Tag Archives: advice

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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. Continue reading

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How Important Is Your Home’s Exterior?

Spring is fast approaching. That means many buyers will be looking for their desired home. Sellers, on the other hand, will try to make their property look as alluring as possible. Where to start? With the exterior, of course.

Most sellers will instinctively renovate their home’s interior. However, the buyer’s first visual contact is with the exterior, either directly or through pictures on social media sites.

Most buyers will contact the seller or their real estate broker if they see a picture of a property they like. If the facade and landscaping are unattractive, the buyer may move to the next picture, unless the pictures inside are incredible. If the buyer is physically facing the house, he or she will keep on going and move on to the next property. Continue reading

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Win-Win Negotiation

What do you think is the ultimate goal when negotiating a property purchase? Is it that the buyer does everything in his or her power to get the lowest possible price? Or, is it that the seller gives his or her maximum effort to get the highest possible price? Or, is it none of these answers?

One day, a retired multimillionaire businessman told us what he missed the most about negotiating. His greatest satisfaction was to conclude an agreement where both parties were content. That is exactly what property buyers and sellers should aim for: closing a win-win negotiation.

It is useless for buyers to push sellers against the wall and force them to give up their property for an unsuitable price. This attitude rarely leads to good results. Conscientious buyers not only think about their own interests, but they also think about the sellers’ satisfaction. Continue reading

Heating and lighting: Can you bring down the cost?

In Canada, winter is synonymous with snowy landscapes, cold-weather sports… And soaring electricity bills. What if you could make changes to your house, or plan the construction of your next home to reduce the amount of energy you consume? From little fixes to major work, here’s how you can make your house more eco-friendly, increase your comfort level and save on heating and lighting.

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Adopt eco-friendly habits

“If you want to reduce your energy bill, your priorities should be ensuring that the house is well insulated and replacing energy-sucking appliances,” explains Martin Lambert, Founding President of Ecosolaris. “It always costs less to invest in conserving energy rather than producing it.” Guilty parties include incandescent light bulbs, which could be replaced by LED lighting, and old appliances that you’d be better to replace with Energy Star-certified appliances. Products that carry this certification are required to meet strict technical specifications related to energy efficiency and are tested extensively before being certified.

“Control systems can also be a good way to save,” adds Brian Wilkinson, President of Energie Matrix Inc. “A smart thermostat that can be controlled remotely could save you up to 20% of your electricity bill.” Continue reading

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Which Property Should You Choose?

Sometimes, buyers are faced with a difficult decision. They have already crossed out a large number of properties on their list, but two or three are still remaining. Now for the final elimination round. Which property will it be? Need some advice?

  • Ask your real estate broker. If your home search process was rather long, your savvy broker was able to identify your needs and personality because he or she has gotten to know you.
  • You would be willing to live with some constraints. Others, not at all! They would make your everyday life miserable. Learn to recognize them. Be honest with yourself.

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