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Buying/Selling Homes

Is Acreage Life For You?

By | Buying/Selling Homes, Happy Home | No Comments

Acreages are so alluring, the large properties, the privacy, owning land and the endless possibilities! Though many buyers are unfamiliar with the lifestyle changes and different expenses that come with the package, such as wells, septic tanks/fields, lack of snow removal and many DIY projects. We are not experts on this, as we haven’t experience acreage life ourselves, though we can always connect you with a real estate professional that specializes in acreages!

Bobbi Morrison, a licensed realtor within the Danny Hansen Team, was asked today “What are the top 4 considerations that need to be addressed when considering the transition to acreage life?”

1) When starting to look for a country residential property it is SO important to find a realtor that specializes in rural real estate. This is not the same type of transaction as when purchasing in town.  There are so many things to consider when moving to an acreage it is important to have a professional that is specialized in this type of real estate helping you through the process. Knowing the right questions to ask, where to find the answers is the best way to avoid unpleasant surprises in the future.

2) Financing for an acreage is going to look substantially different than an in-town purchase. For example: Banks tend to lend on the house and a certain number of acres. Therefore, outbuildings and excess of land would not be considered on an appraisal. The extra value, therefore, must be covered by the Buyers in addition to the the down payment in order to secure financing thus facilitating a successful sale.

3) Weigh the PROS and CONS of city life vs country life and take a good hard look at the lifestyle you want to live. For example: a significant pro could be that you will enjoy the peace and quiet in the country and your kids can grow up with an enormous amount of freedom away the hustle and bustle and concerns that come with raising children in an urban environment.

However, a con may be the additional drive time for extracurricular,  work, and for school.  If you love going to the lake or camping on the weekends, acreage life might not be for you.   A lot of your free time on the weekends may be consumed by yard maintenance!

4) Be prepared to purchase equipment for the maintenance of your new property. In some situations it’s enough to own a small lawn tractor, providing that you purchase the proper implements.  You will have loads of mowing and snow  removal moving forward so it is important that you are prepared!

What do you think? Is the #acreagelife for you?

Thanks to Bobbi Morrison for sharing some insight on acreage life! You can reach Bobbi at:
www.dannyhansen.com
dannyhansen@remax.net 
(403) 948-7510

Home Buyer’s Due Diligence

By | Buying/Selling Homes, Home Inspections | No Comments

When considering purchasing a home it is important to consider more than just the style, price, layout, size, and location. We wanted to share some other ways to ensure that you are doing your due diligence when considering whether a particular property is the right one for you!

Choose an Appropriate Realtor

Be sure seek the assistance of an experienced real estate professional who can provide you advice, knowledge and resources to assist in finding the right home for you. Realtors do so much more than just open the doors and negotiate on your behalf. They are there to help guide you towards finding a home that properly suits your needs, desires and budget. Though not all realtors are created equal, they each have their different strengths and unique expertise.

We strongly suggest when searching for an acreage to find a realtor that is experience and specialized in acreages. There is alot more to consider when buying land outside of a city that has a well and septic tank system -for starters.

Another example is when searching for a condo it is recommended to find a condo specialist. It is important to have someone experienced with condos and can suggest a reliable professional to review the condo documents to protect your investment.

If you are looking for a income property, we suggest choosing a realtor with experience in that area. Someone who is familiar with the required permits and zoning.

If looking to move to a new city, it is beneficial to hire a realtor who is familiar with the area and can provide their insight. Different neighborhoods and communities have different demographics, amenities and property values.

We work with a large number of realtors, if you would like a referral we would be happy to connect you with a few realtors that suit your unique needs. 

Research the Area

Prior to falling in love a house, it is important that the area and location will work for you and your lifestyle. Walk  and drive around the community and to get a feel for the area.

Consider:

  • How will the commute be?
  • Are there amenities nearby that you frequently need?
  • Are you happy with the nearby walking paths, playgrounds and off leash areas? Schools district?
  • Is it a high water table or flood area?
  • Do you have a support system nearby?

Ask the Previous Owners

It is good practice to have your realtor ask the seller’s realtor to disclose any previous water leaks or major deficiencies that the previous owners have experienced. They are legally required to disclose these types of things when asked.

Get a Home Inspection

As many of our readers would agree, getting a home inspections completed is a very important step in buyer’s due diligence. During a home inspection the inspector will investigate whether the home’s components and systems are operating as they should and should point out maintenance items as well as other areas to monitor over time. Findings from this report can often be used to renegotiate the purchase price of a home, and provide you with a good understanding of the condition of the home.

Hire Specialists for Specific Concerns

Prior to waiving conditions it is helpful to hire a trade specialist to do a further in-depth investigation into specific areas of concern that have been highlighted during the home inspection.  This also provides an opportunity to obtain a realistic quote on repairs to budget for.

Keep in mind that home inspectors are generalists and are not journeyman of all areas of a home as this would take many years of school and would results in home inspections costing 4-5x as much! It can be handy to book your inspection earlier on in your condition period to allow for further due diligence on any deficiencies discovered before waiving conditions on the purchase agreement.

Budget Accordingly

When buying an older home, and even a new home, it is important to budget for repairs, maintenance and the unexpected. The life span of the following components varies based on brand, installation, maintenance and other factors, and should are only a rough estimate of the typical life span. Though it can be helpful to consider when budgeting for home maintenance. Here’s a rough estimate of the lifespan of major components of a home:

  • Hot water tanks typically have a life span of 10-12 years
  • Furnace lifespan is 20-25 years, though annual maintenance is required
  • Roofs vary based on the thickness of the shingle, type of materials and weather conditions, though roughly 12-25 years.
  • Windows vary depending on position of the home, care and installation, though on average you can expect windows to last 20 years.

In the end, many buyers go with their gut when choosing their next home though we hope you consider some of these other factors to ensure that your journey of home-ownership is a pleasurable one!

Home Inspection Warranties – The Fine Print

By | Buying/Selling Homes, Home Inspections | No Comments
90 Day Warranty Fine Print

We don’t actually offer the 90 Day Warranty because we believe in providing our clients with the best service through our many value-adding services such as:

  • Confidence in making decisions backed by the full information regarding true condition of a home
  • Licensed, certified & qualified inspector – who is committed to ongoing education
  • Friendly, approachable inspector to address your questions and concerns in plain language
  • Comprehensive standards of practice
  • Detailed report complete with photos, maintenance tips & recommendations
  • After-Inspection Support for as long as you own the home
  • Referrals to trusted vendors to help with your home’s needs

When our clients face a challenge during their journey of homeownership, we are a just a call, email or text away. We provide advice, resources, trusted vendor connections and our support. Because Our Company Cares.

Curious as to learn about the 90 Day Warranty’s that some inspection companies offer? Read below for more information so you can make an informed decision when deciding on a home inspector.

What Does the Warranty Cover?

Warranty Limits

  • Mechanical Coverage is limited to an aggregate maximum of $500
  • Structural Coverage is limited to an aggregate maximum of $2000.

Inclusions

Items reported to be in good working order at the time of inspection, limited to:

Mechanical Coverage:

  • Electrical: Main service panel, secondary service panel, and wiring
  • Plumbing: Water lines, faucets, water heaters, drain lines, gas lines
  • Appliances: Kitchen Appliances including and limited to oven, range, dishwasher, built-in microwave, trash compactor, and garbage disposal
  • Heating/Air (HVAC): Furnace, Air Conditioner, and Thermostats.

Structural Coverage

  • Poured Concrete & Block wall foundations.
  • Floor joists, bottom & top plates, and wall members.
  • Roof leak repair (does not include replacement of bad shingles), load bearing walls, attached garage doors

And now for the exclusions…

Exclusions

  • Secondary or consequential damages
  • Anything reported in to be in less than good working order
  • Water damage
  • Cosmetic repairs
  • Items that are inaccessible without the removal of drywall, concrete, or any other permanently installed covering
  • Refrigerators
  • Appliances, climate controls or fixtures older than 10 years
  • Plumbing stoppages, regardless of reason
  • Well or septic systems or any related components
  • Upgrading failed systems to meet current codes or local ordinances
  • Chimneys, fireplaces, or brick failures of any kind
  • Cracking or scaling concrete
  • Pest damage, including that caused by any and all wood destroying insects and pests
  • Damage caused by any peril is not covered by this contract, which includes but is not limited to; war, riot, civil commotion, earthquake, hurricane, any and all acts of god, or any other outside cause or neglect.

90 Days?

The warranty is limited to 90 days from the date of the inspection, or 22 days from closing whichever is greater. Most often a buyer takes possession of a home 30-60 days from the date of the inspection, leaving 30-60 days remaining of this warranty rather than 90 days from possession which was our first assumption when hearing of this warranty.

Becoming A Landlord

By | Buying/Selling Homes, Home Inspections | No Comments

Brought to you by Tara Molina – Realtor for Airdrie & Calgary Real Estate

As an Airdrie REALTOR ® and a landlord myself, I can tell you being a landlord isn’t always a walk in the park. You’re always on call, your tenants and the home are your complete responsibility. However, if you’re well prepared for becoming a landlord it will be a rewarding and positive experience! Purchasing an investment property is an activity that I encourage, as Mark Twain said:

“Buy Land They Aren’t Making Anymore!” 

Let’s dive into the 6 major factors that I have learned in my experience to not just becoming a landlord, but also to be successful at it!

Live Nearby

As the owner of the home, you will need to care for all the yard work, the plumbing, any mishaps, etc. When your tenants are locked out, you will need to head over and let them in. Living in close proximity to your rental property will ease a lot of these nuisances. You’ll be able to whip over and complete whatever it is your tenant needs. It’s also possible to hire a property manager to care for the property if you’re not able to be on call. Living close to the property also means that you can check on it from time to time to ensure everything is in order.

Know the Laws

It’s incredibly important to know tenant-landlord laws. From provincial security deposit laws to federal anti-discriminatory laws, you should know them all. As a landlord, you need to know how much notice is needed for tenants to move out, for you to show the property, etc. These laws are great general knowledge, and they’re quite straight forward. If you have questions please contact me so I can advise you!

Read Up On The Laws

Enforce Rent to be Paid on Time

This seems an obvious step, but it’s important not to get too friendly with your tenants. If you do, you might just let a late payment slide which can turn into another, and then before you know it you’re a full month’s rent behind. Being too friendly isn’t a great idea, but you should still have a solid relationship with your tenant built on respect. You are trusting someone to live in your property, therefore you should trust them to get the rent paid on time. The next tip ties into this one…

Screen Potential Tenants

When choosing someone to become your tenant, you MUST choose someone you are comfortable with. It’s standard for a potential tenant to apply for the property by answering personal questions. These questions will ask about the applicant’s employment, yearly salary, pets, relationship status etc. It’s also common to perform a background or credit check. When showing the property, ask the potential tenant questions and get to know them a little bit. You will feel much better about a stranger moving into your property if you can have a pleasant conversation with them.

Customize Your Lease

Your lease should be customized to fit your unique requirements. These requirements will include details such as if you allow pets and how many. Other aspects include details on the utilities, for example if the tenant will have to pay any of them separately. A common utility for the tenant to pay in Airdrie is electricity. Another example of something to specify is repairs. If a window breaks, what is the process of getting it fixed? As a landlord it’s important to ensure your tenant knows all the details of living there, so customize the lease with everything you think is relevant.

Inspect the Property Regularily

A huge part of being a landlord is trusting your tenants. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t inspect the property from time to time. It can be daunting having someone else live in your property – especially in the first few months. Do a drive-by to make yourself feel better. Remember though that you can’t just show up unannounced and waltz into someone else’s home. Because yes, your property is now someone’s home – remember that!

Did you know Bocc Home Inspections offers rental property walkthroughs/inspections?

Who better to check on your home than a licensed home inspector who can monitor your home for leaks and important home maintenance while ensuring your tenants are upholding to the lease arrangement. We offer home rental assistance services to help you maintain the value of your investment property.

Tara Molina

Tara Molina

Realtor for Airdrie & Calgary Real Estate

Let my knowledge and experience help guide you on your home selling or home buying journey! I’ll take the time to actually listen to your needs, answer your questions and respond quickly to you so you aren’t left in the dark. My focus is on understanding your real estate goals and working hard to create solutions that make sense for you.

Little Touches That Can Make a Big Difference

By | Buying/Selling Homes, Happy Home, Home Beautification | No Comments

You are probably already aware of the major things you need to do around your home to get it ready for sale. These include getting rid of clutter, doing minor repairs, and making everything clean and tidy so every room is as much of a showcase as possible.

But there are a myriad of little touch ups you can do that you may not have thought about before… touch ups that can make a big difference in how attractive your home looks to potential buyers.

Here are just a few:

  • Paint or replace the mailbox.
  • Add a couple of flowering plants to key areas, such as the dining room, living room, and just outside the front door.
  • Patch up any minor cracks in the driveway and walkways. (If there is a major crack, consider getting it repaired by a professional.)
  • Put out the welcome mat. Literally! If it’s not clean and completely free of stains, replace it.
  • Clean your stainless steel kitchen sink using a special stainless steel cleaner and brightener. The effect will be dramatic; the sink will look like new.
  • Use a special spot cleaner to lift any stains from carpeted areas.
  • Replace plain or out-of-style light fixtures in the main areas of your home, such as the hallway and living room. Without spending a fortune, you can make a big difference in how these areas look.
  • Consider replacing the hardware on the doors and drawers of old kitchen cabinetry. That, along with some touch-up paint or varnish on worn areas, can make your older kitchen look young again.

These simple ideas can have a big impact on first impressions, yet they don’t cost much to implement, and you can probably do most of them in less than a day.

Robin Spiers & Associates

Call/Text: 403-813-6346 | Office: 403-202-4798

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