Should I Spend $35,000 to Renovate My House or Move? : The Saturday Weekend Review #146

HOME OWNERSHIP ISSUES   How much does it cost to renovate a house? Well, to renovate anything to do with your house can cost as little or as much as you’re prepared to spend. With everything on the market these days there are high-end products and for those who don’t wish to spend too much money you can be frugal and spend less on lower-budget fixes. With each of the above your choices can make or break the sale of your home depending on what you choose to renovate and how much money you put into the renovation itself. When I say make or break I mean how much money you’ll get for what you put into the house or for what it’s worth. A friend of mine who is single bought a 25-year-old starter home a little over 5 years ago in a great area of town. His house is around 2000sq feet with a fully finished basement that needs updating. Other areas of the house he wishes to renovate are both the full-bathrooms and the kitchen. The roof and windows have already been replaced since he purchased the home. The most common areas of a house to renovate […]

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 […]

Just Married! We’re Newlyweds And Need A Budget

Were you Just Married or planning to tie the knot soon? Get yourselves on the right financial track with a little preparation today. It’s that time of year Wedding Bells are ringing all over the world. Bliss is happiness until all the hoopla fades to the background. I sometimes get panic emails from newlywed couples looking for tips on budgeting or tips to help them out of a financial mess they’ve created. I do however always suggest they seek professional guidance as I am merely a man who understands money and budgets. None the less they want answers or anything to help them see a ray of light. I typically ask them some questions right from the start. 1-Why do you want to budget? 2-How much debt do you have? 3-Are you both committed to budgeting? 4-Have you ever used a budget before? 5- Do you know your credit scores? These questions help me to get a better understanding of their budgeting knowledge and a small picture of their debt and spending habits. It also helps me to understand who is in charge and whether or not they keep any money secrets. I’m a firm believer that couples should understand their finances before […]

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 […]