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

Ontario Residents Are Feeling Positive About Their Local Real Estate Markets

Ontario Residents Are Feeling Positive About Their Local Real Estate Markets

The majority of Ontario residents have high hopes for their local real estate markets and economies, according to a new poll conducted by Ipsos Reid for the Ontario Real Estate Association. In fact, more than half (60%) of Ontario residents see the provincial real estate market as favourable.   “With significantly-improved perceptions across all markets and timeframes, it is clear to see why the index has posted its biggest gain to date,” said the vice president of Ipsos Public Affairs, Sean Simpson. “As home prices and sales figures throughout the province continue to astound, it is encouraging to see the Ontarians are feeling optimistic about economies and real estat...Read More

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

Where Does Water Damage Come From?

Where Does Water Damage Come From?

Just the words “water damage” can cause homeowners serious concern. That’s not only because of the problems it can bring when it comes to your property and personal possessions, but the implications – a leak or whatever is causing your moisture intrusion can potentially be expensive to repair. However, the best way to keep costs down and sort out the problem efficiently is to determine where your water is coming from. Typically, there’s three common causes of moisture intrusion and water damage:   1. Basement Window Wells    The outside of your basement windows is a common place for water to collect and intrude into your home if the window wells a...Read More

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

Home Inspectors In Ontario May Soon Be More Regulated

Home Inspectors In Ontario May Soon Be More Regulated

One of the best bits of advice you’ll hear during the home buying process is to get a home inspection. A home inspection costs just a couple hundred dollars, and a home inspector can spot problems that would cost tens of thousands of dollars to fix – saving you from major headaches.   But what some people don’t know is that home inspectors in Canada are not regulated in most provinces, including Ontario. This means that while there are plenty of trustworthy and knowledgeable home inspectors working in the province, the profession is open to anyone regardless of their training.   Three years ago, the government of Ontario assembled an expert panel to draft recommen...Read More

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

A Land Survey Is Essential Before Buying A Cottage

A Land Survey Is Essential Before Buying A Cottage

A land survey lets property owners know where their property boundaries are, as well as where their property is situated compared to nearby infrastructure or geographical features – a road, or a lake for example.   When buying a cottage or a home in the country where property lines aren’t necessarily as concrete as they should be, a land survey is even more vital because you may not be purchasing what you think you are.   Real Estate Lawyer Bob Aaron shares this reminder in a recent Toronto Star column, where he says you should get one even if your agent says no. In fact, he’s been recommending that a land survey become a mandatory part of the real estate transact...Read More

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

Consider These 5 Things Before Buying A Home

Consider These 5 Things Before Buying A Home

Buying a home is a huge step, and the thought of home ownership appeals to the majority of the population. But are you ready? A home is one of the largest investments that someone will ever make, and it’s also much more permanent. Here are five different things that everyone should consider before they decide whether they’re ready to buy a home or not.   #1. Affordability. A quick way to determine if you can afford a home is by checking to see if the home’s price is under two-and-a-half years’ worth of your salary. This doesn’t work for everyone, but it can give you a decent idea of whether you’re in the right place financially.   #2. Location. H...Read More

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

An Energy-Efficient Cottage Is The Key To A Cool Summer

An Energy-Efficient Cottage Is The Key To A Cool Summer

One of the best parts of summer is spending time at the cottage, of course. But just because you’re on vacation doesn’t mean you’re unaffected by the stifling heatwaves that southern and eastern Ontario are known for. Did you know that by improving the energy efficiency of your cottage or country home, you can keep cool and comfortable?   While not all cottages have air conditioning, there are still some ways you can stay cool in your cottage, and even more ways if you do.   Install energy-saving windows. Regular windows are the reason for at least half of the heat entering your home in the summer from outside (and leaving your home in the winter). While this ca...Read More

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

Do You Know How Home Inspections Work?

Do You Know How Home Inspections Work?

Many lenders will require a buyer to obtain a home inspection before they provide financing, while most buyers have likely heard that a home inspection is an essential part of the home buying process. After all, it generally only costs a couple hundred dollars and can end up saving you thousands in the long run. But what happens during a home inspection, and what if the inspection uncovers an issue?   What is covered under a home inspection?   A home inspector will inspect the home’s systems (such as HVAC, electrical and plumbing) as well as the interior and exterior. They may only use a ladder to get onto certain parts of the roof if they can’t see them properly, but o...Read More

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

Before You Buy A Home With A Basement Apartment

Before You Buy A Home With A Basement Apartment

A basement suite is a huge selling point when home shopping, as many home buyers are looking for a way to earn rental income or house older relatives. However, problems can arise if the basement apartment was not built properly in the first place, and the responsibility (and costs) can fall upon whoever owns the home even if they didn’t install the suite. Five questions to ask when encountering a basement apartment are: - Do the local bylaws permit basement apartments? - Does the apartment comply with fire code? - Does it comply with building code requirements? - Does it comply with electrical safety requirements? - Has the apartment been registered? Unfortunately, home buyers who c...Read More

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

A Mortgage Pre-Approval Is Important

A Mortgage Pre-Approval Is Important

Buying a home is a big step that many of us can feel overwhelmed by. But one of the best ways you can prepare yourself before you begin actually looking at homes to purchase is obtaining a mortgage pre-approval. A mortgage pre-approval is a document from a lender that tells you how much mortgage you’ll be pre-approved for. Note though, that a mortgage pre-approval can expire.   Why is getting a mortgage pre-approval so important?   When it comes to a mortgage pre-approval, not just any one will do. Sometimes, lenders don’t take the proper steps and will pre-approve you for an amount they definitely will not actually give you later because they didn’t do the proper...Read More

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

The Best Renovations For ROI When Selling Your Home

The Best Renovations For ROI When Selling Your Home

Renovating your home is a big undertaking – it can be expensive, but many homeowners think that the initial expense is often worth the value the renovations will add to a home should they decide to sell. Or is it?   Surprisingly, certain renovations, even though expensive, actually don’t add much at all to the resale value of your home. Conversely, there are some lower-cost renovations or updates that will really wow potential buyers if and when you do decide to sell.   The best return on your investment   The renovations that add the most value to your home and bring in the highest return on your investment are kitchen and bathroom renovations. These two rooms are...Read More