All posts for the month August, 2013

Here’s a quick way to find out about zoning by-law in Toronto, Ontario.

MortgageBank of Montreal and Royal Bank of Canada are both hiking their residential mortgage rates, Scott Peterson reports.

Watch it on MSN news click here

If you are thinking of owning a home now may be a good time to get in the real estate market and locked in to a lower rate before it moves up.

Also, keep in mind that the hike in mortgage could translate into a slower and steady market so it is important to plan ahead now if you are thinking of buying or selling your home.

Feel free to contact me for more info.

9A18E0EA71E17EEBBC2363F435AD9Your home is your castle, and you can do what you want with it. Right? Sure. But if you want a good return on the dough — and sweat equity — you pour into Home Sweet Home, you should make sure those changes are smart ones.

Too often, that’s not the case. Real-estate agents and appraisers say they regularly see homeowners make changes that don’t increase the value of the home by much, if at all. Some renovations or alterations can even drag down the value of a home. Then, of course, there is all the damage that a lack of upkeep and upgrades can do.

Check out these 14 home-improvement blunders and our tips from the experts on how to steer clear of them.

1. Going overboard for the area

The common mistake: A common mistake homeowners make is improving a home too much for the neighbourhood, turning the home into a pricey outlier. How much is too much? That depends. ‘If you’re in a really nice neighbourhood, it would be hard to over improve something,’ says Jay Josephs, a certified appraiser for 23 years and the president of the Josephs Appraisal Group in Phoenix. But if you, say, install a $20,000 pool behind a $60,000 house, ‘you might get $5,000 to $8,000 return,’ Josephs says.

What you should do: ‘Pay real close attention to the common denominator in a neighbourhood,’ says Sandra Nickel, the owner of Sandra Nickel Hat Team, a real-estate agency based in Montgomery, Ala. Talk to a trusted real-estate agent or an appraiser, and ask for an appraisal without improvements and another with them. If it doesn’t pay off, ‘it’s not a good value,’ Nickel says.

2. Inconsistency

The common mistake: Homeowners goof by upgrading inconsistently, which hurts value, says Josephs, who is also a partner at Value Trend Solutions. ‘I have seen completely remodeled kitchens where people have spent $40,000 or $50,000 on a kitchen, and the rest of the house is untouched — there are vinyl floors, blue shag carpeting,’ he says.

What you should do: ‘The best way to get the greatest return on your home is to cure the deficiencies. Find out what’s the baseline in your particular neighborhood — and anything you can do to bring your home up to that baseline … is probably an investment worth doing,’ Josephs says. ‘One of the things I like to say is, ‘Stone floors and vinyl floors should never be touching.”

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