By: Thomas Cook

How Does A Real Estate Deposit Work?

Most prospective home buyers know that when they've committed to buying a home, the next step is to put down a deposit. But you may have a number of questions remaining about the deposit itself, like when do you pay the deposit? How much is a real estate deposit? And of course, what happens if you change your mind, can you get your real estate deposit back?   These are all common questions that Mark Weisleder touched on in a recent Toronto Star article.   For example, refusing to pay a deposit doesn’t mean you can get out of buying a home if you’ve changed your mind. In fact, the seller can go on to sell the property to someone else and sue you for the differen...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

After A Winter Storm: Protect Your Home Or Country Cottage

Unfortunately, winter storms can bring out the worst in people. When homeowners are at their most vulnerable after their home has been damaged, they're also vulnerable to scammers who are looking to make a quick buck. Don't let yourself and your finances get taken for a ride if disaster strikes this winter. First, always call for help (a contractor or restoration professional) as soon as possible. It is more than likely that if you've experienced some damage, other homes nearby have as well. If you don't act quickly you may find yourself on a waiting list, increasing the possibility of further damage to your home while you wait. In some cases, help may come to you, wh...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

Preventative Winter Maintenance For Your Home Or Cottage

Winter can wreak havoc on your home, but it doesn't have to be one of the most stressful seasons of the year if you get ahead of it. The weather hasn't turned on us completely yet, but the temperature is set to drop in the coming weeks significantly. Start early, and recognize that just a bit of preventative maintenance can help lower repair costs, make getting your home ready to sell a quicker process and generally just keep life easier. All of the following winterizing tips can be applied to cottages and other recreational properties as well: Have your fireplace cleaned. You're more likely to begin using your fireplace soon, so annual fireplace cleaning and maintenance is ke...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

Home Snow Safety For Your Country Home Or Cottage

Snow is great fun, until you're a homeowner and have to deal with the aftermath. Meltwater, damage to your windows and roof, slippery surfaces and plenty to shovel. Snow is likely on its way, finally, after a very mild start to the winter. Now is the time to get prepared, before it's too late. 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 last winter proved, these trees can pose quite the hazard to your home. If you haven’t already, now is the perfect time to stock up on your typical snowstorm essentials like snow shovels, an emergency kit, candles, bottled wat...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

Many First-Time Buyers Use Gifts From Parents For A Down Payment

More and more first-time homebuyers are receiving money from their family in order to gather up the funds for a downpayment on a home in Canada. This is according to a new report from CAAMP, or the Canadian Association of Mortgage Professionals. A gift or loan from parents is one way that many people who are looking to buy their first home or country cottage start out. Between 2010 and 2014, approximately 11 per cent of homebuyers’ down payments were a gift from family. A further 6 per cent was a loan. In the same type of survey posed to individuals between 2000 and 2004, it was six per cent a gift and six per cent a loan. In short, while it seems parents have maybe always helped ...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

What's The Best Way To Sell A Home In The Winter Months?

The spring real estate market is a notoriously busy time, but many homeowners find themselves in the position of wanting to sell before then, which means selling in the winter. Even if this winter has been pretty warm so far, each season is different when it comes to marketing your home for sale. 1.  Choose pictures from the spring or summer months for your listing. No one wants to feel like they're snowed in before they even move in. And while photos from the spring or summertime will show a home somewhat different from what your home looks like now, it will let potential buyers know how they'll be living on warmer days: maybe you have a gorgeous patio or garden that winte...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

Holiday Home Buying: Buying A Country Home or Cottage During December

Did you know that buying a country home or cottage in December isn't as crazy as it sounds? It's actually a little-known fact that this can be one of the best times of the year to buy a country home or cottage. The reality is that every time of year has different positive and negative aspects if you're a home buyer. It may sound very strange to be focused on home buying during the holidays, but here's why you should consider it: 1. Someone who is selling their home over the holidays will likely have a good reason for selling during such an inconvenient time (for them, not the buyer) and be interested in selling their home quickly. 2. Few other people will be looking at ...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

The Relationship Between Realtors And Their Clients

A conversation between a doctor and his or her patient can be easily likened to the relationship that a real estate agent and their clients should have. Forthcoming and honest! Imagine: Doctor:  What are your symptoms? Patient:  I'm not telling you... just give me the drugs! Why doesn't it go like that at the doctor's office?  There's no question is there... the patient is going to be very forthcoming about where the pain is, what the problem is, etc. This openness between the two parties happens for two main reasons.  First, the patient trusts their professional doctor to prescribe the correct medicine for their ailment.  Second, the doctor ...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

Prevent A Leaky Basement In The Spring By Starting Now!

According to a recent report, ninety percent of wet basements are caused by surface water -- not by underground streams and high water tables. Surface water comes from rain or snow that lands on your property (your lawn, garden, roof, driveway, etc.) or your neighbors'. If your lot slopes toward your home, you're just asking for a wet basement. So how should you fix it?  First, ensure that all the land around your house slopes in the right direction... away from YOUR foundations. This can require as little as a couple of bags of topsoil or as much as a new driveway. Pay attention to localized low spots like gardens, window wells and especially the space between sidewalks an...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

Co-Buying A Cottage With Friends Or Family

Co-buying is becoming a popular option for many young and first-time buyers in Canada, where buyers pair up with family or friends and go in on a house. This can be an especially great idea if you're considering buying a cottage. But while it can sound like a great idea in theory (and it can be in reality!) buying a home with friends or family members cannot be taken lightly. According to this great article in the Financial Post, both parties need to treat the partnership like a business deal. The agreement This business deal needs to lay out all of the terms of the agreement. For example, decisions will need to be in writing as to what happens if the families or friends no longe...Read More