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

By: Thomas Cook

Avoid Buying A Grow Op Country Home

Grow-ops, or homes that have been used to grow marijuana, are found everywhere - even in rural country areas and cottages. So what's the big deal?  What's to worry about if you, an innocent home buyer, come along and purchase that home?  The problems are often unseen, behind the walls! What happens is that the plants are heated by grow lights and watered continuously to make them grow bigger and faster.  This produces abnormally high levels of humidity which settles in the cooler spots in the home... in the gap behind the drywall just inside of the outer walls of the home.  Mould flourishes in this environment and can become toxic to future habitation.&nbs...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

Does Your Home Insurance Cover Your Country Home And Cottage?

Does your home insurance really cover you? No, really? You might be surprised to find out that you're not quite covered where you think you are. CBC Marketplace has a video detailing just that. In the video, we learn that many homeowners whose homes were damaged in the severe flooding Toronto experienced over last summer weren’t covered. In another part of the video, a woman who purchased mortgage life insurance was denied coverage after her husband died because of an error they made when filling out the form. The video is in three segments, informing viewers about loopholes and issues that can arise with car insurance, travel insurance and home or mortgage in...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

Buying A Cottage With Friends

Have you ever considered teaming up with friends or family to purchase a home or cottage? This can be a great way to have a vacation home or even investment property in the case of a cottage. However, there are several things you'll need to consider to make sure the process goes smoothly for everyone. “Whether buying a home on your own or together in partnership with family members or friends, many of the guiding principles remain the same,” said the Associate Vice President of Retail Products at TD, Michelle Snow. “Start by setting a realistic budget, talking to a mortgage specialist for advice and taking the time to make an informed decision. The real estate m...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

Be Careful Buying A Country Home Or Cottage That Was Renovated By The Seller

Did you know that many common home or cottage renovations require that the homeowner take out a building permit from their municipality? The list of actions that require a homeowner to take out a building is larger and more extensive than many homeowners realize. Adding an addition, balcony, deck, second suite or even wood burning stove all require a building permit, along with a number of other renovations. Not having a permit can be a huge headache – even if it’s discovered long after the fact (and after the home changes hands). In fact, you could be forced to tear down an addition or go through a significant amount of construction in order to make the addition...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

Selling Your Country Home or Cottage? Don't Forget To Give It A Makeover!

 There's a great article on the CBC website right now about home staging - that is, giving your home a "makeover" before you sell it. Staging is a very improtant part of the home selling process, because it cleans up your home and makes it more appealing to buyers. The most important component of staging a home is doing so in a manner that allows buyers to visualize themselves living in your home. What are some of the most important parts of the home staging process according to the article? Decluttering: Decluttering is essential. A cluttered home is not a home that any buyer can visualize themselves in. A home that is free of clutter is spacious, airy and cl...Read More