Monthly Archives December 2015

8 steps to getting started in property investment

  This propertyinvestment.com post from Nila Sweeney is an excellent primer for those who want to start a property portfolio. First, check your finances to see how much you can invest and get mortgage pre-approval.   Then, define what success means for you, as well as the level of risk you are comfortable with, and set your goals. Next, start budgeting and create a purchase plan.   Finally, research the market for opportunities that meet your criteria and approach them as business transactions, applying logic rather than being swayed by your emotional attachment. To read more click here. Source: Blog
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An Economist’s Letter to Millennials Who Can’t (Yet) Buy a Home

This post from Jonathan Smoke, chief economist at realtor.com, explains what Millenials can do to help themselves along the path to home ownership.   For example, a high debt burden will restrict their ability to qualify for a mortgage, and the amount they can get, so they need to limit their total debt payments (student loans, credit cards, car loans, etc.) to less than 15% of their income.   Smoke also covers the importance of improving their credit score, saving as much as they can for a down payment and creating an emergency fund for unexpected bills. To read more click here.
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5 Questions to Ask Before Replacing Your Roof

  Most of us have little or no experience with re-roofing, so this post by home reno expert Bob Vila is a valuable guide to the questions a homeowner should ask before hiring a roofer.  First, ask for an estimate that is comprehensive enough (permits, inspections, materials, labour, contingency) to establish a firm budget.  Discuss the proposal in detail with the contractor.   Find out what materials are being used and get the specifications in writing.  Avoid cheaper, low quality materials, especially the shingles, because sub-standard materials reduce a roof’s life expectancy costing you more over the long term.  
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The 3 Most Common Reasons a Home Inspection Kills a Deal

  In this Redfin.com post, home inspector Dylan Chalk underscores the importance of a home inspection by identifying how they can prevent a potential sale.  The most common reason is the home is not what it appears to be, especially in the case of a “flipped home”, one purchased and updated with the intention of making as much profit as possible.  The inspection reveals there are more repairs and updates than the buyer expected.  Problems with the core systems of a “fixer” house (foundation, frame, roofline, floor plan, drainage and access) add cost and complexity to the new homeowner’s projected
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Reno Investments Providing the Highest Returns

  This detailed Home Inspection Network post provides useful data to anyone who is considering a home renovation. Author Bev Siciliano begins by explaining what many do not realize – we might not fully recoup our investment when the home is sold.  For that reason alone, home renovations should be analyzed individually to ensure we get the highest return on investment (ROI).   Generally, renovations that provide the best return on resale are superficial upgrades, like painting and decorating, with limited capital outlay and maximum impact.   According to the Appraisal Institute of Canada’s latest Home Renovation Survey, renovations with the
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What You Need to Do When Saying Goodbye to Your Home

  Although you’re excited about moving, there are easy ways to reduce the ache you feel when thinking about leaving the old abode.  According to this Realtor.com post by Lisa Davis you could throw a going away party with the neighbours who shared your journey over the years.  Toast your soon-to-be former residence. Leave a reminder of your presence for future generations like a signature on a rafter in the attic. To read more click here. Source: Blog
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The Do’s and Dont’s of Basement Storage

  This article from Bob Vila gives eight handy tips to consider when using your basement for storage.   The suggestions include taking advantage of vertical space by building up and not out, using open shelves for frequently-used items and built-in cabinets to conceal toys or cleaning supplies, storing off-season gear in sealed bins to protect from moisture and dust, using a pulley-hoist to store heavy or bulky items from the ceiling, protecting tools stored in the open with a coating of machine oil to prevent rust and running a humidifier in the basement to suck moisture from the air and
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Underwriting insights! What Every Homebuyer Should Know Before Applying for a Mortgage

  This homeownership.ca post tells why an understanding of underwriting is a key advantage for home buyers seeking a mortgage.  Work with a mortgage professional to get pre-approved for a mortgage so you know your price range and can make an offer instantly.  The pre-approval process determines the size of mortgage and type of home you can afford.  You will need to assemble your credit report and other documentation (financial and employment history, creditworthiness, income) the lender or mortgage insurer needs to process the application.  The documentation required varies depending on individual circumstances.  For example, self-employed applicants should be prepared
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Create a beautiful bathroom for the ages

  As people age, reduced mobility, impaired balance, failing vision and muscle weakness make them more susceptible to injuries in their home, and bathrooms are no exception.  This Consumer Reports article tells how the latest design trends are helping owners upgrade their bathrooms with changes that enhance safety while retaining their beauty and avoiding an institutional look. In addition, subtle name changes have made useful improvements like shower rails (formerly called grab bars) and higher-seated toilets (“comfort height”) more acceptable.   By widening the bathroom doorway, removing the raised sill and replacing knobs with easier-to-open handles you improve access. Installing slip-resistant tile
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Why Cleaning Window Screens Should Be Part of Your Winter Strategy

  Should removing and cleaning the window screens be part of your winter maintenance routine? According to this houzz.com post, there are several benefits to be gained. Simply put, dirty mesh blocks light, heat and the view. For example, you get 30 to 40 percent more light coming in without screens on the windows.  More sunshine means you need less artificial light and can save on energy costs.   In addition, removing the screens increases the solar energy getting through to the windows. Improved solar heat gain reduces the need for mechanical heating saving on heating bills. Also, during a storm, snow
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