La catégorie Real Estate 101

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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

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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

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Finding the right notary

The notary plays a critical role in the home-buying process. In fact, not everyone has a notary within reach. There are two ways to find one: by word of mouth or with a few clicks of the mouse.

You will especially feel the need to find a trustworthy notary when comes the time to draft the promise to purchase or complete the transfer of ownership. Yet, a notary can accomplish much more. He* can make your life easier.

If someone gives you the name of a notary, make sure his name appears on the Chambre des notaires du Québec (CNQ) roll. All you have to do is write the first and last name of the notary. If you are looking for a random notary offering his services in your neighbourhood, consult the CNQ referral service. Continuer la lecture

The Risks of Overpricing Your Home

Most real estate brokers will tell you: overpricing your home from the moment you put it on sale is asking for trouble. You have so little to gain and so much to lose. Here are the reasons why.

A seller may be tempted to ask for an exaggerated price in case a buyer, too naive to realize it or too rich to afford wasting time, finishes by taking the bait. That is wishful thinking. The odds of that happening are slim. Very slim.

Perhaps the homeowner thinks, since there is no hurry, that he will patiently wait for his price, comfortably seated at home. A buyer will eventually come knocking. Wrong!

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Perhaps the seller overestimates the value of his property or demands an unreasonable price to compliment his homeowner’s pride. No matter the case, he will regret his decision. Continuer la lecture

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Buying a Condo: An Overview

The last article of our series on buying a condo focuses on additional information the buyer should know before signing the ultimate contract: services, property taxes, new home warranty program, developer, and insurance.

Ask the condo manager about the municipal taxes and the services offered: garbage pickup, road repairs, snow removal, etc. Are the general services included in the monthly fees? Some co-owners pay independent contractors through an additional condo service charge.

To get an idea of the property tax amount you will have to pay, contact the municipality if the building is new. In the case of a resale condo, ask the property manager to provide you with a copy of the most recent property assessment and most recent tax statement. The real estate broker may also have this information on hand. Continuer la lecture