Reader question: When should you renovate your new home?

Renovate Your Home When It Is Right For You A fan sent me an email the other day and asked me the question, When should you renovate your new home? He said that him and his wife had just bought a home and they weren’t sure if they should renovate before they moved in or after they moved and wanted to know what we did when we bought our house. Home renovation checklist It was a question that I really didn’t have to think much about because we are in this position now. We did not renovate before we moved in and preferred to save the cash first before renovating. When we bought our home I created a checklist so I knew exactly what I needed to do although over the years it seems the list keeps growing. It was easier to read my list as I was going along rather than trying to remember in my head. Every smart planner will have a list so they have information to fall back on. There is no custom list here, you design your own. Grab a piece of paper and start making notes. I also wanted to have the opportunity to […]

Buy or Sell First: One Home, One House, Two Mortgages And A Pool

Deciding whether to buy or sell first can be a difficult decision that face home owners. It is a decision that if not executed properly could leave a homeowner with 2 mortgages and lots of stress. Owning two houses sounds like a great real estate investment but not when one is a home and another is a house you are trying to sell. This is the case with a neighbour of ours who is living the stress yet fails to see the problem, is the price of the house. Typically in the UK we would sell our home first with a reasonable closing date and then look for a new home to purchase. Research What to do when buying your first home? That’s easy, research! Talk to professionals and get tips and advice so you aren’t heading down a path where you want to tear your hair out. The same goes when you’re looking for things to do when selling your home, research. When I sold my home I did my research first, granted I wasn’t buying a second home I was moving to Canada. I had estate agents come around and value my home and I averaged the values out […]

Open Houses and Nosey Neighbours, Are They Worth It?

We admit we are nosey neighbours when it comes to some open houses in our neighbourhood but for good reason. Yes, we have the “stop the car” moments when the “for sale” sign just happens to show up and we just have to go inside. It’s not often homes in our area go up for sale as we live in an area where people don’t tend to leave. Most of the homes were built about 15-20 years ago and the area is becoming quite diverse in demographics since we moved in. Back a few years ago most, OK almost all of our neighbours were either a bit older than us or retired seniors. We bought our house from a senior couple who were downsizing their home  and moving into a rented condo. Funny how some people go from owning a home to renting a home later in life. Needless to say, everybody knows everyone in our small neighbourhood which can be a good thing or a one of those situations where you want to go bury your head in the sand. Over the last year or so as the silent and baby boomer generation start to move out we are seeing younger families move […]

Why Has My House Not Sold?

“WHY HAS MY HOUSE NOT SOLD”?  In all honesty, this is a question that a Realtor never wants to hear. It is, quite possibly, the first sign that things are not going as smoothly as you would have hoped for. I can tell you, from personal experience, when I list a home for sale I do so with a clear marketing strategy in place. I know where and when I’m going to advertise, hold open houses and I know at what stage we may have to adjust things. Invariable things may not always go to plan, but by discussing and agreeing your entire strategy at the beginning of the process you are establishing an understanding with your clients. Any home may take longer than “average” to sell or in many instances; any given home owner may change the entire plan with a moments notice. You have to be willing to adapt your strategy or expectations. Here is my list of what I consider, to be the six most common (in no particular order, yet all equally important) reasons that your home won’t sell. Price: Pricing a home can be tricky but it is one of the most common reasons that a home […]

Market Value, Appraisal Value, Assessed Value….How did they Value my Home?

Undoubtedly, one of, the most important considerations when deciding to sell your home, is its’ value! Home-owners want to know the market value, assessed value and the appraised value. Some questions a home-owner may want to know and these are all relevant questions are: Has my equity increased? Has the neighborhood’s value increased? Is my valuation, in line with industry professionals? How much is my home worth? Ultimately the market value of your home is whatever someone is willing to pay you for it. An appraisal value is a value determined by the study of comparable properties and local market conditions. It is, in reality, an educated guess about what the market value may be. The assessed value of homes in Ontario is done by MPAC and is a (CVA) Current Value Assessment which is a common standard used for property assessment jurisdictions in North America. MPAC uses 3-5 years of open-market sales in the area to determine the current assessed value of surrounding properties. Assessed values often come in at a lower evaluation than market value or an appraised value. It is almost as if MPAC is a year or two behind in their evaluations. Here are the steps I take to appraise the value […]

Save Money On Your Next Mortgage Transaction

Buying a home is not a “buy now deal with it later” process rather one that should be researched properly before you get yourself into hot water. There is so much to learn and the buyer and seller that are best prepared are the ones that come out on top. Any time you are ready to make potentially one of the biggest investments of your life such as a mortgage loan take a moment to invest in yourself and your wallet.  Buying a home is a confusing, ever-changing process, with a lot of steps along the way.  All of those steps can end up costing you in cash and stress, so know where you are headed before you start the house hunt. Whether buying your first home, refinancing, or selling and buying, the following tips could help to save you money on your next mortgage transaction.  Speak to your Home Insurance person ahead of time; Lawyers/Notaries are required by the lender to prove you have Fire Insurance, most Insurance Agencies will charge an “Insurance Binder Fee” to supply the lawyer that information.  Call ahead and make sure they don’t charge you…or go to a different agency. When shopping for the […]

Top 3 First Time Home Buyer Mistakes!

Top 3 First Time Home Buyer Mistakes Everyone who has bought a home has been through it, the scary, nervous time of learning a new language, relying on strangers you don’t know and making massive decisions you are sure will ruin your life.  All this while getting opinions from everyone you have every known whether you want them or not! Despite all this there is an upside…you also get to have you own home! In the hope of helping those who have not gone through this “rite of passage” to home ownership, I want to share with you some of the most common mistakes people make and how to avoid those yourself. #1.  Most people don’t work out what their budget is. You are on reading this here on Canadian Budget Binder, so I am sure you have done one by now, but you would be shocked how many people are not even aware of what they can afford, let alone what their plan is, other than wanting a home.  A detailed budget and plan of potential costs is a must to start this journey.  Staying with it is a key to living happily ever after! #2.  Little or no […]

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