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How to Get Front-of-the-Line Access to Desirable Homes for Sale

Thursday Aug 20th, 2020

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As you've probably noticed, credit card companies regularly offer bonuses to get you to apply for their cards. For example, one such card company offers opportunities to buy tickets to concerts and other events ahead of everyone else. It's their "front of the line" service. When you’re searching for a new home, wouldn't it be great if you could get to the front of the line on desirable properties – before other buyers get the chance? Well, in a way, you... [read more]

Bathroom Staging Tips from Professional Home Stagers

Monday Jul 20th, 2020

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There's a reason why there are "kitchen and bath" stores, and even design magazines devoted to these rooms. A well-staged kitchen and bathroom can make the entire home look better. So, it's no surprise that professional home stagers pay particular attention to these spaces. What do these pros have to say about bathrooms? Professional stagers advise that you start by taking a picture of the room. Looking at that picture will give you a better sense of how others see your... [read more]

Cutting Down the Time it Takes to Prepare your Home For Sale

Monday May 11th, 2020

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If you're thinking of listing your property, one thing that might be holding you back is concern about preparing your home for sale. You may be wondering how much work there will be. Is it going to take a couple of months? A couple of weeks? A few days?  That, of course, depends on the state of your property.     However, regardless of how close your home is to “show time” ready, there is plenty you can do to reduce how long that preparation takes.... [read more]

Is it Time to Re-Shingle Your Roof?

Thursday Mar 12th, 2020

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No matter what you think of snakes, you must agree that they have a unique way of dealing with worn-out skin. When the time comes, they simply shed it — like an old jacket — revealing a fresh new skin underneath.   Your home's roof doesn't have that advantage! So, when the shingles wear out or become damaged, you need to have them replaced.    Unfortunately, it's not always easy to determine whether your shingles need replacement right away, or whether... [read more]

Dealing with Stress when Selling Your Home

Monday Mar 2nd, 2020

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Let's face it. Planning events, even exciting ones like an overseas vacation, can be stressful. So, it's not surprising that some homeowners — even those thrilled about moving — can slip into "worry mode" when putting their property up for sale.  Unfortunately, this anxiety can make the process of selling an unpleasant experience. Who wants that? So here are some things you can do to reduce selling stress and enjoy the adventure. • Understand the... [read more]

Getting a DIY Renovation Done On time and On Budget

Wednesday Feb 19th, 2020

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Two of the biggest stressors for DIYers are projects that cost too much or take too long. Unfortunately, there’s no sure way to guarantee that one or the other (or both) won’t happen. But there is a lot you can do to minimize the probability.   When budgeting, a big mistake DIYers make is not considering the little things. For example, you might budget for drywall panels but neglect to include the cost of nails, tape and plaster. It's easy to overlook these small items... [read more]

What if your Ideal Home Isn't Available?

Friday Jan 31st, 2020

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Imagine you're looking for a new home. You have a list of all the features you want, just like you would have a grocery shopping list. However, when you explore the homes currently on the market, none meets all your criteria.   What do you do? You have a few good options.   First, you can take a second look at your list. Does your new home need every single feature on it? Are there one or two features you can do without? For example, can you settle for a smaller kitchen... [read more]

Beyond Boxes: Packing Materials You May Need for your Move

Wednesday Jan 8th, 2020

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As you can probably guess, when you're preparing to move, you'll need boxes and tape — and, perhaps some bubble-wrap or old newspapers to use as protective wrapping for delicate items.   But that may not be all you need. Take a look at this list and see if you'll want any of these on hand while you’re packing or on moving day.   • Colour markers for labelling boxes. (Tip: Colour coding boxes by room will make unpacking much easier.) • Stretch... [read more]

6 Affordable Ways to Boost your Home's Curb Appeal

Friday Jan 3rd, 2020

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When buyers come to see your home, the first thing they notice is how your property looks from the curb. That first impression is powerful and lingering. If buyers don't like what they see, it can influence how they judge the rest of your property, regardless of how great it looks on the inside.   You definitely want to do whatever you can to boost curb appeal. Here are six affordable ideas to consider: 1. Driveway sealing. This makes the pavement look darker and less faded. It... [read more]

Winter Window Condensation

Wednesday Dec 11th, 2019

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Winter Window Condensation is unavoidable but not impossible to defend against at home.  It can cause further damage to the windows and decrease your property value if it is not looked after properly. How Do Cold Temperatures Defect Home Windows? Condensation is the process of hot and humid air coming into contact with a cold surface.  When warm, moist air meets the cold surface, the moisture in it condenses.  Over time, window condensation can cause: Wood rot Mold... [read more]

Buying Extra Storage for your Electronic Records

Monday Dec 9th, 2019

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There are many storage options for your household items. For example, receipts and other paper records can be stored in a file box. Seasonal items, such as winter clothing, can be put in the basement. You can even rent a local storage unit to help with decluttering. But what about stuff that exists electronically? These days, many important records -- vacation pictures, tax receipts, home videos, school documents, etc. - are in the form of PDFs, JPEGs, and other electronic formats. Having... [read more]

What to Fix Up in your Home before You Sell

Monday Dec 2nd, 2019

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If you have a home that is overdue for a renovation, you might be worried that it will be difficult to sell as a "fixer-upper". In fact, you might delay listing your property for that reason. The good news is, you don’t need to fix up everything in your home to prepare it for sale. You can be selective and choose only those projects that are most likely to help your home show well and sell quickly.   Here are some projects to consider: • Repairs. Few... [read more]

Keep the heat in and the cold out!

Monday Nov 25th, 2019

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In Canada, our homes experience many extremes in terms of weather and temperature. The best thing we can do to maintain the investment in our homes and save money on our utility bills is to ensure our homes are as energy efficient as possible. This weeks blog offers a few tips on how to improve the energy efficiency of our homes and most of the items don't break the bank.  [read more]

DIY-Friendly Bathroom Makeovers

Monday Nov 11th, 2019

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Want to make your bathroom look fantastic without having to do a major renovation? There are a lot of projects you can do yourself. In fact, there are some improvements you can get done in less than a day that will transform the look and feel of your bathroom. Check out these ideas:  • Update the sink. If you have some basic plumbing knowledge, this is a project you should be able to do on your own. A new sink can make the entire vanity look like new. • Buy new decor. New... [read more]

4 Steps to a Stress-Free Sale

Monday Nov 4th, 2019

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Ideally, when you sell your home, you want the process to go smoothly and relatively stress-free. While things may happen that are outside your control, there is a lot you can do to ensure that the selling experience is a good one.  Consider these four steps to reduce worry and stress when listing your home: Step 1: Learn the selling process. Find out what to expect when the FOR SALE sign goes up. How will viewings be scheduled? Will an Open House be needed? What happens when... [read more]

Fall Home Maintenance Checklist

Friday Oct 25th, 2019

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Preparing your home for winter can be made simple by following our detailed-yet-doable checklist.  Taking advantage of the moderate weather will help you to get the outdoor tasks done quickly and easily.  Keep in mind that the items on this list are included to keep your home and your health in great shape.     [read more]

Balancing the Emotional and Practical Sides of Buying a Home

Monday Oct 21st, 2019

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Imagine this scenario... You're shopping for a new home. You drive to visit a recent listing. As you walk through the front doors, you're impressed. Every room looks fantastic. You see yourself relaxing on the spacious patio, cooking in the modern kitchen, and enjoying evenings with the family in the cozy living room. Your emotions are on overdrive. This is your dream home! Should you make an offer? Probably. In fact, you should make that decision quickly in case there are... [read more]

Setting Your List Price Requires Calculation and Savvy

Monday Oct 14th, 2019

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When you're having a garage sale, one of the toughest tasks is pricing your items. If you put a price tag on your old golf clubs that’s too high, no one will buy them. If you make the price too low, they might sell quickly, but you’ll spend the rest of the day wondering if you could have gotten more! It's similar to selling your home — except with your home, the stakes are much higher. You want to price your property to sell, but you don’t want to leave any... [read more]

The Latest Options in Outdoor Lighting

Monday Oct 7th, 2019

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Outdoor lighting has come a long way from the days of patio lanterns and strings of lightbulbs. These days, there's an exhaustive array of options available to illuminate your outdoor space, and make it more appealing and comfortable, particularly in the evenings.   Here are just a few ideas:   • Solar garden lights. These lights are on stakes that can be easily inserted throughout the garden. Powered by the sun, they generate enough energy to cast a soft, pleasant glow... [read more]

One Hour Ideas for Boosting Curb Appeal

Monday Sep 30th, 2019

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You've heard of the term "curb appeal". It refers to the initial impression buyers get when they first see your property from the street. If the impression is a good one, it sets the right tone for the rest of the home viewing.   How do you boost curb appeal?  Here are some proven ideas that you can get done in an hour or so:    • Wash both the inside and outside of the front windows. You'll be amazed at the difference that can make. •... [read more]

How to Buy a Home in a "Hot" Area

Monday Sep 23rd, 2019

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Is there an area you'd love to get into that's "hot"? In other words, an area where, as soon as a new home comes up for sale, buyers are clamouring to see it? It can be intimidating to try to buy into a neighbourhood like that. On one hand, it's the type of area you'd love to call home. After all, there are good reasons why it's so popular! On the other hand, you might be discouraged by the competitiveness and prices. If you want to live in that... [read more]

Finding a New Home on a Tight Schedule

Monday Sep 16th, 2019

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Wouldn't it be nice if you had all the time in the world to find your next dream home? You could leisurely browse the current listings, select homes you'd like to see, schedule visits on dates that are most convenient for you, and make an offer on a property only after you've had plenty of time to consider all the alternatives.  Sure, that sometimes happens, but it's not typical. Often, people shopping for a home are on a timeline. Sometimes a very tight... [read more]

Cutting Renovation Costs without Cutting Quality

Monday Sep 9th, 2019

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As you probably know, it's easy to lower the costs of a renovation. Just hire an inexpensive, fly-by-night contractor — and hope for the best!   Chances are, you won't want to take that risk. So how do you ensure you get quality work while keeping your budget in check?   Here are some tips:   • Get estimates from at least three contractors. Often prices can vary widely, even amongst contractors with similar reputations and experience. • Narrow the... [read more]

How Much Should You Budget for your Next Home?

Tuesday Sep 3rd, 2019

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If it’s been a while since you last moved, you might be wondering how much you'll need to spend on your next home. That's an important question to answer, even if you're just at the "thinking about it" stage and haven't decided whether or not you'll look for a new property.  After all, knowing your budget might influence your decision. How should you determine your budget? The first step is to calculate the maximum you can spend. This involves... [read more]

When a Home Inspector Finds an Issue

Tuesday Aug 27th, 2019

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Imagine you've found the perfect home. You love it. You've made an offer that's been accepted. So far so good! The only catch? You've wisely made the offer conditional on passing a professional home inspection.   What happens if that home inspection reveals a major issue?   First, you should know that, depending on the age of the property, a home inspection will typically turn up at least a few areas of concern. The inspector might find loose insulation in the... [read more]

Taking the Stress Out of Selling your Home

Monday Aug 19th, 2019

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For some people, the thought of listing their home for sale is stressful. They worry about all the things they have to do — and all the things that might go wrong.   Luckily, it doesn't have to be that way. Here are some tips for making your home sale go smoothly:  · Give yourself time to prepare. If you're thinking of selling six months from now, start preparing your property now. Do any necessary staging, and get it looking its best. Avoid doing these... [read more]

Protecting your Home Gadgets from Hacking

Tuesday Aug 13th, 2019

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Imagine your coffee maker switching on by itself, staying on for hours, overheating and becoming a fire hazard. That's not science fiction. As more and more appliances incorporate WIFI, the opportunities for hackers to play havoc with your home gadgets increase.   How do you prevent that from happening? Here are some safety tips:   • If your gadget uses a password to access the settings, change that password frequently. Ideally, change it once every 3 months. •... [read more]

The 4 Ps to Maximizing your Selling Price

Tuesday Aug 6th, 2019

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When you sell, you’ll probably want to get the best possible price for your property. Who wouldn’t? Unfortunately, there are many ways to inadvertently leave money on the table – sometimes thousands of dollars.    How do you avoid that possibility? Just remember the 4 Ps:   • Prep. Do everything you can to prepare your home so that it looks great to buyers. Clean, declutter, fix, make improvements. Home staging can also help. In fact, effectively staged... [read more]

Relocating to a Different Town or City

Tuesday Jul 30th, 2019

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Moving around the corner or even across town is relatively simple because you are likely familiar with the various neighbourhoods and you can access them anytime. If there's a listed home you want to view, you can simply go see it.    Relocating to a different town or city, however, is much more challenging. It may not be possible for you to make multiple visits to see homes for sale. You may also be unfamiliar with the various neighbourhoods.    So what do you do if... [read more]

9 Steps to Finding your Next Dream Home

Tuesday Jul 23rd, 2019

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If you're thinking ahead to your next dream home, the road you need to take to get there may seem confusing. Do you search for listings online? Drop by Open Houses on the weekends? Call the number on For Sale signs? Let's break it all down! Here are the specific steps you need to take to ensure you find a home that fits your wants, needs and budget. 1. Find out how much your current property will likely sell for on today’s market.  2. Arrange for financing, so you... [read more]

Should You Replace your Windows?

Monday Jul 15th, 2019

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Here's a surprising statistic. Less than 30% of window replacements are the result of the old windows being worn, broken or otherwise in need of replacement.    Clearly, there are other good reasons to consider new windows!    One of the most popular motivations is cosmetic. Brand new windows have a huge impact on the overall look of a home, both on the inside and the outside. New windows can improve curb appeal — an important element when you sell a home. From... [read more]

Finding a Great Home in a Hurry

Tuesday Jul 9th, 2019

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Do you have only a few weeks to search for your next dream home? Don't panic. There are things you can do to find the perfect (or, at least, almost perfect) property — without getting too stressed out!   Consider these tips:   • Pre-arrange your mortgage. You want to be able to make a good offer on a home right away, without worrying about financing. So, talk to your mortgage advisor or lender about getting a mortgage preapproval. Sellers will take your offer more... [read more]

Does the Area Have What You Want?

Monday Jul 1st, 2019

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Imagine going to a restaurant with your family for dinner. You're planning on ordering a nice pasta and salad. Your heart is set on it. But, after you go to the trouble of driving there and getting a table, you discover that pasta is not on the menu.   That’s disappointing!   Of course, it’s only a meal. You can go somewhere else next time. But, what if the same scenario played out once you had moved into a new neighbourhood? Imagine you were counting on public... [read more]

Staging your Home in a Hurry

Monday Jun 24th, 2019

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Ideally you should have a week or two available before you list your property in order to stage your home and make it look its best for buyers. But, what if you listed quickly and within hours of the For Sale sign going up a buyer wants to view your property?   In that scenario, you need to do some quick "staging" to get your home ready. Let's assume your property is already clean and tidy. Here are some other things you can do.   · Open the curtains,... [read more]

Should you Buy a Resale or a New-Build?

Monday Jun 17th, 2019

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If you're thinking about buying a new home, you may be considering purchasing in a new development.    How does that compare to purchasing a resale property?   Buying a newly-built home has some advantages. Depending on the development, you may have leeway in the style of the home and the lot you choose. Also, when the home is built, you'll be moving into a place where everything is brand new!   On the downside, however, you may be forced to... [read more]

Stay or Move? 5 Questions that Help you Decide

Monday Jun 10th, 2019

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It can be tough to make the decision to sell. In fact, for many homeowners, it's overwhelming. If you're considering making a move and struggling with the decision, here are five helpful questions to ask yourselves:   1. "What are our practical reasons for selling?"   This question refers to what you'll get by moving to a new home. The reasons could include a bigger backyard, shorter commute to work, an extra bedroom, a more desirable... [read more]

Getting an Early Start on Selling your Home

Monday May 27th, 2019

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You've probably heard the expression, "The early-bird gets the worm." It refers, of course, to those who get in early and reap the rewards. For example, if you arrive early to a retail store for a big blowout sale, you're likely to get the deals before the inventory runs out. The stragglers who come later miss out.   Well, this same wisdom can be applied to selling your home. Starting the process early — even if that means simply doing some initial planning... [read more]

Buying a Home in a Competitive Neighbourhood

Thursday May 23rd, 2019

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Imagine you’ve dreamed of living in a particular neighbourhood, perhaps for years, and then, when you're finally ready to make a move, finding out that the area is competitive and buying there is definitely a challenge.    A disappointment? Not necessarily.   There is a lot you can do to buy into a popular neighbourhood, even in competitive offer situations.   Your first step is to start targeting that area now. Find out about property types, prices and... [read more]

Budgeting for Moving Day Expenses

Thursday May 16th, 2019

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On moving day, you'll have a big task. You’ll need to get your possessions from your old property to your new one — ideally without delays or damage! Surprisingly, many people underestimate the time and costs involved in doing that. Careful planning and budgeting are crucial to ensuring moving day goes smoothly. You basically have three options: Hire a moving company to handle everything. Hire a truck and crew, while doing some of the work yourself. (For example, you... [read more]

When You See A Home You Love

Thursday May 9th, 2019

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Imagine driving through a desirable neighbourhood and, just as you turn a corner, you see the absolutely perfect home. Guess what? It's for sale! But, there’s a problem. Your current property isn't on the market. In fact, until this moment, you hadn’t seriously considered moving. So what do you do? Your first step is to find out more about the listing. Get a description of the property. Find out the listing price. Check out the size, layout, number of bedrooms and... [read more]

December Market Stats. Simcoe: New Tecumseth

Tuesday Jan 22nd, 2019

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Are you wondering how the housing market has performed in the last month and year over year? Check out the graphic below to make sense of December 2018 and for a glimpse of the overall picture for Simcoe: New Tecumseth. You'll notice that we now have 5 months of housing inventory which inches us closer to a Buyer's market. January and February are great months to purchase a home AND you can have a SPRING closing date so you won't have to worry about a moving day... [read more]

What's In A Credit Score?

Tuesday Jan 22nd, 2019

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What’s in a Credit Score? Let’s explore ways to create new financial habits and increase your credit score. We want you to be in tip-top shape financially which means establishing and maintaining good credit, regularly contributing to a savings account or investment account and topping up your RRSP’s and RESP’s. Credit score insight: Canadian credit scores are calculated by two major credit bureaus: Equifax and TransUnion. Factors that are used to calculate your... [read more]

YOU HAVE OPTIONS! Educate yourself BEFORE you meet with your lender.

Wednesday Jan 16th, 2019

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When you are: renewing your existing mortgage seeking a new first mortgage refinancing an existing mortgage deciding on a secured line of credit vs conventional mortgage  it’s helpful to brush up on your knowledge of financing FIRST. The following definitions will get you started. Click here to visit Genworth Canada for additional terms and loads of other helpful resources. Amortization: This is the total number of years it will take to pay off your... [read more]

Millennials: Priorities Reversed! Or Are They?

Monday Jan 14th, 2019

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Previously, life’s priorities were: in order: 1. Get Married        2. Buy A Home        3. Save Money Today, Millennials have completely flipped the script and reversed the traditional order of life’s milestones. Their first priority is to SAVE MONEY in order to live their DESIRED LIFESTYLE. Second priority is to BUY A HOME. Third priority is to GET MARRIED. Millennials: By accomplishing your second priority, you will solve your first... [read more]

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