How to Remove Popcorn Ceiling

Popcorn ceilings were all the rage back in the day, but now they’re really starting to show their age. Are you ready to roll up your sleeves and scrape off that old popcorn ceiling for something new?

Test for Asbestos
The use of asbestos in ceiling paint was banned in the late ‘70s, so if your popcorn ceiling is newer than that, you likely don’t need to be concerned. But if the popcorn ceiling is older than that, we recommend having the ceiling tested before you start scraping. Should asbestos be found, you don’t want to pull down the ceiling yourself. Bring in an asbestos abatement specialist.

Cover Up
Scraping a popcorn ceiling is a huge mess! Move furniture out of the room. Anything that can’t be moved, cover with a plastic tarp. Remove any ceiling fans or fixtures that are attached to the ceiling. Also, put some plastic down on the floor, letting it extend up the wall a few inches and taping it in place. Once the project is finished, you can pack it all up and toss it in the trash. Don’t forget to cover any vents and electrical outlets with plastic, securing them with painter’s tape.

Get Your Gear
You’ll need supplies: rags, putty knife, mesh sanding pad with handle, sprayer, liquid dish soap, drywall compound and a floor scraper. Also, don’t neglect your safety gear. Wear a respirator and safety glasses at the minimum. To keep dust from spreading out into the rest of the home, it’s convenient to have a pair of disposable coveralls that I can toss when the project is complete.

Get Popping
Working on about 4-foot square sections at a time, fill your sprayer with water and a few tablespoons of dishwashing soap and moisten the area enough to loosen the popcorn finishing, but not damage the drywall underneath. Let it absorb for 20 minutes, then gently scrape away the ceiling with your floor scraper. Your putty knife will be used for any leftover material and for harder to reach areas. To prevent gouging holes in your ceiling and save you some timely repair work later on, file down the edges of your scraper.

Finishing Up
Once you’ve scraped everything, look for any problem areas and apply drywall compound, allowing it to set overnight. Once dry, come back with your mesh pad to sand these areas down so they’re smooth. From there, prime the finished ceiling and cover with a latex paint.


Understanding Mortgages

As a potential new homeowner, we’re here to bring you back to the days of chalkboards and textbooks to remind you of the importance of doing your homework to help make the most of your real estate investment. By following these tips, you will have a deeper understanding of the different types of mortgages so you can make an informed decision when it comes time to choose the right one for you.

Do Your Credit Report Homework

Before you start applying for your mortgage, be proactive and get a copy of your credit report. Once you have it, thoroughly check for errors and other items which may need to be addressed. Since your ability to get a desired mortgage rate largely depends on the information contained in your credit report, it’s important for you to ensure that all the information is correct.

Get Organized

Prepare the necessary documents in advance. This will save you time and ensure a smooth application process. Depending on the type of mortgage you’re applying for and your employment situation, various documents may be necessary. Use this TD checklist to identify some of the paperwork you may need to begin collecting.

Get the Stamp of Pre-approval

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage helps you understand how much you can borrow before going through the mortgage application process. This is an important step as it will influence your decision on the upper price limit of your house purchase, and will provide some realistic boundaries before diving head first into the process.

Consider the Future

Your mortgage should be planned in accordance with your future. Your plans may change, but the end goal should always be to reduce financial risks. Think about how long you’re planning on staying in the house, whether or not you should consider saving for a larger down payment, and how much of a risk you are willing to take.

Inform Yourself

It’s important to be well informed prior to applying for a mortgage. Understanding the options and procedures involved with buying real estate will be hugely beneficial to your plans and finances. See below for a better understanding of the different mortgage types.

  • Conventional Mortgage: If you have 20% or more as a down payment on the property, your bank lender will offer you a conventional mortgage.
  • High Ratio Mortgage: This type of mortgage will allow you to borrow more than 80% of the property’s purchase price. Keep in mind that with this option, you will also have to pay mortgage loan default insurance.
  • Vendor Take-Back Mortgage: While this is not the most common type of mortgage, it means that the seller helps the buyer purchase the property using a portion of the purchase price. This type of mortgage is more common when interest rates are higher.
  • Assumable Mortgage: This type of mortgage allows the buyer to take over the same monthly payments at the same interest rate the seller was paying until the term is completed. At that point, the buyer will need to qualify for a new mortgage.
  • Blanket Mortgage: This type of mortgage is restricted to housing co-ops in most cases, and occasionally condos. With this type of mortgage, the owners of the units will pay their own portion of the mortgage either by qualifying for a portion of the blanket mortgage, or by obtaining their own mortgage.
  • Portable Mortgage: A portable mortgage allows you to transfer the mortgage from one property to another without penalty

Being well informed and educated on the mortgage application process is important when it comes time for you to apply. Understanding your options will be greatly beneficial seeing as this is one of the most important steps in your home buying journey.