Do you have only a few weeks to search for your next dream home? Don't panic. There are things you can do to find the perfect (or, at least, almost perfect) property — without getting too stressed out! Consider these tips:
• Pre-arrange your mortgage. You want to be able to make a good offer on a home right away, without worrying about financing. So, talk to your mortgage advisor or lender about getting a mortgage preapproval. Sellers will take your offer more seriously if you have financing in hand.
• Decide what you want. What type of home are you looking for? What type of neighbourhood do you want to live in? The narrower your focus, the less time you’ll waste looking at properties that don’t fit your needs.
• Be open to possibilities. There are probably terrific homes on the market — right now — that are close to what you're looking for. So be prepared to consider properties that are less-than-perfect. Remember, what a home lacks today may be remedied with a renovation later on.
• Be flexible with your schedule. When you see a home you like, schedule a viewing immediately, even if it's at an inconvenient day/time, such as a weekday after work. Finding a great home, quickly, is worth some inconvenience.
• Get alerted to new listings. As they say, the early-bird gets the worm. So arrange to be alerted to new listings the moment they come on the market. That way, you can see these properties right away.
Want more tips on finding a home, quickly? Give me a call.
Buying a new pair of shoes is relatively easy. Once you find the style you like, all you need to do is try them on and see if they fit. If they do, you go to the cash register and pay.
When it comes to size, buying a new home can be trickier! Whether your intention is to upsize or downsize, figuring out the right size can be especially challenging.
Say for example, you’re downsizing from a large two-story home to a smaller bungalow. You don’t want to underestimate the space you need and end up in a place that feels tight. If you’re going the other way and upsizing, you don’t want to end up sinking extra money into a property that’s larger than you really need.
So how do you avoid these scenarios?
One of the best ways is to start by considering your current home. Do you use all the rooms in your home regularly? Is there a bedroom that’s rarely occupied? Has the recreation room become simply a storage area? If you’re downsizing, subtracting rooms you scarcely use can give you a better idea of what you need in a new home.
Upsizing is a bit more challenging because you have to anticipate what you will need in the future. For example, if you have young children, and your place is feeling cramped, then a home with a recreation room or separate family and living rooms may be a good idea. You may also need a bigger kitchen with a spacious eating area (in addition to a separate dining room.) Think about the extra room you’ll need and how you’ll use that space.
When I work with a client, I typically sit down with them and discuss the type of home they want in detail — and, based on needs and circumstance, I make expert recommendations. Bottom line, I help clients find the perfect fit in a new home. Contact me if you’d like to learn more.
Getting Friends to Spread the Word about Your Listing
When you list your home for sale, you want as many buyers as possible to find out about it. So consider how many friends, neighbours and work colleagues you have. Then think about how many people they know. The number is likely in the hundreds. One of those people could be looking for a property just like yours.
That’s why getting your friends to spread the word about your listing is so effective. How do you do that?
One strategy is to have a moving party. This gives you an opportunity to ask your friends, as a group, to tell others about your listing. You can also encourage your friends to bring a guest who is currently in the market for a new home. Another good idea is to put a profile of your listing on Facebook. This is the fastest and most convenient way for your Facebook friends to point others to your listing.
Do you have friends who work at larger organizations like banks and factories? They probably have access to an employee lunch room with a bulletin board. You can spread the word by asking them to put up an information sheet on your listing.
Try one or more of these ideas. Combined with my marketing plan for you, they can help get more qualified buyers to your doorstep.
Want more tips on promoting your listing? Call today.
Home inspections are commonly used to help buyers assess the condition of a house before purchase. However, they can also be very beneficial for homeowners – even if they are not intending to sell in the short term. Getting an informed professional opinion about the state of a home can be invaluable in determining priorities for future renovations or ongoing maintenance decisions. The report will give you an objective opinion on the status of the critical elements of the construction and operation of the house, such as its foundation, structure, roofing and drainage, as well as its HVAC, plumbing and electrical systems.
This thorough checklist can also be used to request and compare contractor quotations when it’s time to act on the inspector’s recommendations. Furthermore, it can provide a basis for discussing the current and potential market value
You don’t have to freeze in the winter or start reading by candlelight to reduce your electricity bill. There are many simple ways to use less power with little, if any, impact on your lifestyle.
A good place to start is with your electronics.
According to the David Suzuki Foundation, “Any gizmo that has a clock, digital timer, remote control or standby mode is sucking energy when it's not being used (it's called 'phantom electricity' — and it's scary how much of it there is).” So keep them unplugged as much as possible. Also, unplug charger cords for phone and computers when not in use. Even when not connected to the device, they still suck power.
Another easy change to make involves your lights. Switching to compact fluorescent (CFL) or LED light bulbs can save you a lot of energy. They’re 75% more efficient.
Finally, the old-fashioned method of insulating doors and windows can work wonders for lowering your electricity bill. In fact, some particularly drafty homes can lose up to 40% of their heat. Check for drafts regularly and repair or replace insulation as needed.
None of these ideas will impact your day-to-day living. Yet, they could potentially save you a bundle.
(NC) We all know where to splurge and where to save when it comes to fashion — a good blazer is worth its weight in gold, while trendier pieces that go out of style are best bought at a discount store. But what's the equivalent for home décor? Read on to learn what pieces are worth investing in and where you can save a few bucks.
Save — unique pieces. Cool, distinctive pieces can either cost a fortune or not much at all, so why splurge when you can save? Hunt for fabulous finds at garage sales, used goods stores or vintage shops. Some treasures are perfect as-is, and some require just a bit of paint to reveal the diamond in the rough.
Splurge — kitchen backsplash. An attractive backsplash can make any kitchen stand out and look expensive. It's also a relatively small area, so a pricier tile won't break the bank but will be sure to stand the test of time.
Save — bed linens. These take quite a beating from frequent washing and aren't visible to anyone but you and your partner, so don't spend a fortune. Bed linens are also an item where inexpensive doesn't have to mean lower quality — you can often find higher thread count sheets on sale, and since they're covered by the duvet you can get whichever colour is left.
Save — greenery. Flowers and plants you have inside your home or out are vulnerable to the weather, how much sunlight they receive, and whether or not you can remember to water them. And flowers and plants are nice to change along with the season, with bright florals looking great in the spring and summer, richer tones for fall and poinsettias during the holidays. Freshen up your home quickly and economically by saving on greenery. Depending where you live, you can sometimes even pick outdoor flowers for free.
Splurge — window treatments. Well-designed window fashions are beautiful to live with, provide variable light control, insulate rooms against heat and cold while saving energy, protect your furnishings from damaging UV rays, and absorb sound, improving the acoustics in a room. Hunter Douglas' innovative energy-efficient window treatments are available in a wide variety of fabrics, materials and styles to suit the form and function of every room in your home. Find more décor inspiration and a local retailer online at hunterdouglas.ca.
When you’re about to sell your home, it may be disheartening to see so many other properties for sale in your neighbourhood. You may be thinking, “That’s a lot of competition! Will our property get noticed?”
Fortunately, there are many proven strategies for standing out in a sea of For Sale signs.
First of all, keep in mind that many home purchasers come from the REALTOR’S personal network of buyers who want to move into your area.
So, choosing the right REALTOR® is crucial.
Second, remember that when there are other properties for sale on your street, curb appeal becomes even more important. There are many simple things you can do to make your property look great to those driving around looking at homes. Make sure your property looks as picture perfect as possible.
In a competitive market, it’s also more important than ever to highlight features of your home that are unique and enticing. If, for example, you have a large backyard deck and brand new hardwood flooring, make sure these are mentioned prominently on the feature sheet.
Finally, be as flexible as you can be when scheduling viewings and open houses. Don’t forget that other listed properties in your neighbourhood draw in buyers, who may notice your home. It’s not uncommon for a buyer to view a property and then scout the neighbourhood. So, you want buyers to be able to see your home on short notice and at a convenient time for them. If there are several other nearby properties for sale, it means things are hot from a real estate point of view. You want to roll out the red carpet to buyers.
Looking for help selling your home quickly and for the best price? Call today!
When it Comes to Offers, it’s Not Always about Price
When considering which of two or more competing offers to accept for your home, there is no doubt price plays a huge role. After all, if Offer #1 is $10,000 higher than Offer #2, that’s an enticing difference that puts thousands of extra dollars in your pocket.
However, price isn’t the only thing you should think about when comparing multiple offers. There are other factors you need to consider as well.
For example, what conditions are in the offer? If Offer #1 is conditional upon the buyer selling his current property for a specific amount, then what if that doesn’t happen? You could end up with an offer that dies and be forced to list your home all over again. In that circumstance, accepting the lower offer may be your best move.
There’s also financing to consider. Most buyers will attach a certificate from their mortgage lender to show that they can afford the home and will likely secure financing with little difficulty. If you get an offer where the ability of the buyer to get financing is in doubt, that’s a red flag.
The closing date is another important factor. Offer #1 might propose a closing date that’s perfect for you, while Offer #2 is four weeks later. If you’ve already purchased another home, you might require a month of bridge financing if you accept Offer #2. There’s nothing wrong with that per se, but the costs and additional hassle are factors you should consider.
As you can see, assessing competing offers isn’t as easy as it looks. Fortunately, as your REALTOR®, I will guide you toward making the right
With so many young adults now living in condos, it’s not surprising that a growing number of them are considering staying in a condominium community, even as they start building a family. So, if you want To improve the over all market potential of your building’s individual units, consider how your condo group might address the needs and preferences of this growing sector of buyers. Of course, even though you can’t change the size of individual units or balconies, you can encourage your condo board to look into repurposing some aspects of your building’s common spaces. For example, young parents who don’t drive may be attracted to a condo that dedicates some of its parking area to a compound for strollers and bicycles.
Your board might even seek out nearby buildings to arrange shared space that can be dedicated to providing swimming lessons or daycare, or create a playground or parkland. Smart planning should also include approaching municipal authorities to determine population projections that might warrant expanding a local school.