High Energy Bills – The first sign home owners can watch for are unusually high energy bills in the winter. If heat is slipping through doors that have old weather stripping on them, it is only sensible to take the steps for resealing at the doors and any other potential areas that might be losing heat so you can save more money in the long run.
Pest Problem – Regardless if it is an insect issue or something larger like rodents, it is easier to take preventative measures instead of reparative measures. Once the pests have infested the home, it can cost hundreds of dollars to remove them and possibly thousands to repair any damage they may have caused.
Dangerous Radon – Radon is a radioactive, colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas that is present in the vast majority of houses which can be especially dangerous if gas levels are high. It often enters the home through the basement. The best practice is to caulk all cracks in the basement and if there are additional concerns a Home Testing Kit can be purchased for added peace of mind.
Mold Damage – If the humidity in a home is not moderated properly, mold can completely destroy a home. It would be an especially high risk if the home IS properly sealed and the occupants cook and/or shower often without running the fans. Once the mold sets in, it is also a health hazard for the current occupants of the home and a potentially large cost to remediate which would complicate any possible resale.
#1. What is the cost of using a buying REALTOR®? It is a common misconception that you save money by not using a buyer's agent. However in residential real estate, the commission is usually paid by the seller regardless if a buyer's agent is involved or not. Therefore you might as well take advantage of the free benefits an experienced real estate professional will bring to the table. Note that there are rare scenarios where a buyer is required to pay their REALTOR® out-of-pocket, but this would have to be fully disclosed and agreed upon in a signed document.
#2. Do you know what kind of buying REALTOR® you would like to work with? It is important to research REALTORS® before working with one. What kind of credentials do they have? Do they have positive reviews from helping other buyers purchase their homes? What are they able to contribute to your home search process? Don’t be afraid to ask your potential buying REALTOR® what sets them apart from the others.
#3. What kind business are you supporting by giving your REALTOR® business? In a generation that represents responsible consumerism more than ever, a thorough understanding of your REALTOR® should be mandatory. Do they give back to the community, therefore allowing you to give back through your purchase? Are they known for ethical practices within the real estate industry? Do they have kids which means, in turn, your support is helping with sports teams or college funds? Do they have a giant comic book collection and your support will help them double that collection? It is your responsibility, as a responsible consumer, to support a REALTOR® whose values align with yours.
#4. Can you trusts your REALTOR®? If you’ve done your proper due diligence as a future real estate consumer, you can rest assured that your REALTOR® will carry out their fiduciary duties to the best of their abilities. If your agent is a REALTOR®, and not just a real estate agent, they are bound to a code of ethics. It essentially stipulates that REALTORS® legally owe their client a list of fiduciary duties such as honesty, protecting your best interest and confidentiality. The code of ethics is strictly enforced and discrepancies can lead to serious REALTOR® penalties such as thousands of dollars in fines or lengthy suspensions from practice.
#5. How does your buying REALTOR® protect you? In Saskatchewan, REALTORS® are required to keep full files of all documents in all transactions for seven years. Consequently if you have any questions or lost paperwork for your home for resale or refinancing, which often happens, you can count on that safety net. Secondly, your buying REALTOR® has access to all MLS® data which can protect you from overpaying for a property, which is especially common when purchasing “For Sale By Owners”. REALTORS® are also heavily insured by Errors And Omissions so if for some reason a mistake is made, you could be shielded by this. Lastly, with a skilled REALTOR®, you are protected from being manipulated and/or blind-sighted during negotiations.
All outlined details are accurate as of September 2nd, 2019:
- Available across Canada starting September 2nd, 2019 until March 31st, 2024 -OR- when the 1.25 billion dollars allocated for this program has been depleted.
- “The Incentive” is a Shared Equity Mortgage Loan.
- The Government of Canada will share in the upside and downside of the property value upon repayment.
- Canadian citizens, permanent residents, and non-permanent residents may apply.
- The property must be in Canada, available for full-time occupancy, with 1-4 units.
- Applicants must have a total household income less than $120,000 to qualify.
- Your total borrowing limit is up to four times the qualifying limit ($480,000)
- Your down payment + incentive is less than 20% of the property value.
- At least one applicant must be a first-time homebuyer, defined as the following:
- Never purchased a home before
- You recently experienced a breakdown of marriage or common-law
- You have not occupied your “family home” in the last four years
- “The incentive” is a second mortgage on title. There is no principal payment, no interest, and it has a maximum term of 25 years.
- It may be switched to a different financial institution without having to repay “the incentive”.
- No prepayment penalties. Repayment can be made on the sale of the property, at the end of the 25 year term, or at any time through voluntary repayment of the full incentive amount (no partial payments).
If you have additional questions, please contact your trust mortgage expert. For assistance in procuring your home, please contact Tanya LaRose at 306-380-7325 to begin the home buying process.
Buying and selling a home can be difficult for everyone without the added twist of a furry dependent. However homes with pets sell all the time and there is an observed etiquette for such situations. It is well-known that pets are like family members and there are certain things to remember during showings to be respectful.
- Close Doors Immediately - If you enter a home, be sure to close the door immediately behind you in case the cat wants to sneak out! You do not want to begin negotiations with telling the home owners that 15 year old "Whiskers" ran away.
- Do Not Touch The Pets - No tapping on fish tanks, no putting your fingers in the bird cage, and do not even think about going near any kennels.
- Down Time In The Kennel - Although you are free to leave your pet "as is" at home, there is no guaranteeing the safety of the pet or potential buyer during the showing. Kenneling is a common option as long as your pet is healthy enough to do so.
- Remove Pets During Showings - If possible, swing by your home prior to the scheduled showing time and pick up your fur baby. Or maybe they can go to a sitters for the day.
- Temporarily Relocate - If you have family or friends that are open to keeping your pet while your home is on the market, that would be ideal.
- Showing Quality - Repair any damage your pet may have caused to flooring, doors, trim, etc. and take steps to remove any odor or stains.
- Staging Is Like The Lipstick Of A Home - You can show up without it, but you’ll get more attention when you have taken the time to apply it properly. It also means no staging is better than very poor staging.
- A Home Staged To Sell Is Different Than A Home Staged To Live In - Furniture style and trends take precedent over furniture placement. Nobody will notice if the cutlery is not in order or if a coat rack is not directly next to the door. However everyone will notice if you try to stage a home with pieces of furniture from the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s.
- Psychological Cues - Staging is meant to peak the buyers attention on both a conscious and subconscious level relying on colours, balance, and flow. If the visual makes them feel good, they will associate this feeling with the home.
- Vacant Homes - Always invest in staging for vacant homes as it is proven to bring more showings and higher offers. It also minimizes the initial appearance of the homes deficiencies.
- Staging Is Meant To Inspire - When the home is vacant, viewing only a few staged rooms is beneficial because it offers creative inspiration, and scale, while allowing potential buyers space to envision their own furniture.
- Respect The Staging - If you are in a staged home, it is customary to avoid sitting on the furniture or walking on the rugs. Think of it as art, it is meant to be admired and not touched.
- Staging Is Not Magic - No type of furniture will sell a home if it is wildly overpriced, make sure it is priced according to market value.
If you are listing your home, or a home, visit www.upstaginginteriordesigns.com for a free consultation when you mention this blog.