Bacteria is a Growing Concern

Spring cleaning often focuses on reducing clutter, but it can also be an opportunity to reduce potentially harmful bacteria within the home.
Start with areas that are likely to have sources of growth, such as kitchens and bathrooms. Thorough cleaning in those areas should include more than the usual suspects.
For example, microwave ovens and toothbrush holders can be effective breeding grounds for bacteria. In fact, any place where moisture can linger (such as sinks, sponges, and dishcloths) will provide a robust environment for a myriad of microbial colonies.
Other common haunts are well-known: handles, doorknobs, keypads and hand-held devices. Grooming products like hairbrushes, pedicure tools and makeup applicators can be a hotbed for fungi. If at all possible, confine these items to individual use, and keep them clean.
*Article Provided by Morris Marketing*

Rebates and Discounts: Investigate Before You Renovate

When planning home improvement projects, it’s wise to investigate your eligibility for rebates, discounts and other incentives that might help you reduce your overall costs.

Among the most common programs available to homeowners are those promoted by various levels of government in support of conserving energy and the environment. While installing a modern energy-efficient lighting or HVAC system will definitely save you money in the long run, it requires a large initial investment. So, it makes sense to determine whether there are government sponsored programs that will reward you when you’re ready to make that initial investment.

As well, some manufacturers, retailers, and contractors might promote their products and services at special prices in support of such incentives, and might even help you with rebate applications. Of course, you will need to do some homework by checking with your municipal, regional and federal offices, but it’s better to know before you start your renovation than to find out afterward that you missed out.

*Article Provided by Morris Marketing*

What to Do When Closing Dates Don’t Match

If you want to sell your current property and purchase your next dream home, you might be concerned that the closing dates need to be on the same day.
You might be worried that you’ll lose a property if the closing dates overlap, or you’ll be put out on the street if the dates are far apart! For the most part, these concerns are unfounded.
Thousands of properties change hands every day and usually, everything works out just fine. In fact, it’s amazing how often closing dates actually do match!
But what happens if the closing date of the home you want to buy is days or weeks earlier than the closing date of your own property?
Most lenders anticipate this situation and offer something called “Bridge Financing.” This is a special loan that allows you to purchase the property with the earlier closing date. When your current property closes, the bridge financing ends and your new mortgage – if you need one – begins on the new home.
Alternatively, if the home you want has a later closing date, we will work together to explore options, such as a short-term rental.
*Article Provided by Morris Marketing*

Top 5 Ways to Impress Home Buyers

Remember when you found your current home? You walked in and got the feeling it was a great fit for you and your family. Now that you’re planning to sell your house, you need to make that same impression on the next potential buyer.
Here’s how to do it.
1. Clean and de-clutter. Make sure your kitchen, bathrooms, and floors sparkle. Use old-fashioned elbow grease or call in professional cleaners to get the job done. Can you walk into your walk-in closet? Does your car barely fit into your garage? Start packing early and put your seasonal and personal things into storage. Make your rooms and cupboards look spacious.
2. Repair the little things. Put on your home inspector’s hat and walk through your house. Make a list of the items that need attention and arrange for repairs. Focus on your entry-way, drywall, paint, sticky/squeaky doors, leaky faucets, flooring and countertops.
3. Help buyers see themselves in your house. Remove your family photos and personal mementos. Buyers have difficulty picturing themselves in your house when your personal items are on display.
4. Let the light in. Bright homes often have a higher resale value. Pull back blinds and draperies to let natural light in. If you still have some dark spots, add floor or table lamps to the area.
5. Groom your yard. You wouldn’t go to a job interview without being well groomed, so make sure your yard is groomed for viewings. Trim your hedges and shrubs. Cut the grass. Pull weeds and cut back any greenery that covers walkways.
*Article Provided by Morris Marketing*

Consider Cloud-Storage for Safekeeping of Valuable Records

While it is advisable for anyone with irreplaceable valuables to have a safety deposit box in a secure location away from the home, having a digital record of its contents offers the added benefit of immediate access to images of the items, should the need arise.
To that end, you should photograph and itemize expensive jewellery, heirlooms and collectibles, as well as scan any appraisals or authentications.
In addition, it could prove very convenient to have instant visual access to important documents, such as financial assets, passports, wills, powers of attorney, life insurance and home insurance policies, as well as personal mementos.
But saving these visual references on your phone, tablet or computer could fall short of your intentions, given how easily and often such devices can get lost, damaged or hacked. For that reason, a password protected digital “cloud” backup is likely your safest precaution.
Usually provided at little or no cost by your internet service
provider (ISP) or device manufacturer, cloud backups are stored on remote servers that offer a level of secure storage
that’s worth considering.
*Article provided by Morris Marketing*

Creating a Realistic New Condo Budget

Creating a Realistic New Condo Budget.

You’re probably aware that there’s more to the cost of a new condo than its purchase price. So to help you make an informed decision based on all of the expected costs, ask yourself the following questions:

• How much do you expect to pay for moving expenses? Don’t forget to include packing materials in your calculations.

• “Closing costs” are the extra charges you will have to pay at closing. How much do you expect your closing costs to be?

• Estimate how much you’ll pay for activating your phone, internet service, cable television, and so forth, at your new condo. These little costs can add up.

• Will your new unit require painting, repairs, and other preparations once you move in? How much will they likely cost?

• Will you need to purchase new furnishings, decor, and other items for your new condo? What’s your budget for those items?

The more aware you are of the true costs of purchasing a condo, the better your decision making will be. And, if you decide to buy, you’ll be able to do so with much more confidence.

*Article Provided by Morris Marketing*

How to Tell if a Neighbourhood is Improving

How to Tell if a Neighbourhood is Improving.

When you’re looking for a new home, you want to find one
in a great neighbourhood – or, at least, in a neighbourhood
that is on the upswing. How can you tell if a particular area is
improving? Here are some common indicators:

• Pride of ownership. Take a walk around the neighbourhood. Do you get a sense that people take good care of their homes? Are the lawns mowed? Is the landscaping trimmed? Are flowers planted? Homeowners are more likely to look after their properties when they like where they are living.

• Real estate sales activity. Do homes tend to sell quickly in the area? Do they sell for a good price? If so, the neighbourhood is probably in demand. If people want to live there, it’s a desirable area.

• Business investment. Are businesses investing in the surrounding area? Is there an increase in the number of upscale shops, health clubs, restaurants, and other commercial enterprises that often locate near desirable

• City plans. Find out what plans the city has for the area. Will there be road improvements done in the near future? Are there any major construction projects on the schedule, such as a new school or community centre? Although such projects can be disruptive in the short term, they may improve the neighbourhood – and, as a result, boost the value of any home you buy – in the long-term.

If you need help finding this information, call today!


Planning for Renovations that Pay Off

Planning for Renovations that Pay Off.
Last year, a survey conducted amongst real estate agents sought to identify renovations that might affect the resale
price of homes across the country.
Aimed at helping owners decide about investing in a project when intending to sell in the near future, the survey revealed
that some low-cost renovations had the best potential to stimulate an increase in return-on-investment upon resale.
Of course, that is not to say that a vendor should avoid expensive projects such as a kitchen remodeling or bathroom
upgrade – because those renovations will likely attract more buyers.
Rather, homeowners should always be cautious about expecting a colossal uptick in their property value beyond its fair market value. It is also important that they consider how
a home improvement will benefit their own lifestyle while they remain in their home.
Meanwhile, if you’re wondering how your next project might affect your home’s market value, just ask. We could have a candid chat about the potential impact of your investment.
*Article Provided by Morris Marketing*

Tip For Vacation Home Renters

Tip For Vacation Home Renters.
If you’re planning to look for a rental vacation home, you can’t
start too soon. As the summer season draws nearer, you could end up paying more for less.
Before starting your search, identify your budget, preferred
regions, vacation dates and required sleeping arrangements. List your “must haves”, such as beachfront, boating access,
outdoor cooking, drinkable water, air-conditioning or internet access.
Also, consider access to shopping for groceries or supplies. Remember, remote or island rentals require more thorough
planning. When searching, be particularly attentive to “house
rules” regarding such things as children, pets, smoking or
overnight guests. Whenever possible, view the vacation
home yourself before renting, and always ask for references.
*Article Provided by Morris Marketing*