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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

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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