Posts Tagged ‘Home sales’

The Cambridge Market Snapshot compares September 2014 to September 2013 Real Estate activity for Cambridge Ontario and also a five year comparison on the number of homes listed and sold and average price of list and average price of sold. All information refers only to single detached homes for the five listed area.

Cambridge Market Snapshot

 

Now is a good time to sell your home. Start now with a FREE HOME EVALUATION!

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Clean Home

It simply makes sense to clean up both the interior and exterior of your home before listing it for sale. But that doesn’t mean you have to undertake major home renovation projects in order to sell your home. With a little effort you can increase the perceived value of your home by a great margin.
Here are some simple things to keep in mind that you can do to increase the perceived value of your home and make the perfect first impression.
Exterior of Home

  • Keep lawns cut
  • Trim hedges and bushes
  • Weed and edge gardens
  • Clear driveway and clean stains
  • Clean out garage
  • Power wash home exterior
  • Touch up paint
  • Plant colorful flowers

 

At The Front Door

  • Clean porch and foyer
  • Ensure doorbell works
  • Repair any broken screens
  • Fresh paint or varnish front door
  • Repair any damages to the door and/or locks

 

Setting the Right Mood

  • Make sure your home smells fresh and clean
  • Turn on lights
  • Turn on air conditioner/heater
  • Open the drapes
  • Light the fireplace

 

Maximize Open Space

  • Clear halls and stairs of clutter
  • Clear kitchen counter and stove top
  • Clear closets of unnecessary items
  • Remove empty boxes and storage
  • Put away personal photos so buyers can envision the house as theirs

 

Maintenance

  • Repair leaking taps and toilets
  • Clean furnace and filters
  • Tighten door knobs and latches
  • Repair cracked plaster
  • Apply fresh coat of paint or touch up where necessary
  • Clean and repair windows
  • Repair seals around tubs and basins
  • Replace defective light bulbs
  • Oil squeaking doors
  • Repair squeaking floor boards

 

Squeaky Clean

  • Clean and freshen bathrooms
  • Clean fridge and stove
  • Clean around heating vents
  • Clean washer and dryer
  • Clean carpets, drapes and window blinds
  • Eliminate pet odors and stains

 

 

Find Your Dream Home with our Help!

Summer came and left just like that! August market was slower for the Cambridge area but September is starting out like a lion. We’ll have to wait and see  how it all unfurl.

Here are the results for August:

Cambridge Market Barometer for  August

 

Dream Homes still available! Right Here!

It’s that time of year when many folks decide to sell their homes and having an Open House is most likely part of the agent’s marketing plan to attract buyers and a sale of the home. But not every one attending Open House has the intention of buying a home. Find out how to protect yourself and your belongings during an Open House. This video will show you how.

 

 

Looking for a Dream Home? CLICK HERE! to get started!

If you are thinking of Selling your home and are not sure where to start CLICK HERE for the first steps!

Hiring the right contractor

 

If you are planning on getting some major home renovations done whether it is finishing a basement or updating a kitchen or bathroom,  you should know that one of the biggest challenges is finding the right contractor. You’ve probably seen the Mike Holmes episode where a job was completely botched or the contractor made a disappearance act with the home owners hard-earned cash. So here are some tips on how to pick the right contractor to get the job done:

Referrals

The best contractor is often found by word of mouth. Who do you know that has had work done in their home? If none of your closest friends or relatives, look for a contractor’s sign at one of the nearby neighbour? Go ahead and introduce yourself to them and ask them questions about the work that they got done. You will get an honest, unbiased opinion. And what a great way to get to know the neighbours.
Browse professional listings in the papers or online. Check their website and the work that they have done. Check the references and the reviews. Send them an email to get a list of references for similar jobs as what you want done and be sure to call those references.

Once you have the referrals, privately meet with the home owner to discuss the work that was done and if the expectations were met. Was the work completed on time as discussed and was the work on budget? Find out if the relationship with the contractor was pleasant and if any problems arose how was a solution achieved? Was it fair and pleasant?

Has there been any follow-ups from the contractor once the job was completed to make sure that they were satisfied with the workmanship? These are all important and valid questions that you need to ask before signing a contract.

Verify that the contractor has a physical street address and not just a post office box and a valid phone number not just an answering service.

Type of Contractor

Determine what type of contractor you need. Many contractors will have more than one specialty but some will also hire sub-contractors. So check who has the most experience in the type of work you need whether it is home renovation or painting or brick work.  Find out what kind of experience he has with the size and age of homes similar to yours. You should know that a larger contractor might not take a small paint job but here you could employ a handy man as long as you get and check his references. If you need both a contractor and a designer make sure to get both involve in the planning early so that they can work together on the project.

License and Insurance

Make sure that the contractor that you are looking to hire carries the licenses and insurances required by the provincial board including public liability and property damage insurance. Get everything in writing and that includes the fact that he carries up to date and licences and insurances that are in good standing. Another basic requirement, one every contractor with employees should meet, is the provision of Workers’ Compensation (WSIB). Any sub-contractor hired by the contractor should also be covered. Make sure to ask if he will be using sub-contractor and who they are.

View the Work

Once you have obtained references from the contractor make sure to not only call but also make arrangements to go see some of the work that was previously done. Try to get references for past jobs that are older like a 5-10 years spread and go see if the work still holds up to the workmanship and stand the test of time. Find out if the company offers any kind of warranty for the work.

Read and Understand the Fine Prints

Ask to review the contract before signing. Understanding that the contract is a legal, binding document is vital. Make sure you read and understand the contract carefully before signing it and that all aspects of the project are accurately described, and that everything promised and agreed upon is included. Don’t be pressured for quick hiring decision or on the spot discount for hiring.
Renovations sometimes come with unknown surprises which could affect the work and the cost. Make sure to get an updated estimate if plans need to be changed. You should allow 10-15% of your budget for additional cost for those unknown and unplanned changes.

The Contract Should Include:

  • Names and physical addresses of contractor and yourself
  • The firm’s full title, address, telephone number, and the name of the firm’s official representative.
  • A detailed description of the project, including plans and drawings, when applicable.
  • Specific materials to be used.
  • All work being subcontracted (i.e. plumbing, wiring, etc.).
  • All required building permits should be noted, as well as who will be responsible for obtaining and paying for them.
  • Notation that all work will be done according to local building codes.
  • Notation that the contractor will clean up the renovation area at the end of each workday, and remove debris, and that all debris will be removed by the contractor at the completion of the project.
  • A statement of all warranties, with an explanation as to what is covered, and for how long.
  • A statement of the contractor’s public liability and property damage insurance.
  • Starting and completion dates; penalties, if any.
  • Get in writing how many days each week the contractor plans to work on your project. This is because some contractors take on several jobs at once, dividing their time between them.
  • Project cost and terms of payment.
  • Any other information, terms, or promises, vital to the project.

Payment Plan

The contractor will require a deposit once you have agreed on a job. That deposit should be around 10% and no more than $1000 up front.  Be wary of contractors who require large cash payments up front to buy material. Most reputable contractors have charge accounts from their suppliers eliminating the need for large deposits.

Remember that the Construction Lien Act allows you to withhold 10% of the total cost of the project for 45 days beyond the substantial completion of the project. This protects you if the renovator fails to pay all subcontractors and suppliers; it is not withheld, however, to ensure that the job itself is properly completed that’s what the contract is for.  This is standard to most contractors and anyone wanting full payment ahead of a large job should cause a red flag to raise and prompt you to exercise caution.

Remember, verbal assurances are worthless; get everything in writing! Never agree to ‘progression’
clauses in the contract that require payments at specified times, regardless of amount of work accomplished.

Finding a good contractor does require a bit of work on your part but you can be assured that it will be worth it once the work is all completed. A professionally completed renovation will add value to your home and potentially increase its resale value. There are many excellent and professional contractors in the region be sure to ask me about them if you are still unsure after you have done your research.

If you are still looking for Your Dream Home CLICK HERE! And get started!

first-time-homebuyers

Buying a home requires knowledge and we are here to help you in the process. When you hire a Realtor you have the best representation to help you find your dream home and to help you negotiate the best deal for your wallet. Your interests are the Realtor’s prime concerns. How will he stay in business or get new clients if he does not give you top service? What will he do to get you the best deal and how can you prepare to avoid any mistakes that buyers often overlook but alas too late? Here are some of the major steps to home buying:

Get Mortgage Pre-Approved

One of the most important steps into home buying is finding what you can afford to buy. When you get Mortgage pre-approved you will also know how much you can afford to pay for a home and it will help greatly in choosing the right home. Most Mortgage lender will guarantee you a rate for a particular length of time making it easier to search for your home without the stress of having to make a rush decision. It will also give you dealing power because the sellers will take your offer more seriously knowing that you are pre-approved.

Get the Right House

We put every home buyer under the magnifying glass sort of speak to find out what client’s needs are. We have developed a “Buyer’s Wish List” to help buyers sort out the needs versus the wants. Once you are equipped with the List you are better able to focus on finding the home that meets your criteria and you are less susceptible to play the emotional roulette.

Placing an Offer

Deciding to place an offer requires some homework that your Realtor will be more than happy to do. He will find out what other comparable homes in the area sold for and whether this home is overpriced for the market. This will give you negotiating power if you want to pursue the offer. You don’t want to pay too much for a home and by the same token if you have found the right house you want to be able to beat out the competition by knowing how far you should go in a multiple offer. You want to make the best business decision for you and keeping the emotional entanglements away will save you money and heart aches.

Documents Accuracy

Part of the offer should include title search and survey of the property to make sure that you are getting everything that is listed without any infringements. The title search will advise whether the seller has the right to sell that property and whether there are any encumbrances such as liens, easement, mortgages or property line issues that would prevent the buyer from taking full possession.

Helping Buyers find not just a house but the right house is what we do. Once our buyers are equipped with the knowledge to make the right choice they are on their way to purchasing their dream home.

exterior-paint

When it comes to exterior house painting there are a few things to keep in mind before slathering that first coat on. Picking the perfect colour for the exterior of your home requires a few tips. Your paint choice can transform your home into a dream home or a neighbourhood nightmare. Fortunately there is no shortage of shade from which to choose from. Here’s what you need to know to help you make that choice:

Take the curb appeal test. Walk across the road from your home and then turn around to look at it. Find the colour that is most prevalent that cannot be changed. For example the blue flex on the roof or the red veins in the yellow brick. This will help you in determining a colour scheme that will take these unchangeable shades into account. Don’t be afraid to think out of the box when it comes to colour. You want to accent the architectural character and charm of your home with contrasting colours. Start with your entryway.

Exterior colour trends don’t change very fast for most neighbourhoods. Checking the neighbours and surrounding area first might help you in finding colour choices that fit your home and your area. Canary yellow might bring the attention but it certainly would not gain you brownie points with the neighbours if all the homes around you sport a neutral blend.  You want to freshen the look and update it but you don’t want to stick up like a sore thumb either.

White is always a safe colour but you could experiment with few neutral shades and a small punch of colour to give your home the pizzazz that it needs. Avoid highlighting drab features such as the gutters or the air conditioning unit.  Your window trim and front door could be a great place to start.

exterior colour

Light colours will make your home seem larger and more inviting than dark ones. A home painted green would get lost in a heavily wooded lot and a bright colour one might seem too harsh where landscaping is sparse.

Decide on your colour scheme and what part of the architecture that you will emphasize before you get started. Try sample testing a small amount of your home that is less visible before you embark full throttle. With newer homes having mainly brick and vinyl siding you might not be able to paint too much so pick the right accent.

A few well-chosen colours could be all that is needed to make your home a  dream come true and the envy of the neighbourhood.

Whether you are Selling a Dream Home or Looking to Buy a Dream Home – Click the links and get started right now!