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What Are The Top Canadian Real Estate Blogs For 2016?
Posted on Sun, 15 May 2016, 11:40:00 AM  in Home buying tips,  Home selling tips,  Marketing strategies
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If you are considering buying or selling a home in Canada in 2016, you will certainly need all the hot tips and helpful advice that you can lay your hands on. One of the defining features of the Internet is that it is a vast resource of information on every conceivable topic, very much including Canadian real estate. And one of the best ways to get advice on getting the most of a real estate deal is to check the many exciting and informative blogs that are available on the Internet for you to consult. Here's a list of some of the top Canadian real estate blogs for 2016. 

Vancouver Price Drop
If you live in the city of Vancouver and are interested in learning the daily fluctuations in price that the local real estate market is subject to, Vancouver Price Drop is here to be your one stop source for the latest information. Since its first appearance in 2012, the Vancouver Price Drop blog has been constantly updated with the on a weekly basis in order to give sellers the latest news on prices in the area. One of its most famous and reliable features is the weekly listing of the 30 properties whose prices have dropped most sharply during the stated period. 

The Red Pin
The Red Pin is one of the Toronto area's most prestigious and most often consulted real estate sites. You can log into the site, do a search for any area in thelader city, and view instantly all of the properties that are there to be rented or sold. In addition, you can just use the general listing feature to view all of the available properties at once, and then gradually zoom into specific locations at your leisure. The Red Pin is also home to a handy blog that is updated frequently with news, market projections, and helpful tips concerning how best to buy and sell property in the Toronto area. 

The Greater Fool 
Canadian economic, political, and financial expert Garth Turner has owned and operated his website, The Greater Fool, since 2005, making it one of the eldest and most trusted sources of real estate information throughout the country. The blog is not confined to any one area of Canada, nor is it necessarily always confined to the subject of real estate, but its sheer variety and wealth of information makes it a must read when you are searching for helpful advice and expert tips. 

Eximus
Eximus is an extremely well written and prolific blog that focuses on the real estate market of Vancouver and its associated suburbs, such as Abbotsford, Langley, Surrey, and White Rock. You'll find a wealth of demographics, price fluctuations, and other important statistics that relate to the day to day reality of each area. And you can use the site to get reports on local activities, such as real estate open houses and other goings on that will help you get a feel for the area you are hoping to purchase property in. 

Winnipeg Home Finder
The official blog for the Winnipeg Home Finder website contains a wealth of information that will satisfy the appetites of long time home owners and prospective real estate buyers for the latest market information. The blog is also home to a monthly podcast that contains even more recent and specific information concerning activities in the local Winnipeg real estate market. This is the premiere blog to be aware of if you are planning on buying or selling property in the city of Winnipeg.

 


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4 Ways to Boost Curb Appeal When Looking to Sell Your Home
Posted on Fri, 15 Apr 2016, 10:00:00 AM  in Home selling tips,  Marketing strategies,  My services
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Making the decision to sell your home is one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. There is a lot of hard work and time that goes into making sure you get what you want out of your home and the process goes as smoothly as possible. The last thing you want is to end up getting far less for your home than you deserve, especially if there was something you could have done to change that. To make sure you don’t end up losing out when you go to sell your home, consider doing these four simple things to help boost your curb appeal.


Paint the outside of your home
Imagine if you were to pull up to a home for sale and the paint on the outside of the home appeared faded, cracked and chipped. Would that make you want to see the inside? For many buyers, they form an impression of a home the minute they pull into the driveway. You want them to have a positive impression about the home and be open about seeing the rest of the property. Start off by painting the exterior of your home. Give it a clean look in a neutral color like a tan, dooryellow or white. This way it doesn’t turn away potential buyers.

Get a new door
Your door is the entryway to your home. You want it to appear as nice and well-kept as possible. The best way to do this is by either giving your door a fresh coat of paint or simply replacing it with a new one. You want to make sure the door is sturdy and aesthetically appealing. Also, make sure the door works with the rest of the home. You don’t want the door and the exterior of the home to clash.

Clean up the yard
No one wants to look at a home that has weeds growing everywhere around the yard. Hire someone to come in and do a thorough landscaping job for you if need be. This includes things like trimming the trees, planting new flowers, trimming the shrubs and so on. The key is making sure everything around the home is clean and well-kept. Get rid of any weeds or dead shrubs. Clean and tidy is the key to any good landscaping project. If you don’t have any shrubs or trees around your home, now might be the time to plant some. Professional landscaping companies can go through and draw you up a plan that highlights their ideas about what will look the best around your property.

Redo the driveway
Your driveway should be free from cracks and chipped cement. If possible, go through and have it resealed. If the driveway is too far gone, you want to tear it up and put a new one down. It makes sense that the driveway is going to sustain some degree of wear over the years, but you don’t want to leave it looking that way. Having a clean, fresh driveway will go a long way in what people think about your property. 

By going through the tips above, you can instantly transform the outside of your home and add to its curb appeal. People form an impression of the inside of your home before they ever step inside of the doorway. Do everything you can to make sure that impression is as positive as possible. This will help boost appeal and increase the overall selling price, not to mention get more people interested in your home in the first place. It doesn’t take much to transform the look of your home, but it will go a long way in the real estate market.

 


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Realistic Advice For Buying A New Home In Ontario
Posted on Wed, 30 Mar 2016, 10:45:00 AM  in Home buying tips,  Marketing strategies,  My services
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If you are planning to relocate to Ontario, when purchasing a new home, there are a few things that should be kept in mind in order to make the process as smooth, efficient, and cost effective as possible. When making the move to a new location, it's important to keep your goals as realistic and grounded as possible, so that you are in a better position to deal with possible snags and setbacks that may arise along the way. By keeping your goals realistic, and by absorbing a few helpful hints and tips, your move to Ontario will be a much smoother and more enjoyable experience.

Information For New Home Buyers In Ontario Is Easily Available
Information for new home buyers in Ontario is very easily available. Canada Mortgages and Housing (CMHC) has recently purchased a fully detailed guide realisticentitled Homebuying Step-by-Step: A Consumer Guide and Workbook. This easily digestible guide book is filled to the brim with useful information that will allow you to quickly get a handle on all of the steps you will need to take in order to become a home buyer in the province of Ontario. If you have any further questions, comments, or concerns, a local real estate professional in Ontario can fill you in on all of the extra details you need to know. 

Ontario Is One Of The Easiest Provinces In Canada To Buy A Home
If you have the ability to purchase a home in Ontario, you'll no doubt be pleased to learn that Ontario is one of the easiest provinces in all of Canada to buy a home. A qualified real estate professional can quickly point out to you the fastest and easiest method of acquiring or purchasing a title so that you can claim ownership of a new property in a quick and effortless manner. 

Buyer Beware Is Still The Law Of The Land In Ontario
"Caveat emptor", i.e., "Buyer beware!" is still very much the law of the land in Ontario, as it is throughout much of Canada. For this reason, you will need to do quite a bit of hands on research in order to make sure that you are truly getting the best possible property for your hard earned money.

The assistance of a qualified real estate professional in Ontario can go a long way toward safeguarding you from making a mistake in this area. This is why it's important to not only shop around for a number of properties in the province before making your final decision, but to make good use of the advice and guidance that you receive from your Realtor. 

Make Sure You Use The Services Of A Top Notch Real Estate Professional
Finally, it goes without saying that you should make sure to use the services of a top notch real estate professional. Your move to Ontario, whether to London, Toronto, or any other location within the province, will proceed in a much smoother fashion if you have professional assistance from someone who fully understands your needs and goals. The sooner you hire a qualified real estate professional in Ontario, the sooner you can breathe easier concerning all of the other details concerning your move.


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Condos vs. Detached Homes: What is the Best Option?
Posted on Tue, 15 Mar 2016, 09:35:00 AM  in Home buying tips,  Marketing strategies,  My services,  condo
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Finding the property that is best for you is the most important decision that you will make pertaining to real estate ownership. The most popular types of properties to own are condominiums and detached (single-family) homes. Although both options are great choices, the ultimate decision will come down to your personal preference, and which of the two options is the best investment for you. 

Transportation Factors 
This will play an important role in your decision between purchasing a home or a condo. Transportation is a part of your lifestyle. For example, do you prefer to travel by bicycle, public transit, or walking to-and-from your destination? It is best to choose a property that puts you in the heart of the city and is close to all of the main attractions. If you own a car, your preferred choice of transportation may be to drive. Therefore, the distance between your home and the city is not a huge ordeal.

Level of Privacy 
Even though a single-family home is near other houses, the level of privacy is not the same when compared to condos. You will be able to move around the home as you would like, without having to worry about making too much noise and upsetting the other condo owners that live within close proximity. condovshome

Keep in mind that some condominiums have private outdoor spaces, but many do not. Therefore, if you are looking for a patio or backyard, a detached home may be the best option for you. 

Maintaining the Property
When you purchase a condo, the agreement will generally include maintenance fees. These fees are used to maintain the unit, which typically includes landscaping and exterior work. As a homeowner, you will need to maintain your property. Some neighborhoods have a homeowner’s association that will take care of exterior maintenance, but this will vary from community-to-community. 

Affordability
Come up with a budget for your new investment and search for properties that fall within that budget. When it pertains to affordability, condos are typically more affordable in comparison to homes. Even with the flux of the housing market, condos still remain more affordable than a single-family home. However, this will vary by the property type and extra features. 

Keep in mind that you do not want to overextend yourself financially, even when purchasing a new home or condo. Therefore, you should always remain within budget. An experienced real estate agent will help you find the perfect property that is affordable, regardless if you are searching for a home or condominium. 

An Investment Standpoint 
A house comes with land, which makes this property a great investment. When you purchase a property with land, there is typically a lot of value in that property. This is true in urban areas throughout Canada, where land is at a premium. In these areas, there is a good chance of appreciation. 

This does not mean that condos are bad investments. Many residents in Canadian cities think of condos as long-term investments. These properties can also be rented out if you choose to purchase another home later on in life. This rental income could come in handy, which makes condos a good investment. 

Restrictions
With a condo, there are generally more restrictions, compared to living in a detached home. The inside of your condo is legally yours to do whatever you would like, but the outside of the home has its restrictions. You will generally need to receive approval before adding fences, painting the home, growing specific plants, and more. Keep in mind that these restrictions could also apply to detached homes that have a homeowner’s association. 

Some condos cannot be rented out, or have strict rental rules. A condo association may also have pet restrictions. These are details that you should always know before making a purchase. 

Condos and homes have their advantages and disadvantages, so ultimately, the decision will depend on your personal preference. Always speak with an experienced real estate agent before making a purchase.


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Top 10 Tips for New Landlords
Posted on Mon, 29 Feb 2016, 11:00:00 AM  in Marketing strategies,  My services
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The real estate business is always considered lucrative. But, many people that venture into the business don’t understand that it also has its challenges, and if you don’t have the wits to manage your property tactfully, you may end up overwhelmed by its demands, or you may encounter problems of all sorts. The following ideas will help you to have a soft landing as a new landlord.


1. Screen your tenants
Before renting out your property, check the background, credit history, and references of your potential tenants. Haphazard tenant selection and screening can cause you immense problems as a landlord. You may end up with a tenant who pays late or doesn’t pay at all, who welcomes undesirable friends, or who trashes your place. To properly screen a tenant, use a written rental application.

2. Get it written
Use a month-to-month written lease to document vital facts about your relationship with your tenants. This agreement should include how and when to handle tenants’ problems and complaints, repairs, the notice you give to residents before entering the property, and any other important aspects of the relationship. For information about what to include in the document, do an online research, or check with the landlords association in your city.

3. Handle security deposits
Develop a fair system of setting, holding, collecting, and returning security deposits. Before a tenant moves into the rental unit, inspect and document the statelandlord of the unit. This will help you sidestep disputes over the security deposits when the tenant leaves.

4. Make repairs
You need to sort out the repair and maintenance needs. And, when requested, make the necessary repairs. If your estate is not kept in good condition, you will lose good tenants, and the tenants may gain the right to withhold the rent, sort out the repair issues, and deduct the repair charges from the rent. They may as well sue you for injuries due to defective conditions, and they may even move out without giving you the notice.

5. Provide secure premises
Don’t let your property and tenants to be an easy target for criminal activity. Assess the security of your units and take the necessary steps to protect your tenants. Usually, the best security measures such as trimmed landscaping and proper lighting are affordable.

6. Give a notice before entering
Your tenants have a right to privacy. And you need to notify them when you are planning to enter the rental unit. The notice should be as convenient as possible. The law requires that you give a notice of at least 24 hours before accessing the premises.

7. Disclose environmental hazards
If there are health risks such as mold or lead on the property, inform the tenants. Many landlords are continually being held liable for tenant health problems that result from environmental toxins in the rental premises.

8. Oversee managers
Select and supervise your property managers carefully. If a manager is incompetent or commits a crime, you will be forced to compensate your tenants financially. Thus, do a proper background check and clearly spell out your manager’s responsibilities to prevent problems in the long run.

9. Get insurance
As a landlord, you need to purchase the required liability or other types of insurance. A well-written insurance policy can protect you from tenant lawsuits due to injuries, discrimination, or losses of property due to burglary, fire, vandalism, or storms.

10. Resolve disputes
Try to resolve disputes with tenants without lawsuits or lawyers. If you have a conflict with your renter that involves deposits, rent, noise, your access to the property, repairs, or any other issue that does not warrant eviction, meet with the lessee to see if the matter can be fixed amicably in an informal manner. If this does not work, ask for a third-party mediator. They are often accessible for free or for an affordable fee from any public program.

Understanding your conduct and obligations as a landlord will help you to avoid many problems and lawsuits in future. Thus, follow these tips to ensure your work as an owner goes on smoothly.

 


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How to Clean All Areas of Your Home Before an Open House
Posted on Tue, 16 Feb 2016, 10:30:00 AM  in Home selling tips,  Marketing strategies,  My services
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The open house is one of the most important steps you go through when selling a house. It gives buyers the chance to walk through each room, see the outside, get to know your city and get a general feel for your home. Long before those buyers visit your home, you need to make sure that it looks great and smells good too. While your real estate agent can give you tips on getting your home ready and staging each room, you'll also want to use some tips on cleaning your house.

Take Care of Clutter
There is a clear difference between clutter and mess. A cluttered home is one that has a lot of various items laying around on the floors, tucked underneath furniture and placed on shelves. A messy house is one that has dishes piled up in the sink, trash sitting around every room and feels like something that should be on Hoarders. Before the day of your open house, always walk through your home and find ways to take care of clutter. You might hold a big yard sale, moveopen items to a storage unit or even add some more storage to your home.

Clean the Floors
Something as basic as a small stain on the carpet caused by your son dropping his juice box might leave buyers looking closely for other stains. You should take the time to clean every type of flooring you have in your home. Clean hardwood with a wood cleaner that won't warp or leave behind a greasy residue, and use tile cleaner on any tiled floors. Your carpets may need more than vacuuming alone. Consider renting a carpet shampooer to remove stains, clean the carpets and remove any odours trapped in the padding or floorboards.

Wash and Seal Walls
You might remember to take out the trash, put away the dishes and clean up the messes your kids left behind, but you may not think twice about your walls. Those walls might have fingerprint stains, crayon or pencil marks from your kids and even grease stains. A simple solution of water and distilled white vinegar is often strong enough to cut through most stains. If you notice that your walls have a greasy scent or any other odours, now might be a good time to seal your walls.

Reduce Odours
As buyers walk through an open house, they can't help noticing any odours in the air and scents coming off your furniture. Those odours come from your pets, family, the cleaning products you use and even the foods you eat. There are a few ways you can get rid of odours, including cleaning your furniture, washing your drapes and window treatments and steam cleaning your floors. Using a room deodorizer or neutralizer can also help. These machines pull odours out of the air and leave behind a light and refreshing smell.

Do a Final Walk Through
The cleaning that you do means nothing if you don't do a final walk through in the hours before that open house. Walk through your home as if you were a buyer just seeing it for the first time. Look for things that might turn off those buyers, including dishes left piled up in the sink, an overflowing trash can or toys scattered all over the house. Use plug in air fresheners to give your home a soft but not overpowering scent, and put away as much as you can. Buyers attending open houses always prefer house that are clean and smell good.


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Create That At Home Feeling In Your New House
Posted on Fri, 29 Jan 2016, 10:55:00 AM  in Marketing strategies,  My services
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You have just moved into your new house, but it does not feel like home yet. There is a good chance you are still surrounded by boxes from move-in day. It is hard to feel right at home when your new place does not look like your home. The following tips can help you make your new house feel like home.


Brighten Up The Place: It is never too early to start unpacking your table or floor lamps. Brightening up your new home will improve your overall mood and surround yourself with familiar accessories.

Start Getting Cozy: You want everything to feel cozy from the moment you step into your new home. You can start by unpacking your bedding and making your bed. Are you spending the first night on a mattress on a floor? Place the bedding on your mattress anyway. You can also unpack the throw pillows or blankets you keep on the couch.

The Bedroom Should Be Relaxing: Speaking of unpacking your bedding, your new bedroom should be a relaxing spot from day one. It never hurts to unpackathome your area rug, curtains, artwork and nightstand the day you move in.

Set The Bathroom Up: You are going to use your new bathroom every day, and it is important to set your bathroom up as soon as possible. You can set up the bathroom by unpacking your robes, towels, shower mat, shower curtain and even your travel-size toiletries. If you do not have time to unpack everything, save the decor for the next day and at least unpack the essentials.

Create a Familiar Atmosphere: Use accessories and home decor to create familiar sights, sounds and smells. You can create familiar sights with the wall signs, artwork and decorative vases from your previous home. Create familiar sounds with a wall clock, the radio or even the television. You can also create familiar smells by lighting a scented candle or baking a batch of cookies.

Create a Comfort Zone: Did you have a comfort zone in your previous home? It is important to recreate this zone in your new home. If you did not have a comfort zone in your previous home, give your home a new at-home feel by creating this zone. Your comfort zone may include a stack of books and comfortable chair, craft corner with a table and drawers or a yoga mat and radio with relaxing music.

Go Grocery Shopping: What could make you feel more at home than a refrigerator and pantry full of food? You should stock up on the essentials and a few of your favorite snacks. There is nothing like making your favorite meal and relaxing on your couch after a day of moving in.

Do Not Order Take-Out: Ordering a pizza or Chinese food is only a reminder that you are still trying to settle into your new home. The best way to create that at-home vibe is to cook a homemade meal. You can keep it simple with chicken and a few sides, or you can celebrate by throwing a few steaks on your grill.

Spend Time At Home: It is important to spend time in your new home, whether you are decorating each room or giving yourself a lazy day. It will be hard to feel right at home if you are always going out.

Your new house will eventually feel like your own home, but there is nothing wrong with creating that vibe from the day you move in. All you need to do is surrounding yourself with familiar accessories, unpack the necessities and treat yourself to a homemade meal. You are sure to feel right at home before you know it.

 


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The Future of Canadian Real Estate
Posted on Tue, 24 Nov 2015, 09:35:00 AM  in Home buying tips,  My services
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Real estate is generally seen as one of the safest investments one can make. Due to the fact that you are able to physically see the property you are purchasing and the fact that everyone needs a place to live it is very hard to lose all of your capital in a real estate investment barring some act of god or other unfortunate circumstance. However predicting the future of the real estate market is tricky at best. 


Different factors can always come into play and the vagaries of the market have left many investors confused and broke. We can, however, make an educated guess as to where the market may lie in the long term. In the following reference we will try and make an informed guess as to the future of the Canadian real estate market.

Canada is known worldwide as one of the safest and most developed countries in the world. It ranks very highly for quality of living, wealth, natural resources canadaand many other positives indicators. It ranks low on corruption, violent crime and other negative factors. This in itself should lead you to believe that Canadian real estate is a relatively safe investment. Your property will be protected by a fair and just government in a safe country. Some of the best cities in the world are located in Canada- Vancouver, Montreal, and Toronto are all constantly on lists of the best places to live in the world. Real estate buys in these places are probably the safest due to the fact that there is so much industry in these areas.

In addition Canada has the lucky fortune of being next to the world's economic superpower- the United States. Canada is by far the largest trading partner with the United States and gains significantly from this association. This means that as long as the United States remains wealthy much of that wealth will makes its way north which should also help prop up housing prices.

Another huge boon to Canadian real estate pricing is the fact that it is so abundant with natural resources. The largest deposits of freshwater in the planet lie in Canada- while other countries are having massive issues with droughts and fresh water issues Canada does no have to worry about that. Canada is also flush with many other natural resources like timber, coal, minerals and lots of crude oil. The fact that there are so many things propping up the Canadian economy bodes well for the future of Canadian real estate.

Canada is a very large country and it is not very populated. It is one of the largest countries on the planet and has a population of roughly 30 million people- the same as one state (California) in the US. Population growth will occur by birthrate and immigration. When the number of people in Canada increases they will need places to live, food to eat, etc. This should have a significant effect on the stock and pricing of both commercial and residential real estate across the entire country of Canada.

All things considered the future is looking very bright for the world of Canadian real estate. A small but growing population, amazing governance, and the natural wonders of the country lead many leading analysts and banks to give Canada very high marks when it comes to the future of the country economically. One lesser known factor in their impressive economic growth is the fact that they take in many of the best and brightest immigrants from across the globe. This reverse brain drain is yet another factor that will alter the future of the Canadian real estate market.

 

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