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

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