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10 Tools Every Homeowner Should Own
Posted on Sat, 30 Jul 2016, 11:10:00 AM  in Home buying tips,  My services
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Some of us will tackle any project that comes our way, while others have neither the time nor the inclination to do home improvement. Here is a list of 10 basic tools that are perfect for your first-time homebuyer toolbox, even if you never plan to use them. Always remember to read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions and use proper safety equipment.

Home Improvement Book

Black & Decker has an entire series dedicated to home repair and improvement, but for a quick reference guide choose their “Black & Decker The Book of Home How-To: The Complete Photo Guide to Home Repair & Improvement.” Remember to consult your local code manuals.


When choosing the size and type of ladder, consider the height of your interior ceilings and whether you plan to use it outside for cleaning the gutters.

toolsLightweight Drill with Bit Set

Corded or cordless, a powerful lightweight drill is worth more than its weight in gold. Make sure the bit set has a variety of types and sizes, and many will usually come with a case and magnetic bit holder.

Extension Cord

Especially useful for that drill you just bought, but also good for Christmas lights, the dehumidifier in the basement, or other outdoor power tools. Be sure to get something high quality, indoor/outdoor, and with multiple plugs should you ever need them.

Screwdriver Set, or Similar

For those times when the drill is overkill, a screwdriver set never goes out of style. Spend a little more and buy a single screwdriver that ratchets and has multiple heads built into the handle – these take up very little space and are good for so many applications!

Adjustable Wrench / Crescent Wrench

Unless you are willing to spend a little more, this will not get you through any major plumbing projects, but it will shut off the water in an emergency or install a low-flow shower head.


This is probably the most obvious of the group, but there are actually many different types of hammers for different applications. Start with a basic but solid model with a little bit of heft.

Miscellaneous Fastener Kit

There are many versions of this, but they are usually relatively cheap plastic boxes with several types of nails, screws, nuts, and bolts. When you misplace the screw for your cabinet knob, need to hang a picture in a pinch, or want to secure the lip of trim on the stairs, you’ll be ready.

Tape Measure

From measuring for furniture to hanging shelving and trim, a tape measure is indispensable. Consider buying more than one – something longer and sturdier for the toolbox, and something shorter, more compact, and possibly magnetic to hang on the fridge or keep in your purse or car.


True, you won’t want to keep this in your toolbox, but don’t forget what a helpful home improvement tool it can be. Many smartphones have built-in levels and flashlights, offer conversion apps, can provide eBooks on any home improvement topic, and have the internet to look up code restrictions, find instructions or manuals, or watch helpful YouTube instructional videos. And, in a pinch, you can use it to call a professional for help!

The final tools any homeowner needs to have in his or her toolbox are humor and humility. Home improvement is hard, especially at first. You will get better and hopefully have some fun along the way. Be proud of your accomplishments, no matter how small. And if you find yourself at the end of your rope, don’t be afraid to call in a professional.

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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 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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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. 

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. 

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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Popular kitchen Ideas for 2016
Posted on Wed, 09 Dec 2015, 09:35:00 AM  in Home buying tips,  Home selling tips

Kitchens are unquestionably one of the most important areas of a home. They are the core of today's home. Multiple functions take place in the kitchens of today. Therefore, you want your kitchen to be modern, as well as offer convenience and style. The latest kitchen design ideas incorporate new features that enhance the kitchen's functionality. Even if you are not ready to completely overhaul your kitchen, a few small updates will add a more modern style.



Kitchen designs are becoming more functional. Popular kitchen ideas for 2016 put as much emphasis on function as they do on the kitchen's form. Homeowners want kitchens that are convenient and multifunctional. Comfortable working spaces and casual dining are highly sought-after. Multipurpose peninsulas, kitchen islands, and breakfast bars that incorporate space-saving designs are popular. Features, such as slide-out towel bars, pull-out waste cans, and pull-down shelves offer both convenience and functionality. When space is limited, innovative storage options and clever space savers make the best use of this limited space.


Gray Color Scheme

Gray was one of the hottest colors in home designer's color palettes for last year. This trend will likely continue into 2016. Gray is so much more modern than itchenbrowns, beiges, and camels that were quite popular over the last decade. Kitchen designers predict that gray replace these colors in the kitchen and that gray will be a popular shade for kitchen cabinets. Combining different color cabinets are also becoming more popular.


Colorful Hues for Sinks

A kitchen sink is a great way to add a pop of color to a kitchen. Trendy sinks include eye-catching colors, such as lime green. Designers are coordinating sink colors with backsplashes. These bold colors naturally draw the eye in to make this area the focal point of the kitchen. Be sure that your kitchen appears modern by balancing bold colors with light neutral tones, such as gray.


Bold Fixtures and Modern Architecture

Give your kitchen a bold upgrade. Today's kitchens are all about bold, colorful looks. Choose minimalistic faucet styles for a trendy modern look. Oversized light fixtures give a sense of drama and depth to a kitchen. Adding to the contemporary feel, bold yet simple drawer and cabinet hardware will create a modern feel.


Increase Kitchen Storage

Today's kitchens feature space saving designs. They double up on storage space through creative designs. Cleaver multi-tiered doors create additional space. Vertical drawers take advantage of otherwise wasted wall space. These types of drawers also work well for those small items that are difficult to store, such as spices.



The kitchen of today features technology that makes your life easier. The current trends in kitchens are focused on smart technology. Homeowners are incorporating charging stations into their kitchen design. These charging stations bring functionality into the kitchen while complementing the décor. Sensors alert your smartphone when dinner is ready. Hands-free faucets offer convenience, especially for little ones who can't reach the faucet. A Bluetooth-enabled cooker allows you to connect to your phone, search recipes, and integrate the suggested cooking times and temperatures so that your food comes out perfect each and every time.


There are small ways that you can add automation and convenience to your kitchen in 2016 without breaking the bank. Lowes offers a reasonable DIY home automation system that is customizable for your needs and easy to install. This system allows you to keep food frozen, monitor cabinets to prevent little ones from getting into things that they shouldn't, and illuminate the kitchen when you walk downstairs for a midnight snack.


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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

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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Selling your house in the Winter
Posted on Tue, 10 Nov 2015, 10:10:00 AM  in Home buying tips

Research indicates that homes generally sell for more in the warmer months than in winter and that more buyers put off their searches until the warmer season. Not everyone can afford to wait a few months before listing their homes though, which is why it's important that you look at some tips that can help you find a buyer when the temperature falls below freezing and there is snow on the ground. No matter what it looks like outside, you can still find the right buyer for your property. 

Use Holiday Decorations

When most people think of winter, they think of Christmas. Buyers searching for homes in the late fall and early winter often want homes that are ready for them and homes they can move into before celebrating the holidays. You can make them feel at home with some simple holiday decorations. Setting up a Christmas tree in the living room, hanging lights along the porch and/or roof and placing a wreath on the front door will make your home more appealing. You can even arrange for some of those decorations to stay with the house.

Make Your Home Warm
Experts often recommend that you make your home look warmer and more inviting before putting it on the market during the colder season. If you have a fireplace that no longer works, you can make it look like a working fireplace with the addition of a few candles. You can also drape your furniture in soft and comfortable blankets that will leave open house visitors wanting to sit down and curl up in one of those blankets. Placing a few heaters around your house or turning up your thermostat to a warmer temperature may also appeal to those buyers. 

Set a Good Price

Buyers are less likely to attend open houses and take home tours in the winter because they want to avoid the cold outside. Dropping the price on your house makes it more appealing and may entice buyers to take a trip outdoors. While some think this means that they need to drop their price to one that don't feel comfortable with, you can simply reduce your price by a few thousand less than similar homes on the market. This helps your home standout among the other listings found online. You might find yourself surprised at the number of shoppers looking for a winter bargain.

Pay for an Inspection

Those buyers who brave the cold outside want to know that they can get more for their money. Buyers typically pay for an inspection before or after making an offer to get an idea about the value of the home and the number of repairs needed. You can make buyers feel more confident about buying your home when you pay for an inspection ahead of time. Buyers can learn more about your home and see the value compared to the price you ask, which may encourage them to make an offer on the spot.

Clear the Exterior

No one wants to trudge through piles of snow and brave icy driveways just to get a look at the inside of a home. If you rarely take care of your lawn and driveway in winter, you might see buyers drive up and drive away without ever stepping foot inside. Cleaning the exterior of your home gets more buyers inside, and you can do simple things like sweep the walkway, remove ice from the driveway and clean up any snowdrifts or piles near the front door. Getting rid of snow and ice is just one way you can get your house sold this winter.


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Selling Your Home Through A Realtor
Posted on Tue, 27 Oct 2015, 09:35:00 AM  in Home buying tips,  Home selling tips,  My services

To use a Realtor or to sell "by owner?" That's the question. Why pay another person to do something that you're perfectly willing, and perfectly capable of doing yourself?

Realtors simply provide a professional service, no different than any other service provided by any other professional. Some people love cleaning their home. Others prefer hiring a professional to do it. Some people like the challenge of educating their own kids. Others think that best left to professional teachers. Some people represent themselves in court. Others retain the services of a lawyer.

If you believe you can sell your own home just as effectively as a Realtor could, and you're willing to make the effort, why not try? But before you decide, take some time to consider exactly what a Realtor provides.

*Experienced Market Knowledge
Pricing a home is one of the most important factors determining how quickly, or whether a house sells. Anyone can compare home prices on the Internet. But a licensed Realtor has access to a wealth of current and historical information, and the experience to be able to interpret that data in ways that will help price your home correctly. That alone is worth the price of commission.

*An Expert Plan
A professional Realtor has likely been in tens of thousands of homes over the years. That Realtor will be able to quickly assess exactly what needs to be done tosalesagent get your home ready to sell then help you stage the home, prepare for showings, and plan for every phase of the experience, from open house to inspections to appraisals and beyond.

*Professional Marketing
Realtors have professional photographers, videographers, graphic designers and writers at their disposal who are experts in conveying to potential buyers the essence of your beautiful home. They also have access to a network of websites, print publications and social media outlets, all of which will be put to work 24-7 to get your home sold. In addition, when you hire a Realtor, your home becomes known to everyone in that Realtor's sphere of influence. What can you do to compete with that, besides personal websites and a sign in the lawn? Yes, that still may work, but successful marketing is about scientifically targeting qualified buyers and maximizing the possibilities.

*Instant Legitimacy
For Sale By Owners (FSBOs) statistically tend to be overpriced, more difficult to view, and take longer to close. Many experienced buyers and buyer's agents simply will not work with FSBOs for those reasons.

*Flexibility in Showings
When you sell your home yourself, you have to be home for every showing. Any lack of availability can jeopardize the sale. With a Realtor, you never need to worry about showings. They will be scheduled and planned in advance, and modern digital lockboxes allow for flexible access to a home, and track every person who comes and goes. A Realtor can arrange to have your house shown any day at any time, and can then follow up digitally for feedback following each showing.

*Emotional Distance
Listening to the complaints of customers as they tour your home can be heartbreaking. A Realtor provides a filter through which only constructive comments make it to the homeowner.

*An Experienced Negotiating Partner
When an offer comes in, an expert negotiator can save you thousands of dollars, both in the original negotiation as well as during the inspection and appraisal.

*Guidance From Start to Finish
When you hire a Realtor to sell your home, you have a professional who is fully invested in making sure you succeed, and that every phase of the process goes smoothly and efficiently.


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Renting Out Your Basement
Posted on Tue, 13 Oct 2015, 10:45:00 AM  in Home buying tips,  Home selling tips

Do you want to make some extra income and make use of wasted space in your home? If you have a finished basement, you can make hundreds of dollars every month just from that space. You need to check the rules in your area regarding what the basement suite must provide, and you'll need to know how to find the best tenants. Choosing the wrong person to rent the room may leave you facing costly repair bills and going through a lengthy eviction process. Before transforming your basement into a rental unit, make sure you know what to expect.

What Constitutes a Rental Unit?

It's important that you check the laws for your city and state to find out what you must include before renting out your basement. Most apartments most contain some type of bathroom and kitchen space. You can create a small kitchenette with just a few appliances and add a small shower and toilet to your basement. Many states also require that any legal bedroom feature a closet and at least one window. While the windows already found in your basement count, you may need to add a closet or storage area.

Finishing Your Basement

Unless your basement is already finished, you can forget about looking for renters. Would you want to live in a room with concrete floors and bare walls that feels cold all year long? You will likely need to make some type of investment in your basement to get the space ready for future tenants. A good contractor or construction company can easily help you install new walls, lay down new flooring and add any of the features that you want to offer tenants. Contractors can also help you install a bathroom and kitchenette in the basement. 

Finding Tenants

Once you have the basement ready to go, you'll need to find the right tenants. There are a few different ways in which you can advertise the unit, including withbasement a sign in your front yard or a posting online. You will want to give potential tenants some type of application that asks them about their employment history and monthly income to ensure that they can afford the space. As the person who rents your basement will live inside your home, you may also want to perform a background check. Though background checks cost money, a simple check can help you avoid high costs later.

Getting a Higher Price

The amount of money you make in terms of rent depends on both where you live and what you offer tenants. A simple finished basement with a tiny bathroom and a bare bones kitchen will likely get you the least amount of money for the space. Adding just a few extra features can help you earn even more. You might invest in a few key pieces of furniture, including a sofa and bedroom set, or you might install a shower and tub combo rather than a simple shower. Including the cost of utilities in the rental price can help you get more too.

Your Privacy

Before you rent out your basement, think about how a tenant will affect your privacy. If there is only one entrance to the apartment, your tenant will need to come through your home every day, which is why many pay extra to install a separate outside entrance to the basement. You may also find yourself dealing with loud noises coming from the space too. Think about how a tenant might interfere with your privacy, the laws in your area and what your basement needs before you consider renting out your basement.


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Fees Associated With Buying A Home - Get In The Know!
Posted on Tue, 15 Sep 2015, 11:52:11 AM  in Home buying tips,  My services
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When buying real estate, there are many expenses to be considered in addition to purchase price. Depending on local area information and the size of a mortgage, fees associated with a real estate purchase can amount to 3% or more of the sales price.

Some fees are lender's fees, associated with acquiring a mortgage. Other fees are associated with the property itself, and are paid to various contractors involved in the home buying process. Still others are known as closing costs, and come into play when the transaction closes. Almost all of these fees are collected at the time of closing by whoever closes the transaction, and distributed to the various parties when the closing is complete.

Here’s a breakdown of most common fees that are associated with buying a home:

Lenders Fees

*Credit report fee
Charged when a lender checks a borrower’s credit

*Loan origination fee
Charged by a lender to initiate a borrower’s mortgage application

*Processing fee
Charged by a lender to process a borrower’s mortgage application

*Underwriting fee
Charged by a lender to compensate the underwriter, a.k.a. the person who decides which loans to approve

Charged by a lender in order to lower the lifetime interest rate on a loan

Property Fees

*Home inspection
Charged by a professional home inspector to assess and document the overall condition of all systems and elements of a property

*Pest inspection
Covers the cost of assessing and documenting insect or rodent damage to a home, or current infestations

Covers the cost of hiring a professional surveyor to document the boundaries of a real estate parcel

Covers the cost of hiring a licensed appraiser to assess and document the objective market value of a real estate parcel

Closing Costs

*Pre-paids (escrow)
One year's worth of property taxes, homeowner's insurance payments, and, if applicable, homeowner's association (HOA) dues, required to be paid at closing

*Recording fees
Covers costs of recording the mortgage and deed with the county and state

*Flood life of the loan fee
A municipal fee covering ongoing costs of monitoring flood zone boundaries

*Tax service fee
Covers costs associated with guaranteeing a property’s taxes are up to date at the time of closing

*Closing fee / escrow fee
Charged by whoever is managing the closing

*Title search / exam fee
Covers costs associated with researching whether any other parties hold a lien or a deed on the property

*Courier fee
Covers the cost of paying a courier to carry documents back and forth in order to to finalize the closing

*Lender's title insurance policy
Covers the bank, insuring that the new buyer is the true property owner and that the mortgage is a valid lien on the property

*Owner's title insurance policy
Covers the buyer in the event that future claims are made by lien holders undiscovered at the time of closing

*Natural hazards disclosure report
Required in some states to be given to the buyer from the seller

*Attorney fees
Paid to any attorneys involved in the closing

*Transfer tax
Paid to the municipality in which a real estate title changes hands

*Pre-paid interest
Covers monthly interest due on the loan, as calculated from the closing date through the end of the month

*HOA transfer fee
Insures the seller’s HOA dues are current and transfers HOA documents to the buyer

All told, lenders fees, property fees and closing costs can add up to $5000 or more, depending on local area information and the size of a mortgage. And there’s one final expense homebuyers also need to keep in mind: moving costs!


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