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Landscaping
Posted on Sat, 30 Apr 2016, 10:15:00 AM  in Home selling tips,  Marketing strategies
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It is spring and the urgency of blooming things seems to overcome any lingering signs of winter. Everything starts to green and the eyes seem to catch the first flame of yellow and red and forsythia and crocuses pop into view. In Canadian neighborhoods, people begin to stir in the yards and gardens. Those seeking new homes find greater activity too. For them, a sure sign of spring is in the wonderful way homeowners add curb appeal to their properties. From fixing up outdoor structures, to adding a coat of paint, there are many ways to beautify a place. A perennial favorite is landscaping.

 

Softscapes that Impress
Paths and boundaries with softscapes. They can define areas and zones in the outdoor area. A garden plot is a wonderful softscape too. In the modern world of mass agriculture, organic gardening has made a tremendous comeback; millions of gardeners find great rewards from organic vegetables and heirloom varieties. They add wonderful flavors, texture, and tastes to food that are often lost in mass agriculture and food distribution systems.

Designs that add Value
Bricks, stones, and pavers add long-term design themes. They can last from season to season and weather into a wonderful settled look. Hardscape areas are landscapewonderful for patios and activity zones because they defy mud and rain and keep solid footing. Hardscapes make sitting areas around fire pits that extend the cool days into wonderful warm evenings around the outdoor fire.

Plants and Trees Always Please
Finding great looking trees and shrubs is a proven way to build a wonderful outdoor space. These make natural barriers and pathways; they add flowering in season, aromas in the warm nights, and fruits. They attract pollinators and birds. In colour and fullness, they mark the seasons in beauty. Animals and birds thrive in yards that have fruit and lowering plants. Berries and seeds help bird populations and fruits feed small animals too. Nests and bird song are wonderful signs of spring and early summer. 

Organic Preferences Too
Many people have a great social awareness that follows them into their outdoor living spaces. They are inclined to incorporate water conservation, organic soil enrichment, and avoiding chemical applications where possible. They emphasize natural elements in landscaping and choose plants and trees that adapt well to the living conditions and don't require much watering or care. Their greatest contribution may be in treating soils and ground with respect to chemical applications. Natural fertilizers do not build up poisons in the soil and water; by using these they contribute an important energy towards natural balance and less pollution.

Landscaping is a Proven Winner
The investment in landscape to add curb appeal is a proven plus for homeowners. They get remarkably higher prices. More than price, the process of selling goes better. These homes get noticed and get more real estate agent and buyer interest than those that lack up to date landscaping. Curb appeal is that all important first impression. It attracts passers-by too; people may notice a property for sale after they notice the property, simply drawn to a wonderful scene of flowers, plants, and greenery.

 


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How to Sell a Larger Home
Posted on Fri, 15 Apr 2016, 09:45:00 AM  in Home selling tips,  Marketing strategies,  My services
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In the past, potential home buyers were interested in buying larger homes to provide room for families with numerous children. When the economy was better and utility prices were lower, singles and couples were willing in invest in a home with a lot of square footage to showcase their antique furniture and collectibles. Today, with a poor economy and increased costs for electricity and natural gas, people are opting to buy smaller homes. In addition, families typically have fewer children than 50 years ago and numerous bedrooms are no longer required. This means that selling a large property is more of a challenge because there is a smaller customer base looking for spacious homes. 

Renovate a Large Home into Multiple Units
To sell a large home with a lot of land, you will need to make some adjustments to reach a wider customer base that is willing to invest in a property that they can divide into multiple units or share with roommates. First, a homeowner must determine if the home they are living in is in a city that permits sharing with roommates or renovating a property into multiple units. If it is permissible to renovate into multiple units or share a home’s amenities with roommates, then a homeowner should hire a remodeling expert to determine the best way to optimize the space. The expert will need access to detailed blueprints and schematicshome to determine how to renovate the home. 

Sell a Large Home as an Investment 
When a home has multiple levels, it is frequently possible to add interior or exterior staircases to permit entry into an upper or lower floor level. With this method, a homeowner might also need to add doorways, a kitchen or bathrooms to make the space rentable to tenants. An individual who buys this type of property can choose to live on one level and rent the other or rent both levels and live elsewhere. The company that is renovating a large home into multiple units must obtain building permits, and homeowners must cope with inspections from government officials who verify that the remodeling is completed according to safety codes. 

Change the Interior and Exterior 
In addition to making renovations to the inside of the home, a homeowner might need to make changes to the exterior such as providing more parking areas for tenants. It is likely that a homeowner will not be able to live in a home during this type of extensive remodeling project, but if a home has been on the market for a long time, then changing it to a multiple unit property is a good plan. A homeowner can also leave the property as it is but suggest to a real estate agent that they market it as a home that can be renovated to earn an income in addition to providing a place to live. 

Adjusting a Home for Roommates
Alternatively, when a home is on the market for several months and renovators cannot change the building to multiple units, consider making the home more attractive to a single person who is willing to have roommates. To make living with several roommates’ easier, adding full bathrooms to a home is an excellent idea. If the bathrooms are located inside or next to each bedroom, then it is possible to rent out rooms faster. In a kitchen, a homeowner might need to make space for an additional refrigerator or add cabinets for more dishes and glassware. For privacy, a homeowner may want to add doors with key entry locks to each bedroom. 


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It's A Wise Investment To Hire A Certified Home Inspector
Posted on Wed, 30 Mar 2016, 09:55:00 AM  in Home buying tips,  Marketing strategies,  My services
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It’s a wise idea to have a professional home inspector conduct a home inspection before you sign the contract at closing. The inspector will examine the house for structural damage, non-functioning electrical and plumbing components, repairs that were made and the potential for future damage. 


A comprehensive report discussing their findings is a critical element in deciding whether to go ahead with a scheduled closing. If repairs to the house are necessary, the sale price can be renegotiated. Should the report show major damage, the contract can be declared null and void. A home inspection is suggested for all home purchases, be it new construction or an existing home.

Roofing
A certified home inspector will thoroughly check the roof from the exterior and underside, looking for water infiltration, wood deck rot, and damaged shingles. In regions that are prone to high-velocity winds, tornadoes and hurricanes, the roof beams and trusses are checked for integrity and are properly fastened to meet local and provincial codes. The proximity of trees to the roof can lead to rotting branches damaging shingles. Gutters can become clogged with falling leaves, which can lead to interior water damage. interior. Skylights and chimney chutes are checked for properly adhered and watertight flashings.

Foundation
The foundation or concrete pad is checked for cracks, flaking and pitting along with evidence of water infiltration stains. Issues with the foundation can intensify insopectand affect components of the home's interior. Floor cracks and baseboard separation are indicators of possible structural movement. Structural movement can impact sheetrock walls, separating at electrical outlets and lighting fixtures.

Doors and Windows
The inspection will show the integrity of window caulking and if it's contributing to air and water infiltration, can prove to be expensive. Windows are opened to see if they rattle within their frames. If the window rattles or shakes, cold air will come into the home during the winter and hot air during the summer. This will contribute to increased cooling and heating costs and applies to entry and sliding-glass doors. They are opened and shut to see if there is a tight and aligned fit, which reduces air entry.

Plumbing
Inspection of the plumbing system includes checking that all facets and toilets function and all sink basins drain. Water pressure is checked and pipe joints are checked for evidence of leaking. If the property has a septic system, it should be cleaned every 3-5 years. The homeowner should have maintenance records. A neglected septic system can be an expensive ordeal with costs ranging up to $50,000 to excavate and replace. Inspectors will the test tap water for bacteria and contaminants such as ph, lead, iron, feces and toxic pesticides. The hot water system will be tested for accuracy in temperature and proper functioning.

Electrical
Electrical fixtures, components and panels are tested for compliance with local and provincial codes and preventing a potential fire hazard. The inspector will note smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are installed.

Heating and Cooling
The heating and cooling systems are checked for proper annual maintenance, pipe corrosion, unit age and efficiency. An aging unit can be an expensive ordeal to replace.

These are just a sample of the many items that a certified, professional home inspector must check before you move ahead and buy a home.

 


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7 Benefits of Buying a Small House
Posted on Tue, 15 Mar 2016, 04:35:00 PM  in Home buying tips,  Marketing strategies,  My services
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Many people think "bigger is better" when it comes to houses. Although bigger is indeed better when it comes to bank account balances, it's not necessarily so with houses. Often, smaller houses actually provide many benefits. Here are seven reasons why smaller is often better - much better.


1. Lower utility bills
When you have a smaller total area in your home than you would in a large home to heat and cool, you can save big on your utility bills. This includes costs for air conditioning, fans, heating, and electricity. If you have a small home that's also designed with energy-saving features in place, you can save that much more. These savings on utilities in a small house can add up quickly into huge amounts of money that you can allocate in other ways.

2. Lower repair and maintenance costs
Smaller homes come with lower expenses to keep them in tip-top shape. Think about common-sense factors like having fewer bathrooms and therefore less plumbing equipment that might eventually need to be repaired. There are fewer lighting fixtures and floors and many other items that will ever need to be smallhomeerepaired or replaced.

3. Less investment in cleaning
With a smaller home, you may have to spend a fraction of the time, money, and energy on cleaning and upkeep compared to what you'd invest in a larger home. You will feel like you have loads more freedom to get together with loved ones, relax, travel, garden, or whatever way you choose to spend all your extra time and energy.

4. Minimal decorating and shopping
With fewer rooms to furnish, anyone who buys a smaller home doesn't have to spend as much time coming up with decorating ideas and then spending time, money, and energy shopping around for all the home furnishings.

5. Less stuff
There aren't as many closets, drawers, cabinets, and storage spaces in smaller homes. There is also, of course, a whole lot less space and fewer rooms. Some view this as a negative, but others view this as a way to prevent the accumulation of excess belongings. This really keeps clutter under control, which is a major plus if you're seeking a simpler, more carefree life.

6. Quicker home payoff
Depending on a home's location and purchase price, it can be possible to pay off a small home much more quickly than a larger one, especially if the original purchase price was low to begin with and if the home is in an economical location. In addition, with a lower purchase price on a small home, it's possible to have much lower monthly home payments on the smaller home versus a larger one. That significantly eases financial stress and can be great if you're on a tight budget.

7. Close relationships
It's true that people living together in a home of any size can cultivate wonderfully close relationships, but many people who have lived in small homes have said that their family bonds are tighter as a result of being in more limited spaces together. Mileage may vary on this issue from one homeowner to another, but it's worth considering this often-overlooked benefit of living in small homes. With some creativity, even families with several people living under one roof find ways to thrive while living in small homes.

Downsizing has become more common in recent years as people discover the many benefits of this lifestyle shift. A simpler, scaled-down way of life isn't for everyone, but it is the perfect thing for many people. Consider whether it might be a great move for you and your family.

 


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Benefits of Making a Larger Down Payment
Posted on Thu, 28 Jan 2016, 10:15:00 AM  in Home buying tips,  Marketing strategies,  My services
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Anyone who is planning on purchasing their first home often takes the time to save for a down payment to ensure that they can obtain a mortgage loan from banks or financial institutions. Many people make the mistake of only putting a minimal amount of money down on a property just to purchase it quicker. Although it can take patience and time, there are several benefits to making a larger down payment upfront.

Lower Interest Rate
Lenders are more likely to offer lower interest rates to home buyers who have a larger down payment when you have a lower loan-to-value ratio, which lower's the risk for the lender. This can allow you to save thousands of dollars over the term of your home loan just by waiting longer to save. Your interest rate will ultimately increase with the number of risks that the loan contains for the lender. Not only will you obtain a lower interest rate, but having a larger down payment means that you're closer to paying off the property in full. The sooner you pay off the mortgage, the less interest you'll pay and the more flexibility you'll have with your retirement. 

Quicker Approval
Those who have a larger down payment are more likely to be approved quicker than the average person when applying for a loan. Having a larger down paymentpayment of at least 20 percent is a sign of borrower strength to lenders and makes it easier for them to trust that you'll make your mortgage payments on time. This can make it easier to begin shopping around for your new home without waiting several weeks or months to hear back from the lender. Although most borrowers have at least one or two risks when applying for a loan, a down payment of at least 20 percent eliminates any risks that may be present. 

Avoid Mortgage Insurance 
Lenders often require private mortgage insurance from borrowers who have smaller down payments that are less than 20 percent of the loan. Private mortgage insurance is used to protect the lender if the borrower is unable to make their payments on time during the duration of the loan. You can save even more money by avoiding the mortgage insurance completely with a larger down payment for one less expense.

Protect Yourself from Negative Equity
Many people are unaware that they can develop negative equity quickly when the value of their home decreases due to the state of the economy. This can make it easy to owe more on the property than it's actually worth, which can lead to foreclosure on the home. By putting down a larger payment, you can minimize the risk of having negative equity if the value drops in future years.

Improve Your Odds in Winning a Multiple-Offer Situation
It can be easy to fall in love with a property that other buyers quickly take notice of and also make an offer on. This can easily put you in the middle of a multiple-offer situation as you begin to try to outbid other people for the home, which can reduce your risk of obtaining the property. The seller is much more likely to favor the buyer who has the larger down payment and is already approved by a lender for a home loan due to less risk of the transaction falling through. You'll have more power when it comes to finding the home of your dreams and beating out other buyers to ensure that you get the home of your dreams.


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Why You Need To Declutter Before Moving
Posted on Wed, 13 Jan 2016, 09:50:00 AM  in Home buying tips,  Home selling tips,  Marketing strategies,  My services
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You have purchased your packing supplies and you are ready to start packing for the big move. There is one important step you should not skip over when moving, and that step is clearing out the clutter. Set aside some time every day to go through your belongings and decide what should be donated, sold and discarded.


You may groan at the thought of clearing out the clutter, but it is an important part of the moving process. Here are several reasons why you need to declutter before moving into your new home.

It Lightens The Load: Are you planning to donate items such as clothing, books and coffee mugs after you move into your new home? Why pack up the items you do not plan to keep? You can make packing and unpacking a breeze by decluttering before you even order the supplies. You can save money on packing supplies when there is less to pack, and you can save time by unpacking less items.

It Helps You Depersonalize Your Current Home: Depersonalizing your current home is another part of the moving process. Your potential buyers are going to movingimagine what their own belongings would look like in this space. You can kill two birds with one stone by decluttering while you are depersonalizing. Pack up anything you plan to use or display in your new home, and get rid of anything you do not wish to take with you.

It Makes It Easier To Decorate: Have you accumulated a large amount of decorative pieces over the years? Maybe you have items you purchased on impulse, used for a little while and packed up several years ago. Now you have to decide what pieces to use when decorating your new home. This can become an overwhelming task when you have a large collection. It may be time to donate or sell the pieces that rarely cross your mind. It will make it easier to decorate your new home when you can narrow it down to the pieces you actually want to use. Plus, someone else may enjoy those decorative pieces you did not want to keep.

Saves Space In Your New Home: Your clutter is probably taking up a lot of space in your current home. Do you want history to repeat itself when you move into your new home? You may have more space in your new home, but the clutter will eventually add up. It is best to nip this in the bud before you even start packing your belongings. You will have more space in your new home for the furniture, accessories and the decorative pieces you plan to keep. It also reduces that crammed feeling in both your current home and new home.

It Is Therapeutic: Getting rid of your unwanted items can actually be therapeutic. It allows you to clear your space of anything that is not important to you. Consider getting rid of anything that is not useful or creates a negative atmosphere. Clearing out the clutter also gives you more space to organize the items you do plan to keep. Imagine how good it will feel to look around your new home and only see the items that have a place in your life. You are also helping out the community by donating or selling the items that are in good condition.

Waiting until after your move to declutter will only create more work for yourself. You still need to settle into your new home, and you do not want to worry about clearing out the clutter while you are trying to unpack and decorate. It is easy to depersonalize, pack and unpack your belongings when you get rid of the unwanted items in advance. You can even ask your real estate agent for tips and ideas on decluttering. 

Clearing out the clutter may seem like an overwhelming task, but you are sure to feel good about your new space when you finally get rid of those unwanted items.

 


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