If you’re paying a lot of money for a new washing machine, wouldn’t it be nice to know how long you should expect it to last? There is, of course, no exact formula for figuring that out. Every brand and unit is different. There are however, some broad estimates.
According to an article in Consumer Reports, a washer and dryer will hum along just fine for about 10 years, with a likelihood of needing a repair during the last two to three. Leading brands offer a parts and labour guarantee for at least a year. So, if something goes wrong during that period, be sure to contact the manufacturer right away.
The National Association of Home Builders released a report a few years ago on the longevity of kitchen appliances. They found that refrigerators can last up to 13 years under normal use. Dishwashers and ovens will start to show their age after nine years. The worst record is for trash compactors, with a life expectancy of only six years before repairs or replacement is required.
Microwave ovens last an average of nine years. However, the door seal should be checked often. Otherwise, the unit will quickly lose efficiency. (You’ll notice this when your food doesn’t heat up as quickly and evenly.)
All experts agree that the best way to keep home appliances functioning properly is to follow manufacturer’s instructions for use and maintenance. If you’ve lost your user’s manual, you can download a new one (which may contain important updates) from the manufacturer’s website.
Imagine finding a home you love, making an offer, and then finding out there are other competing offers on the table. Ouch.
If you’re looking for a property in a competitive market, it is likely that there will be multiple offers. Even just one can create the risk that you’ll lose the home. So how do you make sure your offer is enticing enough to win over the seller? Here are some ideas:
- Don’t make a low-ball offer. If you do, it might be dismissed and you probably won’t get another chance to bid — especially if the other competing offers are near the listing price.
- Have a pre-arranged mortgage and include that with your offer. This reassures the seller there won’t be any money issues. (Most lenders will provide you with a pre-arranged mortgage certificate for this purpose.)
- Go in with a price high enough that the seller will be interested, but not so high as to be leaving money on the table. This is tricky and requires a savvy knowledge of the current market.
- Have a REALTOR® present the offer on your behalf. A REALTOR® will know how to do so professionally, and in a manner that gives you the best chance of getting the home.
In a competitive situation, working with a REALTOR® who is an expert on the local market — and a skilled negotiator — is crucial.
Looking for a REALTOR® like that? Call today.
In almost every movie featuring a house on fire, the actors seem to be able to move around the house and see just fine, while beating back flames with a shirt or coat. Of course, that’s not what happens in real fires.
When there’s fire in a home, there is typically complete darkness (because the power goes out) and a cloud of spreading thick, black smoke makes it difficult to see and breathe.
That’s why knowing how to get out of your house — fast — is crucial.
Experts recommend rehearsing what to do in case there’s a fire. Make sure everyone in the family has an exit plan. Each should know exactly how to get out, including primary and secondary exits, and where the family will meet once safely outside.
Never attempt to take anything with you. It may seem like you have plenty of time to grab a coat or purse, but the characteristics of a fire can change in seconds.
As a failsafe, in case you can’t exit through a door, you should determine in advance which window has the safest exit. Make sure that the window opens easily and everyone knows how to remove the screen or any other obstruction.
Finally, don’t call the fire department from inside your house. Get out first, then make the call.
Property Surveyors, sometimes referred to as land Surveyors, play a vital role in the real estate world. They are the professionals who determine or confirm the exact boundaries of a property.
Will you need to deal with a Property Surveyor when selling your home?
Sometimes the mortgage lender will ask for a land survey, especially if your property is older and hasn’t changed hands in many years. You might also be asked for one by the buyer if there is any confusion about the size and boundaries of your property – or if significant changes have been made to it in recent years.
This is nothing to be concerned about.
A qualified Property Surveyor will do the appropriate inspection and measurements on your property and issue you the survey. (It looks a little like a blueprint.)
Property Surveyors are highly trained and licensed. In the United States, the profession is represented by the National Society of Professional Surveyors, with each state having its own governing body. In Canada, Professional Surveyors Canada (PSC) represents the profession nationally, and most provinces have their own professional associations.
Before getting a new land survey, make sure you don’t already have one. Hopefully, you’ve stored the paperwork that relates to the purchase of your home. Look through it. A valid land survey might be right there.
If you have questions about land surveys, call today.
No matter how much you love your current property, you may be dreaming of the day you can buy up into a better home in a better neighbourhood.
Is that day today, or, is it a few years down the road?
Here’s a quick way to make that assessment.
First, make a list of all the practical reasons why it might be time to move up. Those reasons might include features such as: more bedrooms, proximity to work and school, a larger backyard with trees, nearby parks and walking paths and better access to things you enjoy like theatre.
Next, make a list of the emotional reasons for making such a move. Those reasons might include memorable get-togethers with friends on a more spacious deck, an easier and less stressful commute to work, more family time with the kids and enjoyable Saturday golf at a nearby course.
Finally, take a financial snapshot to determine if you can afford to move up. You’ll need to get a good idea of what your current property will sell for in today’s market, average price of homes in your desired neighbourhood, and how much mortgage you’ll need.
Once you have all that down on paper, you’ll have a clear picture of your readiness. If the practical and emotional reasons for buying up are compelling, and you can afford to make the move, then you have your answer.
The time is now!
By the way, if you need help in making this determination – especially figuring out what your home will likely sell for, call today.
You’re standing by your window admiring the view. Then you notice it. Moisture has built-up around the edges of the glass. Should you worry?
It all depends on the reason for the build up.
Assuming you have traditional double-pane glass in your windows, there are a few things to look for if you notice moisture.
Often, moisture at the bottom of the windows is simply caused by too much humidity in your indoor air. If that’s the case, simply adjust your humidifier.
If the moisture is on the exterior of the window, typically there’s also no problem with the window itself. It may have rained recently or the outside humidity may have spiked causing the accumulation. Generally, there’s no reason for concern.
However, if the moisture is in between the two panes of glass, the seal has broken and surrounding air – along with its water content – has made its way in. This disrupts the thermal barrier of the window, reducing its energy efficiency. In fact, the glass might feel noticeably colder than your other windows on chilly days. In that case, you’ll need to replace the pane.
Similarly, if the moisture is coming in through only one spot — the bottom right corner, for example — then you might have a leak. If you have a wood frame or sill, you may also notice a growing water stain. It’s important to get leaks fixed quickly. There may be water damage occurring within the frame that you cannot see.
When is the best time to meet with a REALTOR® like me? Chances are, you would say, “When I’m thinking of buying or selling a home.” You’d be right, of course! However, there are many other good reasons to meet with me.
Here are just a few:
•You want a professional opinion as to the current value of your property, so you know what it would likely sell for in today’s market.
•You notice a home listed for sale in a desirable neighbourhood, and you’re interested in learning more — even if you’re unsure you want to make a move.
•You’re thinking of moving within the next couple of years, and you want to find a REALTOR® like me, that you can get to know and trust.
•You want some recommendations for preparing your home for sale and especially determining what repairs and other work needs to be done.
•You want an honest assessment as to the state of the local market, and the best time for you to buy or sell.
•You have real estate - related questions and you want to talk to an expert who knows the local market well and can provide you with answers.
As you can see, there’s a lot of value you can get from talking to me as your REALTOR®. Call today.
Imagine if you dreamed of owning a special limited edition vehicle. What would you do to ensure that your dream vehicle would someday be parked in your driveway — with your name on the ownership papers?
You would probably start by doing some research. You’d find out how much that vehicle would cost, what features are available, and so forth. You would likely visit a local dealership and take a test drive if a model is available on site. You would keep an eye on the market for any that come up and let the dealer know you’re looking for just that car.
If you did, then, some day, you’d probably be the proud owner of the limited edition car of your dreams.
What does this have to do with real estate?
Well, you can take the same approach when there’s a neighbourhood you’d love to live in someday. You can target it, learn what homes typically cost in that area, and keep your eye on that market in case a property becomes available that meets your criteria.
By focusing on a specific neighbourhood, you increase your chances of someday living there, simply because you’re focusing on it.
Of course, neighbourhood targeting isn’t as simple as aiming to own a specific car someday. That’s why you need a great REALTOR® who can keep an eye on that neighbourhood on your behalf and alert you to opportunities that become available.
Then, when there is a listing that’s a good fit, you can decide whether or not to make a move.
Is there a dream neighbourhood you’d like to live in some day? Call today to start making it happen.
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.
Do you ever wonder how most people find the homes they eventually buy? You might imagine them driving by a “For Sale” sign or seeing a home for sale in the newspaper and then calling to enquire.
Of course, many buyers find out about listed properties that way. But, according to research by the National Association of Realtors, there are many other — sometimes surprising — ways buyers find their next dream home.
- 88% of buyers find a home with the help of a real estate agent.
- 90% of buyers search online as part of the home buying process. (Such as viewing a property’s profile on the agent’s website.)
- 69% of buyers searching for a home using Google, use a specific local term, such as “Whitby-south homes for sale”.
- 29-46% of buyers attend an Open House as part of their home hunting activities.
Overall, the research shows that buyers are using a multitude of ways — combining online and offline methods — to find homes.
What does all this mean to you? If means that if you’re preparing your home for sale, you need to ensure your marketing plan takes into account all the ways buyers are finding properties — so you can be sure that they will find yours.
Looking for a REALTOR® who knows how to market your home for maximum exposure? Call today.
The Latest in Kitchen Fire Prevention. What You Need to Know.
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 prevention.
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.
For everything else give me a call 604-859-2341.
When would you talk to a car salesperson? Probably only once you’re ready to buy a new car. You would do some initial research (perhaps on the internet), get an idea of what you want, and then go to the dealership to meet a salesperson, test drive the car and make the purchase.
Although that approach may work when you’re buying a car, it’s not the best approach when it comes to real estate.
You see, successfully buying or selling a home requires a lot of planning and legwork. You want the process to go smoothly, the right decisions to be made, and the best possible deal to be negotiated.
After all, this is the purchase and/or sale of your home!
So, the best time to talk to a REALTOR® is as early in the process as possible.
In fact, even if you’re just thinking of buying or selling — and simply want to explore the possibility of making a move sometime this year — you should have a conversation with a good REALTOR®.
A REALTOR® will answer your questions, provide you with the information and insights you need, help you avoid costly mistakes, and make sure you’re heading in the right direction.
When you are ready to buy or sell, having worked with a REALTOR® early in the process will help ensure you get what you want.
So talk to a good REALTOR® when:
- You have a question about the local market.
- You want to know what your home might sell for today.
- You’re interested in checking out homes currently available on the market.
- You’re in the midst of deciding whether or not to make a move.
- You’ve decided to buy or sell.
Many homeowners think there’s not much they can do about telephone, heating, water and other utility expenses. Sure, you may grumble about a high heating bill one month, but what can you do about it?
Turns out, you can do plenty. There are several ways to reduce monthly utility costs that can save you tens or even hundreds of dollars. For example:
- Shop around for a better phone plan. Then contact your phone company. They might match the rates.
- Turn down the thermostat on your water heater. You likely don’t need tap water to be that hot.
- Clean the screen on your outside air conditioning unit regularly. (Gently with the water hose.) Dirt and leaves can build up on it, reducing the unit’s efficiency.
- Leverage the sun. Open curtains in the winter to gain heat. Block direct sunlight in summer to keep the cool air inside.
- Scrutinize your bill. There may be extras you’re paying for that you don’t need.
- Play with the thermostat. Experiment with setting the temperature a couple of degrees lower. You might not notice any difference.
It’s worth paying attention to your utility costs. Just a few smart moves can save you some serious money.
You may love animals, but with the exception of your family pets, you don’t want them in your home. Here are some tips for keeping the wildlife around your property where it belongs: outside.
- Don’t place bird feeders too close to your windows. Doing so may cause birds to associate a window with food and therefore try to peck their way inside.
- Make sure window screens are secure. If you can push a screen loose with your hand, so can a bird or other animal.
- Check screens on dryer vents and chimneys. If they are damaged, fix or replace them.
- To determine how animals are entering your home, stuff wadded paper in the suspected entry point. If the paper is disturbed the next day, you’ll know where they got in.
- Never leave food outside, unattended. After a barbeque, for example, take all remaining food inside.
If you do find an animal in your home, never try to pick it up. It may bite or have rabies. Instead, call a professional.
When you put your home up for sale, you want it to look its best to potential buyers. That’s why you clean, tidy and de-clutter every room.
Some sellers, however, miss the backyard. You need to pay just as much attention to that space as you do to the interior of your home. The backyard is as important a living space as the family room. To some buyers, even more.
Buyers want to see an attractive backyard space, with the grass cut and the hedges trimmed.
The more neat and tidy you can make it, the better. Be sure to sweep walkways and wipe down patio furniture.
Also, watch out for the following things that buyers do not want to see:
- Bags of garage and other waste.
- Doggie do-do. (Be sure to stoop and scoop!)
- Rakes and other tools piled in the corner.
- Cluttered and disorganized storage sheds, pool huts and other backyard structures.
- Weeds in the flower beds.
- Items stored underneath the deck.
- Hoses not stowed neatly.
- Electrical outlets and water faucets that don’t work.
These are not difficult issues to fix. Doing so will positively impact the impression the buyer gets of your backyard.
Do you have a backyard that shows particularly well in the summer? Here’s a tip: Take pictures. Those photos will help buyers be able to appreciate how it looks should you list your home in the winter.
Want more tips on making your home show well so that it sells fast? Call today.
I have sold a property at 3403 SAANICH ST in Abbotsford.
Family friendly home and area near Mouat High School, Chief Dan George Middle (French Immersion) and Bondar Elementary. Quiet street of well kept homes with easy access to all directions as well as Rotary Stadium and Discovery Trail. Fully fenced yard with drive thru access to the backyard. Basement is partly finished with a nice family room, space for a 4th bedroom and full bath. Garage is 29' long has room for bikes, toys or a workbench. Covered deck is 10" x 16' and is a perfect place to BBQ and relax.
I have sold a property at 17 2081 Winfield in Abbotsford.
Central location in the gated complex near the Club House and RV parking, private back yard setting, covered patio facing West, 1,030 sq feet with 2 bathrooms and 2 bedrooms. Amenities in the club house include Hot Tub, Sauna, Library and Guest Suite. Close to Shopping and Golf.
I have sold a property at 35787 SUNRIDGE PL in Abbotsford.
Mountain Village beauty is an entertainer's dream home! Spectacular 3 level home with a sweeping 180 degree view of Mt Baker & the Valley. Huge 500 sqft sundeck adds to the generous size of the great room & kitchen. 18' ceilings with floor to ceiling windows. Laundry, 4th bedroom and den are also on the main floor. Dream kitchen features a center island, s/s appliances, tons of storage & counter space. The upper floor has 3 bedrooms & awesome ensuite. There's even a balcony off the master to take in the view. 2 bedroom LEGAL SUITE is very separate with its own entrance a parking space. And the location.....is around the corner from Mountain Elementary School & the freeway access & shopping is just a short drive away on Whatcom Road.
I have sold a property at 3253 RATHTREVOR CRT in Abbotsford.
McKinley Heights - Beautiful 2 storey w/ walk out basement. Located on a quiet cul-de-sac only 2 blocks from Prince Charles Elementary & public transit. This home features 4 bedrooms on the upper floor, master ensuite, and main bath with brand new tile shower enclosure, bathtub, flooring, sink and taps. The main floor features living room, family room, laundry, powder room, large island in kitchen and covered deck. In the basement there is a large 2 bedroom LEGAL SUITE currently rented. Large fully fenced backyard gives the kids lots of room to play.
I have sold a property at 34726 Blatchford WAY in Abbotsford.
Here is the home you've been waiting for! This is a well maintained East Abby home in an awesome neighbourhood that's move in ready. The spacious and fully fenced back yard is an entertainers dream with the covered deck off of the dining room, and the main level living has a large rec room and bar area just steps away from the kitchen. Close to all levels of great schools including McMillan Elementary, William A Fraser Middle School, Yale Secondary, and just minutes to the Freeway, Costco, and Abbotsford Rec. Centre. Upgrades include Economical Rinnai R85 Hot Water on Demand System. Central A/C with heat pump and upgraded vinyl windows on the main level. This one has it all!
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