you for a discount on your premiums?8

 Has there been a shift in market conditions that would make it more or less expensive to rebuild your home now? If so, you may need to adjust your coverage levels accordingly.

 If you’ve made any changes to how you use your home, you may need to adjust your policy, as well. For example, if you’ve started a home-based business or occasionally rent out your home on a home-sharing site, you may not be fully covered by your existing policy.9

 Finally, consider any changes to your financial situation that may require increased liability coverage limits. If you’ve grown your investments or inherited property, it may be time to purchase additional coverage to protect your expanding asset base.

 

MINIMIZE RISK, MAXIMIZE VALUE

 Now that you understand the basics of homeowners insurance, you should be ready to start shopping for a policy that best fits your needs and budget. Your goal should be to minimize your risk while maximizing the value your policy provides.

 While you never want to leave yourself without a safety net should disaster strike, you also don’t want to overpay for insurance you don’t need (and will hopefully rarely use). Aim to strike a balance that will provide you with adequate protection at an affordable price.

 

NEED MORE GUIDANCE? WE CAN HELP

 If you’re in the market to purchase homeowners insurance or a home warranty, give us a call! We get a lot of feedback from clients on the best (and worst) providers and are happy to share what we know.

 We can also put you in touch with a trusted insurance professional who can answer your questions and help you find the best policy to meet your needs.

 

The above references an opinion and is for informational purposes only.  It is not intended to be financial or insurance advice. Consult the appropriate professionals for advice regarding your individual needs.

 Sources:

  1. Insurance Information Institute -
    https://www.iii.org/article/what-covered-standard-homeowners-policy
  2. com -
    https://www.insure.com/home-insurance/exclusions.html
  3. American Home Shield -
    https://www.ahs.com/home-matters/cost-savers/whats-the-difference-homeowners-insurance-vs-home-warranty
  4. Insurance Information Institute -
    https://www.iii.org/article/how-much-homeowners-insurance-do-you-need
  5. com -
    https://www.realtor.com/advice/buy/buying-home-insurance
  6. Texas Department of Insurance -
    http://www.helpinsure.com/home/documents/acvvsreplace.pdf
  7. com -
    https://www.insure.com/home-insurance-faq/bundle-insurance-policies.html
  8. National Association of Insurance Commissioners -
    https://www.insureuonline.org/consumer_homeowners_ten_tips.htm
  9. HomeAway -
    https://help.homeaway.com/articles/Do-I-need-a-special-vacation-rental-insurance-policy-for-my-property

 

 

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Tips For Unpacking and Organizing Your New Home
Posted on Thu, 31 May 2018, 12:00:00 AM  in Home buying tips
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Tips For Unpacking and Organizing Your New Home

Tips For Unpacking and Organizing Your New Home

A mess of boxes and belongings is inevitable after a move, but you do not want your new home to look like a storage unit for weeks. You may feel overwhelmed at the thought of unpacking every box, but you can reduce the stress by staying organized. If you need help getting started, here are several tips for unpacking and organizing your new home.

 

Declutter Before You Pack

The best way to get started is to clear out the clutter before you start packing. Go through your belongings and donate, sell or discard any items that are unused or damaged. It is easier to pack and unpack when you are leaving behind the unwanted items.

 

Prepare Before Unpacking

If you have any cleaning, painting or assembling to do in your new home, take care of it before you start unpacking. Waiting until after you unpack means moving your belongings around and creating more work for yourself. When you take care of the big tasks first, you can spend the rest of your time unpacking your new home.

 

Label Your Boxes

It is important to label your boxes so you know where to find certain items. One idea is to label them with their designated room and contents, such as kitchen utensils and bathroom toiletries. You can also color code the boxes if you would rather not label them with their contents.

 

Place Boxes In Designated Rooms

You can save yourself a lot of time and stress by placing your boxes in their designated rooms. This gives you an idea of how many items are going in each room, so you can add or remove specific items if need be. It also means you do not have to carry boxes back and forth when it is time to unpack.

 

Unpack One Room At A Time

You may feel like everything needs to be unpacked at once, but it is easier to stay organized when you focus on one room at a time. You do not have to worry about lingering boxes because of a room that has not been finished yet. If you have older children, let them unpack their own boxes and settle into their new rooms. It is best to start with frequently used rooms such as the kitchen, bathrooms and bedrooms.

 

Use Your Inventory List

It is recommended to create an inventory list when packing up for a move. This list helps you keep track of your items and their designated rooms. Use the inventory list as a checklist for unpacking your belongings.

 

Sort As You Unpack

One way to stay organized is to sort your belongings as you unpack each room. You can put everything into categories such as kitchen utensils, bathroom towels and summer clothes. Use the categories to create designed spots for your items. Sorting your items also allows you to purge any items you missed during the decluttering process.

 

Hide What You Are Not Unpacking

You do not want your living room cluttered with items you are not ready to unpack yet. Place items such as excess furniture and seasonal decor in an extra room, walk-in closet or local storage unit. This keeps them out of the way until you are ready to unpack them.

 

Do not be afraid to ask your REALTOR® for tips on unpacking and organizing your new home. Your REALTOR® has been helping clients move and settle into their new homes for years. They may have their own ideas to make unpacking an easier task.

 

If you stay organized when unpacking your belongings, you will be settled into your new home before you know it.


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What Are the Pros and Cons of Staging Your Home?
Posted on Tue, 15 May 2018, 12:00:00 AM  in Home selling tips
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What Are the Pros and Cons of Staging Your Home?What Are the Pros and Cons of Staging Your Home?

Do you know everything you need to know about selling your home? There are plenty of ways to make the process smoother, quicker, and more profitable. But before you can think about selling your home, you need to make it as warm, friendly, and attractive as possible.

These considerations may well lead to you considering whether it will be worth your time to have your property professionally staged. This is a process that has many admirers but also its share of detractors. For this reason, it may be well be wise for you to examine a few potential pros and cons.

 

Pro: A Well Lived in Home is a Family Friendly Proposition

The most obvious benefit of staging your home is giving it a warm, friendly feel. This is crucial for you to achieve, especially after all of your family members and possessions have been moved out.

The goal is to offer a potential home buyer an accurate picture of what the property will be like after their own family and furnishings have been moved in. If the place already looks and feels like a home, a potential buyer should have no problem making the transition to actually living there.

 

Con: A Potential Buyer May Prefer the Sight of an Empty Property

However, it's important to keep in mind that not all potential home buyers will respond favorably to the "warm and fuzzy" approach. Some buyers want to see the house completely bare so that they can use their own imagination to people it on their terms.

Other potential buyers may wonder if your home staging is really a trick to divert their eye from areas of the house that may not be up to code. It's important to gauge the attitude of home buyers in your area so that you can make the correct decision when it comes to staging your home.

 

Pro: Staging Your Home Tends to Speed Up the Selling Process

One definite positive effect that staging your home has been shown to have is the speeding up of the selling process. Most people would definitely prefer to have their property sell within the first month or so of being on the market. Staging your home is a great way to capture and hold the imagination of many potential buyers.

 

Con: The Cost of Staging Your Home May Be High in Some Cases

One thing to keep in mind is that not all home staging services are equal. This is not a "one size fits all" occupation. Different services will have different rates. You may find that the style of a particular service doesn't gibe with what you expected.

It's always a good idea to get the advice of a real estate professional as to whether staging is advisable or desirable in your case. It's also important to make sure you get a full estimate in advance from any home staging service.

 

The Choice of Staging or Not Staging is Yours to Make

In the end, it will be up to you to consider whether or not staging your home is a move you wish to consider. There is plenty to suggest that you need to weigh this decision very carefully before you proceed. You want to get it right the first time.

If you want to learn more about the potential pros and cons of staging your property for a sale, it's an excellent idea to contact a real estate expert in your local area. The time to begin devising your home selling strategy is now.


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Seven Tips To Keep Your House Fresh and Clean
Posted on Mon, 30 Apr 2018, 11:45:00 AM  in Home buying tips
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Seven Tips To Keep Your House Fresh and Clean

You may not notice the poor air quality in your home until you leave it for a few days, but when you open the door, you may notice a musty odor that won't go away. If you are inside your home most of the time, then your sense of smell becomes accustomed to certain odors that might derive from the pets stains on your home's carpets or the dirty filters in your home's furnace. Not only is a bad smell inside your home embarrassing, but also, it can lead to poor health by causing headaches, sneezing or coughing. Here are a few ways to create a home that has a pleasant scent.

 

Use Air Purifiers Inside Your Home

Seven Tips To Keep Your House Fresh and CleanLook for small air purifiers at local stores to use inside your home to freshen the air. It is important to choose an air purifier that uses high-efficiency particulate air filters so that the machine will capture tiny particles of dust, pollen and hair. You can move portable air filters into different areas of your home to remove foul odors.

 

Open the Windows On a Warm Day

When the weather is warmer, you can open the windows of your home to bring in clean air. Don't forget to open the interior doors of your home to help the air circulate, and it is also important to open closet and cabinet doors. After a few hours, you will notice a difference in the way that your house smells.

 

Eliminate Clutter and Clean Your Home

If your home is filled with clutter, then it can develop a foul odor as the accumulated stuff degrades. Take time to sort through items so that you can give things to charitable organizations or have a garage sale. After you are finished getting rid of excess clutter, you can wash the walls, ceilings and floors to eliminate the debris that was underneath the boxes and piles of stuff.

 

Clean Your Refrigerator and Freezer

When you have spoiled food inside your kitchen’s refrigerator, the odor can emanate into other rooms through your home’s venting system. Remove everything from the cooling and freezing sections of a refrigerator before throwing away any items that are spoiled. Wash the inside of the refrigerator with warm water and dish detergent to remove spilled food debris.

 

Change the Filters In an Air Conditioner and Furnace

To reduce the odors inside your home, you should change the filter in a furnace and air conditioner at least once a month. By changing the filter, your climate-control equipment will operate more efficiently, helping to circulate warm or cool air so that your home smells cleaner. In addition, verify that all of the vents in your home are open so that air can flow optimally.

 

Shampoo the Carpets and Rugs In Your Home

While you might vacuum your home's carpets once a week, this household chore won’t remove the disgusting odors that are in your carpets. Rent a carpet shampooer from a local store so that you can clean your home’s carpets and rugs thoroughly. Make sure to buy carpet cleanser that eliminates the foul odors and stains from pet accidents.

 

Sanitize Wastebaskets and Trash Cans

If you have older wastebaskets, then the items may have a collection of debris inside that creates a bad odor. While you might use trash bags in your wastebaskets, these thin plastic items often leak, so you should use hot water and cleanser to sanitize the wastebaskets.


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Planning for Spring Cleaning
Posted on Sun, 15 Apr 2018, 11:40:00 AM  in Home buying tips
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Planning for Spring Cleaning

Spring cleaning is one of the most important activities of the year. Whether you are planning on selling your home later or just want to make sure that everything is in tip-top shape for the seasonal changes, it is never a bad idea to take stock of your home's inventory to see what could use some moving around. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to jump right into, especially for first-time homeowners who have not had much experience with the process. By paying attention to some of the following tips, however, you can keep up to date with your cleaning needs, especially if it's been a while.

Planning for Spring CleaningIt can be a good idea to start with the refrigerator. A good refrigerator cleaner is often as simple as a combination of salt and soda water. The bubbling action allows the salt to be more abrasive without creating any damage to the surface of your refrigerator.

Pay special attention to your faucets as well. It is vital to get rid of lime buildup around faucets to freshen them up for the springtime. Lay paper towels around the fixture, soak them in vinegar, and let them sit for around an hour. This softens the deposits and makes them much easier to remove.

If you have a lot of screens around your windows and doors, a surprisingly fast and simple way to clean them is through the use of a piece of carpeting. Just use the plush end as a brush, and be rigorous in your cleaning to remove all the dirt.

Cleaning windows should be done at least once a month, but spring cleaning is the best time to get rid of any problems here at your convenience. You can use a squeegee from an auto-parts shop, or you can simply use a rag to get rid of any unwanted buildup accumulated on the surface.

Speaking with a professional regarding your tapestries and upholstery can be one of the best ways to make sure that you get them clean and spotless without a problem. The extra cost is often worth it for the high quality clean that you get when the job is done.

Ceiling fans should be cleaned up as well. These blades are important to keep clean because as the weather starts to get warmer, they're going to be seeing a lot more use. Just wipe down and cover with a coat of furniture polish, wiping off the excess when you are done.

You may not need to think too much about your blankets and pillows, especially if you already do a thorough job of keeping them clean. If the mood strikes you, it can be a good idea to do a little bit of personal shopping for them instead. See if you can decorate for the new season and get rid of any linens that are starting to fray.

As you clean, try to get rid of the clutter. Focusing on the essentials around your property can be one of the best ways for you to find what works for your decor. Get rid of furniture that you find you aren't using, and plan ahead for the furniture that you might need. It's the perfect time of the year to do a bit of new shopping.

Try to decorate by color where possible as well. This can be daunting if you are not sure where to begin, but planning for bright tones and greener colors associated with spring can be rewarding for new homeowners. Add a splash of brightness for this season to introduce new energy and design into the area.


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2018 Could be a Great Year to Buy Real Estate in Canada
Posted on Thu, 15 Mar 2018, 02:50:00 PM  in Home buying tips
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2018 Could be a Great Year to Buy Real Estate in Canada

The ever-changing way we do business, shop and live has affected the Real Estate market in Canada. Changing the way we think about buying and selling homes and commercial property is the first step in buying and investing in Real Estate in 2018.

2018 Could be a Great Year to Buy Real Estate in CanadaThe types of property that have positive outlooks for 2018 have changed, and some are looking very good for this year. Condominiums are an example of the changing property types that are gaining in popularity. Condos are having a resurgence due to retiring baby boomers selling their larger single-family homes and the young professionals who prefer to be closer to work and the urban amenities that condo living offers. The floor space of condominiums is increasing from the once small living space to larger more open areas due to the increased popularity.

The continued growth of e-commerce has caused a boom in the industrial market in Canada. With more retail shopping being done online than ever before the need for distribution and logistics space demands are increasing dramatically. Multi-level, technically wired industrial property is in high demand that will support significant, automated distribution centers. This increase has also led to a higher demand in the land for industrial use. Land with locations close to major transportation hubs has seen the highest demand.

Investing in rental properties in large Canadian cities continues to be on the rise due to lifestyle changes and the desire to live closer to work. The continued popularity of renting a property over buying, for a large market of consumers, has made investing in rental property a popular option. Investors and developers have started moving toward developing whole communities that support this lifestyle change with planned communities that include retail, health and wellness, entertainment centers, and business and office space. Continued growth in developed communities has a very positive outlook for the future.

The senior population in Canada is increasing each year, and with that, the need for communities that support senior living is on the rise. The property is known as "age-restricted" housing and is a challenge due to the regulations and ability to purchase in strategic locations. But, even with the challenges of this market, the growth is expected to be continually on the rise for many years.

Underused multi-family properties that are in need of redevelopment are continuing to be in high demand. In the urban centers of vast Canadian cities land and property is becoming scarce. Developers are looking at redeveloping properties that are in need of renovation, and that will be able to serve as multi-family housing units. This sector is seen to be very promising by investors due to increased population and the rising cost of single-family units.

With all the above-listed opportunities the 2018 Real Estate market in Canada looks to be very promising. REALTORS® are the experts in any market if you plan on purchasing or investing in property in Canada. Today's market is ever-changing, and a REALTOR® is the best at knowing what current outlooks are for property in the market and location you are looking to invest in or purchase.


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Prepare For Your Move With This Checklist
Posted on Wed, 28 Feb 2018, 01:30:00 PM  in Home buying tips
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Prepare For Your Move With This Checklist

There are many tasks to take care of before moving to your new home, from packing your belongings to switching your utilities. It is easy to feel overwhelmed when you think about everything you need to do before moving day. You can get through your move without pulling your hair out by creating a checklist.

Use the following guide to create a checklist of tasks to take care of starting two months before the move.

 

Two Months

Prepare For Your Move With This ChecklistStart obtaining your school, medical and dental records two months in advance. This gives you time to ensure everything is transferred to your new location in a timely manner.

You also need to get estimates from the moving companies in your area, and you need to create a budget for your moving expenses. Use the estimates, receipts and other important documents to keep track of your move.

 

Six Weeks

Now is the time to start decluttering your home. You can lighten the load by donating or selling the items you do not need. Do not forget to recycle or discard the damaged items.

Once you declutter, you can start focusing on the items that are going to your new home. Figure out how you are going to transport items such as your valuables and plants. Start ordering your supplies and packing the items you do not use daily. Label each box with the contents and designated room.

This is also a good time to make safe and comfortable travel arrangements for your pets.

 

One Month

You need to reserve your date with the moving company you have hired.

Start contacting your utility companies about the cancel, transfer and set up services.

You also need to make sure your vehicle is ready for the trip to your new home.

 

Two Weeks

There are several tasks to take care of two weeks before the move. Start by filling out a change of address form at the postal office. Notify important companies, services and government offices of your move.

You need to use your perishable food before moving day, so plan your meals for the next two weeks around those items.

Figure out what to do with the aerosols and cleaning supplies that cannot be transported to your new home. This means learning the safe way to discard these items.

You also need to take care of the parking for your movers, and you may need to obtain a parking permit.

 

One Week

You are down to one week before moving day, so now is the time to contact your moving company to go over the plans.

Start preparing appliances such as your refrigerator, freezer and lawn equipment at least one day before the move.

You should also use this time to finish packing your belongings. You need to pack a bag for traveling, and you need to pack a box for the first few nights in your new home. Your box should include clothing, bedding, medications, toiletries and other items to get you through the first few nights.

 

Moving Day

It is finally moving day, and you are going to be working with your movers to ensure it goes well. You can help by making sure the walkaway is clear to avoid injuries or broken items.

Walk through the house one more time to make sure you are not leaving anything behind, and be sure to lock the windows and doors before you leave.

If you are still worried about the move, you can always ask your REALTOR® if there are any tasks you should add to your checklist. Your REALTOR® is ready to help you create a stress-free moving experience.


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Is Canada the Prime Market for Your Investment Goals?
Posted on Thu, 15 Feb 2018, 01:25:00 PM  in Home buying tips,  Marketing strategies, etc.
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Is Canada the Prime Market for Your Investment Goals?

The year 2018 brings new opportunities for real estate investment in Canada. Although, there is no such thing as a Canadian real estate market because you typically buy a home in a neighbourhood in one city. One of the several reasons real estate is an excellent investment is long-term property appreciation.

Researchers revealed that Canadian baby boomers invest in real estate. Almost half of the Canadian baby boomers anticipate real estate gains to exceed their other financial investments. More of their real estate investments outperform their returns from stocks and bonds.

Is Canada the Prime Market for Your Investment Goals?Canadians thought for many years that homeownership is essential to long-term financial freedom and wealth creation regardless of real estate markets short-term market fluctuations. They are interested in buying real estate in their city, and they believe it is a positive business move.

Three out of four Canadian baby boomers recommend investing in real estate to their children and the next generation. Canadians have been providing their relatives with a living inheritance to help them purchase a home or even a condominium. The Baby boomers seek to involve the next generation in investing in real estate and in gaining more insight into improving their real estate investment.

Real estate investments could be in the form of commercial property purchases, single-family detached homes or condominiums. Canadians in more significant numbers are turning to real estate to build wealth. It is easy for average Canadians to profit from investing in the residential real estate.

The Canadian real estate investment is predicted to be a robust segment activity this year. Active pursuit of valuable properties seems to have fuelled the extra activities.

The year 2017 has seen a record volume of real estate transactions in Canadian commercial property purchases. The current year, 2018, will be another competitive market across the Canadian commercial real estate.

Canadian commercial real estate has proven to be a high-profit investment. There are a plethora of capital ready to be invested which leads to a highly competitive market environment across the country in the year 2018.

When purchasing real properties in Canada, you need to learn how to remove emotions from any real estate transaction. It does not matter if you are buying your first home or an investment property, you need to learn how to accurately assess the risks and rewards of investing in real estates.

The goal might be to establish an organized system to help you get the financing required to purchase real estate. Mortgage rates are projected to remain below levels of before the Great Recession, with softening sales a slowing in price growth.

Real Estate Investing in Canada is super simple with financial benefits that make real estate dreams possible for any Canadian. Rent-to-own programs represent an excellent alternative investment strategy for real estate investors in Canada’s market. They also create a practical platform for homeownership for purchasers who have been denied by financial institutions because of the new lending regulations. Entering into a rent-to-own agreement must be mutually beneficial for the future homeowner and the investor.

Across Canada's country regions, the property market fundamentals will be mostly healthy backed by a robust economy. What Canadians are known for is their love for shopping. The growth in their current economic and employment sectors shall promote stable spending growth for the upcoming future.

While there are innumerable ways for somebody to invest his money, the success of the real estate market makes these investments suitable for anyone’s investment portfolio success. In 2018, Canada is considered the prime location in investing in real estate albeit commercial, residential or condominiums.


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