30 Carnation Avenue, Suite 81, Toronto, ON M8V 0B8
Beautifully Upgraded 2 Bedroom & 2 Washroom Second Level Magenta Suite In The Award Winning Minto Southshore Complex! This Open Concept Layout Features Dark Laminate Flooring Throughout, Stainless Steel Appliances, Granite And Caesarstone Counters And Upgraded Basksplash In The Kitchen And Washrooms.
Buying a Home in Winter – What the cold can tell you.
Think you have a case of the winter blues…
There are some advantage to buying a home in the winter. Not only are there hopefully less buyers to compete with, but you can see how a house stands up to the wicked winter elements.
Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is the best step to insuring you are shopping for the right house at the right time.
Buying a Home – An Investor Flip v.s Renovations done for the Home Owner.
A friend of mine is a contractor specializing in home renovations. We were chatting about his current projects and he mentioned one client who was very “particular”.
In fact, she had taken painters tape and used it to mark all of the areas of the renovation that needed attention. Each piece of tape was numbered and could be cross referenced to the detailed “to do” list form. There were over 100 pieces of tape!
This conversation played in nicely to the point of this blog.
The difference between a house listing that has been renovated to flip verses one that was renovated by the home owners, is in the detail and quality.
When I view homes that are a flip, I can see more often than not that the attention to detail with trim, wood work, painting, etc. is lacking.
With a renovation that was done for the home owner, that attention to detail is always there.
When a home has been renovated to flip, the owner is concerned with bottom line cost and maximizing profit. When a home has been renovated for the owner, they demand the quality that they are paying for.
This of course is not always the case and in either situation the city inspectors have to see that permitted work is up to code.
If you are shopping for a renovated home…take your time and pay attention to the details, don’t get swept up in the surface appearance alone. Find out when the renovations were done, that permits were used, and the selling motivation of the owner.
Does the home have a wet basement? Signs to look for.
Water and homes do not mix. Any leak whether it is from the roof or in the basement, needs to be fixed immediately and can be very expensive.
So, how do you know if the home you are interested in buying has any water issues?
You look for clues:
- Is the home new or old? The newer it is the better the waterproofing technology.
- Look at the roof. Is there any sign of damage or wear? When was it last replaced?
- Is the eaves trough in good repair? Are the down spouts extended well away from the foundation or do they connect to drainage below grade?
- Does the ground slope away from the foundation? Are there any areas where water would puddle? Is the house situated next to an incline or hill?
- Do you see any signs of water damage on the ceilings?
- Is there a musty smell in the basement? Do they have a de-humidifier in the basement?
- Can you see any effluence on foundation walls…like salt stains on a baseball hat from perspiration.
Using these points as a check list will give you a clear indication if there are any issues with water. If in doubt, have your agent ask…and if possible, view the home just after a rainfall.
Buying a Home in Winter – What the cold can tell you.
There are some advantage to buying a home in the winter. Not only is there hopefully less buyers to compete with, but you can see how a house stands up to the wicked winter elements.
What to look for in the winter when Buying a home:
- If there is snow on the neighbourhood roofs but the home you are looking at has bare patches, that is a sign that there is heat escaping and attic insulation is lacking.
- Are there icicles on the roof of the house? That is another sign of lacking insulation since the roof is warm from escaping heat, melts, and then re-freezes as it drips off the roof. This ice formation can also push under the roof shingles and cause damage.
- Does the snow limit the available parking spots or street parking?
- Do the neighbours shovel the sidewalk? How much shovelling will you have to do?
- Are there any areas of ice around the house? It could indicate that water pools in that area.
- Are there any drafts or cold spots in the house? Do the windows insulate the cold well? Is the floor cold?
- Are you comfortable in the house temperature wise?
- What are the most recent utility costs? Ask to see their hydro and gas bills.
If you are in the market for selling or buying a home, don’t let the winter stop you.
Plus, if the home of interest is taking offers on a certain day, maybe bad weather will limit the number of offers!
Selling your House – Stage it like a Bed & Breakfast
The easiest way to know how to stage your home for sale is to think of a Bed & Breakfast.
When you stay at a B&B, the owner is not trying to make the house be something that it is not. Rather, they present the house as it is…lived in.
What they do not do, is keep the house in a fashion that would make their patrons feel uncomfortable or disgusted.
The B&B house needs to be clean, tidy, and organized.
That is how you need to stage your house when you list it.
Stage your house with these points in mind:
- De-clutter. Start packing before you list by getting rid of the “stuff” that you won’t be taking with you. Maximize the space that your house offers.
- De-personalize. Remove all personal items like photos, religious items, or anything that would be distracting to a buyer. You want them to picture themselves living in the house, not the current owners.
- Clean!!! Make sure everything is clean. Especially the kitchen and bathrooms. Buyers should feel like they would happily spend the night and stay for breakfast.
- Fix anything that is broken or annoying. If it is hard to unlock your front door, get that fixed…what annoys you will annoy a buyer.
- Paint where appropriate and freshen up your space.
- If you have pets, try to have them out of the house when viewings are booked.
- Flowers…have some fresh cut flowers to brighten the space.
You want your house to look its best.
By following these points and keeping in mind the B&B analogy, your house will be more than ready for the right buyer!