- Effective Investing – With holiday expenses far behind and possibly a generous tax return under your belt, it would be wise to invest extra funds into an appreciating asset such as a new home or rental property instead of heading to that car dealership lot.
- Better Quality Home Inspections – When the perimeter of a house is covered by four feet of snow and the shingles are completely covered, home inspectors cannot identify those future costs for any potential repairs. Without snow, the thoroughness of the exterior inspections can save a buyer huge costs down the road.
- Higher Supply – For everyone who did not want to move in -40 Celsius weather or for those families who need to move by the end of the school year, a new set of homes consequently hit the market and an overall seller competitiveness is raised.
- Motivated Sellers – As the new set of homes hit the market, the older listings tend to become frustrated and overlooked. It is an opportune time for your agent to delicately negotiate an excellent deal you.
- Enjoyable Experience – Packing up all of your belongings to move to your new home can be 10X more enjoyable in the spring. You may already be doing some spring cleaning, you can purge any unneeded items, the warm sun will be on your face when you load the truck, and a lush green backyard will be waiting at your new home - just in time to fire up the BBQ for your first house warming party.
- General Cleaning – Time to deep clean! Wash walls, floors, light-fixtures, underneath appliances, above cabinets, windows, window coverings, and carpet. Removing any dust, mites, and allergens will make for a healthier spring.
- Investigate Thoroughly – Houses change over the years so you will want to investigate every corner and crevasse to ensure there is no mould growth, dampness, or openings that might be an access point for any insects or rodents.
- Observe Plumbing – You will want to take a look at all of the plumbing in your house from bathrooms to the kitchen and mechanical room alike. Make sure there is no sweating, bulging, or leaks on any of the pipes. If you find something irregular – call the plumber.
- Touch-Up Caulking – If the caulking is in rough shape, you may want to skip the touch-ups and completely strip and re-caulk to ensure your doors and windows look their best for spring.
- Air-Filter Replacement – Replace those dirty air filters or if you have a re-usable filter, take it out for a good vacuum and wash.
- Dehumidify – Depending on your mechanical space, you may be able to manually lower the humidity in the house. If you are in an older house, buy a quality dehumidifier for those higher temperatures.
- Complete A Safety Inspection – Check all of the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they are functioning properly. Also be sure to include a fire distinguisher in the kitchen.
- Check The Exterior – Once the snow begins to dissipate, you can take a closer look at your house. From the roof down to the foundation, look for any damage that may have happened over the winter.
- Clean The Gutters – One of the most common reasons for water damage is clogged gutters. You should also make sure you have all of the correct downspouts.
- Inspect Your Grading – When the snow melts, it needs a runoff so it doesn’t pool around the foundation, this can eventually compromise its integrity. Build it up and aim for at least a 6” slope.
- Remove Storm Windows – If you use storm windows in the winter, now is the time to take them down and put the screens back on. You should also use this time to clean the windows.
- Check On Lawn Tools – Make sure blades are sharp, fuel tanks are filled, and lawn products are ready so you can tackle the landscape as soon as those higher temperatures start to roll in.
- Inspect For Pests – Nobody wants rodents or excessive insects in their house or manifesting on their lot. If you see any droppings or signs of pests, call pest control.
- Service The Air Conditioner – A/C maintenance can improve energy-efficiency, lengthen unit lifespan, and ensure functionality when it is scorching hot outside. Call the professionals now because HVAC companies get increasingly busy as spring progresses. Get them to check heating and ventilation while they are at it.
1. Arrange for someone to shovel the walkway or mow the lawn – this will give the impression that the home is being kept.
2. Inform your post office that you will be away for an extended period of time – nothing screams “nobody is home” louder than an overflowing mailbox.
3. Set timers – exterior lighting, TV’s, music players, and anything else that can be automatically turned on without your presence is a great deterrent to anybody who might be watching your house.
4. Do not leave a copy of the key anywhere outside – these can very easily be found by burglars who know all of the “typical” hiding spots.
5. Do not close all of the curtains – especially if you normally leave them open, you will want to close a few and leave some open with clear view of light or TV on.
6. Alert your alarm company – so they can be sure to send the police immediately upon any alerts, and if you do not have an alarm you can call around to a few companies to see if they have any specials going on like free installation prior to your departure.
7. Lower your thermostat or air condition – in order to prevent an unnecessarily high bill upon your return, but if it is very cold outside you will want to take necessary precautions that the pipes do not freeze.
8. Have someone check in on the house – in case emergency access is needed or even just to water the plants, it is ideal to leave a trusted friend or family member with a copy of the key.
9. Turn your phone GPS off – as various apps publically identify your location automatically and may leave your empty house vulnerable to people you do not personally know.
10. Minimize social media – because broadcasting that you are in miles away from your home defeats the purpose of many of the aforementioned precautionary measures you may have taken.
- Consult A Reputable Mortgage Broker – Your current situation will be evaluated (free of charge) and you will be given instructions on how to get approved for a mortgage.
- Monitor Your Credit Score – You can log onto a credit score website like Equifax to evaluate your score without penalty, then increase your score by working out a payment plan for any outstanding payments or keeping up with minimum payments on current credit cards.
- Do Not Take Out Any New Credit – Forget about financing a new vehicle or getting another credit card, these will work against your debt ratio and credit score.
- Consider Options For Your Down Payment – There are many options for a down payment like a borrowed down payment, gifted down payment, RRSP contribution, vendor assisted down payment, grant program assistance, as well as good old fashion saving.
- Consolidate Your Debt – You mortgage broker may recommend consolidating your debt to better organize your finances and lower payments.
- Save For Additional Costs – The down payment is not the only upfront cost to purchasing your home, you will want to have extra money available for the lawyer fee, title transfer, home insurance, and any other unexpected costs that may come up.
- Consult A Reputable REALTOR® – It is important to have counsel on how to prepare for purchasing, and what to expect, once your finances are in order and you are ready to start looking at homes.