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Outdoor Renovations

May is certainly the best time to undertake outdoor renovations in the hopes of taking better advantage of the long summer evenings ahead. Here is general advice to create or renovate a recreational space, such as a patio, deck or garden.

Before building a deck, consider all the relevant factors. There are quite a few. Are you looking for more sunlight or more shade? What scenery would you like to see every day? Would it bother you if the neighbours could see in your backyard? Do you want the garden or the kid’s play area to connect with the deck? Would you rather have a deck close to the home or farther away?

Bricks, concrete blocks and terracotta tiles are the best materials for building a patio: they will give you the possibility to leave space to plant vegetation. That is what we call a green patio. Designing green spaces between hard material not only looks stylish, it also creates a cool oasis, however small it may be, for your recreational space during hot summer days.

Wood is a material that is accessible to everyone, or almost. Building a wooden pathway is relatively easy. As for a wooden deck, a handyman can eventually extend it every year by installing joists, if need be. Continue reading

The Benefits of Owning a Smaller Home

Given the restrictions on mortgage financing, which also limits the access to home ownership, many families feel obligated to postpone their plans for buying their property. How about buying a smaller house instead? Times have changed, you know.

In the past, living in a smaller home was too often perceived as some sort of failure. Social success was determined by the size of your home. Big house, lavish lifestyle, large budget. The size of the home sometimes exceeded the family’s needs.

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iStock

The whole world is joining together now to fight the rapid change in climate. Consequently, owning a home that suits your exact needs is perceived as an Eco-friendly gesture.

However, for many families, the restrictions to home ownership prevents them from even buying a property that fits their needs. What to do? Postpone the purchase? Not necessarily. Continue reading

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Decorating Your Outdoor Space

You came up with the idea of redecorating your deck or patio. Or, maybe you are about to open your backyard to the pleasures of summer for the first time. New decorative features have emerged in the last few years. Allow us to present you a few.

It is referred to as Yakisugi. It is wood, usually cedar or larch, that has been purposely burnt, which gives it a darker colour, often with different hues. Its surface is smooth and shiny, almost like glass. Its black colour varies from greyish-black to the blackest of blacks. Luckily, it appears that black is the new decorative trend for recreational spaces.

The Yakisugi is not only restricted to exterior siding. We have seen fences, plant pots, furniture, countertops made of Yakisugi as well. Incidentally, you could add some black accessories to your decor to echo the colour of Yakisugi, such as black rattan, a Victorian lamp post or forged iron. Throw in other colours like silver, gold, and ivory and you will give your deck an upscale look. Continue reading

Purchasing real estate: Your rights and obligations in 8 questions

Purchasing real estate is one of the biggest investments one can make in their lifetime, which is why it is so important to fully understand the associated legal implications. Can an offer to purchase be cancelled? What is a latent defect? A defect of consent? Interview with Martin Janson, real estate lawyer at Janson, Larente, Roy in Montréal.

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Fotolia

1. Is there a difference between an offer to purchase and a promise to purchase?

The term “offer to purchase” is often used, but the correct term is actually “promise to purchase”. In this document, the buyer proposes an amount to the seller to acquire the property and sets a deadline for a response. Once the promise is signed, there is to a certain extent a contract. One party is obligated to purchase, while the other is obligated to sell. However, the buyer can stipulate conditions to the promise to purchase. The most common are obtaining the necessary financing, the sale of their current property, and a satisfactory inspection report. Continue reading