• The Little Things Matter: Fix Them Up!

    If you are trying to sell a house in Canada, every little detail of the house could be the detail that makes or breaks a sale. That means, that everything from broken doors down to porches that have been bleached by the sun really do matter. Below you will find just a few details that seem small but make a big difference in whether you are going to sell your home or not.

     

    Broken Or Missing Door Trim

    Broken and missing door trim may not seem important to you, but they can indicate that you have been neglectful or careless with your home to potential new buyers. Do not leave yourself in this position. Spend a few dollars and make sure that the trim in your home is present, complete, and beautiful.

     

    Faded Porches And Outdoor Wooden Structures

    Buying stain for your porch, patio, or arch is as easy as spending just a few dollars on a discounted can of stain at the local hardware store. It takes an hour or two to apply properly depending on the area that needs covering, and can make your home dazzle to potential buyers.

     

    Broken Fences

    Broken fences are one of the biggest reasons that a large portion of the population will turn down an otherwise beautiful home. Broken fences are not the most appealing thing to look at, can be dangerous children and adults, and is completely useless to a family that wants to let their dog or cat run loose in what they hoped would be a fenced-in backyard. Fixing your fence can be as easy as searching for scrap wood around the neighborhood and painting the fence to make it look uniform.

     

    Uneven Yards

    Grassy hilly yards are fine, but yards with large drop-offs and rocky hills are very dangerous to both people and their pets. If you have any say in this situation, try to get your yard leveled before you officially list your home as “for sale”.

     

    Sun-Faded Paint In Rooms

    The sun is a very powerful force that can cause a lot of problems for wood in the backyard, the skin on your body, and the paint on the walls inside of your home. If you have noticed that this is a problem, then simply buy a bucket of paint and make the room look fresh again.

     

    Broken Tiles

    Broken tiles on the floor, in bathrooms, and in kitchens are easy to fix and can be done with just a few dollars depending on your situation. Even if the cost of fixing this portion of your home is a bit more than you expected, fixing the problem will increase the value of the home and bring in more potential buyers.

     

    Dangerous Steps

    Dangerous steps either need to be replaced, leveled, or reinforced. If you have stairs with open spaces on either side of them, then you should put in a rail to ensure the safety of anyone that may potentially use them. Dangerous steps are not only scary, but also a common reason that otherwise perfect homes are passed up.

     

    Unfinished Spaces

    Unfinished spaces are not only aesthetically hard to look at, but can also be dangerous. Leaving exposed electrical cords, unsafe water fixtures, and tools around can make a quick trip to the hospital every time your child enters the room. Not all unfinished spaces are a complete mess. Some of these spaces just need paint, trim, and a few odds and ends that need to be completed. If you are in this position, just finish the room and watch the value and foot traffic of your home skyrocket.

  • What You Need To Buy For Your First House

    What You Need To Buy For Your First House

    Congratulations on buying your very first Canadian house. This is a remarkably big step in your life and you should be more than happy to celebrate your wonderful accomplishment. The only problem? You really have nothing to put in your new Canadian house because this is your first house ever. This is really no problem at all with the list we have helped create for you.

    Remember, it is perfectly okay to start off with little to nothing for your new home except for clothing and a few items that you may have packed from a dorm room or from your parent’s home. Every new accomplishment takes a little bit of time, energy, and money to be perfect.

     

    First Thing First, Get A Bed

    If you truly have nothing other than a few items that you have gathered here or there, then your first investment should be a bed. You can choose to go all out and get a brand new bed and frame that are top of the line and make your investment now, or you can buy something used or lesser in quality until you can save up for the pieces that you would really like later on. You may choose to look into bedroom sets that include night stands and dressers if you would like to benefit from the discounts that often come with buying bundles, but it really is not necessary.

     

    Kitchen Table And Chairs

    Once you have secured a place to sleep, you should work on a place to eat and to serve meals. You may use camping or patio furniture at first if you are in a bind and need a quick fix, but if you can afford to buy a table and a few chairs for the kitchen or dining room, you will be far more comfortable.

     

    Quality Pots And Pans

    You need something to cook with. You may have a light set of dishes that your parents have allowed you to keep or a few random staple pieces from your college years, but you will eventually have to buy a handful of quality pots and pans to fill out your collection. You will be thankful later when you are eating well.

     

     “Other” Furniture

    The “other” furniture listed here includes anything that you do not necessarily need to live, but would make sense to have in a house. These items include couches, recliners, nightstands, dressers, coffee tables, desks, and hallway tables. Many houses have these items, but you only need them if you would like to have them.

     

    Build Your Theme: Statement Pieces

    Once you have ensured that you have all of the furniture that you need and have a quality arsenal of pots and pans, then you can move on to creating or solidifying a theme. You can use solid colors, a nautical theme, or just make your home cosy with a potted plant by the front door. What you choose to add to your home as your statement pieces are completely up to you.

     

    Take Home Advice

    Congratulations on taking this incredible step in your life. With the advice listed above, you are sure to have exactly what you need to show off the personal style you have waiting inside of you. Do not worry if you cannot afford to buy all of these things brand new or if you have to acquire just a few pieces at a time while you get adjusted to your new living arrangements. Once you have finished filling out your home, then you can sit back and enjoy the amazing accomplishments that you have been able to create for yourself.

  • What You Can Do If Your Home Isn’t Selling

    What You Can Do If Your Home Isn’t Selling

    Have you been trying to sell your beautiful, nearly perfect Canadian home for what seems to be quite a long time? If so, you are likely wondering why it is taking so long to sell and if there is anything you can do to speed the process up a bit.

    If this is you, here are a few things you can do to help the process if your Canadian home just isn’t selling as it is.

     

    Invest In A Good Set Of Paints

    It may sound silly, but any potential buyer that has ever seen photos of your home in catalogs, in person, or online can tell if you have use poor quality paints in your home. They can also tell if it has been a while since the last time you painted each room. These rooms just simply appear dirty, dull, or dingy even if you have taken the time and effort to hand wash each wall with care. If you can’t afford to repaint every room in your house with high quality paint, then make sure to focus on bathrooms and kitchens. When painting bathrooms and kitchens it is important to invest in a high quality primer paint with a light shade of a bright color. These bright colors will make the space look larger, cleaner, and more welcoming.

     

    Try Having Your Home Professionally Staged

    If you have tried for a while to sell your home in exactly the way that it is naturally, try investing the time and money into having your home professionally staged. These professionally know how to make potential buyers fall in love with the spaces in your home. They can make small spaces look cozy, larger, and useful. These qualities are what potential buyers are looking for because they ultimately want to see how they can best use the rooms in your home for their own purposes and enjoyment.

     

    Touch Up The Doors And Entryways

    The front door to your home will be one of the first things that any potential buyer will be looking at. It can actually deter buyers from wanting to see anymore of the home if it doesn’t look good from the road. Take the time to put a fresh layer of paint or stain on the door to cover any aging spots, dings, and scratches. If you are feeling festive, try decorating with a small wreath or door decoration that compliments whatever season you are selling your home in. Remember, the entryways inside of the house are easily touched up with stain as well and can transform the appeal of the home instantaneously to a handful of potential buyers.

     

    Fix All Of The Little Things

    You may not think that the tiny crack in the baseboard is a big deal to you, but it could make a difference to your potential buyer. Whenever a potential buyer sees a repair that they must do, then they start to notice each and every small detail from the dent in the door to the one spot behind the chair in the living room that is worn down from where your dog laid for years. You can start this process by checking all of the components of your home that you haven’t looked at in quite a while. Make sure all of the electrical covers are in good condition, that the windows seal well, and that you have covered any worn spots in the carpet.

  • Property Management Tips for New Landlords

    Proper management of your rental property is crucial to your success as a new landlord. One of the most vital aspects of this task is to foresee problems and prevent them before they occur. You also need to know your duties towards your tenants and how to relate to them to avoid any mishaps.

    Here are expert tips to help you manage your rental property.

     

    Screen Your Tenants

    Before renting out to tenants, check their background, credit history, and references. Slapdash tenant selection and screening methods only lead to future problems such as tenants who pay late or never pay at all, who keep company with undesirable people, or who trash your property. So, use written rental applications to help you vet your tenants before they move in.

     

    Write a Tenant/Landlord Agreement

    One of the most crucial steps is to enter into a written rental contract with your tenants. A typical residential agreement specifies vital rental terms that will dictate the landlord/tenant relationship. Among the most important provisions are the:

    • Name of the tenant

    • Length of tenancy

    • Security deposit amount

    • Party liable for particular repairs

    • Amount of rent

    • Allowance for pets

    Your lease agreement must specify when the rent is due, the acceptable forms of payment, if a grace period is granted, and whether returned checks and late fees apply.

     

    Make Prompt Repairs

    Always address the repair and maintenance needs and do the repairs when requested. If you don’t keep your property in top condition, you risk alienating your tenants, and they may have the right to withhold rent, do the repairs and subtract the cost from the rent. They may also sue you for any injuries incurred due to the faulty conditions, or move out of the premises without giving any prior notice.

     

    Moderate the Rent

    Moderating your rent will save you the stress of going for days or months without a tenant. Since the rents differ depending on the location, ask around and do some research to find out if you are charging competitive rents. Also, ascertain whether the rent is sufficient to cover your costs. Ensure you know the return rate you are getting out of your rental property.

     

    Provide Security

    Avoid letting your property and tenants be easy targets for criminals. Audit the security of your property and take the necessary steps to protect it. Often, the best security options such as trimmed landscaping, ample lighting, alarm systems, deadbolts, etc. are affordable. As a property owner, you must be aware of any criminal activities in and around your property. Many states require the landlord to protect the tenants from each other and also from criminals who enter the residential property.

     

    Get a Landlord’s Insurance

    Ensure you get a quote from an insurer who focuses on insuring investment properties. Your building insurance won’t cover you in case your tenant defaults to pay the rent or damages your property with a cost that exceeds the bond. Although it is not a legal requirement for you to obtain a landlord’s insurance policy, experts recommend doing so as soon as possible. Illness, the loss of a job, a broken marriage, or the death of a loved one can make a model tenant to become a defaulting tenant. Thus, it is always a good idea to be prepared.

     

    Give a Notice before Entering

    You need to know that your tenants have a right to privacy. So, whenever you plan on entering the rental premise, notify your tenants as soon as possible, at least 24 hours, or as required by the law.

    Managing a rental property is not as easy as most people think. However, you can make your journey of being a landlord to be as smooth as possible by following the above advice.

  • Tips on Decorating the Exterior of the Home

    Whether you are planning on flipping your property or taking a look at some of the more diverse decorative elements that exist outside your home, sometimes you may just want to spruce the place up. While tidying up and decorating the interior may seem obvious, it is important for homeowners to get their exterior as well. Any home may benefit from a little bit of rearranging for better curb appeal, and the sky is the limit when it comes to decorative potential, particularly if you have a larger area to work with. Follow some of these simple tips to help you get started on the road to a more decorative home.

     

    Focus on the Greenery

    One of the most important things that drivers can do to enjoy a more attractive front yard area is focus on developing the greenery of their yard. While a manicured lawn is always in style and capable of conveying a feeling of nostalgic comfort, it can be even more attractive for individuals to look into decorating their greenery with extravagant flowers and growths. The process itself can be as easy as taking a look at the area and choosing the right colors to lead the viewer's eyes from one fixture to the next, almost as if taking them on a journey through the yard.

     

    Use Plenty of Fixtures

    Another excellent way to decorate the exterior of your home is to invest in a few decorative fixtures that can help define the area. These can include anything from pathways to larger stone decorations that can draw attention to the natural beauty of your property. Use these in conjunction with plants and greenery to make an even more pronounced effect visible in the area. Explore table and patio options as well, especially if you want to have guests over in a more social area of the property.

     

    Adjust the Driveway

    Sometimes taking a look at the driveway can provide the home with a refreshing change of scenery that can help make the entire property look more attractive. Fixing up the driveway is one of the surest ways for individuals to improve their curb appeal, as the driveway is often one of the first things that visitors notice about the home. Decorate this area with plenty of attractive fixtures for a more personalized effect, and invest in a few practical options to provide you with functionality if you are often busy in your garage.

     

    Plan for the Front Door

    Take a look at your home's front door and see what is missing. Though cleanliness and crisp lines are strongly encouraged to define the area, individuals should also be sure to invest in the appropriate decorations and fixtures in order to add a more personalized touch to the door. This can be done easily with hanging baskets and ornaments to draw attention away from the lines, or at least break them up a little upon first glance. One of the most popular ways to plan for the front door is to decorate seasonally.

     

    Check out Waterworks

    If you have the budget available, one of the best ways to set your lawn apart from your neighbors is to invest in a fountain fixture for the home. These can be chosen in a broad variety of different styles, many of which may appear as the perfect fit for your front lawn area with a little bit of planning. Choose what you think will work and do not hesitate to experiment with textures and styles to create the exact outward appearance that you want on your property.

  • What Are the Indicators That You Need to Sell Your House?

    Living in your own home is satisfying because you don’t have to deal with the stress of nagging landlords or having to worry about the mortgage. You have the freedom of transforming or refurbishing your house to give it a new look whenever you want without having to consult anyone. While having your own living place can be fulfilling, you might feel the urge to explore another place. The need to move to a new place means that you have to first sell your old home. Other unavoidable circumstances such as job transfers may also call for someone to sell their home and relocate. In order to get the best out of your home sale, you need to involve experts or even do your own research. If you still have doubts whether you should sell your home, here are some indicators that will tell you that you need to move:

     

    The Size of Your House Is Not Satisfactory

    If you find your house too big or too small for your family, then it might be wise to sell it so that you can get the most appropriate size. Your children might have grown up and found their own living places, rendering your extra rooms unoccupied. Living in a big house with most of the rooms that you don’t use implies that you are not utilizing your resources. You can sell the home, acquire a smaller house and use the extra money for other things. If your current home appears too small for your family, then you can sell it and add some extra cash to acquire the right one. If you are considering employing a realtor to do the sale, make sure you get the best in Canada who will help you sell your old home and assist you in getting a new one.

     

    Uncomfortable Location

    One of the main determinants of a residence is the location. You need to stay in a place that is peaceful, environmentally friendly for you and your family, accessible and convenient. Another concern that may make you sell your home is change of jobs. If you’ve found a better permanent job in a far place from your home, then you might be forced to relocate. There is no need of staying away from your family when you can move them to a new place. Retirement and security concerns may also force you to sell your home.

     

    Getting Some Time Away to Heal from a Tragic Event

    Life may be cruel at times, and things like divorce or loss of a loved one force people to move. This can be a good way to start over and leave behind bad memories.

     

    What Are the Things to Look for Before Buying Your New Home?

    Buying a home after years of living in a given location can be tricky. There are many dynamics in home prices that you may not be aware. To help you with the home buying process, here is a checklist of the things you should consider:

    Foundation- Check for cracks or the existence of any flaws in the foundation of the house you want to buy. The foundation of a house is very crucial because it determines whether the home can stand the test of time. You can have an expert hep you with the inspection.

    Roofing: Check the type of roof used to know whether it still got some years left in it. The most likely roof options that you will find in Canadian homes include gravel, wood, steel and asphalt. If you will need to replace the current roof, then you need to include that when negotiating the house price.

    Plumbing and wiring system- Ensure that the plumbing and wiring systems are in good shape before you buy a house.

    Windows and doors- Check the type of materials used for the doors to ensure they are strong.

  • How To Break The News To Your Child: Selling Your Home

    Do you have children? Are you worried that they may be too young or too attached to their home? This is a common concern that many parents have, but feel powerless in addressing. You child may not know any other place to be called “home”. It could be hard for them to understand why they have to leave the safe space they have established. Below we have a few recommendations to help make this transition just a little bit easier.

     

    Talk To Your Child Like You Would An Adult

    This may seem counterintuitive at first, but you will be thankful that you did. If you have a young child, you may be wondering if they will really understand what you are saying to them. Maybe they will, and it is possible that they may not, but what they will remember about the interaction is that you didn’t treat them like they were silly, uneducated, or incapable of understanding. This bond that you establish with them by talking to them by an adult will be one of the strongest bonds you make with your child. Let them know that they can trust you during this process. That they can talk to you about anything and everything like an adult.

     

    Ask Them How They Are Feeling?

    Your child will need a bit of time to process the information that they are feeling. They will probably feel angry, upset, frustrated, or scared at first because this is brand new information to them. Let them talk about those feelings so that they can address them head on instead of suppressing them for years to come. Let your child know that every little feeling and emotion that they are experiencing is normal and that they can always come to you to talk about it. You and your child will both be thankful for this open line of communication throughout the buying and selling process.

     

    Let Your Child Be Upset

    If your child does storm off and want to be alone during this process, let them know that is okay too. They may have to go away from you to think about what this really means to them. Their entire world is about to change and they have little to no say about it. That has to be a very scary thing to face head on. Perhaps after spending some quality time alone they will be able to come to terms with the fact that they can indeed deal with it in their own way. They will respect the fact that you have let them make their own decision to walk away.

     

    Never Force Your Child To Do Anything

    Never forcing your child to do anything does not mean that you shouldn’t make them brush their teeth or get dressed for school the next day. What we mean is to never force your child to stay in the room with you if they need to be alone. Never force your child to feel an emotion that they do not feel. Never force your child to accept the fact that they are moving. Your child has to deal with these things in a way that makes sense to them. You would want the same level of respect if it came to you. Your child will have to move eventually, but by then you should have let them come to terms with the loss that they are feeling. If you have established a quality relationship with your child, they will trust you and move without physical force.

  • What You Should Do Before Selling Your House

    Let’s face it, selling a house can be sad. It can put you in a poor mood, and even make you a little angry under the right circumstances. Just know that you are not alone and that everything that you are experiencing is normal. The process of letting your home go is a very hard one, especially if you have been living in the home for a considerable chunk of your lifetime. So in order to make the transition just a little bit easier on you, we have put together a bucket list of items that you could enjoy doing in your last few days in the house.

     

    Plant A Tree Or Plant

    If you have a backyard in which you can plant a tree or perennial plant, then do it. This will be your permanent mark on the house and will serve as a constant reminder that part of you will always be there. You can take that time to honor lost family members or to honor memories that you cherish. You can be sneaky about planting your tree on the back corner of the property, or open with your plan and plant the flower in the front. You may even find joy in telling your new homeowners what you have done. Tell them that you’ll always be looking out for them. What better way is there than that to build a lifelong friendship? Plus, if you have made friends with the new owners, you may get to see the house again in your lifetime.

     

    Call Over Friends And Family

    Have a party or small get together with friends and family that you love. Your friends and family helped to make the house what it is, and your friends and family will help you to make some of the last memories in the house. Have a party complete with dishes that everyone brings, play cards, let the children play outside with the dog. If you aren’t celebrating the house that you have come to love and make your favorite memories in, then you are mourning. Don’t mourn what has made you happy in life. What point is there in being sad about something that isn’t really in your control?

     

    Make A Movie Night

    If you are a strong family that enjoys doing quite a bit of fun together, then invest in something like a movie night. Watch your favorite movies, pop popcorn, cook your favorite dinner, and just enjoy being a family in the house. You have all of the hard work done and it is time for you to just enjoy what little time you have left. This is an opportunity that you just do not want to lose out on if the house you are selling has meant a lot to you.

     

    Play A Game

    Create a game in honor of your house. This is much more fun if you have children that can help you. Think of something like a mystery game or a Treasure hunt that you can adapt to fit the needs of your house and spend some time getting to play this game in the house. If you choose to go with an adaptation of a treasure hunt, write a card that says something like “go to the place where Spot used to sleep at night” or “your next clue will be found in the place where Sarah lost her last tooth”. Bring back the memories and live them through again by playing this game.

  • How to Find the Right Home

    There are many steps to take to find the right home to buy when you want to relocate. From hiring a real estate agent to determining the size of property that fits your needs, there are several factors to take into consideration. When you want to find a home that is the right fit, there are a few important tips to follow.

     

    Consider Your Future Needs

    Although you may live comfortably in a two-bedroom house, you may want to expand your family in the near future. You may also plan to have a senior parent live in your home or want a guest room for visitors. Consider purchasing a home that is large enough to accommodate more people that may live or visit the residence to ensure that you don't feel cramped in the space. The size of the lot is also important to consider if you want to have more privacy or a large yard for your pets to roam. You may also plan to telecommute in future years, making it important to find a place that comes with an office.

     

    Make a List of Your Wants and Needs

    It can be easier to narrow down your search for a home by making a list of your wants and needs. There are some features that may be considered deal-breakers and are absolute necessities. You may need to live in a three-bedroom home to ensure that each family member has their own room. Other necessities may include a large kitchen, a pool in the backyard, or an open floor plan. Luxuries that you want in the home can be additional perks that make the home more desirable but aren't necessarily crucial. Write down a list of your to make it easier for a real estate agent to find a property that is more appealing for your lifestyle.

     

    Look at Different Styles of Homes

    Look through magazines or online publications to find residential homes that appeal to your taste. You may want to live in a Victorian home that has added character and charm. Others may prefer to live in a cozy Tudor house that features groupings of windows. Knowing the style of house that you want to live in will allow you to feel more satisfied with the purchase and find the right fit for your personality.

     

    Calculate Your Budget

    To secure a loan and avoid buying more home than you can afford, calculate your budget before shopping around. Experts recommend determining your household income and multiplying it by two or three. It's also important to calculate the amount of debt that you owe with credit cards, auto loans, and student loans that you've accumulated over the years. Lenders will need to factor in your debt-income ratio to determine how much money you're qualified to borrow. Saving more money for your down payment can also give you more wiggle room with your budget and will reduce your monthly payment.

    Calculating your budget will also require that you factor in extra expenses that come with owning a home. You may need to pay HOA fees, homeowner's insurance, and taxes each month. Additional costs include repairs, utilities, and landscaping fees.

     

    Consider the Local Area

    The area that you purchase the home should be taken into consideration because it will influence your quality of life. Determine the proximity of nearby establishments and how far you'll have to commute to work each day. It's also important to evaluate the condition of the neighborhood and if the other homes on the block are maintained well.

  • Can a Bathroom or Kitchen Renovation add Rescale Value to Your Home?

    Is there a fast way to add a zero to the asking price of your home? Is there anything you do in a hurry that really will strengthen your position? If you have been searching for a quick and efficient way to add some resale value to your home, you might want to consider undertaking a timely renovation project. Some of the areas that are most often cited as being worthy of - and due for - a renovation include your bathroom and kitchen. These are high traffic areas that see a great deal of wear and tear over the years. For this reason, they are likely to decrease the value of your home if not carefully maintained.

     

    Is It A Good Idea To Undertake A Renovation Project In Your Kitchen?

    You may well be wondering if undertaking a renovation project in your kitchen is an idea that you can afford to entertain. In many areas, the price of kitchen supplies has seen an increase. You may be forced to adopt a few unorthodox solutions in order to bring your project safely in under budget. However, when it comes to giving your kitchen a much needed spruce up, there are plenty of "life hacks" that you can employ in order to accomplish your goal. The Internet has lately become famous for being an inexhaustible resource of excellent money saving "hacks" that you can employ for your project.

     

    Make Sure That You Aren't Spending More Than You Will Recoup From A Sale

    You can start by getting new faucets for your sinks. You might want to get new counter tops and even replace the old, beat up furniture in your kitchen. You may go so far as to replace the wallpaper or the tiling in the entire area. While these are all reasonable choices for a renovation project, your main concern will be with your bottom line. Make sure that you are paying out more in your initial investment for materials than you will ultimately recoup when you sell your home. This is one area in which you don't want to find that you have badly miscalculated because the results could be disastrous.

     

    A Timely Bathroom Renovation Project Is An Excellent Idea

    The other major area in your home that is often cited as an excellent candidate for renovation is your bathroom. This is an area where a great deal of excellent work can be accomplished for far less than you might at first imagine. Again, you'll want to check the web for a great many money saving "life hacks" that can help you. You can easily replace the fixtures in your sink, or even completely replace the sink and toilet. Finding reasonably priced tile or wallpaper shouldn't be a problem as long as you know where to look. You'll be surprised at what you can accomplish on a limited budget.

     

    Always Pay Attention To Your Bottom Line When Undertaking A New Project

    When starting a major project, such as a home renovation campaign, it's an excellent idea to call upon the services of a reputable and professional real estate agent. This is the best way to make sure that your efforts will be rewarded with a suitable upgrade in your home's resale value. Always keep your eye on the bottom line. Everything you do on behalf of your property is designed to make it more appealing in the eyes of a potential buyer. A professional real estate agent can help you make the right choices to guarantee your success.