BUYING A HOME

If you’re just starting to look for a new home this free home guide could be very helpful. You can request your free home guide by going to www.RequestYourFreeHomeGuide.info and we will send your free home guide right away. It is a 7 Steps process to home ownership and an inside VIP pass to what home is available in the market that only realtor can have access too.

Imagine there’s a neighbourhood you’d love to live in someday, but, every time you drive through, you rarely, if ever, see a For Sale sign. It’s as if homes get gobbled up by buyers the moment they get listed.

It’s true, properties do tend to sell quickly in desirable, in-demand neighbourhoods. Does that mean you’re destined to either hope for a lucky break or miss out on ever living there?

Fortunately, no. There are practical things you can do to increase your chances of getting into that neighbourhood.

Your first step is to find out the kind of new home you can afford. You want to get your financial ducks in a row so when a listing does come up in the area, you’re able to respond quickly. Find out the average price range of homes in the neighbourhood. Then, if necessary, talk to your lender or mortgage broker.

The second step is to get your current property ready for sale. You don’t necessary need to list it now, but you want to be in a position to do so quickly, if necessary. You may need to clean up and declutter, get repairs done, and spruce up your home in other ways.

The third step is to talk to me.

You see, listings in popular neighbourhoods often move fast. By the time you see them advertised on the internet, they may be gone. I can closely monitor listings in that area for you, so the moment one comes up that meets your criteria, you can be alerted. This greatly increases your chances of getting that home.

So if there is a dream neighbourhood you’d love to get into, give me a call.

There has been a lot of emphasis lately on the importance of “going green”. That simply means being environmentally-responsible. You likely already recycle, use energy-efficient lights, and turn down your thermostat when no one is home.

Yet, most of us don’t think about the garden or flower bed when we “think green”.

We should. Here are a few practical things you can do to tend to outdoor plants — without negatively impacting the environment.

  • Pull weeds instead of using a weed killer.
  • Avoid strong pesticides. (Products that target only one or two types of insects tend to be less harsh.)
  • Don’t use flower bed ornaments (i.e. gnomes) that might bleed colour dye into the soil. (Ask your garden centre before you buy.)
  • Be careful not to leave hand spades, trowels, and other garden tools lying around, especially over winter. They can rust, which contaminates the soil.

These tips may seem minor, but if you want to be environmentally-conscious, every little bit helps!

Imagine buying a product from a store, taking it home, and then discovering there’s a problem with it. Disappointing, yes, but not a catastrophe. You can simply take it back for repair or exchange.

But, what if it’s moving day, and you discover there’s a problem with your new home? Whoa. A house isn’t so easily returned!

What are the most common problems encountered on moving day?

  • A delay in getting the keys.
  • The seller not having completely moved out.
  • An item expected to be included with the property is missing. (For example, the window blinds.)
  • Something needs repair that was not disclosed by the seller, nor did it come up during inspection. (For example, the dishwasher not working.)
  • Damage to the property caused by the seller. (For example, a heavy item dropped during the move and cracking a floor tile.)

Fortunately, these are rare events. In most cases, you can expect no serious issues when you move into your new home.

But, if something is wrong, you have options. So, call me immediately. In all likelihood, I will be able to quickly resolve the issue.

If it’s a serious matter, such as missing items, I may get your real estate lawyer involved to arrange for the return of the item(s) or compensation.

So don’t worry. Let the professionals handle it. You can just enjoy your new home!

When you suffer damage to, (or the loss of), your home or its contents, you expect your insurance company to help you out. And, most do a good job of doing just that.

Still, it’s a good idea to review your policy with your insurance advisor and find out what’s covered and what isn’t. You don’t want to discover that your policy will not cover the cost of repairing the damage caused by a flood in your laundry room.

Pay particular attention to coverage in the case of water damage. Some insurance policies don’t cover floods and sewer backup unless an additional rider is purchased.

Also, check liability limits. Ask your advisor to recommend an appropriate level. Finally, make sure you know exactly how much your home is insured for. Are you covered for the full replacement cost? Are you comfortable with that coverage or the actual cash value?

Having the right insurance gives you peace-of-mind and is an important part of enjoying your home.

Keep in mind that experts advise you to review your insurance with your advisor. Ask lots of questions. Make sure you understand your coverage fully.

By the way, if you’re looking for an insurance advisor, I’m well-connected in the local “home” industry. I may be able to give you a couple of names of good, reputable professionals. Give me a call.

Imagine finding the perfect home, only to discover there is serious interest from at least a dozen other buyers. It’s like scrambling for the last piece of cake at a buffet!

Fortunately, there are things you can do to help get the home you want, even in a highly competitive market. Here are just a few ideas:

  • Only view a few ideal properties at a time. If you see too many, and thus spread yourself too thin, you risk homes slipping through your fingers.
  • Be realistic about price. Focus on finding a great home that you can afford, rather than trying to find a bargain.
  • Consider homes that need some work. They get less interest than perfectly staged properties, yet can turn out to be a dream home.
  • Be prepared to make an offer with as few conditions as possible. An offer conditional on passing inspection is usually fine, but in a competitive situation, offers with other conditions will likely be turned down flat.
  • Make your decisions quickly. If there are likely to be other interested buyers, you want to get your offer in early.
  • Make the right offer. To win the deal, you want your offer to be as enticing as possible to the seller — especially when it comes to price.

Yes, it can be tough finding an ideal home in a hot market, but I can help. Give me a call and I’ll show you how.

Imagine finding a home you love, making an offer, and then finding out there are other competing offers on the table. Ouch.

If you’re looking for a property in a competitive market, it is likely that there will be multiple offers. Even just one can create the risk that you’ll lose the home. So how do you make sure your offer is enticing enough to win over the buyer? Here are some ideas:

  • Don’t make a low-ball offer. If you do, it might be dismissed and you probably won’t get another chance to bid — especially if the other competing offers are near the listing price.
  • Have a pre-arranged mortgage and include that with your offer. This reassures the buyer there won’t be any money issues. (Most lenders will provide you with a pre-arranged mortgage certificate for this purpose.)
  • Go in with a price high enough that the buyer will be interested, but not so high as to be leaving money on the table. This is tricky and requires a savvy knowledge of the current market.
  • Have a REALTOR® present the offer on your behalf. A REALTOR® will know how to do so professionally, and in a manner that gives you the best chance of getting the home.

In a competitive situation, working with a REALTOR® who is an expert on the local market — and a skilled negotiator — is crucial.

Looking for a REALTOR® like that? Call today.

In almost every movie featuring a house on fire, the actors seem to be able to move around the house and see just fine, while beating back flames with a shirt or coat. Of course, that’s not what happens in real fires.

When there’s fire in a home, there is typically complete darkness (because the power goes out) and a cloud of spreading thick, black smoke makes it difficult to see and breathe.

That’s why knowing how to get out of your house — fast — is crucial.

Experts recommend rehearsing what to do in case there’s a fire. Make sure everyone in the family has an exit plan. Each should know exactly how to get out, including primary and secondary exits, and where the family will meet once safely outside.

Never attempt to take anything with you. It may seem like you have plenty of time to grab a coat or purse, but the characteristics of a fire can change in seconds.

As a fail safe, in case you can’t exit through a door, you should determine in advance which window has the safest exit. Make sure that the window opens easily and everyone knows how to remove the screen or any other obstruction.

Finally, don’t call the fire department from inside your house. Get out first, then make the call.

dustmites

The more time we spend indoors, the more susceptible we are to airborne household allergens such as dust and dust mite residue, human and pet dander (i.e. dead skin), mould spores, and chemical off-gases from cooking, candles, smoking, and synthetic materials that were recently introduced into the home.

To reduce the risk of respiratory discomforts triggered by these irritants, it’s important to control indoor air quality (IAQ) by utilizing HEPAgrade filters in whole-home air circulation systems, as well as in portable air purifiers and vacuum cleaners. In addition, frequently wiping fixtures and furniture, plus cleaning carpets, throw rugs, mats, drapery, upholstery, cushions and dust covers will make a great contribution to improved IAQ.

Unfortuntely, there are a lot of HEPA air purifiers outhere that ranges from $50 to $5000 but they all have the same in common that is using BAGS or dry FILTERS but regardless of how many layers of filters they use there are still a chance of airborne dust escaping when filter is dry. The only way to completely prevent dust from flying is to neutralize it with water.

Also, just cleaning the air in the indoor environment are not all there is to it because the only way you can 100% purify your air is to 100% clean the dust on your bed, floor, walls, duct and air vent.

There are also a misconception of “suction” vs “airflow” in determining the quality of vacuum cleaner and air purification system. Most believe that suction supersedes the airflow in sucking the dust from the floor or air but in reality it is the airflow that is responsible of picking up dust and dirt from the air and floor.

Like to find out different home air purification system outhere that is certified by “Asthma & Friendly”, “AHAM” and “Carpet Industry Standard”? Message me.

alex-macale-filipino-realtor-toronto-window-condensation

If you see a haze of condensation on your window, should you be concerned? Maybe. Maybe not. It depends on a number of factors.

First of all, an occasional build-up of condensation is normal and often the result of fluctuating humidity in the home. Usually, it’s nothing to worry about. If you’re using a humidifier, try adjusting the levels. If the humidity is being generated naturally, try placing a dehumidifier nearby. Also, remove any plants and firewood from the area, as they can release a surprising volume of moisture into the air.

Do you see moisture in between the panes of glass that make up the window? If so, that means the seal has failed and moisture has crept in. Double and triple pane windows often contain a gas (argon, for example) that boosts the insulating qualities of the window. When the seal fails, the gas disappears, making the glass colder and often allowing condensation to creep in. Eventually, you’ll want to get it replaced.

If you see moisture build-up anywhere on the frame of the window, particularly at the joints, that could be a sign of water leaking through. That’s an issue you should get checked out immediately by a window contractor.

Contact me for a list of qualified contractors near you.

alex-macale-filipino-real-estate-agent-low-ball-offer

If you take care to price your home correctly — that is, at a price that is in line with what similar properties in the area have sold for recently — then you have a good chance of selling it at or near your asking price.

That doesn’t mean you won’t get a low-ball offer. You might. So what do you do when that happens?

First, understand that the buyer may not necessarily be trying to steal away your home at a bargain-basement price. He might simply be mistaken about its true market value. Of course, he might also be coming in at a low price in the hopes he’ll get lucky.

You will never actually know the buyer’s motives. So it would be a mistake to get angry or dismiss the offer out-of-hand. That low-ball offer might end up being the beginning of a negotiation that results in you selling your home at a good price.

Your first step is to work with your REALTOR® to determine:

  • How serious the buyer is.
  • How qualified the buyer is. (For example, does he have a pre-approved mortgage?)
  • How amenable the buyer is to a counter-offer that reflects the true market value of your home.
  • What that counter-offer should be.

This isn’t an easy process. It takes knowledge and experience to get it right. That’s why working with a good REALTOR® is essential.

Looking for a REALTOR® who is an expert at this stuff? Call today.