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

Protecting Your Home From The Snow

Protecting Your Home From The Snow

It’s here! Snow. If you’re a homeowner, snow isn’t as fun as it is for everyone else. It can cause a significant amount of damage due to its weight or tendency to turn into water that sits very close to your home. Not only can the weight of the snow snap tree branches and harm roofing, when the snow melts it can cause damage to your home in completely different ways.   Before the world freezes over for the remainder of the winter, make sure that any overhanging tree branches are removed if they’re close to your home. As ice storms past have shown, these trees can pose quite the hazard to your home.    If you haven’t already, now is the perfect tim...Read More

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

How To Improve Your Credit Score

How To Improve Your Credit Score

Your credit score offers mortgage lenders a snapshot of your creditworthiness when it comes to determining whether they can approve you for a loan. The bad news is that you credit score is important and may not be as good as you need it to be, but the good news is that with a little time and effort you can improve your credit score on your own before you start looking to buy a home.   The best way to build a credit score is to not use your credit   If you’re using up all of your credit (read: you’re maxed out) you’re probably not in a position to purchase a home just yet. For the majority of us, using too much of our credit is what is impacting our credit scores ...Read More

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

Are You Ready To Buy A Home?

Are You Ready To Buy A Home?

Are You Ready To Buy A Home?   Being financially stable is not the only thing you need to worry about before you buy a home. Buying a home is a huge step for anyone, and while being financially viable is important, there are a number of other factors to consider, including whether you’re ready for a big lifestyle change.   Are you ready to stay put?   When you buy a home, you’re making a commitment to stay in the same place for quite some time. This means that even if things around you change – like work, or your kids’ schools, you’ll be in the same place. This can affect commute time and much more. If you love the neighbourhood, go for it. If not...Read More

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

Being Asked To be An Estate Executor

Being Asked To be An Estate Executor

Deciding what happens to things you own when you die is a hard truth in Canada. No one wants to think about it, but realistically, we need to. The majority of homeowners will choose someone to act as their estate executor, but if you are asked yourself to be one, you need to be aware that it can be a trying process. An executor is named as such directly within a will, and according to the Canadian Bar Association their duties include gathering up all of the estate assets (land, home, money, investments and personal belongings), paying off the debts of the deceased and then ensuring the requested beneficiaries receive what has been left to them. A lawyer and accountant can be hired and paid ...Read More

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

A Common Real Estate Phrase And Its Meaning

A Common Real Estate Phrase And Its Meaning

Buying or selling a home or cottage can be stressful, particularly with all of the important documents that need to be signed. Not every document is easily understood - afterall, one doesn't buy or sell a home every day, and homeowners aren't expected to be familiar with all of the legalese that's involved. One particular clause can be tricky, and it usually goes something like this: "The Seller warrants and represents to the best of his knowledge and belief that the existing fixtures and chattels are now and on completion date will be in good working order and free from all liens and encumbrances. The Parties agree that this representation and warranty shall survive and no...Read More

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

A Good Reason To Have Title Insurance When Buying A Home Or Cottage In Ontario

A Good Reason To Have Title Insurance When Buying A Home Or Cottage In Ontario

There are a lot of different documents and types of costs involved when you’re purchasing a home or cottage. One thing that is often overlooked or considered secondary is title insurance, however this can be a vital thing to have to protect yourself and your investment when you’re the buyer.   Real estate Lawyer Bob Aaron talks about this in one of his recent columns.   He tells of a case where an Ontario couple had purchased title insurance and bought a home in 2006, finding seven years later that a load-bearing wall had been taken out by the previous owner while renovating. This rendered the whole second storey unsafe, and repairs would be needed.  A work order w...Read More

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

Breaking News Affecting Homebuyers Purchasing Houses Over $500,000

Breaking News Affecting Homebuyers Purchasing Houses Over $500,000

As of February 15, 2016, buyers purchasing a home in Canada that costs more than $500,000 will be required to make a higher down payment than they are currently, according to new rules announced by the Government of Canada on December 11, 2015. Instead of a 5% down payment, home buyers will now have to pay 10% - but that 10% is only applicable to the portion of the price of the home that is over $500,000.   In a statement, Finance Minister Bill Morneau said, “The government’s role in housing is to set and maintain a framework that is equitable, stable and sustainable. The actions taken today prudently address emerging vulnerabilities in certain housing markets while not ove...Read More

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

Ontario Home Owners: More Protection May Soon Be Available

Ontario Home Owners: More Protection May Soon Be Available

Each year, around 50,000 new homes are enrolled in the Tarion Warranty program, which is a program designed to protect home buyers by making sure builders of new homes follow the rules. Recently, it was announced that the program may be facing an overview and Real Estate Lawyer Bob Aaron’s most recent column lists the protections he thinks can be improved. Mr. Aaron, a past Tarion board member, says that among the things he thinks should be considered for improvement include the disclosure of unit size, who sells the units, the accuracy of marketing materials and extra costs. Accuracy of marketing materials   Floor plans showcased in brochures or sales offices may not necessaril...Read More

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