Useful Information to Help You Buy or Sell a House in 100 Mile House

Here are some helpful articles about selling or purchasing a property.  Simply click on the link of the article below:

Buying a property:

Selling a property:

Information for Home Buyers:

Buying

Planning to buy a house in 100 Mile House? You've come to the right place.

First-time Buyers

Two out of three Canadian families own a home – that's one of the highest rates of home ownership in the world. And for good reason.

It's a great investment. And with with increasing house prices, it's all the more important for first-time buyers to get a foot on the first rung of the property ladder.

Did you know that...

  • Homeownership is the single largest source of savings for Canadian households.
  • Unlike other investments, which can be quite volatile, the increase in the value of homes is relatively steady. The average property price in Canada has consistently outpaced the value of other investment vehicles.
  • Homeowners can use the equity in their homes as security for other loans.
  • Building equity in your first home is the first step on the property ladder. It gets you into the market, keeps you in touch with increasing house prices, and puts you in a good position to trade up to bigger and better houses as your circumstances allow.
Mortgage Rate Calculator

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Viewing a Home

Remaining objective can be a difficult task when viewing a house.

It is easy to fall in love with a home's appearance, blind to problems that may make it unsuitable. While aesthetics can be an important consideration, it is necessary to look beyond window-dressing.

A qualified home inspector should be hired before purchasing a home, but there are areas that consumers can examine on their own. This will shorten your list of potential homes and reduce the likelihood that a home inspector will reject it as unsafe or unsuitable. Here are some considerations and common problem areas to look for when touring an open house:

General Upkeep

Much can be surmised from the general state of the home. Is the home clean? Are lawns left uncut? Are the walls chipped and in need of paint?
If smaller chores have been ignored it may be an indication of a broader disregard for home maintenance.

Water Leaks

Check ceilings and drywall for stains, bulges and other signs of water damage. Water that works its way inside via a leaky roof or a cracked foundation can rot wood, create mildew and mold, destroy possessions and can be expensive to repair.

Does it Work?

Test lights, faucets, the heater, air conditioning, major appliances (that are to be included with the home) - even flush the toilets to ensure everything is working as it should.

Floors

As you walk across the floors be aware of spongy (soft or springy) sections. Excessive squeaking and uneven, bumpy floors may also be indicative of expensive forthcoming repairs.

Doors & Windows

Check that doors and windows fit snugly in their jambs and operate smoothly. Look for flaked paint and loose caulking. If the wood around windows and doors is not protected from moisture, it can rot away. Feel for drafts in these areas too.

Poor Drainage

On a wet day walk around the yard and look for areas where water collects. This can be an especially bad sign if there are soggy areas near the home's foundation.

Grout & Caulking

If the grout and caulking around bathroom and kitchen tiles is loose and crumbly, there is a good chance that water is finding its way into the wall or under the floor.

Structural

Although this is definitely an area where you want the services of a qualified home inspector, you can get an idea about possible structural problems if you see deep cracks in the foundations or loose mortar and bricks.

Miscellaneous Concerns

Naturally, one the most important factors will be determining if the house suits your family's needs. If you do not want to replace all of your furniture, make sure it will fit into the rooms of the new house.  This is difficult to do by eye, so be sure to bring a measuring tape.

Also, take note of storage space. If you are moving from a home with large closets and a shed, make sure your new house is able to store an equivalent amount of belongings.

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Your Place in the Past: Researching the History of Your Home

Who lived in your home before you did? What’s the history of your condo conversion? What was the land used for before your house was there?

If the answers to those questions intrigue you, you may want to research the history of your house, building or the land it’s on. You may be surprised at the interesting information you uncover. Here are a few ideas to help you get your research started:

Check the structure, style and materials of your home.

Style can give you a rough sense of when it was built. Look for original hardware, wallpaper or flooring for further clues. If you’re renovating, check inside the walls for old newspapers, which were often used as insulation.

Open up your filing cabinet.

Your deed, assessment notice, and tax bill can give you clues about the history of your property.

Talk to your neighbours.

Long-time area residents are a great resource. Talk to them – they’ll probably enjoy sharing their memories. Find out if they have old photos of the neighbourhood. You can even track down the former owners of the house and see if they’re willing to chat.

If you live in a newer neighbourhood, check if there’s an older house nestled in among the newly built ones. Talk to the owners – they may have insights into the neighbourhood and the people who once owned the land where your house now stands.

Look online.

Google your street name or neighbourhood. You could find old photos, information about former residents, and details about the properties in your area.

If you own a recently built house or condo, visit to your developer’s website or contact them directly. Condos that have been converted from heritage buildings often include information on the building’s history.

You may also find information on suburban developments built on former farms, and urban infill projects may have some interesting history as well.

Visit your local library, archive or museum.

Look for information about your neighbourhood as well as your house or building. Check these resources:

  • Fire insurance plans. Includes info about the date a house or building was built, modified or demolished, what materials were used and the lot size and shape.
  • Property tax assessment rolls. Contain the name and occupation of the owner(s) at time of assessment, as well as a list of occupants, a description of the property and its assessed value.
  • City directories. Listings include the name and occupation of the owner(s).
  • Photographs. Look for images of your home, street or land, or aerial photos of your neighbourhood.

Also look for census record, building permits, and voters lists. Talk to the people that work in the library, museum or archive – they may know about great local resources not mentioned here.

Call the land registry office

They can tell you how to search for titles to your property, which indicate who built your home and who has owned it over the years.

Finding about your home’s past can be a fun challenge – learning about your property and the people who lived or worked there before you is a great way to get a sense of history, find details to make your restoration historically accurate, get to know your neighbours, and appreciate your home in a whole new way.

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Information for Home Sellers

Home Organization

Home improvements increase your home enjoyment, but they also affect your home’s resale value – a clean and de-cluttered home requires minimal improvement investment, but can yield a significant 543% return on investment*.  These tips will help you plan your home organization with a focus on resale value:

Toss – Remove home contents you don’t need or haven’t used in the past 12 months.  Host a garage sale to turn items into cash, or donate them to charity

Store – Take advantage of a large array of storage solutions that will tidy closets, drawers and cupboards.  Specialty items are available for storing just about any item from holiday décor to your ironing board

Rotate – Pack seasonal items out of sight in a clean, dry location, rotating them in and out as needed.  Clothing and linen can be suction packed to free up precious closet space

Hide – Everything else in your home should have a dedicated place where it is kept, preferably out of sight but easily accessible.  Be creative.  A stylish chest can double as a coffee table and an unobtrusive toy box for example

Redecorate – Minimize furnishings and knick-knacks and ensure they are appropriate to the room’s function.  Try to neutralize your décor and use easy-to-rotate draperies, pillows and art to add colour and personal expression

Arrange – Place remaining furniture and décor items in a fashion that optimizes the available space and leaves a roomy impression.  Arrange your items to create flow between adjoining rooms

Clean – Thoroughly clean every corner of your home.  Clean, dust and wash the floors, walls, ceilings, fixtures, windows, window coverings, furniture, décor items and other contents at least twice annually

Fix – Keep a list of desired home repairs and have a qualified handyman on standby to assist with required fixes on a scheduled basis.  If you have the skills, make the required repairs as they occur

Shop – Minimize purchasing unnecessary items for your home.  Create a household rule whereby you remove an existing item for every new item purchased. 

Internalize – Maintain an organized home by staying on top of cleaning and avoiding clutter.  You will feel more relaxed and you will maximize your home enjoyment

Keeping your home clean and de-cluttered minimizes its preparation for sale.  Most importantly, an organized and well tended home means you will maximize your resale value as more buyers are able to envision themselves living in your space.

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First Impressions Count... For Buyers and Your Neighbours

The summer months are the perfect time to freshen up the exterior of your home. Whether it's for your pleasure or to impress potential buyers, you'll boost your home's curb appeal with these good old-fashioned cleaning tips:

  • Edge the gardens, clean out debris
  • Pull the weeds and rake the leaves
  • Prune the plants and wooly shrubs
  • Plant some urns by the entrance and flowers to the beds
  • Tidy the garage of winter trappings
  • Dispose of rusty broken garden décor
  • Put out a fresh welcome mat and oil the front door
  • Paint the windowsills, mailbox, and anything else that is looking tired
  • Place clear light bulbs in exterior fixtures, and ensure burned out bulbs are replaced
  • Reseal the driveway
  • Hide the garbage cans
  • Sweep the step
  • Fix the saggy gutters

Who says cleaning has to hurt? Get the kids involved! Borrow or buy a power washer and have fun cleaning siding, windows, sills, railings, decking and patio furniture.

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Tips on How to Use Your Home as an Income Property

An income property is a home that is bought or developed in order to generate income, typically by renting it out in part or in its entirety.  Using your home as an income property can be a financially rewarding experience, either to provide extra income, or to help you pay off your mortgage.

Before taking action it is important to understand some of the key points involved in using your home as an income property.

Some things to consider before you start

  1. Check the Municipal regulations – are you legally permitted to turn your home into an income property? Would the unit adhere to all existing building and fire codes?
  2. Financial considerations - does your home require renovations to make it tenant ready? If yes, do you require financing? Has your bank pre- approved you for a loan?
  3. Legal Considerations - make sure you understand the landlord – tenant relationship regulations in your province. This will have a great impact on what you can and cannot do as a landlord.

After your initial research, there are a few things you can do to make your property more attractive to potential tenants.

  1. Your home should look clean and tidy inside and out. This will bring more renters through your property and you will have a more receptive audience
  2. Update your home if necessary. From simple changes such as fresh paint in a neutral color to major renovations, try and make your home look and feel as spacious, bright and comfortable as possible.

When you’re ready to rent, price and market your unit competitively.  Scan the classifieds and visit rental websites to find out how much similar units are being listed for.  You can also ask your Royal LePage agent for pricing advice or to help you find the right tenants through a listing.

Summary:
There is a lot to consider when turning your home into an income property. While it may seem daunting from the outset, doing sufficient research to understand what is involved is key to making it work on your terms. If you can turn your home into a successful rental property, it can be very rewarding - you‘ll have an extra source of income and tenants can help pay off your mortgage!

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Tips for Moving

Moving can be an exciting and overwhelming experience. There is a lot to remember when planning your move, but with some organization your experience can be a lot less stressful.
A Few Weeks Prior to Moving

  1. Arrange your moving day well in advance – When booking a truck or hiring a moving company, it’s often worth comparing several estimates. Your Royal LePage agent can provide you with some referrals for local and national movers. 
  2. Re- direct your essential services to your new home; arrange to have services such as gas, electricity, and cable TV to be connected on the day the sale closes.
  3. At your current home, arrange to have your gas, water, and electricity meters read on the day you leave and have the bills forwarded to your new address. If necessary, water heater and furnace rental agreements should to be transferred to the purchaser.
  4. Update your contact information and provide a forwarding address for schools, work, and services such as banks or insurance companies
  5. Also, don’t forget to make arrangements for pet or baby sitters for the day of the move.
Days Prior to Moving
  1. Gather all important personal, medical and insurance documents and keep them separate from other moving items
  2. Pack valuables and any personal items that you will require in the interim of your house being unpacked.
  3. Make sure to pack and label items by a theme, such as kitchen or bathroom, so you can easily get organized when unpacking
Day of the Move
  1. If you are using a moving company make a list of all items to be moved and compare it to the movers to make sure you agree on contents to be delivered
  2. Check all shelves, closets and cupboards for any items that may have been left behind
After the Move
  1. Apply for a new drivers license, health card or other items that require an up to date address
  2. Register your car at your new address. Your insurance company will have a limited time grace period so make sure you register before the deadline
  3. Check open and closing hours of stores and services in your new neighborhood. This will help you feel settled earlier

Moving can be difficult, but with careful planning your move can go smoothly so that you can start enjoying your new home right away.

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Selling Your Home: Why Use a Realtor®?

Some homeowners are tempted to try selling their property without the help of a real estate agent (this is called FSBO: For Sale By Owner). The reality is that selling real estate is a complex and highly specialized field. If you are like most, your home is your biggest asset. An agent will help steer you clear of the many pitfalls, and most importantly, will save you time and money. Here are just a few of the advantages of working with an agent:

  • Your agent knows real estate values in your neighbourhood and will help set an agreeable and competitive price on your home.
  • Your agent will establish a marketing strategy for your home ensuring that your property is exposed to scores of potential buyers.
  • Your agent takes care of the many tasks involved in selling a house (everything from putting up the for sale sign and taking care of paperwork). This saves you time and ensures that the transaction is simple and low stress for you.
  • Your agent is an expert in the home selling process and as such will advise you of your rights, options and obligations.
  • Your agent is an experienced negotiator and will work to get you the best price possible.
  • Your agent has access to all of the latest tools, technology and tricks of the trade.
  • Your agent can recommend the best ways to improve your home's curb appeal.
  • With Royal LePage backing them up, the Adam Dirkson Homeselling Team has the support of a national firm and a network of contacts and expertise.

When you are looking to buy or sell a house in 100 Mile House we will be with you every step of the way!

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