What Type of New Home Are You Qualified to Buy?

When you think about looking for a new home, one of the first questions that probably comes to mind is: “What type of property can I afford?” That’s an important question because your price range is a major determining factor in
the types and sizes of homes you should be viewing.
You don’t want to waste time looking at properties that are beyond your price range. At the same time, you don’t want to purchase a less-than-ideal home, only to realize later on that you could have afforded more. So how do you determine what type of new home you are qualified to purchase?
The first step is to find out what your current property would likely sell for in today’s market. I make that calculation for clients all the time. It involves reviewing what homes similar to yours have sold for recently, as well as other data — such as special features your home may have that are likely to boost the selling price.
Once you know the current market value of your home, subtract any outstanding mortgages and estimated selling expenses, and you’ll end up with an amount that can be applied to the purchase of your next home. (You may also have other funds you want to use.)
The next step is to talk to a lender or mortgage broker to see how much of a new mortgage you qualify for. (Call me if you need a recommendation.) It’s important to get a Pre-Qualification or Pre-Approval. That makes the offer
you make on a new home more credible.
If you want to find out the types and sizes of homes you can get into, give me a call. I’d be happy to show you the possibilities! 416-779-8732
*Morris Marketing*

Common Household Items that Can Cause a Fire

You never want to smell smoke in your home and realize there’s a fire. That’s why it is important to be diligent about fire safety. Experts recommend that homeowners be especially careful with the following common household items:
• Portable heaters. Never leave one in a room unattended. Make sure paper and other combustible materials are well away from these units.
• Electronics chargers. We all want our computers, tablets, and smartphones to charge quickly. The price we pay for that convenience is chargers that pull in a lot of power, making them very hot. Keep them away from combustible
material, as well as other wiring.
• Smoking materials. Be careful with cigarettes, pipes, cigars and other such items. Bedding and upholstery, which burn slowly and dangerously, are the source of 75% of smoking-related fires.
• Candles. Never leave candles unattended for any reason. If you must leave the room, extinguish them.
• Flammable liquids. These can include paints, thinners and some brands of cleaning products. Read labels carefully and follow the safety instructions.
To paraphrase a famous expression: An ounce of prevention is worth not having to deal with a house fire.
*Morris Marketing*

Décor Tips: Colours, Patterns and Textures

According to a contemporary home decorating magazine, there are a number of significant trends taking hold this year. Some may influence your own décor choices if you’re considering a room or home makeover.
Perhaps the most distinctive and easiest trend to adopt is the use of warm floral colours such as lilac and lavender. These muted tones can be subtly complemented by the polished gleam of chrome, nickel, brass or copper hardware, fixtures and/or accessories.
In larger rooms, consider enhancing the softer natural
colours with strong accents that pop out. Use darker
furnishings and cushions, bold artwork, or a contrasting wall or drapery pattern.
Other ways to inject a touch of rugged relief to a pastel
makeover might include adding the textured effect of ragged or marbled paint.
The addition of rustic elements such as traditional wood,
tile, brick or stone can also anchor your home décor. But
use your colours and accents judiciously, especially in smaller rooms that can look cluttered. In such cases, use
uniform light colours in incremental shade variances to add dimension without creating a heavy or crowded effect.
*Morris Marketing*

Is Your Dream Home Within Reach?

Remember the day you purchased your current property? It
may have been your dream home at that time. Or, it may have been a compromise between what you could afford and what was available on the market. For example, you might have wanted four bedrooms only to find that there were few such properties available within your price range.
But, as the saying goes: That was then and this is now. Today, there may, in fact, be an ideal home on the market, at a price that fits your budget perfectly. How do you find out? The process is fairly straightforward.
First, you determine the current market value of your property… in other words, what it’s likely to sell for on today’s market. That will give you a good idea of the funds you’ll be able to put toward a new home.
The next step is to get the details you need regarding financing. You’ll want to find out what size of mortgage you
qualify for and how the payments fit into your budget. With
this information, you’ll be able to determine a comfortable
price range for a new home.
Finally, you’ll want to start looking at homes available on the
market that meet your criteria. For example, you may now be able to afford that four-bedroom with a large backyard in a nice, family-oriented neighbourhood.
Once you go through this process, you might discover that
your dream home is closer than you think! Why not get
started today? Give me a call at 416-779-8732
*Morris Marketing*

Household Efforts Can Help Reduce Utility Costs

There is enormous pressure on municipalities to provide infrastructure services to citizens while keeping taxes
in check. Homeowners can play an important role in helping. One of the best ways to help keep utility and service costs down is to make simple changes to your regular habits in order to ease the stress points that
make some systems overburdened.
For example, consider the following:
• Keep fat, grease and microbeads out of household drain systems that feed municipal sewage pipes.
• Use a household filtering system to replace the plastic
water bottles or at least recycle them to minimize landfill waste.
• Compost food scraps and vegetable waste, which can account for a large portion of trash volume. Alternatively, organize a compost program to contribute to local gardens.
• Sell or donate items such as clothing or books, rather
then throwing them ou

Curing The Home Listing Jitters

Do you ever buy products that say, “some assembly required”? If you’re like most people, that statement makes you worry that you’ll end up spending hours struggling to put the item together. In some cases, you might even decide not to buy it, just to avoid the frustration!
As a homeowner, you might have a similar concern when it
comes to selling your home. You may be thinking of selling,
but the process of getting your property ready and putting it on the market seems overwhelming. It may even make you
Those listing jitters are understandable. Fortunately, there’s
a cure. You simply need to get informed about the process.
You need to get the facts about:
• Exactly what you need to do, to prepare your home for sale.
• What your home is worth on today’s market.
• How long it will likely take to sell your property.
• How viewings and possible open houses will be handled.
• What the ideal strategy is for selling your home quickly, and for the best price.
Once you have all this information, you’ll know what to expect and the selling process will be easier and less stressful.
*Morris Marketing*

Do You Need A Real Estate Checkup?

How often do doctors recommend you get a checkup? Usually, once a year. How regularly do advisors suggest you review your investments? Most say at least annually.
So, how often should you review your home with a trusted real estate agent? You guessed it! Once a year! Why is this review so important? Your home is a big investment, possibly your biggest. So, knowing its current market value is a big part of understanding your overall financial position.
But, there’s more to it than that. In addition to being an investment, your home is also part of your lifestyle. It’s important to review it each year to see if it’s still a good fit for your changing needs.
I’d be happy to stop by at your convenience to do a “real estate checkup”. I’ll let you know, approximately, what your home is worth on today’s market, and, if you’re interested, I’ll go over what’s possible for you regarding a new one.
Call me or email me when you’re ready to set up your real estate checkup. 416-779-8732 or rut@ruthballantyne.com
All the best!
*Morris Marketing*

Home Office Considerations

Today’s portable technology has created a “work from anywhere” mentality, which has made a home office seem unnecessary to aspiring businesspeople and serious students. But health and efficiency experts agree that people who want to be most effective while working from home should consider how their environment can influence productivity. That’s why setting up a designated workspace is so essential.
For example, avoiding family traffic areas is a must. If you can’t dedicate a room as an office, at least create a space you can isolate, even if it means simply converting a sizable closet into an alcove with a small desk.
Maintaining a functional workspace is also important. Ensure you have good lighting, an adequately clear desktop, an ergonomic chair, and handy storage for files and support materials. Once you have the essentials, spend a little time embellishing your area with creature comforts that help you relax, such as photos of loved ones, a vacation postcard, art and amusement pieces.
If you have a big enough space and budget, consider an invigorating colour scheme, and functional furnishings such as an adjustable-height desk that lets you sit or stand, a meeting table, and a guest chair or lounger that complements your décor.
*Morris Marketing*

Creating a Garden That Endures

Whether you have an expansive yard or a confined balcony, following a few planting guidelines, will ensure you get maximum enjoyment from your garden.
The first thing you need to consider is the foliage that is best suited to your location. Take sunlight, soil, and hydration into careful consideration. Even in a small space, an automatic watering system can give you a wider range of options without the need to worry about being on regular manual duty.
Next, consider the effect you want to achieve, in terms of height, shape, texture, and colour. Finally, whether you are planting for an entire yard, or a cluster of containers, make sure your plants are compatible with your overall local environment and hardiness zone.
*Morris Marketing*

Sharing the Responsibility of Fences

There’s an old adage that says, “Good fences make good neighbours”. If you own property that shares a border with another owner’s property, then you know the wisdom of this statement.

So, if you are dissatisfied with the condition, style or position of a fence between your lot and that of another homeowner, it’s important that you understand that there are legal implications to making changes to a barrier or divider that affects both properties.

It’s wise to research your local bylaws before declaring that maintenance is needed, or moving forward with arbitrary
changes that may not sit well with your neighbour or your municipality.

*Morris Marketing*