Avoiding Unwelcome Guests

 

There are unwelcome guests that most homeowners dread. They come into your house, eat, sleep, make a mess, and never leave willingly. Each one has at least six legs and sometimes flies.
They are, of course, insects. They’ve been freeloading in homes since homes were invented. Here are some practical ways to keep these unwelcome guests out:

• Find out how they got in. Look for gaps around windows and doors, and cracks in the basement. If you find a spider web, there's likely an insect entryway nearby.

• Watch out for standing water near the foundation of your home. Make sure rain gutters drain water well away.

• Eliminate clutter. Insects love warm, cluttered, moist areas.

• Check the seal around dryer vents and other vents, pipes and cable wires going through the wall. Reseal if necessary.

• Rinse recyclables before putting them into a bag or bin. Few things are more tempting to a bug than the dark, moist, sweet insides of an un-rinsed pop can.

If you do end up with a serious insect problem, call a professional
exterminator.


Should you sell first and buy later? Or vice-versa?

When you’re thinking of selling your home and buying another, you face the inevitable question: Should I list my property first or buy my new home first?

Let’s take a look at both options.

If you attempt to buy a property before listing your home, you run into a couple of challenges.

First, sellers may not take you seriously as a potential buyer. After all, you haven’t put your own home up for sale. As far as they’re concerned, you might merely be testing the market.

Second, your property might not sell as quickly as you thought it would. If there is an early closing date on the home you purchased, you might end up owning, and paying a mortgage on both properties, at least until your home sells.

If, on the other hand, you list your property before buying a new home, sellers will know you’re serious. That puts you in a competitive position in the event of multiple offers.

Also, if your home sells quickly, you’ll have the peace-of-mind of knowing exactly how much of a new home you can afford. You’ll be able to shop with confidence.

Of course, like the first option, there is a chance that the closing dates won’t match and you’ll end up owning two properties for a period of time.

However, solutions such as bridge financing are available to help.
So, there is no perfect answer. A lot depends on the state of the local market.

Looking for a good REALTOR® who can help you decide which is the best move for you? Call today.


Deciding On The Discretionary Move

Sometimes we don't have much choice about selling our home and buying another. Circumstances, such as a job relocation, may have made that choice for us.

However, most often the decision to move is discretionary. Sometimes people move simply because they think it's a good idea. They feel that "now" is the right time to find their next dream home.

So how do you make that kind of decision?

There are, of course, many reasons to make a discretionary move. Usually, those reasons fall into one of two categories: need and want.

You may need to find a new home, for example, because you've outgrown your current property. Perhaps you have a growing family and require more space. Maybe you're doing more entertaining and need a larger backyard with a more spacious deck. It could be that the commute to work is arduous and you need to move to a place that's closer.

Those "needs" may motivate you to move, but sometimes a "want" plays an important role, too.

For example, you may want to live in a quieter neighbourhood or in a newly built home that requires less maintenance. Maybe you simply want a change.

If you're thinking of making a move, take a moment to write down a list of your needs and wants. Seeing them on paper will help make the decision easier.

Looking for expert help? Call today


"Closing Day" Terminology You Need To Know

Closing day is an exciting time. After all, you’re moving into your new home! However, it can be stressful as well. The last thing you need is to be confronted with something you don’t understand. So here is a quick list of common “closing day” terms.

• Disbursements. This is the allocation of funds to the appropriate parties, such as the seller. Your lawyer will take care of this for you.

• Possession. This is the moment on closing day when you are legally able to take possession of your new home. It’s usually when your REALTOR® or lawyer hands you the keys.

• Title. This is a legal document that identifies the property and its owner.

• Closing costs. These are expenses, excluding the selling cost of the property, that are due on closing day, such as legal fees, reimbursement for pre-paid utilities, utility deposits, insurance, and taxes.

• Closing adjustments. These are expenses pre-paid by the seller that need to be reimbursed on closing.

There may be other terms you come across on closing day as well. Don’t worry, a good REALTOR® can help make the day go smoothly for you and your family.

Looking for a good REALTOR®? Call today.


Types of lighting for your home

You probably don't think buying a lighting fixture for a room is all that complicated. It isn't. However, it does require you to consider which types of lighting you may need. According to the Lighting Association, there are three types:


1. General lighting. By far the most common, this is the type of lighting that is designed to create a functional brightness that spreads throughout a room. A good example is a main ceiling light.


2. Task lighting. As the name implies, this type provides extra light needed for a specific task, such as working at a desk or chopping onions on a kitchen countertop. A bedside lamp used for reading is another example of task lighting.

3. Accent lighting. This type is designed to set off a particular feature of a room, such as a painting. It creates some practical light, but its main purpose is to add to the overall decor.


When choosing lighting for a room, it's important to consider these three types. First, decide how best to light the space generally. Then think about any special lighting you might need for specific functions, such as reading. Finally, consider how accent lighting might add to the overall look.


Upgrades that hold their value

Do you have a renovation project in mind – and wonder how much value it will add to your home? Remodeling Magazine recently did a study of renovation projects, comparing costs to added value. Here are some of the results:

Replacing a main entry door has a return on investment of over 95%. After all, the entrance to a home is one of the first things a prospective buyer notices.

Adding a new deck also adds a lot of value. Depending on the materials used, you can expect to get back three-quarters of the money invested.

Another high-payback project is the garage door. This once again
demonstrates the importance of a home’s “curb appeal.”

If you’re tackling a big project, such as a basement renovation, you’ll be glad to know that, according to the study, a project like this adds a lot of value.

Finally, minor improvements to bathrooms and kitchens – such as adding new countertops or cupboards, can also be good investments that mostly pay back when you sell your home.

Of course, these figures are averages and can vary widely depending on location, type of property, and other factors.

Need help determining how a particular home improvement might impact the selling price? Call today.


How much of a new home can you afford?

If you’re thinking of shopping for a new home, one of the first considerations is price range. You want to know what you can reasonably afford.

How do you figure that out?
First of all, you need to determine the initial out-of-pocket costs you will need to cover. There are often more costs associated with purchasing a home than its actual price. You need to take into account such additional expenses as moving costs, legal fees, and a home inspection, not to mention the costs of prepping your current property for sale.
Experts say you should budget 5-10% above the purchase price for these items. So if you can afford to spend $470K on a new home, you should be shopping in the $425-445K range.
Another factor to consider are the potential proceeds from the sale of your current home. Your REALTOR® can help you determine how much your property will likely sell for in today’s market. Any existing mortgage will need to be subtracted from that amount to determine how much cash will be left.
Of course, you should speak to a mortgage broker or lender who can compute how much of a mortgage you qualify for. Remember, qualifying for a big mortgage doesn’t necessarily mean you should have one. You also need to consider your personal finances and desired lifestyle – and whether or not having a large mortgage is a good idea for you.
Once you have gathered all of your information, you can add any potential sale proceeds to the amount of mortgage you qualify for, add other sources of cash available for this purpose and subtract 5-10% for initial expenses, and you’ll have an idea of the price range you should be considering.
Finally, it’s important to take the time to decide what kind of home you want. Do you want a large backyard with trees? A quiet, family-oriented neighbourhood? Four bedrooms and a finished basement? Once you decide what you want most in a new home, it becomes much easier to find one that’s in your price range.

 
 

Easy to miss home security tips for your vacation

If you’re relaxing on a Caribbean beach, or enjoying a bus tour through historic Paris, the last thing you want to worry about is your home. Most people know the basics of keeping a home secure while away. Here are some additional tips that are easy to miss:

• Tell your kids not to boast about your fabulous vacation plans,
especially on social media. The fewer who know that the house will be empty, the better.

• Ask a neighbour to pick up any mail and flyers dropped at your
doorstep. But don’t rely on that alone. Also call the newspaper and
post office to temporarily halt delivery.

• You can buy timers to automatically turn lights on and off. However, most will stop working if the power goes out and restart with the incorrect time when the power comes back on. That’s why you should keep at least a couple of lights turned on continuously, and not connected to timers.

• If you’re leaving in the evening, or before dawn, don’t forget to open the blinds. Closed blinds during the day are a dead giveaway that the owners are away.

Finally, experts recommend creating a home security checklist, so you don’t forget anything. That will give you peace-of-mind.


Welcome to my Blog!

Hi All,

I will be posting a few articles to help you navigate the Milton real estate market.  If you would like to contact me to have a chat you can reach me at 647-988-7296 or troyh@royallepage.ca.   I look forward to talking to you soon!

 

Troy Hoogendoorn

Royal LePage Meadowtowne Realty


Avoiding Moisture Problems in the Home

There are many hidden sources of moisture in your home that can lead to serious problems, such as mould. To keep moisture levels in check, consider these tips:

• Bathrooms are an obvious source of moisture build-up. Contractor and TV personality Mike Holmes recommends keeping the fan going for at least a half hour after a shower.

• Check regularly for water infiltration around window and door sills, as well as other intakes into the home, such as dryer vents and cable wiring.

• Determine the humidity level in your home. According to the
Environmental Protection Agency, it should be 30-60%. (Keep in
mind that humidity may vary greatly from room to room.)

• Regularly inspect caulking around sinks, tubs and showers. Even a tiny break can cause water to leak gradually into the wall or floor, causing damage you may not notice for months.

• Clean up wet spills as soon as possible. On hardwood floors
especially, water can seep through and become trapped.

• Repair leaking faucets, toilets and pipes immediately. A drip can
quickly become a shower. Being mindful of moisture today can help you avoid potentially high repair bills later on