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Summer projects to boost your home's resale value

With summer approaching, you may begin thinking about which outdoor home improvement projects will provide you with the best return on your investment. It's best to start by doing research to identify a project that fits your time and budget.
  • Build a deck or patio. There are many designs and approaches to consider. Check your municipal building requirements as a building permit may be required for decks above a certain size and height.
  • Install a sprinkler system. On average, homeowners use 50 per cent more water than necessary on their lawns. Automatic lawn sprinkler systems are designed with busy homeowners in mind and allow proper irrigation through timing and water distribution. Although there is an initial cost for the installation, you could save money in the long run.
  • Landscape your property. Whether planning a garden or building a pond, landscaping often results in a significant return on your investment. However, you should always consult a trained professional before tackling a landscaping project to ensure you have the right materials and plants that will thrive in your space.
  • Build or replace a fence. Defining the limits of your property is important for a variety of reasons, including privacy, security and safety. Do your research to find what's right for your needs, and if appropriate, consult with a neighbour as you may be able to complete the project together.
  • Reshingle a tired roof. A strong, durable roof is an essential component of your home's overall health and functionality. A new roof is especially important if your current roof is showing signs of wear including raised shingles or water seepage. A good roof is a good investment. Do your research, find the best contractor and select the best materials within your budget.


What to do when water enters your home?

Whether it’s a small leak or flash flood, water damage can occur at any time with little warning. Proper prevention and contingency planning can help you avoid and deal with disaster.
 
Keep water away. Clear your gutters and divert your downspouts. Conduct frequent visual inspections to spot holes and cracks in foundation, or warping in drywall or flooring. Keep floor drains clear and never pour grease or oil down your sink.
 
Stop the flow. If water is leaking from an appliance or specific area in your home, immediately shut off the source. Familiarize yourself with exterior and interior water valves and remember to store valuable items off the floor.
 
Get a sensor. A water-leak sensor can alert you the minute water unexpectedly enters your home. When placed near water sources such as drains, toilets, exposed plumbing or water valves, these devices trigger a notice to your smart phone within minutes of detecting a leak.
 
Stay safe. Approach flooded areas with caution. Don’t attempt to unplug appliances or turn off electricity in areas that are wet or submerged in water. Take precautions to avoid injury from electrical shock, and cut off power at the breaker panel. When in doubt, call a professional.
 
Take action. Take pictures and wear protection, such as gloves and safety masks, when removing water-damaged possessions. Check for mold and mildew, which can develop within 24-48 hours. Call your insurance company as soon as possible.

 

​Renting vs buying a question many are asking.

Renting vs buying a question many are asking.
 
If you're a renter then chances are you have high hopes of owning your own home one day. You want to put those rent payments towards something you'll eventually own, and the closer you get to finally achieving the goal, the better you feel. But, while you're saving up for that down payment, are you doing anything else to prepare? Take a look at the following tips to help you get closer to finally owning your own place!
 
Look at Your Credit Score in the Eye
If you don't already know what your credit score is, then it's important to become familiar with it. Most lenders won't give you a decent loan if your credit isn't in shape, and that's why you need to know what your score is. If it's not where you want it to be, then try to take out credit accounts so you can start building better history.
 
Learn About Being a Homeowner
A lot of people are surprised to learn that being a homeowner comes with a lot of expenses.
Some Homeowner costs are…..
 
UPFRONT & CLOSING COSTS like ..
Earnest money which the Seller after accepting the offer, the seller deposits the earnest money funds into an escrow account, and the amount is credited against your closing costs.
Down Payment.is the percentage of the home’s purchase price that you pay upfront, typically at closing.
Home Appraisal. To ensure that the offer price matches the actual value of the home, lenders require a home appraisal prior to approving the loan.
Home Inspection. Licensed home inspectors are trained to find potential problems and defects that might not be apparent to an inexperienced buyer doing a casual walkthrough.
Property Taxes. Since property owners pay property taxes upfront, usually in six-month increments, you need to compensate the seller for taxes paid on the period between the closing date and the end of the current tax periodFirst Year’s Homeowners Insurance. Lenders require proof of homeowners insurance prior to closing.
Other Closing Costs. As a rule of thumb, you can expect your total closing costs to range from 2% to 4% of the purchase price.
 
RECURRING COSTS
Homeownership also involves many recurring costs.
Loan Payments. You need to make monthly principal and interest payments for the life of your mortgage loan, usually 15 or 30 years. If you have a fixed-rate mortgage, your loan payment remains constant for the full term. If you have a variable-rate mortgage, your rate gets tied to a benchmark and your payment varies as the benchmark changes.
Property Taxes. Property taxes are part of your monthly escrow payment – you pay one-twelfth of your annual tax burden each month.
Homeowners Insurance. As with property taxes, you pay one-twelfth of your annual homeowners premium with your monthly escrow payment.
Utilities. As a homeowner, you’re responsible for paying all utilities and local services on your property: water, gas, electric, garbage and recycling, cable and Internet, and perhaps more.
Maintenance. As a general rule of thumb, you can expect to pay 1% of your home’s value per year on maintenance and wear-related replacements and repairs.
 
SPECIAL OR ONE-TIME COSTS
Homeownership also comes with somewhat less-predictable costs that occur only once or at irregular intervals.
Furnishing. If you’re a first-time home buyer, your new home is probably larger than your previous space. That means you need to buy furniture and fixtures, even if you owned some or all of the furnishings in your rental.
Moving Costs. Whether you hire a team of movers or rent a truck and take a DIY approach, moving can range in cost from around $100 or $200 to more than $1,000, depending on how much you have to move and what you can accomplish on your own.
Repairs. You’re responsible for paying to repair any damage that isn’t covered by insurance.
Improvements and Renovation Projects. Though improvement and renovation projects can boost your home’s appraised value, that’s not guaranteed to be reflected in its eventual sale price.
 A quick comparison

  ​Renting ​Buying
​Costs ​Likely lower monthly costs
Fixed monthly costs
Pay a deposit of a month’s rent
May pay a deposit for damages
​Likely higher monthly costs with mortgage, property taxes, utilities, maintenance, furnishing and decorating
Pay interest to the bank on mortgage
Possible unexpected repair costs
​Investment potential ​Rent money goes to your landlord ​Build equity as you pay off mortgage
​Income potential ​May be able to create income by renting out rooms or subletting ​Can create income by renting out or borrowing against your home
Maintenance ​Not responsible for maintenance, but dependent on landlord to make timely repairs Responsible for maintenance and repairs
​​Commute ​Higher rents in prime areas but you save time and money on commute ​Affordable houses in suburban areas mean you spend more time and money on commute
​Flexibility to move ​Can move out almost whenever you want ​Harder to move quickly as can take time to sell

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As we approach this Christmas holiday season make time for family time.

Families are like gardens, the more you water them, the more spectacularly they bloom. Children who spend time with their parents participating in activities together build a positive sense of self-worth. When children feel that they are valued by their parents, they feel more positive about themselves. Family activities don't have to be expensive or luxurious to be meaningful. Take a walk together, go for a bike ride or play a game of basketball in the driveway. The important part is just being together and enjoying each other's company. Here are some fun activities to do as a family this Christmas season besides shopping. Enjoy the family you have!!
 
TORONTO
 
Cavalcade of Lights
The Cavalcade of Lights features the lighting of Toronto’s official Christmas tree, performances by some of Canada’s top musical talent, a beautiful fireworks show and a DJ skating party.
Saturday November 25
Nathan Phillips Square
100 Queen Street West, Toronto, Ontario M5H 2N2
http://www.toronto.com/events/cavalcade-of-lights/
http://www.toronto.com/things-to-do/must-see-holiday-season-events-in-toronto/
http://www.torontochristmasmarket.com/
 
 
MISSISSAUGA
 
Streetsville's 2nd Annual Christmas in the Village Festival
The Streetsville BIA is excited to present the second annual Christmas in the Village festival: a weekend full of free activities and entertainment for all ages!
November 25 – November 26
Nov 25 at 2 PM to Nov 26 at 4 PM
Queen Street South and Main Street, Mississauga, Ontario L5M 1L6
http://www.streetsvillechristmasinthevillage.com/
https://www.insidehalton.com/events/7805888--light-up-the-square-presented-by-ra/
https://culture.mississauga.ca/event/celebration-square/skate-square
 

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