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Deciding if Home Refinancing is Right for You
Wednesday, 30 August 2017, 09:20:00 AM
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Buying a home in the first place is a major decision for any family. A given home can cost six-figures on average. Once the financing is in place, you're presumably happy with this payment for many years. However, changes in the marketplace make it tempting to refinance the loan after a decade or more. Refinancing isn't right for every property, but it's an option that should be explored before you make any permanent changes. Get to know the situations where refinancing is either good or bad so that you can make an educated decision.

 

Nearing the Mortgage's Final Payment Date

Your current mortgage is nearly paid off with only a few more months to go. In this situation, refinancing is the worst choice to make. You'll add extra costs to theright home for you loan while lengthening out its terms. The amortization process also starts the loan off again with paying mostly interest. Your ideal decision in this case is to finish paying off the original mortgage. Owning the property free and clear is an achievement that shouldn't be postponed. You can tap into the home's equity with a line of credit if extra funds are necessary now or later.

 

Exploring Lower Interest Rates

Homeowners with a fixed interest rate may have locked in their value at a higher point in the past. Current rates are now one or two points lower than your mortgage. Refinancing to drop the interest rate downward is a common reason to seek out this service. It's possible to change the monthly payment by several hundred dollars. For this reason alone, it's valuable to explore a refinance. Be honest about your credit so that you can receive the lowest rate possible.

 

Investing Back Into the Property

Refinancing is almost always a right choice when you're investing back into the home. You might pull several thousand dollars out of the home's equity in order to add an addition, remodel the kitchen or paint the exterior. Improvements to the property will only add value to it if you ever decide to sell. Your bank will often approve of certain withdrawals that might be declined otherwise. Investing in the home benefits you and the lender so make your intentions known during the application process.

 

Understanding Closing-Cost Calculations

Be aware that closing costs can negate the value of refinancing the home in the first place. These costs cover the paperwork fees and appraisal processes that must occur before loans can be transferred and repackaged. You might pay down the interest rate through points too, which can lead to thousands of dollars of extra costs. Carefully examine the costs associated with your home loan. If you have too many charges to make the refinance a bargain, you may want to keep your original loan.

 

Paying off Other Debt

You might have a lot of equity in your home, and credit-card bills are growing larger by the day. Consolidating debt is another way to approach home refinancing. Ideally, using your home to pay off unsecured debt isn't a financially sound idea. If you have a small balance, paying the card off may not be too detrimental to your financial livelihood. In most cases, you want to maintain as much equity in the home so that your loan amount isn't too inflated.

Refinancing any loan is serious business. Ask for several quotes from various lenders who have good reputations in the marketplace. Their quotes should be relatively similar as they offer their best plan. Select a lender that offers you a fair deal in the end. You'll be working with them for many years to come.


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If You Didn’t Ask Your Sales Representative These Questions, Then You May Be In Trouble
Sunday, 30 July 2017, 11:20:00 AM
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Buying and selling houses in Canada can be a rough and tough business to get into. Sometimes your sales representatives may be moving too quickly for you to understand. Maybe they skip over information that they assume that you already know to avoid boring you or bogging you down with the small details. Maybe they really are trying to do as little as possible in order to get the job done. You may know which of the scenarios you fall under if you have failed to ask your sales representative the following questions. Don’t get yourself into trouble that you could have avoided.ask your rep

 

What Are Your Strengths?

Everybody on Earth has their strengths and their weaknesses. That is why we have different personalities, enjoy different hobbies and items, and work at completely different jobs from one another. Your sales representative will also have strengths that will help them to buy or sell your house. This is your opportunity to ask them what they have to offer and why you should hire them to represent you during your unique process.

 

What Experience Do You Have?

Sales representatives can range from having just a small amount of experience to having decades of experience buying and selling homes for people just like you. This may bother you, but it may not bother you either. This really depends on you, your unique situation, and what you are really looking for in a sales representative. In any case, you should know what sort of experience they have and for how long they have been buying and selling houses professionally.

 

Are Your Fees Negotiable?

Any great sales representative will understand that not every sale works itself out perfectly as outlined in a textbook. There are sellers that decide that they really do not want to sell their home, buyers that find last minute offers for other homes that they’d rather live in, and professionals that drop communication at various times throughout the process. For these reasons and more your sales representative should make their fees negotiable in certain situations. If they are not willing to work with you, then you may want to look for an agent that will.

 

Are You Willing To Communicate With Me Often?

Going along with the point made above, you are going to want to make sure that your sales representative is open and willing to communicate with you as often as you feel comfortable with. This shouldn’t matter whether or not you call in on a regular basis for updates or whether you specifically ask them to notify you only when there is a significant update to share with you.

 

Will You Walk Me Through The Process Step By Step?

This is your opportunity to build a relationship with your sales representative. You get the information that you need and your sales representative will get the opportunity to impress you with their skills and knowledge.

 

What Should I Know That I May Not Already Know?

This is your sales representative’s opportunity to give you any information that they feel you need to have before signing contracts and starting a process that could change your life. If they say that there is absolutely nothing that they have that they can share with you, then you must decide whether or not they are being truthful or if they are trying to hide something from you.


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5 Types Of Clients That Sales Representatives See Everyday
Posted on Mon, 15 May 2017, 11:50:00 AM  in Home buying tips,  Home selling tips
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5 Types Of Clients That Sales Representatives See Everyday

Sales representatives work with hundreds of different clients looking to buy and sell homes throughout their career. While there are certainly unique clients that pose questions and circumstances that sales representatives would say they have never seen before, these professionals can lovingly sort the majority of their clients into 5 separate categories.

It is important to know that different sales representatives classify clients informally based on their own unique set of standards and expectations. This is in no way meant to offend individuals or groups.

 

Those That Know Exactly What They Are Looking For

5 Types Of Clients That Sales Representatives See EverydayIt is not uncommon for a potential buyer to meet with a sales representative knowing exactly what they would like a home to have. These lists could outline a few details that would make or break a sale, but more than likely these lists are very long and non-negotiable. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to fill every request that a client may have. This is especially true if the budget is too low to include the homes that have many or all of these requirements.

 

Those That Ask Questions At Every Opportunity

Sales representatives see quite a few new buyers and sellers that are very interested in the process and ask as many questions as they can think of. Professionals generally welcome these questions and answer them to the best of their advantage, but the process significantly slows down for the clients that ask the same question over and over again. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be educated, but clients are advised to be aware that excessive questions could lengthen the buying or selling process.

 

Those That Are Not Proactive During The Buying Or Selling Process

A sales representative is a professional that helps clients to buy and sell homes as they need or want to do so. It is exceptionally frustrating when a client visits a sales representative with the expectation that the representative will take care of everything without any input, direction, or interaction of any sort from the client. In order for a sales representative to do their job efficiently a client must be able to communicate with them often, give input, and sign paperwork periodically. While it may not be the most exciting or joyous time in a person’s life, sales representatives really need all clients to be somewhat proactive in their own buying or selling process.

 

Those That Fall In Love On The Spot

Sales representatives meet quite a few clients looking to buy a house that do not really know exactly what they are looking for or what is available to them in their price range. When presented with a variety of options on paper, in magazines, or online these clients may love everything or may wish to wait to see the home in person. Once the client arrives at their next potential home, they simply fall in love with the home that they are looking at. The problem arises when a buyer falls in love with every home that they visit.

 

Those That Cannot Be Pleased With Any Outcome

There are individuals in Canada that are buying or selling a house because they have no other choice. These individuals would most likely rather just stay where they are. While circumstances vary greatly, these clients never seem pleased. Clients may be offered more money than they were asking for the home, may buy a home for significantly less than it had been listed for, or may have been relieved of fees for one reason or another and still cannot find joy in the situation. It is hard for a sales representative to see clients unhappy which makes this a hard group to represent.

 


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Choosing A Sales Representative To Meet Your Needs
Posted on Sat, 15 Apr 2017, 01:15:00 PM  in My services
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Are you thinking of buying or selling a house in Canada. It can be a tricky process to go through if you have to do it all on your own. That is why most professionals will recommend that you hire a Sales representative to meet your needs. There are plenty of them around, so do not feel bad about passing a few up if they just don’t feel right to you.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a sales representative to meet your needs:

 Choosing A Sales Representative To Meet Your Needs

You Have To Trust Them

If you are hiring a sales representative to buy or sell a house for you in today’s market, then it is imperative that you trust them completely. You are literally handing your rights to this person and asking them to make deals that will have a significant impact on you, your family, and anyone else that is involved. If you feel like they are not telling you the truth then you need to move on to an representative that you feel will be completely honest with you. If you feel like your representative just isn’t doing all that they can to help you, then you and your loved ones deserve to move on until you can find a representative that will do just that. You never have to settle for a representative that doesn’t meet your needs and that cannot be trusted. There are plenty out there that will listen to you and earn your trust in all of the ways that you need them to.

 

Don’t Be Afraid To Investigate

You have every right to ask your sales representative about their qualifications, certifications, licenses, and experiences. These professionals should be happy to tell you all about the wonderful things that they have accomplished for families just like yours. Do not be afraid to ask for proof as these representatives should be treating the first meeting or two like an interview. They should have resumes, profiles, and experiences all mapped out for you to view while you are getting to know them. You may also do a bit of research online to find out if they have a valid license that is currently in good standing. You have every right to find out who you will be handing your information to.

 

If You Are Selling, Ask For Their Opinions

If you are selling a house, then you will likely need their opinion on how to do certain things within the house. You are going to want to ask them such things as how much your house is worth, and what you can do to ensure that your house sells quickly. You are going to want to ask them what factors of your house diminish or take away from the price you would like to get for your home. You may even ask what about your house is unique and how to play up the features of your house that you would like to showcase.

 

Ask About Paperwork Upfront

You never want to find yourself in a situation where your sales representative is constantly giving you paperwork to sign that you had no idea existed. A crucial part to getting to know your representative is asking them about paperwork upfront. If these agents are willing to work with you, then they will not be afraid to let you know about all of the signatures that you’re going to have to provide during this process.


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Tips for Flipping a House
Posted on Tue, 28 Feb 2017, 10:10:00 AM  in Home selling tips
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House flipping can be one of the best ways for you to make an advantageous purchase and sell it for a large profit in the future. Like many other investments, however, it is important for individuals to plan ahead accordingly and work with local market conditions to get the most out of their next big sale. If you are interested in pursuing a career in house flipping, it is strongly recommended for you to follow some of these tips and see what a difference they can make in your career. The tips can be particularly helpful for those just entering the industry.

 Tips for Flipping a House

Always Stick to a Budget

One of the most important things that all home flippers should remember is the meaning of ARV. The term stands for After Repair Value, and it is identified as the amount of money that the property is going to sell for after it has been repaired and dressed up. One of the most important rules of thumb to remember is to never be in the process of repairing the property for more than 70 percent of the home's ARV. Calculations needs to be made carefully and accurately to make sure that you can maximize your profits without having to worry about potential pricing issues in the future.

 

Know the Local Market

Another important thing to remember is that each housing market is different. What one home may go for in one state or region may drastically change in another. Knowing what to expect can allow you to prepare accordingly and invest in the appropriate tools to get the job done. If there is a niche for the property, it is a good idea to learn more about it and determine how you can benefit in the future. Always try to stay one step ahead of the curve in terms of market prices and trends, and try to know what factors can make a deal better.

 

Know the Buyers

In addition to learning as much as you can about the market, it is crucial for you to learn as much as you can about the buyers as well. Once the numbers have been figured out, it becomes a matching game for potential shoppers. Not all home buyers are the same, but knowing what to expect along different price ranges can be just what you need to prepare yourself for open houses and staging days. Learn as much as you can about the audience and try to think about the local neighborhood in terms of amenity advantages.

 

Show Your Work Off

Be proud of the work that you put into the property. You had to work through all types of issues to make that unique property stand out on its own. When it is time to set up a showing day or prepare the staging for the sale itself, it is important for you to make it look like you take pride in the work that you do. Not only is this a necessary strategy to draw attention, but it can also be one of the best ways for you to build your personal credibility.

 

Do Not Get Greedy

Try your hardest to avoid overvaluing the home as well. Speak with your customers and try to get a feel for the market as best as you can before you make the final adjustments to the price. Though every market is different, there are always trends to watch out for that can help define the work that you do. When in doubt, consult with other agents and see what they may think about the property's final value.


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A New Home Versus an Older Home: Drawbacks and Benefits
Posted on Wed, 15 Feb 2017, 10:05:00 AM  in Home buying tips
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If you were to ask most potential homeowners, they'd love to buy a brand-new home versus one that was built a few decades ago. Sometimes, it comes down to personal preferences, but there are some definite benefits and drawbacks to purchasing a newly built home.

 A New Home Versus an Older Home: Drawbacks and Benefits

 Benefits to Purchasing New or Having a Home Built

  1. Customization

If you've ever lived in an older home, you know that there are many tweaks that should have been made while it was being constructed. You can make those changes to accommodate your lifestyle. That includes the huge master suite, massive family room and office space you want.

 

  1. Design Elements

Along with the size of the rooms, you can choose design elements to fit your family like an eat-in kitchen or a walk-in closet. You can choose everything down to the paint colour in your newly built home.

 

  1. New Home New Everything

With a new home, you're getting all the newest wiring and technology. That includes alarm systems, cable and media sound. If you're a fan of technology, this is essential in a new home.

 

  1. Less Maintenance

New homes mean that along with the wiring, all the appliances and HVAC equipment is brand-new. You won't have to worry about costly repairs or maintenance for a while. In the case of the heating and air, you'll want to do some seasonal maintenance, but nothing expensive.

 

  1. New House Smell

Everything in the new home should be absolutely perfect and customized to exactly what you want in the home. That means a beautiful new house smell so to speak. There'll be no flaws or disappointing elements for you to have to deal with in your new home.

 

 Drawbacks to the Newly Built Home

  1. The Cost

New homes can cost thousands and thousands more than an older home. You're paying for the new home's perfection. When you're discussing the things you want with a builder, you'll want to be careful about the costs or they could skyrocket quite easily.

 

  1. Additional Amenities

When you're shopping for a new home, the model you've seen can actually cost a lot more than you expect. Upgrades and additional amenities can really start to accumulate. It can end up costing even more.

 

  1. Missing the Quaintness

When you buy a new home, you're not getting any of the quaint charm you'd find in an older home. That's also true of the neighbourhood. The neighbourhood, trees and landscaping will be new too.

 

  1. Travel Time

New neighbourhoods are often away from the main parts of the city. You'll end up away from your usual markets and shopping destinations as well as the children's schools and other activities.

 

  1. Construction Zone

If you're one of the first homeowners in a new neighbourhood, you'll likely be living in a construction zone for a few years while the rest of the homes are built. Along with the noise, there'll be plenty of dust and dirt flying around too.

When you factor in the benefits and the drawbacks, you'll likely have your decision about whether a new home makes sense for you and your family. If technology and new construction and amenities are important, you'll want to go with a newly built home instead of an older one. When your idea of a home is large trees along shaded walks with quaint details, you'll likely want an older house.


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What You Should Know About Restrictive Covenants
Posted on Tue, 31 Jan 2017, 10:05:00 AM  in Home buying tips
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If you are considering buying a home in a planned subdivision, there is a good chance that you will become part of a homeowners’ association, commonly referred to as an HOA. One of the jobs of an HOA is to protect the property values within the community. One way an HOA does this is by requiring member homeowners to pay monthly, semi-annual, or yearly fees. These funds are used to maintain the common areas of the community. Another way is through a set of rules known as restrictive covenants that govern what homeowners in the community can and cannot do with their property.

 What You Should Know About Restrictive Covenants

Examples of Restrictive Covenants:

Restrictive covenants can vary widely between communities. These covenants can cover numerous issues, including

  • the colors that you can use to paint your home,
  • the type of landscaping that you can plant,
  • the size or breed of dog that you can own,
  • the type of window coverings allowed,
  • the number and type of vehicles that you can park on your property,
  • the height and type of fencing that you can install, and
  • whether you can install basketball hoops or other sporting equipment in your driveway.

A neighbourhood with an HOA that implements and enforces reasonable restrictive covenants will typically appear better maintained and see home values increase faster than a neighbourhood without an HOA.

 

Your Rights When Purchasing a Property in an HOA Community:

Once a seller accepts your offer, you are entitled to review the community’s covenants and by-laws. You should take advantage of this opportunity since you are expected to abide by the rules whether you have read them or not. If you find the terms unacceptable, you are normally entitled to back out of the contract without penalty within a certain number of days. Another option is to bring the issue to the attention of the HOA board to see if an exception can be made.

 

What Happens if You Violate an HOA Rule?

The consequences for violating a restrictive covenant vary from community to community. In most cases, you will be issued a warning advising you to remedy the situation. If you fail to do so, you may receive a fine.

 

The Benefits of an HOA:

While some homeowners are reluctant to be told what they can and cannot do with their property, an HOA does offer some significant benefits, including access to more recreational amenities and a better community aesthetic. You will also typically have fewer maintenance concerns in an HOA community since mowing, snow removal, and even trash service are often included in your dues.

 

Restrictive Covenants Can be Changed:

In most cases, restrictive covenants enacted by an HOA are reasonable and ensure that all residents of the community are able to enjoy their home and neighbourhood amenities to the fullest extent possible. Unfortunately, there are instances where HOA boards over-reach and tighten regulations to the point that they infringe on the rights of individual homeowners. In these instances, it is important to remember that restrictive covenants can be changed by a majority vote of the member homeowners.


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How to Know You’re Ready to Buy a Home in Canada
Posted on Thu, 15 Dec 2016, 10:55:00 AM  in Home buying tips
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So you are thinking of picking up and moving to a new home in Canada? We really could not be happier for you and all that you are going to experience. But are you still having a handful of reservations and are in need a little reassurance. That is what we are here for!

 

Examine the Reason You Have Thought of Moving to CanadaHow to Know You’re Ready to Buy a Home in Canada

You clearly have a reason to be buying a home in Canada if you have thought this far ahead and have found yourself here on our blog. You just have to remember what that reason is and whether or not you really want to be in Canada as opposed to the other locations on Earth that you could be moving to.

 

Are You Considering Buying Because You Feel Unsafe Elsewhere?

This is actually a very common reason that buyers come to Canada to buy their very own Canadian dream home. Many people flee their countries because of political stress or the lack of safety that they feel they have there. You would not be alone if you are moving to Canada to buy a home that would make you feel safe day in and day out. In that case, we are more than welcome to take you in and show you just how wonderful Canada is to live in. If you feel unsafe where you are, please continue to seek that perfect Canadian home.

 

Are You Financially Stable?

You may be wondering if you can afford to buy a home in Canada. Maybe you have recently married or had your first child. Maybe you are moving to follow your dreams or to get a job. Whatever the case may be you must explore whether or not you will be financially able to afford the move and the home you wish to move into. To do so you can talk to a financial advisor, or seek additional help online. There are plenty of sources willing to help you figure out whether or not you can afford a home, and if so, how much you can afford to spend on the home you would like to buy. Congratulations on making this a serious consideration of yours. If you are wondering, questioning your financial stability is an excellent first step toward buying a new home anywhere.

 

Do You Love Winter Weather?

You may be thinking, why ask about winter if you already know we are looking for a home in Canada? Doesn’t all of Canada experience a brutally harsh, long, and cold winter? Actually, no. There are many different areas in Canada. You will find that you can find a home in that brutally cold, harsh, wintery location you have pictured in your head, but you can also find a home along a beach with mild summers and sunny days. You will be able to find a range of temperatures and climates all over Canada to better meet your needs. If that was a concern, you should consider visiting the homes you are considering purchasing to make sure that they are in locations that you will be able to handle as a new homeowner. On these visits, make sure to take to the neighbors and the community members. These people have lived in Canada for varying amounts of time- some of them have lived in Canada their entire lives. They will be the most knowledgeable on the location and the winters you are wondering about. So no, you do not have to love winter to live in Canada, but you certainly could.


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Questions To Ask Your Real Estate Agent When Selling Your Home
Posted on Tue, 15 Nov 2016, 12:55:00 PM  in My services
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So you know you’re selling your home and you know you want it to sell. You want to give yourself the best chance to make a quick sale that is fair for everyone, and so you’ve decided that you want to hire a real estate agent. Great choice!Questions To Ask Your Real Estate Agent When Selling Your Home

Now that you are looking for a real estate agent to sell your beautiful Canadian home, you need to know what questions to ask them. You really want to know who you are working with. So below we have outlined a few questions that you should consider asking your new potential real estate agent.

 

How Many Clients Are You Currently Representing?

There are two things you need to consider for when asking this question. You need to consider whether or not you think this real estate agent is too busy or too free (meaning having very few customers). You also need to consider whether or not you feel your real estate is being upfront and honest with you when they answer this question. If your gut feeling says “move on”, it is probably worth listening to.

 

How Many Homes Have You Sold?

Again, there are two things to consider when asking this question. If they are young and have sold many homes you may want to ask what makes them successful. If they are older and have sold few homes you may wish to consider what reason they have for only having sold a few homes in their career.

 

Are Your Fees Negotiable?

This is a great question to ask because you will find out very quickly which agents are not worth working with. If your potential real estate agent says that they have fees that are non-negotiable, then walk away. If your agent isn’t willing to work with you, even a little bit, there are plenty out other that will. You deserve to have a real estate agent that you can talk to and work with.

 

How Much Money Do You Think My Home Is Worth?

It may seem tempting to stick with the one agent that says your home is worth thousands of dollars more than the other three agents. Don’t be tempted by this statement. This is almost always a bad sign unless you know for sure that they have a rock-solid method of selling your home, or unless you do not want to sell your home quickly. Stick with the real estate agent that has seen a lot of homes similar to yours selling for the price that they are suggesting. You want to make the most of your deal, but sitting on a house for months just because the asking price is too high? That is just plain silly.

 

Are You In Good Standing? Can I See Your Real Estate License?

There are websites that allow you to check to see if your real estate agent is legitimate and if their license is currently in good standing. They should have absolutely no problem providing this information to you for that very reason. If they do not show you their license or give you the information to look up you can assume that they are not in good standing or that they are fraudulent. There are many frauds out there that will assume you are unknowing and steal money from you. They will provide you with nothing, or come up with documentation that is completely inaccurate or fake. If you ask no other questions, please ask this one.


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Buying a Home? How to Find the Right Community
Posted on Tue, 30 Aug 2016, 11:25:00 AM  in Home buying tips,  Marketing strategies,  My services
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Are you thinking of buying a new home? If so, it is important to understand that the neighborhood that you choose can be just as important as the house that you buy. After all, you will likely be living in that neighborhood for many years to come. The last thing that you want is to buy in a neighborhood that is not a good fit for you or your family.

So, how can you find the right community? The key is to figure out what you're looking for, do research and find a neighborhood that meets your needs. Even if you have already found the perfect home, you should fully investigate the neighborhood before making an offer. Here are some things to think about when researching a neighborhood.

Do You Want to Live in the City or the Suburbs?

communityDeciding what type of setting that you prefer is one of the most important things to consider when buying a home. Do you love skyscrapers and cityscapes? Do you want to be able to walk to shops, restaurants and parks? If so, the city might be for you. One the other hand, if you are more at home living someplace quieter where you can take advantage of nature’s wonderful views then moving just outside of town might be ideal. Some folks prefer rural areas where there are no nearby neighbors.

What Type of Home Do You Want?

Would you prefer a single-family home or a condo? Typically, location is the deciding factor. If you want to be located in the middle of the city, you will likely find that condos are more plentiful. Typically, large single family homes are not as common in the city.

Is the Neighborhood Attractive?

Are residents maintaining their homes? Do the yards look like they are being kept up? If so, this is good news. An attractive neighborhood means that the residents care about it. A neighborhood that is attractive will help home prices in the area stay strong. On the other hand, lots of vacant homes or foreclosures in a neighborhood is a bad sign. They often become eyesores as they deteriorate from neglect. These properties can significantly diminish property values in a neighborhood. Be wary of any neighborhood that has a lot of these properties.

Do You Have Children?

If you have children, one of your priorities might be choosing a neighborhood in a good school system. Another factor for parents might be the number of nearby community centers, libraries, pools and parks.

What are Your Interests?

Do you like hiking, boating, and swimming? Many of today’s communities offer a number of amenities to support almost any interest or hobby. Do you want to be able to hike near your home? Maybe you are an avid tennis fan and want neighborhood courts. Whatever your interest, find out if your neighborhood has offers things that you are interested in.

Is the Neighborhood Safe?

Even a neighborhood that looks nice can have a crime problem. Often, a neighborhood’s crime statistics can be found online. Check out the local police department website to determine if they publish crime statistics information online. Do not forget to look up registered sex offenders in the area. You can get this information by searching the National Sex Offender Registry. This is especially important if you have young children. You do not want to purchase a home only to find out that a violent sex offender lives next door.


How May I Contact You?

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