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Real estate: A safe long-term investment

In good years and bad, property is a safe investment. It is, however, an area where it’s better to think long term than to try to turn a quick profit by betting on speculation. Here’s an overview of real estate trends, to help you better understand the opportunities available.

The real estate market is influenced by many factors. The strength of the economy, the unemployment rate, demographics and consumer confidence are just some of the elements that impact this sector, both for new builds and resale. Should this lead us to believe that real estate is an unstable market? On the contrary. Over the long term we see clear growth, slow but constant. That’s why real estate is considered to be a safe investment, as long as you give it the time to do its work. Nevertheless, it’s important to remember a few basic rules, and to understand how market growth works.

Investment strategy

Although yearly statistics and projections are good indicators, Samir Bachir, broker, speaker, real estate coach and president of OSE Real Estate Coaching, recommends having a long term vision. “When you look at statistics from the last 15 years, you can see that overall, sales as well as supply and demand stay constant over time,” he says.

In other words, buying property is an excellent investment. But don’t forget that it’s the passing of time that brings the value up, through inflation. “You also need to keep in mind that several factors can have a major influence on that value, in particular location, and the demand for a certain type of property,” specifies Bachir. So, if you’ve targeted the right market – for example a neighbourhood with a high potential for growth given its growing popularity – and the right type of product, you’ve got a recipe for a strong return. Continue reading

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What Does Home Mean to You?

This is the first question you should ask yourself before you begin planning your budget and searching for homes. If you didn’t fancy any house that you’ve visited in the past, or if you’re disappointed in the choice you’ve made, perhaps you didn’t take the time to ask yourself this important question.

Everyone will come up with these three answers: safety, shelter, and privacy. Yet, there is more to a home than just that. Above these things, the personality and needs of each and every one also come into play.

If you’re the dreamy type who doesn’t notice anything around you, who doesn’t get attached to a property or material things, and who has absolutely no wish to maintain a house, then why would you choose a home that’s too big or too expensive? Dreamers usually need very modest homes, a sustainable one at best, to prevent an increasing amount of work. They prefer spending time and energy doing other things. Continue reading

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How to Absorb the Interest Rate Hike

It was bound to happen one day. The Bank of Canada decided to raise its interest rates on July 12th for the first time in years. Every large bank followed suit the next day. It is now time to revise your budget accordingly.

This first hike does not mean there will be a second one on September 6th of this year, and that the interest rates will keep rising afterward. But, better be safe than sorry, especially given the fact that the total Canadian household debt has reached a record high.

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The Bank of Canada is anticipating an increase in the inflation rate. CIBC Bank economists, who issued the “Canadian Inflation: What’s Gone Wrong?” report, also believe the inflation rate will hike soon. Mortgage holders living on a tight budget should prepare accordingly. Continue reading

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Rich and Versatile Like Brick

Brick is just as useful as it is beautiful. You can use bricks for pretty much everything: exterior siding, interior decorating, and backyard landscaping, whether it is a recreational space or a garden. Plus, this material offers such a broad range of colours and it offers so many visual effects!

There’s the crude brick, used especially for exterior siding, but there is also the decorative brick used for interior decorating. The range of colours and shades is impressive. It also comes in many different shapes since brick is a material that can be carved.

You could paint brick. What makes it special is its texture. A white-painted brick wall has so much more to offer than a white-painted sleek wall. The white colour is not as white, but it stands out because of its rugged design. The same is true of a black-painted brick wall. It looks nothing like a black-painted sleek wall. It’s not as black, but it stands out more. Same goes for every other colour.

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There is a downside to this, however. If you paint a brick wall, you will shorten its lifetime because you’re preventing the brick and the mortar from breathing. You will have to check it regularly and make the necessary corrections if you want to avoid going through the whole process again. Otherwise, you could follow the guidelines of Écohabitation experts.

The brick doesn’t have to be perfectly smooth. A brick with jagged sides and overflowing mortar offers a different look. You could also distress the brick to make it imperfect. Some people even marble the brick to make it look more rugged. Continue reading

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An Eco-Friendly Basement

Even the basement does not escape the concept of a sustainable house. If you are planning to remodel the lower floor and are concerned about the future of the planet, here are a few guidelines you should follow, according to Écohabitation experts.

This would be the perfect time to check for radon. We have been hearing more and more about this carcinogenic gas. You can find the detection device in a large shopping centre or a hardware store. If the level is high, Écohabitiion recommends a system designed to evacuate the gas.

Insulating the water heater and plumbing pipes will considerably reduce your energy bills.

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Opt for synthetic (recycled) gypsum for the walls and ceilings instead of the natural one. It is more ecological. Continue reading

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