Reports

During the process of buying or selling a home, you'll unearth countless questions. I know how difficult it can be to sift through all the details in order to find answers relevant and meaningful to you. I've put together the following series of reports that provide clear, concise and useful information on a wide range of issues related to real estate. Here you'll find tips on how to save money, real estate insider secrets, renovation advice, and much more.

 

I'd be happy to personally answer any other questions you may have. Remember, I will be here to assist you every step of the way!

8 Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a Home

You've been saving for awhile, weighing your options, looking around casually. Now you've finally decided to do it - you're ready to buy a house. The process of buying a new home can be incredibly exciting, yet stressful, all at once. Where do you start?

Benefits of Using a Realtor to Sell your Home

Selling your home is a complex process that can be stressful and time-consuming. An experienced Realtor has the knowledge, skills, and connections to help you through the process every step of the way.

The Best Asking Price for your Home

Setting a realistic price for your home that reflects current market values will help sell your home quickly and for top dollar. When you price your home properly, you increase the chances that the offer you receive will nearly match your asking price, and that there will be competing offers - which may net you even more in the long run.

Buy or Sell First?

If you are considering looking for a new house, and are a current home-owner, then chances are you're wondering what your strategy should be: do you wait to find the perfect new home before you put your current home on the market, or do you sell first and then look around? You have a few options. Use the following as a guide to explore what might be the best move for you.

"Drive-Up Appeal": Get your Property Ready to Show

When preparing your property to show, work your way from the outside in. It is essential that your home possess a certain "drive-up appeal". Remember, a potential buyer's first impression of your house is formed while s/he is still sitting in the realtor's car. So, first you need to view your house from this perspective. Go stand on the opposite curb and observe your property. Compare it to surrounding properties.

Buying a Home: What Expenses to Expect

Budgeting for a new home can be tricky. Not only are there mortgage installments and the down payment to consider, there are a host of other - sometimes unexpected - expenses to add to the equation. The last thing you want is to be caught financially unprepared, blindsided by taxes and other hidden costs on closing day.

Hire the Right Agent, For the Right Reasons: 8 Questions to Ask

Finding a real estate agent who is right for you requires doing a little homework, and asking the right questions. Choosing an agent is a decision that could ultimately cost or save you thousands of dollars. Keep in mind the individual you choose will be handling almost every maneuver in the biggest financial investment of your life. Experience, interests, and expertise vary from agent to agent, so you should be asking very specific questions in order to align your own needs with the abilities of an appropriate representative

Home Inspections: Top Ten Problems

Each homebuyer has different ideas of what will constitute the ideal home for them, these notions often based on particular aesthetic preferences. But one thing that unites all potential homebuyers is the desire to find a home that is fundamentally sound - in areas beyond the immediate sweep of the eye - and that will provide a safe, comfortable, and efficient foundation for their life behind a new door.

How to Get Top Dollar for your Home, Fast!

Your home is likely your largest asset, so selling it may be the biggest financial move you've ever made, one that requires significant thought and strategy. However, once you've entered the market, the process may move very quickly: your property has the best chance to sell within its first seven weeks on the market. Studies indicate that the longer a property stays on the market, the less it will ultimately sell for. So, you need to ensure you're ahead of the game. Get your property into top selling shape before it hits the market in order to increase its chances of selling within the desired window of time and drawing top dollar.

How to Set an Offer Price

There is no set equation to determine how you'll reach an offer price. Rather, the process involves a range of research and comparison that will vary with each situation. You'll need to look at sales of comparable properties, and factor in additional data such as the condition of the property, the current market, and seller circumstances. With this information in hand, you will be able to determine a fair price range and, from there, establish the price you're willing to offer.

Know the Market before You Buy

The asking prices of most homes on the market indicate the current state of the market, and usually mirror the prices for which other similar homes in the area have recently sold. In deciding upon a selling price, a home-seller must establish a balance between the desire to draw the highest offer and finding a price that will be reasonable enough to attract an appropriate pool of prospects, and competitive offers. While most selling agents counsel their clients to consider this equation when pricing their home, keep in mind that some homes are not properly priced.

7 Things to Look for in a New Neighbourhood

Whether seeking solace, activity, schools, churches, or green space, every homebuyer looks for a different combination of attributes in a new community. Choosing a neighbourhood that suits your needs and wants is one of the most important decisions you'll make in the home-buying process; your choice of environment will affect the way you experience your new home.

A Manual to Prepare your Home for Selling

"You never get a second chance at a first impression." We've all heard this expression before. And now, while you are preparing your house to sell, it should not be far from your mind.

Prepare the Inside of your House for Showing

Once you've minimized the clutter in your home, clearing out excess items and furniture, you'll be ready to concentrate on repairs, cleaning, and decoration. Your goal is to get each room looking its sharpest and most fresh - the better your house looks, the greater your chances that it will sell quickly and for top dollar. Concentrate on the following areas to get your home into selling shape.

Second Time's a Charm!: Sell the House that Didn't Sell

Don't get discouraged if your property hasn't sold during its first appearance on the market. Your home may actually have been one of the most appealing listings of its kind - and the reasons it didn't sell may have nothing to do with the property itself or the market. Rather, a number of separate factors may have influenced the outcome. Take a step back, break your original selling method into parts, and allow yourself time to evaluate each one. Make a commitment. Establish a new approach. Stick to it. A reassessment of your system, and a shift in perspective, may be just what you need to realize your ultimate goals in the sale of your home.

Showtime: Tips for Showing your Home

After putting in a huge amount of time and effort to get your home looking good and ready to sell, your hard work is finally going to pay off: your home is on the market - you're ready to begin showing. Your house should always be at-the-ready for a tour, as agents may bring clients by with very little notice. If they catch you unprepared and you aren't able to show the house on the spot, you could be losing out on a sale.

Stop Paying Your Landlord!: Own Your Own Home

The thousands of dollars in rent you've already paid to your landlord may be a staggering figure - one you don't even want to think about. Buying a house just isn't possible for you right now. And it isn't in your financial cards for the foreseeable future. Or is it? The situation is common and widespread: countless people feel trapped in home rental, pouring thousands of dollars into a place that will never be their own - yet they think they're unable to produce a down payment for a home in order to escape this rental cycle. However, putting the buying process into motion isn't nearly as impossible as it may seem. No matter how dire you believe your financial situation to be, there are several little-known facts that may be key to helping you step from a renters rut to home-owning paradise!

Tips for the Moving Process

It's official: you've signed the papers, dotted all the i's and crossed the t's - you own a new home! You've almost reached the end of your journey. However, now, faced with the daunting task of moving, it may seem as though the journey has just begun. Moving can be a time-consuming and stressful experience if you let yourself be overwhelmed by the job. Remember, though, having a successful move means taking care of the details, one by one. If you break the process down into steps and arrange your time accordingly, you can make it manageable.

Top Legal Mistakes to Avoid

The process of buying or selling a house seems to involve a million details. It is important that you educate yourself on as many parts of this process as you can - this knowledge could mean the difference of thousands of dollars in the long-run. The legal issues involved in the process are often particularly intricate, ranging from matters of common knowledge to subtle details that might escape the untrained eye. Any of these issues, if not handled properly, could develop into larger problems

Where to Start: Begin to Prepare your Home for Showing

"You never get a second chance at a first impression." We've all heard this expression before. And now, while you are preparing your house to sell, it should not be far from your mind.

Smoke and nicotine can stick to interior walls, window screens and household linens and carpets, trapping the smell inside the house. Removing smoke smells requires a total cleaning of the house, air purifying and replacement of carpets and paint. You can learn how to get smoke smells out of your house by following these steps.

Part 1 of 5: Remove Cloth and Linens

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    Open all the windows and doors to air out the house. Do this frequently throughout the cleaning and deodorizing process.
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    Remove all your clothing, duvets and wall treatments in preparation for a deep clean. These items need to be washed, but doing so in the house may simply allow them to take on the odors once more.
    • Wash or dry clean all of your clothing outside of the home. Make sure you do this just as, or before, you plan to clean the house. Wash all clothing, if possible.
    • Wash duvets, pillows, rugs and table cloths as you would your clothing. Keep them outside of the house until the deodorizing work is done.
    • Remove and steam clean your window treatments. If steam cleaning and hanging them on a clothes line in the sun for a day does not improve their smell, you may want to replace them. Spritz them with a deodorizing spray right before you put them back up. Wait to rehang them until the interior of the house is clean.
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    Survey your carpet. If it is extremely dirty and the smoke smell is intense, consider replacing it. If you cannot, clean it well.
    • Steam clean all carpets with a disinfecting and deodorizing product or call a professional floor cleaner. If the first try did not remove the smell, clean all the floors a second time after you wash and paint the walls.
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Part 2 of 5: Household Surfaces

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    Wash the floors, ceilings, window screens and other fixtures with a mixture of water and bleach. Wash and rinse all surfaces extremely well. You may need a ladder to reach all the washable surfaces in your house.
    • Do not forget to wash down interiors of closets and cabinets. Basements, cupboards, drawers and hallways house strong smoke odors.
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    Wash your deck and windows in addition to the interior of your home. If a smoker was recently using nicotine near the home, these areas will also take in the smoke smell.
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    Wipe all the wood, plastic and metal furniture and appliances with distilled white vinegar. Put the vinegar in a spray bottle and wipe it clean with a rag. Follow up with a rinsing of water and a dry rag, if the furniture is delicate.
    • Place several drops of lavender or citrus essential oil to offset the smell of the vinegar. If you do not choose to do this, the vinegar smell will dissipate as it deodorizes furniture.
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    Sprinkle your fabric-covered furniture and carpets with Odoban. This deodorizing product is used by professionals who are trying to improve houses after a fire.
    • If you do not have access to Odoban at your local home improvement or hardware store, use baking soda. Sprinkle it on the surfaces of your furniture and carpet and vacuum it up in a day or 2.
    • If you can remove the cushion covers, wet them and wash by hand or in a washing machine with a baking soda mixture. Let them dry a little, then place them back on the cushions when they are still slightly wet. This allows them to stretch to the appropriate size without causing mildew.
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    Dust or rinse all your knick knacks. You may want to remove them until all the surfaces are clean and deodorized.
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Part 3 of 5: Repaint

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    Use a deodorizing primer on the washed walls.
    • Products like Zinsser Bullseye and Kilz are an essential step to removing smoke odors that have been around for a long period of time. Simple repainting will not remove the smell.
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    Follow up with 1 to 2 coats of latex paint. Open all the windows and doors during this process to keep the house well ventilated.
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    Consider painting other parts of your home. For example, if an old piece of furniture smells smoky, you can wash it, prime it with a deodorizing primer and paint it to renew the smell.
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Part 4 of 5: Air Purifying

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    Replace your air filters, furnace filters and air conditioning filters. Air that is forced through your home will still contain smoky smells, so replacing the filters will begin to purify the air.
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    Buy an air purifier. You can choose to install an air purifier in your home's forced air system or you can buy purifiers that can be placed in a single room.
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    Place bowls of activated charcoal around the house. Do this when you cannot air out the house, and it will attract smells and deodorize over time.
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Part 5 of 5: Deodorizing Routine

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    Rehang window treatments and bring rugs and other linens into the house.Hang clothing in your closets.
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    Adopt a weekly or daily cleaning routine to help further eliminate smells.Open your doors and windows for several hours per day.
    • When the smoke smell is reduced, you can limit the time to 10 to 30 minutes per day.
    • Add 1 cup (236ml) of distilled white vinegar to your washing machine each time you clean your clothes, rugs and other linens.
    • Add drops of essential oils to vinegar when you wash your home surfaces and windows.
    • Vacuum your house weekly to remove dust. Steam clean the floors and window treatments in 3 months.
    • Spray your furniture with a deodorizing product, like Febreeze. Although this product does not remove the smell entirely, it can help to improve the smell during the transition.