• Buying or Selling a Selling Home

Buying or Selling a Selling Home

Moving Costs You May Have Overlooked

Buying a home? You’ll have to juggle various expenses. Don’t forget about these costs.

Fees for Oversized or Delicate Items
Any bulky or hard to move items? A moving company might charge you an extra fee. Think a piano or something that needs assembling.

Mail Forwarding 
Changing your mailing address can be easy to forget. Canada Post will do it for you for a small fee. This service only lasts six or seven months.

Land Transfer Tax
In Canada, this fee is added onto the transaction. Once the property title officially passes, you’ll see the charge.

Moving can be costly. Being prepared can help ease the burden.

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4 Creative Ways to Renovate Your Shed Into a Useful Space

While a basic shed filled with tools can be an eyesore, it’s possible to turn that extra shelter into something incredible. Not only will it benefit your life now while you own the property, but it will also help increase the value of your home when you want to sell it. Here are a few creative ways to transform that shed into a useful space.

A home spa
Transform that shed into a home spa with a hot tub and sauna and you will have your very own backyard destination for all the luxury you could ever need. Depending on the space available, you can decide what would work best and build in the elements that are most important to your lifestyle. It’ll also serve as an extra benefit to any potential future buyers to have access to such amenities without having to put any time or...

Should You Change the Style of Windows in Your House?

Windows that are old, damaged or worn out are inefficient and can lead to high utility bills. Replacing windows can be a huge financial investment, but it can also be an opportunity to choose styles that are better suited to your family’s needs and preferences.

If you’ve lived in your house for several years, you may have a running list of things that you don’t like about the current windows. For example, some rooms might not get much sunlight or ventilation. Windows in some areas may be difficult to clean, or maybe your house is surrounded by a beautiful natural landscape that you wish you could see more of. Replacing the windows gives you an opportunity to address these issues.

Benefits of Various Window Styles
If you’d like to let more sunlight into...

Expert Insights: What Should I Consider When Redoing My Kitchen?

It is tempting to discard existing appliances when you build new cabinets around them. Rethink the idea. If the appliances are workable, keep them—and save yourself $1,000 to $5,000, according to the National Association of the Remodeling Industry. Also, keep the present location of major fixtures, appliances and utilities relative to the plumbing, gas and electrical outlets. Rearranging plumbing, wiring and jacks can be very expensive. Refacing existing cabinets can reduce the cost of your kitchen remodel considerably and eliminate the need for new flooring, countertops and appliances. If you must get new cabinets, options such as spice racks and slide-out wire baskets can be added later. Also, install cabinets without soffits to decrease labor cost, and avoid trim moldings, or use a simple trim....

Expert Insights: Should I Sell My Home First or Wait Until I Have Bought Another Home?

This is a tough decision, but the answer will depend on your personal situation, as well as the condition of the local housing market.

If you put your home on the market first, you may have to scramble to find another one before settlement, which could cause you to buy a home that does not meet all your requirements. If you cannot find another home, you may need to move twice, temporarily staying with relatives or in a hotel.

On the other hand, if you make an offer to buy first, you may be tempted to sell your existing home quickly, even at a lower price.

The advantage of buying first is you can shop carefully for the right home and feel comfortable with your decision before putting your existing home on the market.

On the flip side, the advantage of selling your existing home...

Existing-Home Sales: Hello, 2015…

With inventory still stubbornly tight, existing-home sales sank 1.7 percent, according to the June National Association of REALTORS® report, newly released. Compared to June of last year, sales underwhelmed, down 2.2 percent.

We’re in familiar territory, according to Lawrence Yun, chief economist at NAR.

“Home sales are running at a pace similar to 2015 levels—even with exceptionally low mortgage rates, a record number of jobs and a record high net worth in the country,” says Yun. “Imbalance persists for mid- to lower-priced homes with solid demand and insufficient supply, which is consequently pushing up home prices.”

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4 Invisible Money Leaks Worth Fixing

Keeping track of every single dollar you spend can be difficult, no matter how closely you track your spending and monitor your bank accounts. Automatic payments from your checking account to pay for a gym membership, for example, can be forgotten and leave a checkbook unbalanced.

But besides accounting for where your money goes, there are some invisible money leaks that you may not be paying attention to that can add up to wasted money. Here are four:

Unused memberships and subscriptions
A gym membership is a common example of an automatic payment that gets forgotten and is rarely used. But other things can crop up too.

An annual renewal for a magazine you no longer read, a razor subscription and a monthly subscription to a premier cable TV channel that you rarely view are...

5 Ways to Protect Outdoor Wood Furniture

While wood furniture is gorgeous outside, you’ll need to protect it to lengthen its lifespan, or you could face rot and unsightly discoloration in no time.

Below are several tips to help your wood weather.

Paint
A coat of paint is the top way to protect your outdoor wood, and although you will lose that natural look, it may be worth it considering how much longer that wood will last.  Go for a latex paint over an oil-based paint, as latex will last longer so you won’t need to touch up as frequently.

Seal
Don’t want to mess with your wood look? Consider a water sealant instead, especially if your area gets rain. Water sealers work in two ways: they protect your furniture from moisture outside but also allow...

9 Tricks for Organizing Your Kitchen Counter

For many the kitchen is the hub of the home. It’s a gathering place for chats over coffee or tea, catching up on what’s happening in family members’ lives. As such, things could get a little disorganized when it comes to kitchen—kids leaving the peanut butter and jelly out, dirty dishes waiting to be washed, etc.

When the counters in the kitchen are sparkling and free from disarray, it makes the area look more open and organized. Here are some tips you might want to put into use for keeping your kitchen counters clutter-free.

If you can hang it, do it. Hanging fruit baskets is an ideal fix for keeping fruit off the counters and opening up space. These kinds of planters are popular again, why not do the same for your apples, oranges and bananas?

The low-down...

Behind the Scenes of a Real Estate Transaction

Buying a home is likely the largest financial transaction you’ll make in your entire life. It seems like it should be a personal decision for that reason. However, a decision this big requires many people to make it happen; probably more than you realize if you’re a first-time buyer. Here’s who you’ll want on your team before making the largest purchase of your life.

Real Estate Agent

An agent is there to guide you through the whole process, and will be the person who not only scouts listing for you and shows you homes, but finds you properties within your budget that fit your requirements in terms of location, size and layout. They aim to give you your dream home, but will quickly clue you into factors like budget that might mean making some compromises.

Mortgage Broker...