March 13, 2018
Helpful New Buyer Hints
Scout The Neighborhood Before Buying
Choose a neighbourhood that matches your desires and needs. Visit area on three separate occasions (Saturday, Sunday and Monday) and at different times of the day. Ask neighbors about the neighborhood city services, schools, shopping, recreation, noise, safety, traffic flow etc..
If You Purchase A "Fixer Upper" Tackle one project at a time
The temptation when you buy an older home is to try to do too much at one time. Fixing the porch, remodelling the kitchen, replacing the fence, updating the bathroom, re-doing the landscaping and painting might be too much to try at one time. fence. Before you know it, you and your family may find yourself NOT enjoying your new home for an extended period of time because your entire house AND yard up. Ultimately it will all come together, but there may be a lot of added stress with everything going on at once.
Keep a Homeowner's Journal
Purchase and maintain a journal record of repairs, invoices, plans/sketches, estimates and all other paperwork pertaining to the house in it. Storing all your house information in one handy place makes life easier for the homeowner and can be a sales 'plus' when selling the house later.
Get to know your house before making big changes
It is suggested that you live in and enjoy your new home for 12 to 18 months before planning and undertaking any major renovations. Keep a running record of desired changes and adjust over time. As you get to know your surroundings, you may find that your perceptions of what needs to be renovated may change.
Check the furnace filter and in "nooks and crannys"
Checking behind the furnace filter, bathroom fan motors, underneath appliances, in attics spaces, in crawl spaces, behind the furnace, under sinks, behind drawer and doors, behind hedges and other less visible locations may reveal whether the previous owner took care of regular maintenance.
Don't be afraid to DIY [Do It Yourself]
Tell yourself it is OKAY to try some repairs and renovations yourself. Many household jobs are manageable with a little ingenuity, elbow greese, research and a few simple tools. Success may vary, but you can always bring in a professional tradesperson to correct or finish a job. Often, you will complete the job quite nicely while saving money, learning a new skill and enjoying a great sense of accomplishment.
Finish projects . . . Now
Make sure you use the proper tools and follow the old adage of "Good" "Better" "Best" when purchasing materials. Complete or get help to finish avery project in a timely manner so you can enjoy the results. Don't learn to live with incomplete projects. The last couple of pieces of trim can linger for years!
Budget for trouble
When you buy an older home, check out the furnace, hot water tank, plumbing, wiring, windows, doors, roof, gutters and other structural attributes. Not everytning will need to be replaced right away, but be sure to lay out both short and long range plans for addressing items that will need attention. Repairing the funrace before it fails in winter, or replacing the hot water tank before you have guests in the home will be apprciated by all. Having a plan will allow you to set priorities while making repairs and adjustments in a timely manner without being a financial shock.
It is important to insist on full written disclosure from the seller about remodeling, repairs, old damage, leaks, mold and other elements that are signficant to your safety and comfort in your new home. Check with the city authorities regarding the property permit history, zoning, prior uses, homeowners' association restrictions and anything else you can find out.
Try to get a home warranty or price reduction for anticipated issues
A warranty can save you from unanticipated expenses related to a faulty dishwasher, inefficient furnace, plumbing leaks and roof issues.
Offer to buy the tools and yard equipment too
Buying a home from owners who are downsizing may give you the opportunity to purchase garden tools, tractors, snow blowers and other needed tools in general.
March 3, 2018
Kitchen Design Considerations:
Designing or remodelling a kitchen can be a daunting task. Whether you’re starting from scratch, completely refurbishing or making a few minor renovations, some basic know-how and handy tips will help make your kitchen design project a success.
- Stay focused on your needs and lifestyle
- Choose complimentary cabinets, counters, appliances, furniture and lighting
- Choose design elements for comfort and design
- Aim for a combination of function and style
February 28, 2018
Guiding Principles For Owners of Tenanted Residential Properties
- Treat the property as a business. Dont think that ll you need to do is buy it, rent it and forget it. Decisions will need to be made from time to time regarding maintenance and upgrades, rent reviews, new leases, etc. Even if you hire a property manager that will do the work, they can only do what is instructed.
- Unwittingly breaking a law. Make sure you understand landlord laws, your responsibilities and liabilities, and the ins and outs of leases.
- Get pre-approved first. Talk to a mortgage expert before you start your search so you know how much you can qualify for and you know what you are going to require.
- Factor in running costs. Consider all of the related costs of ownership including, bu tno tlimited to insurance, property taxes, repairs, special levies and strata fees if applicable.
- Work with a buyer’s agent. Work with a trusted real estate agent that has experience and knowledge on buying investment properties. Buying an investment property is about numbers while buying your own home is about an emotional purchase.
- Do not buy a property sight unseen. Conduct a personal site inspection yourself, or have your real estate agent who knows exactly what you want. This is a big investment surely you can take the time to inspect it.
- Check out the property adequately. Having the property professionally inspected can help avoid unexpected expenses. There are many potential problems with any home that you are not likely to pick up yourself.
- Have access to enough funds to cover unexpected expenses. Plan for emerging issues such as the property sitting vacant for a period of time, budget for mortgage payments in the event that they increase and have access to lines of credit or cash to cover the cost of a new roof or furnace.
- Establish and follow a proper and efficient maintenance schedule. All properties have fixtures and fittings that wear out or are damaged whihc is why you should haave a preventative maintenance routine.
- Have a long range plan for your investment. If you expect to get rich quick, you may be tempted to set the rent too high and lose your tenants. Research comparable property rent rates and be reasonable.
- Do not become a slave to the property. Decide how much your time means to you. If your investment property becomes a second full time job, is it really worth it? Factor in the cost of a property management company, if necessary.
- Check the property and tenants periodically. Ask for references and follow them up. Run credit checks. If applicable, drive by the prospect’s current property and see how well it’s cared for.
- Conduct regular financial analysis. All business owners regularly review their financials by creating monthly and annual statements of receipts and expenditures. Conduct an annual market appraisal to see how the value of the property is going. Sometimes it is strategic to sell off some assets and purchase new ones.
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