Until a couple of years ago, internet access was a nice-to-have for most homeowners. But these days, it’s fast becoming a necessity. Kids need good internet to do homework assignments. You may need reliable internet to work from home and attend online meetings.

So, when shopping for a new home, it’s wise to check if the property which you’re interested in making an offer on has good internet available. The last thing you want is to move into a home only to discover that the internet service is slow and faster options are unavailable.

There are many ways to do find out.

For example, most internet services websites have a feature where you can type on the address and find out what type of internet services are available. Pay attention to how the service is delivered to your home, as well as the upload and download speeds.

Traditionally, cable and fiber offer the highest speeds with the most stable connections. However, satellite and DSL can be very good, too, depending on the service provider.

For online meetings (i.e., ZOOM) you’ll need an internet service with 4Mbps upload and 3Mbps download. (Most internet service plan descriptions show those download and upload numbers.) Keep in mind that if you have several internet users in your home — watching a movie, playing a game, etc., — you’ll need higher upload and download speeds.

Your best bet is to call the internet service company and explain your requirements. Learn what service options are available for the home you’re thinking of buying.

Want more tips on finding and buying your next dream home? Call me today!

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Imagine you’re shopping for a car. You find one that’s a suitable model, a recent year, and hasn’t been driven a lot. The price is right, too.

But, there’s a caveat.

The paint is worn off in several places. The driver’s seat upholstery is torn and requires repair. And, the tires needed to be replaced… a long time ago.

Would you still buy it? You might. However, unless you enjoy fixing up cars, you’d probably hesitate to make the purchase.

After all, in addition to seeing the car itself, you’re noticing the work that needs to be done to fix it.

The same holds true when selling your home.

The more “move-in” ready you make the property the more likely buyers are to become interested in buying it. Like when viewing a car, you want buyers to focus on all your home’s wonderful features, not on the repairs and updates that need to be done.

That being said, how important is it that your home be “move-in ready” when you sell?

That depends, in large part, on the market. If it’s currently a seller’s market in the neighbourhood — lots of buyers but comparatively few properties for sale — getting your home move-in ready is less important. There is already high demand for your property. (However, getting all repairs done and staging your property effectively will still provide a significant advantage.)

In a buyer’s market, where there are more homes for sale than buyers, you’re in a competitive situation. So, anything you can do to give your listing an advantage is worth the effort. That includes making it as “move-in” ready as possible. 

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When you’re selling your home, you want to promote those features that will be of highest interest to prospective buyers. After all, the more reasons a buyer has to love your property, the more likely they are to make a great offer.

Increasingly, one category of features that buyers are looking for is energyefficiency. So, if there are specific energy-saving characteristics of your home, make sure those are highlighted when selling.

When considering the energy-efficient characteristics of your property, consider the following:

• Appliances: Fridge, stove, washer, dryer.

• HVAC: Furnace, air conditioner.

• Insulation. (Especially in the attic.)

• Home technology. For example, a system that automates heating, cooling, lighting, etc., to keep energy usage to a minimum.

• Lighting. Have you switched to LED bulbs or fixtures?

• Windows and doors. For example, did you replace windows in recent years to help lower heating and cooling costs?

If something stands out as particularly energy-efficient, it will be of interest to many buyers.

And, obviously, if your home has a unique energy-efficient feature, such as solar panels, you’ll definitely want to point that out in the listing description.

Want more tips on maximizing the appeal of your property? Call me today!

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There are many reasons why a homeowner might want to move. Examples include upsizing, downsizing, work relocation, or simply desiring a change. However, another popular reason for pulling up stakes is noticing that the neighbourhood is changing in a way that no longer fits your lifestyle goals.

For example, say there’s a shopping mall in development nearby. It may not be impacting you now, but in a couple of years, the increase in traffic and noise could nudge above your tolerance level especially if you prefer quiet!

That’s why it’s important to occasionally take a peek into your crystal ball and see what changes to your neighbourhood you can anticipate over the next two to three years.

Of course, there’s no actual crystal ball. But there are ways to determine where your neighbourhood is headed. For example, information is available on:

• Proposed and planned construction projects, such as a new condo building or school.

• Scheduled urban development, such as highway widening. • Changes in city services, such as a new transit route in the area or a new park.

• Area demographics, such as an increase in young families or those who rent.

You might discover that some changes are positive — from your point of view — and that you will look forward to them. However, if you find that there are changes that will alter the neighbourhood in a way that decreases the enjoyment of your home, then moving is an option.

There are plenty of opportunities on the market right now for getting into a great home in a neighbourhood you’ll love.

I can help. Call me today!

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When you buy a new home and moving day is looming, it can be tempting to consider doing the move yourself. After all, by not hiring a moving company, you’re saving money.

It is true, the DIY approach can lower your moving costs, which is money you can put towards needed fixes and upgrades to your new property.

But, you’re also adding a lot of work! You’ll need to think about boxes, packing, truck rental, gas, lifting and lugging, friends who offer to help but bail last minute, and more.

So, if you’re going to move yourself, plan carefully. Ensure you have all the boxes and packing supplies (tape, bubble wrap, etc.) you need. Most importantly, put together a reliable crew who can stick with you the entire day. In addition to family and friends, it might make sense to hire a worker for the day.

If that all seems like too much work and hassle, then using a moving company is a time-saving option. Yes, you’ll pay more. But you’ll get professional movers, with a truck, who can do much of the lifting and lugging for you. That will take a lot of the stress out of moving day.

And, keep in mind, you don’t need to get the moving company to do it all.

You can cut costs by having them handle the heavier items, such as appliances and furniture, while you DIY-move other things, such as easier-tohandle boxes.

Regardless of which option you choose, make your plans well in advance. When it comes to moving day, you’ll be glad you did!

Want more tips on making buying and selling easier? Call me today!

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Chances are, you’ve heard the expression, “Your home is your biggest investment.” For most homeowners, that’s true. So, when you’re shopping for a new home, it’s important to consider the financial ramifications of any purchase. Ideally, you want a home that is likely to increase in value over time.

In other words, you want a home with a strong potential return on investment.

But dollars aren’t the only type of return you should look for in a new home. Real estate is unique in that the “emotional” return is just as important as the financial return — and, in some cases, even more so.

Say, for example, you’re thinking of moving to a neighbourhood that is closer to work. In fact, you’ll cut your commuting time by an hour each day. Financially, that return on investment means little beyond some savings on gas. However, the emotional payoff can be very high, especially when you consider what you can do with that extra hour each day. Imagine what it would mean to spend more time with your kids or workout out at the gym more often.

So, considering the emotional return on investment when you’re moving is essential. It has a huge impact on your lifestyle and your enjoyment of the property.

How do you factor that in when selling your property and searching for your next dream home?

When you see a listed home you like, make a list of all the emotional benefits of living there. That list might include having a park nearby, living closer to friends or family, having a home office that isn’t the kitchen table, having more space to accommodate a growing family, and so forth.

Then, factor that list into your decision of whether or not to buy.

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Keeping your lawn, flowerbeds and shrubs looking great enhances the “curb appeal” of your property. However, it can also be a lot of work! Here are some do-it-yourself tips for making these tasks easier and less time-consuming:

- Add mulch around trees and shrubs. That way, you won’t have to cut grass in those areas, plus you’ll avoid the need to use shears or a trimmer to do the job properly.

- Adjust lawnmower blades to the optimal height for short, well-groomed grass. That way, you won’t have to mow as often.

- Use tools that don’t require you to bend over or work on your knees. That will greatly reduce fatigue. (Example: Stand-up grass shears.)

- Consider applying mulch in flower beds. That will reduce weeds. It will also help retain moisture, so you won’t have to water as often.

- Avoid high-maintenance plants that require strict watering and tending regiments. No-fuss plants are ideal. (Talk to your local gardening center.)

- Consider using a soaker hose. It has holes all along the tubing that gently release water. Simply snake the hose through flowerbeds and shrubs or around trees, turn on the water and the hose does the rest.

Want more tips for making your property look great, especially if you’re thinking of selling? Call me today!

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Daydreaming about owning something you can’t afford can be fun. Whether it’s a diamond-encrusted watch from Tiffany & Co., or the latest Lamborghini, even the thought of trying one on or going for a test drive can be exciting.

The problem with daydreaming, however, is that it’s all-too-easy to dismiss it as just that – a dream.

But, what if you daydream about owning a beautiful home in a desirable neighbourhood? Before you dismiss that as just fanciful thinking, it’s worth finding out if that dream could actually be achievable.

You might discover that you do qualify to get into the home of your dreams.

It’s relatively easy to figure it out.

First, you need to learn what homes are currently selling for in the neighbourhood you’re targeting. If you’ve been through that exercise already, keep in mind that the market might have changed substantially in the past few months.

The next thing you need to determine is approximately how much you can expect to get for your current property. That’s a fairly easy calculation and is based on what “comparable” homes in your neighbourhood have sold for recently.

Finally, you need to find out how much of a mortgage you may need and what your payments will likely be.

Once you have those numbers, you’ll know if you can afford the home of your dreams in the neighbourhood you’d love to get into.

Then you can stop daydreaming and make it happen!

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Thinking of having a yard or garage sale? It’s a great way to dispose of unwanted items and other clutter, especially if you’re thinking of moving. In addition, yard sales have a charm that selling items on the internet can’t match. That’s why they’re still so popular.

If you’re planning a yard or garage sale, here are some helpful tips:

• Two-thirds of garage sale shoppers will find you via signage. So, be sure to place plenty of signs around the neighbourhood that clearly point buyers to your location.

• Place in-demand items closer to the street so shoppers can see them from a distance. (For example, computers, electronic games, bicycles, exercise equipment, furniture.)

• Buyers don’t want to pay a “fair” price at a garage sale. They want a bargain basement deal! So, price items accordingly.

• Open early in the day. You’ll find that the biggest shoppers (the deal hunters) will stop by before 9 a.m. Some will be there before you open!

• Be sure to have some cash on hand to make change.

Of course, you should also be as safe as possible and comply with all applicable public health guidelines.

If some items don’t sell, consider donating them to a community thrift shop or dropping them off at a recycling centre. Good luck with your sale! 

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When you plan to take a journey somewhere, you hope it will be smooth sailing all the way. That simply means the trip will be relatively trouble-free, and without stress or hassles.

Well, selling your property is like a journey. So, how do you ensure that adventure will be “smooth sailing” for you?

While no one can guarantee there won’t be a challenge or two to overcome on the road to selling your home, there are proven ways to help ensure everything goes well.

First of all, preparation goes a long way toward having a successful sale. Start early. Make a list of what you need to do around your property to get it ready for buyers. That list will include cleaning and tidying, of course. But, you might also need to get some minor repairs done, and perhaps even a few upgrades (such as painting or a new kitchen sink.)

Don’t wait until the last minute if you’ll need a contractor to do those repairs or upgrades. Find and book a professional now.

Second, take the time to fully understand the selling process and what to expect. Don’t be shy about asking questions. For example, if it’s been a while since you last sold a home, you might need to refresh your understanding of how scheduling works for viewings, what staging is all about, how offers are received and considered, etc.

The better you understand the selling process, the more comfortable you’ll feel.

Thirdly, and most importantly, give me a call early in the process. I can offer the advice and help you need to sell your property quickly and for the best price. I can also make your selling adventure go smoothly and successfully.

In other words, if you want “smooth sailing”, call me!

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