General Information about the Real Estate Market

High-end Kitchen Upgrades

High-end Kitchen

High-end Kitchen

As a professional full time realtor, I have found that a high-end kitchen is one of the most sought after rooms in the traditional single family home. According to my clients, they would rather spend more money remodelling their kitchen than finishing a basement. The kitchen is no longer the place where mom goes to cook the family dinner. Today, kitchens serve as the heart of the home, and many Canadians are looking for ways to make it more comfortable. Thus, home owners nowadays are focusing their time, money and energy in converting their kitchen to a high-end kitchen.

More homeowners see the kitchen as a multipurpose room where computers and other home electronics figure prominently. Refrigerators and dishwashers are being trimmed with cabinetry and integrated into the woodworking design, bringing more warmth and helping to blur the boundaries of adjacent rooms.

Warmth and comfort are an influencing factor for current kitchen styles, as natural and dark wood cabinets continue to be prominent choices. Decorative range hoods are increasing in popularity. Manufactured in stainless steel, copper and ceramic styles, hoods are no longer just a function of the kitchen, they are quickly becoming the centerpiece. Faucets are also breaking out into their own category. More recently, I have seen that nickel faucets have outpaced the traditional stainless as the most commonly used in kitchen design jobs.

Read Article

The advent of MLS

What does a MLS listing meang?

What does a MLS listing meang?

Basically, the MLS is like a virtual warehouse. I like to call it the “home depot” of homes. A MSL listing means property is available for sale, it goes on the MLS. When it is sold, it gets taken out of the MLS.

Since real estate cannot actually be stored in a warehouse, this means MLS only contains information. So the MLS is actually a database – an extremely convenient way to know what is available for sale at a given moment. That is why real estate agents developed the MLS.

Since developing and maintaining the MLS system wasn’t free, agents created local “MLS Associations,” required membership, and charged each other annual dues (plus additional fees) so that they could pay for the necessary staff and materials to make it work.

In the really olden days, an agent submitted listings to their local association and the MLS staff compiled the data on what was available for sale and what had been sold. Once a week MLS members received a book that showed all the current listings.

Read Article

What happens after Closing?

Repairs after closing - who is liable?

Repairs after closing – who is liable?

Home sellers and home buyers who make purchase agreements with each other are generally bound by their contracts’ terms. Many real estate purchase agreements contain language detailing just what repairs home sellers are responsible for completing before home sales close. Also, homebuyers sometimes have home inspectors or contractors check out the homes they’re buying to ensure completeness of any agreed-upon repairs. As for repairs after closing, the seller’s liability is complicated. It may or may not exist.

Many buyers insert repair clauses into the real estate purchase agreements they and their home sellers sign. Home sellers are generally liable for completing repairs they’ve agreed to make listed in the real estate purchase contracts they’ve executed with buyers. However, home buyers sometimes waive home repair inspection requirements after seller repairs are made, thus possibly ending seller liability for such repairs. But legal action could be possible if a home seller falsely assures a homebuyer that agreed-upon repairs have been completed.

Home sellers are required to give truthful information about home defects they know or should have known about. Home sellers can never deliberately withhold from potential buyers knowledge about their homes’ condition that could later pose problems, such as lead paint or termites.

Read Article

Winterizing your home

Protecting your home from the winter weather checklist

Protecting your home from the winter weather checklist

Winter weather is just around the corner and this is the time of year to make sure your home is prepared for the cold months ahead. Follow my checklist to winter-proof your home and to save hundreds of dollars on energy costs, potentially thousands of dollars in preventable home repair fees and to protect yourself and your loved ones from preventable accidents.

1. Seal driveways, brick patios, and wood decks. Clear away dead shrubbery near your foundation. Check walls for cracks and seal them as necessary

2. Inspect your attic to ensure you have adequate insulation to prevent warm air from escaping and forming condensation or ice dams in your home. Replace worn or missing roof shingles or tiles. Make sure that water from gutters runs away from the house by at least 2-3 metres. Clean your gutters

3. Change or repair weather stripping around doors. Look for cracks where heat may escape, and fill them. Upgrade dated windows with new, energy-efficient ones. Rake away all debris and edible vegetation from the foundation of your home

Read Article

Is my Home a former Meth House?

Are You About To Buy A Former Meth Lab?

Shopping for a good home can be difficult enough when simply considering the location. You may worry about additional factors such as the type of neighbors you’ll have or the quality of the school your children might attend.

One important factor that is often overlooked is the history of the home in question and whether it may pose as a problem.

Before you prepare to buy a home, this is one question you will definitely want to know the answer to.

“Am I Buying A Home That Was a Former Meth Lab?”

You may look at the house and not see any apparent clues that anyone ever produced methamphetamines there. It could be that you have no idea what signs to even look for.

I was recently contacted by an associate from,based out of Jensen Beach, Florida, who was generous enough to provide me with a visual graphic of the telltale signs of former meth labs.

12 Keys Rehab created this graphic as a guide:

Signs your house was a former meth lab

Signs your house was a former meth lab

Is Your Home a Former Meth House? by 12 Keys Rehab

Where Can I find the Best Home Inspector?

What quality of work to look for in the best home inspector?

What quality of work to look for in the best home inspector?

Home inspection represents a key piece of the home-buying process. A home inspector provides an expert eye that gives an invaluable assessment of the biggest investment a buyer will make.

The best home inspector can ease the process and make sure there’s no surprises. A bad home inspector can jeopardize a sale, hurting both sides of the real estate equation.

Here are a few ways to protect yourself against an unqualified home inspector.

1. A lot of information about inspections aims at buyers, but they can help sellers. You may even want to invest in an inspection before you put the home on the market, so you can fix potential issues, adjust the price point, or know what to expect at the negotiating table. Remember to prep as much as you can to make the inspector’s job easier.

2. When hiring a home inspector, make sure the person doing the inspection is recommended by a reliable source. You can consult the Better Business Bureau in your municipality or the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors to find a professional home inspector in your area. Ask friends and relatives who recently bought for recommendations. Your real estate agent might have someone they trust as well.

Read Article

Sewer Smell In My Basement. Is that Common?

How to eliminate basement odor - do's and don'ts

How to eliminate basement odor – do’s and don’ts

When you open your basement door, a foul smell fills your nose and you just can’t locate its source. This is a huge problem for many. In addition, it’s embarrassing to invite friends and family over. This is definitely a situation that has to be resolved as quickly as possible. Indeed, noxious fumes might indicate the kind of sewage problems that can eventually cause illnesses, so call your plumber without delay. He or she is the best person to solve this smelly mystery.

If you’re tempted to try and solve the problem yourself, you should be aware that some actions are not recommended in this situation. For example, you should never put the following products down a toilet in order to get eliminate basement odor:

-odour neutralizer tablets or liquids
-unblocking products
-descaling products
-coffee grains
-washing soda or baking soda

Read Article

Does a Garage add value to your Home?

Having a garage boosts a house's resale value

Having a garage boosts a house’s resale value

A garage adds value to your home regardless of whether you live in the city or not. A garage in the city might bring even bigger profits. In urban locations where parking comes at a premium, having a garage adds value for resale and the extra storage carries a high price tag as well. If you own a rental property, a garage that provides parking and storage can allow you to demand some big rent. Some city dwellers who don’t drive may think a garage is unnecessary, but don’t get rid of it. Even if you don’t use it, someone will pay good money to.

You can put up a basic, functional garage for under $10,000. It won’t be anything fancy, but it’ll do the job if all you’re looking for is a place to park your car and store your lawn mower. There are, of course, lots of extras you can add to your garage that can bump that $10,000 price tag up to two or three times that amount really quickly.

Read Article

Plumbing 101 for your Home

How to fix old and inefficient home plumbing to reduce your water bills

How to fix old and inefficient home plumbing to reduce your water bills

Did you know if your home’s plumbing system is old and inefficient you are literally pouring your money down the drain every month? A call to your plumber might really save you money in the end if you upgrade the plumbing in your home.

Old toilets use up a lot of water with each flush, which is bad for both the environment and for your wallet. Are you putting off having that leaky faucet repaired because you just don’t want to spend the money right now? The average faucet leak can waste hundreds of gallons of water per year. If it’s a hot water faucet that’s leaking, you are losing money both with the wasted water and with the wasted electricity or gas that is heating that water.

Or what if your problem is slow drains? You might decide to take the easy step of pouring liquid corrosives down the drain to clear out the blockage. This is actually a bad idea. The corrosive chemicals in drain cleaner will harm your sewer pipes, perhaps necessitating an extremely expensive repair in the future. In addition, the environmental impact of pouring such chemicals down the drain and into the water supply can have serious ramifications for the future of our planet.

Read Article

Proactive Solutions. Fire Prevention at the forefront

Buying a building: how protected is it against fire?

Buying a building: how protected is it against fire?

Before buying a building, you’ll need to evaluate how well protected it is against fire and what it would cost to improve that protection. A fire will cost you a lot more than the actual building; if you’re unable to relocate your operations quickly without affecting your company’s performance, the very existence of your business could be threatened.

Commercial fire protection depends on two main factors — the fire resistance of the materials used in its construction and the presence and layout of firefighting equipment.

Methods used to calculate a building’s vulnerability to fire sometimes involve models that simulate the spread and growth of fire, the movement of smoke, occupant response times in evacuations and the effectiveness of the local fire department. In most cases, these calculations are performed by specialized fire protection engineers employed by industrial consulting companies. These specialists will analyze your situation and help choose the best fire protection systems for your building.

Read Article