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:

1. Hire a moving company to handle everything.
2. Hire a truck and crew, while doing some of the work yourself. (For
example, you can pack and help with loading.)
3. Do it all yourself by renting a moving van and getting friends and family
to help.

If you’re going with option one, get quotations as early in the buying/selling
process as possible. Services, costs and quality vary widely among fullservice moving companies.

If you’re going to do some or all of the move yourself, the best place to start is
by making a list of what you’ll need. In addition to renting a moving van, or
hiring a truck and crew, there are many supplies you may require. For
example, you’ll need boxes, protective fill and/or wrapping (i.e. bubble wrap),
markers for labeling boxes, packing tape, and more.

You may decide to rely on friends to help load the truck on moving day. That’s
fine. Just be sure you have enough people to do the job within a reasonable
timeframe, and confirm everyone’s attendance at least a couple of days
before.

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 make a decision based
purely on marketing brochures and floor plans. Unless there’s a model home
just like the one you want, you’ll be buying sight unseen. Also, there may be
unpredictable construction delays — an unpleasant experience if you’ve
already sold your current property.

Of course, buying a resale home may also have a downside. For example,
the house might need work, such as a new roof. What you see is pretty much
what you get. And, that’s true for the floor plan too. You can’t ask for the living
room to be five feet wider, unless you decide to renovate.

On the other hand, a big advantage of a resale home is moving into a
neighbourhood that is already there for you to see and explore. Unlike in a
new development, you can get a very clear idea of what it’s going to be like to
live there.

Plus, you get to see the house too!

Regardless of which way you go, I can help you make the best decision and
find the home that’s perfect for you. Call today.

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 seriously if you have
financing in hand.

• Decide what you want. What type of home are you looking for? What
type of neighbourhood do you want to live in? The narrower your
focus, the less time you’ll waste looking at properties that don’t fit your
needs.

• Be open to possibilities. There are probably terrific homes on the
market — right now — that are close to what you’re looking for. So be
prepared to consider properties that are less-than-perfect. Remember,
what a home lacks today may be remedied with a renovation later on.

• Be flexible with your schedule. When you see a home you like,
schedule a viewing immediately, even if it’s at an inconvenient
day/time, such as a weekday after work. Finding a great home, quickly,
is worth some inconvenience.

• Get alerted to new listings. As they say, the early-bird gets the worm.
So arrange to be alerted to new listings the moment they come on the
market. That way, you can see these properties right away.

Want more tips on finding a home, quickly? Give me a call.

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.

• Some gadgets, such as alarm systems, come with their own
connection to the internet. Learn how to turn that connection off if it
becomes necessary to do so.

• Don’t leave an internet-connected appliance or other gadget on
constantly unless it’s necessary. For example, you don’t need your
home speaker system connected to your digital music providers all the
time.

• Baby monitors with video are a common target for hackers. Use a
password unique to that device and change it often. Never leave the
monitor on when not in use.

• Never share passwords with anyone unless it is absolutely necessary.
Most home WIFI systems have a “guest” feature with a separate
password and limited access. Use it.

In this age of internet connectivity — from coffee makers to stereos and even
washing machines — it’s smart to play it safe. Know what’s connected and
protect yourself.

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 adding the money you’ll get from the sale of your current property after repaying your outstanding mortgage, to any other funds you have available to invest plus the maximum amount of mortgage you qualify to receive.

Of course, just because you may qualify for a large mortgage doesn’t mean you want those bigger payments. So, the second step is to think about your needs. What features are a must in your next home? For example, you might want four bedrooms and anything less would be a deal-breaker.

Make a “must-have list”. That list can by used to find a baseline of properties on the market — and then find their average asking price. This will give you an idea of what it would cost to find a home that meets your must-have list. The third step is to go beyond needs and consider the features you want. These might not be deal-breakers, but you’d sure love to have them in your next home. They could be a large deck, a location in a desirable neighbourhood, a big country kitchen, etc. Ask yourself how much you would be willing to pay for those desirable features. $20,000? $50,000?

Once you’ve gone through these steps, you’ll have the information you need to match your needs and wants to what’s available on the market — and you’ll know how much you might expect to pay for your next home.

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 along walkways or in flower beds in the evenings.

• Deck post lights. These are easy to install because they’re designed to sit on top of a standard 4×4 wood deck post. Most are solar powered.

• Street-style lamps. As the name implies, these look similar to old fashioned street lamps. Installation is a little more complex, but still DIY-friendly. They’re eye-catching and have a dramatic impact on the look of your outdoor space.

• Portable lantern lights. These are outdoor lights that are portable and often made to look like a decorative fixture for a coffee table or side table. They can be placed anywhere.

• LED walkway lights. These are small lights that fit neatly and almost invisibly under stairs and around walkways. Walkway lights not only look good but also improve safety. Most are battery powered.

• Planter lights. This is one of the most interesting options. Each one is both a flower pot and a light in one! The pot itself is translucent which allows the light inside to shine through.

Design experts say you should treat your outdoor space as you would any room in your home. Lighting it up for evening comfort and enjoyment is a good place to start.

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 shower curtains, towels, window coverings,
mats, etc. can transform the look of a bathroom.

• Install new hardware. Replacing cabinet hardware may not seem like much of a change. However, it can have a surprisingly big impact. Shiny new hardware is like jewelry. It stands out.

• Replace the vanity mirror. Even if there are no scratches, an older mirror is like an old pair of glasses. It can become foggy. No amount of cleaning will make it any clearer. When ordering a replacement mirror, be sure that your measurements are exact.

• Paint. There’s no doubt about it. A fresh coat of paint makes any room look better. These bathroom improvement projects can make a huge impact on the look of your bathroom. And, they can all be done affordably and in just a day or two.

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 things stand out more during a viewing than something in obvious need of repair. That includes minor issues, like a dripping bathroom faucet, as well as major concerns, such as the central air conditioning unit not working. Get these repairs done.
  • Painting. Painting is one of the easiest and most affordable DIY projects you can do. Yet the impact it can have on your home is stunning. Some rooms are completely transformed by a fresh coat of paint.
  • Kitchens & Bathrooms. Buyers love to see great looking kitchens and bathrooms. In fact, there are even magazines devoted just to those rooms! You don’t necessarily need to do a major renovation of these spaces, but a makeover can be a good idea. Consider replacing sinks, countertops, and/or cabinet hardware.
  • Floors. If the floors in any of your rooms have become worn and unsightly, look at options for refreshing them. Consider replacing carpeting, refinishing hardwood, and/or getting tiles professionally cleaned and polished.
  • Outdoors. Sometimes you can compensate (a little) for a less-than-ideal interior by sprucing up the outdoor space. Explore ways to improve your deck or patio, walkways, and landscaping.

Even if your home is older, you can make it more attractive to buyers with any one of these projects.

Want more ideas for finding eager buyers for your home? Call today.