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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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Becoming a Landlord: Is It Right for You?
Thursday, 01 October 2015, 09:42:18 AM
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You glance across the street, and there you see it. A "For Sale" sign sits in the front yard of that house that's been empty for months, and it hits you. Depending on the price, that little house could be the perfect investment as rental property.†

You make some calls and sure enough, the house has gone into foreclosure, and the listing price is almost half the value of most of the homes in your neighborhood. Your pulse quickens as you imagine the possibilities. How hard could being a landlord be, especially when the rental is right across the street?

Before you go changing your business cards to read, "John Doe, Landlord," you might want to take a few minutes to consider everything that's involved in becoming a landlord. While it's true that there's definitely money to be made in the rental market, it's just as true that not everyone is cut out to be a landlord.

Being a landlord takes more than just ownership of an empty property. Although it may appear from the outside looking in as though landlords have it made in the shade, it's really not always that easy. Here are the top three things you must be before you ever think about becoming a landlord.

  1. You must be honest.†

When you're responsible for providing a quality dwelling for a family, it's an absolute landlordnecessity that you are trustworthy. Hiding dangerous problems like loose floorboards and faulty wiring won't just get you in legal trouble; it could cost the life or limb of one of your tenants or their children.

Not only is it vital that you make honesty a priority for your tenants' sakes; the other residents in the neighborhood are also counting on you to behave ethically. You must be willing to perform necessary background checks to ensure that you aren't introducing a tenant with a history of drug trafficking into the neighborhood. Is the potential renter a child molester or an ex-con? While you certainly shouldn't hold any animosity toward those who have made terrible choices, you do owe it to your neighbors - and to their children - to refrain from inviting a threat into the house across the street.

  1. You must be personable.†

If you've ever rented before, you know that a mean landlord isn't doing anyone a favor. Are you a people person, or do you fly off the handle pretty easily? If you won't be able to handle your temper if you notice that your renters are letting the grass grow for months or are neglecting the property, you should hold off from even thinking about becoming a landlord.

  1. You must be handy - or at least, you must be good friends with a trustworthy handyman.†

As the landlord, you will be responsible for keeping the property in good condition. Are you confident that you could get things fixed promptly if the AC quits in the heat of the summer, if the heating goes out in the dead of winter or the pipes burst? If you have a hard time keeping your own to-do list caught up, you might not want to add another property to your plate.


Along with these, it's also important that you know how to be both just and merciful. How will you handle it if a tenant becomes delinquent and you need to evict him? Will you have the gumption to turn him out? What if he becomes violent or destructive of your property? Do you know how to give grace to those down on their luck without becoming a doormat for renters with no intention of paying what they owe?

Becoming a landlord is not for the faint of heart. If you've had plenty of experience managing different types of people and you understand what you're getting yourself into, then chances are you could be a great landlord. If you're just looking for some easy money with little effort attached, you might want to ignore that "For Sale" sign and keep right on looking.


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An Analysis of the Londonís Real Estate Sector in 2015
Posted on Tue, 15 Sep 2015, 03:21:06 PM  in Home buying tips,  Home selling tips,  My services
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In recent years, the real estate sector has come under close scrutiny following the recent crises in the global mortgage sector and current international economic events. The real estate industry has a tendency of being particularly cyclical. It goes up or down based on existing economic trends in the country. However, this huge industry continues to generate revenue that runs into billions of dollars.†


The real estate industry is typically divided into two: commercial and residential services. However, it is not uncommon to find lots of management companies and brokerages engaging in both types of service. Additionally, the residential real estate component is quite fragmented.

Property management is a service sector that has been witnessing fast growth and this expansion is bound to continue. This because properties which were over constructed during the previous real estate boom are going to continue being in need of management for some time until they are totally sold.

Contributing Factors

The old and long held adage of “Location, location, location,” continues to hold sway in the London’s real estate industry. Of prime importance towards determining the value of property and its marketplace is location. There are several factors that control the quality and associated value of a location such as access by public transportation, availability of social amenities, the access roads and their quality. Other factors are security, income levels, and state of the surrounding economy.

The Real Estate Industry Key Playersforsale

This industry is basically made up of 3 primary fields: leasing, brokerages and management. It is the brokers who bring the buyers and the sellers together. They are the ones who assist in the negotiations about price and make the necessary arrangements from when a buyer initially shows interest in any property and the final closing. They also play diverse roles in property inspections and appraisals.

Industry Potential Obstacles

The real estate sector in London faces several potential obstacles. Some of the factors are at times beyond the business owner’s control. Such obstacles include local or national economic downturns and changes in the neighbourhood demographics where the property or agency is located. Another factor not within the control of the property or real estate agency is the build-up of houses and properties in the location, what they are used for, and what other properties are available in the same area.

Use of Technology in Real Estate Transactions

For many years to come, the use of modern and emerging technology will continue transforming the real estate field. This is because it is now enabling buyers to carry out online research for both location and properties as well as other local area information. A buyer can now gather all the needed information before making the first move. Such include viewing pictures of the property, getting information about facilities in the area, crime rates, and all manner of statistics.

Online marketing using property pictures and virtual tours are assuming greater significance for real estate brokers. It is estimated that in excess of 90% of buyers employ the internet before they decide to buy real estate.

Growth of Workforce

Industry experts project that the global industry workforce will continue expanding. They however note that the internet could arguably bring down the numbers and ultimately do away with the need for real estate brokers altogether sometime in the foreseeable future.

It’s worth noting that banks are also now representing a formidable potential competitor. Many economies are now allowing commercial banks to actively engage in the real estate sector, especially the commercial component of real estate.

Bottom Line

Despite turbulent and trying economic conditions being witnessed globally, real estate analysts remain confident about the future industry growth. This is one industry that always bounces back after every economic upheaval. People will always need offices, factories and residences. Apart from situations of total war, this one industry you can bank on as we head to 2016 and beyond.


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All information is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by LSTAR. (ie. The data relating to real estate on this web site comes in part from the Internet Data Exchange (IDX) program of the London and St. Thomas Association of REALTORS®. The information herein is believed to be accurate and timely, but no warranty as such is expressed or implied.)

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