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For Effective Home Visits

You’ve saved money. You’ve done your research and you’re just about ready to visit properties in the hopes of buying your very first home this year. You’d better make sure that these visits are effective. Here are a few tips.

  • We assume that you’ve defined your needs and priorities before visiting your first homes. Don’t make the mistake of defining them as you go along. If so, you’ll waste precious time.
  • Don’t wait to visit the property before getting the basic information, such as the age of the house, the electricity costs, the taxes, etc. Browse the websites of cities and power companies. They can usually give you this information. The real estate broker’s listings also hold a lot of information. If the house is not listed, a phone call or an email to the homeowner should suffice. If you’re afraid to sound too pushy, tell yourself that the homeowner is probably glad to proceed in that way. He or she will also be saving time.

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A Window’s Decorative Artistry

Windows are not only used to regulate the indoor temperature, let in natural sunlight and block outdoor noises from coming inside. They can also be used to create a multitude of decorative designs. The trick is knowing how to use them to their best advantage.

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The window itself can be aesthetically pleasing, through its shape (circle, half-moon, quarter-moon, octagon, oval), its material (wood, PVC, metal), its glass (frosted, stained) and its coverings (curtains, textiles, blinds, sheer fabrics, shutters).

The French door fits into an interior wall. It provides more light to a room or adds a beautiful element to the decor, acting as an interior window. It can also slide into an exterior wall, which we, Canadians, call the patio-door. Continue reading

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Portrait of young happy couple calculating budget

Want to be mortgage-free faster?

5 tips for making a dent in your debt.

According to a BMO 2015 home-buying report, the average Canadian expects to pay off their mortgage by age 59 — but 31 per cent think they’ll still have a mortgage by their 65th birthday. Looking to ditch your debt quicker — without over-extending your budget? It may save you hundreds (if not thousands) in the long run.
The biggest benefit is saving money on interest charges. The longer it takes to pay down your mortgage, the more you’ll pay in interest. The BMO report found that, on average, Canadians believe they’ll pay approximately $60,000 in interest on their mortgage (and this number hits $100,000 for B.C. residents).

First-time homebuyer tip: Curious how mortgage payments work? It’s all about the amount of money you’re borrowing and the length of the loan. Based on these factors, your lender will calculate your payment schedule. Some of your payment will go toward interest (the amount paid on the amount you borrowed), and some will go toward your principal (the amount initially borrowed under the mortgage). You may pay more toward interest than principal in the first few years of your loan, and more toward principal in the later years. Calculate your potential payment schedule with our nifty mortgage calculator.

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Happy young couple getting keys of their new house. Close up of female hand receiving keys from house broker. Closeup of the hand of a real estate agent who give the house keys to a woman while her boyfriend signing a contract.

Understanding the Promise to Purchase

You’re planning on buying your very first home in the near future. You have heard of a promise to purchase (formerly known as an offer to purchase) and you are wondering what its purpose is. Here are the main details.

The promise to purchase is the result of a series of exchanges and promises between the future home buyer and the current homeowner. All the details are written down in this document. The promise to purchase is an agreement, which defines the ground rules between the two parties. If conditions are set forth, the deadlines should be clearly stated and the parties undertake to fulfill them.

The promise to purchase is an important document because, as the title states, you commit to buy the property, but under certain conditions set forth on either side. These conditions are laid down in writing in this document.

The promise to purchase is the step that comes right before the deed of sale, which is the famous contract that officially declares you the owner of the coveted house. Just about every detail written down in the promise to purchase will be found in the deed of sale. The content is very similar. Continue reading

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Articles on home financing, home decor & renovations