By: Thomas Cook

Selling Your Home In The Winter Months

Even thought the real estate market is traditionally busiest in the spring months, selling a home in the winter time is definitely possible. Just make sure you read the following tips and ensure your home is effectively staged with the weather and temperature in mind, and ask your real estate agent for any guidance they can offer that's specific to your property. Make your home a haven. Winter is a depressing season – it’s cold, and we receive much less sunlight than during other times of the year. Ensure your home offers a reprieve from the cold with appropriate temperatures and bright, welcoming lighting. Keep in mind that your home buying friends may be viewing multipl...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

Mortgage Basics For Buying A Country Home Or Cottage

Almost everyone needs to take out a mortgage before they buy a home, or even a second home or cottage. But how likely are you to be approved for a mortgage, and is there any way to determine if you're in good standing before you apply? How much mortgage can you afford? What are Monthly Housing Costs? Monthly housing costs consist of your mortgage payments, property taxes and energy bills. The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation recommends that these monthly housing payments are no more than 32% of your gross monthly income. What is a Monthly Debt Load? Your monthly debt load includes your monthly payments on all of your debt, from car payments to credit cards. The C...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

Before Buying A Country Home Or Cottage - Questions To Ask Your Real Estate Agent

If you're going over the home buying process and have questions, don't hesitate to ask a professional. Buying a home is a huge undertaking and isn't something to handle casually. There are professionals out there who have the answers you're seeking, and they can explain everything you ever wanted to know.    Buying a home isn’t like getting a haircut. Asking your friends for a few recommendations only goes so far – buying a home is going to be the largest investment you ever make, and the person helping you with that purchase, your real estate agent, can’t be just anyone. Before you decide to work with a real estate agent, make sure that you ask...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

Before You Buy A Home - A Checklist

Buying a home or cottage can definitely feel like an overwhelming experience! But don't ever forget that buying a home or cottage is the largest investment you're likely to ever make, and properly thinking over your purchase is something that just needs to be done.   Before you buy a home, ask yourself:   Have I been pre-approved for a mortgage?   Getting pre-approved for a mortgage before you go home shopping is vital. It will let you know exactly what you can spend on a home and prevent you from being disappointed later. More importantly, it tells sellers and their agents that you’re serious when you put in an offer.   Can I see myself in this nei...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

The Best Types Of Renovations When Selling Your Home Or Cottage

Are you gearing up to sell your home or cottage? Did you know that some renovations can help boost the resale value of your home, while others won't give you the return on investment you're looking for? Many homes need to be updated or modernized in order to attract the right buyer. The best renovations are the ones that appeal to buyers while allowing you to increase the value of your home for sale to recoup your costs. So if you’re planning to renovate your home to increase its value before selling this year, which renovations are the ones you should be planning for?   1. Extra Suites   There are many different possibilities for adding an income suite to you...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

Buying A Home Outside Of The City? A Land Survey Is Very Important

When you're considering buying a home in a rural area, or a cottage with lots of land, getting a land survey is one of the most important things you can do when it comes to the paperwork. This is because over time, property boundaries can blur or be lost and you may actually be buying more - or less - than you think.   It’s wise to get a land survey done if you’re buying a home, so you can understand exactly what you’re buying – and what is really yours.   Many homeowners have experienced issues with driveways, for example, either dealing with shared driveways and their neighbours or coming to find that they didn’t even own their driveway at a...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

Always Have The Right Contract When Renovating Your Country Home Or Cottage

There's just something about cottage country that makes us all feel a little more relaxed. Friends do favours for each other, and it's more than likely you know someone who knows someone who can help you with your springtime renovations this year. But just because you're buddies of the contractor is a friend of a friend doesn't mean you don't need a contract.   Spring and Summer are peak renovation seasons for homeowners. Whether you’re renovating to sell your home and want to increase its value or just want to change up your home for your own enjoyment, most large-scale home renovations involve a contractor.   A contract helps protect both you and th...Read More

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