happy families: What You Need to Know About Lots - 06/04/16 03:23 AM
When shopping for a new home, one of the most important considerations – yet one most people don’t pay enough attention to – is the lot type. Selecting the right one can significantly increase your enjoyment of the home. Picking the wrong one can have the opposite effect.
There are three special types of lots that homeowners tend to find most desirable. Yet, even though they are considered desirable, each has its pros and cons.
Here’s the rundown on each one:
Cul de sacs These are lots located on dead end streets that often feature homes positioned around a large circle of … (0 comments)

happy families: Pretend You’re A Buyer - 05/30/16 10:07 PM
An effective technique to help you sell your property quickly and for the best price is to put yourself in the shoes of a potential buyer. Don’t just visualize this. Actually do it!
Drive to your property and imagine that you’re seeing it for the first time. What’s your impression? Is the landscaping attractive? Are the walkways clear? Is the front door welcoming?
Now walk up to the front door, open it, and step inside. Does the foyer seem neat and uncluttered? Is there anything unsightly from that vantage point?
Take a walk through your home, starting in rooms that a potential buyer would … (1 comments)

happy families: Sell Your Home Faster With An Outdoor Makeover - 05/16/16 06:34 AM
When you put your home on the market, it’s important that you make the indoor living space as attractive as possible to potential buyers. The foyer should look spacious and inviting. The bedrooms, neat and uncluttered. The basement, clean and well lit.
All good advice.
But don’t forget the outdoor living space. That too has a significant impact on how quickly your home sells and for how much. You want to make the area around your property, from the front walkway to the backyard deck, as attractive as possible.
How do you do that? Here are some tips for sprucing up your outdoor living … (0 comments)

happy families: Dealing With A Home Inspection Issue - 04/27/16 09:00 PM
As you may know, it’s common to include a home inspection as a condition of an offer you make. It protects you from issues that you might not otherwise see during a viewing.
What do you do if the home inspector finds something wrong? The inspector might find a leak in the foundation, or windows that are old, drafty and need replacing.
Must you pass on a property that you otherwise like?
Not necessarily. Just because the home inspector discovered a deficiency doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t purchase the home. You should, however, bring the issue up with the seller.
Your REALTOR® will do that … (2 comments)

happy families: Home Shopping And The Four-Legged Stool - 04/25/16 03:35 AM
What kind of stool is most likely to keep you from toppling over when you sit on it? Of course, two-legged stools won’t even stand on their own. Three-legged stools are okay, but still unstable. Four-legged stools are rock solid.
What does that have to do with shopping for a new home?
Well, if you want to find the right home quickly and for the best price, you need to have four things in place – the four legs of the stool. They will help ensure the experience goes smoothly.
The first leg is your wish list. You need to have a clear picture … (1 comments)

happy families: Make Two Wish Lists When Shopping For A New Home - 04/19/16 10:54 PM
When shopping for a new home, create a wish list of the features and characteristics you want. After all, there’s no sense looking at properties with kitchenettes when you won’t settle for anything less than a full-sized kitchen that Julia Child would envy.
But there are probably some features that are nice-to-haves but not must-haves. For example, you might like a large wrap-around deck in your backyard, but would settle for a home that doesn’t have one. (After all, you can always install one later.)
That’s why it’s a good idea to create two wish lists. One list would include all the features … (0 comments)

happy families: Shop for Insurance Before You Close - 04/08/16 11:59 PM
After purchasing a new home, buyers are often focused on securing a good mortgage, hiring a reputable moving company, and preparing for moving day.
Those are all important. Just don’t forget about home insurance! It’s an easy detail to miss. If you wait until the last minute to make those arrangements, you may not have time to shop around and get the best policy and rate.
When is the ideal time to shop for home insurance? When your offer is accepted. Don’t leave it until the last minute.
 
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happy families: Making Sure Your “Wish List” is Complete - 04/02/16 01:39 AM
Before shopping for a new home, people often create a “wish list” of the features they desire most. That's a good way to ensure you choose a home that best fits your needs and desires. For example, you might want an extra bedroom for guests, ample space for a home office, a local playground for the kids, and so forth.
However, many buyers don’t make their lists complete enough. You might find a home with the extra bedroom and nearby playground you want, only to realize, too late, that your commute to work becomes twice as long. You missed the importance of … (3 comments)

happy families: Increasing Foyer Appeal - 03/25/16 09:40 AM
You’ve heard of curb appeal. It refers to the good impression buyers tend to get when they first see your house “from the curb”. The greater the curb appeal, the more enticing your house will seem.
But there’s another type of appeal you may not be aware of: Foyer appeal. That’s the impression buyers get when they first walk in the door.
Think of what happens when someone visits your house for the first time. Chances are, they stand in the foyer for a few moments, look around, and take in the view of your house from that perspective.
That’s why, if you’re preparing … (1 comments)

happy families: When the Home Inspector Finds Something Wrong - 03/24/16 12:53 AM
You shop for a home. You find one you like. You make an offer — conditional on a satisfactory home inspection.
Okay so far.
Then the inspector discovers a problem with the home that may require an expensive repair or renovation. Perhaps the frame in the front door is cracked; or there's a leak in the roof; or the furnace is due to be replaced.
What do you do?
You don't want to pass up an opportunity to purchase what could be your dream home. On the other hand, you don't want to have to deal with potentially costly repairs.
First, keep in mind that you … (1 comments)

happy families: Lighting Matters When Selling Your House - 03/13/16 11:42 PM
Remember the last time you were in a furniture store or other major home retailer? Remember the fully decorated displays of furniture, appliances and other products? Some of those may have even been organized as model rooms.
What did most of those displays have in common?
Chances are, they were well lit.
In fact, in the retail industry, there are professionals who specialize exclusively in display lighting. It plays such an important role in showcasing and selling home products successfully that the stores are willing to absorb the expense.
And the same holds true for your house.
If you want to show your house well, and … (1 comments)

happy families: Preparing Your House for Sale in Less Than a Week - 03/13/16 03:20 AM
It’s great when you have lots of time to prepare for something important. But life doesn’t always happen that way. Sometimes you have to move quickly, and do the best you can with the time you have.
Say, for example, you had to get your house ready for sale, and you only had a week to do so. What could you do in those few days to make your home as attractive as possible to potential buyers? Here are some ideas:
Clean the house from top to bottom. Make it look “guest ready”. Get rid of as much clutter as possible. If … (1 comments)

happy families: For Crying Out Loud, Just Say Something - 03/10/16 09:06 PM
We are all staring at our smart phones days and nights. From the age of 1 to the age of 99. The phones are ringing, beeping, and making all sorts of sounds to be noticed. So, why on earth don't we respond?
Why on the phone, via text or e-mail cant we be polite just like we are in a face-to-face communication?
You received documents, or information, or e-card - just say "thank you"!
Someone asked you a question - just respond something, acknowledge, tell them you are working on getting the answer and will get back to them later.
Your phone rings and you … (5 comments)

happy families: Shopping for the Right Neighbourhood - 03/06/16 08:30 PM
When most people shop for a new home, they think about the kind of house they want: three bedrooms, two bathrooms, trees in the backyard.
But it also makes sense to shop for the right neighbourhood.
Think about it. In what type of area would you most like to live? What neighbourhood features do you want most? For example, you may want your next neighbourhood to have a good high school, a nearby recreation centre, and close access to public transit.
Make a list of what you want and then go “shopping” by visiting neighbourhoods that meet your criteria.
Your next home is more than … (2 comments)

happy families: Understanding Market Value - 03/03/16 07:42 PM
If you were going to sell your car, what would you do? Well, you would probably check to find out how similar vehicles to yours are priced. Then you would set your advertised price within that range.
What you would be doing, perhaps without knowing it, is determining the “market value” of your car.
Market value is simply what buyers today are willing to pay for a particular product.
When you decide to put your house up for sale, one of the first things you and your REALTOR® will do is determine the market value of your property. That’s important to know because if … (2 comments)

happy families: Help Buyers Understand The Area - 02/28/16 10:13 PM
There’s a famous saying in the real estate business: “Location, location, location”. It simply means that where your home is located — the neighbourhood — is just as important to potential buyers as the features of the property itself.
Sellers often make the mistake of creating a long list of home features while ignoring neighbourhood features. They tout the spacious kitchen, the newly renovated bathrooms and the gorgeous backyard deck, but say little about the area.
So when you’re ready to sell your home, sit down and create two lists: home features and neighbourhood features. Buyers want to know both.
On that neighbourhood features … (0 comments)

happy families: 5 Things Home Buyers Don’t Want To See - 02/28/16 12:02 AM
When preparing a property for sale, homeowners often focus on the things that will impress buyers, such as clean and uncluttered spaces, well lit rooms, staged furniture designed to maximize appeal, and so forth.
But it’s equally important to pay attention to those things you don’t want buyers to see... those little turn-offs that, although seemingly minor, can distract buyers and cause them to lose interest in your property.
For example, you don’t want buyers to see these things:
Pets. Although many people love pets, some don’t. Others are allergic to them. Dogs, in particular, can take a keen interest in new visitors, jumping … (2 comments)

happy families: Getting A Handle On The Home Selling Process - 02/27/16 04:31 AM
You probably know there’s more to selling a home than putting up a FOR SALE sign. But if you don’t understand the process in detail, you might feel intimidated and stressed when it comes time to put your property on the market.
Fortunately, the home selling process isn’t that difficult to understand. There are basically six steps.
Step one is selecting the right REALTOR®. You need a knowledgeable, trusted expert who can guide you through the process, take care of all the details, and help sell your home quickly and for the best price.
Step two is preparation. You need to ensure your home … (1 comments)

happy families: Be Sensible When it Comes to Scents - 02/26/16 02:43 AM
Sniff, sniff. “What is that smell?”
 
That is definitely not the reaction you want a potential buyer to have when they view your house.
The problem with common household scents – from family pets, preferred cooking styles, smoking, or even hobbies such as model-making – is that we get accustomed to them. However, someone who enters the house for the first time will notice these aromas right away.
So, before a viewing appointment or open house, be sure household scents are under control. A good airing usually does the trick.
Reposted from http://www.marina.realtor/ixact-be-sensible-when-it-comes-to-scents/
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happy families: What is Your Priority - Time or Money? - 02/23/16 09:15 PM
There are people who will spend any time to save a bit of money and there are people who will spend any money to save a bit of time. Who are you?
Our life is just too short to become a professional in everything. You could be OK in many fields, you could be truly brilliant in just a few.
The question is, when you need something done, something that you don't do everyday and that you don't really love doing, would you spend time and effort to master the skill or would you pay to get it done?
Would you cut your own … (3 comments)