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

By: Thomas Cook

Closing Costs When Buying A Country Home Or Cottage

When you're planning your budget for a new home, don't forget about closing costs! These are generally upfront costs that come with buying a new home and moving in. Moving costs – You can save a lot of money by doing the heavy lifting yourself, but moving is a big job. Even if you don’t spend money on a reputable moving company, you should have a little bit of money set aside because of… Utility hookups – when you move, your utilities will have to be transferred over to your new home. This means your hydro, cable, internet and home phone, and different companies may have varying charges when it comes to moving your accounts to a new home. Provincial...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

Why You Should Get A Home Inspection For A Cottage

A home inspection is a vital part of buying any home – whether it’s new or resale, or a cottage. Indeed, it costs a bit of money during what could be a financially stressful time. But many home buyers don’t realize that a home inspection provides you with information on the status or health of various systems, it doesn’t really let you in on how good or how bad a situation is. Unfortunately, many of the more serious home inspection findings can be extremely costly to fix. Some major red flags to be on the lookout for in your home inspection report include: An infestation, especially termites. Roofing problems that could lead to moisture intrusion...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

Tips For Moving Into Your Cottage Or Country Home

Buying a new cottage or country home is an exciting experience! However, moving is probably one of the least enjoyable parts of this experience. You don't have to be miserable while you move if you plan ahead and follow these tips: First: Decide whether you are using movers or doing it yourself. Doing it yourself is obviously a lot more work than hiring movers to do the heavy lifting for you, but it might be necessary depending on your budget. If you do decide to use professional movers, be sure to obtain quotes from at least three different moving companies beforehand.  Second: Consider your unpacking strategy before packing. Create a list of what will be unpacked and ...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

Boost The Resale Value Of Your Country Home Or Cottage

Are you selling your cottage this summer? There are a few things you can do to ensure you get the most value and return on your investment. Getting cottage home ready to sell is not always a small task – many sellers prefer to update or modernize their home in order to ensure that their home is what buyers are looking for and so they can get the best price for their home. But no one has an unlimited budget, and when you’re getting ready to sell it’s important to make sure your budget is spent in the right place.  Before any cosmetic renovations – if your home as any structural, electrical, plumbing or any other “big” issues, take care of ...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

Questions To Ask Your Cottage Real Estate Agent

Buying a cottage isn’t like getting a haircut. There are various intricacies that a real estate agent must be aware of when it comes to buying a cottage compared to other types of property. 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 in a more rural area or for a cottage, make sure that you ask them the following questions so you’re on the same page with regards to your expectations: Are you experienced with this type of proper...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

Before You Buy A Cottage, Ask Yourself...

Buying a cottage can feel like an overwhelming experience, and there’s certainly a lot to think about. Because a home is one of the largest investments you’re likely to ever make, it’s important to properly think out your purchase. 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 area? Does the area have enough amenitie...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

What Cottage Renovations Get You The Most For Your Money When You Sell?

If you're selling your cottage this year and know you have to do a little bit of work on it before it's ready, there are certain renovations or things you should do that will result in the most value for your money, and the highest return on investment. Focus on these areas: 1. Docks/Waterfront Space Is your dock worn or small? A dock that doubles as a seating area can make a world of difference to a buyer, and they'll appreciate knowing they won't have to install one themselves. 2. Fixtures and Hardware Fixtures and hardware might seem like little things, but it’s a lot of little things that can really add up. These are some of the cheapest changes you c...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

Is Your Country Home Or Cottage Prepared For A Weather Emergency?

Country homes and cottages can see inclement weather at any time of year. Whether it's an ice storm that damages trees or a thunderstorm that results in a loss of power, more rural homes are sometimes the last to see their power restored or to receive help from emergency services. According to Paula Bandi, senior product manager, Home, RBC Insurance, “With extreme weather events on the rise, it is likely that most Canadians will experience moderate to severe weather in their area sometime this year. Canadian homeowners are on the front lines during emergencies and need to prepare. While the government may have resources available to assist as an emergency escalates, indivi...Read More