|WASHING THE WASHING MACHINE|
|If your washing machine is giving off a musty smell, it’s time for a wash!
Washing the washing machine may seem strange but over time, soap scum and bacteria build up in front loading washing machines which creates a musty smell.
Start by cleaning the rubber door gasket with white vinegar and water. Next, mix ¼ cup of baking soda with ¼ cup of water and add it to the detergent compartment, then pour 2 cups of vinegar in the drum and run an empty load at the hottest setting.
Clean your washing machine every month to keep it in tip top shape. If you leave the door open between loads, promptly remove laundry as soon as the load has finished and don’t use too much detergent, you’ll help keep your washing machine fresh and clean.
|HOME IS WHERE THE SMART IS|
|Smart home technology is continuing to grow at a rapid rate!
Smart home technology has gone from basic security to smart windows that open and close based on the weather and indoor air temperature. Here’s a look at a few smart home innovations that will revolutionize our lives:
Smart home technology is always improving and it’s a major selling point because the higher your home’s IQ, the higher the resale value will be! Who knows what the future will bring but one thing’s for sure; smart home technology can provide you and your family convenience and peace of mind.
|Condos appeal to everyone from young urbanites who want to be in the heart of the action to seniors who just want to relax and enjoy their golden years playing tennis and relaxing by the pool.
Families are also starting to gravitate towards condos as they’re an affordable way to escape the suburbs and move to a vibrant downtown atmosphere where various amenities are only steps away.
Aside from being affordable, condos are low maintenance as you don’t have to spend your weekends cutting the grass and cleaning the gutters. They also offer enhanced security features which are perfect for those who like to travel.
Convenience, however, comes at a price in the form of condo fees which can be costly depending on the amenities offered by the complex. That said, condos are often very affordable compared to single family homes, especially for those who are downsizing.
When you buy a condo, you don’t own the land beneath you but instead share a common interest with others in the complex. This means you’ll be subject to rules and regulations that can dictate anything from the type of planters you’re allowed to display to the kinds of blinds you can hang.
Joint ownership also means you’ll be in close contact with your fellow condo owners. Some people love the sense of community offered by condos but for those who value their privacy, it can be a difficult adjustment. Pets are another key consideration as Fido may not be welcome in some buildings.
If your real estate vision includes extensive renovations, condo living may not be for you as your options could be limited. If however, you’d rather spend your time chilling by the pool instead of painting shutters, the low maintenance factor may be just what you’re after. It’s really a choice of freedom vs. freedom.
|THE LOWDOWN ON RADON|
|Do you know if you and your family are protected against radon?
Radon is an invisible radioactive gas that occurs naturally in the environment from the breakdown of uranium in soil and rocks.
It doesn’t present a concern outdoors but when radon becomes trapped inside a house, it can be very harmful to your health as it increases the risk of lung cancer.
Radon can seep into your home through gaps in floors, walls and foundations. The only way to know if you have high radon levels is to purchase an inexpensive testing kit or to install a radon detector.
Radon concentrations vary from home to home so don’t take any chances — protect your family by testing your home for radon today.
|PREPARING FOR THE REAL ESTATE ROLLER COASTER RIDE|
|Never wear your emotions on your sleeve during the real estate ride.
Selling your home is a huge financial transaction that can trigger a roller coaster of emotions. When you’re being tossed around at every turn, you need to hang on and stay on track.
Although you’ll likely have a strong connection to your home, try not to get offended if a potential buyer wants to rip up your kitchen or paint over the wood trim.
Also, never take comments personally. It’s natural for people to complain when they’re interested in something so while criticisms may seem negative, they’re actually a sign that the buyer’s interested in your home.
If you receive a “low ball” offer, remember that it’s often just a starting point but be aware of tactics such as “low balling” where an attractive price is initially offered only to be adjusted at a later point on the basis that circumstances have changed. Recognizing these strategies will help you keep a balanced perspective.
If you’re able to generate multiple offers, make sure you consider more than just the price. There’s nothing worse than accepting a conditional offer just because it’s over the asking price only to have it fall apart a month later when you could have accepted a firm cash offer that was almost as good.
It’s completely natural for both buyers and sellers to experience a wide range of intense emotions as they navigate through the complex real estate process. However, if you hop on the real estate roller coaster with a competent agent by your side, you’ll not only enjoy the ride but you’ll look forward to doing it again!
It is important to know what you can afford. Get pre-approved with a financial institution prior to beginning your search. Shop around to get the best rate and terms to suit you. It will make your offer stronger if you don’t require a condition for financing.In addition to the pre-approval, we will review
In addition to the pre-approval, we will review together with my section on Residential Resale Cost/ and procedures, so you can budget for the other closing costs involved.
Defining your needs
If you are purchasing with someone else, sit down and discuss what is important to each of you and discuss which things are imperative, and where you will make compromises.
Picking a Neighbourhood
Be open to alternatives we might suggest. There may be areas or pockets that you haven’t thought about. Or know about, that would meet your criteria.
Also consider different types of homes in your price range, at the beginning of your search. Know your options.
Choose an Agent & Agency Relationship
Hopefully, at this point, you have chosen to work with us, or are if we have just met, you will see the information we have provided that we have the knowledge and expertise you are looking for.
After reviewing and discussing Agency and home it affects you, a decision will have to be made as to whether you choose to be a customer or a client in the buying process. More information is available from us on this topic.
Viewing & Choosing
You will be notified by phone or e-mail attachments of all new properties that may meet your requirements as soon as they are processed. This is usually well in advance of the home is listed on a public site.
We will then make arrangements to view those you are interested in.
After viewing enough homes to feel comfortable with your decision, make the choice. It is difficult to find the absolute perfect home.
Decide on the one that meets most of your requirements and where you are prepared to make compromises or changes.
Preparing the Offer
We will then prepare the offer, present it, and negotiate it on your behalf.
We will follow up after acceptance to satisfy any conditions, forward documentation to your lawyer and follow up with the process to closing.
The time between acceptance of your offer and the closing date is sometimes a confusing time period. This article will remove some of the mystery. Hopefully, any questions you might have, have been anticipated; however if there is anything that hasn’t been covered, please do not hesitate to contact us at any time.
We will be in touch at regular intervals until closing date ( and after) to ensure that everything is proceeding in order.
The Agreement of Purchase and Sale, (and any amendments or waivers) will be sent to your Lawyer or Paralegal as discussed.
The Deposit will be placed in an Interest Bearing Account until closing and credited against the purchase price on the Statement of Adjustments. If there was a clause that the interest on the deposit cheque is to be paid to the purchaser, then this cheque will be mailed after closing.
If there are no conditions in the Agreement, your lawyer will open a file and begin the procedure to ensure that you will have good title to the property. If there are conditions the process will be delayed until the conditions have been waived.
This procedure may include other things, but here are the basics:
All of the searches will be conducted prior to the Requisition Date noted in your Agreement. If there are any questionable issues, they will be addressed in the form of a “Requisition Letter” to the Vendor’s Lawyer; to be satisfied prior to closing. Your lawyer will address any of those concerns (if any) around that time.
If an existing survey for the property is not available (or does not show the current location of the fences, buildings, and structures), the mortgagee will require either a new survey or title insurance.
Title insurance is less expensive and acceptable for the mortgagee, in most situations (insuring the property against possible encroachments etc. that an up to date survey might reveal). First Canadian Title Company is one of such companies offering this survey, but your lawyer may recommend others.
If you choose to have a new survey prepared, we can provide you with a few names of those we have used in the past, or your lawyer may have someone they prefer. We would be happy to assist you in making any arrangements.
Your lawyer will in all probability also represent your financial institution with respect to your first mortgage. In that regard, they will send any documentation directly to your lawyer, and make the funds available for the closing date. If you have a closing date that extends beyond your rate commitment watch the rates and get in touch if you see rates increasing. (Get your commitment extended.)
During the week prior to closing your lawyer will request an appointment for you to execute closing documents, (i.e. mortgage documentation, land transfer tax affidavit etc.) and review the Statement of Adjustments. You will also be required to bring a certified cheque at that time for the balance of your down payment and legal fees. This appointment usually occurs the day prior to closing.
On the closing date, your lawyer will exchange documentation and balance of closing funds with the vendor’s lawyer’s firm and complete the transaction.
Your lawyer may have many transactions closing on your closing date, and it is often difficult to close early in the day. If you are selling as well, then that transaction has to close first in order to have the money to close your purchase. You are not legally entitled to possession of the keys and your new home until the closing has occurred. Keys will be given to your lawyer on closing.
Keep this in mind when making your moving arrangements. You don’t want to pay for a moving van all day if the closing doesn’t occur until later in the day.
Visits prior to closing will be arranged through Lakeview Realty Inc. (with the listing agent and the vendor.) If you require any assistance with respect to contractors etc., We have names that we could recommend.
Please visit our Concierge section for more details. We would be happy to help.
An organized approach and checklist can make “The Moving Process” a lot easier!
Book the movers. It’s a good idea to obtain estimates from several different companies. (Note: There are different rates for different times of the month). You can choose to have the movers pack everything, some of your more precious or breakable items, or pack everything yourself.
If packing yourself, make arrangements for special boxes on moving day for mirrors/pictures etc. and make special arrangements for moving your pets and perishables, such as food and plants.
Ask the movers if they provide or sell boxes. Some of them will give you used boxes to start the process. If none are provided, there are stores that cater to moving. Check the yellow pages or speak to us. We can point you in the right direction. It is a good idea to devise a colour code system with stickers for boxes going to different rooms on moving day.
Be aware that you do not own the new home, (and are not entitled to possession) until after the transaction closes. If you are closing and moving on the same day, you may not have possession until later in the afternoon.
If you rent your present home:
Give the necessary written notice to your landlord, and make arrangements of any monies you may have on deposit.
If you own your present home:
Call the gas and electric companies and let them know you are moving. Arrange to have the meters read on the appropriate date.
If your water heater is rented, arrange for the transfer of the rental agreement to the new owners.
Instruct your heating oil supplier to fill the tank on the appropriate date. You will be credited with the cost at closing. If the new owners are converting to gas, make special arrangements with them.
Advise the telephone and cable companies of your move and have them discontinue their services on the appropriate date.
Advise all of your present service companies of your new address and closing date, so final billings may be directed to you.
At your new home:
Make arrangements with the gas and electric utilities, telephone, cable and other services to be connected or begin on the day of closing.
Obtain “Change of Address cards” from the post office and send out well in advance.
Have the post office forward your mail to your new address.
Inform gardening, dry-cleaning, newspapers, magazines, diaper and other home services of your new address.
Obtain a letter of introduction from your current bank to help establish new accounts. Transfer trust or bank accounts and securities.
Inform all creditors (Visa, Master Card etc.) of your new address and the date it becomes effective. (Don’t forget pre-authorized payments)
Cancel or transfer social, athletic, civic, religious or business affiliations and memberships.
Arrange for the transfer of medical and dental prescriptions and optical records.
Consider having a “Garage Sale” to dispose of unwanted clothes and furnishings.
Change your address on your driver’s licenses, effective the date of your move.
Collect all items out of cleaning and storage.
Safely dispose of all flammable liquids, as it is illegal for movers to carry them.
Arrange with your lawyer for access and keys on the closing date.
Leave a note in the house with your address for the new owners or occupants in the event that someone wasn’t notified.
Take advantage of the Lakeview Realty Inc. “Concierge Service” to make your move an effortless one and to help you on your way!
Prior to making an offer, we will have discussed agency with you, and you will have chosen in which capacity you wish Lakeview Realty Inc., to represent you. (Either as a customer, or a client).
Deciding & Preparing
When it comes time to make an offer, (and assuming you have chosen to work with us as our client.. a buyer broker relationship), we can provide information and advise as to the current market information to assist you in making your decisions.
This depends on the current market conditions, but generally, in a normal or buyer’s market, the price offered by the buyer is different from the asking price. In a seller’s market, however, (and if there is more than one offer), the offering price is often over the list price.
The deposit shows the buyer’s good faith and will be applied against the purchase price of the home when the sale closes. Between 5% and 6% is a bit of a benchmark in the City of Toronto. A Lakeview Realty Inc., Professional can advise you as to an appropriate amount.
Includes the total price and deposit which the purchaser is offering as well as the financing details. The buyer may be arranging their own financing or may ask to assume your existing mortgage if you have an attractive rate and term. (Usually in a market when rates are higher)
These might include “subject to home inspection”, “subject to the sale of the purchaser’s property”, “subject to obtaining satisfactory financing” etc. In a seller’s market, try not to have any conditions. Work out all the details ahead of time.
Inclusions and Exclusions:
These might include appliances, certain fixtures such as light fixtures, heating systems, air conditioning, window treatments etc. If there is something you are not sure about, spell it out. Don’t get caught up on the little things. You are purchasing a home, not chattels.
Closing Or Possession Date:
Generally the day the title of the property is legally transferred to the buyer, and funds are received by the seller. (unless otherwise specified).
You may have made the offer conditional on certain events occurring (i.e. financing/inspection/ sale of purchaser’s property etc.). This is not recommended however if it is a seller’s market and you are in competition. The offer will be prepared, after discussing the details with you.
Presentation & Negotiation
We will then present and negotiate the offer to and with the Vendor on your behalf, along with the listing broker. As mentioned, in a seller’s market, there will often be more than one offer and you will be guided and directed through this process.
The vendor will then have the choice of accepting, rejecting or countering your offer. The counter offer could be for any number of reasons (i.e. the price, conditions, closing date or any other items).
The offer can be countered back and forth until an agreement is reached or the negotiations cease.
Acceptance & Closing
After an agreement is reached, the parties acknowledge receipt of a copy of the agreement. You will continue to be assisted with satisfying the conditions, delivering copies to the lawyers and following through with you until after the transaction closes… and beyond.