According to Jonathan Haziza, a product manager for mortgage solutions at National Bank, the scale of the costs linked to buying a property tend to be underestimated by first-time buyers. So without further ado, here are some expenses to keep in mind for a realistic portrait of what lies ahead.
Your financial institution may ask for an evaluation of the property’s market worth. This happens when the cost is steep or the property contains various risk factors. Requesting an appraisal is a means of protection: either to ensure that payments won’t be above your means, or to verify that the property is truly worth what you’re about to pay. You’ll therefore need to hire an appraiser to produce the necessary documents.
Inspection fee Hiring a building inspector to check for hidden defects in pre-existing houses is crucial. This will help you avoid bad surprises that could cost you a lot; you’ll have peace of mind knowing that everything is as it should be. Continue reading →
The expression “invest in stone” used to mean to invest in construction and real estate. Why? Because real estate is a strong and durable sector. Like stone.
Is there a more natural, more resistant, more sustainable and stronger material than stone? It’s practically eternal. Not surprising that it is among the materials of choice in this era of green living.
Stone is abundant in nature. It is recyclable, waterproof, porous and requires little maintenance, which keeps it far away from numerous chemical products. It filters pollution by absorbing carbon dioxide, the main gas behind the greenhouse effect. Another important asset: it’s fire-resistant.
Stone reduces energy consumption in a house by storing the heat for redistribution as needed. It is a natural heat regulator, since it combats temperature variations. In Quebec, however, this ecological advantage is lesser because insulation separates the exterior stone wall from the interior. But lesser does not mean nil. A stone floor exposed to the rays of the sun in winter will slow this ecological loss.
Elsewhere in the world, in certain mountainous regions, crushed stone is piled around foundations of homes to deal with the violent winds and extreme winter temperatures. These crushed stones heat the inside in winter and cool it off in summer.
Stone is not perfect. Its mining, at times its transformation and shipping result in a considerable energy expense, given the weight and mass of the material. These operations release a good dose of carbon dioxide into the air. Therefore, it’s preferable that the stone be mined in the region itself. The shorter the journey, the more the material becomes ecological. Fortunately, Quebec has numerous quarries, including the granite and marble quarries in the Mégantic region, and slate in Saint-Marc-du-Long, the largest quarry in North America according to Wikipedia.
French Wikipedia article on slate
Habitat sain et écologique, Ginette Dupuy, Les éditions Quebecor, 2011, 295 pages
Guide de la maison verte, Michel Durand, Les éditions La Presse, 2008, 339 pages
If you decide to open the inside of your home to natural stone, you have opted for a durable, chic material that requires little maintenance.
Stone works in numerous places in all rooms: interior and exterior walls floors, walls and retaining walls, staircase, wine cellar, work surface in the kitchen, vanity top in the bathroom.
A stone floor is the most solid and durable there is. To make it more ecological, use lime mortar during installation. The most widely-used stones are slate, granite, limestone, marble and quartz, as paving stones or slabs. They allow for all sorts of possibilities in terms of finishes depending on the desired look: sponging, sanding, polishing.
For exterior paving, don’t forget to establish a minimum 1.5% slope to facilitate rainwater drainage. Continue reading →
Who has never caressed a polished stone? Who has never put their hand on a stone wall? For smoothness, for roughness. In decoration, the massive and solid side of stone imposes respect, while adding a certain visual appeal. The elegance of natural stone gives it a great deal of character.
Welcome stone into your home. By keeping its irregular shape, you invite nature to participate in a decorative renewal. Since stone is a synonym for rustic, a stone fireplace with wood beams provides a country charm. Adding a number of green plants to a stone wall, and even a few candles, provides you with a very peaceful atmosphere.
Everyone knows the harmony of the stone-wood-brick trio. However, the contrast of a stone wall with glass partitions is quite striking. This is a much sought-after look in contemporary style. Decorative impact guaranteed. Continue reading →
Articles on home financing, home decor & renovations