Painting Tips for Sellers! Painting your house before selling it is one of the best ways to get it sold faster and for a better price. But this only applies if the job is done the right way. Otherwise, sellers could hurt their chances of getting their home sold quickly, and they may need to take a price reduction to generate interest. Fortunately, there are some tips sellers can follow in order to make sure their home is painted right. Match the Neighbourhood Colours Whether a seller likes the colours in a neighbourhood or not does not really matter. They're going to be moving away. When a house is re-painted, it should follow the basic colour scheme of the neighbourhood so it blends in and does not stand out in a way that is not appealing to buyers. Homes that are painted bright or unique colours often have more trouble selling. Make Sure to Prep the Right Way A home has to be prepped before painting, or the new paint may not look right when it is done. For sellers who are re-painting their homes, the prep work can be more important than the final coat itself. It may be necessary to scrape the old paint off, pressure wash the house, make repairs, or otherwise make changes, especially if the seller is changing the colour. Take Your Time Taking your time with painting is important. While it is understandable that sellers want to get the home painted and on the market, doing a sloppy job can reduce the home's value and make it less likely to be sold quickly. Cutting corners and being in too much of a hurry can mean the job does not look as nice, and that buyers will be less interested in the home. Focus On the Details Details matter, and when a seller does a good job painting trim, around windows, and other small areas where detail is required, the paint job looks much better overall. That can mean the difference between getting it sold quickly or having it sit on the market for a long time. Ask For Help! There is no shame in asking for help, or asking what someone else thinks of the job that is getting done. By doing this, sellers have a better idea if they are on the right track when it comes to painting their house, so they can keep it looking great. A well presented home can offer sellers a competitive edge in a busy market! Know When To Hire a Professional In some cases, it is better to hire someone else. Big houses that are very tall or intricate, or houses that have specific problems or issues that have to be addressed, may be better off with professional painters. That is something for a seller to keep in mind before they start buying supplies. Looking for more ideas? Call the Romeo Circle today!    ...

You are thinking about doing repairs or renovations, do you hire a professional contractor or do it yourself? Although there is little doubt that many homes for sale could benefit from a few DIY improvements or stylish decor changes, there are some tasks that are best saved for a professional who can safely and quickly get the job done. How do you draw the line on what you can fix yourself and what requires a professional? It's Not All Easy! While some home improvements or weekend projects can be completed successfully by almost anyone, there is a big variation between amateur and pro status. Even if all you want to do is repaint a room, you have to decide if you'll settle for "acceptable" or you want exceptional. Simple tasks can sometimes be daunting and end up not turning out the way you thought. Only you can determine your level of expertise and set the standard that you want. In general, however, most homeowners can handle simple projects and replace light fixtures, hardware and even faucets and toilets. Anyone who can use a level, basic power tools or is detail oriented can probably install simple stock cabinets and shelving units, replace worn or outdated vinyl floor tile, weather-strip doors, and windows, and install doorknobs. Tasks like hanging a new door, adding insulation to your attic, installing ceramic tile and even repainting an entire room don't require a great deal of expertise, but they usually mean you'll need a helper unless you're okay with the process taking a while. The materials may be difficult to deal with, and the final results can reflect your status as a do-it-yourselfer, but it really comes down to how much time, effort, and research you are willing to put into a project. What is Your Purpose? If you're preparing your home for sale, or if you're a perfectionist at heart, take stock of your abilities and practice on a small project before you begin a major task. Paint a piece of furniture, tile a table top to use on your patio, hang a storage cabinet in a closet or paint the laundry room. If you feel like you can easily get the small projects finished, you may want to try your hand at some of the more complicated fixes as you work your way up. For semi-specialized renovation like hanging a chandelier or replacing a faucet, you can always seek advice from a handy neighbour or sit in on a workshop at your local home improvement store. There are many helpful guides in the form of articles or videos on the YouTube as well. That said, professional services exist for a reason. Some projects require a lot of know-how or are simply very time-consuming for an individual to complete - if safety is ever a concern, hiring an expert may be the better route to take. Sometimes you will get an estimate that is well within your home improvement budget. When in doubt, ask your real estate agent what they think! They...

So you have thought about it and have decided the way to make money is to purchase a property and become a landlord! Sounds like an easy way to make a passive income? Before becoming a Landlord there are a few points to consider. Do you have the time available? Duties of a Landlord take up a lot of time and effort. Even if you decide to appoint a management agency to manage most of it for you, there will always be requests for repairs, lease agreements etc. If you decide not to pay the management fees (which can be as much as 10%) of the rent then you must have even more time available. Being a Landlord should be treated like running a business .It needs to be taken seriously. Evaluate your Financial Resources The idea of someone else helping to pay off your mortgage is appealing. However you must look into your finances carefully before deciding to buy a property with the sole aspect to rent out as an investment. Take into account that in terms of Canadian Law the banks will require a 20 % down payment to qualify for a loan. This is where small rental properties between 1 and 4 units are being purchased for financial gain and not your primary property. Make sure you are familiar with the tax laws in Canada and that you will declare the income from the rental. In addition you should be aware of which items you can get a tax benefit from when you are a landlord. It is vitally important that you put aside at least 2 % of the purchase price for any additional costs that may arise. The cash flow for your “rent” business must be in a positive cash flow from day one. Know your local regulations Research and be aware of local regulations pertaining to a landlord’s responsibility. Each province in Canada has their own regulations regarding rentals. For example in Ontario you can’t collect a security deposit but in most other areas you can collect deposits for security and rental. Tenants This can be the most trying part of being a landlord. It is a good idea to research the area you intend to rent out in. An area that has little rental stock is advantageous as you will have a large pool of tenants to choose from. Make sure to get references and if possible arrange a credit check. Exit Strategy This is one of the most important things to consider when deciding to rent out a property or even your basement. Care and thought must be given to your rental goals. Is it for a quick flip on the market after upgrading the property or do you want to hold onto the property and sell close to retirement providing a nest egg? Finally if you are prepared to put in the time, thought and effort into renting out your property then you will reap all the positive benefits of becoming a Landlord.      ...

Buying real estate can be a very exciting time, so many things to think about and big decisions to be made. Be sure not to rush into a purchase, be prepared, get pre-approved and ask questions before signing. Here are 5 questions you should ask your Mortgage Lender. How the penalties are calculated if I break my mortgage early? Specifically, ask what rate they use to calculate the “interest rate differential”. Typically, if the lender has “posted rates” they use these to calculate the penalty. If this is the case, the penalty can be 3, 4 or even 5 times higher than a mortgage lender that does not have posted rates and uses them in their early payout penalty calculation. This one question can save you thousands of dollars. Is this a “collateral” mortgage? Some lenders have recently started putting all of their mortgages into what is called a “collateral” charge. In the right situation, given significant equity in the home, this product can be very useful and advantageous. The disadvantage to this product however, is that you cannot “switch” it to another lender at maturity. You have to actually discharge this type of mortgage and re-register a new one with a new lender which will cost on average $1000 for legal fees and appraisal costs. Beware of lenders who do this, especially if your mortgage is high ratio because it is only useful if you have more than 20% equity. Can I “blend and extend” my mortgage if I buy another house? Most variable rate mortgages cannot be “blended” however, typically the penalty to break a variable is 3 months interest. Some lenders have changed their policies (very quietly) – instead of allowing you to add new money to a mortgage in the event of a new purchase, they require you to pay the full penalty. Some clients have been caught off guard by sneaky lenders who don’t tell them this until only a few days before close, at which time it’s too late to switch lenders. What happens to my life insurance if I switch lenders at the end of my term? This is a very commonly overlooked detail by those who take the insurance offered by their bank or lender. The challenge is that if you want to “switch” your mortgage to another lender at the end of your term, you have to re-apply for insurance. The downside to this is that you’ll be five years older, and if you have developed any health issues, you may not qualify for the insurance at all. Getting insurance that mortgage brokers offer stays in place for the whole time you have your mortgage, no matter who your mortgage lender is. What happens at the end of the term (typically five years)? Will they offer you the best rate they offer their new clients, or will you have to negotiate for best rates at that time. Most banks know that clients likely won’t make the effort to negotiate the best rates. Working with...

Over the last ten years the housing market in Canada has experienced a boom. This has been primarily due to very low interest rates and easier access to mortgage loans. These factors allowed many new buyers to enter the market. In particular, the Waterloo Region — Waterloo, Kitchener and Cambridge — are expected to have rising prices and the market is to continue to outstrip demand. The local market has increased over the last 18 months by as much as 40%. There is an ongoing shortage of residential properties. With average homes expected to reach $600,000 in nearby Hamilton–Burlington, the slightly more affordable Waterloo Region area is going to attract even more buyers than is currently the case. With its transit infrastructure, an excellent schooling system and growing tech sector (It is becoming known as the Silicon Valley of Canada) is attracting interest. The average house prices in this area are in the region of $400,000. It has also become difficult to meet the mortgage qualification requirements and this combined with the slight rise in lending rates will make it difficult for buyers to purchase expensive properties. This again is expected to send more buyers towards K-W as a more affordable way to gain a foot in the housing market. It is defiantly a seller’s market in the tri cities region. Local Buyers are frustrated with multiple offers being made on properties and the price being driven up by’’ outsiders” entering the area. Of course it is better to try and get into this market and if you have to consider downgrading your immediate needs by say considering a smaller house then do so, assuring a worthy financial investment for the future. It is perhaps worthwhile researching and considering the condominium market in the K-W area. This Condo market has not yet reached the same price level as the single home units. It is an affordable way to get into the property market. It may not be exactly the lifestyle you are looking for but at least you will own a property in this expanding area. History has shown that once the single unit property market becomes sated then the value of the Condo market dramatically increases. This may be the way of future growth in this area. There is still stock available in the market upwards of $800,000 but this is now also beginning to show offers higher than the asking price of up to 2%. If you can at all stretch your funds available this is worth considering. The middle range pricing market is fast catching up to this upper range” and very soon the upper market will also begin to feel the knock-on effect with prices and stock expected to rise as well. Therefore, if you are looking for a good investment in the estate market look no further than the Cambridge, Waterloo and Kitchener areas and expect your purchase to increase in value quickly as demand grows in this area....

Spring has sprung! If you are looking to sell your home this spring, now is the time to start preparing! Do your research! Get in touch with a knowledgeable real estate professional. They will be able to share important knowledge, such as how much money properties similar to yours sold for in your area. This will help you decide on an appropriate asking price. They will also be able to tell you how quickly you’re likely to find a buyer. They will also advise on how quickly you are likely to find a new home to buy for yourself. If you sell your home in a market where there is low inventory (what the Waterloo Region is going through now) you may want to buy first to secure your next move. Declutter! Remember, you will be showing your home to prospective buyers. They need to be able to see themselves living their ideal life in your home. Not necessarily see how you live yours. All of those magazines, family photos, and dog toys you have lying around the house. Put them away. Buyers want neat and tidy, they don’t want to see pictures from your high school graduation. Take show homes, for example, they are always clutter-free.  Home improvements. So, doing a complete overhaul of your home might be a little excessive if you’re looking to sell up. But there are always small adjustments that can be made to make your home look more appealing to buyers. And even up your asking price a little. Not sure where to get started, this is where your real estate professional can come in handy. An experienced realtor can help you put your to do list together.  Sometimes just small changes, like a fresh lick of paint over the front door, and sparkly new grouting in the shower can make the world of difference to how your home looks. Curb appeal is essential!  Get packing. I know. Packing sucks. And it sounds a little premature to pack before you’ve even put your home on the market. But you probably have cupboards and cupboards of stuff you don’t use on a daily basis that can be sorted through and organized. It will make the job seem much less intimidating when the time comes to actually move. And it will help with the clutter issue, too. Pick the right real estate agent. Check out those that have experience in selling properties similar to yours and are well known in the area. Feel free to conduct interviews, remember you’re the one hiring them. The right agent can make a huge difference to the speed and overall profit of your sale - so choose wisely. Don’t wait until the spring market is in full bloom. Start getting yourself together now and you’ll be quick off the mark come selling time....

As we are seeing in the Waterloo Region, with the demand for property far outweighing the supply, it can be difficult and exasperating at times, to be a buyer in a sellers market. Here are some things to consider when entering this  market Know the market. Visit a few open houses in the area and check out their asking prices. See what their square footage and features are in relation to your property.  It is good to bring on a realtor who knows a lot about your area. Some homes in your area could be underpriced! Plan. So, you’ve found your dream property. But you are certain theres going to be competition to get it. Don’t offer asking price! Increase your offer. In a bidding war, more often than not your competitors come in offering hundreds / thousands more. You can also present your offer as a deal that will go through quickly. You can pre-plan by getting any inspections out of the way. Get your financing approved now. These two things will reduce the conditions of your offer and give a shorter date of completion. Often sellers want to sell up as quickly as possible, so even if your bid wasn’t the highest, it may still be accepted if it seems like it will go through quicker than the rest. Move fast. As soon as you hear about a new property on the market, go and check it out. Within 24 hours if possible. And ask for all of the information you can think of up front. This will make you prepared for the bidding war right from the off. In a seller's market, there’s no time to sit back and mull things over. If you want to buy, you need to make it your priority. Multiple offers. Don’t make the mistake of assuming you don’t have a chance just because a property has multiple offers. Research has found that the majority of offers are at or below the asking price. Work with a pro. I know you can do it alone. But just because you can do something yourself, it doesn’t mean you should. Realtors have the inside scoop on the industry. They are privy to information that you, as a buyer, are not. And they are vastly experienced in all issues surrounding real estate. The seller will have an estate agent on their side fighting for them. It only makes sense to retaliate with an expert of your own. Don’t give up. So, the market isn’t on your side right now. That doesn’t mean all hope is lost. It just means you have to work a little harder to get what you want. You will get there in the end, as long as you just keep going. Get in touch today for more expert advice on buying a property in a seller’s market....

The City of Cambridge was formed January 1, 1973, only 44 years ago. Today Cambridge is uniquely made up of 4 former cities; Galt, Preston, Hespeler and Blair. In recognition of the past Cambridge maintains three downtown cores. With rich architectural heritage and a modern flare Cambridge is a desirable city for many. The three downtown cores are active and growing. Cambridge is a great home for all lifestyles; young professionals, families with or without children, and empty nesters (just to name a few). This central city is just 40 minutes west of Toronto, 60 minutes east of London, 40 minutes west of Hamilton and 30 minutes south of Waterloo. Cambridge is a great location for the commuter family. Go anywhere you need to go and come home to all the features Cambridge has to offer; schools, parks and trails, shopping, restaurants, and so much more From trendy downtown condos to large country style homes and everything in between; we are certain you will find your fit in Cambridge. With all it has to offer it is not a surprise that Cambridge is the second largest community within the Waterloo Region....

Can I increase my homes worth in a Sellers Market? There are many things that we can do as home owners to bring up the value of our home in all types of markets. Often we put it aside because we are too busy or just don’t want to put out the extra cost right now. Planing and preparing your home for sale can be very beneficial, don't leave yourself wishing you did. Below we have listed some ideas to help you. Add Fresh Paint: Go out to the store and buy a $25 gallon of paint. Fresh paint in a home is going to brighten up the area and have a more cleanly appearance. If you are especially considering selling we would definitely recommend thinking of the colors you will be applying to the walls before purchasing. Many people have different opinions how to decorate their home and what color scheme to use. This is why we would recommend choosing a neutral color for your new fresh look. Planting Trees and Shrubs: The very first thing someone notices about your home whether it be walking by or walking up to your entrance is how the outside appearance looks. People look for a nice “curb appeal”. This is why we are recommending planting some trees and shrubs around the property. If you wish to take a cheaper route you could purchase some soil/mulch to add into the gardens you already have to liven the look. Remember even the little things like cutting your grass regularly through out the summer will help your overall curb appeal. Lighting: With summer right around the corner don’t be afraid to open your windows and let the natural light shine though your home. There is nothing nicer then being able to walk into a room and not have to flick on a light because its already so bright! Don’t have those big windows in your home to provide the natural light? That’s OK! How about adding some fun lamps to bring the needed light into the rooms in your home. If you’re not looking into dealing with an electrician and don’t like the lamps idea, you can always reach out to Pinterest for a lot of great DIY ideas....