Rob Pellegrini

Direct: 306-280-1602 |


A home purchase brings together so many things under one roof: dreams, shelter, status, maybe a passport to better schools and neighborhoods. And one more thing: It gives you a forced savings account.

It does that by letting you build home equity, which is the difference between your home’s market value and what you owe on it. Your equity increases with each house payment you make. When home prices rise, your equity grows faster as your home’s value increases.

Stockpiling home equity gives many savers an exceptional feeling of satisfaction. Those forced savings also are a mighty resource to tap if you’re hit with an unexpected expense or want a boost on one of life’s milestones, like helping a kid through college or upgrading the home.

For these big life expenses, you can draw on your equity with a home equity loan or line of credit. The secret is moderation. Remember, building equity is often worthwhile, but you need to keep your financial life in balance by responsibly paying off debt, saving for retirement and being ready for emergencies.

To step on the gas and speed up the growth of equity, you’ve got two main tools: You can increase the home’s value or reduce the mortgage debt. Or both.

Here are six tips to help you build home equity:

1. Make a big, fat down payment

Get equity from the start with a larger down payment, since that is instant equity. Put down 20% or more of the property’s value for a bonus: You’ll avoid pricey private mortgage insurance.

2. Get a 15-year mortgage

Talk about forced savings. Taking out a 15-year mortgage, or refinancing into one from a 30-year loan, piles on the equity — and at a lower interest rate. You’ll save plenty on the total interest, too, because you pay interest for less time. But remember, there’s a catch: Your monthly payments are higher with a 15-year home loan.

“Homeowners should concentrate on reducing their mortgage in order to gain equity,” says Roslyn Lash, a real-estate broker whose company, Youth$mart Financial Education Services, aims to educate teens and millennials. Refinancing into a 15-year loan can be “a great way to build equity because a lower rate means that more money is applied to the principal,” says Lash, who also is an accredited financial counselor.

3. Improve the property

Some remodeling and improvement projects boost a home’s equity. But not all do. The average payback on common upgrades is 64 cents for each dollar spent, according to Remodeling magazine’s research. And that’s if the home sells within a year. Smaller projects — adding attic insulation, replacing a garage door or front entry door — do better at increasing equity, especially if you pay with cash instead of via a loan.

4. Pay more on your mortgage

Paying more can be a good option. If you decide to do this, make sure the extra money is applied to your mortgage principal. Ask your mortgage servicer (you can find the phone number on your monthly statement) how to do it and watch your monthly statements to be sure the money is credited correctly. Here are a few ways to pay more regularly:

• Add an extra sum to your monthly payment. Pick an amount big enough to make a difference but not so big that it crimps your budget. For example, if your payment is $983, round up to $1,100, and then increase the amount when you’re able.
• Another version of adding to your monthly payment: Boost the payment by an amount equal to a twelfth of a payment. By the year’s end, you’ll have made an extra payment.
• Switch to biweekly mortgage payments. Paying every two weeks instead of monthly adds one extra monthly payment to your mortgage annually.
• Schedule extra payments automatically from your bank to your mortgage account at regular intervals

5. Use gifts, bonuses and windfalls

If you don’t want the commitment that comes with a 15-year mortgage or increasing the size of your payment, look for cash that dribbles in here and there. Holiday and birthday gift cards? Convert them to cash and add it to your mortgage. Dedicate overtime pay, bonuses or every other bonus to building equity. Cash gifts? Ditto.

If you are fortunate enough to inherit money, use at least part of it to pay down the mortgage. Your mortgage servicer can tell you how to add dribs and drabs or a big windfall to your equity. As before, make certain the money goes toward the principal, not interest.

6. Earmark one partner’s salary

Couples who want to bump up equity in a hurry sometimes take the route of living on one salary while committing the other person’s paychecks to paying down the mortgage.

The belt-tightening can be demanding but the rewards can be extreme.

The article 6 Ways to Build Your Home Equity (and Savings) Faster originally appeared on NerdWallet.

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Is selling your property the furthest thing from your mind? Well, here are some reasons for listing your property that you might not have considered.

1. Your property may be worth more than you think. (It’s difficult to determine market value on your own. I can calculate it for you. Give me a call.)

2. You might qualify for a better home than you anticipate.

3. Perhaps you are tired of your current property and want a change.

4. There may be homes on the market in a neighbourhood in which you’ve always wanted to live.

5. Your current property may no longer meet your needs.

6. Your neighbourhood may have changed in ways you don’t like.

7. You might be ready to downsize or upsize and you no longer want to put that off.

8. You may want to sell in the fall, so you can have a fresh start in a new home in the new year.

9. Depending on the type of home you’re considering, you could end up with lower mortgage payments or no mortgage at all.

10.You might want to move to a home that’s more conveniently located near work, family and hobbies.


Of course, you may have your own reasons for listing this month. Why not discuss them with a real estate expert? . I can answer your questions and explain the options available to you.

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Inspectors run down a checklist of potential problems. While we won't list all 1,600, here's the boiled-down version:

  • Grounds: Inspectors are looking for current or future water issues such as standing puddles and faulty grading or downspouts. They check out landscaping to see if trees and shrubs are in good condition (an arborist will give you a more detailed assessment); and evaluate pathways, retaining walls, sheds, and railings.
  • Structure: Is the house foundation solid? Are the sides straight? Are the window and door frames square? This part of the inspection is particularly important when you’re considering buying an older home.
  • Roof: The inspector’s looking for defects in shingles, flashing, and fascia, all of which can cause ceiling drips; loose gutters; and defects in chimneys and skylights.
  • Exterior: The inspector will look for siding cracks, rot, or decay; cracking or flaking masonry; cracks in stucco; dents or bowing in vinyl; blistering or flaking paint; and adequate clearing between siding and earth, which should be a minimum of 6 inches to avoid damage from moisture (although dirt can be in contact with the cement foundation).
  • Window, doors, trim: If you want to keep heat in, cold out, and energy bills low, windows and doors must be in good working condition. The inspector will see if frames are secure and without rot, caulking is solid and secure, and glass is undamaged.
  • Interior rooms: Inspectors are concerned about leaning walls that indicate faulty framing; stained ceilings that could point to water problems; adequate insulation behind the walls; and insufficient heating vents that could make a room cold and drafty.
  • Kitchen: Inspectors make sure range hood fans vent to the outside; ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protection exists for electrical outlets within 6 feet of the sink; no leaks occur under the sink; and cabinet doors and drawers operate properly.
  • Bathrooms: Inspectors want to see toilets flushing, drains draining, showers spraying, and tubs securely fastened.
  • Plumbing: Inspectors are evaluating pipes, drains, water heaters, and water pressure and temperature.
  • Electrical: Inspectors will check if the visible wiring and electrical panels are in good shape, light switches work correctly, and there are enough outlets in each room.

How you can help the inspector

Bring any and all concerns about the property to your inspector before he begins, so he'll keep a sharp lookout for possible problems. If the seller has disclosed damage, give your inspector a heads up about that, too.

Another smart move is to accompany the inspector during his rounds. It’s in your best interest to understand the home, its systems, and potential problems. For instance, an inspector can introduce you to electrical panels and shut-off water valves (which the seller may not know how to operate or forget to show you), and if he spots a problem, he can show you exactly how a system is malfunctioning and what it means. And this info will serve you well not only before you buy, but afterward as well.

If you do not know of a reputable home inspector...give me a call, I work with several.

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Getting Friends to Spread the Word about Your Listing When you list your home for sale, you want as many buyers as possible to find out about it. So consider how many friends, neighbours and work colleagues you have. Then think about how many people they know. The number is likely in the hundreds. One of those people could be looking for a property just like yours. That’s why getting your friends to spread the word about your listing is so effective. How do you do that? One strategy is to have a moving party. This gives you an opportunity to ask your friends, as a group, to tell others about your listing. You can also encourage your friends to bring a guest who is currently in the market for a new home. Another good idea is to put a profile of your listing on Facebook. This is the fastest and most convenient way for your Facebook friends to point others to your listing. Do you have friends who work at larger organizations like banks and factories? They probably have access to an employee lunch room with a bulletin board. You can spread the word by asking them to put up an information sheet on your listing. Try one or more of these ideas. Combined with my marketing plan for you, they can help get more qualified buyers to your doorstep. Want more tips on promoting your listing? Call today.

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Does Your Home Insurance Cover Everything? When you suffer damage to, (or the loss of), your home or its contents, you expect your insurance company to help you out. And, most do a good job of doing just that. Still, it’s a good idea to review your policy with your insurance advisor and find out what’s covered and what isn’t. You don’t want to discover that your policy will not cover the cost of repairing the damage caused by a flood in your laundry room. Pay particular attention to coverage in the case of water damage. Some insurance policies don’t cover floods and sewer backup unless an additional rider is purchased. Also, check liability limits. Ask your advisor to recommend an appropriate level. Finally, make sure you know exactly how much your home is insured for. Are you covered for the full replacement cost? Are you comfortable with that coverage or the actual cash value? Having the right insurance gives you peace-of-mind and is an important part of enjoying your home. Keep in mind that experts advise you to review your insurance with your advisor. Ask lots of questions. Make sure you understand your coverage fully. By the way, if you’re looking for an insurance advisor, I’m well-connected in the local “home” industry. I may be able to give you a couple of names of good, reputable professionals. Give me a call.

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Here’s What to Do... Imagine there’s a neighbourhood you’d love to live in someday, but, every time you drive through, you rarely, if ever, see a For Sale sign. It’s as if homes get gobbled up by buyers the moment they get listed. It’s true, properties do tend to sell quickly in desirable, in-demand neighbourhoods. Does that mean you’re destined to either hope for a lucky break or miss out on ever living there? Fortunately, no. There are practical things you can do to increase your chances of getting into that neighbourhood.

 Your first step is to find out the kind of new home you can afford. You want to get your financial ducks in a row so when a listing does come up in the area, you’re able to respond quickly. Find out the average price range of homes in the neighbourhood. Then, if necessary, talk to your lender or mortgage broker.

 The second step is to get your current property ready for sale. You don’t necessary need to list it now, but you want to be in a position to do so quickly, if necessary. You may need to clean up and declutter, get repairs done, and spruce up your home in other ways.

 The third step is to talk to me. You see, listings in popular neighbourhoods often move fast. By the time you see them advertised on the internet, they may be gone. I can closely monitor listings in that area for you, so the moment one comes up that meets your criteria, you can be alerted. This greatly increases your chances of getting that home. So if there is a dream neighbourhood you’d love to get into, give me a call.  


It's Your Move...I'll Help You Make It!

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  You might naturally assume that it is most important to talk to a Realtor when you’re selling or buying a home. But there are many other circumstances in which it makes sense to give me a call. Here are a few examples.

 1. When you’re at the “thinking about it” stage If you’re just thinking about selling your home, and haven’t made a firm decision yet, you might feel uncomfortable calling a Realtor. Don’t be. In fact, I welcome your call. We can discuss what your current property will likely sell for on today’s market, and determine the type of home you qualify to buy. That way, you’ll have some clarity and be able to make a more informed decision.

 2. If you’re nervous about the selling process If you haven’t sold a home before, you might be concerned about what’s involved in the process. You might even worry that putting your home on the market is going to be a lot of work and create a lot of turbulence for you and your family. Fortunately, selling your home doesn’t need to be scary. In fact, a big part of my job as a Realtor is to make the process as smooth and trouble-free as possible. So if you have concerns about selling your home, you should give me a call.

 3. If you have questions You likely have questions about the local real estate scene from time to time. You might have questions like: “How much did that home around the corner sell for?”; “Is now a good time to make a move, or should I wait until the market changes?”; and, “How much is my current home worth?” When you have questions like those, you don’t need to dig for answers on your own. You can give me a call. As an expert in the local market, I can give you the answers you need.

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Can New Kitchen Appliances Increase the Value of Your Home?


Next to a major kitchen renovation, replacing appliances is the most
expensive way to upgrade the space. So if you’re purchasing a new
refrigerator, stove or dishwasher in order to make your home more attractive
to buyers, you want to make wise purchasing decisions.


The most important consideration is how the appliances will look in the
kitchen. Ideally, they should match in colour and style. They should also be
the right size for the space. The last thing you want is a fridge that’s so large
it dominates the room, or a stove that’s a completely different style and
looks out-of-place.


Appearance is important, but so are the features. Buyers viewing your home
will scrutinize the appliances. They’ll notice if the fridge has a cold water and
ice dispenser. They’ll ask if the dishwasher has noise-reduction features.


Double ovens and quick-heating burners (which are now available on
electric stoves) will also get a buyer’s attention.


Power consumption is also a big issue these days. Increasingly, buyers are
interested in the energy efficient features of a home — appliances included.


So, as your REALTOR® I would point out appliances with energy-saving
features, such as a dishwasher with a slow-run cycle that saves power.


Kitchen appliances may seem minor compared to the overall appeal of your
property, but they do make a difference. Purchase wisely!


I know some great people in the appliance business that will help you make the
right decision.

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When you’re preparing your home for sale, it’s not unusual to need to
fix up a few things around the property. After all, you want your home
to look its best to buyers, so that you get good offers, quickly.


What do you need to fix? Here are three categories that will help you
create and prioritize your list.


1. Anything that squeaks or creaks.


Is there something in your home that makes a noise it shouldn’t be
making? Perhaps it’s a rattling closet door or a creaking floor board?
You may be so used to it you no longer notice the sound. But buyers
will. Be sure to get those items fixed.


2. Anything that’s unsightly.


You don’t have to make your home look perfect. However, things that
are unsightly will likely get buyers’ attention. You want them to focus
on the terrific features of your property, not the scuff on the wall.


Take a walk through your property, including the yard. Pretend you’re
the buyer. Do you notice anything that doesn’t look good? If so, tidy it
up, fix it up or replace it.


3. Anything that’s broken.


If there’s anything that needs repair — an outside tap that’s not
working, or a sliding door that regularly careens off its runner — call
the contractor or fix it yourself.


Getting these items fixed will go a long way toward making your
home appealing to buyers.


Want more tips on preparing your home for sale? Call today.

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New home perk


If you just bought a house and you haven’t owned a home in the four previous years, you can get the Home Buyers’ Tax Credit. Enter the amount of $5,000 on line 369 of your tax form and you’ll get a 15% credit.


Reduces tax load by $750


Assess the abode


Before starting a major renovation, get an ecoENERGY assessment from a certified energy advisor. You’ll pay about $1,000 for before-and-after audits, but provincial rebates can reimburse these costs.


Rebates up to $500


Cash in on rebates


Rebates depend on where you live but can include:


  • Improve insulation— Up to $3,250
  • Ductless heat pump— $800
  • Install ventilation fan— Up to $50
  • Draft-proof your home— Up to $500
  • Install a gas fireplace— $300
  • Replace windows & doors— Up to $500
  • Replace appliances— (each) $50+
  • Do more than three upgrades— $750
  • Save up to $7,000


Build safer—and save


Renos that make a home safer or more accessible for seniors and the disabled—including installation of grab bars and hand rails, the construction of walk-in or wheel-in showers,widening doorways and lowering cabinets­—qualify for a new tax credit that offers a rebate of 15%.


Save up to $10,000 (max.)


More income, less tax


Rent out your basement or turn a hobby into a home-based business. Both allow you to deduct expenses, including mortgage, utilities,property tax and insurance.

Claim the deductions against income generated on your tax return.


Tax credits come in many forms and specific areas but, checking out the federal government and provincial departments can find you money you didn’t know you had coming.


Sources: Natural Resources Canada, Canada Revenue Agency, BC Hydro, Union Gas, Enbridge Gas, FortisBC, Prince Edward Island Government

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When considering which of two or more competing offers to accept for your
home, there is no doubt price plays a huge role. After all, if Offer #1 is
$10,000 higher than Offer #2, that’s an enticing difference that puts
thousands of extra dollars in your pocket.


However, price isn’t the only thing you should think about when comparing
multiple offers. There are other factors you need to consider as well.


For example, what conditions are in the offer? If Offer #1 is conditional upon
the buyer selling his current property for a specific amount, then what if that
doesn’t happen? You could end up with an offer that dies and be forced to
list your home all over again.


In that circumstance, accepting the lower offer may be your best move.
There’s also financing to consider. Most buyers will attach a certificate from
their mortgage lender to show that they can afford the home and will likely
secure financing with little difficulty. If you get an offer where the ability of
the buyer to get financing is in doubt, that’s a red flag.


The closing date is another important factor. Offer #1 might propose a
closing date that’s perfect for you, while Offer #2 is four weeks later. If
you’ve already purchased another home, you might require a month of
bridge financing if you accept Offer #2. There’s nothing wrong with that per
se, but the costs and additional hassle are factors you should consider.


As you can see, assessing competing offers isn’t as easy as it looks and there are these and many other motivating options worth valuing at offer time.


Fortunately, as your REALTOR®, I will be an experienced source of things to consider and in that help you in make a informed decision.


It’s your move…I’ll help you make it!

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You’ve probably seen signs around the area for Open Houses. You may
have even attended a few. These are open invitations for potential buyers to
drop by on a certain day and time, to check out the property and get more


When you’re listing your home for sale, you might wonder whether you’ll
need to have an Open House.


To answer that question, you’ll need to consider the pros and cons. Here are a few…


Planning and hosting an open house isn’t as easy as it may seem. There’s a
lot of preparation involved. In addition, you’ll likely spend hours making your
property look its best and you’ll need to be away from your home for a good
part of that day.


That being said, an Open House has many advantages.


• It helps showcase features of your property that may not come

across well in advertisements and listing descriptions.


• It attracts potential buyers who, for any number of reasons, might not
otherwise call to view the home.


• It generates a buzz and publicity about your listing.


However, an Open House might not be necessary if there is high demand for properties like yours.


An open house is just one tool in the marketing plan of a home for a successful sale. All tools need to be deployed at strategic times to obtain maximum exposure to all potential buyers. With the right REALTOR hosting, the benefits of your home will be showcased and explained to the potential buyers that may make the difference in an offer or not.


Timing, is everything and hiring the experience of a marketing specialist like a REALTOR can deliver you results.


Just make sure the person you hire has the experience and every tool available to maximize your dollars.


It”s your move…I’ll help you make it!

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There’s no more important time to work on your credit score than when you’re about to apply for a mortgage. Improving your credit can save you a ton of money—we’re talking about thousands of dollars over the life of the loan. Here are the actions you can take that will have a notable impact on your score.


Pay down your credit card balances Credit utilization is one of the biggest factors in determining your credit score. Your credit utilization should at least be less than 30 percent of your limit, and it’s even better if you can get it below 15 percent. This rule applies to both individual cards and your overall credit limit.
It may even be worthwhile to use some of the cash funds you were planning to use for a down payment to pay off credit card balances.


Do no harm While you certainly want to improve your score if possible, at the very least you’ll want to keep it steady. Avoid opening new lines of credit if you’re applying for a mortgage in the very near future. This will cause a hard inquiry to show up on your credit report.


Take care of negative items It’s good practice to check your credit report for negative items a few times a year—you can get one free report from each of the three major bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) per year.


If you find any negative items (collections, late payments, etc.), write a letter to the original creditor. Explain the circumstances that led to the negative item, and request that it be removed from your report. It can be surprisingly effective, and removing a negative item will improve your credit score in a hurry. You can find some good templates for a request letter online.


If you feel you are ready to find out how much mortgage you qualify for, click the Free Mortgage approval tab on this website and I will get your approval in place.


If you think you still need some credit advice on how to repair previously crappy credit (PCC) call Rob and find out the options available to you.


It’s your move…I’ll help you make it!



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Conventional or High-Ratio


A conventional mortgage is a loan for no more than 80% of the appraised value or purchase price of the property, whichever is less. The remaining amount required for a purchase (20%) comes from your resources and is referred to as the down payment. If you have to borrow more than 80% of the money you need, you’ll be applying for what is called a high-ratio mortgage.


How Does a High-Ratio Mortgage Work?


You must have at least a 5% down payment when you buy a home. Any purchase where the down payment is between 5% and 19.9% is considered a high-ratio mortgage, and the mortgage must be insured by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) or GE Capital Mortgage Insurance Company (GEMICO). The insurer will charge a fee for this insurance. The amount of the fee will depend on the amount you are borrowing and the percentage of your own down payment. Typical fees range from 1.00% to 3.60% of the principal amount of your mortgage. This amount can be paid up front or added to the principal portion of your mortgage. An Independent Mortgage Consultant can help you determine the exact amount.


Fixed Rate or Variable Rate


When you take out a fixed-rate mortgage, your interest rate will not change throughout the entire term of your mortgage. As a result, you’ll always know exactly how much your payments will be and how much of your mortgage will be paid off at the end of your term.


With a variable-rate mortgage, your rate will be set in relation to Bank Prime¹ at the beginning of each month. In other words, it may vary from month to month. Historically, variable-rate mortgages have tended to cost less than fixed-rate mortgages when interest rates are fairly stable.


When rates change, your payment amount remains the same. However, the amount that is applied toward interest and principal will change. If interest rates drop, more of your mortgage payment is applied to the principal balance owing. This can help you pay off your mortgage faster.


Short Term or Long Term


The term is the length of the current mortgage agreement. A mortgage typically has a term of six months to 10 years. Usually, the shorter the term, the lower the interest rate.


A short-term mortgage is usually for two years or less. A long-term mortgage is generally for three years or more. Short-term mortgages are appropriate for buyers who believe interest rates will drop at renewal time. Long-term mortgages are suitable when current rates are reasonable and borrowers want the security of budgeting for the future. The key to choosing between short and long terms is to feel comfortable with your mortgage payments. After a term expires, the balance of the principal owing on the mortgage can be repaid, or a new mortgage agreement can be established at the then-current interest rates.


Open or Closed


Open mortgages can be paid off at any time without penalty and are usually negotiated for very short terms.² They are suited to homeowners who are planning to sell in the near future or those who want the flexibility to make large, lump-sum payments before maturity.


Closed mortgages are commitments for specific terms. If you want to pay off the mortgage balance, you will need to wait until the maturity date or pay a penalty.


Short Term or Long Term


The term is the length of the current mortgage agreement. A mortgage typically has a term of six months to 10 years. Usually, the shorter the term, the lower the interest rate.


A short-term mortgage is usually for two years or less. A long-term mortgage is generally for three years or more. Short-term mortgages are appropriate for buyers who believe interest rates will drop at renewal time. Long-term mortgages are suitable when current rates are reasonable and borrowers want the security of budgeting for the future. The key to choosing between short and long terms is to feel comfortable with your mortgage payments. After a term expires, the balance of the principal owing on the mortgage can be repaid, or a new mortgage agreement can be established at the then-current interest rates.


¹ Rate fluctuates and may differ temporarily from Bank Prime until adjusted monthly to reflect the latest change in Bank Prime.
² Some conditions apply.


We have also seen mortgage qualification requirements change lately so for the most up to date facts contact myself or a mortgage specialist.


As always you can ask these and any Real estate questions direct to myself at 306-280-1602.

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How the Wrong Pricing Strategy Can Cost You Thousands


As you’re probably aware, the list price you set for your property has an

impact on how quickly it sells — and how much you earn on the sale.


What you may not realize is just how significant an impact it has. Consider
the following examples.


Example 1:


You price your property well above its current market value. As a result,
many buyers don’t bother to see it because it’s outside of their price range.


Those who do see it are confused by the high price tag, (and may even be
suspicious.) They may wonder, “What’s going on?”


In this scenario, the home will likely languish on the market for weeks or
even months. You might even have to lower the price dramatically to reignite


Example 2:


You price your property just a couple of percentage points lower than what
is necessary to gain the interest of qualified buyers. That might not seem
like much of a problem. How much can a couple of percentage points


Those points matter a lot.


On a $400,000 property, pricing your home just 2% lower than necessary

could cost you $8,000 on the sale. That’s a serious amount of money!


So, as you can see, pricing your home right is serious business.


Fortunately, a good REALTOR® knows how to set the right price.


There are unique circumstances that will affect how you enter the market with
the price of your home. It’s always a good idea to know all the facts
before pricing.


Looking for a good REALTOR®?


It’s your move!

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More fires start in the kitchen than in any other room. Those fires can be
expensive; since even a minor incident, with no injuries, can result in
significant damage. That’s why it’s important to keep up with the latest in fire


The most recent research tells us:


• Never leave cooking food unattended. Doing so is the number one
cause of kitchen fires.


• Make sure cooking appliances, especially deep fryers, are safety
certified by the appropriate government agency.


• When using oil in a frying pan, always heat slowly at no more than a
medium heat setting.


• Always turn off stove burners and other cooking appliances
immediately after cooking.


• Never attempt to put out a grease fire with water. Use baking soda or
a fire extinguisher.


• Never remove or cover up a smoke detector due to nuisance alarms.


The one alarm that isn’t a nuisance may save your life.
Finally, experts say that if you can’t put out a fire immediately, get everyone
out of the home and call emergency services.

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No one wants to deal with a burglary. How do you reduce the chances of
one happening?


Fortunately, burglaries are a well-studied phenomenon — especially by law
enforcement. These studies have identified specific things you can do to cut
the risk dramatically. Here are some ideas:


• 34% of home break-ins occur through the front door. Experts
recommend investing in a door with a top-quality locking mechanism.
(The best are those that lock at three points of contact.)


• 50% of burglars will be deterred if your home has some sort of video
monitoring system. A thief doesn’t want his face on YouTube!


• Unfortunately, signs and window stickers warning of an alarm system
do not deter thieves. However, 62% of burglars will immediately run
away when an alarm goes off. Always turn on your alarm system
when you’re not home!


• 22% of burglaries occur through a sliding glass door or patio door.
Make sure it’s locked and also use a solid metal jammer.


• Some thieves use frequency scanners to gain access to garages.


Police recommend changing your remote entry code regularly and
putting blinds or curtains on garage windows so thieves can’t see
(and be tempted by) any valuables inside.


As you can see, there are many simple things you can do to reduce your
chances of a burglary dramatically. The effort is worth it.

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Determining if you should buy a new home or fix up your current one isn’t
easy. In fact, the decision can be steeped in so much drama they make
reality TV shows about it!


So if you’re considering whether to move or improve, here are three things
to consider.


1. Will a renovation truly fix what you don’t like about your property?


If you’re tired of a small kitchen, for example, it might not be possible, given
the layout, to make it any bigger. On the other hand, if you’re craving a
spacious rec room with a cosy fireplace then a renovation could make that


Of course, there are some things you may want that aren’t specific to your
house, such as an easier commute or nearby park. Those are features you
may only be able to get by moving.


2. How much will a renovation cost? How does that compare to the
cost of moving to a new home?


It’s important to get accurate estimates of each so you can make a smart
decision. This is where a good REALTOR® can help.


Keep in mind that renovations have a habit of costing more than you
originally anticipate. As mentioned earlier, the final result should be a home
you want to stay in for quite some time.


3. Beware of compromising versus settling.


Whichever decision you make — renovate or sell — you can expect to have
to make at least some compromises. That’s normal.


For example, consider adding an extension to your house. That’s a major
renovation. Is it the ideal way to get the extra room you want? Do the
benefits of renovating outweigh the benefits of finding a new larger home
designed to include the space you need?


If you still have questions that’s normal too.


Call me and discuss your options.

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