Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Fall lawn and garden care

Fall lawn and garden care

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Preventive Medicine for Your Home and Wallet

                Preventive Medicine for Your Home and Wallet
                     By Toronto Real Estate Board


The purchase of a home is one of the biggest financial investments that most people will ever make, so protecting that investment is paramount. That’s why it’s crucial to stick to a comprehensive home maintenance plan. Constant upkeep of your home will help it run efficiently, save you money and ensure a painless transaction when it’s time to move on.
Today, I’m going to offer you some advice on how you can implement a long-term, low-cost program that could limit the number of repairs you’ll need to undergo when it’s time to sell.
While most of these tips apply to freehold homeowners, everyone should read on to see what applies to their situation. This article also provides a sense of the financial obligations of good home maintenance for first-time buyers.

Regular Improvements
Monitoring your home on a regular basis will help you spot any potential problems before they turn into major headaches. Some suggestions for annual upkeep:
  • Test faucets
  • Clean drains
  • Test main shut off valve & hot water tank pressure valve
  • Clean sump pump
Outside Structure
  • Replace weather stripping around windows & doors
  • Fill cracks with epoxy
  • Recaulk foundation
  • Lubricate garage door
  • Replace loose shingles
  • Schedule chimney cleaning & roof inspection
  • Fill cracks with epoxy
  • Clean up mould & mildew
  • Check bulbs, outlets & cords
  • Check detectors & replace batteries
  • Clean lint traps, hood vents and fans
Heating, Ventilation & A/C
  • Replace furnace filters (every 3 months)
  • Schedule annual furnace inspection
  • Cover A/C unit in the fall
Drainage & Landscaping
  • Clean eavestroughs & down spouts (twice a year)
  • Inspect & patch driveway
  • Regrade soil away from home

Long-Term Improvements
Long-term improvements occur less frequently, but may cost a bit more than the average home maintenance routine. Some improvements you may consider working into your long-term budget include:
5 Years
  • Replace sump pump
10 Years
  • Replace hot water heater
  • Install new windows
  • Repaint home exterior
  • Replace smoke, carbon monoxide & radon detectors 
15 Years
  • Replace external doors
  • Replace central A/C
  • Repave driveway
20 Years
  • Replace roof shingles
  • Replace furnace
25-30 Years
  • Regrade property around foundation
  • Replace eaves, soffits & fascia

Other Maintenance Tips
 Consider creating a home maintenance schedule. That way, you’ll ensure you stay on top of your home improvements, and prevent any unnecessary, and potentially costly surprises.
You may want to consider adding a budget for landscaping, fixtures and current finishes. These cosmetic improvements could increase your home’s desirability, and potential value when it comes time to sell.
While this list isn’t all-encompassing, homes are as unique as the homeowners themselves, this list can certainly help guide and ensure your home is more efficient and safe. I hope you’re proud of your investment and wish you continued enjoyment of your home  in the years to come.

The Worst Condo Investing Advice, Ever!

The Worst Condo Investing Advice, Ever!

--AUGUST 24, 2016 - 5 MINUTES READ
--Courtsey of Ryan Coyle, Co-Founder CONNECT Asset Management

In real estate, there are wide-ranging opinions on everything. It seems like everyone – even the inexperienced – have an expert opinion on how real estate will perform.
As a result, we’ve heard some pretty bad advice over the years. Some of it is innocent misinformation. Other times it’s completely off the wall. And believe us, we’ve heard some real doozies over the years.
But of all the awful things we’ve heard, there are a few pieces of advice that are head and shoulders above the rest as pure rubbish. Just the absolute worst!
We’ve compiled some of the terrible tidbits we hear. We’re hoping to dispel some of these ridiculous reasons today.

Worst Condo Investing Advice #1:

“The Condo Fees Aren’t Worth It.”
A lot of the poor advice we hear comes from American real estate sites. The truth is that it’s not bad advice. It’s just misguided. For the markets that these American writers are writing about, they’re probably right. Condos aren’t the best choice in some areas of the US.
In Canada — and especially in Toronto — things are a little different. In many US markets, the cost of condos is comparable to the cost of single family homes. Toronto, as you may know, is a different animal.
According to TREB’s last report in June 2016, the benchmark price of a single-family detached home is $826,400. That’s up 18.77% from this time last year!
Condos in Toronto have a benchmark price of $415,326 for Q2 2016. They appreciated at a more sustainable (but still very profitable) 7.1% since that time last year.
Now the majority of the single-family detached homes are VERY old inventory and need major rents and/or upgrades on almost a regular basis. The condo inventory is MUCH newer and come with warranties, so your overhead outside of the maintenance fees is very little if any at all. I’ve owned a beautiful detached home and I can tell you that I spent tens of thousands on upgrades. I’m happy to say I now live in a condo as my primary residence 🙂
At less than half of what a single family home costs, the condo fees are a drop in the bucket. And, those condo fees often pay for great amenities like a pool and an exercise room!

Worst Condo Investing Advice #2:

“Developers Are Building Too Many Condos!”
Toronto has some of the lowest vacancy rates in Canada. And condos, too, share these ultra low vacancy rates.
According to a report published by Urbanation, vacancy rates in rental developments are now at 0.5%. Meanwhile, new condo supply has dropped to a 6-year low. We often feel like a broken record, but all the facts are there. We’re in the midst of one hot condo market.

Worst Condo Investing Advice #3

“Rent, don’t buy — real estate is just a money pit!”
This one’s a real gem. The worst of the worst. Real estate is like other investments. It’s possible to get a lemon. And that’s why you protect yourself. We’ve discussed risk minimization at length, and that’s why we’re here to help you.
With new-build condos, Tarion is there to help protect you against shoddy workmanship. If there’s a problem with your condo in the first few years its built, the builder has to repair it themselves. And pay for the repairs, too!
Imagine you bought a condo for $400,000 two years before it was move-in ready. You live in it or rent it out for five years — while covered by Tarion — before selling. At a conservative 5% appreciation per year (remember, GTA condos have appreciated 7% in the past year alone) compounded annually for seven years, you’d be looking at selling your condo for just over $562,000. Now that’s a great return!
The worst advice you can get is to put your head in the sand and not to invest at all. There’s nothing worse than sitting on the sidelines during the golden age of Toronto condo investing. While nay-sayers are crying that the sky is falling, but they’re missing out on the rising tide of Toronto condos.


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