Are you ready for the Spring?…. If it ever comes

 

 

Doesn’t this captivating picture aspire you to become a better person?
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NO? Me Neither.

I know what your thinking…. what a beautiful picture of nothing. Well there is a lot more than meets the eye in this picture, read on to find out how it can ruin your savings, your life, your marriage, your kids future education, and your sanity.

I am hoping that this article will help some of you by reminding you that A. spring will eventually come so don’t give up hope yet, and B. if you have a basement in your home there are some things you should be doing to ensure you protect your home, pocketbook, and sanity. While attending more Buyer’s home inspections that I can count, I’ve noticed the same re-occurring theme rearing it’s ugly head and that is the issue of water around the house. This time of year it is especially imperative that we pay extra attention to the potential causes for concern regarding water around the foundation of your home. Over the last couple weeks we have seen some crazy weather and have had snow, sleet, hail, rain, and 12 degree weather (Celsius for any american friends that may stumble across this). With the snow melting, the rain, then more ice and snow, and now it starting to melt again it’s time to take a look around your home and observe any water at the base of your home. 

There are several different ways that water can access your foundation and start to cause problems. The number one killer of foundations and leading cause of moisture and water seepage into the basement is the grading of the soil around the exterior of the home. Many homes have negative grading, leading the surrounding lawn to drain towards the home. Once the water reaches the base of the home it follows the foundation until it finds a weak spot and seeps in creating not only moisture and structural issues but potential mold issues as well.

The other major leading cause for water becoming an issue in the basement is the discharge from your eaves troughs. Many homes have eaves troughs that end beside the home which dumps the massive amount of displaced water from the roof into concentrated areas around your foundation. 

The bad news is, this has probably been happening for years if this is the first time you have heard or thought about this. The good news is, if you haven’t been experiencing water in your basement there is probably still time to fix it.

For the grading issue, it is best to build up the soil layer around your foundation so that the water will naturally drain away from your home, this may take a bit of work because you could possibly have to grade several feet away from the home to make sure it doesn’t pool and come back to the house. This is a very important precaution to take and can save you a huge expense down the road.

For the downspouts, there is a pretty simple fix for this and it’s relatively inexpensive. While splash blocks can help move the water a foot or two away from the home, the best alternative is to use extended pieces of eaves to get the water at least 4 feet away from the base of the home. Alternatively, you can also use weeping tile attached to the bottom of the spout to drain the water to different areas of your yard away from the home. 

Both of these solutions can be done without any technical experience and it is fairly simple to do. Some dirt and a couple hours re-grading or some $14 downspout and a hacksaw is all you requite to ensure your home’s basement will be protected from evil mother nature. 

I hope by writing this I educate some people and save at least one home owner from future water damage, by doing these two simple things you can spend your hard earned money on that vacation you’ve been wanting to go on or that new kitchen, instead of digging up your foundation and having to go through the process of getting it fixed.

Your Welcome. You owe me a coffee, or a high five. Whichever you prefer.

OK by now you know that I was being incredibly dramatic in my opening statement. If you have made it this far, it must have worked 😉

For any questions or advice on home maintenance or real estate please don’t hesitate to contact me at:

www.JamesMink.com
James@coldwellbanker.ca
www.facebook.com/cbjamesmink
www.twitter.com/cbjamesmink

Aside

Olympics 2014I don’t know about you, but I can’t get enough of the Olympics, I wish it took place every year! We have a lot of wonderful athletes to be proud of but I wanted to mention a couple of locals to keep watch for. Marianne Leeson is participating in snowboarding, Jesse Lumsden is attacking two events; the two-man and four-man bobsled, and Tim Randall is also participating in the four-man bobsled. The Leesons lived at the end of my street and were always avid skiers, I always used to see them up at Glen Eden our local ski bump and they were always packing or unpacking their van with gear. All those days on the slopes certainly paid off, it’s pretty cool to see one of them making the big show! Good Luck Marianne, Jesse, and Tim all of Burlington and Canada are rooting for you!

2014 Sochi Olympics gives Burlington something extra to cheer for.

How can you benefit from the highest sales prices we have ever seen.

 
Real Estate in Burlington Ontario
Homes in Burlington Ontario, Halton, Hamilton Wentworth, James Mink

A shot of the waterfront downtown Burlington

I have been speaking to many clients, friends and acquaintances over the last couple months and the same questions seem to be re-occurring during most of our conversations. I am always asked when I think the market is going to turn causing housing prices to drop. Everyone wants to know when the market will turn so that they can try to time it to get maximum return when selling and then save when buying a property. The short answer is, it’s nearly impossible to time the market to work in your favour that way. Is it impossible? No, but to be able to make it happen will require more “dumb luck” than skill.

With most sales cycles between 45 and 60 days from offer to close it’s not very likely that you will see a significant enough change in the market to benefit you from maximizing a sale to getting a huge discount when buying. Something would have to happen of cataclysmic proportions for that to happen. In 99.999% of cases when you are buying or selling the same market influences affect both ends of the deal. If your house is going up in price, it is likely that the house you are looking at purchasing is going up as well and if your house is decreasing in price (btw the average house price has continued on a steady climb since the second world war) the house you would be looking to purchase would be doing the same. This would effectively give you the same equity no matter the situation.

The reason I wanted to comment on this is that we are currently seeing the highest average sales prices in the Halton and Hamilton Wentworth regions but we have in my opinion a shortage of inventory (properly priced inventory anyways). Many people are holding back from moving because they are trying to time the market and I think this could be a mistake for them as if they sell now in what is in my opinion a seller’s market they could benefit by a higher sales price than when the market changes and more inventory comes available. We are lucky to live in this area of the Golden Horseshoe as I honestly believe we are insulated from major market corrections. There is no shortage of people who want to move to our communities because they offer some of the best jobs, services, local governments, events, schools, transportation, etc… in all of Canada.

I think it’s a great time to move and would be happy to discuss any of your needs or questions you may have.

I am a real estate professional, foodie, wino and sports addict living in Burlington and specializing in Burlington, Oakville, Waterdown, Hamilton, Ancaster and surrounding areas.

www.facebook.com/cbjamesmink, www.twitter.com/cbjamesmink, www.linkedin.com/cbjamesmink

National MLSÂŽ forecast is stable for 2013, and looks to be improving in 2014

We have seen a recent increase in activity in the Halton and Hamilton Wentworth areas after a late start to the year. It seems like many homebuyers and sellers had been waiting to find out if all the negative predictions from the media on the housing market earlier this year would come true. True to form, the housing market has remained consistent as many Real Estate Professionals (including myself) predicted it would.

According to an updated 2013 forecast from The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national sales activity in Canada has held fairly steady after gearing down last August in the wake of changes to mortgage rules that took effect July 9, 2012.

The CREA forecast, issued earlier this year, indicates that although the number of MLSÂŽ sales has slowed since mid-2012, activity is expected to improve later this year, fuelled by stronger economic growth and continuation of near record low interest rates. CREA now predicts that national MLS sales will reach 441,500 in 2013, just 2.9% behind the strong sales activity seen in 2012. On a provincial level, both Alberta and Manitoba are expected to see sales gains this year.

In 2014, CREA forecasts that national sales activity will show slow but steady improvement, rebounding by 5.5% to 461,200 units sold. Sales in the province of BC are expected to show the strongest gain next year. Canada’s national average house price is forecast to edge back up 1.7% in 2014. Many major markets are already seeing near-record prices for resale homes.

If you have been thinking about selling your home it’s a great time to speak to a Real Estate Professional to get a proper valuation on your property.

James Mink is a real estate professional covering Burlington, Oakville, Hamilton, Waterdown, and surrounding areas.

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www.jamesmink.com

Are we nearing a disaster the way the US housing market has?

burlington_city_photo

Lights on the Skyway bridge inBburlington Ontario

Being in the real estate business I often get asked what my take on the current housing market situation is going to hold for the areas I service. Without being able to predict the future with the accuracy of Nostradamus, I rely on economic indicators and trends that I have seen in my 12+ years in the real estate industry to predict as accurately as possible what’s going to happen. No one can tell you for certain that Canada is not going to face a significant downturn like the US has seen over the last few years, it’s impossible to know. Household debt in Canada is at an all time high and people have never borrowed at the rates that we are currently seeing in the history of our country. With that said, that doesn’t neccessarily mean that we are headed towards impending doom. It just means that we should be a little more conciencious with our spending. A big part of it I believe is that we want too much too soon, I see it all the time with my friends, family and a couple clients. What I mean by that is that we want the world…. before we can afford to own it.

Many of the people I talk to are looking to spend up to the maximum they get qualified for in order to get the biggest, best, newest (insert your description here) that’s out on the market. I realize that when they are purchasing a house it is something they want to take pride in and are only trying to find something they would like to entertain with/raise kids in. However, I also find that alot of times their expectations are too great. One of the reoccurring influences I find is that they want to find a house that is equal to or greater than the one they grew up in. Everyone has a special attachment to the home that they grew up in, I know I do, I would love to purchase the house that contains many of my chidhood and teenage memories. The only propblem is, I know that I can’t afford a house like that if I want to keep my current quality of life the way it is, someday it will happen, but not today.

This doesn’t encapsulate everyone when I say this, some people have been lucky enough to attain the financial security that allows them to afford a high price home similar or better to the one they grew up in, but the reason I bring it up is that I see more and more people everyday stretching their finances to the max in order to attain a home at the limit of their approval, when if they bought something a little cheaper that may allow them to put more money towards RRSP’s, TFSA’s, Stocks or other methods of saving for the future. This could also allow for them to put a little extra on their mortgage every month that would in turn pay down the debt owed at a significantly faster rate. As a society I don’t think we value saving nearly as much as our parents/grandparents and older generations have. Many of us have a Live for today attitude which I admire, but it is also going to get us in serious trouble down the road if we don’t smarten up and do something about it.

Ok so that rant is just about done, on to my next point, what’s happening locally in Halton and Hamilton/Wentworth. One of the things the media doesn’t take into account when they are broadcasting the doom and gloom of the housing market is the fact that it doesn’t apply to every market. Even in the US, there were still properties moving and some appreciating not everything took a hit, alot did, but not everything. I believe that living in the Golden horseshoe has afforded us a bit of insulation from the real estate market because of the demand of people that want to be living in this area. Burlington, Oakville, Waterdown, Hamilton and Ancaster all have desirable attributes that are leading more and more people to want to live in these diverse communities.

Oakville and Burlington are running out of room to expand their city limits with the Greenbelt to the North and the lake to the South so anyone that wants to be a part of either of these communities has a bit of a tougher time finding something because of the demand. Both of these cities offer many festivals and community activities that are unrivalled across the country (helped lead Burlington to be chosen as the #2 most desirable city to live in Canada). Waterdown is expanding at what I would call a controlled rate, bringing in new services, stores and ammentities to expand the city without losing the small time charm it has come to be known for. The Hamilton area continues to see growth and investment in business, downtown revitalization, condos and housing starts (not to mention their lower average home price). All this helps create a desire to want to live in and be a part of these communities. Even if the housing market takes a long walk off a short pier (don’t even get me started about Burlington’s pier construction, that is for another post all together) I believe these communities will be insulated from the full effect of a “bursting bubble” because we have unique offerings that homeowners cannot find throughout most of Canada, and certainly not in southern Ontario.

So I guess to wrap this novel up I just wanted to recap that things aren’t always as bad as the media makes them out to be…. oh yeah… and try and save a couple bucks here or there so you can afford a lawn bowling membership when the time comes to retire :).

Good news from the Federal Government!

The Bank of Canada has agreed to hold off on the interest rate hike that was speculated to come early this year. This is great news for homebuyers who may not have had the capital or the ability to get into the housing market last year but who are looking to take advantage of the record low interest rates. Canada’s central bank surprised Bay Street and Wall Street Wednesday by dropping from its latest policy statement any hint that it would raise interest rates to deter Canadians from bidding up housing prices and adding to record levels of household debt.

Bank of CanadaThe Bank of Canada is now expected to hold off any rate hike until 2014, and this enables many first time home buyers and people that are currently renting to be able to enter the market and afford the monthly payments that 5 or 10 years ago they were unable to. For first time homebuyers there has always been incentives with tax breaks and government programs that allow for some financial relief in getting into your first home, but for people who may have at one time owned a home and now are renting and would ultimately like to get back into homeownership this is the perfect opportunity. It was easier prior to the government crack down on the mortgage rules in the last half of 2012, but the record low rates still make it possible for many families to be able to afford the carrying costs of a home.

Last year many people missed out on the opportunity to take advantage of low interest rates, 30 yr amortization and programs that allowed you to borrow 100% of the value of your home. If you were smart and continued to save between then and now and have built up enough for a down payment or are a couple months away from being able to afford one, this move by the government is in your favour.

Now I must warn the public that because the interest rates are at a record low and have been for a couple years, they WILL not stay that way. With that in mind you must be wary that once your mortgage term is up, be it a 5 yr, 10 yr, 2 yr or whatever it is, you will be subject to higher monthly payments down the road. Please take this into consideration when you are planning your finances for future, as many people could get caught and not be able to afford the payments once the rates go back up to a normal percentage point. There are options however when you do reach that point, if you are really stuck and cannot make the payments, there is the option to sell and take the equity you have built in your home to another property of lesser value, or you can keep the profits made from the sale and use it towards other investments or retirement.
I believe home ownership still remains the single best investment you can make in and I would recommend it to anyone looking to increase their net worth. There is a lot of information to learn regarding the process of purchasing a home and if you ever have any questions regarding it please don’t hesitate to contact me to discuss.

James

james@coldwellbanker.ca

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Setting expectations for new realtors

I am a new Realtor that has decided to take the plunge into the crazy world of real estate sales this past spring and now 7 months in I would like to share my experiences and insight for what it’s worth. I specifically am hoping to provide information on what I have experienced to help those looking to get into the business or to educate the average consumer who has misconceptions of what it is we actually do.

First I will start off with a little information regarding myself to give you an idea of who I am and my background. I have been blessed in the past with great opportunities where jobs are concerned, I started off my first job at 14 and worked there for 10 years, during that time I had various other part time work I was doing and at points I was employed by 5 different companies at the same time, including the one that really got my career started which I will get to a bit later. The reason I have included this information is to give you an idea of my work ethic. Almost every night/weekend when I wasn’t in school growing up I was somewhere working to earn money. The biggest reason being is that I liked to enjoy a certain lifestyle (travel, attending sporting events, dinner and drinks with friends, etc…) and although I didn’t take a lot of time off (on average maybe just over a week a year vacation) I liked to enjoy and really appreciated the time I did get with my family and friends.

When I was in my first year of college I was lucky enough to get a co-op with a great company and worked my way up to a Director position by the time I was 26. After a couple years at this position and 10 years total at the company I decided it was time to move on and try my hand at something different in order to expand my skill set, and went on to run the marketing division at another software based company. While my career had been progressing I had been told by many people in the real estate industry that I should consider giving real estate sales a try and there had always been a little voice in the back of my mind telling me to go for it, however, it was never loud enough to replace the analytical side of my brain that kept shouting “DON’T BE STUPID!, you make a decent living and know when you are getting paid and exactly how much you will be receiving every month!”. For years the little voice lost the battle every time my mind raged the war on where I wanted to be and what was going to make me happy in the future. It wasn’t until this year that I decided the longer I waited to try something I have always wanted to try, the older I would be starting from the ground up in a completely different business model than I was accustomed to.

The hardest thing about getting into real estate was the fact that I was starting over in a field that I had some background knowledge of but after getting into it, I realized that I really knew barely anything about the way this industry works. It felt good to get a new start in something I have had a passion for a long time about, but it was also scary in that I had no clue when or IF I was ever going to get paid again. This problem was compounded by the fact I have a mortgage that comes out of my account on the same days every month whether I am getting paid or not. I didn’t have any kids or a wife (I have been to vegas a couple times and there were some black spots in my memory, but no one has come forth claiming either so I think I’m good) that I had to worry about providing for so that made the decision a little easier, although when I look back now the fact that I did only have my income to rely on and didn’t have a spouse contributing to the monthly bills it really made it that much harder. I just want to put in a side note, if you are the only working spouse and you have a kids or a significant other you are supporting alone it is much harder than the situation I was in, there are situations that are a lot tougher than mine and I realize that, whenever things are bad, someone can always be worse off.

I know I am rambling a bit but what I want to summarize out of all of the above is that it is incredibly hard to make the transition into real estate, it is not an entry-friendly process like it is in some industry’s as there is no guarantee of compensation when you first start and there are a lot of expenses you must incur in order to get your licence and actively sell before you even have the opportunity to TRY and make money. The real estate classes/exams you must pass are only the first hurdle, from there you have to pay CREA, OREA, your local board, insurance, gas, signs, marketing, gas, stationary, monthly board dues, gas, quarterly provincial and national dues, brand fees, gas and much more. Believe me when I say that there are waaaaaaaaaaay more expenses than I was expecting getting into this industry and that scares the majority of people off within the first year. I have heard a bunch of statistics regarding the entry into this field and I believe the last one someone told me was that 30% of people continue past their first year in real estate. The rest give up and move on because it’s not what they were expecting, or what they have heard other people say it should be and a vast majority just can’t afford to continue.

You see a decent amount of people that are part time in this industry to start out because they need to be able to pay their bills in order to be able to pursue and develop their business model in real estate. The only issue I see here is that there are a significant amount of people in this business that only do it part time and in dealing with a couple over the short time span I have been actively selling I don’t think they have the knowledge or the focus to properly service their customers. I am not saying that everyone that is part-time is like this but the ones I have dealt with certainly were. If you are part time to start that’s understandable but I truly believe this business is one that you need to focus your entire attention to in order to be successful and if you can make the jump to being able to devote all of your efforts to only real estate I think you will succeed beyond even your own expectations.

I had been around real estate in one capacity or another for years and had accumulated a vast amount of “high level” knowledge about how it works, but it wasn’t until I was licenced and standing in front of a customer on my own answering questions and providing information to them alone that I realized there was much more to being a real estate professional than I had envisioned. It wasn’t about working whenever you want, driving fancy cars, and making ridiculous sums of money every time you sell a house that everyone seems to be under the impression a real estate professional’s job entails. The perception between what we do and what we actually do is a larger divide than the Grand Canyon. No amount of studying and reading books on what to do, or how to do it can prepare you for the first time you are out with someone and they are looking to you for guidance on information regarding a property. When you first start out, the only information you have is basically the same information that the consumer has from MLS regarding the property. Yes, you get access to your local board intranet that will help you compile comparables and give a little more in-depth information regarding the house but it isn’t until you have used the site for a while or have actually been through, or helped buy or sell properties in the neighbourhood that you can comment on some of the information of value that a real estate agent can provide.

Beyond just information it is our duty to represent our clients best interests and we take upon us a great deal of liability in working to close each and every deal. This is something that goes very unnoticed by consumers and the majority of people of the public, but I think is a huge issue that should not be brushed under the rug. I have never worked for a company before where the outcome of something out of my control could lead to me getting legal action against me. That’s insane! I realize that this does not happen often and in many of the cases that it does happen in, it truly is someone’s fault (most of the time for being lazy or greedy), but it is still an incredible weight hanging over your head when your practicing as a real estate professional. In my prior employment the worst that would happen is I would get fired, which in itself is a bad thing, but not nearly as bad as being saddled with a fine from someone suing you AND you possibly losing your job. It’s a scary thing, and only part of what a real estate sales professional has to deal with on a daily basis. One of the best ways of minimizing this is through proper training and if you can get it, working with someone who knows what they are doing so you can gain insight and real world knowledge by tagging along to real world situations. I was lucky enough to join an organization that provided both of those opportunities to me and I truly believe that it has helped me in certain situations to do the right thing and stay out of the courtrooms. I believe that I am a very stand up person and would never knowingly withhold information or provide incorrect information for my personal gain. With this said, I am still new to this industry and have a lot to learn, so where my inexperience may lack, it has been aided by a great training and mentoring program that has helped me fill in the gaps, relieving the fear of me doing something incorrectly and possibly leading down a road nobody wants to go.

If your still reading and I haven’t scared you off of becoming a real estate professional yet, this is where it gets good. What I have said above is only a small part of what is scary about your first year in real estate, there is much more but without writing a really boring 10 pages essay on it, I want to give you some of the finer points of why I am still here. After years of extensive travelling through work and years of sitting behind a desk I have experienced a good mix of what the majority of industries offer in terms of corporate and small business environments. Working for someone can be rewarding if you work for the right company, or have a boss that cares about you and your advancement. The reality is this doesn’t happen everywhere, or even in MOST places so why not consider something that tips the scales in the favour of your own life/career. One of the best things about being a real estate professional is that you are running your own business, it’s not something that many people get to say they have tried. You can work for a company, brand, etc… in this industry but at the end of the day you are your own boss and you have the final say in what it is that you do. Who better to look out for yourself and your career than you? Being a real estate professional gives  you the ability to run things the way you want them to be run, and also when you sacrifice your time, energy, and ability; the end goal in your efforts is to ultimately reward yourself. I chose this industry because I feel I can make a positive impact with my clients and their lives all while creating an enjoyable lifestyle for myself. I love to see the smiles on people’s faces when they get the keys to their new home, or the handshake or hug you receive when you are able to sell someone’s house to help them move on to the next chapter in their lives. At the end of the day being a real estate professional is about more than just paying the bills and doing your own thing, it’s about helping people during important phases in their lives. A house/apartment/condo will be the single largest purchase 90% of people will ever make in their lives and it’s something that they will never forget having. How often do we hear of stories from people about when they lived in a house and had a certain story based upon their experiences there? At the end of the day it’s an amazing feeling to help people, and if you strive to make customers happy in this industry you will never have to worry about yourself making that next mortgage payment again!

If you are just starting out in real estate and can add to this please feel free to share your experiences for all to see.

As always you can contact me at james@coldwellbanker.ca
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Aside

If you’re thinking of renovating by degrees, a good starting point is research and planning.  First of all, what are your goals for this renovation, and what is your timeline?  Are you planning on creating a dream kitchen where your family will spend the majority of its time for many years to come?  Or are you just looking to freshen up the look, but plan to move within the next two or three years?  Defining your objectives and time frame can really help you to decide what’s worth doing now, what can be done in degrees, or what’s worth doing at all.  Your public library and city planning offices can be a wealth of information on the various stages and requirements for home renovations.

I will be happy to discuss how the resale potential for your home might be affected by any renovations you may be planning and what the future sale implications may be.  Your local financial institution can advise you on the most cost effective way to finance your renovation.  Usually a line of credit secured against the equity you’ve already built up in your property is one of the most cost efficient options available to you.  However, there has been a lot of change to the overall structure in lending over the past year so if you would like to discuss in further detail what some of your options may be please feel free to give me a call, I work with several highly reputable banks and mortgage brokers and will be able to assist with you with information for your financial needs.

Of course, your contractor is the most important person to include in the investigation and planning process.  Make sure that your contractor understands your goals not only for the immediate stage of your project, but also for any future enhancements you may be planning.  Your contractor is responsible for getting a building permit and ensuring that your long range plan conforms to the building code and regulations of your municipality.  Don’t assume you can simply add on later when the time is right.  Once you’re armed with the right information, you are better able to make an informed choice.

 

For more information on renovating or on any real estate related questions please feel free to contact me at:

james@coldwellbanker.ca
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Serving the Burlington, Oakville, Hamilton, Waterdown, Milton and West Mississauga areas

Phasing in a major renovation

109 Stonehenge Drive, Ancaster Ontario

Welcome to 109 Stonehenge Drive in beautiful Ancaster Ontario.

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Bright and spacious custom executive home in a very desirable area. Entering into the vaulted grand foyer, you will appreciate the craftsmanship and  impressive layout of this custom designed house. This home offers 3 Bedrooms, 2.5 baths and a large sitting area on the top floor that can easily be closed off for a 4th bedroom. With a beautifully finished custom kitchen opening to the family room with fireplace and dining room, there is lots of room to entertain. The spacious master bedroom offers a huge walk-in closet and a spa inspired 5 pc ensuite perfect for your own private retreat. The roughed in bathroom in the basement and large unfinished space are perfect to create your dream home theatre or games room. The backyard is professionally finished and includes a deck that would be great for those outdoor family Barbeques. This house is perfect for a growing family or those looking for space to entertain.

LISTED AT $569,900

If you would like to find out more or to book a showing on this property please contact me at:

James@coldwellbanker.ca
www.jamesmink.com
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If you are interested in buying a home or finding out more about selling your house in Ancaster, Hamilton, Waterdown, Burlington, or Oakville please contact me.

Getting The Best Bang for your Renovation Buck!

Gathering inspiration from one of my current listings I wanted to breach the topic of renovating. I truly believe that the fastest way to grow your net worth is by investing in Real Estate. One of the best proven methods of making a few bucks on a property is to purchase something that needs a bit of elbow grease and put some sweat equity into the home.

In speaking with many of the prospective buyers through open houses I have help in Burlington, Oakville, Waterdown and Ancaster, many are on the look out for the next property they can flip or make their dream home. I think now more than ever, Canadian homeowners are venturing into the domain of home renovating.  Many Canadians look forward to enjoying the new, attractive or functional features that these renovations can bring to their everyday life.  Yet more and more, market-savvy homeowners are spending thousands of dollars on home improvements, just to turn around in a short period and put the property up for sale.  Knowing how and where to use your money can help you achieve the best return on your investment by delivering an improved listing price when the time comes to sell.

The two most prominent areas of your home that will affect its selling appeal are the kitchen and bathrooms, so these are two prime areas to focus on if you’re looking for the biggest bang for your renovating bucks.  For bathrooms, if you’re looking to improve resale value, then focus your efforts first on the main floor bath or powder room.  Buyers decide on a home within the first few minutes, and it will be the only one they will have seen in that time.  Besides, it’s usually the bathroom all your visitors use and it’s typically small – perhaps a half bathroom – so it’s a good place to splurge and achieve maximum impact for a relatively low expenditure.  After the main floor, the master bath is most worthy of premium fixtures and upgrades, because that’s the one prospective buyers will visualize themselves using.  For these two rooms, you don’t necessarily have to break the bank by replacing tubs and sinks.  New products such as porcelain tub paint or even a full insert that mounts on top of your existing tub can give your bathroom a fresh as new look.  Where it will pay off in the end to spend some money is with new, modern faucets and perhaps a new light fixture.

No other fixture in the home gets more use than the kitchen faucet – so don’t skimp here!  A good idea is to choose one of the latest washer less styles that minimize internal seals and components that can wear out.  Spend the extra couple of dollars on stylish, advanced faucets that will give years of leak-free service.  While the plumbing for the faucets are out, you might decide to replace the kitchen sink – a good investment if yours is showing signs of obvious wear.

The countertops in the kitchen and bathrooms are another guaranteed-return home improvement.  If the cost seems a little daunting, don’t be discouraged.  New melamine paints can rejuvenate an outdated counter surface with today’s new cool neutral shades.  If your counter is scratched and worn, there are new countertops available today, which are custom ordered pieces according to your specifications that are placed over top of your existing counter.  The end result is a low cost, limited effort alternative that gives you the look of solid granite!

If you ever have any questions about renovating your home please dont hesitate to contact me to discuss options on where best to invest to get the return your looking for.

you can contact me at:

James@coldwellbanker.ca
905-484-2753
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Also for any questions on real estate in Burlington, Oakville, Hamilton, Ancaster, Waterdown and Milton please contact me, I would me more than happy to help.