By: Ross McLean, Broker | Lucy McLean, Sales Representative | Peter Steele, Broker

Don't Forget About Closing Costs When Budgeting

Don't Forget About Closing Costs When Budgeting

The following is a small list of common closing costs that are sometimes overlooked during the home buying and budgeting process. The first one, an appraisal or property survey, is especially relevant to country homes and cottages to confirm the home's value and property boundaries. Appraisal or property survey   Most people are surprised that this is something they need to do when buying a home, but it’s actually required by some lenders before they finance the sale of the home in order to confirm its value.   Home inspection   For a few hundred dollars, a home inspection is completely worth the peace of mind it brings when buying a home – new or resale. They...Read More

By: Ross McLean, Broker | Lucy McLean, Sales Representative | Peter Steele, Broker

Is Just Before Winter Really The Best Time To Take Care Of Your Trees?

Is Just Before Winter Really The Best Time To Take Care Of Your Trees?

There are so many misconceptions about what fall is the best time for when it comes to taking care of various landscaping chores. Fall is actually the best time for some maintenance, but the worst time for other maintenance. If you do it right - and right now - your yard will bounce back faster in the spring, which is really helpful if you're planning on selling. Fall is the best time to... Plant trees in the fall, because the lower temperatures result in less of a shock to the tree’s system. Fall is the worst time to... Avoid fertilizing your trees in the fall, which could result in a robust growth spurt that could be damaged during the harsh winter. Try not to prune your tree...Read More

By: Ross McLean, Broker | Lucy McLean, Sales Representative | Peter Steele, Broker

Chose Carefully Before Renovating Your Country Home Or Cottage To Sell

Chose Carefully Before Renovating Your Country Home Or Cottage To Sell

Renovating before you sell your home is a great way to boost its value and potentially increase the selling price. But like with anything, you’ve got to spend money to make money and it’s important to ensure that the money you spend isn’t wasted.   Certain renovations can bring you a much higher ROI than others, so before you budget for a renovation be sure to check out our list of the renovations you should consider in order to see the highest ROI. The types of renovations may surprise you!   Kitchen Remodel: 79.3%   While a kitchen remodel can be among the most expensive of the renovations you can do to sell your home, the return on your investment is quite...Read More

By: Ross McLean, Broker | Lucy McLean, Sales Representative | Peter Steele, Broker

Getting Your Country Home Or Cottage Ready To Sell In The Fall

Getting Your Country Home Or Cottage Ready To Sell In The Fall

Ontario’s cottage country is renowned across Canada for its spectacular fall foliage and colours. Indeed, if you’re looking to sell a home or cottage during this time of year, the added benefit of the fall season can give you an extra edge – something that’s always welcome when you’re selling!   But while the time of year can make buyers extra motivated, Autumn also comes with a unique set of challenges that can make it difficult to maintain your curb appeal. Curb appeal is a very important consideration when selling a home anywhere, because it creates a lasting first impression with buyers that’s tough to break – so make sure it’s a great...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

Get In Control Of Your Credit Before Buying A Cottage

A cottage is a wonderful investment and would bring any family enjoyment year-round for generations to come. However, it's always wise to ensure your credit is in good standing before you apply for financing if necessary. Even if you've always paid your bills on time, there could be a mistake on your credit report that could negatively impact your chances of being approved. You can visit either Transunion or Equifax. Transunion and Equifax are the two major Canadian credit bureaus. You can get your credit score and report immediately online for a small fee (under $25 or so) or you can follow the online instructions to receive your credit report for free by mail. You are ent...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

Foundation Cracks Can Be Costly

If you're in the market for a country home or cottage, be aware that even small foundation cracks can be a sign of a much larger problem. Foundation cracks can be a very serious issue that's quite costly to experience - rural properties and country cottages have basements that are more prone to flooding in the spring months and other issues like moisture intrusion as a result of these cracks - even if tiny. Real estate lawyer Mark Weisleder recently wrote a great column on wall cracks and how they can be an overlooked, small sign of bigger issues to come when buying a home. He writes about a case in 2008 where a couple bought a 90-year-old home in Edmonton, but noticed...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

Moving Scams Every Buyer Should Be Aware Of

Moving is a stressful, hectic experience, even if you're confident you can do it yourself. If you've moved previously and swore up and down the next time you moved you'd hire movers, read on. This also bodes for moving any possessions into a cottage or recreational property. There are many reputable and honest moving companies out there that will ensure your moving process goes off without a hitch, you just need to ensure that's who you're working with. Check out these little-known moving scams: How the company determines the haul Some moving companies charge by weight, while others charge by cubic feet. Weight is easily determined and many of the more ...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

Selling Your Country Home Or Cottage During The Spring Market - Act Now!

The spring market is notoriously busy, hectic and competitive - no matter where in Canada you are. Whether you're in the big city or far outside of it with a country home or cottage, if you're planning on selling your home in the next few weeks or months it's vital that you get ahead of the game and are well-prepared to show off your home in the best possible light as soon as you list. First, meet with an agent. The first step towards an efficient listing is meeting with your realtor, who can custom tailor a plan to sell for your home specifically using their knowledge of the surrounding properties and ideas for how you can improve your home through staging or other changes. ...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

Real Estate Agents Must Act Ethically - It's The Law

In November 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada issued a ruling that has effectively ensured that it's the law that real estate agents act honestly and ethically. The ruling requires that those involved in a contract, including real estate contracts, now have an obligation of good faith contractual performance and a duty to act honestly while performing contractual obligations. Supreme Court of Canada Justice Thomas Cromwell stated in the decision, “Finding that there is a duty to perform contracts honestly will make the law more certain, more just and more in tune with reasonable commercial expectations.” While real estate agents are now legally contractually obligated...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

If You've Renovated Your Country Home Or Cottage Since 1995...

One of the most beautiful parts of owning a country home or cottage is that they're just ripe for renovating. Many of these homes are older, and an updated, more modern look can do wonders for the property. However, if you've renovated your country home or cottage between 1995 and 2007, you need to be aware of Kitec plumbing, which is identifiable by its bright colours - typically blue for cold water and orange for hot water. Real Estate lawyer Bob Aaron’s most recent column warns that this type of plumbing was used in homes and condos across North America between 1995 and 2007, meaning even newer homes or heavily renovated homes could be at risk. The plumbing was initiall...Read More