Tuesday 28 August 2012

Making moving day stress-free

Moving day is an exciting step in the process of purchasing a home. It can also prove stressful, especially if you don't do the necessary research beforehand. This article from the Globe and Mail recommends some steps to take to make your moving day as smooth as possible.

The summer months tend to be the busiest month for moving, so ensure you start calling companies early to secure a date. Call several companies for quotes, making sure not to simply choose the company with the lowest rates. Ask family or friends about their experiences, or contact your Mortgage Broker or Real Estate Agent for recommendations. It is also important to make sure the company you choose is insured, and complies with the good practice guidelines for movers, set forth by Industry Canada, who also provide a Consumer Checklist for choosing a moving company. Don't be afraid to ask your company to provide references, a common practice when shopping for movers.

If you do have a bad experience with a moving company, there are services available to assist you. Some have found it helpful to contact their local Better Business Bureau. You can also find assistance through the Consumers' Association of Canada.

Click here for the full article from the Globe and Mail.

Thursday 23 August 2012

Financial tips for recent graduates

After completing the years of schooling it takes to get a diploma, and a job, many recent graduates fall into a heavy spending pattern, simply because they have never been able to do so previously. However, in an age of rising home prices, it has never been more important to start out on a well-planned financial track. This article from the Financial Post provides helpful tips for recent graduates.

The most recently released national average home price sits at $353,147, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association. With recent mortgage regulation changes, if an applicant wishes to amortize their mortgage over more than 25 years, a down payment of 20% or more (almost $71,000) must be accumulated. This combined with the other benefits of a larger down payment, such as paying less overall interest on your mortgage, make saving early vitally important. Making a detailed budget should be the first step in the process, as budgeting is often new territory for those just starting out in the work force. The article also suggests researching how to get the best possible return on accumulated savings, as not all savings accounts are created equal.

Saving for a down payment may seem like a daunting task, but the long-term benefits are well worth the time and effort involved. For more information on purchasing a first home, contact a qualified Mortgage Broker.

Click here for the full article from the Financial Post.

Tuesday 21 August 2012

The importance of a thorough home inspection

Before settling on a home, and finalizing mortgage funding, a home inspection is an absolute necessity. One of the most important issues explored in a home inspection is potential water damage. A thorough home inspection can save time, and costly repairs, in the future. This article from the Toronto Star's Moneyville gives a list of items home inspectors and potential owners alike should be aware of to prevent water damage.

Ensuring the roof is in good shape is of extreme importance in a home inspection. Necessary roof repairs can go unnoticed, and will tend to be expensive to fix, so ensure the home inspector looks at the roof. Asking the approximate age of the roof can be helpful as well, as most roofs are not meant to last more than 15 years.

Water in the basement is another potential issue no home owner wants to encounter. Check for cracks in the foundation, the slope of the ground around the house, rust stains, mould and water marks. Recent basement renovations are also something to keep an eye on. Some sellers may be trying to inexpensively cover damage.

Finally, a detailed inspection of the plumbing is a must, including checking for sewer backups. In this article, we learn that clients can have a video made of their sewer system to check for future issues. It is important to remember that not every home inspector will have the same checklist, so buyers are encouraged to do their own research and ask for referrals from mortgage brokers, Real Estate Agents or Lawyers.

Click here for the full article from Moneyville.