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Banque Nationale

Thinking of buying abroad?

Robert* fell head over heels for a million-dollar home in Costa Rica and closed the sale while he was there. Barely a year later, he asked us how to sell his property without losing all of the money that he invested.

“His home definitely wasn’t worth a million… it never was,” states Louise Rémillard, a realtor specialized in foreign properties.

“If we think a foreign property is a good deal based on our frame of reference, it might not be after all,” she adds. “This is why you need to deal with a professional that knows the local market.”

Local expertise is key

“It’s impossible to know the ins and outs of every country,” notes Rémillard.

“You’d want to work with a realtor specialized in the country — and region — that you’re interested in.”

To find the right professional, contact a Canadian realtor affiliated with an extensive international network who can put you in touch with an expert in the region. Your local advisor can help you determine the best location for your needs, what you should budget, financing conditions and the regulations in effect. They can also help you figure out the local paperwork, which is often in a foreign language. Remember that what may seem straightforward at first can quickly become complex if any issues come up.

“You want to avoid paying too much, or buying a property on the wrong beach, where you can’t swim with your grandkids,” says Rémillard. “And it can be costly to buy a condo in a complex with a mismanaged contingency fund.” Continuer la lecture

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Is Landscaping Worth the Cost?

Homeowners once believed that having a pool in their backyard meant selling their homes faster and at the price they asked for. They were wrong. Others counted on their flower beds, patio and garden. Another disappointment. So, the landscape won’t make a difference either? Definitely not!

The landscape increases the value of a property, but very little compared with a kitchen or bathroom that is renovated pragmatically with modern materials and configured in a way to increase practicality. A roof and foundations in good condition, a basement designed with taste, and even multiple and efficient storage spaces will increase a property’s value more than the landscape.

You are selling your home. You are waiting for those first emails to come in or those first buyers to visit your home. If you were in their shoes, what would your first inquiries relate to? The landscape or the condition of the windows? The flower beds or the radon levels in the soil? The patio or the structure of the home? Continuer la lecture

An Ecological Pool? Why not!

Although they aren’t that popular in Québec, they are quite common in Europe. Some books deal with the subject there. You can even find videos on YouTube. Imagine! Swimming in a natural pool without chemical products. Out with the chlorine!

Piscine naturelle patio TOPIA environnement
Topia.ca

 

It’s the plants that take care of filtering the water. The purification is done naturally. The water is so pure that you can almost drink it.

The purification process is done in a pool of water converted into a lagoon. That’s where the plants, like water lilies or others, accomplish their job of filtration. Then, the water spills into the swimming area through a waterfall or over a retaining wall. This is the oxygenation phase, which is then completed by certain plants. The water always circulates which keeps mosquitoes at bay since they are attracted to stagnant water. It’s the same principle as a mountain lake. Same simplicity, same freshness and the same pleasure to swim in.

Numerous healthy and sustainable materials ensure the pool’s impermeability. You can transform your conventional in-ground pool into an ecological pool. Among other things, you will have to build a natural purification and oxygenation zone and demolish one side of the pool to let the water fall into the swimming area. Continuer la lecture

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Patio Flooring Options

You will need to consider many factors before choosing the right flooring material for your patio, like its resistance, comfort, maintenance, harmony with the outdoor decor and recreational space. Here is an overview of the options available.

Natural stone paving on a bed of sand is very popular. There are so many options to choose from, like granite, slate, limestone, sandstone, etc. This type of flooring pairs very well with the surrounding vegetation, especially if the stones are laid randomly. It creates a very natural look.

Fill out the joints with sand, pebbles, earth (mixed in with sand to prevent collapsing). If possible, try to stay away from mortar to let the rainwater penetrate directly into the ground. The downside: very porous stone is not very resistant to freezing temperatures. In addition, it stains easily. Continuer la lecture

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Let’s Take a Tour of the Backyard, Shall We?

We tend to examine the yard quickly. In our minds, it’s not very important. The condition of the home and its financing are of greater significance. Yet, taking the time to observe the four corners of the yard may save you many problems.

If you’re only planning to stay for a few years, you may think the yard doesn’t really count for much. Caution! If the yard hides a defect, it will affect the home’s resale price. If you intend on staying there permanently, the yard will require much thought for future projects. In both cases, a basic examination is required.

If an old tree is near the house, its roots may be so deep and spread out into the ground that they are about to crack the foundations, especially if they’re already fragile. Continuer la lecture