Top Five Home Renovations That Increase Property Value

genworth_homeownership_increase_property_value

Looking to increase your homes property value? Here are five of the best renovations you can do to your home to increase property value. These five renovations can sometimes have a return on investment 5-6x what they cost.

#5 Flooring

Flooring is one of the most important aspects of your house. You will see an immediate rise in property valuation with the installation of hardwood floors. Existing hardwood floors that you can refinish are ideal as they are less costly to restore and in higher demand than new flooring materials. For the bathroom, tile will always be in demand and retain value exceptionally well.

#4 Fixtures

Kitchens often look tired and dated, in large part due to old fixtures. Replacing or updating cabinet hardware, light fixtures, countertops and faucets will result in an immediate increase in your home’s value. This small, but effective upgrade will also revitalize the entire home. Pot lights are in high demand in open concept style homes.

#3 Bathroom

The bathroom is the second most important room in the home in terms of valuation. If you can add a three-piece bathroom to a home with only one full bathroom, you will see a dramatic rise in the market value of your home. While you should never compromise bedroom space for a bathroom, try sneaking one in dead space in the home. Scott managed to fit in a 3-piece bathroom under a staircase – the width of the room measured just 44 inches. As an added tip, use glass for the shower to make the bathroom feel more spacious.

#2 Kitchen

Kitchens are the single most important room in the home relating to valuation. The kitchen can make a significant difference in the value of your home. As such, it is crucial that you invest in having a modern, fresh and desirable kitchen. Modern cabinetry, under cabinet lighting and new appliances will all significantly increase the value of your home on the market. To save on cost without compromising construction and desirability, look at options like Ikea cabinets as opposed to custom cabinetry.

#1 An Income Suite

No surprise, but the single biggest way to increase the value of your home is to build an income suite within the property. Whether this is converting your basement into a rental, or another floor in the home, an income property will increase your home’s worth. The main reason for this is that it covers a portion, or sometimes all of your mortgage payments, and results in your home being cash flow positive – which creates real wealth that can supplement your income.

 

Source: Genworth

This Video is Worth $3500

As mortgage brokers, it is our job to provide our clients with the best product to fit their home buying needs. This includes saving them the most money possible. Our broker, Chris Turcotte, explains how making sure you get the best rate possible, can save you substantially in the long run.

Why More Home Sellers are Listing in January

A slow real estate market and savvy buyers are helping to drive January housing sales

Traditionally, January is a slow month for real estate as most sellers choose to wait until the middle of February in the hopes of capitalizing on the early spring market. However, more and more sellers are opting to put their house on the market in January.

This presents an opportunity for buyers. Most people are reluctant to uproot their families during the school year, so that means less competition — and fewer bidding wars. Lenders will not be as busy, so buyers can expect a more efficient process to get approved for a mortgage to ensure they have financing in place before making an offer. But there are things you simply won’t be able to inspect during the winter.

Here are some tips for protecting yourself when making a deal during the winter months:

Sellers

Spruce up the outside: Use urns with light wood branches to brighten up the exterior of your home, to compensate for any overcast day or snow on the ground. Get rid of the Christmas lights: homes that look dated on the outside give the impression that they are probably dated on the inside.

Make sure your fireplace is working during any showing, that the temperature is comfortable in the home and that any interior lighting compensates for what is usually grey lighting from outside.

Have pictures of your landscaping available from the summer and autumn, showing how beautiful your home looks year round.

Have available any inspections that you may have done on your air-conditioning unit or swimming pool before they were closed for the winter, as buyers will likely not be able to conduct inspections on these items and will have questions.

Consider inviting a company to do an environmental audit on your home in advance, confirming that there is no moisture behind the walls that could lead to mould and that you have sufficient insulation behind the walls.

Buyers

If there is anything that cannot be inspected because of the winter, such as the air-conditioning system or any swimming pool, then negotiate an extended warranty in the agreement, to give you until at least May 1, to inspect and have the seller be responsible for any damages. In addition, also negotiate a holdback of, say, $2,000 so that if a problem arises, the money comes out of that fund to fix it and you don’t have to chase the seller in court later.

Be careful about snow accumulating around the base of the home. It will be difficult for a home inspector to figure out whether the grading is likely to cause water problems in the basement later. Consider doing your own environmental audit to check for moisture behind any walls.

If the snow on the roof looks like it is evaporating faster than the snow around the house, it is likely a sign that there is not enough insulation in the home.

Check with your insurance company early as to whether you will have any difficulty obtaining insurance on the home; for example, by finding out whether there have been claims made in the neighbourhood about water damages or sewage backups.

Check whether snow accumulation makes it more difficult for street parking, as this may be the only parking available on certain streets. Also see how bad weather may affect your morning commute.

Check the last electric/gas bills, to determine how energy efficient the home is in winter. People tend to hibernate and stay at home in the winter, so take the opportunity to get to know the neighbours before you finalize your purchase.

By being properly prepared in advance, buyers and sellers can negotiate a safe and successful winter home sale

 

Source: Genworth

Becoming a Guarantor or Co-signer

Thinking about becoming a co-signer or guarantor to help someone get a house?  Here are some points to consider:

Guarantor

Co-signer

–     Does not have their name on the property title

–     Completes the mortgage application as well as the primary applicant

–     Personally guarantees that payments will be made if the original applicant defaults

–     Can be used if the primary applicant qualifies with their income, but may have credit problems

–     Lenders may offer early release policies that allow the guarantor to remove their name if the original applicant can qualify on their own for the mortgage. 

 

–          Become a co-owner of the property as their name will be on the property title

–          Completes the mortgage application as well as the primary applicant

–          Is accountable for missed mortgage payments, though it is understood that they are not the going to make payments. 

–          Helps the primary applicant if they do not qualify income wise

–          Need to see a lawyer to remove their name from the property title.  Original applicant must be able to qualify on their own for the mortgage

When deciding to become a guarantor or a co-signer it is important to realize, that in either case, it may be a lengthy time commitment and should feel confident in the person they are assisting.

If you have any questions about this or any other mortgage details, please contact us. It’s important to have all the proper information before committing to a mortgage.


 

Canadians Losing Money on their Mortgages

For most Canadians, when shopping for a mortgage the simple solution is to walk through the doors of your local bank or credit union branch.  It seems to be that old saying “better the devil you know” is true.  We believe that the bank, trust company or credit union that we have been dealing with for years is the best place to be.

In fact in 2012 a whopping 72% of people did just that when they were looking for a mortgage.  The result?

Canadians lost over 41 Million Dollars by simply not shopping around for the best mortgage product for their needs.

As consumers, people typically believe that if they get the lowest rate they will save the most money, and that is largely true, but you will notice that we did not mention rate in the above statement.  Why?  Well contrary to what most people might believe, rate is not the single all important item to consider when looking at getting financing for your home.  Things like term, prepayment options, amortization, and payment schedule (to name just a few things) can have a dramatic impact on the true cost of the mortgage you are obtaining.

Canadians are very web savvy consumers when it come to getting a mortgage, in fact 2 in 3 of us will research our mortgage online before we make a decision.  What is not talked about typically is what we are researching and there are two very key items, rate and mortgage calculators.

Rate is pretty self explanatory – we want to find the lowest possible.  Mortgage calculators help us to figure out what we qualify for, what our payment will be, etc.  What we do not do is research what different product options are available, and how those options can impact us – for good or bad.  If you try to find that information you soon discover that it is not so easy, and when you do find some it is very complicated to understand.  It is because of the complexity of mortgages that the majority of people simply put their faith in the banks and are resigned to the fact that taking 25 years and at the end paying almost twice the value of the home is normal.

Mortgage brokers offer Canadians a solution to the stress of shopping around, and they typically do it at no charge.  Their role is to do the work for you and find the right mortgage to suit your financial and home ownership goals.

At Centum Mortgage Choice we believe that all Canadians should have the opportunity to achieve their financial goals and dreams.  It’s why we do not just offer mortgages, rather we offer Home Ownership Solutions.

If you want to discover how you can stop losing money on your mortgage, contact a Centum Mortgage Choice broker today.


IMG_2894 Chris Turcotte, Owner/Broker

 Office: (204) 727-2177

 Cell: (204) 720-4002

 Email: chris@christurcotte.ca