Pricing Your Home in Windsor Essex

Pricing Your Home in Windsor Essex “A well priced home is essential.” In many cases homes sell for a price which falls far short of the original asking price.   Listing a home at an unrealistically high level, is usually not a good idea if you are serious about a sale.  Many people only look at new listings and assume something must be wrong with a home if it has been listed for a long period of time. On average homes sell within 96% of their asking price in the Windsor Essex County Market. The best way to sell a home is to price it right and have a proper marketing plan. A proper marketing program in place ensures a home is exposed to the highest number of qualified buyers. Home prices are determined by the marketplace not by your emotional attachment or by what you feel your home is worth. I will work closely with you in establishing a realistic price for your home. They will help you to objectively compare the price, features and condition of all similar homes in both your neighborhood and other similar ones which have sold in recent months. It is also important to be familiar with the terms of each potential sale. Terms are often as important as price in today’s market. Choosing an agent really comes down to trust. Like all good agents, I have information on past sales, current listings and a marketing plan. For over 18 years I have prided pride myself on having a trusted reputation, as well as working for a company that is know for its high integrity and professionalism....

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Energy Saving Ideas – Windsor Essex

Saving Energy in a Windsor Essex Home A large portion of that energy is wasted in the majority of Homes. If you use efficient measures, you can reduce your energy bills by 10% to 50% and, at the same time, help reduce air pollution. An energy efficiency plan for the whole house is key Keep in mind that  heating systems include not just a furnace, but the heat delivery system. A top of the line furnace in ineffective without a proper distribution system.  Insulation is often more important that the efficiency of a furnace. First find out which parts of your house use the most energy, you can do this by getting a home energy audit A home Energy Audit  will show you where these are and suggest the most effective measures for reducing your energy costs. Home Energy Auditing Tips Check insulation in your exterior and basement walls, ceilings, attic, floors, and crawl spaces. Check for holes or cracks around your walls, ceilings, windows, doors, light and plumbing fixtures, switches, and electrical outlets that can leak air into or out of your home. Check for open fireplace dampers. Make sure your appliances and heating and cooling systems are properly maintained. Study your family’s lighting needs and use patterns, paying special attention to high use areas such as the living room, kitchen, and exterior lighting. Look for ways to use daylight, reduce the time the lights are on, and replace incandescent bulbs and fixtures with compact fluorescent lamps or standard fluorescent lamps. Creating an Energy Efficincy Plan Determine how much money do you spend on energy? Estimate whihc areas are your greatest energy losses? Estimate what the payback on each upgrade will be in terms of in energy savings? Determine if you can do it yourself or if you have to hire a professional? Set a budget and a time frame? With a Plan in place you now have a strategy for making smart purchases and home improvements Hiring a professional to conduct energy audits is also another good idea Professionals can use a variety of equipment such as blower doors, infrared cameras, and surface thermometers to find inefficiencies that cannot be detected by a visual inspection. Finally, they will give you a list of recommendations for cost effective energy improvements and enhanced comfort and safety. Insulation Checking your home’s insulating system is one of the fastest and most cost efficient ways to use a whole house approach to reduce energy waste and maximize your energy dollars. A good insulating system includes a combination of products and construction techniques that provide a home with thermal performance, protect it against air infiltration, and control moisture. You can increase the comfort of your home while reducing your heating and cooling needs...

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Is your Rental Property Insurance Void if the property is vacant over 30 days

A recent case demonstrates the importance of carefully reading an insurance policy and ensuring that the insurance policy remains in force. Failing to do so cost Paul Wu and Wendy Wu dearly. Background The Wus purchased a house in Windsor, Ontario to serve as an investment for their future and to produce rental income. In 2002, they rented the house to a tenant. This tenancy was uneventful until the tenant began to date a certain man. At this point, garbage, including junk cars and tires, began to accumulate in the yard and neighbours complained of blight and rats. The Wus were given repeated notices by the City of Windsor to clean up their property. Eventually, the Wus gave their tenant notice to vacate the property. The tenant agreed to move out on August 1, 2006; however, the tenant and her boyfriend failed to leave that day. The Wus permitted them to stay until August 5, with the tenant agreeing to clean up the property before leaving. On August 4, the tenant and her boyfriend moved out of the house and gave Mrs. Wu keys to the property. As it turned out, those keys were for the front door only. The property as left by the tenants was in a serious state of disrepair and the house had a very foul odour. The Wus, along with some friends, spent considerable time cleaning up the house and the property and, six weeks later, made the property available for renting. During this time, and in advance of a new tenancy that was to begin on November 1, 2006, the Wus visited the property nearly every day to clean up the property and to empty the mailbox. In mid-October of 2006, a fire caused major damage to the property. On October 11, Mr. Wu visited the house and discovered that the interior was burned and that the water pipes had burst, resulting in significant damage. There was no sign of forced entry to the house, and the presence of gas cans suggested that the fire had been lit deliberately. A representative of the Windsor Fire Department opined that the fire had been intentional. There were also beer cans inside the house that had not been there the last time Mr. Wu had entered the house. Insurance Claim The Wus sought to claim under their insurance policy, which they believed covered fire damage and loss of rental income. Gore Mutual Insurance Company (“Gore”) denied coverage under two grounds: first, that the Wus allegedly had knowledge that the house was vacant for more than thirty consecutive days, in violation of the policy; and second, that there was a material change in risk of which the...

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Mortgage Pre Approval Windsor Real Estate

By Dan Lanhardt – Scotia Bank Two often confused terms in the home buying process are a mortgage loan pre-qualification and a home loan pre-approval. Even some loan officers and real estate agents will use the terms incorrectly, so here’s what you really need to know about each one. Pre-Qualification A mortgage loan pre-qualification is simply an estimate of how much house you can afford and how much money a lender would be willing to loan you. The best time to get a pre-qualification is right at the beginning of your home buying process, before you even start looking at houses. This involves either sitting down with a lender or talking with one on the phone, and providing information on your income, assets, debts, and a potential down payment amount. The lender would then provide you with a ballpark figure in writing of how much he thinks you could afford to pay for a monthly mortgage. There is no cost involved and there is no commitment on either side. This estimate is just helpful in helping you figure out if buying a home is a viable option, and if so, what your price range would probably be. Pre-approval Getting pre-approved means that you have a tentative commitment from a specific lender for mortgage funding. In this case, you provide a home loan lender with actual documentation of your income, assets, and debts. This process typically requires an application fee as well, since the bank will run a credit check and work to verify all your employment and financial information. Once you are approved, the lender will give you a letter of commitment, stating how much money her bank is willing to loan you for a home purchase. With a pre-approval in hand you can start your shopping – real estate agents and sellers will take you much more seriously when they see you have your mortgage funding in place. It is important to understand, however, that even a pre-approval is not a guarantee that you will be approved for a mortgage loan.  The funding will only be given when the property appraisal, title search, and other verifications check out on the home you have chosen to buy.  Neither is the pre-approval binding; you can still obtain a mortgage from a different lender. If you do stick with the same company that pre-approved you though, the application process will be much shorter once you find the right...

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Mold and Water Damage in Homes – Windsor Essex Real Estate

Homebuyers often have concerns about mould, but are their fears justified? Although thousands of types of mould exist, only a few are actually harmful to people. Toxic varieties, such as moulds from the genus Stachybotrys, can produce chemicals linked to various health problems including sinus infections, asthma and certain respiratory infections. However, mould must generally be present in large quantities to have a noticeable effect on most people. Mould eats wood cellulose and can potentially affect the structural integrity of wood. Some insurance companies have excluded mould damage from both first party and third party coverage. Property owners may be able to obtain costly site-specific environmental insurance that specifically includes mould coverage. Mould is caused by water damage or excessive humidity, poor ventilation systems, wet construction materials or poor construction or design. Mould travels on air currents and is all around us, and so it is difficult to find a house that is completely mould-free. The smell should be the first red flag. Just because a house is nicely renovated and freshly painted doesn’t make it mold free, if there’s a musty, mouldy smell, and lots of plug-ins and potpourri, you should investigate further. The best advse is use common sense. During a home inspection, the inspector cannot open walls. Therefore, you may need to rely on your sense of smell. If moisture damage has built up in the basement over the years, the smell will reveal it right away, regardless of how nice it looks If there’s mould in their home, it can be a minor issue involving lack of circulation in the basement, or it could be a serious case of black mould coming through the drywall or baseboard, which probably needs to be ripped out. You can’t just wipe it off.  Either way, the issue causing the mould must be solved and the area has to dry out. Whether inspecting a home you should always look for signs of water damage. You should hire a home inspector or other mold professional  if there is a concern Be sure to inspect moisture-prone areas such as basements, bathrooms and kitchen cupboards. Mould behind a wall will not be visible to you, but signs of mould include: discolouration on finishes staining spotty patterns revealing visible mould growth (which may indicate a larger, unseen problem) musty smells. Mould issues can usually be resolved. The moisture or water source needs to be located and stopped, and then the mould needs to be removed. If the problem turns out to be widespread and remediation is necessary, it’s important to ensure that the entire problem area is remediated, otherwise the mould infestation could return. A proper home inspection may uncover indications of mould...

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Do Your Homework When Choosing a Mover – Windsor Essex Real Estate

Do your homework when choosing a mover For some consumers, the most daunting aspect of the buying or selling process is the move itself. Moving is not only labour-intensive, but it can also unleash a range of emotions at a difficult time. If the catalyst for the move is a family death, divorce or other major lifestyle change, a bad moving experience can rub salt in the wound, aggravating an already challenging situation. Many resources are available to determine whether a mover is reputable. The Canadian Association of Movers (CAM), the Better Business Bureau, and any of the major national van lines (such as Allied, Atlas, Mayflower, North American or United) are all good sources. Also check out the Consumer Beware page through the Ontario Ministry of Consumer Services for movers to avoid. One of the best tips is to place more weight on reputation than price, says John Levi, president of CAM. With about 350 members across the country, CAM represents Canada’s largest moving companies, many small to mid-sized movers, national van lines, suppliers and many international movers. It also works with government agencies to represent member issues and with consumers to provide referrals and assist with complaints. “Many people don’t realize that their prime concern should be a having a good moving experience, not getting the cheapest price,” says Levi, who has been with CAM for 16 years. “The lowest quoted price does not actually guarantee the lowest cost or a good-quality job, he advises. Consider the value of your possessions as well as the potential cost of loss, damage, tardiness or claims, he says. All of those factors should be weighed to determine the move’s total price tag, and doing some homework before selecting a mover is well worth the time. Because the moving industry is largely unregulated, Levi warns that choosing a reputable mover is vital in avoiding problems. His organization receives about 150 complaints a year about movers. The most common complaints pertain to overcharging, lateness, damage or loss, but issues also arise with inexperienced crews, poor communication, and failed promises. To join CAM, a mover must be in business for more than a year, be reputable, and undergo a due diligence and verification process. The association checks out companies through the Better Business Bureau and asks other members to offer a fair opinion on potential members. Loss or damage claims can end up being drawn out for years, says Levi. Consumers who take steps to do some preliminary research usually avoid claims, he adds. Many problems are preventable. A good mover should be prepared to answer questions and provide clear expectations about the move for the individual or family. Consumers can spare themselves...

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Tips for Showing a Home Windsor Real Estate

6 Tips to a Great Home Showings When it comes to showing your home to potential home buyers, you want to make sure that they are focused on the home’s potential to become theirs rather than constantly distracting them with outside issues. The following tips will help showings . Home Showing Tip  #1 Dont have Family and friends just hanging out When you decide to sell your home, you really do need to consider how you will show your home. It is definitely unsettling for home buyers to walk through a home only to find that there are kids sleeping in the rooms or someone is frying up a steak as they arrive. A home showing must be treated like a business transaction and in order to drive a sale, you must behave in a professional manner. Ask family members to look after your kids and make sure that the only people in the home are the ones who will be showing it. Home Showing Tip #2 Being Present for Showings You have right to be excited about showing your home to potential hom buyers and you may want to gauge their opinion about your home. But  best if the home owner is not present during showings. If the home owner is home, people often feel rushed and do not give the home enough time. By letting the Realtor handle the showing, it gives the buyer time to look around and discuss the home with their Realtor. Home Showing Tip #3 Knowing  your homes strengths and weaknesses From the moment home buyers walk toward your home, they are searching for flaws and drawbacks, as most skeptics tend to do. I often find it helpful to do a summary of the strengths of a home and show the value of improvements, as well I can often do a cost analysis of any potential weaknesses ie. cost of a new roof or windows.  If a home needs a major repair, it will be obvious to any buyer. Having a quote before hand can often elimante any fears a buyer might have. Home Showing Tip # 4 Removing any Odours Nothing says “don’t buy my house” quite like the smell of wet dog. Add the smell of synthetic roses to the mix, and you might essentially be telling home buyers to run not walk away from your home. As well, cooking before or during a home visit is not appreciated, as no one wants to leave a home smelling like fried food. Boil some cinnamon in water and keep the scent of your home welcoming and delicate rather than invasive. Home Showing Tip #5 Temporary removing pets If possible Pets should not be presetn for showings. If...

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Making a Room Feel Bigger – Windsor Essex Real Estate

Most of us can’t afford a home with massive rooms – not just because the square footage is costly, but also because it would cost an arm and a leg to keep that home heated and comfortable. There are, however, a vast array of tricks and methods that lend themselves to creating an illusion and will help you make a room feel bigger. That said, here are seven ways to make a room feel bigger: Ways to make a room feel bigger #1 Get Roman blinds Window treatment are an important part of making a room feel bigger and using roman blinds instead of curtains takes away that cluttered feeling and the look of extra and unwanted material draped over the living room floor, getting in your way and causing more problems than it’s worth. Ways to make a room feel bigger #2 Use color In terms of illusion, light colors will always make a room seem larger, so try and avoid darker colors when painting the walls, opting instead for a light shade of blue or white. This method will make rooms appear open and airy, and they are also naturally reflective colors, which leads me on to the next point. Ways to make a room feel bigger #3 Opt for natural lighting Letting natural light stream into the room will really open it up, making it feel larger. Make as much use of natural light as possible; add skylights, windows, anything that will open your house up. If this is not possible, then ensure the room is adequately lit as shadows can make a space seem smaller and cramped. Ways to make a room feel bigger #4 Hang mirrors Perhaps an odd choice, the use of mirrors is recommended by experts due to the way it gives the illusion of depth. Place it at a specific point in the room, angle it in a way that is going to ensure maximum depth and it will give you the illusion of more open flow. Like light colors, it can also reflect natural light, and helps brighten up a room. Ways to make a room feel bigger #5 Go for built-ins over closets Instead of moving each bit of furniture back against the wall, a built-in closet enables you to gain extra space and effectively move a lot of your junk out the way by placing it in the wall closet. The extra space built into the closet will have little effect on the size of the room, and means you are effectively not losing any space, but gaining more room to place decorations, mirrors, and anything else you might want. Ways to make a room feel bigger #6...

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