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Things to Consider During a Home Inspection
Posted on Mon, 29 Feb 2016, 10:35:00 AM  in Marketing strategies,  My services
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Deciding how much to offer for a house can take some time. Not only do you need to look at comps for the area, but you also need to arrange for an inspection. The inspection will reveal any hidden damage or problems that you didn't see on your walk through, including rotten floorboards, damage to the roof or a plumbing system that needs updated. If you find that the home needs significant work, you might put in a lower offer or ask that the current owners make a few repairs before closing. As with other steps in the home buying process, there are always specific things you should consider.

Who Pays for the Inspection?
As a first time home buyer, you might wonder who pays for the inspection. The buyer is generally responsible for the inspection, but some sellers actually pay for an inspection to show that the house is in good condition. Paying for the inspection yourself has some big benefits though. It lets you pick your own inspector and work with someone you trust to give you a full list of any problems found on that property.

Does It Cover Mold?
When you hire an inspector, always ask if the full inspection covers any mold found in the home. Though some buyers freak out at the idea of mold because inspectythey assume it's a toxic form of black mold, most mold found in Canadian homes is relatively harmless. It often builds up because of a leak underneath the cabinets or because of a leaky pipe inside the walls. The inspector should tell you if he or she finds any signs of mold and the type of mold found. Some may also give you information regarding the cost of removing that mold.

Will the Inspector Look for Insect Damage?
Homes that have any type of wood components or building materials are susceptible to termites. With a more severe infestation, those termites can actually eat through the floorboards or cause significant damage to the foundation, which can make the house lean or tilt. If the house has a basement, the insects can do damage to the steps leading down to that area and to the walls. A professional inspection should look for signs of termite damage in all parts of the house and look for rodents and other types of insects too.

What Else Does it Cover?
If this is your first time paying for a home inspection, you may want to know what else it covers. The inspector should check the home for both carbon monoxide and radon leaks. A good inspection will also check all aspects of the electrical and plumbing systems. The plumbing system includes all sinks, toilets, tubs and showers in the home, visible pipes and any pipes inside the walls. It should also include a thorough inspection of the septic system as well.

What to Do with the Results
The inspection can come before or after you make an offer. If you arrange for an inspection after putting in an offer, you and the seller must agree that your offer is contingent on the house passing inspection. Arranging for an inspection early on lets you get an idea about its condition and the amount of work required of you later, which helps you decide how much you want to pay. Use the results of that inspection to determine if you can afford the repairs, if you want the owners to make some of those repairs or if you can reach an agreement regarding who pays for what in terms of repairs.


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Purchasing a New Home
Posted on Mon, 22 Feb 2016, 09:15:00 AM  in Home buying tips,  Marketing strategies,  My services
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If you are interested in purchasing a new home, it is always strongly recommended for you to plan ahead and shop according to your needs. Not all properties are meant for all shoppers, but with the right approach, it can be easy for anybody to make the most of their future purchase. If you are new to the home-purchasing process, keep some of the following tips in mind to make your next purchase even more advantageous. Though it may seem as though there is a lot to learn, the fact of the matter is that it can be easy to walk away with an excellent home at the right price simply by practicing your saving and searching skills.

If you need to speak with mortgage companies to get a loan for a new home, it is strongly recommended for you to keep your money even for the next three to six months prior to shopping around for the home. You want lenders to see that you have your finances in order, and one of the best ways to achieve this by simply showing them that you are a reliable investment. Keep your paper trail clean and avoid making any other major purchases until after the approval.newhome

Do not jump the gun until you know that you are good for your loan. Anybody can be pre-qualified for a loan, and if you receive your pre-qualification news, do not act until you get further clarification. What you are looking for is a pre-approval, which implies that the lender has already looked at all of your information, and they are interested in working with you. Plan ahead for additional fees and avoid getting caught unaware.

Read the fine print to your property rights carefully to learn about your property's exact parameters. This is essential when it comes to assessing your individual rights as a homeowner. Learn about where your property lines are to avoid disagreements with your neighbors, and plan ahead for the total area owned so that you know how to prepare for the tax season. A little bit of care goes a long way when you know your rights.

Many buyers are obsessed with trying to time their market investments. Though this is a good way to purchase a property at a lucrative price, the fact of the matter is that the market is often too volatile for an exactly planned purchase. The best time to purchase a new home is when you can afford to buy it and make all of the necessary payments.

Try not to get too hung up on the size and appearance of the home. Any standard property that does not show any signs of obvious damage can be ideal for your needs, and you do not need to shop for the biggest and most attractive house on the block. Larger homes only appear to a small and specific audience, and you do not want to limit your options when it comes to purchasing a home for the first time.

Always take a look at the neighborhood before you finalize any of your purchases. This is one of the best ways for you to plan ahead and make the most of your opportunities because you will know what to expect after the move. Think about your regular needs as a resident and make sure that the neighborhood can match them. Do you need to attend a local school? Are there plenty of public transportation sections around the area? What about shopping? Groceries? Avoid investing until you are absolutely certain that all of your needs are going to be met around the property.

 


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4 Pool Maintenance Tips
Posted on Wed, 10 Feb 2016, 10:05:00 AM  in My services
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Keeping a sparkling clean pool doesn’t need to be a cumbersome task. There are different types of pools, and they all have different maintenance needs. But, there is one thing that all pools have in common; they all need regular, routine care. If you choose to deal with common problems such as broken pipes or murky water by yourself, ensure you consult manufacturers’ manuals before using or fixing the equipment. However, even if you depend on a service company to care for your pool, there are things you need to do by yourself to ensure your pool remains in top condition for many years.


1. Skim debris and clean out the baskets
Every few days, skim the surface of the pool by hand. This is the easiest and fastest way to keep the pool clean. Floating debris often sinks eventually, and it becomes harder to remove. So, use a long-handled net known as a hand skimmer to remove bugs, leaves, and other unwanted stuff. Skimming will increase the efficiency of the circulatory system of the pool and reduce the amount of chlorine the pool requires. Also, clean out the strainer basket once a week. Doing so is beneficial, and it enhances the circulation and reduces the demand for chlorine. So, find the strainer basket located on the pool deck of an inground pool or atpool the side of the above ground pool. Dislodge the plastic and shake it. You can also spray the inside with a hose to dislodge stubborn objects.

2. Vacuum pool and brush tiles and walls
Vacuum your pool weekly to keep the water clear and decrease the amount of chemicals required to be added. There are many types of pool vacuums. If you are using a manual vacuum, work the surface of the pool back and forth like you would while cleaning a carpet. Ensure you check the filter as you vacuum, and clean it when necessary. But, vacuuming is not the only weekly maintenance item to do. You also need to brush the tile and walls to minimize the build-up of algae and calcium deposits. The materials the pool wall is made of will determine the cleaning tools to use. If it is a plaster-lined concrete pool, use a stiff brush. But if it has vinyl or fiberglass walls, use a soft brush. Use these tools to prevent the degradation and scratching of the grout.

3. Clean the pool filter
There are three varieties of pool filters; sand, diatomaceous earth, and cartridge. All these have different procedures for maintenance. They need periodic cleaning, and this will depend on the type of filter and the frequency of use of the pool. However, don’t clean the filter more often than it is recommended as this will hinder the filtration process. A clean filter is not as efficient as the one with some amount of dirt on it. The dirt helps to trap other particles, and this removes debris from the water. However, don’t let the filter get too dirty. Clean the filter when the difference amounts to 11 to 15 pounds per square inch.

4. Service the heater professionally
Of all the pool equipment, pool heaters need the least amount of maintenance. Gas heaters can work well without being maintained for two years. But, electric heaters can last even longer. So, consult the manufacturer for specific maintenance instructions. Occasionally, calcium builds up inside the tubes, restricting the flow and preventing efficient water heating. In such a case, find a professional because this requires the disassembly of the heater to clean the pipes with a wire brush and acid.

Your pool needs to receive constant TLC for it to remain in top condition. Thus, skim the debris, vacuum the pool, clean the filter, and service the heater to achieve a well-functioning pool. 

 


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Home Inspections and the Homebuyer's Role
Posted on Wed, 20 Jan 2016, 09:35:00 AM  in Home buying tips,  Marketing strategies,  My services
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When you're close to purchasing a home, an inspection is part of the transaction process. This inspection is performed by a certified professional who can pinpoint any major or minor issues plaguing a property. As the homebuyer, you're not a spectator during this procedure. In fact, you should be an active part in almost every aspect of the inspection. Consider some of the important reasons why you need to be involved with each inspection process.


Hire the Inspector Yourself
Ideally, you want to pick out the inspector for your potential property. If the seller hires the professional, there might be a biased look at the structure. Hire an inspection professional who has no ties to you, the seller or the agents. You want a fair evaluation of the property so that you can make an educated decision on a bid. Read online reviews about potential inspectors and verify their credentials with authorities. Inspectors go through vigorous training to precisely perform their jobs.

Be Present at the Inspection
Buying a home is a busy time in your life. It's easy to hire an inspector and allow them to access the property. However, you should be at the inspection. Meet inspectthe inspector and talk to them about any of your concerns. The inspector can make sure that your concerns are a top priority as he or she runs through the evaluation checklist. You can also follow along on as the inspector moves through the home. Give the professional some space, however, so that every checklist area is thoroughly evaluated.

Reserve Your Questions
Inspector professionals appreciate buyers who are concerned about their potential purchase, but refrain from interrupting the evaluation. By interrupting the professional during the evaluation, he or she might overlook an area. Inspectors are human beings, and they can be distracted by constant questions. When questions do arise in your mind, write them down for later. When the evaluation ends, you can ask the professional about every question you wrote down. In fact, write the professional's answers down for reference later on. You can discuss the evaluation with loved ones when you return home.

Discuss Concerns with Seller
Inspectors might have a long list of issues with the property, especially if it's a larger and older structure compared to others in the neighborhood. Some issues may not be too serious, such as carpeting pulling up at a room's edges. However, a leaking water heater or other major appliance malfunction is a good reason to stop and pause the home sale. You must discuss your options with the seller. In most cases, the buyer asks the seller to fix the issue before the home can be sold. The seller can accept or decline this request. It's possible for negotiations to take a long time if major repairs are involved.

Schedule a Final Inspection
If the seller agrees to fix a household item, he or she should be given enough time to complete this request. After they confirm the repair, homebuyers should request another home inspection. This evaluation will cover the entire property again, but with a special focus on the repaired areas. If the inspector agrees that the repairs are completed as necessary, homebuyers can proceed with the real-estate transaction. No sale has to occur if the appliance is still faulty. Homebuyers can always pull out of a home sale before the final documents are signed.

If you're a first-time homebuyer, the inspection is a brand-new experience. Speak to your real estate agent about preferred professionals in your area. The agent should have a good idea about who is perfect for your home inspection. In the end, you should have an inspection and property outlook that you can depend on during the bidding process.

 


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Home Buying Process
Posted on Thu, 24 Dec 2015, 12:25:00 PM  in Home buying tips,  Marketing strategies,  My services
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Buying a home is the single most important financial decision you will make in your life. For this reason, you should not do it in a hurry. Instead, if possible, start the process several months before you will actually be buying the home.


Are You Ready?
Although there are many good reasons for owning your own home, including the ability to create a living environment that you love and the advantages of building equity as you pay a mortgage, committing yourself to mortgage payments is a big step. Before you make this commitment ask yourself:

  • Will you be able to stay in the home for at least three to five years?
  • Do you have a 20 percent down payment?
  • Do you have a reserve fund of at least $10,000 to $20,000 for repairs and maintenance?
  • Are you free of credit card debt?
  • Do you have a stable job and at least six months of expenses in savings in case you lose your job?


If your answers to these questions are mainly positive, you are ready to buy a home, but if they are mainly negative, you might be better off renting until you byingimprove your financial situation.

Get Pre Approved
Your first step in the actual home-buying process is getting pre approved for a mortgage. Your most convenient mortgage source is often your current bank, as you already have a strong relationship with them, but you should also shop around in case other companies offer better mortgage rates. Preapproval has two main benefits. First, it gives you a good sense of the size of mortgage for which you qualify, so that you can limit your house search to homes you can afford. Second, it allows you to move quickly to obtain a mortgage and close on homes, something especially important in fast-moving markets such as Calgary, Toronto, or Vancouver. 

Find an Agent
Since agent commissions are paid by the seller, there is no downside to working with an agent and many positives. Search for an agent who specializes in the neighborhood in which you intend to buy. Interview a few agents until you find one who understands your needs, is responsive to your inquiries, and is certified as a REALTOR by the Canadian Real Estate Association. 

Research Homes
Your first step in researching homes is searching the web. Narrow down your choice of locations to ones that are convenient to work and schools, have homes within your price range, and have the sort of character you prefer. If your heart is set on being close to downtown nightlife and shopping, you won't be happy with suburban bedroom communities, but if you want a big backyard for a growing family, a small urban condo won't fit your lifestyle. Once you have narrowed down your search via the web, visit homes until you find one you like and can afford.

Make an Offer
When you find the right home, you and your agent will prepare an offer. The offer is usually contingent on your finding financing and having a home inspector check over the house for defects. The seller will usually counteroffer and your agent handle the negotiation process until you and the seller reach an agreement.

Buy the House
Once you and the seller have agreed on the price of the house, you close on the house at a meeting, where you and the seller complete the necessary paperwork to pay for the house and transfer ownership.

 

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Factors to Consider Before Venturing in Real Estate Investment
Posted on Thu, 03 Dec 2015, 09:50:00 AM  in Home buying tips,  Marketing strategies,  My services
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One great advantage of real estate is that even in economic crises, it usually does better than stocks. After all, the land is a finite resource. People are in need of a place to live, play, shop, and work. Thus, real estate is simply a matter of demand and supply.


Remember, real estate will continue to appreciate in spite of the occasional economic slow-downs. Real estate has proven to be the best wealth creation tool, and you don’t need to be a millionaire or a genius to succeed. Here are tips for entrepreneurs to get started and achieve success in real estate investing.

1. Plan your financial goals

Before you do your first analysis or buy your first property, determine your expectations from your investments. Ask yourself what your financial goals are. There is something known as the “Time Vs Money” concept. It says, to achieve your financial goals, the more you have one of these, the less you need the other one. Thus, don’t be afraid to take the time to understand your goals and ensure that every investment is a step towards achieving them.

2. Don’t spend a fortune on books, seminars, and tapes

You absolutely need to learn the basics of real estate investing. Thus, do some studying. However, don’t let collecting and buying information be your endgame. Also, keeping your goals in mind will help make the process more straightforward.

3. Look at plenty of propertiesdeals

Don’t just purchase the first property you come across. A lot of investors buy properties because the properties look “attractive,” and many don’t want to put in the effort to look at what is out there. You won’t be living there, so, don’t make the decision based on your personal preferences. Ensure you do a thorough job of looking at the properties. Give yourself a lot of options, and then narrow them down depending on your criteria.

4. Don’t postpone investing while waiting for the perfect deal

Moist investors suffer from indecisiveness, thinking that a better deal is around the corner. This can backfire, and you may let a great deal to slip out of your fingers. Yes, you may experience difficulty if this is your first property. However, you must remember that perfect deals rarely exist.

5. Be thorough in your financial analysis

Embrace a realistic mind; consider different alternatives and determine the ones that make the greatest financial sense. Never buy a property on less attractive terms or at a higher price than your analysis considers sensible. Avoid dealing with sellers that overestimate the values of properties through proforma data. As much as you can use a proforma to start a conversation, ensure that you know the real numbers before closing. There are several vital figures you should be familiar with. They include:

• Net income 
• Cash flow
• Return on investment (ROI)
• Cap rate
• Cash-on-cash return
• Total ROI

Once you know these figures, you can determine if a property suits your financial goals.

6. Avoid buying a property that the seller has no motivation to sell

If the seller is motivated, he or she is more likely to give you a price range that will most certainly suit your financial goals. You may wonder how to know if a seller is motivated. First, consider the asking price. Take this example, example, if the property has been on the market for eight months, for, say 250,000, with little or no price reduction, most probably the seller is not motivated to sell. But if it has been in the market for this duration and the price has moved significantly, most probably the seller wants to get the property off his hands.

Venturing into the real estate investment can be tricky, especially if you don’t put certain factors into consideration. So, plan your financial goals, do a thorough financial analysis, be proactive in searching for properties, and don’t wait for the “right” time.

 

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