By: Thomas Cook

Selling A Country Home Or Cottage: What Stays, What Goes?

It is very understandable that a home buyer might be more than a little upset if a part of the home they're buying is gone when they're ready to move in. This can happen when the buyer and seller aren't clear with each other about their expectations, and when terms of the agreement aren't laid out properly. tems that the seller takes with them, called movables or chattels, can sometimes be confused with fixtures, or things that will stay with the home. Unfortunately, when there is confusion, there’s the possibility of litigation, unhappy buyers and stressed-out sellers. First, you need to understand what sorts of items are considered personal property (movables or ...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

What To Look For In An "Up And Coming" Country Neighbourhood

Some small towns eventually grow up. In doing so, they might be labelled the next "up and coming" place to buy a home. If you're looking for something a little less rural and a little busier than the average country setting but not as bustling as the big city, check out our tips for finding that perfect place: Take a drive or walk around town. Are the locals improving their homes and businesses? Look for such evidence as scaffolding, removal dumpsters, trucks and lawn signs belonging to trade services like general contractors, roofers, and painters. Improvement at the individual level is often tied to improvement at the community level. While on your local tour, keep an ey...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

Do's And Don'ts When Buying A Country Home Or Cottage

If you're about to buy a home for the first time, this is your first time buying a cottage or you've bought a home many times before, there are several dos and don'ts you need to be aware of - no matter how experienced you are, these are great ideas and will end up saving you money. Dos Schedule a time to meet with a mortgage lender and find out what the maximum mortgage amount that you qualify for is. You won't necessarily borrow that total amount but it's important for planning purposes to know the MAX you qualify for. While you're with the lender, get it in writing as to what interest rate they're guaranteeing you and how long that r...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

Three Things That Can Go Wrong On Closing Day

Closing day is so exciting for country home or cottage home buyers. However, it can be more than just a little disappointing if something goes awry on or just before your closing day. This is why, making one or two final visits to the home before the official closing date can be vital for saving time and ensuring a smooth transition into your new home. Things not as advertised: Imagine that sellers advertised a home with large trees that provided the home with privacy, but upon moving out allowed their neighbor to trim the trees on their side of the fence without telling the buyers, who noticed it just before closing. Their privacy was gone. The buyers were able to plant new trees, with ...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

Tips For Planning On Applying For Your First Mortgage

Considering your first-ever mortgage application can be quite daunting. However, it doesn't need to be. With a bit of planning ahead and preparation for your application, you can rest easy knowing that you've done all you can to ensure the mortgage application process goes smoothly. Mortgage lenders will primarily look at two things: the ratio of your debts to your income, and the ratio of your income to your mortgage. For example, your debts should not be more than 40% of your gross income, while your mortgage payments each month should not be more than 32% of your monthly income before taxes, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. If you’re over thes...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

When There's A Tree On Your Property Line

If you live in the country, there's a good chance there are a few trees on your property. Even more likely, is that one or more of these trees is directly on your property line. So what happens if a tree is sick, or poses a threat, or you just plain want to get rid of it - and your neighbours don't want you to? It’s a common question: Who owns a tree that’s on the boundary of a property between neighbours? According to the law as per the Forestry Act, a tree that’s directly on the boundary, meaning the trunk of the tree is growing on the boundary, is common property. If someone wants the tree removed, both neighbours must agree. The fact that the la...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

Did You Know That Sellers Don't Have To Tell You If There Was A Murder In Your Home?

Many buyers think, thanks to television and movies, that a seller is legally obligated to tell them if soemthing unsavory happened in their home, such as a murder or a crime. But this is not actually true. In most of Canada, there’s actually no legal obligation to tell a buyer that someone was murdered in your home. In the majority of cases, the fact that a crime occurred in a house at one time or another has little to no effect on the potential safety of future residents. Quebec is the only Canadian province with actual laws on the books that require facts like this to be disclosed to potential buyers. In the United States, the laws vary by individual states. However, mos...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

Three Things Every Homeowner Needs To Know

A little extra knowledge goes a long way in your homeownership career! Here are three things that you need to know as a homeowner: Learn how to use your fire extinguisher  While the majority of us have a fire extinguisher in our home as a safety precaution, most of us haven’t ever and will never actually use one. Make sure you know how to operate a fire extinguisher so you’re actually prepared for an emergency, instead of only thinking you’re prepared. Cold winters are different for homeowners Owning a home isn’t like owning an apartment. In case of a power outage, there’s a chance your pipes could freeze and then you’ll be facing ...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

Keep Cool This Summer Without Spending

Summer! The season of rolling brownouts, blown fuses and higher than average electricity bills. But even as the temperature in Ontario rises, you can still remain comfortable without spending as much. Here are some tips for ensuring that your hydro bills stay lower in the summer: Take care of your HVAC systems: Change your filters frequently and have a professional check our your AC to ensure it’s in proper working order and that no energy is wasted on a faulty system that’s only in need of minor fixes. Don’t throw your money out the windows: One of the fastest ways to increase your hydro bills is with leaky windows and doors that allow your precious col...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

Do You Know What Comes With The House You're Buying?

What comes with the house you're buying? You may assume those new appliances come with the home, but you can't be sure unless you've got it in writing. When buying a new home, it is important to understand that not everything comes with the home when you buy it. Obviously, the seller will take their furniture with them when they move. But certain features of a home (that you may have fallen in love with and could have influenced your decision) may not be for keeps.  There are two words that you need to pay attention to in your agreement of purchase and sale: fixtures and chattels. Chattels are things that normally would leave with the seller, but can also be...Read More