Archives for October 2013

Five Things That Can Sabotage Your Home Sale

Real estate is a world where every detail counts. You never know what a potential buyer may be looking for when they view your home and for that reason, you must ensure a flawless presentation each and every time you show your home. Follow these tips to ensure you are showing your home at its full potential.

Unwelcoming curb appeal

First impressions are critical. When a potential buyer arrives at your home, not only do you need to get them out of the car, you need to wow them into coming in. Messy yards, chipped exterior paint and unpolished landscaping will send buyers in the other direction. Poorly maintained yards generally indicate poorly maintained properties.

Un-finished touches

Never show a home that is not ready to be seen. Gutters must be free of debris, walls should be freshly painted and all repairs completed.  Homes should be exceptionally clean and free of dust and clutter. Take pride in your home. Show it at its absolute best so you can sell it for its full potential.

Smell

Unpleasant odours are one of the biggest turn-offs in home sales and can be responsible for either subconsciously or blatantly deterring potential buyers. Tobacco smoke, pet dander and food rank as the most offensive odours and cannot be masked with candles or spray perfumes. Odour trouble often calls for replacing carpeting, repainting walls, or hiring a professional.

Excessive personality

The saying is true. A little goes a long way. Potential buyers need to envision their families living in the home so you want to ensure your style does not prevent this. When staging your home, opt for neutral colours and remove personal items.

Know the market

Be realistic about your selling price to maximize your number of potential buyers. Home prices are dictated by the season, neighbourhood and market demand.

See what’s for sale in your neighbourhood – Do a quick search

Do a Quick Home Market Evaluation and see how much your home is worth.

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Are The Perks Of Condo Living Worth The Fees?

Condo Benefits

Before you move into a condo, decide whether its in-house bells and whistles are perks you’ll use often enough to warrant the fees you’ll be paying for them each month.
In other words, think about your lifestyle, future costs to repair some of these amenities and their future selling potential. And, is it advantageous to have these ‘extras’ in the building or are the neighbourhood offerings enough?

If some amenities don’t tickle your fancy right now, they may make selling your condo more appealing to the next buyer.

For example, does it make sense to turn in your gym membership at a private club and take advantage of the facilities in your building? Will having a gym just an elevator ride away eliminate the bevy of excuses you use not to workout?

And if you are a sociable sort who loves to organize parties and group events, having access to a multi-use room or guest suite to rent makes condo living a lot more appealing, especially for those who are downsizing. In the same vein, giving up backyard living is much easier when you know you have manicured gardens on site to roam through in the growing seasons.

Typically a gym, rooftop terrace and party room are among the amenities a condo offers its owners.

But selling features of some condos know no limits.

Some offer Olympic –sized indoor pools while others have outdoor lounging pools.

Some offer saunas, hot tubs, games rooms, movie theatres, bowling alleys, indoor or outdoor basketball, tennis and squash courts, a library and golf and batting cages.

That’s the fun stuff. Services such as a concierge, visitor parking, dry-cleaning, dog-walking, guest suites, health and maid services may be offered through a user fee system, or they may be costs being built-in to your fees.

See what’s for sale in your neighbourhood – Do a quick search

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Markham Fair & Woodbridge Fair 2013

Markham Fair

Nothing conjures up happy childhood memories more than a county fair. The twinkling lights of the midway, the carnival games with their dangling prizes, fingers sticky from cotton candy, caramel apples and elephant ears….it’s no wonder fairs are able to delight the masses, young and old. Fall fairs are in full swing across the province and planning is well under way for two of York Region’s most popular fairs. The Markham Fair will take place October 3 – 6 and the Woodbridge Fair on Thanksgiving weekend, October 12 – 14.

The Markham Fair has the proud distinction of being one of Canada’s oldest county fairs. It takes 750 volunteers on 75 different committees to organize the four-day event that draws over 60,000 attendees.  Somewhere in the neighbourhood of 3,000 exhibitors will enter more than 12,000 items to be judged and put on display during the fair. Attendees can expect to see everything from hand-carved wooden toys to homemade pies and preserves. Other highlights include a horse pull, demolition derby, tractor pull, livestock shows, teen talent contest, indie band night, children’s pet show and, of course, the baby contest. Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings will close with fireworks at dusk.

Parking at the Markham Fair is free. Admission: adults $15, seniors $10, children 12 and under $2, children four and under are free. The Markham Fairgrounds are located at 10801 McCowan Road. Check out the full events listing at www.markhamfair.ca

The Woodbridge Fair is celebrating its 166th anniversary in 2013. This long-time running fair has a storied history and was advertised as the ‘biggest country fair in the Dominion of Canada’ during the 1920’s and 1930’s. Highlights of the Woodbridge Fair include a giant pumpkin contest, stunt show, horse show, school exhibits, cow milking contest, craft, baking and antique displays, farm area with petting zoo and straw bale maze, hourly free turkey raffles and vendor tents.

Parking at the Woodbridge Fair is free. Admission: adults $7, students aged 6 -14 $2, children under 6 are free. The Woodbridge Fairgrounds are located at 100 Porter Avenue. Check out the website at www.woodbridgefair.com for full events listing.

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Make The Most Of The Fall Season In Picturesque Aurora

Kirby Chan Fall

 

Set amongst the rolling hills of the Oak Ridges Moraine, Aurora is one of those idyllic communities that has managed to maintain its small-town charm over the years while expanding to offer residents convenient urban amenities.

Fall is the perfect time to explore this quaint community, ideally located just 40 minutes from downtown Toronto. The town offers 615 acres of parkland and over 25 kilometres of pedestrian trails. Sheppard’s Bush Conservation Area is a great place to enjoy a hike or bicycle ride while taking in the brilliant fall colours. There is a three-kilometre trail, picnic area and the historic Sheppard House.

The town’s carefully preserved downtown includes many eclectic shops, restaurants and the Aurora Cultural Centre. Recognized as a premier heritage community, Aurora was the 2008-2009 winner of the Prince of Wales Prize for its commitment to the preservation of its built heritage. The Aurora Historical Society offers details on a walking tour of the town, passing attractions like Hillary House, the Methodist Parsonage (the childhood home of Lester B. Pearson) and The Old Post Office, which also houses the town clock.

The Aurora Farmer’s Market and Artisan’s Fair runs every Saturday until October 26 in Town Park on Wells Street. You’ll find produce supplied by local farmers, fresh meat, pottery, beeswax and soy candles, collectibles, fresh flowers and more. Be sure to bring your appetite because the market has earned quite a reputation for its culinary delights. A visit offers the perfect snapshot of everyday life in Aurora.

See what’s for sale in Aurora- Do a quick search

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Furnace Preparation Tips For Winter

Furnace

Temperatures are falling and soon we’ll be turning on the furnace to take the chill out of those autumn nights. To prep your furnace for the season ahead, take a few simple steps to ensure that you protect your indoor air quality and keep your furnace running at its most efficient.

Book your annual furnace cleaning. If you have a furnace protection plan, an annual cleaning might be included, so it’s worth checking. Professional furnace inspectors are a worthwhile investment. Natural gas or oil-fired furnaces are complex pieces of equipment and should be professionally inspected and cleaned annually to ensure no dangerous gases are leaking into your home.

Change or clean the furnace filter. Keeping the filter clean will help your furnace run at peak efficiency. You may also want to vacuum out the vents and cold air returns. Once you turn the furnace on, all the dust and pet hair that accumulated in the vents will be blown into the air.

Inspect the area around your furnace. Make sure the furnace has space to breathe and keep all combustibles a safe distance away.

Now is a great time to check out programmable thermostats. These handy devices can save you hundreds of dollars over the heating season by allowing you to program different temperatures to set your furnace at different times of the day. If you’re out of the house weekdays, set the temperature a few degrees lower. When you get home, the thermostat program will already have raised the temperature to your preset comfort level. At night, you may want to set the temperature a little lower as well, keeping the house cooler while your snuggled under blankets. Many hydro providers offer deals for these devices. Hydro One, for example, offers money-saving coupons. Visit www.hydroone.com/MyHome/SaveEnergy/Pages/Coupons.aspx for more information.

See what’s for sale in your neighbourhood – Do a quick search

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The Benefits Of Selling Your Home In The Fall

Selling in Fall

Timing is everything when it comes to home sales, especially in Canada where changing climates and seasons often dictate market fluctuations. Deciding to sell your home during the cool fall season can create hidden benefits to your sale and help ensure you get top dollar for your property.

Curb Appeal

Often regarded as one of the most important details when showing your home, the fall season is a great time to make the most of your curb appeal with well maintained lawns and polished landscaping. As the season cools, neighbours often invest less time in their yard work. Using this to your advantage your perfectly maintained property is sure to stand out on the block.

Cool fall weather is also the perfect time to finish do-it-yourself projects, repaint window coverings and garages, stain the decks and repave driveways.

Appeal to the season and plant bold fall colours. Selling a home is much like selling an image.

More time to dedicate to the sale

Selling your home can be a lengthy process; attracting buyers, arranging meetings and drawing up offers to complete the sale takes a lot of time.

Fall schedules usually see people home from vacation and back into scheduled routines. This applies to both sellers and buyers. It can also apply to professional inspectors, appraisers and notaries you may need to hire to complete your sale. Back to their scheduled routines means they are able to complete work more quickly.

Serious Buyers

Fall buyers are serious buyers. Often new home owners, retirees and people moving for career changes, these buyers are well researched and ready to commit to the sale.

As winter gets closer, most buyers want to ensure they are comfortably moved into their new home before the holidays and the stormy weather begins.

See what’s for sale in your neighbourhood – Do a quick search

Do a Quick Home Market Evaluation and see how much your home is worth.

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