Winter Curb Appeal

Every homeowner’s dream is to conceal the grey and lifeless winter landscape and transform their property into a scene out of a Hallmark Christmas card; a warm and inviting abode that combines chic with cozy charm! Well, take it from the experts: it is a lot simpler than you think! Homeowners who want to give their front yard a facelift or prepare their home to sell during the winter season should be aware that it does not require too much of an investment. From a fresh coat of paint to a modest bird feeder, it is the little things that count and can add the most charm to the outside of your home. We have compiled a list of tips from real estate experts on how you can enhance your curb appeal this winter.

Give Your Numbers an Update

How old are the numbers on your house? Better yet, can delivery drivers even see them as they try to drop off your pizza (or the signature brown boxes holding the evidence of your 2020 online shopping addiction)? Whatever state the numbers on your front porch may be, consider investing in some new numbers for an easy, affordable and striking outdoor refresh.

Investing in a new mailbox can also instantly upgrade your exterior aesthetic. So, scrap that rusty eyesore and trade it for a sleek, metal letter box that can usually be affixed to the wall with a couple of screws.

These simple updates can do wonders for your curb appeal during the winter months.

Apply a Fresh Coat of Paint to Your Door

Oftentimes, the best way to spruce up any part of your humble abode is with a fresh coat of paint.

Your door is usually the first thing that appeals to somebody’s eye. Many homeowners might choose to fully replace their old door with a new one that has a lovely glass insert. But if you are on a tight budget, all you need is some paint and a colour that suits your home.

As an added tip, bold primary colours can look extremely striking set upon a white winter backdrop. But take note, you may want to proactively paint before the cold winter weather hits or during a window of unseasonably warm temperatures, as most paints need at least three days of 12-degree weather to properly cure.

Install a Bird Feeder

What better way to liven up your front yard than by hanging a well-placed and colourful bird feeder to attract some feathered friends? Winter provides us with plenty of gray days, so placing a bird feeder can show some colourful signs of life like blue jays and cardinals.

Add Functional Lighting

Exterior lighting offers a myriad of benefits. The first thing homeowners will point out is the safety aspect of light installations, providing added visibility during the shorter and darker days of winter. Opt for downward soffit lighting to create a warm glow that makes your property look inviting and cozy.

Clear the Snow and Clutter

The snow certainly looks nice after a fresh snowfall, but the longer winter continues without proper up-keep, the more unkempt your home will appear.

While it is perfectly alright to let the snow accumulate on your lawn, aim to shovel the front walkway and the driveway to keep paths clear and safe.

Remember, if you are hosting an open house, you want your home to be accessible and safe for prospective buyers.

Plant Some Seasonal Greens

Like a colourful bird feeder, cold-weather plants can liven up your front entrance. Unsure what to plant? Here are a few recommendations from our wintery green thumbs:

  • Evergreen trees and shrubs for all year long.
  • Winter berries, which will attract hungry birds.
  • Winter-flowering shrubs, such as jasmine and daphne.
  • Early spring bulbs that will flower in late winter or early spring.

Source: remax.ca

 

How to Prepare Yourself to Buy Your First Home

Are you in the market to purchase a home in Canada? This will be the biggest buying decision you will make in your lifetime, and not something to be cavalier about. Make sure to equip yourself with the knowledge, resources and experts who can guide and support you along the way. While buying a home can be a taxing experience, it is also a highly rewarding one! Unsure where to begin? We have compiled a list of the six most important things you need to know to buy a home in Canada.

#1 Have More Than A Down Payment

Do you have a down payment for the home of your dreams? Congratulations. You are one step closer to achieving home ownership.

But if you are still working toward accumulating a minimum down payment in the Canadian real estate market, you should know some of the specifics. Federal regulation now dictates designated percentages in relation to the purchase price.

In other words, the federal government wants you to have some skin in the game.

That said, here is what you need to know about how large a down payment you’ll need (at minimum):

  • $500,000 or less: Five per cent
  • $$500,000 to $999,999: Five per cent for first $500,000 and 10 per cent of any amount exceeding $500,000
  • $1,000,000 or more: 20 per cent

#2 Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

Trying to buy a home without a mortgage approval is kind of like trying to hit a target in the dark. You do not know how much you can spend when shopping the market. Furthermore, who knows how long the current record-low interest rate will be in place – although the Bank of Canada (BoC) said it will not be raising rates in the near future.

Our advice on the matter of mortgage pre-approvals is don’t delay! One benefit of getting a mortgage pre-approval is that your lender will lock in the current interest rate for up to 120 days. If rates increase, your lender should honour the current rate. If they fall, so too should your guaranteed rate.

#3 Shop Around the Best Rates

Interest rates have never been lower. The BoC has brought it’s benchmark rate to .25 per cent in response to the coronavirus pandemic, and the central bank lowered the five-year mortgage rate to below five per cent.

Why does this matter? It will determine how much you will pay on your mortgage every month, in principal and in interest.

#4 Check Out First-Time Homebuyer Incentives

The Canadian government offers the First Time Home Buyer Incentive (FTHBI), which is a loan to encourage them to achieve the home-ownership dream. First-time homebuyers can borrow:

  • Five per cent of the price of a resale home,
  • Five or 10 per cent of the price of a newly constructed home, and
  • The loan is interest-free and repaid at any time within 25 years or when the home is sold.

Do you qualify? Well, you must be a first-time homebuyer, have a household income of less than $120,000, and the mortgage is capped at four times the maximum household income of $120,000.

Let’s be honest: in today’s ultra-competitive and expensive real estate market, many Canadians are struggling to finance their purchase of a home, particularly for those living in the major urban centres. This program could help lessen some of that financial strain, making housing a little more accessible to those with no current equity.

In addition, there’s the federal first-time Home Buyer’s Plan which let’s each first-timer borrow up to $35,000 from their RRSP, interest free, to boost their down payment or to put toward other purchase-related costs. Provincially, some regions also offer a Land Transfer Tax rebate

#5 Work with a Real Estate Agent

Homebuyers do have the option of going solo in their search for a property, whether detached, semi-detached, townhome, condominium or otherwise. But without the benefit of experience and expertise on your side, the process can be complex and you risk missing some potential red flags. Working with an experienced real estate agent can significantly ease the stress associated with buying a home in Canada’s competitive markets, and could potentially even save you money!

So, what are the advantages of working with a licensed real estate agent?

  • You have better access to homes in and out of the local market.
  • Realtors know the neighbourhood and the market conditions.
  • An experienced real estate agent has advanced negotiating skills.
  • Real estate agents understand the incredible amount of paperwork that is associated with buying a home.
  • Realtors offer the guidance and support you need for the biggest buying decision you will ever make in your life.

#6 Do a Home Inspection

Unfortunately, due to bidding wars and strengthening demand, many homebuyers are ditching home inspections out of fear of losing out on the property. This may have various consequences that could hit your pocketbook. From moisture and mold in the basement to foundation issues, you could be on the hook for costly repairs and renovations once you receive the deed to the house.

No matter what the situation may be, we always recommend getting a home inspection before you acquire any property. This could save you money in the long run, and provide you some assurance that you made the right decision.

Home ownership is a dream for most people. It provides a place to plant roots and raise a family, but it is also an investment that could fund your children’s college tuition or your future retirement. The Canadian real estate market is booming, but that does not mean you’re too late to enter the market! Ensure you’re equipped with everything you need to know to buy a home in Canada, by working with an experienced real estate professional like myself.

Source: remax.ca

Hydro One

Since June 1, 2020, customers on Time-of-Use (TOU) paid a fixed electricity price of   12.8 ¢/kWh for all hours of the day (the COVID-19 Recovery Rate) which the Government of Ontario put in place as part of its relief response. As this fixed rate ended on October 31, 2020, customers on TOU pricing will have a choice to remain on TOU (in which case no action is required) or to switch to Tiered pricing. There’s no deadline to make the switch. In addition, you’ll have the flexibility to request a switch back at any time, as your needs change.

To find out which plan is best for you, log into your account or grab your latest electricity statement and head to https://www.hydroonechoice.ca/Home/Calculator.  By entering a few numbers from your statement, the calculator will determine which plan is the best for you and your family.

If it is determined that it is beneficial to make the switch, the request can be made through your account or go to https://www.hydroonechoice.ca/.

If you have any questions, Hydro One Agents are also available at 1-888-664-9376 to discuss and help you make the best choice.

Source: HydroOne.com

Selling Your Home in the Winter

Although it is easiest to sell your home in the Spring and Summer, it can successfully be done in the Fall and Winter as well.  Below are a few tips on how to prepare yourself, and your home.

Yard

If it’s snowy, keep the deck shoveled and salted so buyers can walk outside to experience the space.

Windows

Retract blinds, and widen curtains, so there’s minimal window coverage. The windows will look bigger, and it’ll encourage daylight to flow into your space. Remove screens from the windows to allow more natural light to flow into your home, and clean the windows. Be sure to let potential buyers know you will replace the screens.

Deep Clean

Clean inside the cabinet beneath your sinks.  Make shower heads look like new.  Dust ceiling fan blades and the inside of your dishwasher and washing machine. Don’t forget all the nooks and crannies in the kitchen.

Seasonal Decor

Both in your listing photos and in real life during showings, keep the seasonal decor at bay while you’re trying to sell. No one expects a home to completely lack holiday decorations during these months, but simplicity is appealing. Opt for modest, neutral accessories — think white string lights or a Christmas tree that truly flatters the space.

Visit hgtv.com for a more extensive list and give me a call.  I can walk you through what potential Buyers will be looking for and how you can set yourself up for a quick sale.

Robbie Dean Centre

I’m a big supporter of the Robbie Dean Centre (RDC), especially during these unprecedented times.  They are here to support our community through loss and grief, they provide parent support peer groups, community training and presentations, a walk-in clinic, short term counselling programs and so much more.

That being said, RDC relies solely on community funding and local fundraising efforts to keep their doors open.  With the current pandemic, that has been made very difficult this year.  However, there are lots of local businesses willing to go above and beyond to see that funds continue to be raised to keep the doors open.

December 16, 2020, Destig Clothing will be sponsoring a BINGO night in support of the RDC.  With support from His and Hers Gourmet Grazing, White Water Brewery, Valley Eats and 104.9 MyFM, they are offering a ‘Night In’.  For $60 you will received an Ultimate Snack Box, 2 cans of Farmers Daughter beer, 2 BINGO game cards and it will be delivered so that you don’t even need to leave your house.  How incredible that you can support such a great charity and potentially win up to $1000?!

Check out any of the supporters Facebook pages for more information or text Destig at 613-732-6622 to order.

Image courtesy of His and Hers Gourmet Grazing

Single Story For Sale in Beachburg, Beachburg

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•  4 bath , 1 half bath , 5 bdrm single story FOR SALE  CAD1,500,000 .
MLS® 1209862

PRIVATE WATERFRONT RETREAT! Sprawling bungalow on serene Jackson Lake in Beachburg, quiet town living at 75 mins to Ottawa! This custom built 4 level executive family home boasts 5 spacious bedrooms, 4 family rooms on multiple levels kept cozy with gas and wood fireplaces, fantastic dining space for entertaining beloved family & friends with breathtaking views of Jackson Lake. The spacious fully renovated chef’s caliber kitchen boasts Corian counters, exquisite cabinetry, fantastic oversized island with bar sink, wine fridge, pantry area. L-shaped solarium overlooks patio &pool with entrance to the balcony with stunning lake views. Main floor Master features 4 pce ensuite & Walk-in. Enjoy the lake’s quiet ambiance from screened gazebo nestled into the hillside & spend lazy afternoons in the inground pool, complete with interlock patio & pool house with kitchenette & change room! Lowest level boasts sauna & family sized hot tub, this home is truly one of a kind on a spectacular lot.

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