Sunday, 12 February 2017

DON’T DIY THESE HOME IMPROVEMENTS: ESSENTIAL ADVICE FOR HOMEOWNERS

DON’T DIY THESE HOME IMPROVEMENTS: ESSENTIAL ADVICE FOR HOMEOWNERS

, By Teresa Cowart in BlogFor Home BuyersFor Homeowners. Tagged:  •  •  •  •  • 


DIY projects in some cases are more affordable, but some projects should be left to the professionals.

DIY projects in some cases are more affordable, but some projects should be left to the professionals.

Changes Made To The Structure Of A Home

Homeowners from time to time will want to add a room or make a room larger by removing walls. Situations like this are best left up to the professionals. The soundness of a home’s structure is extremely important.
Certain walls are considered structural and knocking them down can significantly affect the safety of the home.
An expert will be able to gauge whether walls are structural or not and if they are, proper precautions can be made to maintain the structural integrity of the home. For projects like this, online video training is not a good idea.
Bonus! Realtor.com provides an article on how to open up a room by removing walls safely.

Adding New Bathrooms

Aside from small fixes such as a clogged drain or faucet change, plumbing improvements should be handled by professional plumbers. Adding a bathroom is a common home improvement for homeowners looking to add value to their home.
It is not an easy task and takes professional skills to create it. Depending on where the bathroom is located, plumbing lines will need to be added. Water supply needs to be confirmed. The new lines need to work together with the existing lines. All these things need to done correctly to prevent water damage, leaks and clogs.

Updating Electrical Systems

Anyone with an older home, can tell you that electrical problems can be very frustrating but also dangerous. Updating older systems, adding new electrical wires in walls and laying cable are much more safe if installed by an electrician.
There is a reason professionals go through all the training that they do, to ensure safe and effective installations in homes. Electrical shocks are a scary situation to be in as a homeowner. When faced with an electrical problem in your home, call an electrician, plain and simple.
Bonus! MC2 Home Inspections has written an informative article on electrical problems that can go wrong in an older home.

Cleaning Toxic Mold

When you suspect or find a mold problem in your home, bleach is NOT the answer. Toxic black mold is extremely dangerous to a person’s health. It should be disposed of in the proper manor to reduce the chance of releasing mold spores into the rest of the house.
Many times mold will begin to grow on areas of dry wall, in which case the dry wall will all have to be removed. Professionals know how to demolish, and transport the mold infested items. They also have access to special suits designed to keep themselves safe from mold spores as they clean.
Bonus! Anita Clark (GA Realtor) has provided an article on what to know about mold as a home buyer and seller.

What You Can Do

You may not be able to tackle the above projects yourself, but you can pick out and purchase many of the items needed yourself. Especially if you will be adding a new room to the house. Most things you will need can be purchased from a local hardware store or specialty home improvement store.
Check with the professional you will be using beforehand to ensure that your idea of items matches up with theirs. Other projects like painting, adding crown molding, laying backsplash and similar smaller jobs can be done well by homeowners.
Bonus! Michael Roberts Construction (Coastal Ga area) has written a handy article on how to install crown molding.

Bottom Line



There are plenty of things you can do yourself to improve your home. The key is to choose the ones you can safely (and legally) do. The rest should be left to the pro’s, as they have the expertise and special training you don’t have.

How to Add Romance to Your Bedroom Decor

How to Add Romance to Your Bedroom Decor

February is already here, and as some would say, it’s the month of love. Valentine’s Day is a day that some people enjoy celebrating while others prefer not to. Whether you’re a fan of Valentine’s Day or not, you should always make sure your bedroom is a romantic retreat for you and your partner.
Make Your Bed
Making your bed may seem like a tedious task in the morning but if you were to ask someone who makes their bed every day, what it’s like to get into bed at night, they’d more than likely tell you there’s nothing better than climbing into a clean, crisp bed at the end of a long day. Making your bed truly takes no time in the morning and studies show that it actually leads to a better sleep and more productive habits. To some up, no romantic evening starts with a messy bed, it just ends with one.
Avoid Clutter
A collection of things lying around your bedroom is the last thing you should have piling up in this room. It makes the space unnecessarily messy and diminishes any romantic vibe you’re trying to create. Along with clutter, you should avoid doing chores in your bedroom like piles of laundry or other household projects. Even if you’re in the middle of making decisions for a home renovation – avoid bringing those items into your bedroom. When you remove clutter, you remove the thought of projects that loom over you and provide more mental and physical space for relaxation.
Keep the Office at the Office
If you’re thinking of bringing a home office into your bedroom, think again. Bringing a home office into your bedroom is a negative option for multiple reasons. Doing so emits stress and reduces a romantic ambiance. With a desk always in sight, your mind will wander and mentally take you away from your rest and your partner.
Mood Lighting
Ceiling lights are bright, daunting and unflattering. Add side table lamps or a dresser lamp to create mood lighting in your bedroom. Mood lighting is exactly that. It makes the space feel warmer and cozier which is extremely necessary in the long, cold days of winter. Find elegant bed-side table lamps that create glamour and style to the space – they’ll automatically make the room feel more appealing.
Decorate with Memories and Lavish Details
The bedroom you share with your significant other should not only be a relaxing space, but a space that exudes love, without going overboard. Place wedding and family photos in elegant picture frames and put them on display on everyday surfaces so they can be seen and admired.
Details like mirrors and trendy headboards are a great way to elevate the element of desire in your bedroom. Headboards can be treated like art in the bedroom. You can find stylish pieces that will pull all the décor elements of your bedroom together – similar to artwork.

Friday, 3 February 2017

5 ways to avoid problems during closing – CREA


5 ways to avoid problems during closing




As we head into the very busy spring and summer real estate markets, here are some tips to remember when you are putting your deal together in the first place, to avoid problems at closing.
1. Avoid buying and selling on the same day
Clients believe they will save money when they buy and sell on the same day. This is incorrect both in actual costs they are likely to incur but, more importantly, considering the unnecessary risks they are taking. Imagine the buyer who does the following: they have the movers arrive at their current home early in the morning to pack up and head over to their new home only to find out that the earliest they will receive keys will be late in the afternoon. This means they’re now stuck paying extra in moving costs for the wait time and – even worse – if their buyer cannot close for any reason, they won’t be able to move into their new home or could default completely on their purchase if the seller does not agree to extend.
To avoid this, we often encourage bridge financing: close the purchase first and then close the sale a few days later. The entire risk is removed and they can move in slowly without any added moving costs.
If the client has no choice but to do both on the same day, do some research with the other buyer and seller to ensure they are not also buying and selling on the same day to avoid a chain reaction of deals not closing. It would also be worth negotiating with the moving company in advance to obtain a storage fee in writing, should this be necessary.
2. Remember to ask for two sets of keys
I can’t tell you how many times buyers have complained when they have not received two full sets of keys, garage door openers and FOBs on closing. How about using the following language:
Seller agrees to deliver to buyer on closing two complete sets of keys, garage door openers and FOBs for complete access to the condominium unit, the mailbox, the building, parking garage, all common areas and the locker unit for the property purchased. If the seller fails to provide any key, garage door opener or FOB, then the Seller shall immediately pay the Buyer the actual replacement cost of any such key, garage door opener or FOB or the Buyer shall be given a credit for this amount on the final statement of adjustments.”
3. Conduct due diligence on any rental contract
Many sellers are now buying more than the hot water tank on rental. Find out in advance about any contract that must be transferred to the buyer on closing so there are no unwelcome surprises – the gas bill is a great place to start as this is where most of these charges appear. Then consider using the following clause to properly protect both the seller and buyer:
Buyer acknowledges that if there is an existing hot water tank, water treatment system, furnace, HVAC, alarm system and/or propane tank that may be subject to a rental agreement, lease agreement or conditional sales contract, (the Rental Agreements”) notice of which may be registered against title to the property, then the Buyer shall, upon closing and thereafter, be solely responsible for all future costs and other obligations related to the Rental Agreements. In the event the obligations under any such Rental Agreement are not effectively assumed and/or transferred to the Buyer on closing, the Buyer agrees to indemnify the Seller in respect of all such obligations and to reimburse the Seller for any payment or payments made by the Seller under the Rental Agreements for the period after closing. This provision shall survive and not merge on closing.”
4. Know when to ask for help
Issues regarding parking pads or permits, basement apartments, zoning, building permits and lot coverage are not easy to figure out. If you are not sure, make the deal conditional upon lawyer review or further due diligence. Consider hiring a private planner who is experienced with the applicable city by-laws to assist you. If you have an issue with a tree on or near the boundary line, contact an arborist as cities have different by-laws when it comes to taking down trees or cutting roots or branches.
5. Little things matter
Is the closet organizer or television bracket included? Being clear about all the little things in your deal will help your buyers and sellers avoid aggravation after closing.
By being properly prepared when you sign your agreements in the first place, your clients will appreciate your services even more, which should lead to more repeat business and referrals.
The article above is for information purposes and is not legal advice or a substitute for legal counsel.






GTA REALTORS® release monthly resale housing market figures for January 2017

== TREB NEWS RELEASE ==


Source: Toronto Real Estate Board
TORONTO, February 3, 2017



                            Watch this video for Market Figures for January 201

GTA REALTORS® RELEASE MONTHLY RESALE HOUSING MARKET FIGURES

TORONTO, February 3, 2017 -- Toronto Real Estate Board President Larry Cerqua announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 5,188 residential transactions through TREB's MLS® System in January 2017. This result was up by 11.8 percent compared to 4,640 sales reported in January 2016. Annual rates of sales growth were higher for condominium apartments than for low-rise home types.

January 2017 picked up where 2016 left off: sales were up on a year-over-year basis while the number of new listings was down by double-digit annual rates for most major home types.

"Home ownership continues to be a great investment and remains very important to the majority of GTA households. As we move through 2017, we expect the demand for ownership housing to remain strong, including demand from first-time buyers who, according to a recent Ipsos survey, could account for more than half of transactions this year. However, many of these would-be buyers will have problems finding a home that meets their needs in a market with very little inventory," said Cerqua.

The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Composite Benchmark price was up by 21.8 percent on a year-over-year basis in January.  Similarly, over the same period, the average selling price was up by 22.3 percent to $770,745, with double-digit gains in the average prices for all major home types.

“The number of active listings on TREB’s MLS® System at the end of January was essentially half of what was reported as available at the same time last year.  That statistic, on its own, tells us that there is a serious supply problem in the GTA – a problem that will continue to play itself out in 2017.  The result will be very strong price growth for all home types again this year,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.


Summary of TorontoMLS Sales and Average Price January 1 - 31, 2017
2017
2016
Sales
Average Price
New Listings
Sales
Average Price
New Listings
City of Toronto ("416")
1,904
727,928
2,886
1,684
635,702
3,737
Rest of GTA ("905")
3,284
795,569
4,452
2,956
627,055
5,169
GTA
5,188
770,745
7,338
4,640
630,193
8,906


TorontoMLS Sales & Average Price  By Home Type January 1 - 31, 2017
Sales
Average Price
416
905
Total
416
905
Total
Detached
466
1,795
2,261
1,336,640
999,102
1,068,670
Yr./Yr. % Change
-5.5%
11.9%
7.8%
26.8%
27.8%
26.3%
Semi-Detached
118
305
423
902,688
661,545
728,814
Yr./Yr. % Change
-3.3%
-6.7%
-5.8%
26.4%
28.5%
28.1%
Townhouse
183
594
777
658,349
604,263
617,001
Yr./Yr. % Change
7.6%
7.0%
7.2%
26.1%
27.8%
27.4%
Condo Apartment
1,125
511
1,636
471,409
379,169
442,598
Yr./Yr. % Change
26.8%
26.5%
26.7%
13.1%
18.5%
14.5%


January 2017 Year-Over-Year Per Cent Change in the MLS® HPI

Composite (All Types)
Single-Family Detached
Single-Family Attached
Townhouse
Apartment
TREB Total
21.82%
25.32%
22.74%
22.71%
18.70%
Halton Region
22.63%
22.85%
23.54%
21.53%
-
Peel Region
22.66%
23.17%
24.76%
22.58%
20.63%
City of Toronto
16.33%
23.54%
20.41%
21.28%
20.99%
York Region
21.34%
29.03%
26.23%
18.69%
13.89%
Durham Region
26.43%
26.30%
26.16%
35.34%
25.94%
Orangeville
24.80%
24.99%
21.18%
-
-
South Simcoe County1
28.46%
28.16%
29.91%
-
-
Source: Toronto Real Estate Board
1South Simcoe includes Adjala-Tosorontio, Bradford West Gwillimbury, Essa, Innisfil and New Tecumseth

Spring cleaning tips to organize your home and life

www.realtorpankajpatel.com (NC) The end of winter and beginning of spring signal new beginnings, so use this time to breathe new life a...