By: Thomas Cook

The Relationship Between Realtors And Their Clients

A conversation between a doctor and his or her patient can be easily likened to the relationship that a real estate agent and their clients should have. Forthcoming and honest! Imagine: Doctor:  What are your symptoms? Patient:  I'm not telling you... just give me the drugs! Why doesn't it go like that at the doctor's office?  There's no question is there... the patient is going to be very forthcoming about where the pain is, what the problem is, etc. This openness between the two parties happens for two main reasons.  First, the patient trusts their professional doctor to prescribe the correct medicine for their ailment.  Second, the doctor ...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

Prevent A Leaky Basement In The Spring By Starting Now!

According to a recent report, ninety percent of wet basements are caused by surface water -- not by underground streams and high water tables. Surface water comes from rain or snow that lands on your property (your lawn, garden, roof, driveway, etc.) or your neighbors'. If your lot slopes toward your home, you're just asking for a wet basement. So how should you fix it?  First, ensure that all the land around your house slopes in the right direction... away from YOUR foundations. This can require as little as a couple of bags of topsoil or as much as a new driveway. Pay attention to localized low spots like gardens, window wells and especially the space between sidewalks an...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

Co-Buying A Cottage With Friends Or Family

Co-buying is becoming a popular option for many young and first-time buyers in Canada, where buyers pair up with family or friends and go in on a house. This can be an especially great idea if you're considering buying a cottage. But while it can sound like a great idea in theory (and it can be in reality!) buying a home with friends or family members cannot be taken lightly. According to this great article in the Financial Post, both parties need to treat the partnership like a business deal. The agreement This business deal needs to lay out all of the terms of the agreement. For example, decisions will need to be in writing as to what happens if the families or friends no longe...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

The Best Time To Buy A Home Is Just Around The Corner

It might sound counter-intuitive, but the holiday season is actually one of the best times of year to buy a home. True, there are fewer people out and about during this time of year and everyone is very busy, but that really works to your advantage as a home buyer. This is because: If a person is selling their home over Christmas, they’re more than serious about getting their home sold very soon. Real estate prices are generally lower during the month of December than any other time of the year. Fewer people are out shopping for homes in December, and you’re likely to have much less competition during this time as a buyer. Around the holidays, people are generally in g...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

Almost Half Of First-Time Buyers Encountered Unexpected Costs When Buying A Home

Canadian first-time homebuyers are most likely to listen to their family members' advice when it comes to taking out a mortgage, while just under half of first-time buyers encountered unexpected costs when buying their first home within the last year. Move than half of first time buyers were greatly influenced by their family in their home buying decisions, compared to 37% for real estate agents, 36% for mortgage brokers and 28% for lenders. 40 per cent of first-time buyers encountered surprise costs when they bought their home, most of which were adjustments, lawyer fees and land transfer taxes. Almost half (48%) of first-time buyers used a mortgage broker, while 40% of repeat h...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

Selling A Cottage Or Country Home With A Pool

If you're about to sell your home or cottage, you might know that your curb appeal - how your home or cottage looks from the outside - is especially important. This is also very true if you have a swimming pool. Just because your swimming pool can't actually be seen from the curb doesn't mean it should be left as is. It could probably use a once-over or a quick update before you jump into the home selling process. Consider hiring a pool maintenance company while you're getting your home ready for open houses. It'll give you more time to focus on other important details and keep your swimming pool looking super clean and well-maintained - almost effortlessly. This is im...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

Why You Should Never Buy A Home Or Cottage Without A Home Inspection

For just a few hundred dollars, a home buyer can buy peace of mind with their home. The peace of mind that they're not unknowingly buying a house full of unpleasant and expensive surprises. If that's not enough, why should you get a home inspection? When buying a resale home, it is imperative that a home inspection is conducted. A home inspection can also benefit the home seller by protecting them from legal troubles down the road.  Remember though - don't hire your cousin Fred - he doesn't have errors and omissions insurance to protect you in case the inspector misses something! Latent Defects Versus Patent Defects In Canada, property disclosure laws are fairl...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

Home And Cottage Buyer Contract Basics

Your real estate agent will know the terms and conditions that you need to have in your real estate contract and can help guide you through the process. However, it never hurts to educate yourself. If you're considering buying a country home or cottage in the coming months, read on. Making an offer conditional on the sale of an existing home If the money obtained from selling your current home is necessary to purchase the second home, make your offer on the home reflective of that, with an appropriate one- to two-month timeframe so the seller isn't waiting around forever. What's staying or going Even if it's nailed down - unless it's in writing - that stove or li...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

Make Your New Country House Or Cottage A Home

That "home" feeling doesn't always come automatically when you buy a house. Buyers can sometimes need to make a few adjustments before their new house feels right. It can take a bit of effort and time to make your new house feel like it belongs to you, and to establish that all-too sought-after "homey" feeling. Personal Space. If you’re used to having your own space, it can be a bit of a drag if you’re constantly bumping into others while getting ready for work in the morning. For example, if you previously had your own closet you may become frustrated if you have to share. You may want to pay extra attention to creating the same type of space you had...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

Buying Or Selling With Income Suites And Basement Apartments

If you're in the process of buying a home, you may find that a home with an income suite or basement apartment is extremely appealing because it will allow you to house your in-laws or generate extra income from renters. However, sellers and buyers can run into serious problems if the suite isn’t legal. There are a number of building codes and zoning laws that can apply to construction or a neighbourhood, and if the building is not up to snuff it can be considered illegal. In fact, a new buyer may have to bring the suite up to code out of pocket, bringing up the potential for lawsuits against the seller. While safety standards are not up for debate, in some cases zoning laws...Read More