Friday, March 25, 2016

Buyers Were Asking: Be Aware of What Your Insurance Policy Covers


Today, many buyers are opting to bridge finance for many reasons.  Truly, it is a pain to move from one home to another all in one day, so, choosing to spread the closing dates just makes for less stress on everyone.  

The cost of bridge financing is not as expensive as one might believe.  However, be aware of any impact on your home insurance policy coverage should you choose to leave your home vacant.  Will your insurance company cover any costs of any damage that could occur before the new buyers can take possession?  Don’t leave it to chance, start asking the questions.  

As Realtors, we are often asked to ask the seller of your newly purchased home if you can store items in your new home before you take possession.  The answer always will be a stern “NO”.  Why?  Because you don’t own the home and if anything, anything at all were to happen, the seller cannot be held liable for your possessions, and you cannot be held liable for any damage you might cause to their property (people have been known to flip still lit cigarette butts in a driveway whereby the lit cigarette rolled into the garage and smouldered for days before igniting the garage and spreading to the home).  

The same goes for leaving a vacant home.  You need to make arrangements with your insurance company from the point of vacancy to completion date.  What are your insurance company’s policies? 

Questioning your home policy?  Ask an expert for further clarification, we've got some great contacts in our Business Directory, our website

As always, we're here to help as questions arise...Just Ask!

Friday, March 18, 2016

You Were Asking: Aluminum Wiring


Used extensively between 1965 and 1976, not all aluminum wiring is hazardous.  Education is key with this type of wiring, so, look for what is called an ESA if you are contemplating the purchase of a home with this type of electrical service.  

Typically, any seller these days will endeavour to have aluminum wiring inspected BEFORE putting his home on the market and that is achieved by contracting an electrician approved by the Electrical Safety Authority to come out and put the stamp of approval on its safety.  This type of wiring will operate just as safely as any other type of wiring provided it has been maintained and installed within the proper guidelines set out by the provincial safety code.  

Look for signs of problems, which can be seen in flickering lights, the smell of hot plastic insulation or even the discolouration of wall receptacles. Within many cities you will still find neighbourhoods filled with homes with aluminum wiring still very common and acceptable, so, don't be afraid of it and don't dismiss a home because of it, you just want to be sure it is safe before you agree to buy the home. 

As always, we're here to help as questions arise...Just Ask!

Friday, March 11, 2016

You Were Asking: Open House Etiquette


People have mixed feelings about open houses, some want them, some don't.  Well, realtors, too, have mixed emotions.  When our sellers ask if they're productive the answer is, "It depends."  Kind of vague, I know, the reason is, if everyone follows the rules, open houses can most definitely be useful.  If the rules aren't followed, open houses can be a waste of time and source of frustration.  Here are the rules for everyone concerned:

Seller: Your role is to polish the place, pull back the drapes (unless there's a used car lot next door), turn on all the lights, turn off the TV and the dishwasher, get rid of the kids and the dog, and above all… Get out of the house and leave it to your sales rep.  You'll only inhibit prospects who, want to look the place over carefully. 

Buyers: Don't hesitate to visit, even if you're not yet ready to buy.  You will begin to educate yourself and see what is available.  Stay within your price range. Don't be worried if you're asked to sign in, if you're already working with a sales rep., say so.  If it were your home, wouldn't you want people to identify themselves before they entered?  And, of course, take your shoes off and, restrain your children.

Neighbours: You needn't be embarassed about entering.  Neighbours are often instrumental in assisting in the sale.  You may know a friend or relative who loves the area and street.  By previewing the home for them early, you may give them advanced feedback on the benefits and features.

Sales Reps: Come prepared.  Do you have enough information sheets?  Are you fully aware of recent activity in the area?  Are you prepared to describe this home's benefits over the competition?  Show the home, point out benefits of the property and area.  Don't stay in one room just waving the people through.  When you leave, turn lights off, check the doors and leave some feedback for the sellers advising how the open house went.

Friday, March 4, 2016

You Were Asking: Blurred Lines


If you’ve been watching the market the past few years in Burlington, have you noticed our neighbourhood boundaries appear blurred now? There was a time when Burlingtonians had very specific neighbourhood loyalties. I want to live in ‘insert neighbourhood here’. 

Now, price points are dictated somewhat by the homes themselves. Yes, condition has always played into pricing variations, but, our relocating buyers, really don’t place the same emotional values on our ‘zones’. What is the difference between a coveted Headon Forest home over Brant Hills? It used to be a status symbol or, what we call, an ‘Ego’ buy, where now we are seeing some huge price fluctuations in neighbourhoods never before experiencing major price jumps. 

Our City is now seemingly trending toward equalization of neighbourhood boundaries. School zones will always play a role too in the purchasing decision as buyers flock to the ‘best schools’ with the ‘best ratings’. But, ask any teacher how they feel about this and the answer will enlighten you. ‘There are good and bad teachers out there in every school, so, why is one school deemed better than another?’ 

Food for thought as our price points in all neighbourhoods continue on the upswing due to high demand and low inventory, but, also some healthy investment opportunities out there.