Wed, 22 Nov
Yes, spring and summer are the most popular times to buy and sell real estate. However, buying and selling in winter has advantages too.
First of all, there is less competition which can be beneficial from both a buyer’s and a seller’s perspective. Buyers will like the fact sellers are usually motivated by a need to sell and this may help in negotiating the perfect selling price. Sellers will like the serious house hunters as opposed to the “tire-kickers” of the spring and summer.
Buying and selling in the off months can also mean mortgage brokers, lending institutions, inspectors, moving companies and the like are less busy and can take more time to help you out. they may even offer discounts for using their services.
Although you won’t be able to see the lawn or what the trees look like in full bloom in the middle of winter, you will be able to find out a few particular things about the house, such as how well the furnace works, if any doors or windows have drafts or ice build up, where the snow tends to drift and what the shoveling workload may be like.
So while more people choose to move in the spring and summer months, winter may be the perfect time to find the home of your dreams.
Compliments of ;
Wally Hawryluk, RE/MAX REAL ESTATE
Thu, 09 Nov
Regardless of what is happening outside, here are a few tips and tricks to heating your home this winter without draining the pocketbook.
First, make sure any leaks are sealed with caulking, weather-stripping or simply a blanket or plastic (i.e. on the floor in front of a door or on large windows).
Next, if possible, open the blinds and welcome natural sunlight and heat from the south during the day. Speaking of windows, consider installing energy saving an temperature regulating window dressings to help keep the heat in and the cold out
Next move onto the furnace: Keeping it clean and changing the filter on a regular basis (every one to three months) will do wonders for your heating efficiency. Also consider only heating the rooms that need it the most. For instance, close closet doors throughout the house and close registers in unused rooms. This way the heat will be forced to the rooms that are used the most.
Finally, adding an extra layer of clothing, wearing slippers and covering up with an extra quilt at night can all be inexpensive ways to keep warm and avoid reaching for the thermostat.
Fri, 03 Nov
If you are in the market to buy your first home, make sure you’re financially prepared. There are more costs involved than the purchase price you see! Here are a few things you should know to help you make your home buying process a little easier:
- GET PRE-APPROVED! I can’t stress how important it is that you go to your lender and get pre-approved before you start looking. The last thing you want is to find your dream home and find out after you’ve written an offer that you don’t qualify.
- TAKE A SERIOUS LOOK AT YOUR FINANCES! Sometimes it’s better to wait to buy a home until you’ve paid off that credit card debt and saved for a larger down payment.
- MAKING AN OFFER! Once you find a home and write an offer you need to be prepared to put down a deposit. The deposit amount varies so you need to ask before you write so you’re prepared. Once the offer is accepted the money sits in a trust account until the deal closes and then is applied towards the purchase price of the home but you still have to have this amount upfront.
- YOUR DOWN PAYMENT! If you are using your RRSP’s as a down payment make sure you check with your financial adviser to see if you can actually withdraw them. Some RRSP’s are locked in and cannot be taken out. Some have a maximum withdrawal limit. Don’t assume, make sure you know!
- HOME INSPECTIONS! These vary in price so check around and make sure you use a reputable one because knowing all you need to know about your home before you move in is money well spent.
- LAWYERS FEES! Once you have removed all your conditions you will need to see a lawyer to sign the documents. They will charge you a fee over and above the purchase price. So check around to see what those costs are so you are prepared.
- UTILITIES! Yes you have to have them in place before you take possession of your home. The basics are power, water, electrical, but you may want to include; phone, internet/cable and a home security if you want. Some companies may require a deposit for first time hookups. Don’t be afraid to ask family and friends who they would recommend using.
- TAXES! Yes you do have to pay property taxes on your new home. Check with your local town or city office to set them up. Most places will allow you to pay monthly instead of all at once. This is a great way to help with your overall budget.
- INSURANCE! You must have home owners insurance before you take possession and proof of insurance needs to be forwarded to your lawyer before keys can be released on your new home. Again ask family or friends for recommendations.
- MOVING DAY! If you’re lucky you can rely on family and friends to help you move. If your not, you will need to look into renting a truck or using a moving company. Both come with added expenses so do your homework.
Buying a home is the biggest purchase you may ever make – so make sure you’re financially prepared.
Mon, 30 Oct
Whether you’re trying to grow your savings account, pay off debt or planning for retirement, financial freedom is withing your reach. However, it takes careful planning and diligence to achieve it. Here are a few questions to ask yourself that will help map out your road to success:
Where is my money going? List your monthly fixed expenses such as utilities, mortgage payments and other bills, your occasional expenses such as car maintenance, taxes and vacations, as well as your extra expenses such as shopping, eating out and recreation. Then, total everything up and compare it to your net income.
Where can I cut expenses? Now that you know how much you’re actually spending and making each month, you can sit down and decide how much you’d like to spend and make. Do you need to cut out vacations or get rid of cable? Do you need to get a better paying job or perhaps do some extra work on the side? Figure out what you’d like your financial situation to be and then start putting a plan into action.
How can I save money? Set up automatic savings withdrawals through your bank and include them as part of your monthly expenses. People often plan to save what’s left at the end of the month only to find there’s nothing there. Treat your savings as a bill that needs to be paid. This tactic may be difficult at the start, but once your savings account begins to grow it will all feel worth it.
Thu, 19 Oct
Buying your first house is a big leap in your life journey. But it’s also a big leap in your financial journey. You may be looking for a home, but what you’ll end up with is a place to live and an investment. So before you jump, follow these steps to ensure you make a soft landing:
DO YOUR RESEARCH. Scope out the neighbourhoods you want to live in. Talk to people who live nearby to get a feeling of the area’s vibe. What about the house itself? When was it built? What kind of work has been done to it? What work still needs to be done? The more you know, the more confident you’ll be when it comes time to make an offer.
LOOK AT THE BIG PICTURE. Start thinking about long term now. Are you planning on living in your home for years to come. Do you plan on moving into a bigger home in five years? Or maybe a smaller one in fifteen? Even if you aren’t sure about your plans for long-term home-ownership, it’s important to think about your overall life goals and consider how your property will figure into them.
IT’S ALL ABOUT TIMING. If you rush, you may make a decision you later regret. However, if you wait to long you may miss out on your dream home. So make a plan, take a deep breath and go for it! Becoming a homeowner is a responsibility, but it’s a responsibility with big rewards.
Tue, 17 Oct
Home improvement projects can include anything from painting, to replacing flooring, to updating safety features, to overhauling the master bathroom. The key to getting projects of any size done without causing undue stress is to plan ahead. Shop for all materials before beginning and bring any old parts so you can ensure you’re buying the correct replacements. And don’t forget to ask for help when needed – whether from an employee at your local home improvement store or a professional. Also, avoid these five common mistakes by making smart and safe choices:
- Buying cheap materials to save money, which certainly won’t save you in the long run.
- Forgetting to take measurements or to check – and recheck- your dimensions.
- Skipping over prep work and diving into the “fun” part of the job.
- Using only the tools you have on hand when it’s clear you need something more specialized.
- Forgetting to make safety your number one priority while doing any job – big or small