Archives for Checklists

Buying a Home: What The Extras Cost

Contracts and rentals to consider in home ownership When it comes to buying a home, there are always additional fees to be considering when you make an offer. Typically, a first-time home buyer needs to be aware of the costs associated with buying a home – legal fees, mortgage rates, home insurance, closing costs, property taxes, land transfer fees…But what about those little extras not everyone considers? The contracts and rentals associated with the home such as furnaces, hot water tanks, and in some locations even your septic tanks – and what that could cost you. The main point is to understand EXACTLY what you are buying. Some of these costs are minimal, and won’t make a significant impact on your decision when it comes to home buying. However, if you’re looking at a home that requires you to take over a rental furnace, for example, some furnace contracts can cost hundreds of dollars per month to maintain. What can you do to know what you’re getting yourself into before the costs start rising? To begin with, ensure that you have an experienced realtor who can go over all appliances, and their extra associated costs (such as a hot water rental tank). Then have your lawyer go over the information provided and share their opinion and expertise with you. Be sure to do your research when it comes to the costs of rental furnaces (if that is your situation) in the area that you are looking to purchase the home, and understand what their associated terms and costs are. Carefully consider all options when it comes to these expenses, and what exactly you agree to take over. Smaller appliances, such as hot water tank rentals, and propane tank rentals are relatively low cost/inexpensive to take over and have precise terms and conditions. When it comes to taking over a furnace or septic tank rental, be sure to thoroughly evaluate all the options in the contracts provided, as well as research the typical costs associated with such items.

Buyers Toolkit – Springtime

Buyers Toolkit – Springtime Spring is in the air, and the real-estate market is ramping up for the beginning of buyers’ season.  Things tend to move faster in the spring and houses for sale are often sold shortly after they are listed.  As a potential home buyer, it is important to be prepared as possible before you start looking at potential homes – that way, the chance of losing your “dream home” to another buyer is greatly decreased. You may be wondering … “What are some of the important things that can help you stay on-top of, and ahead of this year’s spring market?”  Have no fear, in this toolkit we have everything you need to know, and do, to make the buying experience go smoothly for you! Your “Tools”-What you want to be prepared with ahead of time: Mortgage Information & Pre-approval Find out what mortgage you qualify for, and get your mortgage pre-qualification.  By taking this step you’ll know exactly what you can afford to buy and when you’re ready to make an offer, you can be confident knowing you are staying within your financial boundaries.  A financing condition is pretty standard in an agreement of purchase and sale; after your offer is accepted by the seller the time you have to meet the conditions is best spent finalizing your financing on a specific property rather than starting the approval process. A Realtor Although that seems like a no-brainer, making sure you have hired the realtor who is right for you is very important when it comes to purchasing a home.  Do some research, ask questions, interview a few realtors, check online profiles and reviews.  You’ll be spending a lot of time with your real estate agent; make sure you trust them, that they’re knowledgeable and that you’re comfortable with them.  Quick and easy contact with your agent is another key piece when it comes to signing and sealing a deal. Your List of Needs vs. Wants Knowing what you’ll need in your future home, and things that you want (your wish-list) is one of the most important aspects when it comes to looking for a new home. Needs are things that you must have in your new home (e.g. minimum number of bedrooms, a yard for the dog, a safe neighbourhood) whereas the wants’ or your “wish-list” are things you don’t necessarily need, but you’d like to have (Example: Granite countertops).  Your “must-have” list will help you rule out homes for sale that aren’t suited for your needs rather than spending valuable time on those that don’t.  This process can also open up your search options if some of the things on your need list actually turn out to be wants. Pro-Con List It’s important to keep a list of the pros’ and cons’ of each property that you visit, in order to have a better recollection of the home that is best suited for your family. Remember to check small details in each home, like testing the

Summer Showings

Selling your house can be an exhausting process, and selling during the summer brings its own special challenges. One of the most noticeable is that you may be away on vacation when people want to attend a house showing. Fortunately, you can turn this challenge into an opportunity. If you plan to hold house showings while you are away, the first thing you need to do is ensure that your home is cleaned up. You should go through the house to make sure it is clean and tidy, just as you would before any showing. The only difference is that you will need to do this before you head out on vacation. This means that preparing for your vacation will involve more work, but it also means that you can host a number of showings without having to clean the house again. After all, if you aren’t at home you can’t make any messes. The second thing you will need to do is ensure that steps are taken to make sure the house is made welcoming for each potential buyer. This can involve some pre-planning, but it is worth it to show your house at its finest. Here is a checklist of steps to take to keep your home showing-ready when you aren’t there. Keep the house cool – Leaving the AC on and set to 20 or 21 degrees will turn your home into a welcome retreat from the summer heat. It will also be pleasant for any animals you may be leaving at home. Animal clean up – If you are leaving animals at home, ask a friend to come in to clean their cages, beds, and bowls, pick up leavings in the yard, and take free-roaming animals away during the showing. An even better alternative it so have the animals stay with a friend or at a kennel while you are gone, so there is one less worry to clean up. Keep your home bright – When you leave on vacation, leave the lights on and the blinds open to let light in. If you have a timer or are willing to buy one, you can set it so that your lights are on during the day and evening, and off at night when there won’t be showings. Keep the air fresh – You want the inside of your home to be full of fresh air, so make sure to clean out anything that might kick up a stink while you’re gone. It is also a good idea to ask a friend to come by and open some windows before a showing, in order to let the air in and freshen up the place. If you aren’t able to do that, a good alternative is to buy some air fresheners with very faint scents and place them in discrete areas. You don’t want to leave them out in the open, since that serves as a signal to your visitors that the house usually smells worse. Have a